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Alex owns. Some of the best boardgaming moments of my adult life. A game that does everything in its power to destroy you and you get to smash your face into it with friends over and over until you -- just barely -- crawl bloodied and beaten into victory. Overall, the experience this game provides makes it a classic.
Arkham Horror Light, best with upto 4 players. This player restriction is in part due to the rumour cards which increase in difficulty based upon the number of players and is one of the weaker aspects of the game. Having got a few plays under my belt, I can say that I prefer this to Arkham Horror (AH). My reasoning is that each investigator is potentially equally effective. What I mean by this is that in AH, players typically become type cast, e.g. magic casters attack magic monsters and melee characters attack melee monsters, in order to use the teams resources efficiently. Within Eldritch, your character starts with stats which mean they are less likely to succeed various skill checks but through items and skill enhancements this evens itself out more. Therefore each person's character is of equal value to the success of the mission and, teaming up is possible and at times a requirement. The turns are also streamlined , although I fear that further expansions from FF may change that. The choosen one who must be defeated also feels unique each time and their effects on the players and the world add flavour to each game. Finally, the coolest thing is the reckoning. Players are no longer restricted by money by way of improving their character's belongings. They can choose to take a debt card for example. Life goes on for said player, until the reckoning. At this point, all cards in play with the reckoning icon are resolved. You thought making a deal with those unsavoury characters in order to get that shot gun was a good move. Well, its pay-back time. If this could be expanded somehow to include skill upgrades, this would make a future expansion even more fun. In Cthulhu style, where every ability comes with a cost, the path you choose is defined by your actions. This can lead to some damned if you do and damned later if you don't choices. Making each reckoning unique is pure genius. Dark Pact cards being some of the toughest to endure. For example, with the option of being effectively devoured or given a dark pact card, our hero takes the dark pact. Only two turns later failing the reckoning roll and having to choose another player to be devoured.
Pretty good tactical co-op, though I don't like the characters being specialized and checks being totally random. I never felt like a check is trivial, but I did occasionally feel like a check was impossible (and I never knew what sort of a check an action would entail). I did occasionally feel I did not really have much of a purpose to the group and was just doing monster/gate cleanup.
Still enjoying this game, although I wish I had remembered to log in all of my plays. We are at around 9-10 at this point. This is definitely a highly recommended game for me, especially at that 4 player sweet spot.
I love the adventure aspect of the game. It is a little goofy at times but if you know that going in this adds to the fun. The only drawback is if you start this too late players will start to lose motivation/interest. This game has a lot of upkeep between turns and it is easy to miss a step.
+ Great variety in Great Old Ones, events and growing characters, although it does need expansions to prevent running into the same cards too often. + Very thematic, I love the stories that unfold, the way you can upgrade and equip your characters. - Long set up time - Brutal, can feel hopeless and undefeatable. Update: after repeated plays, we've also had some where we got through just fine. Don't be afraid to adjust difficulty using the hard and easy cards to adjust to your taste.