Arkham Horror is a bit-tacular game to start with. Lots of cards, tokens, character sheets and more. But sometimes the form factor of those pieces get in the way of playing the game. Monster and gate tokens, for instance, lie flat. On a board that’s already graphically busy, it’s very easy to miss spotting a monster, elder sign marker or even a whole gate. This is something I’ve learned repeatedly in my play experiences with the game, particularly after the third hour begins.
Among the more craft-minded fans of the game, there have been a number of homebrew solutions to this issue, propping up monsters and gates in stands to make them pop out from the underlying board. Now, thanks to Litko Game Accessories, you don’t have to be crafty — or settle for bent paperclips — to enjoy a similar sort of convenience. Litko offers gate and monster stands in two different designs and colors, respectively, plus full-sized elder sign tokens.
They’re very nice looking, just going by the catalog shots. My first gut reaction was “WANT!” which is atypical for me. Q Workshop’s fancy-pants dice didn’t garner that response from me. Part of it is these stands would actually help play the game, making it easier to count how many monsters and gates are on the board. Not so much the tentacle gate stands, though. It looks like they obscure the gate modifier, dimensional symbol and the additional modifier icons introduced by The Lurker at the Threshold.
It’s a pricey upgrade, though. Just in the base game, without any expansions, there can be seven gates open at once and eleven monsters on the board, not withstanding when topping the terror track removes the monster limit. That’s at the extreme ends of the spectrum, in two and eight player games, respectively. Since Litko sells the gate markers in sets of six at $25 each and monster stands in sets of eight for $12. Just to cover one’s bases with the original game, without worrying about the expansion boards, where monsters can run free and wild without a limit on their numbers, would $74, for two sets of gate and monster stands each to have as many as might be required in the course of a game.
I can see myself putting out for monster stands one of these days, when I’ve got some mad money. The gate stands, though, even the wrought iron ones, which are pretty amazing, are more than a little out of my comfort zone for luxury accessories.