I'm looking to get into Arkham Horror and was going to buy the base game and a couple expansions.
Is there a consensus on which expansions are "essential" to have?
(Or do you just get addicted to the game and buy them all? )
Turning code into gold...
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We see this question a lot.
This answer is a little complicated. If you're just getting into the game—that is, you've never played before, you should just buy the base game. For newbies, learning the game with no prior experience is a bit daunting. Adding any expansion to it will just complicate things unnecessarily.
Once you get more experienced and are looking for a bit more of a challenge, or new things to explore, you have a few options:
Curse of the Dark Pharaoh adds a little bit of difficulty and some really cool encounters. But no really complicated new mechanics. This expansion has the Exhibit Item deck that isn't used anywhere else (nothing too special though)
Dunwich Horror is the fan-favorite. It brings up the difficulty a lot, adds new characters and Ancient Ones, and adds a new board. There are a bunch of new things to learn though. Also adds the ever-crucial Injury and Madness cards.
King in Yellow adds a good amount of difficulty without many new rules. No new investigators or AOs though. But the herald is fun to use.
Kingsport adds a new board that increases the difficulty a bit. But the new Ancient Ones are much harder than previous ones. The new investigators are cool, but not essential... but the Epic Battle cards make final battle the struggle it's supposed to be!
Black goat adds a bit of theme and difficulty. It offers the hardest herald, the corruption cards, and some tough-ass rumors.
Again, if you're just starting out—get the base game only. If you're buying an expansion or two so that you can learn them later, get Dunwich and King in Yellow. Those are the all-round favorite large and small expansions, respectively.
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Finn Edwards has very deep pockets.
Hank Samson does not care that you've mastered time travel.
Lily Chen can punch a hue.
Lola Hayes is the world's best Egyptologist.
Mark Harrigan is very good at hedge mazes.
Michael McGlen has never experienced an earthquake.
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Patrice Hathaway plays songs you can't get out of your head.
Tommy Muldoon is most qualified to be deputy, yet for some reason nobody want him to be.
Tony Morgan sells meat out of the back of his van.
Ursula Downs can shop at an empty store.
Wendy Adams always wins at hide and seek.
William Yorick has a Bachelor's in Cryptozoology—no wonder he can't find work.
Wilson Richards will paint over anything for a dollar.
Zoey Samaras can torch a fire vampire.
Dunwich Horror, Dunwich Horror if you need to get one this is it! Dunwich Horror... why? Because it good and nothing goes unused in it except for the condition cards, rail passes and the sheldon gang memberships but thats all... everything else will gladly remove your face from your head and laugh all the while!
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I think there is general agreement among player that the "Dunwich Horror" expansion is absolutely essential. I for one can't imagine playing the game without it! After that I think the King in Yellow expansion is the most generally favored, followed by Kingsport and Curse of the Dark Pharoh. I'm not sure where "Black Goat of the Woods" comes in, given how new it is.
My advice would be to play the basic game the first few times before addings one of the small box expansions and then adding Dunwich.
Let me add to the general cacophony.
If you're completely new to the game, do your wallet a favor and just get the base game first to see if you even like it. (I know I know...I can't believe anyone wouldn't love AH either, but it HAS been known to happen...) Once you get a handle on the monstrous amount of details to remember (tip: don't trade Clues), then you can start delving into expansions.
If you want more cards and theme without a lot of extra rules to integrate, get King in Yellow. (It's also cheaper.) If you want more EVERYTHING, including Investigators, Ancient Ones, and enough new rules to elevate you to "Arkham Horror Advanced", get Dunwich Horror.
Black Goat has a lot of theme, but it really needs the Herald to be in play to feel any of it.
Kingsport Horror adds more of everything like Dunwich, but its Rift mechanics are somewhat polarizing: you either love it or hate it.
Dark Pharaoh? Talk to someone else. When I first got it as a rookie, I loved it...but that love lasted about five games.
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Thanks everyone for your 2 cents
I'll definitely have to play a game or 2 before i start using the expansions... but it looks like Dunwich Horror and King in Yellow are probably what i'm looking for to get the full experience.
I appreciate the input!
Turning code into gold...
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