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Cyiel

Brother Xavier and Survival Knife

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I'm wondering if i can trigger the "counter attack" of Survival Knife if an enemy made an attack against an other investigator and i have assigned damage(s) to Brother Xavier ?

Edited by Cyiel

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Does damaging your Ally (rather than your Investigator) normally trigger Survival Knife? I've been playing it as if it doesn't.

If it does, Survival Knife's stock just increased again ;) 

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On 7/12/2018 at 6:07 AM, awp832 said:

the damage is dealt to you, then assigned to your ally.   Survival Knife will trigger in that situation.

I suspect this is what I get for being taught by two people, rather than reading the comprehensive document myself - the way it had been described X damage/horror is inflicted, but it only counted for triggers when the tokens were assigned to the investigator/ally.

Now I really hope my Survival Knife shows up more often for Leo ;) 

Having said that, and so I can mark the passage, which bit of the rules should I be looking at to confirm this? To day, I've only played 6-and-a-bit scenarios, you see (mutters about getting hit with all the horror in the last scenario of the intro campaign when playing as Roland - losing in 2 turns is a rough experience).

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10 minutes ago, dysartes said:

I suspect this is what I get for being taught by two people, rather than reading the comprehensive document myself - the way it had been described X damage/horror is inflicted, but it only counted for triggers when the tokens were assigned to the investigator/ally.

Now I really hope my Survival Knife shows up more often for Leo ;) 

Having said that, and so I can mark the passage, which bit of the rules should I be looking at to confirm this? To day, I've only played 6-and-a-bit scenarios, you see (mutters about getting hit with all the horror in the last scenario of the intro campaign when playing as Roland - losing in 2 turns is a rough experience).

Under ‘Dealing Damage/Horror’, section 1, calculate damage, deal that damage to the investigator (this is when Survival Knife triggers), then you assign the damage to any of your eligible cards (this is when Brother Xavier kicks in, hence why, if you take damage on Xavier on behalf of another investigator, a Survival Knife belonging to Xavier’s owning player doesn’t work).

Hope I’ve made that clear enough! But the way @awp832 describes it is definitely correct.

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To be fair to your friends, survival knife is a relatively new card and until recently their way of describing it would have been a useful shorthand.  There are also some cards where it matters whether the damage/horror is placed on an asset or on your investigator card, it's just survival knife isn't one of them.

Guard Dog/Survival knife can indeed do up to 3 damage to an enemy attacking you.  Just remember that S.Knife only triggers during the enemy phase, and so it can't be used if an enemy makes an Attack of Opportunity, whereas the Guard Dog can.  

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Be aware the knife only triggers on damage, not horror. So if the enemy deals only horror, it won't trigger.

The knife only triggers during the enemy phase, but when playing in a group you can use your last action to engange an enemy engaged with an ally and kill it with the knife. Or two of them for 4 damage in total.

Edit: Regarding action efficiency, i'm wondering is the knife really a good idea? Effectively it grants a free combat action each turn, at the cost of the enemies damage (which can be mitigated by some soaks, costing action(s) to play). However the issue is, in order to make that work i must spend at least 1 action to engage an enemy before my turn ends. If i drew an enemy druing mythos phase, i must either skip my turn to avoid OAs or someone else needs to take the target(s) of me before my turn. So i've lost at least 1-2 actions, which would've killed most 2-4 HP enemies...

Edited by django042

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On 7/16/2018 at 9:09 AM, django042 said:

Be aware the knife only triggers on damage, not horror. So if the enemy deals only horror, it won't trigger.

The knife only triggers during the enemy phase, but when playing in a group you can use your last action to engange an enemy engaged with an ally and kill it with the knife. Or two of them for 4 damage in total.

Edit: Regarding action efficiency, i'm wondering is the knife really a good idea? Effectively it grants a free combat action each turn, at the cost of the enemies damage (which can be mitigated by some soaks, costing action(s) to play). However the issue is, in order to make that work i must spend at least 1 action to engage an enemy before my turn ends. If i drew an enemy druing mythos phase, i must either skip my turn to avoid OAs or someone else needs to take the target(s) of me before my turn. So i've lost at least 1-2 actions, which would've killed most 2-4 HP enemies... 

