Got two people together today for a second round of Arkham Horror. Will returned, and Shari was playing for the first time. I'd tried to rope some others in, but various real world events precluded that. In any case, I did enjoy the game on a second try. We managed to get more of the rules right and we also chose more optimal characters. Will had a strategy planned that sort of paid off. Strangely enough, while applying more of the rules correctly-- which should have meant a harder game-- we actually had an easier play through. A good deal of the tension of the first game was lacking towards the end.
I'd notch that up to a couple of things. First, fewer players means that there's a better degree of coordination. Second, Will and I had played before and so there were clearly things you should and shouldn't do. Third, we played versus Azathoth who has the longest track and doesn't inflict that much of a penalty on players during the game itself. The first game we'd faced Yig which resulted in a much tighter game just for sheer lack of room to play in. Fourth, we had very good draws. None of the Environmentals ever really hurt us for very long. Gates kept opening where we'd already permanently closed them and the monster spawn was pretty easy or at least spread out most of the time.
We few exceptions, we almost never drew encounter cards in places, except for a few tries at the Newspaper. I still like the game, but can see how adding in one or more of the expansion small box sets might go towards making the game richer. I definitely want to play against the other GOO's to see what comes of those. We did play with the house rule about being able to opt to not buy something if we drew cards at the shop. However, that never really came into play since each time we did end up buying.
Things I Need to Figure Out Ruleswise Before We Play Again
1. If you begin your turn in a space with a monster, due to Mythos movement, can you evade it and move on or can you move then if you defeat it. I'd leaned towards the more liberal interpretation, but now I'm thinking not. I suspect a monster moving into your space automatically keeps you there.
2. Does the police wagon have to have a clear path?