4 October 2013 | Eldritch Horror

Have Gun, Will Travel

A Preview of the Action Phase in Eldritch Horror


November 29. My work in Tokyo is concluded for now. I found the texts we have been searching for and booked ship passage to Sydney. One of the others has promised to meet me there to study these texts, as she is more skilled in deciphering the arcane scribblings. It has only been a week at sea, and already we have experienced a number of unfortunate events. A dark cloud seems to hover over us on this journey. The sailors attribute it to simply bad luck, but I know better. Who can say what lurks in the dark waters of the ocean? It will take more than good fortune to deliver us safely on this journey. A gun may not be useful this far from land, but it is certainly comforting to have along.

In Eldritch Horror, a global board game of mystery and terror, you and up to seven friends take on the role of globetrotting investigators who must must travel around the world, working against all odds to hold back the approaching horror. Foul monsters, obscure mysteries, and brutal challenges will take you to your limits and beyond. All the while, you and your fellow investigators must unravel the otherworldy mysteries scattered around the globe in order to push back the gathering mayhem that threatens to overwhelm humanity. The end draws near! Do you have the courage to prevent global destruction?

In last week’s preview, we presented an overview of the intrepid investigators working to save humanity from a terrible fate. Today, we’ll look at the Action Phase of Eldritch Horror, and see what options are available to these brave heroes as they prepare to save the world!

The Journey Ahead

A game of Eldritch Horror takes place over three phases: the Action Phase, the Encounter Phase, and the Mythos Phase. First is the Action Phase, during which investigators perform actions which help prepare them for the difficult tasks ahead.

The challenges facing you and your fellow investigators are daunting, and in order to face the horrors ahead and come out the other side alive, you and your team will need to do some serious preparation. The Action Phase is the time to get some rest, clean your shotgun, hire some muscle, or head to your next destination. Beginning with the Lead Investigator, each investigator can perform up to two actions during this phase, without performing the same type of action twice. Let’s take a look at the actions available to investigators!


Evil knows no boundaries in Eldritch Horror. This means that you and your fellow investigators must venture to remote wildernesses, bustling cities, and strange expedition sites in order to track down clues and save the world. You’ll need to get from place to place, and the Travel action allows you to move to any adjacent space along a connected path.

Need to get somewhere in a hurry? You can use Train or Ship tickets to move an additional space per ticket spent, along corresponding paths.

For example, during the Action Phase, Silas Marsh is in San Francisco. He chooses to perform a Travel action, and moves one adjacent space, from San Francisco to Space Five. As part of his Travel action, he decides to spend a Train Ticket to move one additional space along the Train path, ending this action in Arkham. Silas can now perform one more action.


Traveling is important if you are going to prevent a global catastrophe. Since you’ll want to move as effectively as possible during your travels, it’s a good idea to stock up on Travel tickets.

If your investigator is on a City space during the Action Phase, you can choose the Prepare action, which allows you to gain a Train or Ship ticket. There must be a Train path connected to your space to take a Train ticket, or a Ship path connected to your space to gain a Ship ticket. Investigators may hold a maximum of two tickets at a time.


Traveling the globe, battling monsters, and piecing together ancient riddles can often lead to bodily injury or sanity loss. During the Action phase, your beleaguered investigator can perform a Rest action to recover one Health and one Sanity. If a monster is on your space, your investigator cannot Rest, and must endure yet another difficult day in the global battle against evil, without any time to recover.


At times, investigators will want to coordinate their travels so they can pass useful information, assets, or artifacts to their colleagues. Anything an investigator possesses in Eldritch Horror (Assets, Artifacts, Clues, Spells, and travel tickets) can be traded to another investigator on the same space during the Action Phase.

The Trade action allows your team to better equip themselves for the grueling challenges ahead.

Acquire Assets

Your investigator is going to need supplies to wage war on Ancient Evil. Fortunately, Assets like helpful Allies, dangerous weapons, and convenient Services can be acquired to aid you in your tasks.

The game board has a Reserve, where four Asset cards are placed face-up. These are Assets which can be gained with an Acquire Assets action during the Action Phase. When on a City space, you can Acquire Assets by testing your investigator’s Influence. You then gain Assets of your choice with a total value equal to or less than the number of successes (fives or sixes) rolled. For example, Lola Hayes has an Influence of four, so she rolls four dice. She rolls two fives, one six, and one two. Therefore, she can choose any Asset in the Reserve with a value of three or less.

The Dynamite has a value of three, as shown in the upper right hand corner, so Lola acquires the Dynamite, and draws another card to replace it in the reserve.

If a monster is lurking on the same space as your investigator, you cannot Acquire Assets.

Component Actions

In our last preview, we took a brief look at investigator actions. Each investigator sheet has an Action unique to the investigator which can be performed during this phase.

Other cards, such as Spells or Conditions may have actions which can be performed during the Action Phase, as indicated by Action or Local Action in bold on the card. For example, the Plumb the Void spell allows you to test your Lore (-1) in order to move to any space on the board. You can attempt to cast this spell as one of your Actions.

Once each investigator has performed two actions, the Encounter Phase begins, so use your Actions wisely. You’ll need to be well-rested, well-equipped, and strategically positioned in locations around the globe in order to push back the gathering darkness. The Actions you choose each round prepare your investigator for the trying tasks ahead, so you’ll want to be ready for whatever horrors might be headed your way next.

Next week, we’ll look at the Encounter Phase, including Researching Clues, fighting horrific monsters, journeying to Other Worlds, and embarking on Expeditions! Keep checking back for more news about Eldritch Horror!


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