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awp832

Wages of Sin Player Cards: First Thoughts

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Posted (edited)

Time to review player cards from Wages of Sin!

Alice Luxley:  She seems pretty ok.   Her bonuses are very nice, and her reaction ability might come in handy, particularly when dealing with Aloof enemies.   Also in multiplayer if there is another investigator engaged with an enemy at a location you want to grab a clue.   I think the difficulty here is that she is Guardian sphere and most guardians will want their ally slots for combat oriented allies like Beat Cop, Guard Dog, or Venturer.  Still,  in the right deck, she could bring in some big rewards.    Looks really good with Rex, or Carolyn.   4/5  nice art too.

Well Maintained*:  Hm.   An interesting card.  It's cheap and fast, so that's nice.   Although I was recently "living the dream" in one game with a Shotgun, upgraded with 2x Reliable and Custom Ammunition.....   I dont think Well Maintained would have helped me much, as I was keeping the shotgun well stocked in ammo with Venturer/extra ammunition and never was in a position where I wanted to discard it.    Here you want something that is cheap and/or powerful.    There are a few good candidates.   On Diana, you could use this with the Grotesque Statue, for some really nice mythos control.   On Skids  you could use this with Lupara to bounce it back to your hand, allowing you to use it again, effectively like an extra Sleight of Hand.  Any investigator with access to 1xp Guardian cards could use this on the Key of Ys, so when it takes its last point of horror, you can replay it.   Also a possibility is upgrade retrieval,  so if you play your reliable/custom ammunition on a weaker weapon such as .45 Automatic early game since it was the only weapon you had available at the time, and later draw your big XP gun, you can retrieve the upgrades off of the .45 and transfer them over to your flamethrower/shotgun/lightning gun eventually.   Some real potential here, but it is a pure combo piece:  useless without another card to abuse with it.   That makes this really hard to rate.   3/5 c-c-c-c-c-combo!

Mr Rook:   Ok,  we have another combo card.   I guess this depends on how bad you want a particular thing in your deck.    This is the class that has No Stone Unturned,   so I am tempted to just play that instead, and avoid Mr Rook's downside and use of the ally slot.   2/5  I just can't see myself using him much over other available seeker allies.   Side note:  one interesting possibility is that you might use Mr. Rook to try to draw your weakness on purpose during a turn that you can deal with it, rather than having it come up at an inopportune time.  

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera:   Some potential here too.  Bonuses here for one-hand are nice.... once you get them.   But the Camera is going to take a bit of time to get up and working.   Sometimes Seekers might prefer a magnifying glass which they can start to use right away.     Jim could benefit here if he was able to get the quick +1 Willpower.  Otherwise I think I just prefer the magnifying glass.   2.5/5   Nice idea, but unfortunately the magnifying glass outcompetes this card.

Swift Reflexes:  $2 for an extra action on anyone's turn.   I just am finding it hard to see when it would be really beneficial to take it during another players turn.   Otherwise it's just $2 for an extra action, and that seems somewhat less good.   1.5/5   I'm not seeing it, but maybe I'm missing something.

Henry Wan:   So,  I have to pull 3 times successfully or else I should have just used Dario.   I think I saw someone do the math on this,   IIRC.... it wasn't good.  1/5

Wither:  Simple,  but effective.  An attack that replaces your combat with willpower.   Sometimes Mystics would love to attack something and not have to waste a charge of shriveling, or just want another attack spell in case they don't draw their shriveling.   4/5  I can see this being pretty handy.

Sixth Sense:  Much in the same vein as Wither,  pretty good if you dont have a Rite of Seeking on hand.   I love this.   4/5

Belly of the Beast:   Free clue for 1.  Seems good in an evasion focused deck.   3.5/5

Drawing Thin:   Wow.   this looks incredible.  Sometimes there are mythos cards that are just too hard for you to realistically pass, or that you dont need to pass,  here you can get free stuff!  And for cheap, cheap, cheap!   Even if you can't leverage that,  a simple investigation check as an action with not much at stake can let you fail to get 2 resources,  not bad at all, considering that Dario in Rogue is 4 cost and this is 0!  4.5/5  for failing with style.


And that about wraps it up, let me know what you guys think of the cards in Wages of Sin!

Edited by awp832

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Posted (edited)

Just a quick thought, note that Swift Reflexes lets you take an action DURING another investigator's turn. This could come in handy in some odd cases (nothing solid worth thinking about so far as far as I can think of), but for example, Wither gives a -1 fight/evade sometimes for the duration of the TURN. If you badly needed to get in another attack or something with this added bonus for a better assured hit, you can play Swift Reflexes to fight while the enemy is still at -1 fight.

I can see this comboing with other cards in unexpected ways (see anatomical diagrams, arcane insight, hatchet man,) but I haven't looked to see how useful it actually is. That being said, an extra action for 2 resources in the faction where resources can be easily obtained is still nice imo.

