Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Dunwich Legacy expansion for Arkham Horror the card game from Fantasy Flight Games unboxing and review

I was pretty excited when Arkham Horror the card game was released.  You may know I love the Lovecraft worlds, and no one does it better than Fantasy Flight Games,with  such excellent games as the light and fun Elder Sign  or the game of saving the world in Eldritch Horror to the smaller cooperative creepy, and excellent app based board game Mansions of Madness.  When they released a Living Card game, I was stoked, and the fact that the first deluxe expansion came out pretty fast after it... even better to dive into the game more!  Don't worry though, I wont be spoiling the scenarios content, or the encounter decks, there's far too much fun in finding out.

No one, even those who have the facts concerning the recent horror, can say just what is the matter with Dunwich…”
     –H. P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror
 
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Dunwich Legacy, a deluxe expansion for Arkham Horror: The Card Game!

Several months ago, three Miskatonic University professors armed themselves with secret knowledge, traveled to Dunwich, and brought an end to the strange and terrifying creature that had been terrorizing the secluded village. Their heroic efforts brought peace to the region—for a while—but also left the men scarred by the horrors they had witnessed.  This can all be read about int he short story aptly named the Dunwich Horror by H.P Lovecraft.

Now, one of those professors, Dr. Armitage, has need of your assistance. His colleagues have gone missing, and he fears the worst…

Lets pop the box open and take a look at the goodies....



One downside is the box.  I wish they where proper solid boxes like the core games, and some of the Lord of the Rings expansion, rather then flimsy boxes with a support inside.  They are no good for storing your cards in at all.

With five mini cards and 156 full-size cards, The Dunwich Legacy challenges you to find the missing professors and launches you into a new campaign that leads to Miskatonic University, the notorious Clover Club, and beyond. Five new investigators arrive to offer their services, armed with fifty-nine new player cards (including a complete playset of each) that allow you to pursue new deck-building strategies and new styles of play. Finally, you'll find all manner of new terrors arrayed against you—from backroom thugs and bad luck to arcane hexes and wholly unnatural abominations.
 we get some new investigators of course, some we may be familiar with from other games, some new to me... like Zoey, in the Guardian class.   with high health and good attack she really likes to get stuck into enemies, and she gains resources when she engages them too.  Olivia thinks she look cool, and "stabby" that comment had me a little worried.

Rex is a seeker character, I suppose apt with a seeker of the truth and a reporter... he's good at investigating, but not great in fisticuffs, so take care, but his ability does let you get more clues if you succeed by 2 or more in a skill test.
Representing the survivors is Ashcan Pete begins the game with duke his faithful hound to help out, so gives you an edge at the start.  He also lets you discard a card to ready an asset... Duke perhaps......

Jenny Barnes apparently in Olivias top 3 of favourites due to her pretty dress is the rogue class in this pack.  She's solid and balanced across the board and lets you gain an extra resource during the upkeep phase.

Lastly we have Jim culver for the mystics... Again pretty solid across the board, he has some really interesting interactions with the dice cup that can be changed with additional cards he gets.


of course each of these investigators gets their own special item, and their own special problem too.  And have their deck building restrictions on the back of them, along with some great background story that is always well worth reading.  In fact it maybe why playing takes me so long, as I'm always reading flavour text on the cards, and its well worth doing to enjoy the game.


 The art on these cards is magnificent. its some of the best I have seen, but as in idea to some problems, and boons... take a look.  Duke for example as an action can be exhausted to fight with a base skill of 4 and do an extra damage... or he can be exhausted to investigate with a 4, and can move to a connecting location before doing it too. 

Zoeys weakness smite the wicked though forces you off to destroy the denizens on evil! could be a problem when you need her investigating something and she's tearing off to smash an enemy up.

It is however these combinations of weakness and random ones that really make the game feel more real and alive  with flawed characters
there are of course, all sorts of new cards being added, so we shall take a look at a few from each of the spheres to give some ideas of what to expect.

The blackjack costs 1, and gives you an extra fight for the attack, its handy if you are attacking a monster already engaged with another investigator as unlike other weapons, if you fail you wont injury the other investigator!

Taunt is 1 cost and fast so doesn't take an action, but lets you engage any number of enemies at your location, which is good if you want to let other plays get past them whilst you hold them up, and combined with Zoe who gets resources and loves hitting things.. its a good card!

Teamwork is a 0 cost event that lets investigators at your location trade any number of allies, assets or resources amongst them.

In the rogue sphere we get liquid courage.... which is a 4 use item that as a n action lets you spend one of its resources to choose an investigator to heal 1 horror, then they can take a physical test and I they past heal another.  Whisky has the physical test fail on me.

