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Subject: Yet another "recommend an expansion" thread rss

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Boian Spasov
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Hi guys,

I know that there is at least one thread like this every three days, but I have read several such threads and would appreciate your advice anyway.

I recently bought the base game and enjoy it very much. I usually play with my wife, 1 investigator each. I know people do not recommend 2 investigator games, but we enjoy them anyway.

Due to the low number of investigators in our games, as well as spacing restrictions in our living room, we would think twice before adding another board, but are willing to buy a large expansion even if we don't use the board in our 2 player games (from time to time we will play games with more players and investigators and will use it), as long as enough other components are useful and interesting.

So I researched all the expansions and still can't decide which one I should buy and whether it should be a large or small expansion.

Things that I am excited about: personal quests, corruptions, epic battle cards, injuries/madnesses, more events, investigators, and ancient ones.

Things that I don't like and probably wouldn't use: heralds, guardians, difficulty cards.

So, which expansion would you recommend for us? I will probably buy them one at a time, so a single suggestion will be most useful.
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John H
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The majority of what you are looking for in your list is covered in Dunwich Horror. I did some research before making a decision on expansions. I asked for and received DH for my birthday. I have to say I am quite pleased with it. Innsmouth looks like the next expansion I will target.

Good luck with whichever you choose!
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Wouter Dhondt
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You didn't list more equipment / spells so I'm going to suggest Innsmouth. Double the investigators and GOOs compared to the other big expansions + the personal story cards. Also contains some epic battle cards but you won't be able to use then without Kingsport. Still they might give you an idea about epic battle and if it's worth it or not. Innsmouth is rather harsh though so expect to lose a lot.

If you do want new equipment I suggest Dunwich. This expansion has "more of everything" and the madness / injury cards.

The small boxes might not be for you. Both King in Yellow and Black Goat somewhat depend on their herald and you prefer to play without. And Dark Pharaoh isn't very good imho.
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Robert Guthrie
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Definitely start with Dunwich.
The small box expansions won't give you any investigators or AOOs (they won't fit), though they do give the base game more Ancient Ones cards (the big decks) and Investigator cards (the tiny decks). If you go for a small box, everybody seems to like the King in Yellow.

After that, I'd suggest you download the PDF versions of all of the game rules, which include lists of the kinds & quantities of components included in each expansion. You'll then be able to judge for yourself which boxes are more valuable. Note that the Innsmouth Horror contains no Investigator Common or Unique Item cards or Spell cards.

Pay attention also to the dates that the pdfs were released, because that will tell you which box introduced a new rule (like Epic Battles, which started in Kingsport Horror, and are supplemented in Innsmouth).
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Boian Spasov
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Thank you all!

I already researched the PDFs and this is exactly the reason why I am confused - every expansion contains things that are attractive to me and things that I probably won't use (often).

Also, I didn't list the weapons and other items on purpose because I am indifferent about them. Definitely prefer more investigators and Ancient Ones.

Before posting I was leaning towards Innsmouth.
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J Burcham
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I'm in the same boat just started playing 2 player games with me and my wife. I bought innsmouth before we played a full game. Just played a couple full games so i'm thinking of adding components. not necessarily the board. Can you add all the location cards spells and equipments to just the base game, or are there some that use or refrence the innsmouth board?
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Murray Lewis
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For a first expansion I would definitely say go for Dunwich Horror. It adds a lot of the things you listed as being exciting (injury/madness being a big draw), and if you later decide to buy into another expansion they all build upon elements introduced in Dunwich.
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Markus
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Get Dunwhich. Then either Innsmouth or Kingsport or maybe even both!
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Jim Kiefer
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blizzardb wrote:
Thank you all!

I already researched the PDFs and this is exactly the reason why I am confused - every expansion contains things that are attractive to me and things that I probably won't use (often).

Also, I didn't list the weapons and other items on purpose because I am indifferent about them. Definitely prefer more investigators and Ancient Ones.

