E is for Eldritch Horror #atozchallenge

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We’re back to Lovecraft and games today, with E for Eldritch Horror. Unlike Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror is one of the newer games to come out of Fantasy Flight’s Licence to all things Lovecraftian.

The basic board game premise is that instead of being confined to Arkham, you are traveling the world, with a global cadre of experts, all of whom have been touched by the horror that is the Old Ones or their disciples. Each character has, as ever, pros and cons to each character.

Gencon 2013

My favorite is Diana Stanley, the redeemed cultist. She’s an ex Silver Twilight Lodge member, which has been a perennial part of the background (first appearing as Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight, who are the primary antagonists in the Call of Cthulhu campaign Shadows of Yog Sothoth, back in the RPG books, and having nods to them in Arkham Horror (2005 onwards definitely) and the card game of the same name). Though she has a will of only 1, she’s powerful in her own way, and the back story text – as I’ve found on almost all of the characters in the game – was rich, evocative and interesting. She also plays well with my style, which is something we’ll be discussing in the coming weeks in the blog, and why it’s so important for the enjoyment of games.
And also, it’s nice to see that it strays the grey line of people being redeemed. Cultists in the games are ‘bad guys’ for the most part, so it was refreshing, and surprising to see a redeemed cultist as a character. And I think that’s the other reason she appeals to me – I like characters who have reasons to redeem themselves and that might play out in the game.

Diana Stanley, redeemed cultist

Play wise, it’s pretty fast paced – it doesn’t have an app like Mansions of Madness Edition 2 (though who knows if that’ll come, or if it’s going to stay as is), and after about 20 minutes of setup and deciding who you are playing, then you can jump right in. You travel the world, battling monsters, investigating places, and looking for clues. Each area has some wonderful and interesting ways to engage with it, whehter you explore, you use the special area ability to try to raise your stats, buy things or more, the variations on strategy and what you can do is pretty solid. It doesn’t easily get repetitive either, even if you are in the same place for a while, dealing with things, though I do think the monsters are at least as vicious as Mansions of Madness, and maybe not as easy as those in Arkham Horror (2005 onwards, boardgame). Defeating the monsters and other things will allow you to ultimately take on the ancient one in question, and beat, or be beaten by him/her/it.

Win? Lose?

There are several paths to victory, or failure, which also means that the game is amazingly fun and endlessly repeatable.

It’s possible you’ll find one of my favorite mechanics pretty quickly, depending on how unlucky you are. That mechanic is that once your character dies, not only do you drop your equipment, but your character card is left behind, and depending on if (a) someone visits, and (b) whether you died by physical or mental depletion. Each then gives a ‘grace note’ or end of story for your character, which you can then visit with your next character, or another character can. Death is permanent for the characters, not the players.

Overall, it’s a really great game and one of our favorite additions to the games shelf, and one I rate very highly in the Lovecraftian Universe.

Grab your copy here, if it sounds interesting!

About Kai Viola 15 Articles
Kai is a veteran writer with many years of experience under her belt. At 40, she's having a lot of fun being a geek and playing games, and watching all her favorite things and writing about them. When not blogging or researching for the blog, Kai can be found writing her books, looking after the server and generally messing around with the blog and it's envrions. She also formats books and designs apps, knits and has a strong interest in cyber security and info-sec.

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