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Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Horror - Board Game Box Shot

Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Horror

The supernatural disturbances that plague Arkham, Massachussets, are not limited to that unfortunate place. The town of Dunwich is only a short train ride from Arkham, and if anything it is a darker, more frightening place, with its own secrets and its own perils. It looks like the investigators are going to have to protect two towns now instead of just one; if they ignore the dark forces that are stirring in Dunwich, they'll have to face the wrath of the Dunwich Horror ...

Dunwich Horror is an expansion to Arkham Horror, complete with an extra board and the entire town of Dunwich - accessible via train from Arkham. There are plenty of new rules and new components, usable either with or without the Dunwich board addition.

Features include:
  • The town of Dunwich, on a new board with new locations and new rules!
  • 8 new investigators with their own reasons for saving the world.
  • 4 new Ancient Ones to desperately struggle against.
  • New Injury and Madness cards for particularly unfortunate investigators.
  • New game concepts, such as Gate Bursts and the Dunwich Horror itself!
  • Over 20 new monster tokens, dozens of new items and skills, new encounters - over 300 new cards in all!

User Reviews (14)

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3 Beta 1.0 Tester
Critic - Level 1
94 of 101 gamers found this helpful
“More monsters, more AOs, more investigators, more horror”

The town of Dunwich is a testament to inbreeding and decay. The Whateley family’s delving into the Mythos has created one of the most powerful creatures to threaten our intrepid investigators. The Dunwich Horror adds many new Ancient One and investigator cards along with a new board containing nine locations and the Dunwich Horror and Injury and Madness mechanics.

Dunwich brings more of everything. More Ancient Ones, more monsters, more investigators, more spells, more common items etc. The locations on the board are varied and pretty interesting but overall more dangerous than Arkham’s areas while more encounters for the base board breathe new life into areas you’re already familiar with. The items and spells have some very nice surprises and the Ancient Ones cards have some really nasty ones too.

The new mechanics that are introduced are the Dunwich Horror itself, the Injury and Madness cards and Condition cards. On the Dunwich board are Vortices and when monsters move into one of them the terror level is increased and a Dunwich Horror token is placed on the Dunwich Horror track. Once three tokens are on the track the Dunwich Horror appears at Sentinel Hill and while unmoving it can add Doom tokens to the Doom Track during the Mythos Phase. The Injury and Madness cards are given as an alternative to losing half of your items and clues when reduced to zero sanity or stamina. When taken the cards refill your stamina or sanity to max but may reduce skills, carry capacity or make your investigator unable to spend multiple clue tokens in certain situations among other things and gaining a duplicate card results in the investigator being devoured. Condition cards are beneficial and affect all investigators but each can only be gotten through a specific encounter card in a specific location.

The four AOs that come with Dunwich are more challenging than those that come with the base game. Tsathoggua removes the location abilities from all locations other than the three stores, the hospital and the asylum, Shudde M’ell threatens Arkham with earthquakes that completely destroy locations and make the already dangerous Cthonians even more of a threat, Glaaki brings his undead servants with him and as they come into play each investigator must discard items, clues etc. and Abhoth and his children can speed up the rate at which the Terror and Doom track fill.

Eight more Investigators bring more variety to character selection. Careers ranging from handy man to psychic are included with more interesting abilities like being able to win a combat check against any undead creature by spending a clue token or removing one Doom token from the track once per game.

I can’t express how much I like the Dunwich Horror expansion. It brings so much more to the base game. Don’t get it if you think Arkham Horror is too hard already as the ramp up in difficulty is significant. The only complaints I have are the Dunwich Horror rarely comes into play and gates don’t open in Dunwich frequently enough. Despite those two minor quibbles I think this expansion is a very good buy and it has brought more challenge and much more fun to our Arkham Horror games

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
Advanced Reviewer
78 of 85 gamers found this helpful
“Packed With Horror Goodness”

The first new board expansion for Arkham Horror brings all kinds of new stuff to the game, most obviously the town of Dunwich and the looming threat of the Dunwich Horror for which the expansion was named. I was eager to pick this expansion up for my AH shelf, and I was definitely not disappointed.