Before posting I was leaning towards Innsmouth.

Based on this clarification, its definitely Innsmouth since it adds 8 Ancient Ones instead of 4 and 16 investigators instead of 8 from Dunwich.

However Dunwich adds so many nice small investigator cards I would certainly want to mention that. You'll be able to use those smaller cards every game. Innsmouth doesn't have any as has been pointed out.

Also, I think soon you'll probably need a way to figure out how to use one of the additional boards, TV tray or something. Personally I love Innsmouth, but it has an unrelenting dismalness very much in keeping with Lovecraft but lately I've found myself using Dunwich more for balance and so I think Dunwich would be the more enjoyable additional board.

But based on your stated stipulations, its got to be Innsmouth for the investigators and the Ancient Ones.
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Jim Kiefer
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Burchamj wrote:
I'm in the same boat just started playing 2 player games with me and my wife. I bought innsmouth before we played a full game. Just played a couple full games so i'm thinking of adding components. not necessarily the board. Can you add all the location cards spells and equipments to just the base game, or are there some that use or refrence the innsmouth board?

I can't think of any location cards or components (very few anyway) that require the Innsmouth board itself except for the 6 Deep One Rising Track tokens. If there are, there certainly aren't many. You can also use the Other World gate cards too, but not the Mythos cards unless you wanted to pick out the Arkham Gate burst cards (if there are any).

Some of the Innsmouth investigators work better in Innsmouth but they work just fine to great in Arkham too.

As long as you play with only 2 investigators, the Arkham board will probably remain challenging enough, but as soon as you start playing with more investigators and/or players, you'll probably need to add a board. Since it will be Innsmouth in your case, be prepared for a big jump in difficulty. But hey, that's what its all about anyway.

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JGT
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Based on your likes and dislikes, it would appear that Innsmouth fits your bill the most. It would double your Investigators and Ancient Ones (my current favorite AO is Innsmouth), you would get your Personal Stories, and you would get the best expansion board mechanics of the lot.

However, I am still not convinced that playing Innsmouth without most of Dunwich's small cards involved is all that neat. I've played "Innsmouth only" both with and without Dunwich small cards, and I really think that when it comes to the smaller cards, Dunwich is the "delayed other half" of the base game. (I realize you are "indifferent" to such, but perhaps you just don't know yet?) I can't imagine a game without the Madness/Injury deck. Or Arkham Location Gate Bursts! (Innsmouth only bursts on its own board.)

You sound like a player that won't stop with just one expansion. As long as you get BOTH Innsmouth and Dunwich eventually, I don't care which you get first.

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Boian Spasov
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So no recommendations for Kingsport or the small expansions. It comes down to Dunwitch ot Innsmouth.

Guess I will flip a coin and eventually get them both.

Last question - assuming a game with only 2 investigators, is one of these 2 expansion boards preferrable?

For example if one of them ramps up the difficulty way more than the other, I will probably get the easier one, since for now we are playing with only 2 characters in around 70% of our games and adding an additional board is tempting, even though we lack space for the current one...

Once more, I know that many players recommend 3-4 investigator games, but we will probably stick to one character per player for now.
 
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Wouter Dhondt
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Both add a lot to the difficulty. But Innsmouth tops all and will make the game hard to win.

One thing I forgot to mention which might be important: Innsmouth does not add mythos cards for Arkham. You might want to consider this when you are playing without the Innsmouth board.
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Jim Kiefer
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blizzardb wrote:
So no recommendations for Kingsport or the small expansions. It comes down to Dunwitch ot Innsmouth.
I've only ever heard one person ever say they actually like Kingsport over either of them.

Quote:
Last question - assuming a game with only 2 investigators, is one of these 2 expansion boards preferrable?

For example if one of them ramps up the difficulty way more than the other, I will probably get the easier one, since for now we are playing with only 2 characters in around 70% of our games and adding an additional board is tempting, even though we lack space for the current one...

