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

Exhibit Hall Issue

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.

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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 12/23/18

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

Announcements

The week’s biggest Arkham news was Fantasy Flight’s announcement of the third Mythos Pack of The Circle Undone, titled For the Greater Good. I love the dissonance between the noble-sounding name “For The Greater Good” and the horrifying, towering abomination gracing the pack’s cover. Let’s hope this isn’t a thing we actually have to face down this early in the campaign.

For the Greater Good

The announcement includes previews of some new upgrades to the multi-class player cards we first saw back in the announcement for The Secret Name. These new upgrades are no longer multi-class, but instead they branch into separate versions for each of their initial classes. For example, the level 0 Tennessee Sour Mash splits into two different level 3 options, one for Survivors and another for Rogues. I was not a huge fan of the multi-class cards as they were originally announced, but I like this development. Since the game already has plenty of variety between investigators when it comes to which cards they’re allowed to take, and since there’s no resource match requirement when playing cards, the multi-class cards felt a little unnecessary to me. Having them branch into separate upgrades for each class makes the idea of the multi-class cards a little more appealing to me.

Releases

In some places outside the U.S., Return to the Dunwich Legacy has now hit retail shelves. While Fantasy Flight’s Upcoming page doesn’t yet have a release date listed for it, the buzz is that the U.S. street date should be in early January. In the meantime, if you’re curious about the box you can benefit from those lucky enough to be in places where it has hit shelves: Arkham Chronicle has posted a nice spoiler-free preview video showing off the box and its contents; and Cambro has done a video looking at its new player cards.

Podcasts

Miskatonic University Radio’s newly posted Episode 11, “Scary Encounter Card Power Rankings,” talks through some of the nastiest treacheries the game has thrown at us to date. This one has encounter card spoilers up through Forgotten Age.

The Atlas Agency

Finally, I just uploaded a video of my own taking a (belated) look at the player cards of The Depths of Yoth:

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.

Preston Fairmont

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.

Arkham News Roundup: Week of 12/02/18

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

Guardians of the Abyss

Releases

As hoped for, the Guardians of the Abyss scenario pack did get its release in the U.S. this week. I’ve got my copy sleeved and I’m hoping to get a chance to play through it this weekend. If all goes according to plan, I should have a scenario impressions video for it done sometime before the end of December. I’m excited to get into it – since I haven’t played Labyrinths of Lunacy (I’m saving it for when I can do Epic Multiplayer), it’s been nearly 2 years since the last time I got to experience a new standalone scenario. With the exception of the Guardians of the Abyss release this was a pretty quiet week as far as official news from Fantasy Flight, with no new previews or announcements.

Player Card Discussion

I know I linked to a Henry Wan analysis last week but I have another good one to point you to this week, this time by blogger Curtis Miller. At this point things aren’t looking that great for Henry Wan’s career, and we may already have a good candidate for one of the cards to be revisited in the inevitable Return to the Circle Undone upgrade expansion.

If you’re interested in hearing some thoughts on the other previewed Wages of Sin player cards (and the scenario info too), you can catch preview videos over at both The Whisperer in Darkness and Lost in Time and Space on YouTube.

Leaks & Spoilers

Here’s a big one – due to some kind of shipping mix up, a rogue copy of the not-yet-released Return to the Dunwich Legacy expansion was spotted in the wild this week by Australian user defiance718. They posted about it in this thread on BoardGameGeek and provided links to galleries showing all of the new player cards and the expansion box itself. The bottom of the box lists the expansion’s contents as: 81 scenario cards; 23 player cards; 32 divider cards; and 1 rules sheet.

Mythos Lore

If you’re interested in exploring some of the background behind The Circle Undone in advance of its release, allow me to direct you to this excellent Reddit post on the history of the Order of the Silver Twilight. User DaiInAFire walks through the organization’s different appearances over decades of roleplaying and board games. I’m always looking to learn about the inspirations behind each cycle and it can be difficult to find this sort of information online, so I find this work very helpful.

Artwork

Here’s a small item I meant to include in last week’s post but forgot. If you’ve been following the previews for The Circle Undone, you may have noticed the tarot theme running across the 2 agenda cards that have been previewed so far. It seems likely that all of the agenda artwork in this cycle will be pulled from the tarot series by artist Lenka Simeckova that Fantasy Flight teased out on Twitter back in October. Over on Fantasy Flight’s official forum, user Antimarkovnikov has compiled the links to those tweets and started mapping them to the cycle’s expansions. It’s a great series of images, well worth checking out if you didn’t see them when they were first revealed.

Arkham News Roundup: Week of 11/25/18

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

Expansions

Fantasy Flight kicked the week off on Monday with a new preview article for the upcoming upgrade expansion Return to the Dunwich Legacy. This was the first preview since the expansion’s initial announcement back in September, and I have to say I like what I’m seeing of this one so far. This preview focused on the expansion’s updated version of the scenario The House Always Wins, and it showed off a couple of interesting new scenario cards that seem to build well on the original experience.

If Monday’s official preview article wasn’t enough Return to the Dunwich Legacy to satisfy you, you can supplement it with an unofficial look ahead over at the newly formed Arkham blog The ChiLo Horror. They ran an article last weekend that outlines the issues they are most eager to see “patched” in Dunwich’s upgrade expansion. I think the article does a good job of identifying some of the rough edges in the Dunwich experience that could stand to be smoothed out in the return trip, and I hope some of the items brought up in the post really do get addressed in the expansion (Return to the Night of the Zealot didn’t end up doing as much of this sort of patching as I would have liked).

In non-Dunwich news, it appears the Guardians of the Abyss scenario pack will be out very soon. This is the retail release of the 2 scenarios from this year’s Gen Con and Arkham Nights events. Although Fantasy Flight’s Upcoming Products page still lists Guardians of the Abyss as “On the Boat,” Team Covenant subscription charges for the product ran around November 26 and that’s usually a good sign that a release is around 2 weeks away. If it’s not out this coming week on December 6 then it will probably land on December 13.

The Wages of Sin

Last but not least, on Friday Fantasy Flight announced The Wages of Sin, the second Mythos Pack of The Circle Undone cycle. This pack leads the investigators to Hangman’s Hill in Arkham’s Uptown district (recently featured in the new edition of the Arkham Horror board game – Hangman’s Hill is described in the deluxe rulebook as a potter’s field where “vagrants, criminals, and unidentified bodies are interred”). The announcement article included previews for 3 new player cards, all of which happened to be allies. Will all 5 classes get new allies in this pack? It might be the case, but I’ve been burned making assumptions like that in the past (the incomplete suite of Patron allies from The Path to Carcosa cycle comes to mind – poor Guardians). One of the new allies previewed in the article, the Rogue ally Henry Wan, has already been the subject of a mathematical analysis by user Auckmid over on the Arkham subreddit.

Artwork

This isn’t directly tied to the Arkham LCG, but Arkham fans may remember the excellent Jeff Lee Johnson art piece “Blue Plate Special” which originally appeared with the Gloria Goldberg story in The Investigators of Arkham Horror (on page 41 of the book, or online here). At first glance the image presents a fairly ordinary diner scene but closer inspection reveals numerous unsettling details. Searching for all of the hidden horrors makes for a fun activity, and the image achieved some popularity even outside of the Arkham community. This week Johnson posted “The Grand International Hotel,” a follow-up piece in the same spirit which he calls “the next image in the series.” It appears this new piece is not an Arkham Files commission (he mentions owning the rights to it himself), but if you enjoyed hunting through “Blue Plate Special” (I know I did) then you should definitely check it out.