Eldritch Horror



Part way through the sorting.

I went through all the cards and tokens from all the Eldritch Horror expansions and split them out. I shuffled all the location encounter cards into their decks. They can all stay as they are no matter what boards I am playing.

All the standard Ancient Ones get their cards stored together. The two Ancient Ones specific to the Antarctic and Egypt are gathered with the location encounter cards for those boards.  There are also some adventure cards that go with the boards (e.g. the Museum Heist from Egypt), so these go with them.

I decided to keep all the preludes in one deck, even though there is a specific prelude for each of the two boards. I think the mechanism is that at the beginning of setup you draw a random prelude card and if it is the one for a add-on board then you use that board. (You can also pick an Ancient One if you want to use a particular board).

The gate tokens for the add-on locations go in the add-on piles.

All the smaller cards, items, artifacts, relics, spells, etc are shuffled into their decks. These all go in the main box.


Sorting all done. Everything goes in the main box apart from the two piles of bits for each add-on board (in the middle). These go in the appropriate boxes, along with their boards and rulebooks.

It all didn’t take too long, and also gave me a opportunity to review the rules for some of the newer mechanics (such as preludes and adventures). I had to understand them to decide where the cards belong.

Now, hopefully, when I come the play next it will be simple to find everything and setup and should save a lot of time.

Death on the Nile

We have the new big box expansion for Eldritch Horror, Under the Pyramids, which is set in Egypt!


The box contents. Lots of lovely bits and pieces.

This is like the Antarctic expansion, it has a new map, new ancient ones, new investigators and loads of new cards.

The add-on map covers the whole of Egypt, with locations for Cairo, Alexandria, the bent pyramid, the Sahara, the Nile, etc. We have actually been to all these places. They are also some of the key settings in the classic Call of Cthulhu RPG adventure ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep’. I should re-read that adventure to get in the mood.


The expansion board. What is neat is, unlike Antarctica, these locations are much more accessible. They can be reached from several locations on the main board.

Because Egypt is obviously smaller in scale, the locations here are all considered ‘local’ so you can move around without spending an action. I would imagine this would make Egyptian adventures much more frantic.

Just as important as the new board, we also get ten more investigators.

Eldritch Horror has been sort of counting backwards in investigators compared to those in the original Arkham Horror, starting with the investigators from the later Arkham expansions, and now Eldritch is giving us some of our classic favourites from the first game.

Returning to help defeat the forces of the outer void are the private eye Joe Diamond, the professor Harvey Walters, the archaeologist Monterey Jack, the nun Sister Mary, and our all-time favourite Mandy ‘Reroll’ Thompson. Disappointingly, Mandy does not have a reroll in this incarnation. Boo.


Some old favourites with new art

You can add lots of new cards into the various decks to add variety to the game, but you only use this new board if you are playing with the evil pharaoh Nephron-Ka and the specific Egypt setup. This means that all the Egypt mysteries and adventures are built around and tie into the new locations.

This expansion also has a special multi-part Egyptian side adventure the investigators can follow to get special rewards. This involves helping one of the new allies, Erich Weiss, who has been framed for a museum theft. Erich Weiss is better known as Houdini.

You may not know that H.P. Lovecraft actually ghost-wrote a horror story for Houdini. This was the great ‘Imprisoned with the Pharaohs’, which has Houdini being kidnapped by Egyptian cultists and having to escape from the pyramid catacombs while unspeakable monsters carry out unspeakable rites.

Houdini was a big fan of Lovecraft. He enjoyed the story and went on to commission lots of other writing such as articles criticising astrology and other superstitions.

‘Imprisoned with the Pharaohs’ was also published the title ‘Entombed with the Pharaohs’, but the original working title was ‘Under the Pyramids’!

Syzygy is actually a word

If you drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas through the Mojave Desert you will pass a signpost for Zzyzx Road. This is a made-up place only officially recognised in the 1980’s. The original land-developer wanted a name that would be at the end of the alphabet. I bet he was fun at parties.

On the other hand, a Syzygy is a real thing. It sounds like a part of the brain or a rare grammatical construct, but it is in fact the astronomical term for when the sun and moon and/or planets align.

As you may expect, moons and planets align a lot more often than stars, but don’t panic. Big C only wakes when the stars are right.

Nevertheless, bad stuff still happens when planets line up and this is what the plucky investigators must tackle in Strange Remnants, the new small-box expansion for Eldritch Horror.


A waitress, explorer, handyman and bootlegger walk into an Antarctic outpost

We set up both boards for the Rise of the Elder Things ancient one in Eldritch Horror. The game took almost 5 hours, with a few breaks, and used up a phenomenal amount of brain power.

We won. We had to solve four mysteries before time ran out and the doom track went down to 7, which was only two or three bad turns way from the ancient one awakening.

The game never felt like it was getting away from us, but it did seem very hard to make progress. It was about two hours before we managed to get even the first mystery solved.

Horror in the Antarctic

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ is one of my favourite short stories and that is why I really like the film Prometheus. They have the same plot, which I won’t go into because of spoilers.

Here we have Mountains of Madness, the first big-box expansion to Eldritch Horror, which brings the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the globe-trotting adventure game.


Theme, Flavour and Mechanics

In boardgames, there are (for me) three main aspects that determine how much I like a game. These are Theme, Flavour and Mechanics.

The Theme is the overall story or setting of the game. It could be a Star Wars game or a Cthulhu game, a Sci-Fi space exploration game or a Sword and Sorcery D&D game. I am less likely to play a game if I am not fond of the theme. I don’t want to run a farm, for example, or sell textiles in medieval Florence. I want to shoot stormtroopers, or fight dragons, or try and stop the world being eaten by oceanic elder gods. You get the idea.

Let us suppose (correctly) that I am interested in any game that has anything to do with Cthulhu. What makes a good Cthulhu game?


Forsaken Lore unboxing


Forsaken Lore Expansion

Eldritch Horror is one of my favourite games to come out recently. It seems to have distilled the best bits of the co-operative doom-track genre into an exciting globe-spanning adventure.

We just received our copy of the first expansion, Forsaken Lore.

This is a small-box expansion, and it contains mainly loads more cards for the various decks, along with a new Great Old One, Yig.