Yeah its not a perfect Leo De Luca.  I find it lets you do things like move to a location with an enemy on it and engage it so that when your seeker ally moves there, they are not engaged.  Then you can finish it for free.  It also helps when you have multiple enemies engaged with you an you didn't finish them all off.

Edited by Jobu
Fixed to the right Leo

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In my opinion, without having played with it, the survival knife is a tool that you're going to wish you had every time that you don't and need it. Is it conditional? Yes. But if you play in multiplayer games where there are 2-3 mythos draws per turn, you are going to find a situation where you will be engaged with multiple enemies (at least if you're being a good guardian). The issue is that it takes a hand slot and when you don't need the knife, you're going to feel like you could have equipped something better. I imagine it is much better on an investigator that has difficulty evading, and you'll probably want to pack quite a few low-cost disposable allies to soak the hits for you.

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On 7/16/2018 at 3:09 PM, django042 said:

Regarding action efficiency, i'm wondering is the knife really a good idea? Effectively it grants a free combat action each turn, at the cost of the enemies damage (which can be mitigated by some soaks, costing action(s) to play). However the issue is, in order to make that work i must spend at least 1 action to engage an enemy before my turn ends. If i drew an enemy druing mythos phase, i must either skip my turn to avoid OAs or someone else needs to take the target(s) of me before my turn. So i've lost at least 1-2 actions, which would've killed most 2-4 HP enemies...

Firstly, it's non-conditional 2 damage on a +2 attack, so you aren't using the ammo you'd need to kill a 2 hp non-engaged enemy in one shot. If you're relying on a machete you have to engage the enemy anyway to get the damage. Mark doesn't mind taking some damage on an asset as it's card draw. Zoey gets resources for engaging. Putting damage on Brother Xavier or Guard Dog is helpful for extra free damage. Survival knife isn't your only means of killing things (so if you drew an enemy in the mythos phase you should use some other means of killing it rather than skipping your turn, even just stabbing it with the survival knife if you have been unfortunate enough not to draw any other weapons, unless it has Retaliate). And that's without getting into discussion of the merits of the Taunt card or Heroic Rescue etc.

Also, without wishing to be rude, what difficulty do you play on? On hard and expert, you rarely can rely on hitting (and doing so usually requires a high expenditure of resources), and consistent results are far more valuable than risky results. Let's say, to take an action efficiency scenario where using survival knife would lose at least one action into account, you have one action left, a .45 in one hand and a survival knife in the other, and your seeker is at your location and engaged with a 2 hp enemy. If you attack the enemy engaged with the other investigator and hit, great! The threat is neutralised and no-one takes any damage, and your seeker is free to take their turn. If you miss, you will do 2 damage to that investigator, the seeker now has to deal with the enemy being engaged with them, and the enemy will still do damage in the mythos phase unless otherwise neutralised at further cost in the meantime - more damage to your Seeker unless you have Xavier or True Grit to soak it for them. Whereas if you engaged the enemy as your last action, no matter what, your seeker is still free to take their turn, but the enemy will always get their attack and deal you damage. The damage is definitely going to be dealt to you with your 8+ hp and access to healing and lots of assets to soak it up, not your fragile secretary or librarian friend. Then you get to counterattack - if you miss, that sucks but then you can shoot the enemy next turn. If you hit, great, it's neutralised. You're not relying on a single token draw to solve the immediate problem of the enemy engaged with your friend, and you still get to try and kill it this round.

In essence, while the theoretically ideal situation is to kill everything in the least number of actions, doing so is dependent on luck. You can't guarantee it will work and if you mess up, the consequences can be dire. As the name suggests, the job of a Guardian isn't just to kill stuff with guns - it's also to act as a tank for your more vulnerable members.

