Saturday, July 12, 2014

Curse of the Dark Pharaoh

Curse of the Dark Pharaoh is the first of the small expansions for the Arkham Horror board game, of which I have written about previously.  Unlike the large expansions, which add new towns for your characters to explore and encounter eldritch horrors therein, this expansions serves to change the theme of the existing town of Arkham, Massachusetts, where the base game takes place.  There is a new exhibit at the university, showcasing ancient Egyptian relics and artifacts, but of course things aren't as they may seem on the surface, and the exhibit is the tool for an ancient evil to arise.

Players can use the expansion in one of two ways.  First, you can simply mix the location encounter cards into the existing decks (the permanent exhibit method), which gives the players a small chance to encounter cards specific to the expansion each turn.  Alternately, the players can use ONLY the encounter cards from the expansion (the traveling exhibit method), which focuses the game squarely on the expansion and its events.  I actually prefer to play with the second method, though due to the small number of location cards, after a couple games it will likely get old.  So, I recommend playing a game or two using the 'traveling exhibit' method, and then you can decide if you want to mix the cards into your base game on a permanent basis or only use them on occasion.

I think this is a good expansion (though if you dislike ancient Egyptian themes, maybe not one for you.  It works for me, though.  Please note that there is the original edition of this expansion from 2006 (the one I have), as well as a revised edition from 2011.  The primary difference is supposed to be improved game mechanics and some rewriting of card text to add clarity and remove confusion.

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