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pixcalcis

Evil Chaos Bag

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Posted (edited)

So, I am playing with Mark and Carolyn and the encounter deck and chaos bag are conspiring to hose me with tons of damage.  Regardless, I press on and by the skin of my teeth I make it to the boss enemy on my  next to last turn.  The boss enemy has 12 health.    Mark has a m1918 BAR with 9 ammo on it.  I attack with 5 ammo along with 2 vicious blows and Marks signature committed with the plan to finish him off with a second BAR shot.  Who wants to guess what chaos token I pulled?

 

edit.  Clarified that it was my next to last turn instead of final turn.

Edited by pixcalcis

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Mark  got the second BAR shot off for 4 damage.  Xavier absorbed  part of the attack from the monster and  gave me 2 more damage.    Then I used the remaining ammo with my colt to finish the job on my last round.   The last pull, I was out of skill icons and mark was only swinging at 3  (-1 from Sophie and -1 from a whippoorwill).  The chaos bag was kind on that token pull and gave me a +1.  😅. I couldn’t believe I was still able to win after that crushing previous turn.  It really makes me want to add ‘eat lead’ with my VP points.

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15 hours ago, Allonym said:

Times like that really call for Time Warp. Or at least Premonition from Carolyn...

Premonition is probably my favorite card in the game.

Well, second favorite.  Seal of the Elder Sign is better :D  But for L0s...

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3 hours ago, Buhallin said:

Premonition is probably my favorite card in the game.

Well, second favorite.  Seal of the Elder Sign is better :D  But for L0s...

Premonition is certainly incredible - I try to include it in any deck that can take it. I particularly like it for Carolyn early on as it really helps with identifying the Ancient Stone...

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I have been building my decks as strictly beholden to them as possible lately.  Normally, for Carolyn I probably would take premonition. However,, since she doesn’t have any true psychic or mystic qualities I didn’t consider  It has proven interesting because it has caused me to look at other cards to get the job done that would otherwise have been ignored. ( such as eat lead). So far, it has worked out well.  I don’t usually crush scenarios or gain quite as much xp. But, the scenario does usually come down to the wire though much more frequently, which I personally like. 

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Posted (edited)

I love the concept of premonition, but unless I have a 'big move' in my deck (for example double or nothing rite of seeking, storm of spirits, etc), I find that those two premonition card slots, while giving you peace of mind, don't bring a lot to the table.

Sure you can burn a failed action on something that won't hurt you, but either way you will fail. I could see it being useful in a survivor deck (so you know how much you will fail by) or a rogue deck (so you know how much you succeed by), but barring those very large super-efficient actions that you really need to succeed, I'd rather have something in my deck that helps succeed, like a skill, or even something like Uncage the Soul that ensure I can get my more expensive cards onto the table.

I want someone to convince me that premonition is an incredible card. I just already have such a hard time justifying the cards I put in my deck that 2 slots to tell me an outcome of a test before I pull it (and can't really change it) seems a bit meh.

Edited by Soakman

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7 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I want someone to convince me that premonition is an incredible card. I just already have such a hard time justifying the cards I put in my deck that 2 slots to tell me an outcome of a test before I pull it (and can't really change it) seems a bit meh.

We playtested it as soon as it came out and it quickly became a staple. It's fast, free token bag manipulation. I guess try it yourself?

In every game we've ever played, there's always an important token pull we want to guarantee goes off, or a hard turn to plan out and knowing the next token helps, or even a play we can pull off by pumping Streetwise or the like or discarding skill cards but it'd just be nice to save resources/cards for a different test. It's value is what you save because it allows undercommitting. Whether it's something simple, "Gosh, I'd sure like to see if I can Rite of Seeking twice this turn." or something dangerous, "Double or Nothing Shotgun time! Blood for the Blood God!," we always appreciate Premonition. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Soakman said:

I want someone to convince me that premonition is an incredible card. I just already have such a hard time justifying the cards I put in my deck that 2 slots to tell me an outcome of a test before I pull it (and can't really change it) seems a bit meh.