 

And as a sidenote, I love that wither/sixth sense don't have/use charges. It makes for an interesting design space for mystic arcane slots that we haven't seen much of. Sixth sense really feels like a card perfect for Jacqueline Fine and I'm wondering if she'll be coming soon. 🙌

Edited by Soakman

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Posted (edited)

Henry actually has some interesting potential in combo with bag control Mystics.  Dunwich starts with 3 special tokens plus the autofail, and it's very possible to get through the entire campaign without adding any more.  It's actually pretty realistic to remove at least two of those once you get a little experience.  If you've got a 2 in 13 chance to fail it that gives a much better chance of ramping it to really serious levels.

It's definitely beginning to stretch the realm of likelihood, but it is actually possible to seal every token in the bag that could make Henry fail.  Is 10 resources for an action worth that effort?  Probably not in itself, but it's not like the combo is JUST for Henry, there's plenty of other benefit to all that sealing.

Not really saying it makes him GOOD, just that he does have the potential to be in the right environment.

Edited by Buhallin

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Alice: I agree with you, its a very good ally in the right deck.  I can see it comboing well with cards that allow Fast or Free action clue gathering.  Probably will mostly be used versus aloof or in multiplayer to knock off enemies engaged with other investigators.

Well Maintained:  Man, guardians have a lot of level 1 utility abilities.  It's basically a way to deal with Guardians poor card draw.  I think the biggest concern is that most items get discarded when you fill up your hand slots with something else.  So you have the cards back in hand, but don't have enough hand slots to replay them.  I can envision this being useful, but nothing comes to the top of my mind.  While having Custom Ammo, Extra Ammo and Venturer is good, I wonder if this might be a slightly more card efficient way to get to the same place for less XP.  Even if it is evenish/slightly less effective, its good to have multiple paths.  I am also thinking of the enchanted blade which has less options to recharge.

Mr Rook:  I agree with you.  The only place I can kind of see this working is in a deck that heavily uses secrets and "Truth From Fiction" and wanting another target for that card.  Even then I think I will choose another ally.

Hawk-eye Folding Camera:  I am a little more positive than you on it, but not by much.  I think its place is to have this and Mag Glass in your deck to increase your chances of getting one of them early.  Willpower is useful for everyone as a lot of treacheries test it.  That being said, I think its mostly for Joe at this time with its tool keyword.

Swift Reflexes: Again this is deck dependent and is a multi player card.  Sometimes you want a particular character to go first, but there is an obstacle to be removed that they can't handle.  Engage or kill an enemy enemy engaged with them.  Or maybe you thought you would accomplish something that turn and you drew to many tentacles.  Good eye on the combos .

Henry Wan:  I can't think of making this guy work.  Especially for three resources and only 1/2 health.  Rogues have enough of resources.  Maybe if you really need card draw?  Even then there are options.

Wither:  I think the main purpose of this is that a starting mystic can have 4 attack spells in their deck, increasing the chance of drawing them in your opening hand.  Its a pretty poor effect overall, but its cheap.  I would probably replace it with a higher level attack spell eventually.  

Sixth Sense:  This card serves a similar role as wither, although there is a reason to just run this without Rite of Seeking as well.  I will say it is better than Wither is for the length of the campaign (but I believe we know of an upgraded version of this card already).

Belly of the Beast:  Another clue gathering option for Survivors, this was needed.  Now it won't work with everyone, but it is good with the evaders.

Drawing Thin:  Yeah this is good.  I will also note its useful for a skill check that you are crushing anyhow.  If you are naturally at a +4, and pass/fail is not critical, take the gamble.  I can see Rita & Wendy  getting there with evade attempts and passive Agility boosts versus a low agility enemy.  I can also see Minh getting there while investigating low shroud locations (although my Minh decks tend to have a lot of card draw already and low costs).  Depending on upgrade paths, Agnes' effective Willpower can get very high, more than is needed although I never have enough room in her decks.  Silas and Finn can get there with fight attempts.

 

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I like most of them more.

Alice Luxley:  Alice is pretty much the inverse of Roland Banks' special ability - instead of kill a monster and get a clue she is get a clue and hurt/kill a monster. In fact, I can see a nice synergy there on either a reasonably low Shroud location or just using Scene of the Crime to discover a clue, use Alice to off some fracking Whippoorwill, the use Roland to grab another clue. And with other clue gathering cards and new clue clearing cards proliferating, the synergies go through the roof. I'd rate her a solid for Roland and Joe as well, and even potential with Leo and his horde. 5/5 all the way.

Well Maintained*:  Again, as the card pool proliferates, combos are getting more and more likely, and anything that plays into that is going to get more and more powerful. Also, I think you underestimate the effect of Mythos Cards that make you discard Assets. Losing your super-weapon because you pull Corrosion just as you drop the last upgrade on it is . . . Well, yeah. As it does require effort I'd knock it down to 4/5, but getting back your weapon AND your Custom Ammo AND your Reliable makes it quite worthwhile.

