'The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown' - Jan '17 Arkham Files Expansions
These last few weeks were big for Fantasy Flight Games’ Arkham Files collection (and painful for my wallet). I totally forgot that I had tweeted that we’d be going over the newest ways to get consumed by cosmic beings in our last show, so to make up for it here’s a detailed breakdown of the newest additions to the collection!
For those unaware, the Arkham Files line that FFG maintains currently consists of 5 games: Arkham Horror (the oldest of the bunch), Elder Sign (affectionally dubbed Cthulhu Yahtzee), Eldritch Horror (a refined version of Arkham Horror), Mansions of Madness (think Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill meets Saw), and the newest Arkham Horror: The Card Game. All of these games are quite unique games (oddly enough they all involve rolling dice of some sort), but ultimately contain the same storyline; you play as investigators with an attunement to the occult, preventing a cosmic being from devouring all that is good on Earth. Of course the source material for all these games are the collective works of H.P. Lovecraft and fellow authors in the Cthulhu Mythos, a sci-fi-horror writer from the 1920’s that has inspired a good majority of current day horror.
Let’s break down the newest additions to the family!
The Dreamlands is the next big-box expansion for Eldritch Horror that allows players to battle evil in the oft-referenced Dreamlands in Lovecraftian lore. As with all big box EH expansions, this provides a side board that opens up new locations for players to explore provided you’re fighting a specific Ancient One and/or using a specific Prelude card during setup. In amongst the usual new conditions, spells, items, artifacts, and encounter cards you’ll find two new Ancient Ones and a neat new gate mechanic - dream portals that can leak onto random locations on the main board. Also, you can travel to the dreamland side board when taking a rest action, and that’s just thematically cool.
Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition gets its first legit expansion (let’s be honest, the first two tile packs were just so the uninitiated could play catchup) with Beyond the Threshold. Not only do you get two new characters and a new monster, you unlock two new scenarios in the companion application required to play the game (bringing the total to six, or nine if you own everything). You also get a handful of new room tiles, obviously required for those new scenarios, and more spells and conditions to play with to augment the other scenarios. While enjoyable, MoM 2nd Ed suffered the same fate as Eldritch Horror’s base game in that it felt a bit incomplete with a limited number of conditions and spells, so here’s hoping this breathes more replayability into the game.
AH:TCG has been the new hotness since its release in December of last year, and this is the first deluxe expansion for the game. The expansion comes with the first 8-scenario campaign, but only the first few scenarios along with some new characters and player cards to beef up your decks. Which is good because I killed the 5 characters in the base game already. Of course, being a “Living Card game”, you’re fully expected to buy the other scenario packs as they’re released to eventually build up to the full campaign, but this should give you enough to chew on until they’re leaked.