Premonition is only worthwhile on Hard and above, for starters, and isn't particularly valuable unless you have access to boosters (whether powerful, limited-use assets, booster talents, skills, cards with great icons, etc.). But when you do, and it's a critical turn (the boss just appeared, doom's getting tight, the Seeker got an enemy on them, etc.), it's fantastic. The correct time to use Premonition is nearly always the player window at the end of the Mythos phase. Then you can see what your first action will result in. So if a tough enemy is on your Seeker, you can see whether it's worth the Seeker trying to Evade them. Or if there's a tough boss, you can see whether it's worth opening up with a big BAR shot or whatever. If you have a crucial action that needs to succeed, you know exactly how much you need to invest in order for it to succeed. It's certainly not a card that always helps out, but it gives you certainty, which is always great. I can certainly sympathise with being sceptical in the face of such excessive adoration for the card - there are times when it really doesn't do anything and will sit in your hand for the rest of the scenario - for instance, if you've buffed up to the point where you're hitting on anything except Tentacles, it will rarely (though sometimes still can) be a useful play. A few examples of situations where it can shine:

The Guardian is engaged by a powerful enemy and absolutely needs to kill it dead. The Guardian has a Lightning Gun so is relatively confident in hitting, totalling +4 on top of the enemy's Combat value. You use Premonition and get a -5. Now you know that your Guardian needs to get to +5 with their attack in order to hit, so the Seeker goes first, moves to the Guardian's location, and gets ready to commit their spare Strange Solution to the check.

The Guardian is engaged by a powerful enemy and absolutely needs to kill it dead. The Guardian has a BAR and the enemy has 5 hp, so the Guardian's plan is to dump 5 ammo onto its face and murder it. You use Premonition and get Auto-Fail. Now you know the first test this phase is going to fail, so the Seeker instead goes first, investigating their location 3 times, and not caring all that much about the first test being a guaranteed failure - whereas if the Guardian had gone first and drawn the Tentacles naturally, you'd be scrambling for a new plan. Of course, the Guardian could still draw Tentacles again, but what do you want, it's a 0-cost, 0-xp card...

The Guardian is engaged by a powerful enemy and absolutely needs to kill it dead. The Guardian has a Machete and a total Combat of 5, and the enemy has 3 hp and a base Fight of 4, so the Guardian's plan is to play Vicious Blow, commit 2 cards with one Combat icon each, and spend 4 resources on 2 boosts from Keen Eye to cover every token in the bag except Tentacles. You use Premonition and get a -1. Now the Guardian can machete with vicious blow with confidence, saving 2 committed cards and 4 resources.

You, a Mystic, are planning to spend your turn gathering clues. You play Premonition first and find that you got a -4, so you're able to use Rite of Seeking with confidence before your last action, rather than run the risk of ending your turn prematurely, and you secure twice as many clues as you otherwise normally would.

---

Premonition is also a card you can build around more explicitly, with cards like Shotgun, All In or Archaic Glyphs (Guiding Stones) so you can work out just how much you need to invest to get the maximum benefit from those cards, or simply with the Rogue "succeed by 2 or more" suite and/or the Survivor "fail by 2 or less" suite. With my recent Sefina run I on more than one occasion spent the action to draw Premonition from under my Investigator card so I could work out exactly how to guarantee a full 8-card draw from All In/Pickpocketingx2/Lucky Cigarette Case.

On the flip side, there will be those occasions where all you hit with Premonition is a symbol token with a "Reveal another token..." effect. Those are very sad times.

Edited by Allonym

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I hear you, but it's just the fact that they take up slots you could use for other cards that impact the result. I've used it a few times, and one time I was like, great! Because it was a big vital test, and I felt relief, but the other time I was like, well, now I have one less card in hand. And in the primary case, even if I committed an unexpected courage or something, either way I've used 1 of my cards, and instead of premonition you could take something else.

Does this shine more or less in higher difficulty games do you think?

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Perfect. Thank you Allonym, that is a great read and response. I do think the key for me is playing it at the end of the Mythos phase. That allows your entire team to make better decisions, not just you or whoever goes next, etc. I do feel better about the card having read it, but I play on easy or standard most often so it is likely not going to be auto-include in my decks. This makes it much easier to understand its practical applications though.

