Arkham Horror LCG: Machinations Through Time

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RRP £21.99
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Something is wrong. Nobel Award-winning scientists and their revolutionary discoveries have disappeared. This ripple, in reality, is a devastating loss for humanity, and it must be restored. Who has tampered with the past and disrupted the future? Only time will tell… The city of Arkham is caught in a dark plot that spans across decades! From the quiet days of Arkham’s past …
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Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-FFGAHC62 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Replayable adventure
  • Variation in gameplay
  • Interesting story
  • New cards to add to your decks
  • Great multiplayer

Might Not Like

  • Lots of Reading
  • Objective Heavy
  • Lack of Horror
  • Slow Gameplay
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Description

Something is wrong. Nobel Award-winning scientists and their revolutionary discoveries have disappeared. This ripple, in reality, is a devastating loss for humanity, and it must be restored. Who has tampered with the past and disrupted the future? Only time will tell... The city of Arkham is caught in a dark plot that spans across decades! From the quiet days of Arkham’s past to the bustling days of its future, you and your fellow investigators will chase the culprits of this chronological caper before they undo sixty years of important scientific discoveries. Will you find and rescue the missing scientists from their captivity in the twisted realm of Tindalos? Or will your travels through time cause unintended consequences for the past, present, and future? Not a standalone product. A copy of the Arkham Horror: The Card Game core set is required to play.

Players: 1-2

Playing Time: 60-120 Min

Age: 14+

ARKHAM HORROR THROUGH TIME NEW COVER

Machinations Through Time is a scenario pack created for Arkham Horror the card game. This time-travelling romp will have you searching for abducted scientists whilst abominations nip at your heels. In true Lovecraftian style, it’s gruesome and chaotic. As a standalone adventure it can be played at any time in the series, but you’ll need a copy of the base game to play.

Back To The Future

I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of time travel. So, when this idea sneaked its way into Arkham I was delighted. After finishing a gruelling campaign, I decided Roland Banks (my investigator) should go on a different kind of adventure. Mentally scarred from his time with Leita Chandler, he did not enter this scenario with the best of health…

After reading the morning news, Arkham Investigators discover an anomaly in time. Things have changed and scientists Mary and Thomas are in the middle of it. As you investigate, you realise they’ve gone missing.

To save the timeline investigators travel through portals, in Arkham, to solve the problem. They will travel to 3 different eras, the past, present and future. But travelling through time can have a series of repercussions.

Dum Dum Dah!

arkham horror through time cards

Let’s Do The Time Warp

Once the stage has been set, it’s time to set up the table. Machinations Through Time is a table hogger. With 3 timelines to set up, you will have 16 locations on the table at a given time. It’s fair to say I was almost out of room by the end of setup.

As per usual, the game has an Act card and an Agenda card. These cards chivvy the narrative along. In addition, there are story cards that display objectives for each timeline. Each story card has 3 objectives that you must complete. These all link up.

For example, in the past, you must provide money to start building the observatory. Once this is complete, investigators in the present can build the observatory which leads to future progression. Every time you play this scenario pack, these objectives will be the same.

To add variation, this pack includes plot cards and machination cards. When setting up, you will choose these cards at random, and they will add obstacles to your game. Plot cards dictate which enemies will be lurking in the encounter deck. Machination cards will have you removing crucial assets before you’ve begun. They are very pesky cards. But then again, this is Arkham, they wouldn’t make it easy for us.

Although these cards add a bit of spice to Machinations Through Time, they add an abundance of reading and objectives. When starting this game solo, it was overwhelming. I had no idea what my first step would be or what to do as there were many cards to consider. When playing in a pair the tasks were still hard to manage.

arkham horror through time more cards

If I Could Turn Back Time

This pack brings with it new allies, enemies and treachery cards. These cards are bursting with information and add changes to the Arkham mechanics. Yet, they are all rather wordy. Furthermore, locations have abilities and, at first, it’s hard to understand why choosing these is beneficial. It is only when you travel across eras that location abilities make sense.

Enemies in the game can seem tame until they spawn on Tindalos. Tindalos is an area in the scenario which connects to other era locations. When enemies gather here, they get all the buffs displayed on their cards. This is because Tindalos is active in the past, present and future. My advice to players who buy this is never get stuck at Tindalos! I know I shouldn’t, but I always seem to end up there and it is always the death of my investigator. This location felt like an undercover Arkham enemy.

What makes this scene stand out are the scientists. Unlike other campaigns, this one will have you escorting scientists such as Nikola Tesla through the eras. When they are attacked by monsters, they will get abducted. To get your scientist back you must go to the dreaded Tindalos.

When reading the rules, escorting scientists sounded easy but… it wasn’t as they’re easily captured. This is because every enemy has the keywords hunter or patrol. These enemy types will move to their prey every turn. In this case, their prey was always the scientists. It was a difficult affair but a nice challenge that deviated from the other Arkham titles. It was less fighty and more flighty.

I have yet to successfully complete this scenario pack. Or shall I say, I have yet to survive this scenario pack? I would like to blame my ailing Roland Banks but I think my failings are down to the scale and complexity of this game. But the beauty with time travel is, that I can always go back and do it again.

Epic Multiplayer

One thing that Machinations Through Time offers that I’ve not seen before, in this series, is Epic Multiplayer. To play this mode you’ll need three copies of the scenario pack and base game.

In this mode, each group play their own game, but they are confined to an era. One group will be in the past, another in the present and then the future. Players must communicate when completing objectives so other teams can start their missions. It’s a perfect setup for online play.

I never got a chance to try this mode as I don’t know enough people with the game. However, I think this would be a great way to play as the tasks can be divvied out in a manageable format. It’s also a setup that would work great at a convention.

arkham horror through time box

Final Thoughts

Machinations Through Time is a complex scenario. It offers variety and replayability. Yet, this pack seems geared toward multiplayer fun. When playing this solo or with 2 players, objectives were burdensome and keeping track was difficult. When playing with a large group, players can spread the load and take advantage of all the interplay mechanics.

This pack is perfect for fans of the series. It provides a new way to play, and I can see it being a new convention favourite. Epic Multiplayer allows fans to connect and enjoy the horror together.

However, for fans like myself, who know no other with the game, the scenario was a trek. The pace was slow and despite variances offered by cards, I wasn’t enthused by the main objectives. Arkham Horror is usually ghastly and riddled with mystery and intrigue. Yet this scenario laid out the story. You must do x, y, z which will lead to x, y, z. It zapped the horror and mystery out of it.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Replayable adventure
  • Variation in gameplay
  • Interesting story
  • New cards to add to your decks
  • Great multiplayer

Might not like

  • Lots of Reading
  • Objective Heavy
  • Lack of Horror
  • Slow Gameplay