Unboxing Betrayal at House on the Hill

Boardgame News posted a video today unboxing the new edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill. It looks pretty much like the original version, which is unsurprising. Most of the changes probably went into incorporating errata and generating content, such as putting the underground lake in the basement where it belongs.

Two physical changes I liked were reducing the number of tokens and color-coding them, as well as the introduction of a plastic tray to the box. The original version of Betrayal at House on the Hill used a cardboard tray divided into six sections, which in practice meant all the pieces were shuffled up and mixed together if you ever did more than let the box lie flat on a shelf. The new tray looks like it go a long way to keeping the bits more organized, although the monster tokens will certainly still need baggies, if fewer.

I’m really looking forward to finally getting my own copy of this game, as well as exploring the content changes from the original. Haunts have reportedly been improved, or replaced with new haunts — hopefully more robustly tested than the last batch.

[Tuesday Night Board Games] Vanilla Ichor with Genuine Sugar Flavoring

I made it to Tuesday night board games for the first time in a while this week. I thought I’d get in a round or two of Dominion, basic and Intrigue varieties, then head off home for chores. But game night just isn’t predictable like that.

Instead, Munk proposed, nay, demanded Arkham Horror. So I acquiesced. It was ordinary, vanilla Arkham using Quarterstaff’s copy — unforgivably, I haven’t touched mine in months now, not even integrating The Lurker at the Threshold — but it was pretty fun all the same. For one, it’s easier to get the fun weapons: tommy guns, enchanted blades and elder signs abounded.

One player, Sasha, went through an entire arc of understanding as we played. Having only played Arkham Horror with a pile of expansions included, he started off thinking the base set was easier and more fun. Then, as the game wound up, he decided it was easier and less interesting, because it wasn’t as difficult. It was interesting to watch him work through the implications of basic Arkham versus the wrinkles the expansions introduce.

Really, though, the highlight of the night was the pleasant surprise that the game space’s soda machine had Mountain Dew Throwback in it. No one was expecting that, certainly not Munk, who was expecting a simple can of Mountain Dew. It inspired a staggered rush on the machine, selling three more cans, including one to myself when previously I’d cut myself off at two for the evening. This was my first nose to nose encounter with this version, so I decided not to pass it up.

Munk didn’t like it, preferring the modern corn syrup version. I liked it, having never been a fan of modern Mountain Dew. Sasha and Nicole didn’t comment much, just drinking theirs in relative equanimity. Sarah detected a hint of orange juice, which Wikipedia reveals to have been a recent addition to the Throwback recipe.

Oh yeah, we won against Azathoth with no open gates. We lucked out with several monster surges giving us breathing room to place seals, which generated still more breathing room. It also helped that I opted to skip the “two monsters emerge from gates with five or more players” rule. Most of the time, it’s just not worth the hassle of remembering.