Back to Dogs vs. Cats in Barkham Horror: The Card Game
Follow a terrifyingly evil trail of cat food, yarn, hairballs, and stolen trinkets in Barkham Horror: The Card Game.
The cats are back! But did they ever leave?! After being overcome by damage and horror during my first attempt, it was clearly time for the dogs to return to Barkham Horror: The Card Game once again. Also, I really have no problem with cats… You should see the cat-centric part of my collection! But evil cats who follow Meowlathotep are another story.
As before, no specific scenario details are listed below, though some cards and general ideas are included. The greatest joy for me was seeing the cards for the first time. Don’t spoil it for yourself: Skip on by and come back later, if you like!
Don’t get caught in the doghouse! There are plenty of creative locations to discover. Not only are the names unique, yet the artwork often has a few surprises. The underlying mechanics are identical to those from the base game, Arkham Horror: The Card Game, but the parody with dogs and cats is simply hilarious!
April 4, 2019
October 21, 2020
1 Hour & 30 Minutes
34" x 28"
A Dog with a Monocle
Although I wasn’t entirely happy with my first attempt at creating these decks, I stuck with them. Might as well try to see what might happen with a fresh shuffle!
Miss Winthpup here drew a special scenario card early on. That’s right. A dog monocle! It was perfect for her.
The description made me laugh throughout the entire play, too! Yet most importantly, I started to see how a custom deck could offer so many different options.
There were some obvious overlaps, yet the card order and encounters completely changed the flow of the game!
I think the area that I really struggled with was just that… The play area. It got overly cluttered with overlapping cards and tokens that made it hard to see through.
Voila! The locations probably needed some separation, but I liked having them more accessible. No extreme reaching!
Better yet, I put enemies in standee holders so they were impossible to miss. In some ways, this might look more cluttered, yet I found it much easier to work with.
Enemies in the investigators’ threat areas also stood out. You can’t just waltz past a huge, menacing cat!
Down to the Wire
Play progressed in a similar way overall, although I had advance warnings about how to handle some of the cats.
Skids had a lot of trouble, though. He had a way to heal some of the cat-astrophic horror from the beginning. Yet the nightmares continued, as did the claw attacks. Ouch!
At least he had some fine clothes to wear as a backup! But the end was drawing closer and closer…
Don’t even get me started on my luck. You know what didn’t happen again? Skids behind the wheel of a car, careening from location to location. Ugh! I wanted this!
Setting Up the Finale
Meowlathotop showed up a little too early, yet the team was mostly prepared. There was a monocle in the mix, people! You really can’t go wrong with that. EVER. Ha!
The good news was the lack of hunter enemies. Those cats just crowded certain areas of Barkham, but apparently didn’t want to move. Fine by Skids and Miss Winthpup!
With 4 damage already sustained, Meowlathotep was on the ropes. Just another round, and I could pull it off!
Unfortunately, Skids was cornered by a cat and Miss Winthpup had to fight off a very nasty kind of encounter.
From Underdog to Top Dog
Amazingly, the special token gave her a success plus a bonus! The location earned a sniff token… Thereby reducing the difficulty of every other skill test by 1. This was important since she was already at a disadvantage against her foe.
With a special kind of attack, Miss Winthpup did an amazing 4 points of damage! But what next? She needed to successfully evade Meowlathotep to exhaust the monster… And the chances were pretty slim. The best she and Skids could come up with was an even matchup. I churned the tokens around in the bag and barely looked at it. +0. Success!
A nifty special action allowed 2 points of damage to take the Old One by surprise. But there were still 2 health points remaining, and it all came down to Skids. How I wished for that card to drive all over! Alas, I needed another plan.
Play Number: 3
Expansion: The Meddling of Meowlathotep Scenario
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Standard Difficulty Level with 2 Investigators
Required Play Space: 34″ x 28″
Setup Time: 10 Minutes
Play Time: 1 Hour & 30 Minutes
Skids came dangerously close to defeat. He had 2 chances to evade his own enemy… And he did it! Then it came down to a sneak attack, and Meowlathotep was defeated!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Creating a deck and seeing how differently it plays based on the card order is exciting and interesting.
- Solutions to defeating enemies or achieving objectives aren’t always obvious, and can come from unique ideas.
- There is a wonderful sense of discovery as locations are flipped and uncovered to further advance the mystery.
- The artwork and writing help set the stage in an amazing way that brings the story to life with lots of horror.
- Every card has its own role to play, which might simply involve improving the chances of succeeding at a test.
- Encounters vary significantly and create obstacles or challenges in different ways at unexpected moments.
– Cons (Negatives)
- The deck-building aspect can be excellent, but often requires a significant effort in time and money to enjoy.
- Finding a way to keep the play area organized is necessary, yet isn’t always easy without outside additions.
- There are a lot of rules, keywords, and interactions to understand and keep track of during the course of play.
- Beyond the initial victory, there isn’t a big draw to play again in the short-term since nearly everything is known.
Survive the Scenario
- Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%
Goals and Milestones
Win The Meddling of Meowlathotep scenario.
Continue the Conversation
Have you played The Meddling of Meowlathotep Scenario? It wasn’t particularly easy to find when it first came out, but hopefully that will improve! Who is your favorite canine investigator? This was a wonderful way for me to experience some of the core mechanics and realize that maybe, just maybe, my deck-building skills aren’t all that terrible!