Arkham Roundup: 03/03/19

A roundup of some recent Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest.

The Secret Name

A few days ago Team Covenant began processing subscription charges for The Secret Name, which means the pack’s U.S. release is imminent. If the normal pattern holds we should be getting it on Thursday, March 14. In the meantime, if you’re itching for Secret Name card previews and you missed the stream by the Mythos Busters on Twitch last week, you can check out the video over on YouTube. The new card they previewed is Intel Report, which looks to be a very useful addition to the Rogue toolbox.

Video Content

Over on the video side I’ve posted Part 1 of my player card rundown series for The Circle Undone deluxe box:

That’s it for this week. Good luck in your investigations!

Arkham Roundup: 02/12/19 Catch-Up Edition

I’m back from vacation with a roundup of some Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest from the past few weeks.

The Circle Undone Released

The biggest news of the past couple weeks is, of course, the long-awaited release of The Circle Undone deluxe expansion (which dropped January 31). So far my experiences with the new content have been positive; I think it’ll probably end up being my second-favorite of the deluxe expansions so far, behind The Path to Carcosa. I’ve had a chance to play through the prologue scenario a handful of times, I’ve run Joe Diamond through both scenarios solo, and I’m planning on starting a second run tomorrow using a Finn and Marie pairing.

One of the surprises in The Circle Undone was the inclusion of 2 copies of the card The 13th Vision, the player-designed basic weakness from one of the two Arkham Nights 2017 card councils. It arrives with a few minor tweaks from the Arkham Nights version – its trait has changed from Madness to Omen, its card type changed from asset to treachery, it lost its subtitle, and it lost a sentence preventing it from leaving play due to other effects – but it’s still pretty much the same card designed by the card council. Does this mean we’re likely to see the other Arkham Nights 2017 card, The Council’s Coffers, in this cycle?

Union and Disillusion Announced

Just prior to the release of The Circle Undone we also got the announcement for the cycle’s fourth Mythos Pack: Union and Disillusion, a name I have for some reason found irrationally difficult to remember. There’s a healthy round of player card previews in the announcement article, with one for each class. All of the previewed cards are interesting, but since I’m running a site called the Atlas Agency it’s hard for me not to be excited about a card named Esoteric Atlas.

Drawn to the Flame’s Hundredth Episode

The Drawn to the Flame podcast is one my favorite corners of the Arkham community, so I was happy to see that the show recently hit its 100 episode milestone. If you haven’t given Drawn to the Flame a try, head on over there and check them out.

Decks of the Week Compendium

Over on the Arkham subreddit, user gtcarlson11 has been doing a weekly feature picking out a “deck of the week” from ArkhamDB. These decks have now been compiled over on his blog The ChiLo Horror in a Decks of the Week Compendium. If you’re interested in browsing a curated list of interesting decklists from some of ArkhamDB’s finest deckbuilders, head over there and check it out.

The Atlas Agency

Finally, in case you missed it, here’s my video review of the Guardians of the Abyss scenario pack:

Arkham Roundup: Week of 01/13/19

A roundup of some Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest from the past week.

The Circle Undone Approaches

I thought last week that we were at the end of the previews for Circle Undone but we were treated to one (presumably final) preview this week, this time unveiling some of the encounter cards we’ll be facing. There weren’t any new player cards previewed in this article, so feel free to skip it if you’re someone who likes to avoid encounter card spoilers

The wait for this set is almost over – it looks like the U.S. street date for The Circle Undone will be January 31.

The Deep Wait

This week finally saw a restock of all 5 of the Arkham Files novellas, but frustratingly they seem to have disappeared just as quickly as they arrived. You may have luck finding copies at your local store, but Fantasy Flight’s web shop already shows all 5 novellas as back out of stock and it looks like it may be months before another printing rolls in. I think the situation with the novellas was probably the biggest Arkham-related disappointment of 2018, and it’s unfortunate to see it still hasn’t been resolved.

Popularity Contest

We’re now up to a total of 25 playable investigators in Arkham (soon to be 30 when Circle lands). If you’ve ever wondered which of those investigators are the most popular among players, Andy at GravyAnecdote has you covered with the article “Which investigators are the most popular on ArkhamDB.com?” There are several interesting charts in the article, including one mapping out the investigators’ shifts in relative popularity over time (for example, you can see interest in Jim Culver spiking during Forgotten Age).

If you’re just starting to explore these investigators for yourself, you may want to check out the primer “The 4 Investigator Roles” posted this week over on the ChiLo Horror blog. This is a beginner-friendly look at the different gameplay roles that investigators can serve within a party.

Space and Time

That’s it for this week. A programming note – there will not be a roundup post next week or the week after, as I will be away on vacation. Look for the next one to be around February 10.

