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awp832

Shattered Aeons Player Card Review

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First look at the SA player cards, starting now!

Kerosene (1xp):  A slotless card here, which is nice to see.  With 3 supplies on it this represents 6 horror healing, which is quite a good return.  It's also possible to restock this with Venturer or Emergency Cache if desired.  3 resource is a little pricey, but still shy of prohibitive.  It does take actions to use, much like First Aid, and only if an enemy was defeated this round, which can be difficult seeing as how you'll have to dispatch an enemy by your 2nd action to have an opportunity to use Kerosene on your 3rd.  Granted other players could theoretically kill an enemy at your location for you first before your turn begins, but that's probably not happening much.  Who likes this?  Maybe Zoey and Leo?  I have a hard time deciding on this card.   The bonuses are good but... are they needed?   Would I rather just spend a few more XP on an Elder Sign Amulet, or Key of Ys, if I want sanity soak?  This is definitely the cheaper option, but it's slow.   That said I often have previously included Liquid Courage in Leo and Zoey, and this might be a suitable replacement.    3/5  Has potential.

Flamethrower (5xp):  This weapon is pretty boss.  While the XP cost is high, the resource cost is less than other big guardian weapons at 4.  The bonuses on this are nuts.  Great attack bonus, amazing damage, the ability to split damage over multiple targets, and 4 ammo capacity.   The supreme weapon for taking on hordes of little monsters, but it's certainly no joke against a big critter either.  To be honest, this makes it really hard to justify continuing to run the Shotgun, with its meager 2 ammo (but slightly reduced XP cost....) or lightning gun, whose only real advantage over the new flamethrower is a measly +1 attack.  Well, there is one thing,  that the flamethrower also takes your body slot in addition to your hands.   But the fact of the matter is,  there is not a lot of body slot competition going on.   Until we get some amazing cards that compete for the body slot,  the flamethrower is the ultimate weapon.   There might still be some argument for Lightning Gun or Shotgun with a Marksmanship setup,  but that's only twice per game unless you can recur it somehow...       Amazing card.    5/5  Smells like...  victory.

Vantage Point:  This is... a weird one.   I mean, it could be useful but...  eeeeeeh.   I dont know if I'm spending 1 of  my 30 card slots on this.   1/5  A miss for me.

Pnakotic Manuscripts (5xp):  Handy.   A tool for beating the chaos bag is definitely nice.  Daisy has another helpful book, making her a nice team player.   3 secrets on this one, tough to get only such limited use out of such a high xp card...  but that's 3 tests you can completely control,  which means a lot if the game is on the line.   And remember Truth from Fiction?    Yuuuup.     4/5  because nobody likes the chaos bag.

Borrowed Time (3xp Exceptional) : I talked about this a bit when it was spoiled a while back.    I'm just annoyed that it's a huge thematic fail IMO.   This card is the exact opposite of Borrowed Time.    Borrowing means you get something now and pay it back later.   This card makes you pay now and benefit later.   It's Investing Time.  So I guess if you have nothing better to do with an action on your turn and you want to invest in an explosive turn later it's...  allright.   I'm not paying 6 xp for it though.   1/5 a thematic and pragmatic disaster.

All In (5xp) :  Well... Rogues definitely did not have a lot of card draw, and this gives them an option here.   But on the other hand, you also have to succeed a skill check by a lot.   Granted you get 2 wild icons on your test,  but you will still probably have to spend some resources to pass by a lot.   So it's sort of a way to turn resources in to cards.   It's strange, but maybe useful.   5 XP seems steep though.    2/5  I'm definitely drawing the Auto-fail.

Shards of the Void (3xp)  :   ok, ok, when all is said and done... it's BASICALLY +2 brains for 2 damage.   That seems very reasonable.   Compared to the very similar Shriveling(3), No drawback on special tokens like Shriveling has, but comes with 1 less charge (although you can spend your 0...)  and seals the 0.   4/5   A bit wordy and confusing,  but still might be nice to have another good attack spell besides Shriveling.

Seal of the Seventh Sign (5xp) :  Wow.   What a card.  Interesting.   Like the Pnakotic Manuscripts, this is chaos bag control.   So the thing is,  if you know you can't pull the auto-fail,  you can plan for everything else.    This could be absolutely incredible to drop just before a boss battle,  or if you have managed to keep your Chaos bag relatively clean of special tokens, as some campaigns let you do.  Looks good though, love the control.  3.5/5  Good, but I think I prefer Pnakotic.   

Impromptu Barrier:  What can I say... probably just not a card that's worth running.   1.5/5  At least they're rounding out the trio with Winging It and Improvised Weapon.

Alter Fate (3xp) :  Nice for weakening Broods of Yog Sothtoh I guess.  Can also get rid of locked doors, Spires of Carcosa, Frozen in Fear, and the like.   It's blessed for mateo.  A useful card, but is it 3 xp useful?       3/5   I mean, probably.





That about wraps it up for Shattered Aeons!   Good cycle!    What do you think of these player cards?

Edited by awp832

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Always enjoy reading your card reviews, as it's always striking what's a hit and what's a miss for you, @awp832. I am totally with you on Flamethrower!

I wonder if your succeed by x rogue experiences and maybe your mystic seal experiences are leading you to rate down these pretty potent cards. Borrowed Time (yes, despite the tricky name!) means that every turn can be a 6+ action turn, as long as you're willing to put in actions to sustain that rate. So it's an investment with a repeated pay out. Even if the reality is far more fluctuating (a 6 action turn, down to 4, up to 5 and so on - and perhaps not only using BT but also Quick Thinking, Ace in the Hole, Finn's Evade or Skids' free trigger, Leo de Luca), it still means consistently having more actions to pootle around than other investigators. This is a small point, really, but... yeah. I think it's a hard card to judge. And All In... if your friendly mystic has sealed the tentacle, it's not going to be such a problem, is it? Speaking of which: seal of the seventh sign means all the succeed by x madness *doesn't* get wiped by tentacle! Which is completely bananas. Is it a combo, or just a way of building towards a team that can't be stopped? (Probably the former, but dreaming of the latter!)

