We got this ambitious and huge board game for our birthdays and yesterday it was time to take it out for a spin. Only myself and jlms
, and just testing it, not really playing.
Entry at BoardGameGeek: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/15987
The first review of the game you currently see on BoardGameGeek is highly positive (like most other reviews of the game) but contains warnings like "[i]f you prefer 45-60 minute games then Arkham is not for you as 2-3 hours is common and perhaps even up to 4 hours when learning", "you should expect to play the game anywhere up to 5 times before getting it perfectly right", "the game demands some pretty intelligent play." (Neil Thomson
Actually, we spent four hours on it without getting to the endgame, but we were deliberately taking it slow, exploring the game. It's incredibly rich in features and variants. There are many, many hundreds of cards, some of which will never be brought into play during a specific session, and a specific combination of investigator characters and Big Evil Threat will probably never occur twice for a specific set of players. And the number of strategies or substrategies you can choose to pursue to win is difficult to get a handle on.
This is definitely my kind of game. I'm a sucker for games that are not just about clever game mechanics, de-coupled from the theme (like most modern so-called Euro games, or "German" games), but instead are simulations of some sort or deeply infused by the theme.
Each player plays one of 16 possible investigators (each with their own special abilities), taking up the fight against one of eight possible Ancient Ones. As an investigator, you walk (or drive on) the streets of Arkham, gathering allies, equipment and retainers, having occult encounters and fighting monsters while desperately trying to close and if possible seal the gates that open to other dimensions before all of Arkham is overrun and the Ancient One awakens for the final battle. Of course, the odds are stacked against you.
Now, we have to plan a real game session.