Dunwich: A well-known locale for Lovecraft fans, Dunwich is filled with creepy locations and a few equally creepy inhabitants. It also introduces the vortex spaces, located at several areas on the board. If monsters move onto the vortex spaces, they add markers to the Dunwich Horror track (this also advances the terror track). Get three of those, and the Horror will be unleashed as Wilbur Whateley’s even uglier sibling arrives.

Dunwich Horror: A very powerful monster (the Horror doesn’t get a Herald card in this expansion, but the Miskatonic Horror box has one for it), the Horror doesn’t move but instead if its symbol comes up, it has a 50/50 chance of adding a doom token to the Ancient One. The Dunwich Horror is more powerful than a typical monster, though not so powerful as the Ancient Ones, and its combat scores are determined by drawing from the Dunwich Horror cards included in the expansion.

Cards Galore: There are all kinds of cards in this expansion. In addition to new cards to be added to the existing decks, several new cards types are added with this box. Injury and Madness cards are optionally gained when reduced to 0 stamina or sanity; instead of turning up at the hospital or asylum with 1 point in the score, you get to come back with your full score – but with a lingering effect of some sort from your harrowing experience. Condition cards represent ongoing effects that can affect (or afflict) an investigator. Rail passes can be obtained, eliminating those pesky costs to travel between boards, and you can even get a Sheldon Gang Membership if your investigator wants to take a slightly criminal approach to things (though you risk being arrested, of course). There’s also the usual medley of items, spells, skills, Mythos and location cards (some for Arkham, and new decks for the Dunwich locations), new investigators and 4 new Ancient Ones, including Shudde M’ell and Tsathoggua, both of whom can render locations unusable (Tsathoggua through a persistent malaise effect, Shudde M’ell by the more direct approach of levelling the building).

Overall: I loved the Dunwich Horror story, and I’m a big fan of this expansion, which adds both the infamous town and a lot of fun game elements to the game. About my only real complaint about the expansion is that of all the expansion boards, Dunwich seems to come up the least in my game. Through sheer random chance, gates sometimes just don’t pop up in Dunwich, or not many, and without gates and monsters, there’s not much reason to go to Dunwich unless you just feel like going there for clues and for fun. That being said, the two times the Dunwich Horror HAS gotten loose it’s been pure mayhem (also, it’s worth noting that with the addition of the Dunwich Horror as a Herald in the Miskatonic Horror expansion, the Dunwich Horror becomes more likely to appear and can cause a lot more trouble if it does). I’d recommend this expansion, as it is a lot of fun, I just wish that Dunwich was a more active locale in more of my Arkham Horror games.

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97 of 108 gamers found this helpful
“Recurring Nightmare”

This expansion to Arkham Horror (AH) adds a new town board–the titular Dunwich. In game, you access Dunwich from Arkham (and vice versa) by train. Dunwich Horror (DH) adds a raft of new characters, items, monsters (including Ancient Ones) and skills which are mostly well-balanced and enjoyable, as well as lots more town and otherwordly encounters to enjoy. Just make sure you’ve got a big table with lots of open space!

The two primary new mechanics are the Madness/Injury system and the Dunwich Horror. The former are permanent mental or physical maladies that a player can acquire (e.g., paranoia or a back injury). These will effect what the player can do in various ways, from reducing what they can carry to interfering with the collection of investigation. The cards come into effect primarily when a player is reduced to 0 sanity or stamina, at which point they can opt to take a madness/injury (depending on which of their vital stats was drained) instead of the usual penalties for being knocked out. This does not unbalance the game as the effects of the madness/injury cards can be severe. Furthermore, if a player ever draws a madness/injury which already afflicts her character (i.e., her character has one ‘paranoia’ card and then draws another), the character is immediately devoured!

You might think of the Dunwich Horror itself as a mid-boss or mini-boss. Unstemmed, the movement of monsters in Dunwich can awaken the Horror, which must be put down at the risk overwhelming the players. Not only that, but the Horror can awaken multiple times in a game (if the players are very unfortunate). Nor will the fight be the same every time as the card which dictates the Horror’s statistics is drawn anew for each rising. It’s not all bad, however: defeating the Horror will gain the player a powerful item reward to combat the greater evil afoot. Of course, this is the insidious seductiveness of the mechanic: it tempts you to allow a lesser evil to awaken, on the chance that you *might* defeat it and gain resources against the larger threat. What will you do?

