Arkham Horror LCG in the time of COVID-19

IT WAS INEVITABLE: The lockdown…the restricted movement… the never ending days of wearing face mask…the delays in shipments… and yet… a lot more game time for Arkham Horror LCG…like what???

Reflecting on my AH:LCG journey so far, I would say that I have played way more AH:LCG than I ever have before the pandemic. Mostly, solo, but better than not being able to play at all. Ironically, this sounds like a good thing…right? As we come to the end of 2021, I thought I would reflect on my AH:LCG journey throughout the pandemic. Basically things to avoid and things to be grateful for.

1: Don’t fall for FOMO!

When FFG announced the release of The Innsmouth Conspiracy, I was so thrilled. I quickly contacted my FLGS to make orders and sadly, they were not able to bring in any shipments for FFG products due to distribution issue. Plan B: Try to order from overseas. I managed to pre-order the deluxe expansion for TIC in Q3 of 2020 and it safely arrived in Malaysia by October. However, the mythos packs which were released in Q4 of 2020 were harder to get. Online retailers like Miniature Market also could not ship out FFG products outside of USA. However, I was lucky enough to order the first and second mythos packs for TIC just before that. After that, it was a matter of looking high and low for the remaining packs every month. With help from a good friend in Singapore, I was able to obtain all packs by May 2021. Unfortunately, all of this came at a higher cost in expenses as I paid more shipping fees. Even with the release of The Edge of the Earth, I spent way more than I should because of shipping since I had to order from overseas. At first, I thought I was relieved to be able to obtain all of these expansions as times were uncertain and it was hard to tell whether these delays in shipping and distribution will go on for long. Then a week ago, my local FLGS announced that they were bringing in all the expansions that I bought, and obviously the price was way cheaper. Welp.

To an extent, I was glad to receive this earlier before local FLGS brought it in too. I had more time to organize the cards, sleeve em’ and prepared the dividers too (credits to the creator of these amazing dividers!). I’m happy to report that both The Innsmouth and Edge of Earth campaign cards all fit into the Edge of the Earth Campaign box.

2: Time is precious for games

Before the pandemic, I didn’t get much time to play my games. I spent most of my time outside, in traffic and mostly out and about. Then the pandemic hit and I was stuck at home, realizing that I had a little more free time even after work. Let’s be real. AH:LCG is not a short game. The time it takes to set up, playing a scenario and pre-building decks is a lot. Generally, I don’t get to play Arkham as much because of all these reasons. That all changed when I was stuck at home.

For one, I actually had time and nothing else to do but play my games. Second, not being able to drive out to work saved so much of my time that I would finish work by 3.30pm and have the rest of the day to go about my routines. I would usually finish up on my lesson planning (yes… I am a secondary school teacher), and still have time before dinner to set up my game. Third, with no visitors coming to my house, I had half of the dining table to set my game and leave it there. This made for faster setup and I get to jump right to playing.

Ahhh… for once… I could leave my game out in the open for days…”

3: Listening to podcasts. It’s actually not that bad!

Not gonna lie but my first time listening to a podcast was actually for this game itself. Otherwise, I would have never thought of doing so. I don’t know why but the thought of listening to other people talking about something while I just sat there and listen didn’t really appealed to me at first. The turn off point was the length of the podcasts too. However, having a little more time allowed me to do so, and I have to say, it is very refreshing to listen to fellow gamers so enthusiastic and passionate discussing about the game and sharing their experiences. No visuals were needed. Hearing their voice and energy was good enough and whenever I’m just going about house chores or finishing up on my markings, it’s nice to binge and listen to their conversations about Arkham. Often, I would listen and be like “oh wow.. I didn’t think of that,’ or “Ooo… I have to try that combination next time.” I would like to recommend Mythos Busters and Drawn to the flame, for any of you who are keen on giving podcasts a go for AH:LCG.

4: Love and Care for Your Games

Not all of us can relate to this but for me, I began to appreciate the value of my games a lot more during the pandemic. I wanted the best experience out of it too. While I do consider myself as a very particular person who is very careful about any physical items I purchase, I never gave much thought about the longevity of it, especially my games. All that changed during the pandemic as I began to play my games a lot more and slowly realized that the prints from my tokens were wearing off, messy organization of cards and tokens in my game box which resulted in longer setup, and freaking MOLD on my game board!!! If you had asked me before the pandemic, my only concern for my games would be to sleeve my cards and put my tokens in some kind of storage box. That’s it.

Then when I realized the damage on my tokens, I had to do something. And so, I began sourcing for coin capsules. I started looking for individual play mats for AH:LCG that I could print myself. I began collecting more silica packs from empty bottles or packets to store in all my game boxes. I got myself a dehumidifier too. Specifically for AH:LCG, I wanted to speed up my set up, for deck building and scenario set up. My previous storage was to store all cards in the return to boxes and while they nicely fit in two of my return to boxes, it was a hassle to deck-build as I had to take out a stack of cards and look for the ones I needed for a deck. I decided to buy binders of matching colors with the different classes and stored my cards there instead.

I was really pleased with what I did for my game. Not just AH:LCG. Setup has never been smoother and my OCD for organization and storage was satisfied. Somehow, when given more time, you start to appreciate what you have and what you need to do to ensure its longevity.

All in all,

I hope these 4 reflections will help you make better sense of your time during the pandemic. If you fell into the FOMO, I feel ya. But lesson learnt is that eventually, our FLGS will bring in the games. I’m sure most of us have other games to play too while waiting, right? Whether we can wait patiently, that’s the real challenge. Just don’t take an actual mental trauma for waiting okay.

Happy New Year all.

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