Mr Rook:   Mr. Rook is an exercise in living dangerously. How many cards do you dare to pull? I do agree on timing when you get your Weakness, but it is still going to be a risk. 2/5

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera:   Yet again, synergy with combos for the win. What I would rate this down on is multiplayer, where you have to clear 4-8 clues from a location instead of 1-4. Otherwise this is +1 Will, +1 Int, and +1 San for $2. That's worth a 4/5 1-2 player games and 3/5 in 3-4 player games.

Swift Reflexes:  I'd say you are. I cannot count the number of times I've wanted to take just one action first - say to engage or backstab or whatever a monster that is engaged with the Seeker so the Seeker can cluever out the location, but don't want to take all actions before the Seeker, or similar circumstances. Adding mucking with turn order to getting an extra action to Rogues is like icing on the cake. I'm going full 5/5 for this, 4/5 for 1 or 2 player.

Henry Wan: Yeah. Not awesome. 1/5

Wither:  If only there was a way to use this before the Guardians go. Some sort of reflexes or something. ;) I really don't see any downside on this unless you HAVE to be the person to do all the damage and get all the kills. 5/5

Sixth Sense:  I love it more.  No charges and a bonus instead of a penalty for drawing a symbol token? More than worth getting a Will bonus or extra clues.  5/5

Belly of the Beast:  And you can't waste it. (Play AFTER you have succeeded by 2, not before and maybe get the bonus.) 4/5

Drawing Thin: Why use it to fail? There are plenty of enemies Survivors can evade even after you give them a +2.  For that matter, Agnes Baker and her 5 Will, or Minh Thi Phan and her 5 Intellect and extra skill icons can play around with it with abandon. Even Finn Edwards or Jenny Barnes who routinely play for Double or Nothing will have another version with this. 5/5  for succeeding with style!

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3 hours ago, SamWeiss said:

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera:   Yet again, synergy with combos for the win. What I would rate this down on is multiplayer, where you have to clear 4-8 clues from a location instead of 1-4. Otherwise this is +1 Will, +1 Int, and +1 San for $2. That's worth a 4/5 1-2 player games and 3/5 in 3-4 player games.

This I don't get.  Even in a multi player, you still need to get the clues and you still need to get them at the same % rate as a single player game (if it would take you a turn to clear in single, it should take the team a turn to clear in multi player).  The Agenda typically doesn't lengthen because you have more players.   The only issue I see is the potential for splitting up and even then when you have it out, it should be clear that you need help getting the clues to power up your camera.

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Drawing Thin does look good both ways.... especially if you have look what I found in yr hand for that investigation check... hey I found some evidence and a pile of cash.... or maybe....

Drawing Thin + dark horse + fire axe + Preston = 3x attacks at +4skill/+1dam, or extra cash to spend after the critter is dead or an extra card draw.....

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I've got my reviews up. I really think everyone's underestimating Rook's ability to get your weakness out of the way. Pretty much all of the two-action weaknesses rely on you pulling them at an inopportune moment; if they come out when everything's going smoothly, they're merely annoying. There are weaknesses that you don't want to draw early (or ever), and Rook's pretty dangerous with those around, but otherwise, I think you can leverage his downside into an upside.

By the way, am I missing something about Wither? It's a great backup attack, sure, but what's with all the 5/5s?

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23 minutes ago, rsdockery said:

By the way, am I missing something about Wither? It's a great backup attack, sure, but what's with all the 5/5s?

For the same reasons Machete is 5/5 even when Lightning Gun exists - it's a great backup attack and it doesn't have charges.
Yeah, it doesn't have a bonus to hit. But it gives a penalty, and so won't blow up a friend when you miss. And with those penalties, you can reduce some enemies to 0 combat, so even weak allies can finish them off.

3 hours ago, Jobu said:

This I don't get.  Even in a multi player, you still need to get the clues and you still need to get them at the same % rate as a single player game (if it would take you a turn to clear in single, it should take the team a turn to clear in multi player).  The Agenda typically doesn't lengthen because you have more players.   The only issue I see is the potential for splitting up and even then when you have it out, it should be clear that you need help getting the clues to power up your camera.

Mostly it is getting the time right. Sure the team can clear at location with the same effective number of actions, but did the guy with the camera move into the location first? That is compounded when you are in a situation where you could clear two locations in a turn, and the guy using the camera has to move in between the clearings. (Which is something that feeds my liking of Swift Reflexes so much.)
Things like Intel Report and Sixth Sense will reduce that, but it is still going to be an issue.

