$10.00
United States
Redford
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Miskatonic Horror is an expansion I picked up almost as soon as it was available, although it took me a while to get it added in. I am going through a series of games of Arkham Horror with the same group, and didn't start using this expansion until it was time for us to play the base game with multiple previous expansions.

As more expansions get added to the base game, each individual expansion gets diluted, to the point that the theme and/or mechanics have little impact in the overall scheme of things. Miskatonic Horror was made to counteract these happenings, and to help integrate and combine expansions so that their mechanics stay relevant throughout the game, as well as help spread the theme across all expansion sets being used.

The new mythos cards can be used with just the base set, but most of the rest of the box needs other expansions included in order to be useful.

I have included the Miskatonic Horror expansion in 5 games so far.

The Premise:
As mentioned, there really is no theme being added on its own with this set. It mainly helps bring out the theme of each of the expansions when combined with each other. There is no underlying theme on its own.

The Components:
Over 450 cards come in this large box set, which includes both large and small cards. Also included are several herald-sized sheets (as included in other sets). Some of these new sheets are player references which declare the number of gates and monsters allowed at different player counts. Very useful, especially for those learning the game.

One sheet is the Dunwich Horror herald which was previously only available as a PDF on Fantasy Flight Games' website. The last few sheets are new Institutions, special abilities available to the investigators, somewhat similar to the Guardians available in Kingsport Horror.

Despite being a big box expansion, Miskatonic Horror does not include a new game board.

The Gameplay:
The gameplay for the base game and any expansions remains unchanged. This expansion does not add any new mechanics, other than the institutions which are generic and can be used in any game. I will just give rundown of the cards and how they now integrate better with expansions they normally wouldn't. You may need to familiarize yourself with the expansions referenced here if you aren't already in order to understand what is being added.

The Mythos cards can be added to any game of Arkham Horror, whether you are using expansions or not. Most of the new Mythos cards now show two gates on them. The top location will always be a location from either the Dunwich Horror board or the Innsmounth Horror board. If the board is in play that has that location, then the gate is placed there. If the board is not in play, then the gate will open on the bottom location which will always be on the main board. As more Mythos cards are added from expansions that do not include one of these two boards, the chances of gates opening there would go down drastically. Adding these new Mythos cards will help increase the gates opening on these two towns, although there is only a finite number of new cards to add, so adding in a bunch of expansions will still dilute the deck. But it definitely helps if you're using 2 or 3 expansions at once.

Outer World encounter cards now have two expansion symbols on them, which are to be used when you are using both expansions. These cards mostly just keep the theme of the expansions in their text, to help add in more flavor for the expansions you are using.

Dunwich, Kingsport, and Innsmouth encounter cards now have one or two expansion symbols on them as well, and are to be used when those expansions are added in, to help keep the theme across expansions. This is especially useful for references in these towns to the small box expansions which previously only included encounter cards for the base game only.

New Act card for The King in Yellow replace the ones from that expansion, and are desperately needed if using more than just that expansion. The original Act cards referenced The Next Act Begins cards, which were shuffled in with the Mythos cards, and by itself, would be a threat. But if you included more Mythos cards from other expansions, the Next Act Begins cards would get lost in the mix, and there was barely any fear from the first Act of the King in Yellow, let alone all three to end the game. The new Act cards now reference specific Mythos environments. This means that regular Mythos cards can now trigger the next act, which brings back the odds of the Act cards causing trouble no matter how many Mythos cards are in the deck.

New Blight cards for The King in Yellow now include personalities from the expansion boards.

The last addition that spans across different expansions are new Visions of Hypnos cards, used with the Hypnos guardian from Kingsport Horror. The new cards now include locations on the other expansion boards.

The rest of the cards in this set are mostly included to add even more variety to the other expansions.

For Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (revised), more new Exhibit Items are added.

For Dunwich Horror, new Madness and Injury cards are added. These not only bring in new disabilities, but each new Madness now pairs up with a previous Injury (and vice versa) to increase the chances of getting devoured if you take them. Also, new Dunwich Horror monster stat cards are included for even greater variability when you fight it.

For Kingsport Horror, new Blessing of Nodens cards are added as well as new Epic Battle cards that add one time or permanent changes to final combat.

For The Black Goat of the Woods, new Cult Encounters are added.

For Innsmouth Horror, new Innsmouth Look cards are included.

For Lurker at the Threshold, new (and more deadly) Reckoning cards are added as well as all new relationship cards.

And for each of the seven expansions, a new skill is included that pertains to each one. Some of them make you a part of the Sheldon Gang or Cult of the Thousand automatic, and others are skills that are thematically tied into the expansion it is based on.

Final Thoughts:
For someone that plays Arkham Horror a lot, and has most/all of the expansions, than this is a great purchase. The amount of variety to pretty much every aspect of the game is just astounding. Even if you don't combine expansions and just use one at a time, this still gives you plenty to add so that you will never be sure what is going to come up.

For those with just the base game and maybe 1 or 2 other expansions, it may not be as worthwhile, unless you know in the future you plan to get more. Because the value increases with the more expansions you have. But those that don't play enough to want to get the whole gamut, then you may want to take a pass on this. Although the player references are very useful for those that don't play often, its less stuff to have to look up from the rules.

For me, it was a must buy with as much as I play this game and how much I enjoy having more variety in my games. Overall, this is mostly "more of the same" as opposed to "new" with no new theme or mechanics. But for someone like me that already had all 7 expansions that each have their own new mechanics, more of the same for me wasn't a bad thing at all.

