Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $5.99 shipping
Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham Expansion
|Price:||$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25. Details|
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- The second expansion for Elder Sign, the cooperative dice game of Lovecraftian horror
- The Streets of Arkham game mode moves the action into Arkham
- Features complete Arkham Adventures and Mythos decks to substitute for core set decks
- Eight more investigators help combat four new Ancient Ones
- Skills and Memberships give investigators lasting enhancements to their abilities
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
The search for elder signs leads you out of the museum and into the legendary and cursed city of Arkham in the Gates of Arkham expansion for Elder Sign. A new deck of Arkham Adventure cards replaces the core set deck and completely transforms the game, taking you to infamous locations such as Velma's Diner, the Curiositie Shoppe, and the Uninvited Isle. Meanwhile, gates to Other Worlds are opening throughout the city, destabilizing time and space as new Ancient Ones threaten humanity. Join forces with eight additional investigators, using new skills and memberships to find the enduring advantages you need to survive Arkham's rough streets - and prevent the Ancient Ones from awakening.
Compare to similar items
This item Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham Expansion
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||
Exclusively for Prime members
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Northern Direct||Northern Direct||Chewys Toy Chest||Amazon.com||Northern Direct|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||5 x 7.5 x 1.5 in||2 x 10 x 10 in||5 x 7.5 x 1.5 in||7.5 x 5 x 1.5 in||2 x 10.5 x 10.5 in||11.75 x 3 x 11.75 in|
|Item Weight||1.06 lbs||1.85 lbs||0.85 lb||0.88 lb||3 lbs||0.35 ounces|
Top Customer Reviews
The Elder Sign base game is easily my favorite board/tabletop game that I have played. Unlike Unseen Forces, which added new investigators, adventure cards, Ancient Ones, and the Blessed/Cursed dice, this new expansion actually changes the "feel" of the base game. In fact, to play it properly, the instructions tell you to completely replace the base adventure cards and mythos deck. You can still play the base game, but some of the new items, investigators and Ancient Ones will mention rules and scenarios that only occur when playing in the city of Arkham, so you will have to disregard a few cards while playing the base game (since you are required to shuffle in the new cards into the base decks - the exceptions being the mythos and adventure card decks).
This expansion makes the game feel thematically much more like its big cousin Arkham Horror. Instead of taking place in the museum, the expansion opens the game up to the entire city of Arkham. All of the new adventure cards now have a face-up and a face-down side. One side shows the normal adventure cards we are accustomed to. On the back of these new cards are single locations from Arkham, such as Hibb's Roadhouse, or Arkham Asylum. When new adventure cards are added after winning an adventure, all new cards are added face-down, so you only see the location, and a color code, which hints at the adventure's difficulty. This is probably the biggest change to the base game, gameplay-wise. Now, you can no longer look at the 6 cards and plan which adventures you character is best suited for. You can still do this, but you essentially have to fail an adventure to have the next player see the card face-up. Also, the game starts with 3 of the 6 cards face-up. It makes more sense thematically this way, since it gives you that fear of the unknown, which is perfect for a game based on Lovecraft. Some face-down adventure cards have buffs and Midnight Effects that can be dealt with before turning over the card. The former becomes very important because the expansion removes the entrance cards that let you heal and buy items. Again, this helps with theme and immersion, since if you want to heal your sanity, you need that Arkham Asylum card to appear. You can no longer just go to the entrance and pay to heal up. (You can still heal one for free per turn.) You now have to explore the town to do these types of things in the game. This is the best part of the expansion, and is what makes the game feel that much more like Arkham Horror (but still much lighter).
The game adds 2 organizations you can join, the Order of the Silver Twilight, and the Sheldon Gang. You can only be in one group at any given time. These act as buffs in the game (similar to being blessed). Some adventure cards have tasks that show the icon of one of them. If you are a member, you automatically count that task as completed. Again, this adds to the theme, since the locations tend to match which groups are at which location. For example, the location "The Woods" has an adventure card titled "Moonshine By Moonlight." The Sheldon Gang is at this location, which makes thematic sense. In addition, some adventure card rewards are only available if you are a member.
