Hello, all. My name is John Rodgers, and I want to say thank you for inviting me to this friendly group!
I want to share my current experiences with the game in hopes that maybe you all can help me. A few days ago, I was looking for a new game to play. Not to say that I was unhappy with UNO, a game that I have played exclusively everyday for the better part of fifteen years, but I could sense some pushback from members of my board gaming group when it was the only game I ever wanted to bring to the table. So began my quest to find a new card game to play. A friend of mine suggested “Arkham Horror: The Card Game”. Hearing the words “card game” right in the title, I thought maybe this could be the solution to my woes. I asked my friend, “Does the game play anything like UNO?” My friend replied, “No.” Then he paused and added, “Well, I mean, sometimes you can run out of cards in your hand,” and immediately I knew this would be the game for me.
I quickly arranged a game day at my friend Gregory Sewell’s house. I knew that Gregory was an Arkham Horror: The Card Game fan, as he would regularly regale our group with tales of what he called a “Mark deck”. I didn’t know what that meant, but he insisted it was full of cards that synergize with Mark. Anyway, we had a group of four players at Gregory’s place, and since most of us were new, he got me set up with a “Starter Deck”. I ended up with a character named “Winifred Habbamock”. Traditionally, UNO does not have any Native Americans in it, so this was already a very different experience. Still, I was very interested to learn more.
After flipping through my hand of cards, I could see right away that every card I had was green. Glancing around the table, I could see no one else had green cards like me. I suddenly understood why this game was characterized as “very difficult to win”. Still, if my years of UNO had taught me anything, it was to never give up. I resolved to do my utmost. Besides, I could see the player next to me had a character named “Harvey Walters” and reading his ability made me think that’s a pay-to-lose character if I’ve ever seen one.
As the game began, I saw my opening hand had a card named “Pilfer”. Pilfer is both green and a 4. I knew no else had any green cards, but I could at least wait for someone to play a 4. Gregory then slammed down a Beat Cop, so I immediately played my Pilfer on top of it and announced that – thanks to the effect clearly written on the Pilfer card – I would be discovering 3 clues now. Gregory then told me that’s not how the game works. I was completely beside myself in confusion! As an UNO expert, I am highly familiar with card games, but this one seems to not be intuitive in any way.
Across from me, I saw the “red” player had a card named Madame Labranche. This card had an ability that began with the text, “If you have no cards in your hand, exhaust Madame Labranche.” Immediately, my UNO senses began tingling. Surely, a card with such a critical timing window must result in you winning the game! Confusingly, the card does no such thing. Instead, it makes you draw another card! What? Why would I ever want to do that? Again, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I think this game is full of poorly designed cards that don’t make any sense. I mean, at one point, the Harvey Walters player had a hand of ten cards – TEN! – and Gregory told me he was doing a “really good job”. I must have drawn the Amnesia card in real life, because apparently I seem to not remember how to play card games! (If only I could draw the Amnesia card in the game, but I was told by Gregory that it was “not in my deck”. Well, why not? Just like my hand of cards, my frustrations with this game keep growing and growing!)
Anyway, I hope that maybe some members of this group can help explain this game to me, since I seem to have been banned from playing any more card games at Gregory’s house. Thank you all very much and I hope to hear from you all very soon.