Arkham News Roundup: Week of 01/06/19

A roundup of some Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest from the past week.

Return to the Dunwich Legacy Release

The biggest news of the week was that the Return to the Dunwich Legacy upgrade expansion released on Thursday. I’m currently working on my first run through the updated campaign, using a Minh and Leo pairing to play two-handed solo. It’s still early – I’m only through The Miskatonic Museum – but so far I’m enjoying the experience. I’ve especially liked what I’ve seen so far of the set’s “replacement” encounter sets.

Return to the Dunwich Legacy does have an unfortunate production issue that was spotted pretty quickly after its release, discussed over on this thread on BoardGameGeek. It’s not so much an issue with Return as it is with the Dunwich Mythos Packs; it has to do with a cosmetic change that was made at some point in the past to the unrevealed sides of certain location cards in The Miskatonic Museum, The Essex County Express, and Where Doom Awaits. Early printings of these Mythos Packs featured “blank circle” symbols in the upper left-hand corners of certain locations. These circles were removed in later printings. Return to the Dunwich Legacy uses the “no circle” design for its location cards, so if you have an early printing of one of these Mythos Packs then you’ll be able to tell when an unrevealed card is from Return

On the left is an Exhibit Hall from Return to the Dunwich Legacy. On the right is an Exhibit Hall from an early printing of The Miskatonic Museum. Note the tell-tale circle in the upper left.

See the image above for an example of what this looks like. We don’t yet know what Fantasy Flight will offer as a fix for players impacted by this, but fortunately it’s only a small number of cards that’s affected.

The Circle Undone Previews

We were treated to a couple of new previews for The Circle Undone this week. First, over on FFG’s site they previewed the box’s sixth and final new investigator (with a bonus look at 1 new Mystic player card). Then, over on Drawn to the Flame, Frank and Peter got to preview another of the expansion’s new Mystic cards. And, though I think this one was technically last week, the Mythos Busters also recently got to unveil a new Survivor card.

At this point it’s likely we’re near the end of the official previews for The Circle Undone. We’ve had quite a bit previewed:

  • We know all 6 of the box’s new investigators along with all of their signature cards (though we still don’t know the deckbuilding restrictions for a few of them).
  • Between the official previews and the Mythos Busters preview we’ve now seen all 4 Survivor cards.
  • We’ve had previews for 3 Mystic cards. In addition, the fourth card is partially visible in a card fan on the Spanish Fantasy Flight site.
  • We’ve seen 2 Seeker cards and 2 Rogue cards.
  • We know the least about the new Guardian player cards. We know their Tarot asset and we have some partial information on one card (Delay the Inevitable, from the card fan in the initial announcement). We don’t know the main text of Delay the Inevitable and we don’t know anything about their remaining 2 cards.
  • We saw 1 Neutral card and 1 new Basic Weakness in the Tarot preview.

As far as I know we don’t have a final release date for the box, but I expect it’s not far off. A January release doesn’t seem to be outside the realm of possibility.

Articles

Just yesterday the blog The Strange Solution posted an excellent wrap-up/debrief on the Forgotten Age campaign. It’s a great discussion of what worked and didn’t work this cycle, and I’m in agreement with most of the author’s points about the scenarios and the campaign’s overall mechanics.

That’s it for this roundup. If you’re out there playing Return to the Dunwich Legacy this week, I wish you good luck in your campaign.

Arkham News Roundup: Week of 12/30/18

A roundup of some Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest from the past week.

Official Previews

Fantasy Flight ended the year with another preview for The Circle Undone, this time showcasing the set’s new Tarot player cards. We’d already seen Rogue’s The Moon • XVIII in an earlier preview, and now we know it’s part of a full suite running across all 5 classes. There’s some excellent artwork on these (the Chris Peuler pieces for the 5 class-based cards previously appeared in The Dreamlands expansion for Eldritch Horror), and I always like it when player cards reinforce the themes of the cycle like this.

Designer Journal

Friday’s Designer Journal by Matt Newman on the Fantasy Flight site is filed under Arkham Horror: The Card Game, but it touches on several of Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Games as it discusses interpreting the abstractions of card games from a storytelling perspective. If you’ve ever wondered how to interpret your investigator suddenly acquiring a new Baseball Bat in the middle of the jungle, this article will give you some ideas.

Community Content

Arkham Chronicle has kicked off #AllYellowAllTheTime, a series where several Arkham content creators will experiment with building decks for parties of investigators who all come from the same class (this time, the Seeker class). This is the follow up to their previous #AllPurpleAllTheTime event, which did the same for the Mystics. The first 2 videos, the intro by Arkham Chronicle and Minh Thi Phan from Twisted Tentacle Inn, are already up.