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8 minutes ago, zooeyglass said:

Borrowed Time (yes, despite the tricky name!) means that every turn can be a 6+ action turn, as long as you're willing to put in actions to sustain that rate.

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean here. If you start your turn with six actions and put three of them back into Borrowed Time, then aren't you just taking a normal turn? Sure having three actions stockpiled is great for a bananas turn (e.g. "boss" fight) but you've had to give up those actions earlier in the game. It's very rare that I find that I can only think of two good actions to take on my turn! It seems inferior to Ace in the Hole, Quick Thinking and even Leo De Luca, all of which gain you additional actions.

28 minutes ago, zooeyglass said:

And All In... if your friendly mystic has sealed the tentacle, it's not going to be such a problem, is it?

All In is interesting. It looks great on a class that has Exceptional cards, and are therefore limited to one in a deck, to increase your chances of finding Ace in the Hole or Gold Pocket Watch. But equally Exceptional cards cost lots of xp, so when do you spend the 5xp (or 10xp) to buy All In? Definitely worth consideration in standalone decks, as it can safely discard those five weaknesses that are in your 49xp deck ?

41 minutes ago, zooeyglass said:

Speaking of which: seal of the seventh sign means all the succeed by x madness *doesn't* get wiped by tentacle! Which is completely bananas. Is it a combo, or just a way of building towards a team that can't be stopped? (Probably the former, but dreaming of the latter!)

Removing the tentacle from the chaos bag was not something that I ever thought we'd see, at least not without a very severe drawback. However, for 5xp, 4 resources, an action and an arcane slot is it actually worth it? In our two player game I feel like we draw the auto-fail two or three times in a game, so we'd be spending all that to increase our chances of passing two or three tests. I guess this is better in higher player counts (more tests), on lower difficulties (auto-fail is a higher proportion of the tokens which fail a test) or if the team is packing a Chthonian Stone, two Protective Incantations and a load of Counterspells. I can't tell if this is a card which instinctively looks amazing but in reality isn't actually all that good value. Of all the cards in this pack I'd love to hear what other people think of this one (as mentioned, I usually play two player, and on Standard difficulty).

7 hours ago, awp832 said:

That about wraps it up for Shattered Aeons!   Good cycle!    What do you think of these player cards?

I agree with a lot of what you said. Flamethrower looks pretty great, at least until better Body slot assets come along. If Kerosene was 0xp I think I'd put it in a lot of decks, for 1xp it's definitely something that I'd still consider but it's unlikely to be the first thing that I'd buy.

Pnakotic Manuscripts on Daisy looks great and its value only goes up on Hard and Expert. Do people anticipate mostly using it for its first or second ability?

I think Alter Fate is a good card, especially as it is Survivor and I tend to find that they are less xp intensive than other classes due to the 3xp Survivor card ceiling. In my experience cards that attach may not be common but they're usually pretty bad.

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I have to say comboing the Seal of the Seventh Sign with the Cthonian Stone seems pretty great.

Sealing gets better the more skill checks that are made in a game.  As a result it gets more valuable as the number of players increase.  Plus in higher player counts, you have more arcane and hand slots to use overall so that helps effectiveness.

Frankly I would be hard pressed to not spend Mateo's starting 5xp on this every time.

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1 hour ago, zooeyglass said:

AI wonder if your succeed by x rogue experiences and maybe your mystic seal experiences are leading you to rate down these pretty potent cards....


Certainly my experiences color what I write.   So yes, guilty as charged.  I do tend to play on hard mode, so when you are typically pulling a -3 or -4 from the chaos bag, it can be a struggle just to pass the check, and succeeding by 2... or 5 seems like too much to hope for.  So you're probably putting this into an Investigation check where you can use lockpicks or Streetwise or both, and hoping for the best.   But then you have to leverage the resources you are spending against the card draw you are getting.   As I mentioned it is sort of a way to turn resources in to cards.   Useful for rogues, for sure.   But I think less useful than its 5xp price tag.  

Seal of the 7th sign I would have rated higher if not for the fact that Pnakotic Manuscripts appeared in the very same pack.  And I do realize that the investigators who can take Seal of the 7th Sign probably can't take Pnakotic, so it's a control option in Mystic instead of in Seeker.    However....   If you do comparison of the two I think Pnakotic comes out on top.  While Seal of the 7th Sign is cheaper  by a resource, Pnakotic has some serious advantages.   Firstly  and maybe most importantly, you get to decide where/when/and how to use it.  Seal could be around for several turns, or you could get unlucky and draw a cultist which prompts you to draw from the chaos bag again and draw another cultist and draw from the chaos bag again and draw a skull, wiping out a good chunk of your seal on 1 action.  Maybe that's being paranoid.   In terms of possible shenanigans.... Seal's wording is less vulnerable.  While you can use Akachi to get a bonus charge, or boost it with a recharge, Pnakotic can be scavenged...    I also feel that an arcane slot is particularly valuable for Mystics, and hard to give up, even for this.  Also note that Pnakotic can be searched for with Research Librarian, which seems like a huge plus.   Arcane Initiate can get you your seal (albeit less quickly), so Seal doesnt fall behind too much in that category,  but it does a little bit.   Seal is tough because it's an invisible card,   it's really hard to say at any point how much benefit you are getting out of it.   It's hard to go high-five your mystic friend and tell them how clutch their seal was, when you don't know if it made any difference or not.  All you can do is fall back on statistics.  Statistically you probably prevent 1-2 auto-fail pulls before you run out of charges,  but you don't get to decide on when.  Great to drop before doing something important or risky though...    I still prefer Pnakotic.

Edited by awp832

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Seal of the Seventh Sign is easily a 5/5. 

My case revolves around Premonition, Grotesque Statue, and Olive McBride. Each provides planning and dependability. I can use any of them and be certain of the worst case scenario. They are all desirable options in a certain type of Mystic deck - one that hedges the odds in their favor. With the exception of Premonition, however, all them are role locked. Seal of the 7th Sign fulfills a similar role for everybody on every test. That's simply insane and, ya, the group will notice the contribution. It's much easier to enable otherwise "risky" plays when everyone knows it can't fail. It is a capstone card for specific deck type and I could see Akachi or Mateo easily slotting one of these. This is not Protective Incantation, which imo is a terrible card of dubious benefit. This is sealing the auto-fail, which means all the keen eyed guardians, the highly educated seekers, the Double or Nothing rogues, and the Resourceful survivors can go absolutely ham for awhile. 