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I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
60 of 68 gamers found this helpful
“Dunwich. The Horror to Love!”

Dunwich Horror (DH) is the first big box expansion for Arkham Horror. This expansion is centered on the small town of Dunwich and the mysterious happenings at the Whateley Farm just outside the town. The evil that is the Dunwich Horror, the son of the Great Old One (GOO) Yog-Sothoth, is rising. The investigators must put a stop to the malicious spells of the wizards at Whately Farm and prevent the Dunwich Horror from manifesting itself in this world if they are to have a chance at defeating the GOO.

The quality of the expansion components is on par with the base game and very good. There is a mounted board, thick cardboard playing pieces, cardstock character sheets and fairly durable cards. The artwork on the board, character sheets and cards is very good and further enriches the theme. The rulebook is 12 pages and includes examples of play and makes a few rules clarifications. No complaints about the components.

DH is a big box expansion for Arkham Horror so it contains a lot of goodies. As mentioned above, there is a small game board which depicts the Town of Dunwich and its many locations for investigators to explore. This expansion includes several new investigators, GOOs, and additional Mythos, Gate, Common item, Unique item and Spell cards to beef up their respective decks. There are also more monsters, some new and more base game monsters.

Set-up for Arkham Horror is one or two minutes longer with the inclusion of the DH expansion. The new board is placed adjacent to the base game board. The new Mythos, Gate, Spell and item cards are shuffled into their respective base game deck. The new Injury, Madness, Dunwich Horror, and DH location decks are shuffled and placed near the game boards. The additional monsters are tossed into the monster cup. The game board is huge and there’s a lot of stuff placed around it so make sure you have a big table!

The DH expansion introduces several new mechanics which significantly change the game. Notable new mechanics include gate bursts, Injury and Madness cards, vortexes, retiring investigators, and traveling. Most of the new mechanics make the game more challenging and also increase game length.

There are three vortexes shown on the DH expansion board. When monsters move onto these vortexes they are returned to the monster cup and a token is added to the Dunwich Horror Track. If there are three tokens on this track, then the Dunwich Horror is summoned. A card is drawn from the Dunwich Horror deck to determine the monster’s stats and abilities. Believe me this is one nasty monster that is tough to kill and brings about all kinds of horrible things upon Arkham and the investigators! Players feel pressured to control the monsters on the DH board or face a monster that will likely take considerable resources to destroy and hasten their confrontation with the GOO.

The Injury and Madness cards introduce the largest change in game mechanics. When an investigator is reduced to zero health or sanity normally the player discards half the investigator’s stuff, moves to a recovery location and resets health or sanity to one. Instead of discarding the investigator’s items, players can now draw an Injury card for loss of health or a Madness card for loss of sanity and reset to full health or sanity. The Injury and Madness cards depict a wound or condition the investigator suffered as a result of the trauma. The investigator may suffer a leg wound which reduces the number of movement points the investigator gets, or a condition which lowers the investigator’s maximum health or sanity to name a few. This mechanic gives the investigator a slight hindrance, but allows the investigator to continue working towards the demise of the GOO without the need to build back up. If an investigator accumulates many injuries and he is not effective anymore, then the player can retire the investigator. This simply means that the player discards the beat up character and draws a new one.

Gate bursts are a subtle mechanic that doesn’t require much in the way of new components. A gate location highlighted in red on the Mythos card depicts a gate burst. During the Mythos Phase of the turn a Mythos card is drawn to determine where a gate opens. Normally, if the location indicated is sealed by an elder sign token then no gate opens. However, with gate bursts, if the location is highlighted in red then any elder sign seal at the location is burst and a gate opens at that previously safe location. Just when you thought the location was made stable and safe by the elder sign, along comes a gate burst!

Dunwich is a small town some distance away from Arkham. Investigators need to travel between the two towns. To do this investigators simply move to the train station, pay $1 for a ticket and spend one movement point to arrive at the train depot in Dunwich. An investigator can take the train back to Arkham in the same way.

