Arkham Horror: The Card Game - Return to the Dunwich Legacy
Teaching Time: 20 mins
Playing Time: 7-14 hours (full cycle)
Setup Time: 20 mins
Value For Money: Low
Solo Play Review
The second Return to … expansion gives Dunwich legacy a polish up and re-run so it is potentially a £20 investment that refreshes £70 worth of game, which is a pretty good deal on paper. As a Return to… it includes a big mostly empty box and a bunch of dividers, encounter cards and player cards. The box means that you can now fit all cards not from later cycles into Return to… boxes, which is good, but it does imply an excess of space coming in the future, which is less good.
As far as the rebooted scenarios goes, its very hit and miss, and more miss than hit. The first two scenarios have changes so minor you’ll mostly not notice them even if they do come up but which might not even arise if you use the expansion as written. The first big miss comes with the Miskatonic University scenario which requires players to identify hidden locations from a deck, the upgrade offers additional locations to mix in. However, the old locations (including the one you’re looking for) has a clearly visible blank circle on its unrevealed side while the expansion version does not. As such if the vital location is mixed in with the new locations the expansion succeeds mostly in totally ruining the scenario. It’s an obvious error that sticks out like a sore thumb as soon as you actually play the scenario. Thirty people are listed as working on this expansion and the fact that none of them spotted this means either they missed the obvious circle, or they didn't care.
The expansion to the Essex County Express scenario is the best of the set, legitimately increasing the quality of the scenario, lending urgency and options to what is generally quite a lost feeling scenario. The changes to Blood on the Altar are again so negligible as to be potentially totally missed. Undimensional and Unseen upgrades its Brood of Yog Sothoth which, as they are central to the story, significantly steps up its variation. Where Doom Awaits brings with it the most wasted moment in the expansion as Naomi Bannion, the most interesting card of the whole expansion, gets given free to a player. But only if you took a particular choice at campaign set-up that you had no idea was significant. The second most wasted moment comes if players are totally successful in Where Doom Awaits because an alternative version of a significant character is then cut out from Lost in Time and Space. All of which means that the two most interesting cards in the whole box might never see play, which is a sad and pointless miss. Happily, the expansion does seem to remove the option for smacking up a god with a bat to achieve victory.
Return to Dunwich Legacy is a good choice if you hate replaying scenarios without other encouragement. It doesn’t totally transform the campaign but if you liked it first time it does give it some little tweaks. If you really want the box too then all good, but it is a flawed set. If you didn’t like Dunwich Legacy it won’t change your mind and if you can stomach just playing through the scenarios again with no changes I’d suggest doing that instead.