Arkham Horror


There are many kinds of geek, nerd, w/e etc... and it takes a certain kind of geek to appreciate the works of H.P. Lovecraft. If you ever wondered what that whole Cthulhu thing is about, Mr. Lovecraft is the root. Now as I said it takes a certain kind of geek to appreciate his works, it takes another type of geek entirely to play and enjoy Arkham Horror.

The alternate title "Tommy Guns and Tentacles" didn't catch on.

Now it is really popular with the steam punk, turn of the century and 1920's and 1930's loving crowd, but you must understand that at the time (i.e. the 1920's-1930's) that shit was contemporary. That is to say in his day it was similar to books like Harry Potter.. where fantastic events are set in the current or recent time line. Actually more accurately Lovecraft was published mostly in horror and sci-fi magazines, you know those magazines on the bottom rack at Barnes and Nobel usually hidden behind issues of "High Times" and "Inked", in the 20's and 30's that would be the magazine hidden under "Manly Man: Tales of Adventure" at your local drug store take that as you may.

Now I am not saying that H. P. Lovecrafts works are shoddy by any means, I happen to be a huge fan... I am just letting you know what your getting into should you decide to investigate further, and also to build on the profile of the individual that plays this game.

Here is the back. It is horribly deceptive. It should have a little * with the footnote "Game layout not shown to actual size, picture taken on the floor of a high school gymnasium", that may be a bit of an exaggeration.. but not by much.

This is what you will find when you open it up. That is.. this is what you will find if you are like me and meticulously spent an hour or two dividing the separate game pieces into neat little zip lock bags. If you are not like me, then it probably looked a bit more like this.

Which brings me to a little more information about the type of person who would enjoy this game. Look at all these pieces! That is not even with the fucking board... and this isn't entirely separated either...

As you can imagine this game is a little complex. So you may have already begun to figure out the types of people who would enjoy this game. If you are going to play Arkham Horror.. you need to either be a rabid Lovecraft fan, as such that the setting, the creatures, etc are familiar enough to you that you can focus on the rules and game play or...

You are a rabid board game fanatic. The type of person who has game tables and grids and the like, specialized equipment specifically for their application in table top gaming.
I happen to be both so as it stands... I love this game.

To start with, at the begining of the game you choose which elder god you will be striving against. This can be done at random, or players can chose. These three are by no means the only god you can choose from, but they did make the best picture.

I can't tell you why, but Hastur appeals to me most. Perhaps because Cthulhu is so well known and Hastur has some pretty cool followers.

The players must also chose their character. There is a wide assortment to chose from, crazy people, magicians, photographers, etc..

The character cards give you all your characters starting equipment etc, and provides the area where you can place your stat sliders to determine your characters stats. As you can see some characters are more well endowed than others..

starting with better equipment and what not.

Now from here on out I think I will try to limit my descriptions, otherwise we will be here for a very long time. It is not my intent to go into every minute detail of the game, so I will just let the pictures speak for themselves and chime in occasionaly.



The rule book is deceptively thin...


The gameboard, not actually fitting inside the photo tent, or on my game/workstation table. The burn mark on the table is from a soldering iron.. not and ancient curse.

Stat sliders

Believe it or not these are actually good pieces: Elder Sign.











Oh, the places you'll go!

You will probably meet some friends.

Dapper Dan for instance.

Also this guy. I hear he lives on a plane where everything is made out of frozen metal which is unfortunate for his long tongued species.












It is a little known fact that everything in the 20's and 30's was creepy as hell. Don't believe me? Go to a hospital, church, school, w/e built during that time... creepy as fuck, all of it. Even in photo's where the building was new they looked scary.

So anyway, that is about all the various bits and pieces to Arkham Horror. It is difficult to recommend this game without caution. The game is extremely fun after you have played it a few times and the learning curve is a bit high and the enjoyment for even seasoned gamers will vary depending on your group. If everyone is a hardcore board gamer, this will be fun after the 3rd game because you will stop arguing about rules. If everyone is a casual gamer, the game will get fun after the third game because you finally "get" what is going on. Etc. Etc. I would recommend other cooperation/competition games before trying this one, try Pandemic or something similar before giving this a shot. All in all it is a great game, and really fun to play in the right atmosphere, I personally like to put on some Jill Tracy and play it in the late summer and fall months.

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