Think on your feet is  1 cost fast event, and has stunning artwork.  You can play it when an enemy would spawn at your location, and you get to move to another location dodging it.

Double or Nothing is all about gambling..... you put it in on a skill test, and double the difficulty.  If you succeed though you resolve the effects twice, so good for getting clues nice and quickly.
The seekers get some new cards too of course.  Laboratory assistant is a 2 cost ally with 1 health 2 sanity.  She increases your hand size by 2 as well, which is really useful until she dies that is!  When she comes into play you get to draw two cards as well, so she's good for keeping your options open by having a larger hand size.

Strange solution is an odd card..... its 1 cost, and as an action you test your lore, if you succeed you discard it and gain 2 cards, then record it in the campaign log.... this has to have some later meaning right? yes.. but I cant tell you!

Shortcut... again such great art is a 0 cost event that is fast and lets an investigator at your turn move to an adjoining location.  Useful to get them moving quicker if need be.
For the mystics we get some new spells.

Rites of seeking is a 3 use spell, that as an action lets you investigate with knowledge and discover 2 additional clues if successful so great for getting through rooms, but any symbol is drawn you fail and lose the rest of your actions, so it has a downside too.

Clarity of Mind  is a 2 cost spell that has 3 uses, and as an action you can heal a horror from an investigator at your location.  Very vital to stop other players going insane, so this one is highly recommended.

ritual Candles is 1 cost item that after you draw a symbol during a test you are performing you get +1 skill value fro the test.  So its situational, but useful to have.

the Survivors get a fire axe.. a 1 cost asset that as an action for fighting deals an extra damage if you have no resources in your pool.  Or you can spend a resource during an attack to get +2 fight value, so if you only have 1 resource left spend it to maximise the damage.

Peter Sylvestre is a 3 cost ally.  He automatically regains a horror at the end of each turn so use him to soak some up where possible and he give you +1 agility  too.

Bait and switch is useful for only 1 cost, as when you evade a monster you can move it to an adjoining location.
Just a quick look at one of the upgrades, just as it was awesome.... Bind monster.  this has to be bought with XP from the campaign.  When you evade the attempt uses knowledge instead of agility, and if you succeed you can attach bind monster to it.  Then when the monster would normally ready you must test knowledge, and I you succeed the monster does not ready and stays stuck, if you fail though it escapes its bonds. 

The Kukri is a neutral item 2 cost, that as a fight action gives you +1 fight and if you succeed you can spend an action to perform an additional damage.

There are many more cards then this to come across, but I do not want to spoil the surprises you will find, lets just say deckbuilding is going to be a lot more fun added to the core set, as the core alone does not really provide in the way of options, and the scenarios will through up some surprises for you.

Where Will Your Search Take You?

The Dunwich Legacy introduces two new scenarios, Extracurricular Activity and The House Always Wins, that pit you against the forces defined by eleven new encounter sets. You'll infiltrate the Clover Club and witness firsthand its shady and sometimes violent transactions. You'll traverse the halls and greens of Miskatonic University. And if you're lucky enough—and careful enough—you might just find Dr. Armitage's missing colleagues and live (with your faculties intact) to tell the tale.

However, the details of that tale will depend both on the decisions you'll make and your willingness to delve deeper into the layers of mystery you encounter… The Dunwich Legacy doesn't just allow you to explore two new scenarios and their challenges; it serves as the introduction to the whole The Dunwich Legacy campaign, the subsequent chapters of which will be released in an upcoming cycle of Mythos Packs.

For those investigators willing to pursue the horrifying truth, The Dunwich Legacy campaign offers a thrilling and spiraling descent into mystery and madness. Where will your search for Professors Rice and Morgan take you? What will you learn? What connections will you uncover between recent events and the rumors that date back to Dr. Armitage's involvement in the incident at Dunwich?
Each of the six Mythos Packs that complete the cycle and are due out later, adds new layers of intrigue and new challenges that you can enjoy either as a standalone adventure or as a part of an eight-act mystery. And it all starts with the scenarios and encounter sets from The Dunwich Legacy.


If you like Arkham Horror the card game, this is a no brainer, you NEED to get it, it adds a lot of much needed options for deck building, new investigators, and new scenarios for your campaign.  And these are great.  There is plenty o replay value in the game as well now, with more decks to try, and of course different results in the campaign, there are always thought, what would have happened if I had chosen X instead of Y, well give it a whirl and see.  As with the core game the scenarios have scalable difficulty levels so you can play a nice easy game to explore the story, or go full Arkham horror mode, and count your blessing to have survived barely.  Its a great game, and this adds to it with an iconic adventure  from the Lovecraft world.


It comes in with an RRP of £27.99 so head on over to your local game store and grab yourself a pack.

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