Arkham News Round-up: June, 2019
Hello everyone it's me Nate, Lost in time and space back with this month's Arkham News Round-up. In this series I go over news, product releases, and general goings-on with in the Cthulhu gaming world over the previous month. June was a busy month so without further ado let's get right into the news.
In typical FFG fashion, like an overzealous hype man with a t-shirt cannon, firing announcement one after the other at us like it was going out style. FFG announced in June, 3 new expansions for it's various Arkham Horror Files games, the first of which was of the fifth campaign cycle for the Arkham LCG, “The Dream Eaters”.
“this deluxe expansion, kicks off the fifth cycle of Arkham Horror: The Card Game, players take on the roles of either a group of investigators venturing into the Dreamlands or their companions who have been left in the waking world. Complete with 95 scenario cards and 56 player cards, this expansion contains the first two scenarios of The Dream-Eaters cycle; one scenario for each of these two groups.”
Pre-ordering this product through FFG's site, you also get 8, 5”x7” art prints from the new expansion. FFG has done in the past with products such as the 2019 Calenders they released last year, and the prints were double sided, meaning you could see half of them at one time. hopefully they avoid that this time. The initial card fan spoils a new mystic card, and the Ancient Zoog enemy, along with teasing some other cards. As for details on the campaign itself, the article goes on to say that the Dream Eaters cycle will comprise of two, four part campaigns, by combining one of the scenarios from the base box with three of the six mythos packs. Alternatively you can take all the mythos packs to form a standard eight part campaign. Given the monthly release schedule of the game, it might be awkward to have to wait two months to continue your campaign if you're playing this on release day. That being said though, I like the idea of more mini campaigns in the Arkham LCG. We haven't received a mini-campaign since the days of the core set, and I for one really like the idea of being able to play through one of theses campaigns in one or two sessions.
The article also reveals Luke Robinson, one of the new investigators included in the Dream Eaters, along with his signature cards. The guys and I on the Great Old Ones Gaming discussed this topic at length on our most recent episode, so if you're interested in our first impressions of Luke go check that out. The man from Leng also put out a great video going in depth into aspects of this cycle, from the Lore of the dreamlands, potential investigators, to the types of enemies that you could except to see. I highly recommend you check that out.
If that wasn't enough for ya about the Dream Eaters, FFG announced that on July 11th, Designer Matt Newman will be live, providing deck building tips with the new player cards from the Dream Eaters. This product is expected to released Quarter 3 of this year. My guess would be October. July and August see the release of “In the cluthes of chaos” and “Before the Black Throne”, finishing the Circle Undone. From there I could see FFG released Return to carcosa in September, then starting the new cycle in October. FFG had a similar release schedule last year with Return to Dunwich and Circle Undone, but they could decide to change things up this year.
The Arkham LCG is but only one Arkham Files games to have a new expansion announcement. First with a livestream, then posting an article on their site, FFG revealed the first expansion for Arkham Horror 3rd edition.
“In Dead of Night, investigators explore the facets of Arkham best left unseen in the light of day. Organized crime builds a strong foothold in the city, secret cults labor for a dark master, an alien moon hangs overhead, and unknowable horrors stalk the night. This expansion includes two all-new scenarios, new encounters for every location in Arkham, new monsters and anomalies, a new monster deck holder, and four new investigators to face these fresh horrors, armed with new spells, items, and allies.”
The initial product fan shows us Skids and Kate Winthrop's investigator cards, the new monster deck holder, along with spoiling a new item and enemy. Judging from this image it's also safe to assume Diana Stanley will be in this expansion as well. The scenario in Dead of Night will see the players getting between the warring gangs, the Sheldon's, and the O'Bannions, to figure out why their hellbent on not only destroying their rivals, but all of Arkham as well. The article then goes on to overview Skids and spoils a couple more cards. I like the idea of the new Wanted condition, really helps to drive home the idea of playing an ex-con who pick pockets people for money to help pay for his mother's hospital debts. Wait, wrong game...In their livestream announcement, Philip Henry goes into more detail about the scenarios included in this expansion along with spoiling another one of the investigators included in the box. If you missed the livestream of this announcement you can find the archive on Twitch as well as YouTube.
Alright, we're finally on the last announcement from FFG. Marking the fifth expansion for Mansions of Madness, Path of the serprent sees the investigators traveling into the unexplored jungles of the Amazon, to hopefully stop the curse of Yig. For fans of the LCG, this will instantly remind you of Forgotten Age, which only reinforced when we see who is included in Path of the Serpent. Leo Anderson and Ursala Downs return for more Jungle shenanigins along side Daniela Reyes and Norman Withers. The article shows an image of some of the minis included in this expansion and they look great. I'm excited to see what these will look like painted. From there the article continues to go into some of the story threads of the three scenarios, which I don't want to spoil details for anyone here, so if you're curious you can check that out for yourself.
Unless you have been sleeping under the seas in Cthulhu's home of R'yleh, you will have no doubt have heard about the sinking city by this point. Released at the end of June, The Sinking City sees the player take on the role of Charles Reed, an Private eye in a fictional 1920's town called Oakmont, to investigate a mysterious flood that has nearly taken the entire city, hence the name Sinking City, ANYWAY. As you no doubt guessed from the title of the slide reviews of the game are mixed. Many reviews stated complaints such as bad performance, the UI being frustrating and time consuming to use, NPC's glitching in and out of the world, and combat overall feeling lackluster. In addition to this many players and reviewers noticed a lot of the interiors areas of the game looked very similar to each other, often reusing assets and map layouts. One thing people generally seem to agree upon, is that the story for the game is pretty good, which is obviously the main reason someone would play this game. Reddit user “The partisan spy” did a great infographic style review for the Sinking City and sums up his review by saying.
“TSC bets everything on it's story, All earned and missed points are results of how the story performed with all other game variables. The down-side of this bet is that when the story didn't perform well, other elements, such as a combat, weren't strong enough to compensate it. TSC had a huge potential of being an amazing game if all variables were as strong as the story.”
This I think captures a large consensus about this title. I was wary of this title when I heard the news about it being an epic exclusive and reviews have only help to cement my skepticism. If you haven't already taken the plunge into Oakmont, I think it's worth waiting until it goes on sale to pick this game up, at least, that's what I'll be doing.
The last piece of news I wanted to quickly mention is that Critical Role will be playing a Call of Cthulhu one-shot in the next few weeks.
“On Monday, July 29th, Critical Role's Taliesin Jaffe is stepping behind the screen once again as the Keeper of Arcane Lore for a special Call of Cthulhu one-shot, sponsored by our friends at Chaosium. Investigators Travis Willingham, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Ashly Burch, Phil Lamarr, and Erika Ishii will attempt to survive Taliesin’s harrowing scenario, which is set in a decadent 1890s London. We’re incredibly excited to explore this classic RPG of cosmic horror through a fresh lens.
For too long has DnD had a stranglehold on the RPG spotlight. Decadent 1890's London, suggests to me, Cthulhu Gaslight, a victorian era setting for Call of Cthulhu. Chaosium seems to be on a bit of tear lately, first appearing on Penny arcade an now appearing on Critical Role. I hope this is only the beginning for more professional Call of Cthulhu content. I'm super excited for this. That's gonna do it for this month's Arkham news round-up. What did you think about this month's news? Which product are you most excited for? Did you pick up the sinking city? What do you think of it? Leave your thoughts down in the comments below.