I rarely ever play 2 investigators. And if you are going to play 2 with the board, you'll probably stop it too. It will certainly be challenging. If you want to continue to play 2 investigators with an expansion, then that's the time to look at the smaller expansions. They keep everything in Arkham, but alas no new investigators or ancient ones.

BTW how are you doing in vanilla Arkham with 2 players? Getting many sealing victories? The FFG forum keeps stats and the win rate is 54% with 2 investigators compared to 60-70% with more. Most of the 2 investigator wins are probably combat wins.
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JGT
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Mageith makes a good point. I haven't played a 2-Investigator game in a long, long time. The last time I did, it was testing Dunwich when it was brand new. Since I was still learning Dunwich, the game beat me soundly. So I went back to playing four Investigators, and I've never played with less than three since.

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say Dunwich was easier, but only because Innsmouth is a bit less predictable. Some games will do almost nothing, some games will have the Deep One Rising track raging while Martial Law is in effect. When Dunwich is the only expansion in play, it's rather consistent. The game will most assuredly be harder, though, and you may wish you had one extra player.
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Bob T
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I recommend "Black Goat of the Woods" for fleshing out the characters with limited table space.

I have Black Goat, Innsmouth, and King in Yellow (yes I skipped Dunwich)

Of course Innsmouth is great for characters because you have the Personal Stories (not to mention some very interesting new characters) But don't knock "The Black Goat"...

...In this one you can join the Cult, and you get "Corruption" cards. Your characters become rather...complex...and once they get one or two Corruptions; they'll quickly get 5 or 6 more until the World itself is threatened (yes, it gets that dangerous)
Haven't found an equivalent to this in "King In Yellow". They're kinda like the "Madness" and "Injury" cards from Dunwich.

When your character joins the Cult he/she gets to have special "Cult Encounters" in certain Arkham locations- often requiring dreadful choices. The whole Cult/Corruption thing may not seem like much at first, but it's almost like a well-written "story", and it can take your characters to unexpected places.

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Boian Spasov
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mageith wrote:
BTW how are you doing in vanilla Arkham with 2 players? Getting many sealing victories? The FFG forum keeps stats and the win rate is 54% with 2 investigators compared to 60-70% with more. Most of the 2 investigator wins are probably combat wins.


For now we have 50% win rate with 2 investigators - 3 wins, 3 losses (GOO awakened from gates, doom tokens, and even once from full terror track and too many monsters). 2 wins were from sealed gates, 1 was from combat. Its worth mentioning that 2 of our combat losses were with the baddie ending on exactly 1 health. In one of these particularly unlucky games I rolled and rerolled a total of 2 successes from 20 dice with my last attack with Mandy. The other close lose game could've been a win if we hadn't forgotten the whip reroll ability. Also, initially we awakened the baddie on 7 open gates instead of 8 and there is a slim chance we could've avoided one of the final combats.
 
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blizzardb wrote:
For now we have 50% win rate with 2 investigators - 3 wins, 3 losses (GOO awakened from gates, doom tokens, and even once from full terror track and too many monsters). 2 wins were from sealed gates, 1 was from combat. Its worth mentioning that 2 of our combat losses were with the baddie ending on exactly 1 health. In one of these particularly unlucky games I rolled and rerolled a total of 2 successes from 20 dice with my last attack with Mandy. The other close lose game could've been a win if we hadn't forgotten the whip reroll ability. Also, initially we awakened the baddie on 7 open gates instead of 8 and there is a slim chance we could've avoided one of the final combats.

Close games are the best.

It looks like you are doing at least as well if not better than the FFG stats, especially if you had played the game exactly as printed. (I probably don't have a game where we don't realize later we missed something --Sometimes to our detriment and sometimes to our benefit.)

The Original AO are among the weakest of all, however, so when you get to face your new AO you'll be challenged.

