This new deckbuilder app for Arkham Horror: The Card Game is great!
If you play AH:TCG and have an Android phone or tablet, you should check it out.
It’s also currently free!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned doing DIY projects over the years, it’s that a project becomes much easier when you have the right tools for the job! So I thought I’d take the time to share a new deck builder app for Arkham Horror: The Card Game that’s been developed by Rising Sun Studios, who make independent software & video games in the UK. I helped perform some user testing for the app and provided feedback and suggestions to the developers via the project on GitHub.com. They’ve been very responsive to my feedback and are keen to make this the best app possible.
The right tools
This app is great to have in your toolbox if you want to craft new decks or review old ones. You may have previously built decks on ArkhamDB.com. Well, the app syncs nicely with the latter, enabling you to download decks you’ve built on that website, as well as upload ones that you build in the app to the website. The app also features a modern, intuitive design, making it easy to quickly make changes to your decks. It can also track your health, sanity and xp across campaigns.
Fire it up!
When you load the app, it will check for an up to date card list and then present you with the ‘My Decks’ screen shown below. As you can see, I’ve put together a few test decks with wonky names. ‘The Adventures of Mark Harrigan’ is someone else’s creation which the app downloaded successfully from ArkhamDB.com.
Tell it what you own
The ‘My Decks’ screen will be empty when you load the app for the first time and you use the button in the bottom right with the plus sign (+) to add new decks. However, the first thing you’re probably going to want to do is tell the app which card packs you own, so you can restrict your deck building to just the cards in your collection. You do this by going into the options menu (using the triple lines icon in the top left) and selecting ‘My Collection’, as shown in the screenshot of the menu below.
From here if you select ‘My Collection’, you’re presented with a list of all the card sets that have been released so far, including promos and the much sought after cards that come with the books! You just tick which ones you have on your gaming shelf and they’ll be available for you to select in the app.
After you’ve added your packs, you can also download the images for your cards using the ‘Download card images’ option from the main menu. You may wish to do this when connected to wifi to avoid any unnecessary data usage on your mobile.
The art of deckbuilding
Arkham Horror: The Card Game offers some wonderful artwork, capturing the horrors of its Lovecraftian mythos. The app does a great job showcasing this wherever possible. When you go to pick an Investigator, for instance, you’re not just presented with a list of names, but rather with images of the front of their investigator cards:
The Third option you might want to use before creating any decks in the app is the ‘Import deck from ArkhamDB’. This option will first ask you to enter your ArkhamDB.com credentials so the app can link through to download your decks from the website. If you haven’t used the site before, check it out as there are loads of ‘netdecks’ (decks other users have created and shared on the internet) available to download and enhance your chances of surviving this punishing game.
So many to choose from
Arkham Horror: The Card Game has been going since 2016 and has a large card pool that is ever increasing, so anything that simplifies deck building by narrowing your options is a welcome addition. When you’re building your own deck in the app, you can take advantage of powerful filter and sort options. You can manually filter by ‘faction’, ‘type’, ‘xp’, ‘cost’ and ‘traits’. There are also sorting options by ‘name’, ‘faction’, ‘xp’, ‘cost’ and which equipment ‘slot’ an item occupies. Below is a screenshot showing some of the filter options that appear on the ‘Cards’ tab of a new deck.
Two of the most powerful options are the simplest to use as they are singular tick-boxes. The first is: ‘Show only owned cards’ which is useful if you’re building solely from what you actually own. If you change your mind and decide to theory-craft a deck that includes cards in packs you don’t own, you’ll want to untick this option.
‘Filter by deckbuilding rules’ is the second option and will automatically filter your selection pool using the deckbuilding rules defined or each investigator. (The ones found on the back of an investigator’s card.) Using this option prevents you from adding say a ‘Rogue’ card to your Roland Banks (‘Guardian’/’Seeker’/’Neutral’ cards only) deck by accident. This option is great at making sure your decks stick to the rules.
There’s more than one way to look at things
The app also includes alternative visual representations of your decks in the form of graphs and charts, so if you want to check the balance of your decks’ skill types or card costs, you can do so at a glance.
Up your game
So if you really want to up your game and get stuck into building those decks, I’d encourage you to check this app out. Although Arkham Horror: The Card Game is not competitive in nature (it’s a cooperative game where you play against the game; not a human opponent), it can be tough as nails, so anything that can aid you in deckbuilding should be seen as an asset!
The app is available now on the Android Play Store for free, so check it out and see what you think! If you make some suggestions to the developers and/or support them on Patreon, you’re contributions will help push the app forward and further its development.