One thing to keep in mind is that unless you keep all cards mixed in together and just redraw until you find one from an expansion you're using (which I don't, those piles are way too big and unruly), then there will be a lot of card switching and reorganizing every time you decide to use a different expansion. Which is the way it is now, but this adds more cards which means more time needed. It is kind of a pain, but there is really nothing else that can be done about it.

Following the rating guidelines here, I will give this one an 8.5. It is definitely a must use when I want to use more than one expansion, but even if I only use one, some of the extra cards are still worth throwing in. No two games will ever be the same.

Thanks for reading, and catch the rest of my reviews at A Year With My Games.
30 
 Thumb up
1.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex H.
Germany
Aachen
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Played with Miskatonic only twice but I fully agree with your conclusions. I think going the expansion's expansion route was an excellent idea -- much better than throwing in yet another new board.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Maynor
United States
Peachtree City
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review. Very informative.

While I love AH, no one else was willing to commit the time to get it to the table very often, so I only have the base game. We actually enjoy Elder Sign for the theme, and a quick game, rather than setting up AH.

That being said, there is something I have done with other games that come with expansions that tend to keep things in line. Zombies!!! is a great example of a game that is just way too many cards after all expansions are added.

So get your cards organized nicely, but keep them separate. Then, keep a running count of how many there are in each expansion, we need to work on ratios. So, if 3 expasions all add 30 cards (making up numbers) to a base game with 60 original cards, just keep them in slots with a little die chart. Now roll a 10 sider (in this example). I normally like to place original cards for anything near the middle of the die range, so in this example a 1 or 2 could mean draw from Expansion 1, a 3 through 6 could mean draw from base game. Etc......

Even better, don't clump them. 1 is expansion 1, 2 and 3 is base game, 4 is expansion 2 and 5 is expansion 3... then repeat... 6 is expansion 1, 7 or 8 is base game... etc.....

But you get the basic idea. As long as you remember to give each their own discard, you can effectively use dice to keep cards sorted but still draw from across multiple sets. Now, effects that reshuffle things need to be taken on a case by case basis, but this seems to work for us with a lot of our games with expansions.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Redford
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
i3ullseye wrote:
Great review. Very informative.

While I love AH, no one else was willing to commit the time to get it to the table very often, so I only have the base game. We actually enjoy Elder Sign for the theme, and a quick game, rather than setting up AH.

That being said, there is something I have done with other games that come with expansions that tend to keep things in line. Zombies!!! is a great example of a game that is just way too many cards after all expansions are added.

So get your cards organized nicely, but keep them separate. Then, keep a running count of how many there are in each expansion, we need to work on ratios. So, if 3 expasions all add 30 cards (making up numbers) to a base game with 60 original cards, just keep them in slots with a little die chart. Now roll a 10 sider (in this example). I normally like to place original cards for anything near the middle of the die range, so in this example a 1 or 2 could mean draw from Expansion 1, a 3 through 6 could mean draw from base game. Etc......

Even better, don't clump them. 1 is expansion 1, 2 and 3 is base game, 4 is expansion 2 and 5 is expansion 3... then repeat... 6 is expansion 1, 7 or 8 is base game... etc.....

But you get the basic idea. As long as you remember to give each their own discard, you can effectively use dice to keep cards sorted but still draw from across multiple sets. Now, effects that reshuffle things need to be taken on a case by case basis, but this seems to work for us with a lot of our games with expansions.


That's not a bad idea. It won't work for me with Arkham simply because of the ridiculous amounts of decks that there are. Having several expansion piles for each one would mean an extra table beyond what I use now. I already use a card table next to me for all the cards while the dining room table holds the board(s), our player sheets and equipment, and the herald, ancient one, gate markers, etc. It's already 19 different decks with just the base game (each neighborhood, gate, mythos, common items, spells, etc.). Then you add in another board, which means more neighborhoods, injury, madness, and so on and so on.

So usually the night before we play, I will take out the expansion cards I'm not using from the previous play, and add in the ones that I will use next. The real pain in doing that is the lack of consistency in icon location for some of those cards. Take the items, Black Goat puts the icon in the lower middle, some are on the lower right, others are in the upper right of the text box, etc. Putting them all in the same spot would have been nice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
PB Simp
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Good review. I bought it around the same time you did, and find it very interesting. The Organized Crime Institution has saved my bacon more than once; the other two rarely get used.

This expansion also forced (well, encouraged) me to get serious about my organization of AH. I bought two toolboxes - one big, one small - that are used for drill bits, screws etc. Ripped off the idea from a site I saw, wish I could include a link but can't find it.

I fit the base game, plus epic battle cards, all GOO mods and Institution/Guardian mods minus monster bag and sliders/money/that kind of stuff in the small box, and all expansions in the other box.
I keep all the boards, character, GOO and Herald/Guardian/Institution cards in the empty Miskatonic U. box with all the rules.

Fits entirely in one gym bag!

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Teeka
Netherlands
Naarden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
As always, great review. This "a year with" series is very useful, thank you.

DoomTurtle wrote:
Some of these new sheets are player references which declare the number of gates and monsters allowed at different player counts. Very useful, especially for those learning the game.


I've only recently learned the game, and am now in the process of teaching my playgroup.

As you say, those reference sheets would've been great for us at this point, while we're still learning.
So it's pretty annoying they come in an (big box = expensive) expansion that's only worth getting after you already have other expansions. shake (I'm just using paper notes with the same things on it right now).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.