Have you faced Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath yet? Those are the 2 toughest over all in the base set.

Yig, Ithaqua are actually to 2 easiest of all time to face in final combat and are so fast that's usually how you meet them. Ithaqua can occassionally ruin your day, however.

Hastur is even easier to beat IMO than the above two. He's a real challenge to seal however. We always go for sealing or closing victories.

Nyarlathotep is also an easy final combat AO. Most of the expansions add another tougher Mask monster, but still we seldom see any of them.

Azathoth gives you forever to seal him. Sometimes he surprises you due to overconfidence and wakes up early. Then, of course, its all over.

Cthulhu is will help you sharpen up your game since you'll be playing with a handicap. I've never beaten him in final combat.

 
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Boian Spasov
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mageith wrote:
blizzardb wrote:
For now we have 50% win rate with 2 investigators - 3 wins, 3 losses (GOO awakened from gates, doom tokens, and even once from full terror track and too many monsters). 2 wins were from sealed gates, 1 was from combat. Its worth mentioning that 2 of our combat losses were with the baddie ending on exactly 1 health. In one of these particularly unlucky games I rolled and rerolled a total of 2 successes from 20 dice with my last attack with Mandy. The other close lose game could've been a win if we hadn't forgotten the whip reroll ability. Also, initially we awakened the baddie on 7 open gates instead of 8 and there is a slim chance we could've avoided one of the final combats.

Close games are the best.

It looks like you are doing at least as well if not better than the FFG stats, especially if you had played the game exactly as printed. (I probably don't have a game where we don't realize later we missed something --Sometimes to our detriment and sometimes to our benefit.)

The Original AO are among the weakest of all, however, so when you get to face your new AO you'll be challenged.

Have you faced Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath yet? Those are the 2 toughest over all in the base set.

Yig, Ithaqua are actually to 2 easiest of all time to face in final combat and are so fast that's usually how you meet them. Ithaqua can occassionally ruin your day, however.

Hastur is even easier to beat IMO than the above two. He's a real challenge to seal however. We always go for sealing or closing victories.

Nyarlathotep is also an easy final combat AO. Most of the expansions add another tougher Mask monster, but still we seldom see any of them.

Azathoth gives you forever to seal him. Sometimes he surprises you due to overconfidence and wakes up early. Then, of course, its all over.

Cthulhu is will help you sharpen up your game since you'll be playing with a handicap. I've never beaten him in final combat.



Shub Niggurath was our first game and first defeat (he was left at 1 health). We are cycling the ancient ones, so there are only 2 we haven't faced yet - Yog-Sothoth and Ithaqua.
 
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Lycan Thrope
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Having all the expansions for this I would go with Dunwich if you're going for a big box expansion or King in Yellow if you're going for small box expansion.

Some nice common items, spells and unique items in Dunwich that make life a little easier in avoiding becoming GOO dinner if you're fortunate enough to get them.

Innsmouth & Kingsport have some more interesting player characters than the base game & Dunwich though.

As someone has already suggested, download the rule books for the expansions from FF and take a look at the contents, rules etc

The stand out strength of Arkham for me is that once you start adding the expansions in it becomes a very flexible modular game. You can add in things gradually so you don't become overwhelmed by the experience and you don't have to play the things that don't appeal to you (eg Heralds etc.) This means the experience doesn't become stale as you can add in things or omit them to vary the theme and difficulty.

Just a suggestion when playing with two people,try playing with two characters each, especially if you are going to add one of the expansion boards to the base game.

Whatever expansion you end up getting I'm sure you will not regret it.

 
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Bob T
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blizzardb wrote:

Shub Niggurath was our first game and first defeat (he was left at 1 health). We are cycling the ancient ones, so there are only 2 we haven't faced yet - Yog-Sothoth and Ithaqua.


Shub Niggurath's actually a "She"....now THAT'S scary!
 
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