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1 minute ago, Soakman said:

Perfect. Thank you Allonym, that is a great read and response. I do think the key for me is playing it at the end of the Mythos phase. That allows your entire team to make better decisions, not just you or whoever goes next, etc. I do feel better about the card having read it, but I play on easy or standard most often so it is likely not going to be auto-include in my decks. This makes it much easier to understand its practical applications though.

You're most welcome. I would certainly never include it on Standard or Easy difficulty, unless I had a specific application for it (e.g. ensuring the best possible Ancient Stone identification, or Double or Nothing shenanigans) and even then I'd get rid of it once it had served its purpose.

The difference between, say, Standard and Expert isn't just "the Chaos Bag is worse", but also, "the Chaos Bag has a greater range". So, as you say, Premonition isn't as much use on Easy or Standard because you could just commit a strong Skill and significantly improve your chances of success anyway. The difference in skill required for "pass about half the time" and "pass only on tentacles" is narrower. If the worst token in the bag is -4 and you can relatively easily hit +4, Premonition is only worthwhile for seeing whether you'll pull Tentacles, or Symbol effects for Mystics, or Double or Nothing for Rogues - and that's a relatively narrow range of applications. But if the worst token in the bag is -8, Premonition suddenly becomes incredible.

This is because, for those clutch, "do or die" tests where you really, really need to pass, you need to do everything to make that happen. Short of like Seal of the Elder Sign or Will to Survive, the best you can manage, usually, is to pump yourself up to beat any non-tentacles token in the bag. On Easy that might mean pumping up to +3 to beat a -3. No big deal. On Expert, that means pumping up to +8 to beat -8. That's a huge investment. That's the difference with Premonition - if you draw a "0" with Premonition for the clutch test on Easy, you've saved yourself 3 resources that you would have spent buffing, or cards committed, or talents exhausted, you get the idea. But if you draw the "0" on Expert that's a potential saving of 8.

Difficulty changes the valuation of other cards as well - the "Succeed by 2..." effects like Rex, or Pickpocketing, or All In, etc., become a lot better at higher difficulties. This is because you're frequently buffing up to high levels to ensure that drawing the worse tokens doesn't ruin your day - but while there may be a -6 in the bag, chances are you won't be drawing it, so you're more likely to overcommit and be way over the amount you needed following the token draw. This is, I think, part of the reason that Rogue is becoming stronger and more popular - with a better card pool and more experience, more players are playing on Hard or Expert, and Rogues have a lot of cards that really help on harder difficulties. The Survivor effects that help you out when you fail become stronger as well, as when there's loads of failing tokens in the bag, simply testing at base skill to investigate or evade is a lot less likely to yield consistent results, so being able to get a benefit even when failing is a boon. If there's no +1 in the bag, the range of relatively safe difficulties for Take Heart increases. Conversely, effects that trigger simply if you succeed become weaker, as you're less likely to succeed. This is one reason why the neutral "cantrip" skills like Overpower are less popular - if adding the extra +2 means you're passing on everything except tentacles, it's a near guaranteed card draw on top of a boost, but if there's still 5 or 6 tokens in the bag that will fail after you commit Overpower, the cantrip effect is a lot less certain, and the relative value of the card declines. Mark's Signature Skill, The Home Front, is strongest on higher difficulties - those 4 icons are wasted on anything other than committing to a test by another, weaker investigator, but on Hard or Expert they instead properly come into play.

 

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It's invaluable for making sure those big, critical tests pass.  Setting up a Double or Nothing Shotgun blast with a few Vicious Blows?  Knowing where you need to be is huge.  Knowing whether you're going to pull the autofail (or even the +1) before a Guiding Stones dig for everything tells you exactly how many resources to commit.

But I honestly find it great just for average checks too.  Knowing what you need to pass, or that you'll be getting hit with a nasty token effect if you fail, can be a big swing.  Sure, you could just take something for an extra +1 - but that's still living in the risk management zone.  Premonition converts the action you need from risk management to resource management, and lets you make the choices in that space.

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