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Once again, gonna talk about art, flavour and theme as well as mechanics. I'm waiting on my pack to arrive so it's actually more like first impressions, but I just finished my last campaign (Carcosa as Carolyn) so it'll be a while before I play again anyway...

Kerosene: This card...sucks. Here's the thing about healing - it is, with a few exceptions, a bad idea, an inefficient use of actions, cards and resources. And I like that as a design choice - healing is supposed to be a bad choice, unless and until it is your only choice. This isn't necessarily true for healing that happens without actions (Smoking Pipe, Painkillers, Ancient Stone (Minds in Harmony), etc.), or healing that is flexible, cheap in resources and/or efficient in actions (Second Wind, Logical Reasoning), and obviously Mark Harrigan likes Emergency Aid and Second Wind to fuel his ability. But healing cards like First Aid, Liquid Courage, Thermos and Medical Texts, where you pay to put the card into play, then you spend actions to slowly patch people up, are terrible uses of your actions, cards and resources - but if it's that or die, they're your only option. Kerosene is one of those latter cards. It costs a hefty 3 resources to play, 1 exp to put into your deck, takes actions to play and actions to use, has a really taxing requirement (you need to have an action remaining the same round the monster is slain, and if you are the guardian you probably had to kill it - which may have involved moving to where the monster is, engaging it, attacking multiple times - having an action left over afterwards is far from guaranteed), has limited supplies (for comparison, First Aid (3) has 4 supplies) and can only be used once per round. It's far, far too restrictive for what it gives you, which is a maximum of two horror healed. Of course, you could use it after someone else has killed an enemy at a location, and heal yourself and them! Sure, but that requires co-ordination, and at the end of the day it's just 2 horror healed. First Aid (0) is half as efficient (and doesn't work on allies I guess) but heals damage as well as horror, costs no exp, doesn't exhaust and doesn't require a dead enemy. If It Bleeds... also lets you spread around horror healing after a kill, but it does so at no action cost and in a multiplayer game could be a lot of horror healed, and doesn't cost exp or anywhere near as many resources. Kerosene even has terrible icons, so it can't be used as an ersatz skill card if you don't need the healing or to work with Well Prepared (First Aid (3) and Logical Reasoning are better cards partly because their icons give them that flexibility). The best-case scenario is that Carolyn Fern takes this, goes to help her fighter friend, heals herself and them (or 2 allied investigators) and hands both healed people 1 resource - but you need a lot of setup to get that best case and it isn't even particularly good given the restrictions - Carolyn has better horror healing options and better things to spend her exp on. This card would be worth a look if it was a Fast activation, or if it was 0 exp and had 2 willpower icons, but as it stands it is awful.

Shame, because the theme is AMAZING. Burn the bodies to make sure it's dead, or get rid of it, or cover it up so no-one else will ever know! It's such a cool idea, and the art really, really sells it. I would almost take the card on the basis of theme alone...

Flamethrower: This fiery card, on the other hand, is incredible. It is another entry in the "guardian big guns" category, alongside Shotgun, Lightning Gun and the M1918 BAR. It's 5 exp, the same as the Lightning Gun and less than the other 2, but only 4 resources, making it the cheapest of the four. It takes up the body slot as well, meaning you can't use armour or a Bandolier, but that's not really a big problem. It does loads of damage, more per shot than the Lightning Gun, and lets you spread it around, meaning that you aren't necessarily sad you're using one of your limited super shots to kill a 2-hp enemy, because you could kill two of them! It has 4 ammo, making it better in terms of staying power than any of the other big guns (except the Chicago Typewriter, I guess), and it has a hefty +4 to hit. Lightning Gun gives you +5, but +4 is still great, and it has absurdly good icons, so Well Prepared will mean you're basically never gonna miss. Custom Ammunition for even more damage and blessed fuel! The major downside is that you can only hurt enemies you're engaged with, and can only target the hardest enemy you're engaged with. This certainly makes it less flexible - no Marksmanship, no risky shots on an enemy engaged with another player if you don't have the actions to engage, no use against an enemy someone else has evaded. Obviously Zoey is happy with this - burning enemies with holy fire is right up her alley, and she likes engaging anyway because it triggers her ability. If you're using the Flamethrower, you're also using Taunt (2) and probably Let Me Handle This! and even On The Hunt and Heroic Rescue. Part of me feels that it's actually overpowered - the body slot downside is barely a problem, and the loss in flexibility of use due to the engagement requirement is counteracted by the ability to spread damage around, and the generous ammo count, damage and attack bonus make it unequalled in the amount of carnage it can produce. I kind of wish it cost more resources and/or had 1 fewer ammo. The engagement restriction does make it fiddly and I might use another weapon just for the fiexibility of who I shoot, but the Flamethrower does feel too generous - taking it from filling a unique niche to the best-in-slot.

Thematically, the mechanics do a good job of distinguishing the flamethrower from other weapons in how it works and giving it a unique feel. With all weapon art, the background tells the story, and Flamethrower's definitely has a story to tell, in a tent in hostile territory with ominous glowing on the horizon, but the background has dull colours that I find a bit unappealing. It's fine.

Vantage Point: Might be a bit better in solo, as it lets you clear a 1-clue location immediately and improves multi-clue gathering abilities. But it's so situational, the effect isn't worth a resource and a card, and it's a complete dead draw late in the game. 2 icons, but they don't match - situational cards with 2 matching icons is the baseline for worth using despite niche appeal. This just doesn't stack up compared to Fieldwork or Working a Hunch, and I don't really know what the point of this card is. Shroud reduction makes me think that Roland or Finn might want it, to allow investigating 3-shroud locations with Flashlight or to make Lola Santiago cheaper, but they have much better things to do with the cards in their deck.