The Atlas Agency

In honor of the new year, I took a quick look at the Arkham Files 2019 calendar over on the YouTube side of things:

And that’s all for this week.

Arkham News Roundup: Week of 12/16/18

A roundup of some Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest from the past week.

Official Player Card Previews

On Monday of this past week Fantasy Flight posted a preview article showing off a few of the new player cards from the upcoming Return to the Dunwich Legacy upgrade expansion. Unfortunately, due to the fact that these player cards leaked online a few weeks ago, this preview wasn’t quite as exciting as it might otherwise have been.

It looked like that might be it for the week, but Fantasy Flight came through on Friday with a great Circle Undone preview article showcasing the remaining 2 unknown investigators from that deluxe box: Joe Diamond, the Private Investigator; and Preston Fairmont, the Millionaire. Both feature unique mechanics that should make for interesting play. The article also shows off 2 player cards from the deluxe box, including a new Rogue event which introduces the idea of a “resource test.” Some random observations:

  • I wonder if “resource tests” might be a recurring theme for the Rogue player cards this cycle, similar to the way Mystics had token sealing in Forgotten Age. If so, could we see a new skill icon for boosting resource tests? Another possibility is that resource tests could be a theme within a scenario in the campaign. That might fit for something based around the Order of the Silver Twilight.
  • Last cycle featured the Illicit trait as a minor Rogue subtheme. The trait’s been present from the beginning (every Rogue weapon so far has had it), but we saw it called out by Finn and Fence. With Preston Fairmont barred from taking Illicit cards, I wonder if we might see the trait take a back seat for this cycle.
  • You can see what’s probably some new player card artwork as the black-and-white background image behind the Joe Diamond card fan: a tarot card of Death, which may be a suite-mate to the previously previewed Rogue asset The Moon XVIII.

Developer Interview

If you enjoyed last week’s interview with Matt Newman over on Drawn to the Flame, you can check out another interview this week over on the Mythos Busters podcast. There’s some overlap in the discussion with the previous interview from Drawn to the Flame, but plenty of new info as well (including some talk about the Guardians of the Abyss scenario pack).

 

Arkham News Roundup: Week of 12/09/18

A roundup of some Arkham Horror: The Card Game announcements, previews, community postings and other items of interest from the past week.

The Circle Undone

On Tuesday Fantasy Flight ran a new preview of The Circle Undone introducing 2 of the box’s new investigators: athlete Rita Young and psychologist Carolyn Fern. Thanks to some teaser images from a trade magazine and a foreign-language publisher the community had already been aware we’d be seeing these 2 investigators in this box, but it’s nice to get official confirmation and it’s even nicer to get previews of their signature cards. Thanks to the novella promo we’ve already had Carolyn available for a while now, but with this preview we can finally see what her “real” signature cards Hypnotic Therapy and Rational Thought do. We know The Circle Undone will have 6 new investigators total and with this article we now have 3 officially previewed (a fourth, Marie Lambeau, has been spotted in an outside teaser but hasn’t been officially announced, and we’re still in the dark on the remaining 2).

Developer Interview

One of the highlights of every expansion cycle for me is getting to listen to the Drawn to the Flame podcast’s end-of-cycle interview with lead Arkham designer/developer Matt Newman. They’ve been able to do these interviews following each cycle, and this past week Drawn to the Flame episode 93 went up with their post-Forgotten Age interview. It’s about a 2-hour episode, but it’s well worth the time if you’re at all interested in hearing about the thought processes behind the design of this latest cycle. It includes discussion of the player cards, gameplay mechanics, and scenarios, and they don’t shy away from discussing how the cycle has been received by the community. And if you haven’t listened to Drawn to the Flame’s interviews from the previous cycles, I highly recommend both of those as well (the interview for The Dunwich Legacy is episode 22 and The Path to Carcosa is episode 57). The post-Dunwich interview, if I remember right, had some excellent explanations of the basic themes of the player cards for each of the game’s classes.

Fantasy Flight Merchandise

Last month Fantasy Flight released a series of 2019 calendars featuring artwork from 5 of its game lines, and it wasn’t long before the Arkham Files calendar sold out. I noticed this morning that the Arkham calendars have been restocked in Fantasy Flight’s online store, so if you were trying to pick one of those up and you missed out before you might want to head over there now and pick one up while you can.

The Dunwich Legacy Deluxe Expansion Spotlight

I’ve finally circled back and completed a spotlight video for The Dunwich Legacy deluxe box. To stay consistent with of the rest of the Dunwich spotlight videos, I decided to go ahead and cover everything – the investigators, weaknesses, player cards and scenarios – in one long video. (Starting with The Path to Carcosa, I do still intend to start breaking the different parts up into separate videos.)