Arkham Horror vs Eldritch Horror - Part 1 - Investigators
As you all know, if not I will say now, I am fan of Cthulhu Mythos. I have dozen of books on the subject and all stories from Lovecraft from the publisher Arkham House. All of them have 30 years at least.
Then, I've got books from every other writer that entered that disturbing world. But that I will cover in a later update maybe.
Now for the Characters.
Every investigator that entered Eldritch Horror boardgame or Elder Sign has entered Arkham Horror as well. FFG uses the same characters and ancient ones (with some exceptions) in both games.
So, what's different from them? In Arkham Horror we choose our character that has a some characteristics like Speed, Sneak, Fight, Will, Lore & Luck but in Eldritch they have a different set of skills - They are Lore, Will, Fight, Observation & Influence.
So, what's the difference?
In Arkham you have to plan ahead, sometimes two or three turns ahead. Each character has a focus number (1 to 4) and that's the number of moves he can do on a skill. When you Increase Speed you Decrease Sneak; when you increase Fight you decrease Will and the same happens with Lore & Luck. Each set of options have 4 values so, imagine you character as a 1 in movement and 5 in sneak and you move the slider once you will get 2 in movement and 4 in sneak and so on. So, it's interesting to plan ahead . As I said some characters can move the slide all the way to the other end and others only one per turn.
In Eldritch this does not happen. Each character has a number on each skill (from 1 to 4) and they are fixed. So unless you increase a skill after an encounter or some card that's the number you gonna get for all playthrough.
In Arkham your character can have a maximum of 3 to 6 and there is a lot of items that increase that number. In Eldrich you only move once per turn plus one another if you purchase a boat or train ticket. (More on movement in other update).
In Arkham the monsters move around the board and you either fight or Sneak past them. In Eldritch you can never evade. You fight.
Conclusion: Both are interesting. In Arkham I can go from the botton of the board to the other end with one turn and in Eldritch if I want to go from London to Sydney it will take me four or five turns. So in Eldritch if you are playing with someone you must communicate and some character stays on one side or continent or else it's a mess.
Ah the spells... Both have them and I must say truly that I rarely use spells in Arkham because they are so negative and cost a lot of sanity and you to cure sanity there is only one place which is quite boring. In Eldritch you use it and you flip the card - the number of successes will dicate the cost. If you fail you will lose the spell and/or sanity or if you had many successes you will gain something sometime. I think that Edlritch way works better.
d) Items (Common or Rare) & Allies.
If you play a long game in Arkham you can have a dozen cards and in Eldtrich you will have only a 3 or 4.
When starting the game in ARkham you get some fixed items/spells/skills and some random. Usually a investigator gets around 3 to 6 items. In Eldritch you get one or two.
Which is better? I don't like the randomness of Eldritch but at the same time each item I have It's very important. In Arkham it's different. You can have magical & Physical weapons and you either fight with one or the other (some monsters or ancient ones are not hurt by physical or magical weapons or both). In Eldritch this is a little different and usually you have one or two weapons at most. I played games with no weapons at all.
|Tokens (Sanity, Stamina & Skills)|
Well, in Arkham if you lose all your Sanity or Stamina you either go to Asylum or Hospistal. If you play pure Arkham Horror you lose half, I think of all your clues and items. If you play with a set of cards that came with Dunwich Horror you get a Madness or Injury card that is always bad. It either make you lose one skill or say that you can never have more than 4 clues tokens or be in the same place as other character. In Eldritch you character dies and you start a new character. That character goes to a city space and anyone can go there an perform a action and gain the items of that character.
In Arkham, in my opinion is worth the risk getting killed or insane and sometimes you push the boundaries. In Eldritch makes you wonder every action unless your character dies and you have to start from the scratch.
So, in the end what I enjoy more? It's hard to say. The Arkham investigator has a story behind it and you are enveloped by him. You play all your game trying to survive and make it a better "person". In eldritch if you draw bad cards such as conditions you can always "killed" it and start anew. Afterwards you go fetch the itens he left behind making in one or two turns your new character a lot more powerful. In Arkham if you are devoured all is lost and you start from scratch. You get nothing from your previous character.
I enjoy that in Arkham you have to play ahead, sometimes two or three turns, to do something. In Eldritch you go with the flow. In some ways, in ARkham all characters have to close gates and fight monsters because it's almost impossible in a four player game one focusing on gates because they have to gather clues and they can be given to anyone. In Eldritch is not like that. One character with a high fighting skill and weapon has to beat the monsters and other with high lore gets the clues and so on. They have specializations... Like Akachi Onyele is a Gate closer and you ask why? Because she has two skills with that in mind - First she can see what gate is going to pop up and putting on the botton if she likes and the second ability after she closes a Gate she can move to another space containing a clue or gate. In Arkham Horror the cost of seal the gates cost one less clue token. (4 instead of 5) and she gets +1 bonus to all skill checks to close or seal. So, in Arkham she also has some bonus but they are minor compared with Eldritch.
My first vote goes to Arkham.
Stay tune for part 2 - The Board game (and expansions)