Arkham Horror LCG: Revised Core Set
What is this game?
Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (LCG), not confused with Collectible Card Game (CCG). An LCG has a fixed set of cards in every game box, and pack and this game here is the Core game that is required to play.
The game box consists of two sets of cards, The Player Cards and the Encounter Cards; both needed to play. The player cards are what you will use to create a unique deck for your investigator. Each investigator can select a specific number of cards for their deck. These cards can be anything from revolvers, baseball bats, knives, or weapons. They can also be skill cards that improve your chances of completing tasks, or even Ally cards, people, and animals to assist you in your investigation.
Each game you play in Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a different story. In the core box, you get three stories that are linked together to make a Campaign. Each story uses a different set of Encounter Cards. Within these cards are the Act deck and the Agenda deck. The goal of each story is for all the investigators to work together, completing the tasks laid out in the Act deck. Meanwhile, the longer you take, the more time the enemies have to advance their Agenda deck.
A few of the cards in the Encounter deck represent the locations you will visit during the story. These locations allow you to investigate them to find clues but beware. There are enemies around every corner. If an enemy arrives in your location, they will attach to you and attack. The goal is to find enough clues to advance the story before you succumb to the enemy hordes.
Finally, it's in your best interest to work with your fellow investigators because the game ends for all players if anyone is defeated. You can help each other by fighting enemies together, and some investigators specialize in healing their fellow investigators.
What is a Living Card Game (LCG)?
A Living Card Game or LCG is a game where you get all cards you need in one box. If you buy the core set of this game, you will be able to play all three stories right out of the box. If you decide to purchase one of the expansions or mythos packs, you will get a fixed copy of every card needed to play those stories.
This core game is required to play. However, all deluxe expansions are independent of each other, and each deluxe box comes with 2-3 additional stories. Also, these deluxe boxes begin a Mythos Cycle with an additional 7 - 8 mythos packs, each containing one different story in the campaign and other player cards.
Note: Fantasy Flight Games, the publisher, is currently changing this distribution model. In the future, starting with the Edge of Earth Expansion, each entire campaign will come in two boxes an Investigator box and an Encounter Campaign box. The Investigator box will include All player cards from all stories in the new campaign and new investigators. The Encounter Campaign box will have all story cards for all 9-10 stories that make up the campaign.
You will no longer need to buy separate mythos packs for each story you want to play. Also, all previously released Deluxe Campaign expansions are anticipated to be re-released in this format. However, no time frame has been given.
Who are the Investigators in the Core Set?
Each Investigator is unique with their skills and specialties. In the core set, you get five investigators to choose from.
- Roland Banks - An FBI Agent who has come to town to investigate the supernatural events of Arkham.
- Daisy Walker - The Librarian who has found a tome of books that help her investigate.
- Skids O'Toole - An Ex-Con who is really in it to help pay off the hospital debts his family has incurred
- Wendy Adams - A Street Urchin who has learned from her mother that not everything is right and she needs to protect herself.
- Agnes Baker - A Waitress at Velma's Diner, she has learned magic and spell casting and uses them to help the city of Arkham
These are not the only investigators in Arkham Horror: The Card Game, but are the ones that come in the Core Set. Each expansion has additional investigators who each bring something different to the game.
Also, investigators are not specific to the campaign and box they came in; you can use these characters in later stories and other investigators back in the core set.
How hard is this game to learn?
The game does have a bit of a learning curve, and due to the game's cooperative nature, there are a lot of rules to learn. However, while this game works best if you understand every rule, it's not a big deal if you miss a rule now and again. The game is very forgiving. When in doubt, follow the rules on the cards to the best of your ability. Most of all, have fun! That's what playing games are all about!
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We do enjoy this game both as a group and as a solo game. When playing Solo, the player takes two investigators and plays them both.
In many Arkham Games, we here at Detective Hawk Games will play two characters each. Being fully cooperative, it's easy to have multiple investigators. Keep in mind, though; the game does get more complex with more investigators both when collecting clues, and some enemies have health multiplied by the number of investigators. So they become harder to defeat.
Overall the game is a lot of fun. It takes 1-2 hours to complete a story, and each story's outcome affects how you start the following story. If you lose a story, you move on to the next, albeit with some hindrances. Or you can do what we do and repeat the story to try and get the win. Each story does have multiple outcomes, and sometimes it's not a "win or lose." We've even played one scenario where we were told we would lose the story, but it will help us in a later story if we did well. We thought that was interesting.
If you want to see what we think of the core set, Check out our Review in the forthcoming weeks.