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Posted (edited)

Alice Luxley: This card is pretty good, I've played with her on Carolyn (proxied) and found her pretty effective, especially if you are running out of the 15 Mystic/Seeker slots. She's relatively expensive but she boasts a solid, useful pair of abilities coupled with a bit of soak. Unfortunately I don't think she's much use for Roland Banks on higher difficulties unless you're really leaning into other Intellect boosts, since he generally tends to want to avoid testing to investigate and instead pick up clues with cards and his ability - base 3 intellect doesn't really cut it on Hard and above, and raising that to 4 isn't really enough either...but that might change with the second Guardian card below, so I may revisit that opinion next time I get to play Roland. I think she'll find a place with Joe Diamond, particularly as my group bans Dr Milan Christopher. She might also find a place on Jenny Barnes (or I guess Skids) as she has extremely strong synergy with Lola Santiago.

Flavour-wise I love it, the art is great, the mechanical flavour is strong, and it's nice to have a diverse range of characters in the game. The flavour text is pretty good too - not many cards in the pack have flavour text, unfortunately.

Well Maintained: I was initially rather puzzled as to why you'd bother with this - sure it sucks to lose a machete with 2x Reliable on it to a Crypt Chill or something but that's a rare situation to go through, particularly when you could instead pack more general solutions to treachery cards. But then I realised it's more about reloading weapons and flexible use of hand slots, and it all came together for me. The main use of the card seems to be as a kind of action reload. I don't suspect it will be much use for William Yorick as he can play stuff from the discard with his ability, but Mark Harrigan with Act of Desperation and a Flamethrower would certainly like it, as would Zoey if she picks up AoD as one of her 5 off-class. It synergises poorly with Extra Ammunition, but Extra Ammunition is a terrible option for the BAR so it's nice if that's your weapon of choice. It combos really nicely with Custom Ammunition, however, letting you get the extra ammo boost a second time along with the gun. It also gives you a way to "reload" the Enchanted Blade, which uses Charges rather than Ammo. Looping back to Alice Luxley and Roland Banks, I think this card might enable Roland builds that use hand slot items like Magnifying Glass or Fingerprint Kit and that therefore allow Roland to emphasise normal investigation with intellect - I can imagine using Magnifying Glass to discard an empty BAR when the enemies are all down, and then pulling the Glass back to hand and playing the BAR again when it's fight time. Finally, it's worth noting that it works as a way to recharge Flashlight etc. as well as weapons, as it goes on any Item cards - could be a way for Diana to re-use a Grotesque Statue!

The flavour is a little bland but I do like the art, it emphasises the Guardian "always prepared" vibe.

Sixth Sense: This is very much a viable alternative to Rite of Seeking. Rite is for people like Akachi who like the traditional Mysic strategy of using big, splashy effects with limited charges, whereas I think this is more for Mystics who concentrate on combat and/or support - it's less action-efficient than Rite but it is more reliable for just investigating several times a turn, so I can see it as being a thing to use on the occasional turn you don't have anything to kill. Alternatively, it finally makes it viable to play low-intellect Mystics concentrating on clue-gathering - if you get both this and Rite out, you can use Sixth Sense for your first 2 investigations and then Rite for the last action of the turn for pretty great action efficiency. It also works well alongside Rite of Seeking, especially Rite of Seeking (4) for those situations where there's some odd clues left over - it's always sad using Rite of Seeking (4) on a 4-clue victory location, because you really don't want to use a Rite charge to pick up just one clue. It's really, really good as an off-class slot choice as well. Ashcan Pete and particularly Zoey and Sefina will really appreciate it - a reliable way to consistently contribute to investigation when they aren't doing their main thing.

Mechanical flavour is pretty boring, it's the most straightforward iteration of Mystic "use Willpower to do x" theme possible. The art is pretty trippy though - but not really about a "sixth sense" per se.

Wither: Less interesting than Sixth Sense, that's for sure. I guess it's handy for like, a combat-focused Agnes to start with, upgrading it into Shards of the Void later on, as a second "weapon" to ensure you have a combat option in your opening hand. Otherwise could be a nice off-class choice for a high-will investigator with no combat ability who just wants a "backup" attack option - "Ashcan" Pete, Sefina, Daisy and Carolyn come to mind. The symbol effect is pretty marginal, honestly, since it only lasts for your own turn, but I suppose that's about the most you can expect. It's not amazing (most of the time it just lets a Mystic be the equivalent of an unarmed Guardian) but it has its place in the game.

Mechanical flavour just as boring as Sixth Sense but I do really like the art!

Henry Wan: As has been tirelessly explained by people with much better grasp of probability than me, this card sucks. Probability isn't on its side (in many situations, optimal use of his ability is on average worse than just spending an action to get a resource), he takes up an ally slot which could be one of the good rogue allies, and the awful inefficiency of his ability is compounded by the significant initial cost and opportunity cost. He even has awful soak (and if you kill him off you have really, really wasted your time and resources) and icons. You could set up a seal-everything situation in certain campaign configurations making him capable of paying for himself, but it's so, so much setup for, ultimately, just resources; setup costing time, cards, resources and opportunities that could be spent winning the game. This might be the pinnacle of bad design in this game - it's nigh-on worthless, could appear to be a good option for inexperienced or less mathematically minded players so could be highly misleading about its actual value, and the only times it's not worthless it instead completely ruins the game economy. Play Leo de Luca and use the extra action to get a resource or something, you'll be overall happier. I wish this card had never been printed.

