Continued from my previous entry about winning in Arkham Horror. We’re talking about ways of making the game “positively winnable,” if not necessarily easy, then at least winnable. Some sessions might be easier than others, but the point is more that games aren’t completely hopeless from the get-go.

There’s a Mission from the Dunwich Horror expansion called “For the Greater Good.” To complete the Mission, you must spend four Clue tokens at each of four Other World locations. Only one player can complete a Mission, so you can assume it will take a minimum of eight rounds simply to accumulate enough Clue tokens.

Because the location for each “sacrifice” is the second area of four different Other World locations, you can assume a minimum of two rounds per location, or another eight rounds. That’s assuming the right gates open on the board, and you don’t reach the Gate Limit and the Doom track doesn’t fill up first. Sixteen rounds at best.

Sure, there are other ways to complete the Mission faster, like if you have Patrice Hathaway picking up your Clue tokens for you, and maybe you’re playing as Luke Robinson and picking up Clue tokens with each step you take in an Other World, … but those characters shouldn’t be the standard by which others are measured.

This is way, way too long for the game.

My thought is that the game should be winnable within about eight rounds “normally.” Say you have to close a “number of gates equal to five plus the number of players.” Close six gates if you’re a lone investigator, or thirteen if you’re a group of eight. Bear in mind, it will take at least six rounds just to open six many gates.

If a single player closes one gate every three rounds (two rounds if they’re lucky), the game still takes a minimum of twelve to eighteen rounds. If you have five players, it will take a minimum of five rounds just to open enough gates, and your group could win by the eighth round. Maybe. And you’ve already had a satisfying game by that point.

If that’s too fast for you, just play a second game. *shrug*

Alternatively, you may seal four gates. Not six gates, I really do mean four gates. Taking gate bursts into account, four Elder Signs is plenty. Coincidentally, that’s the number of Elder Signs in the Unique item deck. It’s like the basic game is speaking to us, trying to tell us the game should be easier. Four Elders Signs to seal four gates.

I intend to figure out some more ways in which the game can be “won,” maybe an additional win condition per expansion, but that will take some doing. If you ask me, defeating the Dunwich Horror should trigger a win, even if it’s technically easier than the Ancient One. Because you still have to fight the stupid thing by yourself.

But all this will have to wait for another time.