wow. Popped back in for a squizz and this forum has really gone to the dogs since i left. So I thought i'd just jot down my latest and greatest deck that i've been working on to try and spice things up ( a cameo if you will - haha ), namely:
VAGUERIES AND MISDIRECTION
Lodge Barkeep x3
Protector of Secrets x3
Tragic Celebrity x3
Lord Jeffrey Farrington x3
Master of the Myths x3
Dirk Sharpe x3
Lodge Librarian x3 - (variant The Fixer x3)
The Red-Gloved Man x3
Bound and Gagged x3
Arkham Advertiser Archives x3
Gun Runner's Club x3
Forcing the Truth x2
Kidnapping 101 x3 - (variant x2)
Rumormill x2 - (variant x3)
Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris x2
The best way I can describe it is to liken the deck to water. It does everything it can to win 3 stories very quickly while never directly engaging the opponent. It has to date yet to be defeated, in fact has yet to concede a single story, and hasn't not finished the game by turn 5, though its been more likely turn 3 or 4. Usually without the opposition of a single character.
Negotium in this deck is basically a massive Syndicate exhaustion of resources for the opponent, tying up all the 2 costs in a story I’m not even particularly interested in contending, only defending when possible and keeping around through the use of Patsy and Rumormill ( my biggest surprise for a great situational card yet, effectively 'uncommitting' the entire 2 cost opposition), while also hassling with Bound and Gagged. Tattooed thug and Keeper of the Sphere come to mind for a Synd / Twilight conspiracy deck, but my own 2 costs have a purpose that is much different to actual story interaction.
That being, that most of the deck beyond Negotium is designed to play 3 cost characters out as quickly and cheaply as possible, while using all the exhaustion power of a syndicate / twilight deck against only 3 cost or above opponents characters, now being able to practically ignore the 2 cost competition.
Once NPIT is out ( generally turn 1 or 2 ):
Master of the Myths – is being played for 1 cost
Dirk Sharpe – often follows for 2 cost
Then while the rest of the 3 costs ( all with arcane and investigation icons ) are coming out:
Lodge Barkeep – is keeping opp. 3+ cost characters exhausted every refresh phase
Protector of Secrets – is denying an opp. 3 costs opportunity to defend my story phase
Lord Jeffrey Farrington – is bouncing an opp. 3+ cost back to hand for my story phase
Lookout – is exhausting opp. 3+ cost characters as they are played
And Intimidate, Forcing the Truth, Kidnapping and the occasional 3 cost 2 skill Bound and Gagged ( a poss. 22 cards ), are all working to keep those opp. 3+ cost characters very busy and out of the 3 non-conspiracies. I’m also finding Bound and Gagged priceless vs Lunatics, Intimidate vs morphing opp. MoM's / Intervention, and Kidnapping vs Black Dogs.
This deck is also quick, sometimes VERY quick, with 3 x Tragic celebrity and 3 x Gun Runners Club keeping many cards in hand, while Lodge Librarian filters out unique multiples and unnecessary cards. 3 x Arkham Archives then helps refresh domains to make use of these extra cards ( which from Gunrunners is usually next opp. draw phase ), especially when you can confidently use all 3 domains in your turn when you can see that 1 or 2 might come back for events and / or the Myths Master in the opponents turn ( meaning you possibly get to use it in your turn as well – no umming or arring which phase to pick ). So far I’ve never really had any contesters to stories for the INV success trigger.
I was tempted to exchange the Archives for Penthouse, but as a unique 2 cost I saw it getting in the way of other 2 costs ( 22 of them ) and breaking the character flow when I can get almost as good for a 1 cost, and it seems to work particularly fine with a 3:2:1 set up anyway ( as there are purposely no 3 costs beyond the 12 characters – not inclusive of Dirk or Master ).
Also of note is that all the 1 costs ( theoretically 16 or 19 with below variant ) can all be used with a 1 syndicate resource domain, making resourcing quite predictable. This is a very low cost deck with 38 cards of cost 1 or 2 to play or activate, and 12 of cost 3, and can start pumping out 4 cards a turn with a 3:2:1 domain in certain conditions.
The only real variant I have been using is swapping Lodge Librarian for The Fixer ( Synd 3 cost character who can play for 1 cost when attachment in play ) as combined with MoM and Dirk it can create a 4 x 3 cost characters in turn 2 ( along with NPIT ). It does rely on Bound and Gagged though or opponent attachments or a reshuffle of my own deck for more attachments ( i sometimes sneak in a couple of fortifying ouzo's ), which I’m loathe to do until further playtesting. Also the ST card no. starts to get a bit low for my liking ( Would be then 18 with a minor 1 card faction swap as well ). It does of course make perfect sense to make this change ( making 9 x self reducing 3 cost character cards and only 9 '3 costs' ), but I’ll try this version a bit longer.