Editor’s Note: After the overwhelmingly positive reactions to the Marvel Champions Tabletop Simulator tutorial, we decided to create how-tos for the other co-op LCGs as well.
Step 1: Get Tabletop Simulator
This is an easy one! Well, maybe not for your wallet. You can find the program here.
Tabletop Simulator’s MSRP is $20, but it is constantly on sale for $10. Whether that sale is directly on the Steam storefront or elsewhere, make sure you do some due diligence by Googling “Tabletop Simulator sale” before buying it.
You could also sift through a deals aggregate site like Slickdeals.
Step 2: Load the Arkham Horror LCG mod
There are several Arkham Horror LCG mods, but the “Super Complete Edition” is usually the most-updated one.
All you need to do is log into your Steam account and hit “subscribe” on the Super Complete mod page. It will automatically incorporate with the Tabletop Simulator program.
After loading up Tabletop Simulator, press “Create” and look for the Super Complete mod in the main menu. A giant digital table will load, as will every deck and encounter set in the game. Custom content can be found above the main table (for the Crimson mod).
If the mod is not available publicly, you can ask anyone on any of the major Discord servers and they can point you in the right direction.
Step 3: Learn how to navigate the mod
Take a look at the image above (here’s a higher resolution version) to see where everything is located.
You can click and drag everything to suit your needs, or grab items out of the pouches by clicking on them and flicking the contents out of the bag. This is how you’ll grab investigators, player and encounter cards to build those decks.
Every card in the game is in those bags: if you take the time to learn where everything is, it’ll be a cinch to start a game.
Step 4: Make your investigator deck
Making a deck is tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s as simple as making one in real life.
First, pick which investigator you want to start with. All of the investigators are located on the right-hand side of the board inside of each deluxe box (remember, investigators are not in Mythos packs). To “flick” out an entire deluxe set, press “place” and the entire set will fly in front of the play area. Once you’re done, press “recall” to put that deluxe back into its box, then you can “place” another deluxe. Make sure you do this before placing each deluxe in succession. Investigator cards are double-sided and can be flipped with “F” at will when highlighting it.
To locate player cards, head to the top left-hand corner of the screen and locate each class type (such as Guardian). Press “place” to “flick out” all of the relevant cards in each section. You can “place” two different aspects at once inside of “layout 01” and “layout 02.”
To choose individual cards in a stack, right-click on a stack, and select “search.” This will show each card available in each stack on the right side of the screen. Simply click and drag the cards you want onto the table to create your deck. You can also create a deck on the upper left-hand corner of the screen to more easily locate cards.
Mash all of the cards together into one stack and right click on it: select “save object” and give it a name. Congratulations, you’ve saved your first deck! To instantly spawn it into an online game, have the lobby owner give you permissions and then select “objects,” at the top of the screen and click on “saved objects.” Then click the deck you want and it will appear in the game.
OR, you could use the automated deckbuilder in tandem with ArkhamDB.
Make an account on ArkhamDB. Go to your settings, then check the “share your decks” box. Find a deck you like (example) and copy it (the little disc icon below the title on the upper right-hand corner). You will automatically be taken to a new page with a URL like this.
Press “load cards” inside of the TTS mod deckbuilder tool, then type in that ArkhamDB ID (just the ID, in this case 711850). Viola! Add a random weakness to your deck and follow the instructions above to save it as an object. If there is an error message, re-load the mod, check your ArkhamDB account permissions, then try again.
To initiate a game, assign yourself a “player color,” which allows you to have a hand that you can manipulate at the bottom of the screen. You can do this by selecting your name in the top right corner of the screen with “change color.” In this mod, each color matches with a certain player mat. Pick the side you prefer.
To “deal” yourself cards, hover over your finished deck and press the numerical value you need on your keyboard. It’ll automatically deal you six cards if you press the number “6” for instance. You can also highlight the deck and select “deal,” then your color on the color wheel to deal yourself a single card.
To take cards off of a pile for any reason, “flick” them quickly off of the deck. To move the whole pile, deliberately click and hold.
Now you’re ready to go!
Step 5: Make the encounter deck
Find the campaign box/deluxe/cycle you want to play. Press the “place” button below it. Select the encounter you wan to play. Press “place.” Done! The entire encounter is ready.
If you require ancillary materials for setup (like a random deck), they are located in the “set aside” chest or a bag below that chest. That section is highlighted in red above.
Press “R” to shuffle the encounter deck, and “F” to flip the cards so that they are facedown and you cannot see them (if they aren’t already). Encounter deck drawing is handled automatically in this mod with the press of a button. The same goes for drawing a token out of the chaos bag, which is located on the upper right-hand corner of the encounter mat.
Step 6: Play
Proceed how you normally would in a real game based on the Learn to Play booklet.
Some of the most useful commands are:
- Left/right-click: Add or remove a digit from a counter.
- Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V: Copy and paste a bag or object. Useful for when you want token bags in each player’s play area to save time.
- 1-9: Deal yourself that many cards off the highlighted deck.
- Q or E: Tilt cards like you would be exhausting them in real life. Also useful for slotting in side schemes when they roll off of the encounter deck vertically. For the best results, change the “degree” symbol at the top right of the screen to 90 degrees (90°).
- L: “Lock” an item so that it doesn’t fly around if you accidentally grab it.
- G: “Group” items together. Useful for selecting several stacks of cards and making them all one pile.
- F: Flip cards when they need to be revealed, or need to be face down.
- R: Shuffle a deck. Works with both player and encounter decks. You can mash R to rapidly shuffle cards for fun.
- + or -: Make something bigger or smaller (useful to scale cards to the size of your liking). If the numpad + and – keys aren’t working, try them on the numerical row above your QWERTY lettered section.
- Tab: Point at something on the table, useful for multiplayer when you’re talking out a turn. You can also hold tab to draw a line with the ruler tool to further make your point.
- Alt: Make an object appear bigger for a moment on-screen. Useful for reading detailed cards you may not have memorized yet.
- Save game: Click on “games” (the dice icon) at the top of the screen, then press save and load. Then press “create” and save your game with as many descriptors as possible so you remember it.
Alternatively, you can also play Arkham Horror LCG on another program called OCTGN. There’s a great writeup here to help get you started. OCTGN isn’t as flashy, but is much easier to setup and learn. It’s also free.
LackeyCCG is a third option.
It goes without saying: make sure you own the decks and support the growth of Arkham Horror.