Basically, I love Survival Knife and can't imagine making a guardian (except like Carolyn) without it.

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Great post from Allonym on the benefits of survival knife.  I think his points are very logical and well thought out,  but I tend to lean the other direction, so let me give you the devils advocate.  I also play hard difficulty, so we should be coming at this from an even playing field.  We might differ slightly in that I usually play 2 player, not 4 player, so the number of enemies spawning would be less.

Taking damage from enemies during the Enemy phase is more rare than you might think, and is certainly something you are trying not to do most of the time.  If you do get the knife attack off, the bonuses are good, but after playing with it only a little, I found that this was pretty hard to pull off.  

The main problem with the Survival knife is that unless you are getting that counter-attack off, it's only +1 attack, with no damage boost.   In other words, it's a really lame weapon except in the situations where you can counter with it.  And it takes a hand slot, which is brutal.  Most guardians are going to want to switch in to Lightning Gun or Shotgun eventually, and use of any 2 handed weapon precludes the use of Survival Knife (except for Bandolier users, but nobody runs that).  

If you want to continue use of Survival Knife through mid and late campaign, you limit yourself to 1-handed weapons.  A setup like Machete/ Survival Knife is probably less damage output overall than either Shotgun or Lightning Gun.  Granted that you do not have to rely on Ammo if you went melee like this,  you could save yourself resources and deck space that other guardians will be spending on Venturer, and Extra Ammunition., and allows you to save a lot of XP.  Maybe this lets you pull of something that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do, but in terms of sheer power... I think it's not as good.   It's also worth pointing out that while Shotgun/Lightning gun are limited by ammo,  Survival Knife is limited by health.  Can't be used if you can't take a hit, and the more you want to use it, the more hits you have to be willing to take.   Now, of course you can mitigate that by using things like True Grit, First Aid, or Brother Xavier...   but now we're starting to spend card slots, XP, and resources on having enough health to use survival knife,   which neutralizes much of the advantage you were gaining from having a no-ammo setup.  

So, what do I think of the Survival Knife overall?  It's okay.   In early-campaign I would certainly consider it, since you wont have the XP to bring out the big guns anyway.   But I would definitely remove it from my deck once I could support the use of big weapons.  That being said, there is one investigator I think Survival Knife is really good on:  William Yorrick.    Yorrick doesn't have any access to the big guns anyway, so he's not missing out there, and his ability to recycle Leather Coat from his discard pile means he can take a lot of hits and strike back with the Survival Knife.  

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3 minutes ago, awp832 said:

Great post from Allonym on the benefits of survival knife.  I think his points are very logical and well thought out,  but I tend to lean the other direction, so let me give you the devils advocate.  I also play hard difficulty, so we should be coming at this from an even playing field.  We might differ slightly in that I usually play 2 player, not 4 player, so the number of enemies spawning would be less.

Taking damage from enemies during the Enemy phase is more rare than you might think, and is certainly something you are trying not to do most of the time.  If you do get the knife attack off, the bonuses are good, but after playing with it only a little, I found that this was pretty hard to pull off. 

The main problem with the Survival knife is that unless you are getting that counter-attack off, it's only +1 attack, with no damage boost.   In other words, it's a really lame weapon except in the situations where you can counter with it.  And it takes a hand slot, which is brutal.  Most guardians are going to want to switch in to Lightning Gun or Shotgun eventually, and use of any 2 handed weapon precludes the use of Survival Knife (except for Bandolier users, but nobody runs that).  

If you want to continue use of Survival Knife through mid and late campaign, you limit yourself to 1-handed weapons.  A setup like Machete/ Survival Knife is probably less damage output overall than either Shotgun or Lightning Gun.  Granted that you do not have to rely on Ammo if you went melee like this,  you could save yourself resources and deck space that other guardians will be spending on Venturer, and Extra Ammunition., and allows you to save a lot of XP.  Maybe this lets you pull of something that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do, but in terms of sheer power... I think it's not as good.   It's also worth pointing out that while Shotgun/Lightning gun are limited by ammo,  Survival Knife is limited by health.  Can't be used if you can't take a hit, and the more you want to use it, the more hits you have to be willing to take.   Now, of course you can mitigate that by using things like True Grit, First Aid, or Brother Xavier...   but now we're starting to spend card slots, XP, and resources on having enough health to use survival knife,   which neutralizes much of the advantage you were gaining from having a no-ammo setup.  

