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Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Arkham Horror Box.png
Other namesArkham Horror: El Juego De Cartas, Arkham Horror: Il Gioco di Carte, Horror w Arkham: Gra Karciana, Arkham Horror: Das Kartenspiel, Ужас Аркхэма. Карточная игра
DesignersNate French & MJ Newman
PublishersFantasy Flight Games
PublicationQ4 2016[1]
Years active2016 – present
GenresCo-operative Living Card Game (LCG) with Deck Building
LanguagesEnglish, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Czech, Russian, Ukrainian
Players1 – 4[1]
Setup time10 - 15 minutes
(excluding deck building)
Playing time60 – 120 minutes
Random chanceSome (card drawing, deck building, skill tests)
Skills requiredCard playing, Deck building, Logic, Strategy
Materials requiredAll included, expansions optional but all require base game.
Media typePlaying cards
WebsiteArkham Horror: The Card Game — Fantasy Flight Games

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a cooperative living card game produced by Fantasy Flight Games. It is set in the universe of Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game which is itself based on the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft and other cosmic horror writers. The title refers to Lovecraft's fictional town of Arkham, Massachussetts which is mentioned in many Mythos stories.

Release

News of the game was originally leaked in May 2016,[2] before being officially announced in August of that same year.[3] It made its first limited public release at Arkham Nights 2016 to a sold-out crowd.

As a game in Fantasy Flight Games Living Card Game line, there is a regular release of non-random Deluxe expansions that start a story or campaign, followed by multiple smaller expansions (known as Mythos packs) that continue and conclude it.

With the announcement of the Edge of the Earth campaign in 2021, Fantasy Flight stated future expansions would simply be released in two larger boxes, each containing either all of the campaign's story or player cards.[4] During a Gen Con livestream in September 2021, Fantasy Flight Head of Studio Chris Gerber announced all previous expansions would be re-released in the new format, too.[5]

Mechanics

Campaign play is the default mode of the game,[6] allowing a player to progress through a series of scenarios. In campaign play, choices made in scenarios have lasting effects, altering the story and how later scenarios play out. Each scenario has multiple paths of divergence offering multiple playthroughs with differing experiences each time.

When players prepare to play, they first choose an investigator of a particular class (Guardian, Survivor, Rogue, Seeker, Mystic or Neutral). Each investigator deck receives cards that represent weaknesses of their investigator, one specific to each investigator, and one "basic" - drawn at random from a general pool. Investigators will also possess one or more unique cards that represent that individual's specific advantages or abilities, often complimenting the backstory of that investigator. Each investigator also has different starting statistics (Willpower, Intellect, Combat and Agility) which will be tested throughout the game. Players then build their decks from cards in their collection, conforming to the deckbuilding limits outlined by their investigator.

During the game, the investigators work together to progress their investigation towards a positive outcome by fulfilling the requirements set out by the Act deck. However, there are forces working against the investigators, represented by the Agenda deck and encounter deck. Each turn, a doom counter is added to the Agenda deck, acting as a timer for the investigators to complete their objectives. When the total number of doom in play reaches the doom threshold of the agenda card, the agenda will advance, often to negative consequences.

During the Investigation phase, the investigators each take up to three actions. Among other options, actions include playing cards from hand or activating those already in play, moving to or investigating locations and fighting or evading enemies. Depending on the card, cards played from hand during the investigation phase may enter an investigator's play area as an ongoing bonus (an "asset") or simply provide a powerful one-time effect and be discarded upon use (an "event"). Many cards have a resource cost which must be paid to play the card. While cards generally require an action to play, some are "fast" and do not require an action to be played.

The Investigation phase is followed by the Enemy, Status and the Mythos Phase, representing the forces working against the investigators each round. Investigators may have to deal with effects or enemies that attack their sanity, health or simply their progression towards their main goal (the Act deck).