The last major difference is the addition of gates. This is probably the most unnecessary addition, but it does not hurt the game. Some events or cards will cause Other World cards to open. With this expansion, opening an Other World card opens a gate (matching colored cardboard circles) on the Other World card that was just opened, and a randomly chosen regular adventure card (similar to how monsters are added). This essentially closes the regular location. You have to go through the Other World card and win the adventure to seal the gate, allowing you to enter the normal adventure card again, and preventing gates from opening again on that location. This was done to make it feel more like Arkham Horror, but thematically, I already felt like the Other World cards were gates themselves. I felt this was unnecessary since unlike Arkham Horror, closing gates is not the goal - finding Elder Signs is. But again, I do not think it hurts the game.
There are also new event cards (essentially a secondary mythos card, but without the additional Midnight Effect) that are played by certain mythos or adventure cards, and a new item card type called Skills. Skill cards have abilities that are similar to the investigator's abilities, but anyone can use them.
Overall, this is a very well done expansion. The only downside I see is that if you are teaching this game to new players, you will want to start with the base game, but adding this expansion litters the cards with things that do not apply to the base game. You can take all the expansion cards out, but that can be a pain. This applies to most games with expansions, though, so it is not really a big deal. It only bothers me a little since this was my go-to gateway game to get people into heavier games. I like to start out with Forbidden Island/Desert, Elder Sign, and if they are still hanging in there (with a few heavier games in between), Arkham Horror! This expansion gets my highest recommendation.
Edit: One last note on components. As usual, components for this game are fantastic, with one minor thing to note- There are little plastic stands meant to be used to prop up the cardboard gate discs vertically. I do not play with these since constant assembly/disassembly of these would eventually damage the cardboard discs. I put one together, and after pulling it apart, I could already see a dent in the cardboard. So now I just lay the gate discs flat on the board. Just a heads up if you do not want to cause eventual damage to them.
The gates can prevent you from visiting a location in town until you close the gate on an Other World card by completing that world's challenge. Event cards, doom tokens, and other effects can open these gates, adding new complications to your strategies. One game, we were forced to close three gates that had opened or add one doom token for each at midnight--which would have triggered the fight with the Great Old One. So, it was tense and fun.
Other new mechanics involve skills, which allow you to further mitigate the luck of the dice in various ways. Then, there are the gang affiliations. These affiliations generally help you complete adventures because they remove a task on some adventures and sometimes give you extra rewards.
My mild complaint is that there are some cards that use the blessing mechanic from the previous expansion as a reward you can choose, and unless you have that set, then you are stuck with a reward that doesn't offer a choice, and sometimes has a negative (doom token or monster) associated. It's only happened a couple times, but still annoyed a little. I might pick up the other expansion and remedy it.
Final thoughts: This game doesn't entirely mix with previous sets, but creates a sort of Gates of Arkham version1.5 with its gates mechanic. It adds some investigators and Great Old Ones, and ranks the GOO's by difficulty, which is much appreciated in terms of calibrating the difficulty for various groups' experience levels. I'd highly recommend it if you want something to breathe fresh life into your Elder Sign play.
I love Elder Sign base game for its theme, relative simplicity, risk/reward component with dice, and looming tension during game play. The Unseen Forces expansion was brilliant, and the addition of blessed and cursed dice, along with the chapel card for a cost of 8 to become blessed made a lot of thematic sense.
While Gates of Arkham does add a great "face down" element which positively contributes to the tension of the game, it's feels imabalanced overall. Primarily this is due to all the extra elements this expansion introduces, which seems to follow a "more is better" philosophy, but unfortunately just bogs down game play.
In addition, it severely lacks enough ways to join the "gangs." By my math, there are only 6 adventure cards in the entire deck of 78 that invite membership into one of the gangs, and roughly 4-5 abilities in the stacks of item decks.
A simple fix would have been to add "join a gang of your choice for 10 trophies" as an added feature while on the "streets of Arkham" starting card.
Lastly, and perhaps it's just me, but the addition of gate tokens, event cards, skill cards, seal markers, etc, just gave me more items to keep track of, more text to read each turn, and more to mentally juggle, which added an unwanted mental strain and complexity to what used to be a much simpler game.
*ps. If you wanted a more complex game, making Elder Sign more closely resemble its big brother (Arkham Horror) then this expansion certainly gets the job done.