So, what do I think of the Survival Knife overall?  It's okay.   In early-campaign I would certainly consider it, since you wont have the XP to bring out the big guns anyway.   But I would definitely remove it from my deck once I could support the use of big weapons.  That being said, there is one investigator I think Survival Knife is really good on:  William Yorrick.    Yorrick doesn't have any access to the big guns anyway, so he's not missing out there, and his ability to recycle Leather Coat from his discard pile means he can take a lot of hits and strike back with the Survival Knife.  

Thanks for your analysis, and basically all of it is correct.

I definitely agree that you might want to switch out of Survival Knife later on in a campaign, but it's definitely worth taking at the start. Looking at its weakness as a normal weapon is misleading, because you shouldn't treat it as such - if you were going to take a .32 Colt and a Machete, Survival Knife should be taken in addition rather than as a replacement and treated as an extra tool. Taking damage in order to get a free attack isn't something you do every round, but as part of a toolkit, the option to essentially trade taking an attack for getting a free action that you can use for a pretty strong attack is excellent as an option when you need it. Having said that, Lightning Gun is a very strong option on higher difficulties as that huge attack bonus starts to look like insurance rather than overkill.

It's interesting and makes a lot of sense that you mention you play 2-player, as I play in 2-player half the time and 3-4 player the other half - and I definitely agree that Survival Knife is a lot less appealing in 2-player as you're far less likely to need to run across the map and save another investigator from a toothy gribbly each turn. Conversely, Machete is a lot less appealing in 3-4 player as you can't rely on only ever needing to handle one enemy at a time. The pure damage potential of lightning gun or shotgun is often a bit of a double-edged sword, as you end up with awkward decisions - do I use one of my three extra powerful ammo on this 2 fight/2 health ghoul, or do I just punch it? Again, this is more of an issue with 4-player as there's far more mooks to kill, more or less the same number of big tough enemies to kill, and you still have the same amount of ammo. With 4 players you'll probably have a mystic who can use Shrivelling (5) for those 3-health, high-fight enemies while you tank the hits and cut through the increased number of weaker enemies. And you're definitely right that Survival Knife is awesome on Yorick as he's probably the best tank in the game.

The last 2-player campaign I played, I was a seeker and the other player was Mark, who ended up taking Lightning Gun and was incredibly useful. The last 4-player campaign I played, I was also a seeker and one of the other players was Zoey, who ended up using survival knife and .45 Automatic (2) with venturer, extra ammunition and reliable, and was also incredibly useful.

I agree that it's worth pointing out that soak like True Grit or Xavier already takes resources and actions and so on as an additional investment, but it's not like the benefit they offer is only useful for Survival Knife - I'd still play allies and True Grit without Survival Knife, and on hard and expert it's a good idea to treat your health and sanity as a resource to be managed and spent rather than something to be defended at all costs.

Ultimately, my previous post was simply to point out that pure "action efficiency" is the wrong way to look at this card as risk mitigation and flexibility in how you can react to the mythos deck is a primary theme of the guardian and more important as you increase the difficulty.

 

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^ slightly tangential, but True Grit is amazing in general. It takes no slots and can save your allies (both the ones you play and other player allies). I'm hard pressed to not include it in a guardian deck. 

But yes, you generally do want to avoid taking damage from monsters in enemy phase. This is why I was so disappointed that Calvin can't slot this weapon. It would be so useful.

Edited by Soakman

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I've yet to find a 2-handed weapon I like (and yes, I play on hard), because they just don't have enough ammo. When I find one, I'll run Bandolier to be able to have a one-handed weapon at the same time.

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