Mechanical flavour makes no sense. What's going on here? How is this aspiring actor doing this? Are we...sponsoring his auditions or something? Art is nice if unexciting, I wish it was on a better card.

Swift Reflexes: I feel like this card was inevitable. It's as straightforward as Working a Hunch for Seekers. It's a pretty great card, especially early on, and especially for characters with a huge cashflow. It also helps facilitate big combo turns, and of course Wendy likes it as a way to extend those Will to Survive turns. Double matching icons, too, which gives it enormous flexibility on top of the flexibility of its actual effect.

Flavour is pretty nondescript, you're fast and it shows, but it's archetypical rogue stuff. Art is "fine", acrobatic shooting guns is pretty played out on card art by now but it isn't bad.

Hawk-eye Folding Camera: Hot take, this card basically sucks. It suffers from what is sometimes called Magical Christmas Land thinking - a hand slot that gives you 2 useful stats and sanity as a reward for doing your job sounds great at first glance. Unfortunately it suffers from a number of issues. The first is that the bonuses aren't as great as they look - seekers want Intellect of course, but the Willpower boost isn't doing much more than helping against the Encounter deck for most people (more on that in a bit), and for that you're getting more benefit out of Tooth of Eztli, and the sanity is mostly just a nice bonus as Seekers have high base sanity. This feeds into the second issue, which is that hand slots face serious competition for Seeker. If you primarily care about the Intellect for investigation, use a magnifying glass, which is cheaper, fast and comes online immediately, or Fingerprint Kit, which comes online immediately and gives you multi-clue gathering. The only benefit of the HEFC in this regard is that it helps with other effects that use your Intellect - Parley, Mind over Matter and I've Got A Plan! - which is a valid point but those only come up occasionally, and for those occasions you have Higher Education. That's the third point - boosting Int and Willpower is already doable in many other ways, from St Hubert's Key to Dr Milan to Talent assets, so a card needs to offer great flexibility or efficiency to compete and HEFC really doesn't. The really big knock against it, however, is that the requirement to charge it up is actually really arduous. In some scenarios, for instance, there aren't that many locations you can easily get to and clear (or be present to clear, but I mean you are the seeker, it's primarily your job); what if you want to split up to investigate more efficiently? What if Roland wants to kill an enemy and grab the last clue, should he wait a turn for you to get there? Card effects like this have a major hidden disadvantage in that they encourage you to play in a way that isn't optimal or ideal. To power up the HEFC, you need to be investigating - which is the very thing the HEFC is supposed to help with, and also the very thing that using a magnifying glass instead would help with - the opportunity cost essentially makes it harder to investigate and then requires you to successfully investigate to recoup the investment. It also is only worth it if you get the card out early - sure if you get it out turn 1 and work dilligently to charge it up ASAP, you'll see the benefit for much of the scenario, but what if it's halfway down your deck? Are you going to hard mulligan for the HEFC over Milan or Ancient Stone or Strange Solution, or tutor it out with No Stone Unturned? It's not good enough to justify that, and if you don't get it until later you may never see the benefit from it - if you draw Magnifying Glass turn 10 that's a disappointment but you could just play it, it's Fast, and you'll see some benefit, whereas HEFC will never come online and will cost an action to play for no benefit - and it has awful icons so it's not even good to throw away. It is also very scenario-dependent, so if you're in a scenario with lots of asset hate (such as Straightjacket in The Unspeakable Oath) it's a terrible choice - if you lose a magnifying glass, slight setback, but if you lose the HEFC, massive loss of investment; also, some scenarios just won't let you easily charge it up.

Now having said all that, it has synergy with the "drop a clue" cards - Forewarned, Dr William T. Maleson, and Quick Study; while you can't get multiple charges from the same location, being able to drop a clue at a cleared location or a location that never had clues on it frees you from the worry of making sure you're always there for the last clue, and lets you charge up at low-shroud locations. With that in mind, I think there's one person who might want it, and that's Roland Banks. He has a strong need for all 3 stats it offers (notably, extra sanity is excellent for him), he might be the only investigator to get good use out of Quick Study, he can easily pick up the last clue from locations after dropping them with his investigator ability and other testless investigation tools, he likes being able to drop clues in order to clear his weakness, and since his primary job isn't making Investigate tests, it doesn't compare as poorly to Magnifying Glass. He'd need to either guarantee a Bandolier or stick purely to one-handed weapons, but that's doable. I think it would be an interesting and fun build. Also, if we get an investigator with a strong synergy for placing clues on locations, I think HEFC would be a great fit for them as well (on a tangent, my theoretical "fix" for Rex Murphy would really work amazingly well with this). Daisy or maybe Carolyn emphasising willpower for some mystic spells would also find a bit more benefit from this than most, as they have a lot of use for even the first level of benefits.

