Arkham Horror 3e - Anyone played it yet?

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

Formerly 'Hyperbolic Orange'
Validated User
#1
The title says it all, really. I'm wondering if anyone's played the new third edition of Arkham Horror yet, and if so - how is it?

I was a big fan of the old Chaosium edition, and also the second edition (the first FFG one) but I must admit that it hasn't hit the table since Eldritch Horror came out. Eldritch Horror just seems to do the Arkham Horror experience so much better (and quicker!) than Arkham Horror does.

So I'm intrigued by this new third edition. From the FFG Product Page for it and the Rules PDF it looks very different from previous editions (and from Eldritch Horror) in some ways yet looks very familiar in other ways.

Does anyone have it yet? Has anyone played it yet? Is it any good?
 

PlatinumWarlock

Lord of Shiny-Things Keep
Validated User
#2
Just got our debut play in last night, actually!

(Full disclosure here: I worked on the deluxe edition of the AH3e rulebook; all of the location write-ups in that book are from me. However, I was not privy to any playtest files and knew no more about the revision than anyone else--outside of certain story elements--than your average other gamer. While I did receive a comp copy of the deluxe rulebook, I paid for my copy of the game.)

The differences between 3e and 2e are notable and stark. Most obviously, the big difference is the board--AH3e uses a modular board, driven by specific scenario layouts. This cuts down on table space, but also provides a much tighter narrative experience. Instead of navigating 10+ neighborhoods, you're only moving through 5 or so, which keeps things quite focused.

One of the biggest differences came in the spread of Doom. One player noted some comparisons to Pandemic in this regard, as too much Doom in a neighborhood would result in an Anomaly occcuring, which prevents you from accessing the clues within that neighborhood and invites all kinds of badness. Another player compared parts of the experience to the Arkham Horror Card Game, in that the game is *very* heavily story-driven, with additional cards being added to an expanding 'Codex' that details your win loss conditions over time. While I do worry about replay value for this over time--especially once you manage to beat the four scenarios in the book--I have no doubts that FFG will likely put out a number of (hopefully smaller than big-box) additional scenarios.

The characters seemed to reflect something of a combination of the Eldritch Horror stats, coupled with some of the roles from the AH card game. I was rather pleased with playing Agnes Baker, who was something of a 'blood mage'--she got bonuses to casting spells if she took damage, instead of Horror. However, one of our players took on Rex Murphy, whose curse was outright crippling. I think he may have succeeded on maybe 3 rolls all game. I'm dead sure that, if Rex comes up in the character draw next time, I might be warning new players away from him. I can see the schtick the designers were going for with him--each time he fails a roll, he gets an extra Focus token, of which he can have an unlimited supply--but his 'fail forward' concepts really cripple you when you need a given roll to succeed. With that said, the other characters all seemed well-balanced and interesting.

One thing of note, though, is that the lethality is really cranked up. If you hit 0 health or sanity, you're dead. Start again. There's no "now you're delayed and at Arkham Asylum/St. Mary's Hospital". You really do have to weigh going up against a monster; if you fail that roll, you might take quite the beating for the rest of the game. With that said, most of the encounters seem to skew toward the positive, with fewer encounters resulting in negative effects.

Overall, we really enjoyed our play. We did lose--we were behind the 8-ball from the start, having missed the first objective at the start--but we were eager to try again the next time we could all get together. I find myself in a unique situation, though. While I really like AH3e, it's a very different sort of game than AH2e. It's increasingly looking like I'll be keeping both versions, playing whichever version we're in the mood for at the time. All told? Really enjoyable and worth the experience!
 

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

Formerly 'Hyperbolic Orange'
Validated User
#3
I have to admit, having said that I've not played Arkham Horror since I got Eldritch Horror, reading about the third edition does make me want to get out the second edition and play it again (maybe without the expansions though - they just make it too bloated). While Eldritch Horror is definitely more streamlined and smooth in play, there's something about the experience of running around town in a panic avoiding monsters and trying to close gates more quickly than they open that's missing in Eldritch Horror with its more narrative "solve the plot cards in order" win conditions. To some extent, EH suffers from the same problem that Descent 2e suffered from when compared to Descent 1e (and Fury of Dracula 3e suffered from when compared to Fury of Dracula 2e) - it might be more smooth, polished, and efficient than its predecessor, but there's something about the chaotic experience of the earlier game that's missing.

In that respect, it's sounding like AH3 will be more of a replacement to EH than it will to AH2. It might be a case that we would play AH2 when we want the full chaos and play AH3 (instead of EH) when we want the smooth narrative.
 

VicenteC

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#4
I've played AH 2e a few times, and I got to play the demo of AH 3e in PAX West a few months ago and it was awesome. We were playing with 6 people (or more, I don't remember), and even if several had never played AH, the game moved very fast (we completed 3 turns in 1.5 hours). We had the demo person helping move the game along, but any experience player could do the same in a regular game night. It felt AH, the characters were all different and interesting, the demo mission was fun...

It's going to be a must buy for me, I lack coop games that play more than 4 people, and AH 3e seems to fill that position perfectly (while 2e would just take too long for my group).
 

Neaden

Registered User
Validated User
#5
Just wanted to bump this to see if anyone's picked it up and wants to give an impression from the last couple months. I'm surprised at how little chatter this has generated but am interested in picking it up.
 

Gaffa

Fallen Writer
Validated User
#6
I did a reasonably long review of it in another thread... on my phone or I'd search for you on it.

Basically, it's a great update for the original Arkham game, adding the best parts of the rest of the Arkham family, as well as changing doom to play like the disease tokens from Pandemic, while streamlining the game and making it feel more thematic. Thumbs up!
 
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