Investigators will be eliminated from a scenario if they receive horror or damage equal to their sanity or health respectively. Investigators eliminated in this way will receive permanent mental or physical trauma. This means investigators repeatedly defeated in scenarios can become progressively weaker as the campaign progresses. Investigators will, however, receive experience from scenarios (even after defeat), which can be spent to improve each investigator's deck. At certain points in a campaign, failure may lead to investigators being killed or driven insane.

Expansions

The main story expansions are grouped into "cycles" that each constitute a complete player campaign. The first six cycles (Dunwich through Innsmouth) consist of one deluxe expansion followed by six mythos packs. Deluxe expansions contain new investigators, about 60 new player cards and the first two scenarios of a campaign, while mythos packs contain about 24 new player cards and a single scenario of a campaign. These are listed below in order of release date, which is also the order in which they are meant to be played. Later cycles, starting with Edge of the Earth, have abandoned the deluxe/mythos format and are instead split into two releases, a "campaign expansion" (featuring all scenarios of the campaign) and an "investigator expansion" (featuring all of the new player cards). This new format release has since been retroactively adopted for the previous cycles.

Standalone scenarios are scenarios that exist outside of a campaign/cycle and are self-contained. As such, a player doesn't need any other expansions to play them or encounter cards from the core box—only the player cards. Stand-alone scenarios are at times printed in house at Fantasy Flight Games and are referred to as Print on Demand (POD). This means the card quality in that case is lower than the packs shipped from overseas but Fantasy Flight Games can push these packs faster out to players at conventions or (in the case of Curse of the Rougarou and Carnevale of Horrors) for general release.

Upgrade expansions (the "Return to" boxes) are akin to the "Nightmare Packs" from the Lord of the Rings LCG. However, instead of just increasing the difficulty, these expansions provide an alternate way to play through the campaign with alternate story effects. They also include a small selection of new player cards (e.g., the first box includes 20 player cards).

The Dunwich Legacy cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Dunwich Legacy January 2017 deluxe
The Miskatonic Museum February 2017 mythos pack
The Essex County Express March 2017 mythos pack
Blood on the Altar April 2017 mythos pack
Undimensioned and Unseen May 2017 mythos pack
Where Doom Awaits June 2017 mythos pack
Lost in Time and Space July 2017 mythos pack
The Dunwich Legacy Investigator Expansion February 2022[7] investigator expansion
The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion March 2022[8] campaign expansion

The Path to Carcosa cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Path to Carcosa September 2017 deluxe
Echoes of the Past October 2017 mythos pack
The Unspeakable Oath November 2017 mythos pack
A Phantom of Truth December 2017 mythos pack
The Pallid Mask January 2018 mythos pack
Black Stars Rise February 2018 mythos pack
Dim Carcosa March 2018 mythos pack
The Path to Carcosa Investigator Expansion May 2022 investigator expansion
The Path to Carcosa Campaign Expansion June 2022 campaign expansion

The Forgotten Age cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Forgotten Age May 2018 deluxe
Threads of Fate June 2018 mythos pack
The Boundary Beyond July 2018 mythos pack
Heart of the Elders August 2018 mythos pack
The City of Archives September 2018 mythos pack
The Depths of Yoth October 2018 mythos pack
Shattered Aeons November 2018 mythos pack

The Circle Undone cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Circle Undone January 2019 deluxe
The Secret Name March 2019 mythos pack
The Wages of Sin April 2019 mythos pack
For the Greater Good May 2019 mythos pack
Union and Disillusion June 2019 mythos pack
In the Clutches of Chaos July 2019 mythos pack
Before the Black Throne July 2019 mythos pack

The Dream-Eaters cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Dream-Eaters September 2019 deluxe
The Search for Kadath November 2019 mythos pack
A Thousand Shapes of Horror December 2019 mythos pack
Dark Side of the Moon January 2020 mythos pack
Point of No Return February 2020 mythos pack
Where the Gods Dwell March 2020 mythos pack
Weaver of the Cosmos April 2020 mythos pack

