Thursday, July 9, 2015

Unboxing Week Post Part IV: Elder Sign

Day Four of Unboxing Week is here! My hands are cramped from all of the typing and I’m sure my wife’s are as well as she edits and posts these blogs for me...but, I will fight on! I will push forward and continue these posts for the rest of the week. So fear not fantastic readers, I will survive! Okay, enough of the bad melodrama, let’s move on to the post. Again, if you haven’t seen the past three days check out the links below. 

Unboxing Post I: Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Unboxing Post II: Tokaido

Unboxing Post III: Roll for the Galaxy

And now, for day four, we will move on to Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson’s great Cthulhu, dice-rolling game, Elder Sign

This was a game that I received from family this past Christmas and it has gotten quite a bit of play at our table. My wife really enjoys this game! She guest-blogged a few posts back and gave her top 5 games list and later admitted that Elder Sign just barely missed the cut. This is another game in the Cthulhu line of games by Fantasy Flight Games. Some people consider this the dice version of Arkham Horror but I don’t think they have many similarities besides the theme. This is a co-operative dice-chucking game where you and your fellow players take an investigator and fight to keep an elder god from waking up and destroying the world. This is a Yahtzee style game and I think it is a great implementation of that basic mechanic. 

To start out we have the rulebook. This is another well done rulebook by Fantasy Flight Games. I know that some people have a problem with their rulebooks but I never have. This particular one answers all of the questions I have about the game without having to look through FAQs or other methods to get those answers. It also looks nice and has good pictures and examples that are easy to follow. 

Next on the list of game components are the clock and the entrance reference sheet. The clock is made of heavy cardboard and is put together so that the hand on the clock is able to swing around. This clock is well made and is the timekeeper for the game. Each turn that is taken during the game takes 15 minutes off the clock and when it hits midnight a mythos card is drawn from the deck. It is a completely unnecessary, but very cool, item that was added for thematic quality. The entrance reference sheet is just a piece of cardstock with the entrance abilities on it. These are places the characters can go to heal, gain sanity, and buy things with their trophies. It is a simple piece of cardstock but it does the job just fine. 

Next up we have the token in the game. There are a bunch of tokens and that means lots of punchboards to punch out! My favorite pastime! Elder Sign comes with almost 150 individual tokens that are for all sorts of reasons. There are investigator markers that are your avatar for the game, stamina and sanity tokens to keep track of health and sanity, clue tokens for re-rolls, monster tokens, doom tokens and elder sign tokens. These are all made of heavy chipboard and won’t bend or be damaged easily. I like the look of all the tokens as they really hold with the theme of the game. 

Next up are the small sized cards which are a favorite of Fantasy Flight Games. Among these cards are the common items, the unique items, the spell cards, and the ally cards. Also in the mini-card size are the mythos cards that are drawn when the clock strikes midnight. These cards are all nicely drawn and have flavor text on them to add to the fun of the game. I like the size of these cards as you collect them during the game. If they were too large then they would just eat up some serious table space! All of these cards are high quality cardstock with linen finish, my personal favorite. Now we move on to the larger sized cards. There are 80 tarot sized cards in the game that are printed on the same heavy cardstock with the linen finish. Included in this size of cards are the adventure cards (which make up the vast majority of the tarot sized cards), the other world cards, the investigator cards, and the ancient one cards. I just want to take this moment to point out that the art on these particular cards is awesome. They use similar art to Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness, and Eldritch Horror and it just look awesome! I have nothing bad to say about any of their card choices in this game.

This game is a dice-rolling, Yahtzee-style game so we can’t move on without talking about the dice. Elder Sign comes with eight very nice (in classic Fantasy Flight style), engraved dice. There are six green dice, one yellow die and lastly, one red die. These are all well made and good looking dice which each have different icon on them that do different things during the game. I love these die. They feel good to roll and you just gotta love hitting exactly the icons that you need to finish off an adventure card! 

Finally, I'd like to talk about the box and the box insert. The box has great cover art on it and is smaller than most games. It is both shallower and smaller than the normal Ticket to Ride-style box that has become fairly common for most games. Unfortunately this is a Fantasy Flight game which means that the insert is just taken out and thrown away because it is a complete waste of space. That beings said, I like the size of the box and it fits everything from the base game and the first expansion with extra space to spare.

Elder Sign is a fun Lovecraftian-mythos game that provides a fun, co-operative, dice-rolling experience. We have officially made it over the hump day of Unboxing Week! Come on back tomorrow to see what game we move on to next. Thanks a ton for reading! Until next time, game on!

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