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Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror - Board Game Box Shot

Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror

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Return once more to H.P. Lovecraft's vision of New England, this time to explore the dream-haunted shores of misty Kingsport, a city where the dimensional barriers are at their thinnest. This place also has powerful guardians, so perhaps the investigators will find someone — or something — willing to help them in their battle against the Ancient One.

  • The town of Kingsport, on a new board with new rules and locations
  • 8 new investigators with powerful new abilities
  • 4 new Ancient Ones to struggle futilely against
  • New protective elements in the form of Guardians
  • 2 new Herald sheets
  • 20 new monster markers, over 300 new cards, and the deadly Epic Battle cards!

User Reviews (6)

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Critic - Level 3
Junior Reporter
Explorer - Level 4
63 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“New dynamics expand the "just seal and kill" strategy”

Some people dislike this second of the “big box” expansions to Arkham Horror (AH). Probably the largest complaint is that Kingsport Horror (KH) doesn’t seem to fit as well into the flow and balance of previous expansions.

Personally I don’t think this is true, because KH adds dynamics to the game that frustrates the typical “just seal the gates and kill the monsters” (and ignore everything else) strategy of other expansions.

Like Dunwich Horror, KH introduces a new board, but this board has no unstable locations on it, so the investigators don’t have worry about gates opening there. It does, however, generate dimensional Rifts – which are bad gate-like things that move around spewing out monsters and adding tokens to the doom track. Rifts are not difficult to close, but doing so can be very time consuming.

Rift maintenance, that is, making sure they don’t open, is a task that keeps one or more investigators tied up in Kingsport checking out locations to keep the Rifts closed. These investigators appear to be out of the action (while the others are killing monsters and closing gates) and it can seem tedious if their activities aren’t used effectively (e.g., by swapping them out with other investigators as needed).

Investigators relegated to “Kingsport duty” should make the most of it since there are a number of useful location encounters there, plus it’s a (relatively) safe area for weaker/hurt investigators to collect clue tokens. This isn’t to say that the Kingsport board is boring, just that it’s different from the Arkham and Dunwich boards that are always overrun by monsters and gate openings. The threat of a Rift opening should be a very real concern to all investigators and this contributes quite nicely to the feelings of pending doom, helplessness and urgency we love so much about the AH experience.

There are two special locations in Kingsport of interest. The North Point Lighthouse can provide one investigator with captaincy of the White Ship that allows movement into Other Worlds (and between them), and the Kingsport Head (a challenging quest of 3 locations) that can provide one investigator with an unbreakable gate seal and a permanent boost to stamina and sanity.

KH also introduces some really nice new features useful with or without the board:
* Challenging Ancient Ones (like Atlach-Nacha and its auto-gatebursts)
* Heralds & Guardians that hinder or help the investigators
* Useful investigators (like Wendy who never fails street Evade checks)
* Epic Battle cards (in case an awakened Ancient One isn’t tough enough)
* Aquatic movement of monsters between towns
* Plus more monsters, skills, items, spells and other cards

Bottom line:

KH is a must-have for the AH fan. There are just too many good things included in this expansion to pass up. For those who don’t like the new board and the Rift maintenance mechanic, I’m sorry, but like anything, some things don’t appeal to everyone. However, most of the rest (investigators, AO, heralds, cards, etc.) can be added without reservation and with great challenge/enjoyment into other Arkham Horror games.

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Pet Lover
Novice Reviewer
62 of 69 gamers found this helpful
“Often considered the weakest big-box expansion, but still has some good points. ”

When compared to the other two big-box expansions for Arkham Horror, the Kingsport Horror is often dismissed outright. While I don’t think it’s as solid a product as the other two, I think it still has some great stuff crammed in that box.

What I like

Despite some misgivings (see the next section), I genuinely like the board expansion that lets investigators explore the town of Kingsport. It’s not as an outright dangerous place as Dunwich or Innsmouth, but there are some cool encounters to be had. The new Mythos and Other World card are also pretty good, as are the new Arkham location cards.

The new Ancient Ones and Investigators are also wonderful, for the most part; the former are pretty challenging, and the latter mostly make great characters. There are a few problems with some of the investigators, but a few, like Rex Murphy (the reporter), fit in perfectly.

Lastly, the Kingsport Horror expansion comes with the Epic Battle variant, which lets you spice up the final battle against the Ancient One. It’s challenging, sure, but also adds some more desperate flavor to an already desperate situation.

What I don’t like

Some of the new items are either underwhelming or surprisingly useless, especially the “pay $x to use again” weapons. There IS a lot of variety, but it really is a mixed bag.

The game also provides a number of Heralds and Guardians. The former are kind of like minor Ancient Ones that make the investigators’ lives difficult. The Guardians are like good versions of the Heralds, lending a hand to the good guys. I shouldn’t say that I hate the Guardians and Heralds, but they’re sometimes more frustrating to use than not.