The Innsmouth Conspiracy cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Innsmouth Conspiracy October 2020 deluxe
In Too Deep November 2020 mythos pack
Devil Reef December 2020 mythos pack
Horror in High Gear January 2021 mythos pack
A Light in the Fog February 2021 mythos pack
The Lair of Dagon March 2021 mythos pack
Into the Maelstrom April 2021 mythos pack

Edge of the Earth cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion November 2021 investigator expansion
Edge of the Earth Campaign Expansion December 2021 campaign expansion

The Scarlet Keys cycle

Expansion Name Release Date Type
The Scarlet Keys Investigator Expansion Fall 2022[9] investigator expansion
The Scarlet Keys Campaign Expansion Fall 2022[9] campaign expansion

Standalone scenarios

Expansion Name Release Date
Curse of the Rougarou November 2016
Carnevale of Horrors December 2016
The Labyrinths of Lunacy June 2018
The Eternal Slumber Gencon (2018) event scenario, released as part of Guardians of the Abyss, December 2018
The Night's Usurper Arkham Nights (2018) event scenario, released as part of Guardians of the Abyss, December 2018
Guardians of the Abyss December 2018 – Scenario Pack that includes The Eternal Slumber and The Night's Usurper[10]
The Blob that Ate Everything Gen Con 2019
Murder at the Excelsior Hotel[11] November 2019
Barkham Horror: The Meddling of Meowlathotep[12] September 2020
War of the Outer Gods December 2020
Machinations Through Time February 2022[13]

Upgrade Expansions

Expansion Name Release Date
Return to the Night of the Zealot June 2018
Return to the Dunwich Legacy January 2019
Return to the Path to Carcosa September 2019
Return to the Forgotten Age August 2020
Return to the Circle Undone June 2021

Investigator Starter Decks

Expansion Name Release Date Type
Harvey Walters August 2020 starter deck
Winifred Habbamock August 2020 starter deck
Jacqueline Fine August 2020 starter deck
Stella Clark August 2020 starter deck
Nathaniel Cho August 2020 starter deck

Novellas

Arkham Horror: The Card Game also has novellas where each novella is focused around a specific investigator. Each novella comes with 5 promo cards: 1 alternate art investigator card, 1 alternate art mini investigator card, 1 replacement signature card, 1 replacement signature weakness, and 1 card with instructions for using the replacement cards in the game.

Expansion Name Release Date Investigator focus Author
Hour of the Huntress October 2017 Jenny Barnes Dave Gross
Ire of the Void December 2017 Norman Withers Richard Lee Byers
The Dirge of Reason February 2018 Roland Banks Graeme Davis
To Fight the Black Wind April 2018 Carolyn Fern Jennifer Brozek
The Deep Gate June 2018 Silas Marsh Chris A. Jackson
The Blood of Baalshandor June 2020 Dexter Drake Richard Lee Byers
Dark Revelations November 2020 Gloria Goldberg Amanda Downum

References

  1. ^ a b "Enter the Mythos". Fantasy Flight Games. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Leaked Image of Arkham Horror Card Game". www.polyhedroncollider.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  3. ^ "Enter the Mythos". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  4. ^ "To the Edge of the Earth". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  5. ^ Gen Con Online 2021: Fantasy Flight Games In-Flight Report, retrieved 2022-03-09
  6. ^ "Uncovering the Truth". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  7. ^ "Available Now: February 25". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  8. ^ "Available Now: March 18". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  9. ^ a b "Scarlet Keys". Fantasy Flight Games. 30 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  10. ^ "The Eternal Slumber". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  11. ^ "Murder at the Excelsior Hotel". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  12. ^ "Barkham Horror: The Meddling of Meowlathotep". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  13. ^ "Available Now: February 4". www.fantasyflightgames.com. Retrieved 2022-03-18.