Theme actually kind of annoys me - if it was an attachment to a location that gave bonuses (like if you actually found a vantage point or something) that might make sense, but there's lots of times it seems weird, like if you're going from the base of a hill to the summit, how do you have a vantage point to an uphill place? Art is kind of pretty and unique though, the opulent maze-and-castle theme might tie into the upcoming cycle.

Pnakotic Manuscripts: There's a lot to unpack here. For everyone other than Daisy, spending an action to (presumably) automatically succeed the next test is strong but situational - would you rather spend an action to guarantee your next investigation automatically succeeds, like a one-off Will To Survive, or just take two investigation actions (particularly since it's at the cost of 5 exp, 5 resources, a hand slot and one of three charges in the asset)? The answer, presumably, is "not unless I absolutely had to". Thankfully, it also has a reaction that all-but neutralises skill tests from the encounter deck. On that basis, it's worth using as you might have that situational action you absolutely want to pass and are willing to spend an extra action to guarantee, but you also have the protection from the encounter deck while you're waiting for that situation to arise. We saw Truth From Fiction earlier in the cycle, which was waiting for a card with Uses (Secrets) that was worth recharging - and this is it. Clearly, this card is nuts for Daisy, as she can use her bonus action to activate it and hold it in her Tote Bag. For everyone other than Daisy, it's a powerful but limited option, at a hefty resource and exp cost. I like that.

Theme is kind of non-descript - I guess the Manuscripts contain secrets that provide hidden truths, but the same effect for the same justification could reasonably be given to any sufficiently eldritch tome. In terms of Lovecraftian lore, the Manuscripts aren't specifically about time travel or anything, they hold ancient, pre-human lore and deal with Tsathoggua and the Dreamlands. Maybe a hint at what we're going to see in the coming cycle? The art does its job - and nothing more.

Borrowed Time: A controversial card to be sure - some people love the flexibility it gives in a use for spare actions, and the option for super turns with stacked bonuses. Others hate the fact that it doesn't actually give you any benefit (you're spending actions to bank them so in sum you're down the one action it takes to play). I'm firmly in the latter camp. I feel like if you include this card you'll occasionally have super-turns of loads of actions and pull off a huge play, and that might make you think it's a good card, but it's confirmation bias - the actions spent to play and charge up the card could have been spent doing useful things (and if you didn't have anything useful to do with your actions, maybe you need to improve how you play or what your deck contains so that you do have useful things to contribute), you can only have one in your deck, and you're better off spending your 6 exp on things that make your actions better - or actually give you net more actions. If it's crunch time and you topdeck this card, it's utterly useless (it doesn't even have good icons!). If you had instead taken Ace in the Hole, it would be the perfect topdeck. Inconsistent, requires setup, no net benefit, expensive in exp all adds up to not worth it. But if big plays and combo turns are fun for you, you will like it.

Art is awesome, though! Similar to the Gold Pocket Watch, it mixes arcane, mechanical and opulent elements in a pleasing way. Thematically it works with a lot of other rogue elements, but it's very unclear what's actually happening - the Ritual keyword implies you are literally warping time with a magic spell, I guess?

All In: This card is potentially very strong - up to 5 (or 10 with Double or Nothing, but that would require incredible investment to pull off) draw on top of +2 to a test, and you don't have to worry about weaknesses (well, except that you shuffle them back into your now-thinner deck). I cannot see this card being an early include - rogue has limited draw options (basically Lucky Cigarette Case and Pickpocketing, because Decorated Skull is no more draw than just Draw actions and Coup de Grace just cantrips) but has lots of resources with which to buy cards, but it's 5 exp for what could be 5 cards on top of Unexpected Courage, but like all skills could be nothing thanks to an auto-fail, or another nasty token. You can buff up to really high numbers with talents, use Premonition to know what's coming, use Lucky Dice to mitigate the draw, etc., but then you're using even more cards and loads of resources on top of the skill card and 5 exp, quickly becoming a false economy. Definitely not a bad card, definitely not a priority, probably not worth 5 exp. I do like the bonuses for succeeding heavily theme as on high difficulties you sometimes buff up to silly amounts to make up for the possibility of drawing like a -6 or -8, only to get a -1 - it's nice to get a bit of compensation for that wasted effort.

Art is pretty cool - we've already seen "crazy stunt from a moving vehicle" elsewhere such as Daring Manoeuvre and Narrow Escape, but I'm not complaining, it's an awesome theme.

Shards of the Void: I was very sceptical about this when it was first spoiled, but my opinion has softened somewhat. It's a very weird card, for sure. Much like how Song of the Dead was an attack spell that tried to leverage the drawing-symbol-tokens theme for extra damage, this attempts to leverage the Seal mechanic for extra damage and accuracy. This is never going to replace Shrivelling, but it at least consistently does 2 damage and has an accuracy of +2 if you don't unseal the 0, with possible extra bonuses and extra charges depending on what you draw. I'd consider it as an extra attack spell (much like a Guardian taking a .32 Colt as well as a Machete to increase their chances of having a weapon in their opening hand) - in a sense it competes with Mists of R'lyeh more than Shrivelling, as the "other spell for dealing with enemies when I don't have Shrivelling" card. Since it seals "0" tokens (and you can't stop it doing so, except by immediately spending the "0" tokens to attack which isn't always possible) and "0" is a helpful chaos token, this card harms the entire group's chance of success with all tests to improve its own accuracy - meaning that it gets worse the more players in the game. I'd never play this 4-player, but it would come into its own on solo as a means of ensuring that you consistently have a way to handle monsters.

The art is really silly but I kind of like it. Sharp-dressed man throwing arcane spells around is a good aesthetic. That's probably meant to be Dexter Drake, who I know is popular with quite a few people. Thematically, the card is all over the place, but I guess "0" tokens referring to the "void" is an oddly interesting concept. I wonder if we'll see that more, or if it's just an offhanded sort of joke to tie in with the Seal mechanic.