The Dunwich Horror expansion is perhaps the most favorite expansion among Arkham Horror players. This expansion packs a lot in the box and adds some mechanics which freshen up the base game nicely as well as increase the challenge. However, the new mechanics add some fiddliness and game time to an already long fiddly game.

The best part of this expansion is the Injury and Madness cards. This mechanic is truly a great addition to the game. Most players, including myself, suggest using this mechanic above all others when talking to new players. These cards can cut down on the game length by saving a player from limping along with an investigator who has no weapons, spells and clue tokens. It is not fun sitting on the sidelines trying to build up your investigator while other players are killing monsters, closing gates and doing other stuff. Taking one or two injuries lets a player continue to make contributions to the demise of the GOO and have fun. On the other hand, if this mechanic is abused and your investigator becomes bogged down with too many injuries, then the game can become more fiddly and longer, which is not fun.

When I first read about gate bursts I thought it would be a cool mechanic for the game. It is smoothly integrated into the game and I don’t have to worry about moving new components around. However, I don’t use this mechanic. Many players contend that gate bursts are a great way to increase the difficulty of the game. That is true to some extent but I do not believe it is worth the price players pay for increased game length. Needing to seal seven or eight gates to win makes the game much longer and it can drag sometimes. There are numerous ways to increase the difficulty of this game without significantly increasing the game length. And for that reason I don’t use the gate bursts.

I love it when the Dunwich Horror makes an appearance! It’s a lot of fun trying to figure out how to take down this beast! Unfortunately fighting the Dunwich Horror is a distraction from the goal of the game and is usually a considerable drain on resources. This means game length can be significantly increased.

The Dunwich Horror expansion contains some nice new GOOs to battle and fun new investigators to play. The Dunwich locations and Other Worlds also provide some interesting new encounters. And of course there is a bunch of great new useful items and spells too. The expansion is worth obtaining for this stuff in itself.

The biggest complaint with this expansion is that the DH board is not busy enough. Sometimes there is very little activity on this board and therefore no reason for the investigators to visit it. This can be alleviated somewhat by using the base game without any other expansions except DH or by placing the DH expansion cards on top of their respective deck similar to the Touring Mode in the King In Yellow expansion.

The Dunwich Horror big box expansion is a must for Arkham Horror fans! This expansion includes a new board, some fun new material and introduces some great new mechanics too. I highly recommend the Dunwich Horror expansion.

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Novice Advisor
Count / Countess
Advanced Reviewer
88 of 102 gamers found this helpful
“Arkham Horror Just Got Real”

The Dunwich expansion for Arkham Horror is the first Big Box expansion and is the Big Box expansion that changes the base rules the least. It adds an additional game board that lengthens the Arkham Horror Board by 12 inches. You travel to and from this new game board via the train station at the cost of $1 and a movement point. The monsters that appear in Dunwich don’t count toward the monster limit. Instead, the monsters will wander into vortex spaces. For each monster that does this, the terror level increases and a token is put on the Dunwich Horror track. When 3 tokens are placed on the track the Dunwich Horror awakens. He’s basically a monster that appears in the middle of Dunwich with 5 toughness and instead of moving, you roll a die and you got a 50% chance of adding a doom token on the Doom Track.

The expansion also adds Injury and Madness cards. Players can draw card from these decks when they reach 0 Stamina or 0 Sanity. Instead of losing half your items and clue tokens and only gaining 1 stamina or sanity, you keep all your stuff and regain all of your stamina or sanity. It’s usually worth it because the injuries and madness only add minor handicaps such as -1 hand or -1 will.

The greatest addition to the game the expansion offers is the gateburst mythos cards. These cards add gates on spaces with elder signs. When this happens, all flying monsters move, but no Doom token is added to the Doom Track for that gate opening. This is what really ups the difficulty of the game, which is what I was looking for, since I hadn’t lost a single game of Arkham Horror prior to purchasing Dunwich.

The only negative thing that comes with this expansion is the task and mission cards that can be drawn from the common and special item decks. These give you a reward for spending a turn at 3 or 4 locations in the order they are listed. You sometimes need to sacrifice something at each of the locations as well. I either don’t play with them at all, or give players the option of drawing a new card when they come up if they choose.