The mechanical flavour is, of course, great. I also like the idea of having a "mission" to do that might conflict with the primary goal of the scenario in the short term to help you win in the long term, which reminds me a lot of the Personal Stories in Arkham Horror Board Game 2e and Eldritch Horror, and I hope this becomes a major implicit or explicit design space the designers explore. Art is, you know, it's fine.

Mr "Rook": A fantastic card. Much as @rsdockery notes in their review, the "limitation" that you need to also choose a weakness if you find one is often a boon rather than a penalty. Take, for instance, the investigator closest to my heart, Carolyn Fern with her Replacement cards. With Mr "Rook", she can pick to search 9 the turn before the agenda advances (or the turn before that if she also has Deny Existence in hand), digging for To Fight The Black Wind and having it land when it will do no damage (aside from 1 direct horror) - and she also gets to search 9 cards for Foolishness or whatever card she needs. Minh can search for The King In Yellow when she has the cards in hand to clear it, Zoey can search for Smite the Wicked when it's otherwise quiet and/or when she's in a central location, Finn can search for Caught Red-Handed when there's a target to prevent it reshuffling that won't cause problems, Marie Lambeau can pull out Baron Samedi when the agenda is fresh and she doesn't mind taking up her ally slot. It also works on certain basic weaknesses - any of the double-action-to-clear or enemy weaknesses when it's nice and quiet, Amnesia/Paranoia when your hand/resource pool is mostly empty, etc.

The main positive effect is also great, particularly for characters or builds that rely on certain cards - Roland or Joe to help them find weapons, Carolyn for the allies she needs, Minh to get her fantastic unique asset, and so on. Aside from the situations where getting your weakness out of the way is a good thing, there are also situations where the weakness downside doesn't do anything - if you've already cleared your weaknesses, for example. This is particularly important if your basic weakness is Indebted, as it never enters your deck, and/or if you're Joe Diamond, whose signature weakness is not in his main deck.

Mechanical flavour is great, it's a lovely "knowledge at a cost" feeling that is reinforced by the flavour text. The art is kind of goofy but I also like it, an unassuming man who's actually a dodgy information broker.

Belly of the Beast: It's Evidence!, but for evading! And with worse icons! And costing resources! Eh, it's OK, I guess. I think it'll see use for Rita and Wendy, testless fast-speed clue gathering is always worth looking at, but it's only slightly more efficient than Working A Hunch, with a very restrictive condition. I'd consider it in my starting deck, and I'd get rid of it very quickly as I was upgrading. This card is a resounding "meh".

Art is relatively nondescript, the mechanical flavour doesn't really gel, and I ultimately don't really understand what's actually happening when it is played.

Drawing Thin: I'm 95% sure this card is going on our banned list alongside Dr Milan Christopher and Key of Ys. Like, this card is utterly, completely ridiculous. As a pure economy card, it draws comparison to other economy options and can to an extent be evaluated in terms of "click economy". So, it costs 0 resources and 0 exp, so to play it you're down 1 card and 1 action. Then, every round, you can spend an action to take a test you don't care that you fail - investigate your location, evade an enemy, whatever - to get 2 resources. 2 resources for 1 action is roughly as efficient as playing Emergency Cache (0), since it's 1 fewer resources but you haven't spent a card. If you've ever played with Dario el-Amin, you'll know that repeatable 2 resources for 1 action is a lot better than you might think. And that's the worst-case scenario for this card. If you are able to pass the test despite the difficulty boost (which is very doable with Will to Survive), it's 2 resources for 0 actions, roughly as efficient as Emergency Cache (2), but anything that's essentially a Fast ability is very valuable because it doesn't conflict with doing other things. The same is true if you're using it on a test in the Mythos Phase that you were planning on failing anyway. It also combos very well with other things - if you have Rabbit's Foot out you can essentially spend an action for Emergency Cache (2) every round - or if you have Rabbit's Foot (3) you will get to search more of your deck than otherwise; it makes Take Heart that much better; and by far the most important is that you can have 2 copies of Drawing Thin in play, unlike cards like Lone Wolf that are limit 1 in play. Obviously you won't always be able to get both in play easily, but in situations where you do, that's 4 resources for 1 action and 0 cards every turn - the same efficiency as Hot Streak (2) or better if you aren't wasting an action! Survivor has always had resource economy as its big weakness, Wendy notwithstanding, so this card is even better than it would be in another class. Such an utterly absurd boost to resource economy more or less completely solves William Yorick's downsides, for instance. It even benefits Seekers and Rogues in a big way as well - +2 difficulty for 2 resources is pure profit if you put those resources immediately back into Higher Education or Streetwise, so you might see Preston Fairmont rocking 2 copies. Likewise, mystics have serious resource issues so this may see a lot of use by Agnes and even Jim. It doesn't usually combo all that well with Look What I Found!, Oops!, Dumb Luck, unless the test was previously 0 difficulty (use a flashlight or lantern, maybe) or you can be certain how much you'll fail by (Will to Survive, Premonition), except in the normal way of happening to fail by 2 rather than setting it up that way.