I mentioned earlier that I liked the town of Kingsport, but the new danger introduced in the town — traveling rifts that spew out monsters and awake the Ancient One sooner — is more irritating than dangerous. Ignoring the rifts is a bad idea, as it can make the game snowball to a bad end in no time. On the other hand, stationing even one investigator in Kingsport is more than enough to deal with the problem.


There’s some great stuff in the box, and some stuff that’s merely OK. That said, the good material is really worth using. I’ve played through the expansion a few times recently and I’ve grown even more favorable to it.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
Advanced Reviewer
62 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“A good addition to Arkham Horror, but can really dominate the game”

I’m a big fan of Arkham Horror and all of its expansions, and highly recommend them all. Kingsport Horror is a solid addition to the game, though perhaps my least favorite of the seven expansions. The new guardians, ancient ones, investigators and heralds are all great, and the gameplay in Kingsport is the most unique of the four boards.

My only real complaint about Kingsport is that the Rifts can cause Kingsport to really dominate other aspects of the Arkham Horror game. Unlike the Dunwich Horror or even Innsmouth, Rift activity in Kingsport is pretty much a given and often feels like a constant issue to take on. I often find in most games that one investigator ends up relegated to almost permanent assignment in Kingsport to keep the Rifts from getting out of control, which effectively takes them out of the equation in terms of closing/sealing gates and can hamper their ability to really gear up. By comparison, the Dunwich Horror is comparatively uncommon (in fact I have played games where almost nothing happens in Dunwich, depending on the card draws)

I think Kingsport is a really good component to the Arkham Horror game, but some players may find the Rift system to be distracting or frustrating. It may not be as popular as the other expansions, but still tons of fun.

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Gamer - Level 3
62 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Solid expansion, but not the most popular”

Kingsport is the second big box expansion for Arkham. It adds investigators, Ancient Ones, a new town, Guardians (which help you) and more Heralds (which hate you).

Kingsport is unusual in the Arkham ‘verse in that there are no unstable locations- a gate won’t open in Kingsport. However, the drawback is, if no one is taking care of that village, a “rift” will open in Arkham, spewing monsters and causing havoc. Rifts can be avoided by having encounters at certain locations in the town. So, one of the players has to kind of stick around there.

The box has a lot of good stuff in it, the board itself though is a little quiet, and some don’t really enjoy it.

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Novice Advisor
Count / Countess
Advanced Reviewer
62 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“If You're Buying this One for Its Board, You're Gonna Be Disappointed”

It’s no secret I am a big fan of Arkham Horror, but I can understand why even other fans might not want to pick up this expansion.

One of the biggest selling points for these big box expansions (I am no exception) is that they come with a new board to be played along side the original, and the new board usually adds new mechanics for the game. Although the Kingsport board does indeed add new mechanics, it doesn’t give the game an exciting variant, but rather just makes the game very trivial for at least one member of the team.

See, the board has NO unstable locations, meaning no portals open in kingsport at all. Instead, there are 3 rift tracks on the board. Over the course of the game, the rift tracks begin to fill up. For each one that fills up, a rift opens somewhere on the board, and basically acts as a moving portal that cannot be entered. The rifts can be closed or prevented by spending turns on various spaces in Kingsport.

Although the idea of rifts sounds interesting, how it plays out for the group is one member is assigned “Kingsport duty” in which he/she travels to Kingsport and spends the majority of his/her turns on the necessary spaces. This easily keeps the rifts from opening, but results in a rather boring game for one of the members who is stuck in an area full of safe locations.

However, Kingsport isn’t a total loss. The expansion comes with 2 heralds, which act kind of like a permanent environment card that really increases the difficulty level (something I am always wanting to try in Arkham Horror). It also comes with 8 new investigators, 4 new ancient ones, and Epic Battle cards. Epic battle cards basically make each turn of the combat with the ancient one tip in favor of either the ancient one or the investigators. The fight is still mostly balanced, it’s just each turn feels more “epic.”

This is a $40 expansion. Because of the board, I strongly recommend you get the Dunwich and/or Innsmouth expansions before this one. If you can live with the disappointing board, I’d recommend it to strong Arkham Horror fans due to the Investigators, old ones, and heralds.

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Gamer - Level 5
Critic - Level 3
Novice Advisor
62 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“There's always a runt of the litter”

This is by far the weakest of the Arkham ‘big box’ expansions. The atmosphere in Kingsport doesn’t really have any flavor, and the system for opening the moving gate-like things is needlessly complicated, annoying, and doesn’t mesh with the rest of the game.

There are components in the game that make it worth having for a true Arkham fan, but I wouldn’t say that it’s enough to make it worth its cost.

All in all, this is an expansion you can skip.


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