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Solo play with Roland Banks

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As time for me is tight, and as my buddy I usually play with has not much time also, I want to tackle Arkham in a solo play. As Roland is my most favorite character, I created a deck for him. But before I start in earnest, I'd appreciate any help from the more experienced crowd:

Total Cards: (30)

Investigator: (1)  
1x Roland Banks (Core Set)

Asset: (18)  
1x Roland’s .38 Special [0] (Core Set)
2x .32 Colt [0] (The Path to Carcosa)
2x .45 Automatic [0] (Core Set)
2x Beat Cop [0] (Core Set)
1x Guard Dog [0] (Core Set)
2x Machete [0] (Core Set)
2x Survival Knife [0] (The Forgotten Age)
2x Magnifying Glass [0] (Core Set)
2x Fieldwork [0] (The Path to Carcosa)
2x Flashlight [0] (Core Set)

Event: (8)  
2x Dodge [0] (Core Set)
2x Evidence! [0] (Core Set)
2x Working a Hunch [0] (Core Set)
2x Emergency Cache [0] (Core Set)

Skill: (5)  
2x Vicious Blow [0] (Core Set)
2x Deduction [0] (Core Set)
1x Unexpected Courage [0] (Core Set)

Weakness: (1)  
1x Cover Up (Core Set)

Thanks for any help!



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Hello, and welcome, first thing I would recommend is lose the .32 colt cause that puts you at 9 weapons, which should almost guarantee one but is still pretty excessive, you should be able to get two other cards and be fine with your options at 7, you may want to consider bandolier, since alot of your cards take up hand slots, and possibly taking prepared for the worst, which will let you search for a weapon.  These are both a bit of forward thinking, so that if you take a larger weapon in the future *coughs* *shotgun* you have both a card to let you carry a backup weapon (bandolier) and/or one that lets you find the big weapon (prepared for the worst).  My other suggestion is find room for an art student or two, they are cheap allies that grab a test less clue and perform the most important function in Roland, they can absorb horror damage, good expendable ally.  Those are my suggestions, they are just suggestions as this deck seems quite good all on its own, good work.

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As Starbreaker pointed out, you are a bit weapon-heavy.   I'm fully aware how much it stinks to not draw a weapon, and that you'd like to avoid that...  but I still think you're overkilling it a little.  9 weapons is probably too much,   I would cut back severely.   If it were me, I would remove 2x .32 colt as well as 2x Survival Knife.       I would add 2x Prepared for the Worst.  That leaves you 2 open slots to play with.

Then I would think about your dream setup.  I will praise the Shotgun till the end of time, but...  is it what you want with Roland in solo?   would you rather have a hand free for flashlight or magnifying glass?  You might be better served by upgrading your .45 Automatics to keep your weapons 1 handed.  If you do plan to use the shotgun all the time, I would strongly encourage putting the Venturer in your deck.   If not, don't worry too much about it, although he still could be useful since Roland's .38 Special requires ammo.

There is one thing about your deck that makes me concerned and that is you might have a hard time passing Willpower checks.  I would definitely try to shore up this weakness.  Since many Willpower checks lead to sanity loss, one form of mitigation would be to include something like Art Student, as Starbreaker suggested as well.   Art Student is a good card, and I would find space for her if you can.  But I would still prioritize passing will checks over her.   Something like Guts or Take the Initiative or Physical Training would be very helpful to you.   To free up space, I would remove 2x Dodge, or 2x Evidence!  or all of these.  

good luck!


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I agree with Starbreaker1. I'd drop the .32 Colts for 1x Prepared for the Worst and 1x Bandolier. Personally I'd also drop one or both copies of Evidence! because Roland can use his reaction to gather clues after defeating enemies and in solo there will be quite a lot of locations which only have one clue. Probably add in either an extra Bandolier or an Art Student or two to shore up Roland's low sanity.

If you aren't going for 2-handed weapons then forget about the Bandoliers and maybe consider something like Logical Reasoning to help heal horror and mitigate Roland's weakness of low sanity/trauma incurred from Cover Up.

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Is this standard? Do you have the entire collection to choose from?

My 2 cents: 

You have way too many weapons and hand-slot items. I wouldn't have more then 5 weapon cards in a deck / weapon tutors unless I'm playing a fully specialized monster killer. 7 would be the absolute maximum and in this case I wouldn't bring any other hand items at all. I recommend you drop the Survival Knives and Colts, bringing you to 5 weapons. 

Assuming that you did the above you still have too many hand slot items. I would drop one flashlight or one magnifying glass.

This will open up 5 slots.

Roland typically doesn't have trouble getting clues and fighting, but he can have defensive trouble. I recommend you drop the Guard Dog and slot in 2 copies of Art student or Dr.William. The former helps tackle the hardest clues while the latter helps avoid nasty topdecks like Rotting remains. Since you're using hand-slot investigation cards and Fieldwork anyway I recommend the latter. Both options have 2 sanity to tank horror damage with which is really the reason I recommend them.

You still have 4 slots left if you do this. If you do this also consider dropping Dodge, it is mostly useful to Roland as a way to avoid high-horror enemy attacks and now you have plenty of sanity tank to do that anyway. That would bring you to 6 open slots.

Evidence is nice for those 2-3 clue locations for Roland but to trigger it routinely you need some help, absolutely consider adding On the hunt to tutor out enemies that you can kill and combo extra clues with. Or instead consider swapping Evidence for Working on a Hunch, it costs 1 more but is unconditional.

Now you should have 4-6 open slots which is good because the next few cards are really lacking in this deck.

First off you need Physical training, at least a single copy of it. Weapons won't do you any good if you cant beat the skill tests to actually hit something and you need this card to secure hits. 

You will have 2-5 slots remaining at this point.

Second you have very few value skill cards, I definitely recommend Guts to defend against horror damage, Overpower to hit attacks and Perception to complement your Intellect which should be rather decent with Fieldwork and flashlight/magnifying glass. There's also the second copy of Unexpected Courage.  The order of priority in my opinion would be: +2 Guts, +1 unexpected courage, +2 Perception.


Extra considerations: Take the Initiative and/or Inquiring Mind rather then Unexpected courage, Guts and/or Perception. The former is just a superb card to replace guts with that protects you in the Mythos phase and gives you options with your first action (You might even decide to evade!), the latter is more conditional but its a worthy alternative to Perception and combos with Dr. William.

Edited by tsuruki

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