Seal of the Seventh Sign: I object to the existence of this card on principle, because the existence of the auto-fail token is something fundamentally Arkham to me and being able to seal it away indefinitely is not something I like. I kind of wish this was instead like a Counterspell card that gave you a one-time cancellation of the tentacles, or maybe cancelled tentacles then sealed it away for a round. Having said that, it isn't actually all that powerful. You could certainly engineer a situation where you could consistently succeed on everything except tentacles then seal away tentacles, giving you guaranteed successes, but the amount of time and effort you spend isn't going to pay off compared to using the actions, cards and resources to just attack the scenario. Its charges disappear at a rate depending on the number of tests taken, meaning that it protects for the same number of tests (on average) regardless of the number of players (every test taken has the same chance to remove a token). This is good, because other Seal mechanics scale heavily by player number (using Protective Incantation to seal away -6, for instance, costs one investigator a spell slot, an action and one resource a round but the benefit extends to all investigators, making it much stronger in 4-player than 1-player). Seal of the Seventh Sign is still slightly better with more players because only one player is having to spend their resources, cards, exp and slots to maintain the ward, but the balance is better. You can certainly combine it with other Seal effects to seal away other Symbol effects, and effects that draw multiple tokens, in order to reduce the speed with which the charges are depleted, but I don't think that massively increases its power. I like the idea of Seal mechanics making a support Mystic more viable, using Counterspell, Seal cards, Premonition and so on to help the other players instead of the more conventional approach of loading up on powerful spells and attacking the scenario directly. It'd be an interesting part of a build, probably Mateo - probably not as powerful as a conventional mystic, but I like variety in possible playstyles.

I like the art - much like how there are countless cards that show a book, there's going to be loads of cards showing some kind of arcane seal as a fundamental part of the setting, but this really sells the effect being that much more powerful. The mechanical theme is kind of meh, though - sealing away the tentacles but "I don't know how long I can hold it!" is OK, but I kind of wish they'd made it feel more momentous as an effect, some kind of "at any cost!" thing.

Impromptu Barrier: Weakest of the Improvised cards for sure. Partly, this is because (outside of things like Vengeance enemies) evading enemies is just less powerful than killing them or discovering clues, and partly it is because the kicker for playing it from your discard pile is much weaker. Evading multiple enemies isn't particularly handy because it happens so rarely - it's not like Survival Instinct is a staple card. The fact that you get a benefit for how much you succeed by also runs counter to the benefit of possibly reducing an enemy's Evade down to 0 for a near-guaranteed evade (not that there's many enemies with 1 evade). You can at least evade enemies engaged with other players using the kicker, which is nice. It also lets you reduce a 3-evade enemy to 2 evade, meaning that you will be guaranteed to be able to trigger Dumb Luck if the test fails. As the art implies, it might be better for Rita Young, allowing her to jump in for a friend swamped with enemies, engage and evade one, and then evade the other with the kicker. However, it's still a very niche effect, whereas Improvised Weapon (which, let's be clear, is not exactly a staple either) does extra damage, which is never unwelcome, and Winging It (which definitely is a very strong card) gives you an extra clue, which is wonderful. I wish this was a Skill rather than an Event, as it's really hard to get anything good from it as a 1-cost event (the kicker will rarely be beneficial and otherwise you're spending a resource for essentially +1). Wendy might get a bit more out of it because she can discard cards to fuel her ability - otherwise, like with the other Improvised cards, you will have a hard time getting it to your discard pile without playing it normally, at least until you pick up Yaotl or Cornered and get them into play. Basically, I think this card is a dud, but I will try it out on Rita at some point.

Art is pretty cool though, I do like Rita and it's got a strong Survivor theme, like the protagonist in a slasher movie throwing shelves down behind them as they flee down a corridor. I really like the Improvised cards in terms of their mechanical theme, I just wish they were better (except the excellent Winging It, of course).

Alter Fate: Mateo can take it as well as survivors. It's expensive for what it is – 3 exp to get rid of a treachery card, compared to Ward of Protection being 0 exp (or 2 exp for one that protects all other investigators everywhere), Forewarned being 1 exp, and Test of Will being 1 exp exile, and unlike those cards it only works on a small subset of treachery cards. However, it works on any card drawn anywhere, which is nice, and it works after the fact, which is very nice - if Skids is pinned down with Frozen in Fear, you can get rid of it from anywhere even if you draw Alter Fate the turn after the treachery hit. You also get to remove cards after the attempt to get rid of them normally - you don't have to cancel Dragged Under until after you've seen whether you pass the test to avoid it, and you can wait to get rid of Beyond the Veil until it becomes clear that it's about to trigger. I think it's expensive, and not a priority, but it's a good card that has a lot of useful effects it can get rid of. The fact that Mateo can take it helps with the Support Mystic build alluded to above.

Art is silly, frankly, though at least we now know the tarot theme ties in with The Circle Undone. Only card in the pack to have flavour text and it's relatively generic but fine, I suppose. Mechanically, the theme is pretty Survivor-y, simple but effective and helps you survive things when nothing else will.

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5 hours ago, zooeyglass said:

Always enjoy reading your card reviews, as it's always striking what's a hit and what's a miss for you, @awp832. I am totally with you on Flamethrower!

I wonder if your succeed by x rogue experiences and maybe your mystic seal experiences are leading you to rate down these pretty potent cards. Borrowed Time (yes, despite the tricky name!) means that every turn can be a 6+ action turn, as long as you're willing to put in actions to sustain that rate. So it's an investment with a repeated pay out. Even if the reality is far more fluctuating (a 6 action turn, down to 4, up to 5 and so on - and perhaps not only using BT but also Quick Thinking, Ace in the Hole, Finn's Evade or Skids' free trigger, Leo de Luca), it still means consistently having more actions to pootle around than other investigators. This is a small point, really, but... yeah. I think it's a hard card to judge. And All In... if your friendly mystic has sealed the tentacle, it's not going to be such a problem, is it? Speaking of which: seal of the seventh sign means all the succeed by x madness *doesn't* get wiped by tentacle! Which is completely bananas. Is it a combo, or just a way of building towards a team that can't be stopped? (Probably the former, but dreaming of the latter!)