Overall, I am very happy with this expansion. If you plan on buying most or all of the Big Box expansions, I recommend you get this one first. If you are only planning on buying one, Innsmouth is the way to go.

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Critic - Level 3
Junior Reporter
Explorer - Level 4
63 of 86 gamers found this helpful
“Best first expansion”

As others have said, this is probably the best first expansion to get. It adds game dynamics such as Injury and Madness cards that you’ll probably want to use in most games, a new board which tends to split your party to keep an eye on things (letting the Horror free is usually a bad idea, it can be killed, but it’s never easy), and Gate Bursts (when sealed gates reopen) have probably snatched victory away from me in more games than anything else.

The base game is great but as you learn the way things work, it usually becomes quite winnable. Dunwich makes it hard and scary again!

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My First Wish!
63 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“Travel elsewhere at first”

Dunwich Horror was the first “additional map” expansions and if you don’t know about the others you will love this expansion.

But compared to Kingsport and Innsmouth I think this is the weakest of them. The Horror of Dunwich is the only thing going on on the board, and it doesn’t brake out to wreck havoc that often. On the other boards, there are more things to watch out for and more cleaning up/save the world stuff going on.

It becomes better of you boost it with the Miskatonic Horror expansion, but if you only want one extra map, start with another.

Me? I’m a completionist. I must have it all. 🙂

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63 of 90 gamers found this helpful
“Great early expansion to buy”

I think this is an excellent first expansion to buy for Arkham Horror. The added cards are delicious, and the Dunwich board isn’t overly complicated. I especially like the Madness and Injury dynamics that Dunwich Horror adds. All in all, a solid expansion that doesn’t add too many complications, while expanding the already impressive range of items and ways to die.

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Amateur Reviewer
63 of 90 gamers found this helpful
“The Old Ones are scary again”

As others have said, once you get the hang of Arkham Horror (the base game), the challenge isn’t quite so great. You start to win more than lose, and in a co-op game, that just leads to boredom. But this expansion revives the game and brings back the challenge, and the fear of the Old Ones that they deserve.

The expansion adds another board that gates can open in, making your investigators have to patrol even more area to keep the gates under control. Add the new Burst ability where sealed areas can burst open again, things really start to become intense.

The expansion includes new madness and injury cards flesh out the abstract nature of the health and sanity losses (I will never play without them), and new investigators and Elder Gods.

Overall, a must buy expansion to an already great game.

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Rated 10 Games
Intermediate Grader
63 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“Bringing On Your Doom More Assuredly”

Of the expansions I have used, this one is my favorite. It adds the city of Dunwich into play (which you can get to by train), and includes a mechanic by which another big bad can show up during the game.

This expansion helps ramp up the tension and the feeling of a race against time with very high stakes. That, plus the added variety of locations and cards, makes this a fun addition to an already great game.

This can not be played without the base game.

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Gamer - Level 3
64 of 97 gamers found this helpful
“Best of the big box expansions”

Dunwich adds a second town board to Arkham Horror, which can be travelled to via the train station. It contains extra investigators, Ancient Ones, monsters, items, locations, and pretty much a little more of everything. It also include rules for injury and madness, an alternative to being KOd or insanity.

The biggest monster in the game, the Dunwich Horror itself, may make an appearance if you don’t keep an eye on the town. If you like Arkham and you’re looking for more, this is an excellent choice.

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63 of 115 gamers found this helpful
“This is to please my son”

This is a lenghty, social game for me. My son likes it so I buy expansions to keep family contact. For me, I’d rather play Mansions of Madness ’cause it is “finishable”.

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Gamer - Level 5
Critic - Level 3
Novice Advisor
64 of 119 gamers found this helpful
“What horror?”

Am I the only one that has never had the Dunwich horror show up? I’ve played countless games, but it’s just too easy to keep too many monsters from entering the portals.

That aside, it’s a great expansion, and probably the number one ‘must have’ expansion for Arkham Horror.

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Gamer - Level 3
64 of 134 gamers found this helpful
“This is The One to get...”

Of all the expansions released for this sprawling game, I truly think this is the only essential one. It adds the maddness/injury cards which are a huge boon and the only location board that’s really any fun, in my group’s opinion. We play with this add-on nearly every time.
This + the Base Set and you are, well…set. 😉


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