If you can get 2 copies of Drawing Thin and 1 copy of Madame Lebranche (or Lone Wolf if you have access to it), that's a consistent 6 resources every turn. If you then have 1 copy each of True Survivor and Will to Survive, and 2 copies of Resourceful, you have the resources to can play Will to Survive every round, forever, at the cost of the 1 action required for True Survivor (since you're probably going to pass the Drawing Thin test even with the increased difficulty thanks to Will to Survive). If you're Pete, Wendy or Silas, you can also add 1 copy of Quick Thinking for an extra action every round, and Wendy and Pete can also add Leo de Luca for a fifth action. Now, that takes a lot of setup, even with Rabbit's Foot helping, so my earlier comments about Magical Christmas Land apply, but this is an achievable combo that will render the game trivial, forever. Obviously a very boring combo and one that is far from reliable to set up, but that's merely a "best case" scenario for why this card is way, way too strong.

I really wish it wasn't this strong (1 resource and/or limit 1 in play, maybe with an initial cost or exp cost, would probably do the trick) because I love the mechanical flavour and the artwork. This is a card design that Survivors have been in need of for a long time and that works in an incredibly flavourful way, and it's a shame it seems so broken.

Edited by Allonym

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Posted (edited)

Love all the responses,  just a few replies to some specific points.

Well-Maintained:   I think I'm pretty much with the majority here.   But I am maybe a hair less impressed.   The potential here is good,  .... but a lot of things have to go a certain way first.   I dont think this is very good to "protect" an asset from treachery discard like Crypt Chill or the like.   Usually it's just as easy to put out a cheap throwaway asset you can discard instead, like painkillers.   

Rook:  Weakness-drawing does seem kind of interesting, and I do think it's good.   But I also maintain that it's not *as* good as what you can get from other seeker allies:  particularly Milan,  but also Eli, and Art Student.

Camera:   As I tried to explain in initial post, and Allonym was getting at as well...  it's just too slow.  Yes, +1 willpower is nice, but you are really after the +1 intellect.   For that you need to clear 2 locations, and you need to do it without the help of any intellect boost from the camera.  Magnifying glass is just faster, and cheaper...  and still yields the best of the 3 benefits the camera offers.

Swift Reflexes:   I'm holding my ground on this one.  I just dont think that taking an action in the middle of another investigators turn is going to be so consistently useful that I am putting this in my deck.   I don't think this is a good card,  I remain unconvinced.

Henry Wan:  While yes, it's possible to envision a scenario where you remove all the bad stuff from the chaos bag and then Henry Wan goes to town....  this doesn't make him good.   It makes him exploitable.   Still a bad card, and I have to agree with Allonym....   one of the worst-designed cards we've seen so far.   A trap.


Wither:  You're not missing anything.   I think it comes down to the current mystic conundrum of that they just dont have a lot of attack options, especially at low XP cost.  Shriveling is great, but you can only have 2.   Mystic doesnt have a ton of draw or search options besides the Arcane Initiate,  which helps, but still,  for something as critical as this:  essentially making the difference between if you can realistically harm a monster or not...  2 copies of your thing that lets you attack is light.  And if you're not Akachi,  you might well run out of charges.   Wither gives you a repeatable damage option that uses your good stat.    And of course everyone is wondering if we will be able to Arcane Research this in the future =p.   Oh, and SamWeiss;  whither specifically says you can not reduce an enemy to 0 combat, sorry.

Edited by awp832

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Posted (edited)

I did say I didn't think Henry was good 😀 But I disagree that it's a poorly designed card. A card that looks good at first glance but is really awful unless you manage to create the right environment even though that's very hard and then it's incredible... That is brilliant design, and the fundamental concept for combo decks.

I'm with Allonym on Rook though, especially since you still get the draw as well as the weakness. So even if you hit one, you're effectively getting a free card draw at the same time. And I agree that there are many, many situations where you're either ok with or even want to draw a weakness.

 

Edited by Buhallin

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Posted (edited)

One thing I only sort of alluded to with the Hawk-Eye Folding Camera is that it has a really narrow window of utility. It's scenario-dependent but if you are going for the int boost (and you probably should be as a seeker), it is only going to be online for a relatively short period of the game. Let's say you're in a small map like The Gathering. If you get the HEFC out turn one, you need to clear 2 locations before it helps you investigate, and by that time you're halfway done with the scenario. In any scenario, if you get it out when there's 3 locations left to clear, even if you manage to be there for every one being cleared, it's only going to help you investigate a single location. It also requires you to clear locations, and sometimes, particularly where there aren't any more victory points to be had, that isn't the optimal choice.