I hadn't registered that you could restock each round with Borrowed Time.  People have forgotten, in their action calculus, that Borrowed Time also costs an action to play.  "Skids" with Lone Wolf & Leo DeLuca has the potential to consistently preform 8 action turns (albeit 3 are scripted).  The other useful point on Borrowed Time - the turns where you'd be most likely to store time - is that it does not provoke attacks of opportunity.  There are rounds where I've been pinned down and thrown away a full complement of actions because I couldn't physically damage the enemy even with the Elder Sign, and there are things that are actively hurting the party if the wrong token gets drawn.  This lets you do something worthwhile as you bide your time and take your lumps.

People are also looking at boss monsters, but what of clearing an entire train car of clues in a 4 player game of Essex County Express, or blinking out of The Doom of Eztli once you've taken the Relic of Ages.  (Both of these examples are unlikely happen due to limited XP or Action Storage points, they are merely other times where the ability to unload an absurd number of actions would be appreciated.)

As for Flamethrower, I really like it, but it is taking all 3 of my hands.  My Leo deck had Lightning Gun, Bandolier, and Survival Knife.  I had that combo in play better than 2 out of every 3 scenarios.  The only way to get both weapons is the hand-for-body-slot trade that Bandolier offers.  The 4 damage and ability to not waste damage if there are numerous baddies is really nice.  It's a question for me if I'll trade my combo for it, though.

AHC25_305.jpgAHC22_193.jpg

Out of curiosity, as another component of my ridiculous Leo-combo deck, I played Custom Ammunition on my Lightning Gun.  How does Flamethrower interact with Custom Ammunition?  You can attach it (firearm), so does the enemy you're attacking (the one with the highest Fight) have to be a Monster?  If so, do I have to assign 1 damage to that monster...or 2 (the +1 of it as it were)?  If I attack a Humanoid, but I splash a Monster, do I have to deal 1 damage to it before I can deal the +1 damage?  Does that +1 damage have to be to a Monster?  Can I not deal +1 damage as it wasn't an "Attack performed by attached asset...against Monster enemies."?  (My interpretation is that you only deal +1 damage if you deal 1 damage to a Monster, and the +1 damage must be assigned to a Monster you have already dealt damage to in this attack.  Therefore, if you're engaged with 3 enemies - 2 monsters (both with Fight2) and a humanoid (with fight 3) - you would need to attack the humanoid (b/c text).  Then, on a successful hit, you'd have to assign 1 damage to a monster before being able to add the +1 damage.  That damage in turn would have to be assigned to that attacked monster, not its monster neighbor.)

I think Vantage Point has some really interesting possibilities.  Moving a clue off a hard-to-clear Victory location can pay for itself.  The fact that the clue's previous location does not have to be adjacent is astounding to me.  I'm looking at it from the vantage point (hehe) of a support/clue hound seeker.  Giving options/advantages to other investigators, doubly those who are not at my location, is pretty potent.

Seal of the Seventh Sign is staggering.  More so if your team has The Chthonian Stone and 1 or 2 Protective Incantation(s) in play.   There are scenarios (or almost campaigns if you do well enough (Dunwich, I'm looking at you (save the students, don't cheat, ignore the Necronomicon))) where you could prevent SotSS from leaving play once the combo's out.  And SotSS prevents The Chthonian Stone from being forced back into your hand (which I swear I've played and returned to my hand in the same round so many times!).  I was really expecting they'd never give a way to Seal the Auto-Fail.  Surprising.

If only 1 player is holding the Stone, The Sign, and both Incantations, then they'll also need to be holding a Book of Shadows in their other hand to keep this madness it tow, and  you'll be spending an action every turn gaining a resource to pay both Incantation's cost every turn.  But I think there's potential here.  I might test this out on a level-29 or -39 Norman before I build toward it.

I'm not sold on Shards of the Void.  Unless we're sealing all of the tokens (and if we are, then why are we afraid of Shrivilling?), I don't like sealing the 0s.  True, you could spend the sealed 0 almost as soon as you seal them, but I really like that token.  And if you're using Olive McBride then you're more likely to seal 0s, which granted is dealing bonus damage and adding "charges" to Shards.  Hmm.  Maybe there is potential there...

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Kerosene-  Its best out of Carolyn.  Other than that, adding 1 to your deck is not the worst thing to do, as in certain scenarios you take damage/horror just for showing up, and Guardians are the High HP, Low Sanity class.

Flamethrower-  I'm not really impressed by it.  It takes up all of your hand and body slots.  You also can only wound the enemies engaged with you and your test is against the highest enemy engaged with you.  I prefer Lightning Gun or Timeworn Brand if I am spending 5 exp. 

Pnakotic Manuscripts-  Yeah, best card in the pack.  Not drawing tokens is the best thing ever. 

Vantage Point-  -1 shroud is never a bad thing, as anything that makes tests easier is nice.  The clue moving is the butter.  You can move clues out of terrible locations;  maybe there is a big enemy there, a Locked Door, a penalty to investigating that hurts.  Also, you can use this to free up Victory locations for that Exp.  And in late game, its an agility icon.  Not bad for a basic card. 

All In-  Its two Wilds and the potential to refill your hand with no harassment.  But 5 Exp is steep. Its not worth the 5 Exp with the word "you" in the text.  If you were able to commit this to the test someone else was making and get that effect, than this card becomes worth. 

Borrowed Time-  This looks like a card that got mangled in Playtesting.  ?  I think the best use of this could be in Lola Hayes(maybe?), as you can dump actions into it, and then next turn have a bunch of actions to the class you switch to.  It all depends on how Lola's rules(which I don't have in front of me right now) work Forced: actions.

Seal of the Seventh Sign-  There is a theoretical setup with this card, Book of Shadows Lv3, 2 Counterspells, and a Cthonian Stone can really thin the bag down.  Its still strong and worth the 5 Exp to add, and its easy to maintain in most Mystic decks. 

Shards of the Void-  Mystics get more troll cards. ?  I expect this card will be used for no good, or will innocently be the most misplayed card in the game.  Its pretty good in Jim Culver Solo, but in groups, you will likely anger your team as you remove 1 of the 2-3 +0s from the bag to power this.  

Impromptu Barrier-  Making tests either is always good.  This card is obviously better out of Survivors than other classes, particularly Wendy Adams and Ashcan Pete, and is arguably better in them than Improvised Weapoon.  I always want to use this card to trigger there abilities, because ditching a card with icons is a higher cost.  Rita will obviously use this as well, because her Evades are attacks in a sense.  Not bad for a Lv 0. 

