This great expansion is easy to pick up, and brings plenty of new content. #arkham #horror #board #game #expansion
The Black Goat of the Woods, an expansion to the Lovecraftian board game Arkham Horror, delivers a bunch of interesting new content to the main game without requiring the players to learn many new gameplay mechanics. As in the main game, in the expansion the players must work together to stop a powerful ancient being, but this time the enemy has a Herald preparing the world for its arrival. In terms of gameplay, this means more difficult enemies, new encounters and the possibility to infiltrate a cult.
The expansion pack consists of new cards and rules, but brings no more board area for the game. The Black Goat is a good choice if you’re running low on space, as the main game already requires a large play area. The most prominent feature of the expansion is the corruption system. Players may get different corruption cards which, when activated by end-of-turn events, usually either punish the player or force them to take new corruption cards. The corruption card deck is not endless and causes the Ancient One to wake up if it runs out. The cards are a fun addition to the gameplay, but also bring an exciting new danger to look out for when racing against time.
The players are forced to take corruption cards when defeating certain monsters on the board, and said monsters never run out. This time the players must consider which monsters to kill and which ones to simply avoid, and the portals from which these monsters appear can never be permanently sealed as in the main game. One can also join the Herald’s evil cult to get intersting new encounters in certain locations on the board. The expansion also introduces new cards for ordinary encounters that take place without the cult membership as well as some new items that can be collected by the players.
The card art is beautiful and fits in well with the original game art. The new cards are also marked with an expansion icon to make it easy to separate them from the original cards decks should one wish to do so. The expansion pack also contains five new difficulty level cards which make it easier or harder to beat the game, and these cards are taken into account if the players decide to score their victory at the end of the game. Even as it is, the expansion may be challenging but never feels unfair or out of balance.
All in all, The Black Goat is an interesting addition to the already great game, and since it doesn’t expand the game board, it is easily integrated into the main game. The expansion might require a bit much for someone just buying the main game as there are quite a few new gameplay mechanics to remember, but it can be recommended for anyone with a bit of experience.
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Kevin Wilson
Release Year: 2008
Number of Players: 1-8
Category: Adventure, Expansion, Fighting, Horror, Lovecraftian
Playtime: 2-4 hours