Alter Fate-  This was almost the best card in pack.  The scope of this card is quite large.  There are always treachery cards that go into player areas, on locations, on act/agenda decks.  You can use this during any investigator turn.  There is a lot of value in this card.  

 

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23 hours ago, awp832 said:

All In (5xp) :  Well... Rogues definitely did not have a lot of card draw, and this gives them an option here.   But on the other hand, you also have to succeed a skill check by a lot.   Granted you get 2 wild icons on your test,  but you will still probably have to spend some resources to pass by a lot.   So it's sort of a way to turn resources in to cards.   It's strange, but maybe useful.   5 XP seems steep though.    2/5  I'm definitely drawing the Auto-fail.

You should watch Finn attempt a lockpicking. Before he modifies anything whatsoever, he's at an 8 skill. He's been getting clues at +5 or +6 without putting any money whatsoever into the checks. If he put in All In, his total would sit at 10. By just putting in the card. He'll pretty much guarantee the max card draw or draw the autofail.

So you have a card that costs 0 to play, 0 actions to use, even gives you a couple of wildcard icons, and has some edge over Cryptic Research which is a 4xp card that people use? Seems fair to me.

Edited by PJimo

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2 hours ago, PJimo said:

You should watch Finn attempt a lockpicking. Before he modifies anything whatsoever, he's at an 8 skill. He's been getting clues at +5 or +6 without putting any money whatsoever into the checks. If he put in All In, his total would sit at 10. By just putting in the card. He'll pretty much guarantee the max card draw or draw the autofail.

So you have a card that costs 0 to play, 0 actions to use, even gives you a couple of wildcard icons, and has some edge over Cryptic Research which is a 4xp card that people use? Seems fair to me.

Finn can t Take it. ..

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My take

Kerosene - This could have some uses in some decks and would be great to support Agnes.  1xp cards can be tricky as they are only slightly better than level zero and those go in the deck for free.  In large player count games, its not unusual for the Guardian to be very specialized and when they aren't enemies to kill, action choices are limited.  This could be a good choice for those spare action scenarios.  This could be very good on a deck that highlights level 3 Aquinnah.  I think that's only Bill-Y for now and i generally don't use her in his decks and his ability may make it moot.

Flame Thrower - Yeah its interesting, you really need to think through how to use in your deck so that it flows correctly.  Between one hand weapons, two hand weapons, bandolier and now this, it really makes you make some choices in your deck build.  Cards that make you think of what to include are good in my opinion.

Vantage Point - This is an Ursula starting card.  -1 shroud for 2-3 investigate actions and a kicker that lets her partially mitigate her signature weakness.  I don't see how this will be great on anyone else.  Not sure I wouldn't upgrade to something else later on but its a solid starting card.

Pnakotic Manuscript - Its a good card and good on Daisy.  Whats interesting to me is that its not really a thematic Ursula card.  This could be one of those cards that point to the Seeker in the next cycle more.  (That happens a lot in Mythos Pack 6 of a cycle).

Borrowed Time - Rogues have a lot of options and this is another one of them.  As an exceptional, its nothing you can rely on drawing.  I think it has its place in some decks, ones where you already have a lot of actions, more than you can always use.  I think you focus a bit to much on the name in your review.  It doesn't bother me.  The phrase "Running on borrowed time" does not actually refer to borrowing anything.

All In - Level 5 Skill cards are always tricky.  Sure it never takes an action or a resource to play, but they are pricey one shots.  Whats most interesting to me is that no one in this cycle can take it.  To me that means this will probably have high synergy with the Rogue in the next cycle. 

Shard of the Void - This one reminds me why its almost never a good idea to let first time players play mystic, to much text on the cards.  That being said, I like this one a lot.  Mystics have struggled with having only 1 decent attack spell in their deck.  Song of the Dead is to deck specific (really just Jim imo).  If you have 4 attack spells, you can more reliably have a spell in your hand that can be used to handle enemies.  Again, cards that seal good tokens are best in a low player count game.

Seal of the Seventh Sign - yeah its good and pricey.  The more players, the better it is.

Impromptu Barrier - So Rita art.  This makes it likely that Rita will be in the next cycle (okay we knew that already).  Its good on a Survivor that is evade happy (Wendy and Rita, depending on your Calvin build, this could be good to).  Again its a level 0 card, and not all level zero cards need to stay in your deck during an entire campaign.

Alter Fate - Right now, this card is for Matteo.  I can't see another current Survivor taking this over any of the other level 3 Survivor Card options. It is good in Mateo's role in support.  Plus it has tarot card art, which is foreshadowing the next cycle.  There have been times when I spent more than a single action,  single card or a single resource to get rid of or overcome a treachery in play.  This does it for a card and a resource, with no chance of failure.

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, dysartes said:

I'd be a lot more inclined to try out Borrowed Time if the spending of the actions wasn't Forced for the turn after you put the tokens on the asset.

It's not really an issue, as you can just spend those actions to recharge the asset and basically store them indefinitely. It's a problem for Lola of course. 

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On 11/16/2018 at 11:59 AM, Assussanni said:

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean here. If you start your turn with six actions and put three of them back into Borrowed Time, then aren't you just taking a normal turn? Sure having three actions stockpiled is great for a bananas turn (e.g. "boss" fight) but you've had to give up those actions earlier in the game. It's very rare that I find that I can only think of two good actions to take on my turn! It seems inferior to Ace in the Hole, Quick Thinking and even Leo De Luca, all of which gain you additional actions.

On 11/16/2018 at 10:38 AM, zooeyglass said:

You are taking a normal turn, but you have the *potential* to take a six non-Borrowed actions should the occasion arise. I think it's the options it offers that I like. And I mean, take it with QT, with Leo, take it where you play and you aren't trapped to 3 actions a turn, but instead ebb and flow, like a mighty timester! 

 

On 11/16/2018 at 4:50 PM, Duciris said:

I think Vantage Point has some really interesting possibilities.  Moving a clue off a hard-to-clear Victory location can pay for itself.  The fact that the clue's previous location does not have to be adjacent is astounding to me.  I'm looking at it from the vantage point (hehe) of a support/clue hound seeker.  Giving options/advantages to other investigators, doubly those who are not at my location, is pretty potent.

 

Yeah, absolutely this - I mentioned this in my first look episode. Some amazing flexibility, for the price of a card slot and all that that entails...

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:27 AM, Allonym said:

It's not really an issue, as you can just spend those actions to recharge the asset and basically store them indefinitely. It's a problem for Lola of course. 

...good point, I hadn't thought of that. And I guess most people will be fine with you just saying "I spend these actions to put tokens back on the card", rather than resolving them individually.

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On 11/16/2018 at 5:10 AM, awp832 said:

First look at the SA player cards, starting now!

Kerosene (1xp):  A slotless card here, which is nice to see.  With 3 supplies on it this represents 6 horror healing, which is quite a good return.  It's also possible to restock this with Venturer or Emergency Cache if desired.  3 resource is a little pricey, but still shy of prohibitive.  It does take actions to use, much like First Aid, and only if an enemy was defeated this round, which can be difficult seeing as how you'll have to dispatch an enemy by your 2nd action to have an opportunity to use Kerosene on your 3rd.  Granted other players could theoretically kill an enemy at your location for you first before your turn begins, but that's probably not happening much.  Who likes this?  Maybe Zoey and Leo?  I have a hard time deciding on this card.   The bonuses are good but... are they needed?   Would I rather just spend a few more XP on an Elder Sign Amulet, or Key of Ys, if I want sanity soak?  This is definitely the cheaper option, but it's slow.   That said I often have previously included Liquid Courage in Leo and Zoey, and this might be a suitable replacement.    3/5  Has potential.

Flamethrower (5xp):  This weapon is pretty boss.  While the XP cost is high, the resource cost is less than other big guardian weapons at 4.  The bonuses on this are nuts.  Great attack bonus, amazing damage, the ability to split damage over multiple targets, and 4 ammo capacity.   The supreme weapon for taking on hordes of little monsters, but it's certainly no joke against a big critter either.  To be honest, this makes it really hard to justify continuing to run the Shotgun, with its meager 2 ammo (but slightly reduced XP cost....) or lightning gun, whose only real advantage over the new flamethrower is a measly +1 attack.  Well, there is one thing,  that the flamethrower also takes your body slot in addition to your hands.   But the fact of the matter is,  there is not a lot of body slot competition going on.   Until we get some amazing cards that compete for the body slot,  the flamethrower is the ultimate weapon.   There might still be some argument for Lightning Gun or Shotgun with a Marksmanship setup,  but that's only twice per game unless you can recur it somehow...       Amazing card.    5/5  Smells like...  victory.

Vantage Point:  This is... a weird one.   I mean, it could be useful but...  eeeeeeh.   I dont know if I'm spending 1 of  my 30 card slots on this.   1/5  A miss for me.

Pnakotic Manuscripts (5xp):  Handy.   A tool for beating the chaos bag is definitely nice.  Daisy has another helpful book, making her a nice team player.   3 secrets on this one, tough to get only such limited use out of such a high xp card...  but that's 3 tests you can completely control,  which means a lot if the game is on the line.   And remember Truth from Fiction?    Yuuuup.     4/5  because nobody likes the chaos bag.

Borrowed Time (3xp Exceptional) : I talked about this a bit when it was spoiled a while back.    I'm just annoyed that it's a huge thematic fail IMO.   This card is the exact opposite of Borrowed Time.    Borrowing means you get something now and pay it back later.   This card makes you pay now and benefit later.   It's Investing Time.  So I guess if you have nothing better to do with an action on your turn and you want to invest in an explosive turn later it's...  allright.   I'm not paying 6 xp for it though.   1/5 a thematic and pragmatic disaster.

All In (5xp) :  Well... Rogues definitely did not have a lot of card draw, and this gives them an option here.   But on the other hand, you also have to succeed a skill check by a lot.   Granted you get 2 wild icons on your test,  but you will still probably have to spend some resources to pass by a lot.   So it's sort of a way to turn resources in to cards.   It's strange, but maybe useful.   5 XP seems steep though.    2/5  I'm definitely drawing the Auto-fail.

Shards of the Void (3xp)  :   ok, ok, when all is said and done... it's BASICALLY +2 brains for 2 damage.   That seems very reasonable.   Compared to the very similar Shriveling(3), No drawback on special tokens like Shriveling has, but comes with 1 less charge (although you can spend your 0...)  and seals the 0.   4/5   A bit wordy and confusing,  but still might be nice to have another good attack spell besides Shriveling. Audacity Find My iPhone Origin

Seal of the Seventh Sign (5xp) :  Wow.   What a card.  Interesting.   Like the Pnakotic Manuscripts, this is chaos bag control.   So the thing is,  if you know you can't pull the auto-fail,  you can plan for everything else.    This could be absolutely incredible to drop just before a boss battle,  or if you have managed to keep your Chaos bag relatively clean of special tokens, as some campaigns let you do.  Looks good though, love the control.  3.5/5  Good, but I think I prefer Pnakotic.   

Impromptu Barrier:  What can I say... probably just not a card that's worth running.   1.5/5  At least they're rounding out the trio with Winging It and Improvised Weapon.

Alter Fate (3xp) :  Nice for weakening Broods of Yog Sothtoh I guess.  Can also get rid of locked doors, Spires of Carcosa, Frozen in Fear, and the like.   It's blessed for mateo.  A useful card, but is it 3 xp useful?       3/5   I mean, probably.





That about wraps it up for Shattered Aeons!   Good cycle!    What do you think of these player cards?

I wonder if your succeed by x rogue experiences and maybe your mystic seal experiences are leading you to rate down these pretty potent cards. Borrowed Time (yes, despite the tricky name!) means that every turn can be a 6+ action turn, as long as you're willing to put in actions to sustain that rate. So it's an investment with a repeated pay out. Even if the reality is far more fluctuating (a 6 action turn, down to 4, up to 5 and so on 

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