Now, in some scenarios it will be much better (certain TFA scenarios come to mind as ones with loads of locations and a strong emphasis on clearing them, and some scenarios feature a number of locations with 1 clue), but it's a card that needs to be central to your build to be worth the slot because it's so inflexible and has such bad icons, so the worst case is more useful than the best case in analysing its value - unless you're a rogue, the only time you should have cards that only help in certain scenarios is if they help early on, like Fine Clothes, and can then be freely replaced, because otherwise why not just use one of the many cards that is useful more often? 

Likewise, while you can use cards to drop clues so you can set up the camera, unless you were going to use and get benefit from those cards in the first place, you're just making more investigation work for yourself and your team and including yet more cards so that what, you can get +1 to a stat or two? Which ties right in with my objection to cards that encourage you to play badly. That is why I think just Roland wants it, because just Roland can make good use out of Quick Study.

Edited by Allonym

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Buhallin said:

I did say I didn't think Henry was good 😀 But I disagree that it's a poorly designed card. A card that looks good at first glance but is really awful unless you manage to create the right environment even though that's very hard and then it's incredible... That is brilliant design, and the fundamental concept for combo decks.

 

Combos are great, I'm all for combos. The problem with Henry's design is threefold -

First, it's so binary - even if you seal all but one of the symbol tokens he's still not worth using since the payout isn't remotely commensurate to the real and opportunity costs for setting it all up, but if you seal it all up he suddenly becomes game-shatteringly strong (assuming that you can actually use all the resources he generates). Combos where the pieces are greater than the sum of their parts is good game design, but cards that are either worthless or broken just don't seem like good design - regardless of which of the two categories the card falls into at a given moment, the balance of the game is worse for its presence. Much like with the specific combo for infinite action Rita, aside from as an intellectual exercise, would anyone actually have fun doing this? Assuming that you have the capacity to turn bountiful resources into guaranteed victory, you're no longer playing Arkham Horror, you're more just playing a complex game of solitaire. 

Second, it relies on a very specific investigator setup. The hoops required to make him go nuclear on solo are laughably restrictive, so you're looking at a realistic minimum of 2 investigators, probably more, before he works. There's other cards that are multiplayer focused but they at least broadcast the fact - in this case it just reinforces the card as a trap for the unwary. 

Third and most important in terms of whether it's a well-designed combo card or a poorly designed mess, it's straight-up impossible to make him work in certain campaigns, and even where he does work you need to make very specific campaign choices to limit the chaos bag. It seems far more likely that he was simply not thought through rather than that he was built specifically with this meta-combo potential that only works in a few campaign paths in mind. 

Edited by Allonym

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If the camera was an accessory, it would be money. But as has been mentioned by multiple people, Seekers already have magnifying glasses. And Fingerprint Kit. And Flashlight. And Daisy has her Tomes. And she has The Cthonian Stone. Ursula has all sorts of relics. Joe Diamond can normally be holding weapons. Norman can be holding mystic items. I think this is mostly useful for Rex, who will be clearing clues and can use the Willpower, Minh, and worth inclusion for Joe in case he draws his own guns.

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The Camera seems to be pretty solidly aimed at Mystic/Seeker hybrids. As far as I can find it's the only hand slot that gives a willpower boost, and it still covers the intellect boost you could normally get from the slot (which is universal rather than just for investigation at that). Especially if you can afford the setup time, I can see a number of decks getting use out of it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Buhallin said:

The Camera seems to be pretty solidly aimed at Mystic/Seeker hybrids. As far as I can find it's the only hand slot that gives a willpower boost, and it still covers the intellect boost you could normally get from the slot (which is universal rather than just for investigation at that). Especially if you can afford the setup time, I can see a number of decks getting use out of it.

Yeah, I think this is key. For people who are going to be running mystic cards, this allows you to get a will bonus in your hand slot plus your accessory (where you normally get it), and also maybe an ally. Or it frees up that ally slot for something that doesn't give you will or intelligence bumps, making it easier to throw allies down for effects like Art Student and Research Librarian without being forced to take charisma (I'm assuming you'll have access to lvl 0 seeker cards here).

Edited by Soakman

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Especially with regards to the Camera, but also to Henry (whose range is admittedly much smaller) I think we're reaching a point in the game where card analysis is going to have to start looking past just "good" or "bad", or "Good for Seekers", or even "Good for Daisy".  The card pool is big enough now that most major needs are covered.  If the only analysis left is "What helps Seekers get clues better" then the range of interesting cards is going to be very narrow, and the only thing available is power creep.

Instead it feels like we're starting to get cards that bring wider flexibility, but with a cost.  That cost won't be paying for all decks, even within the same investigator.  A clue gatherer/support Daisy won't want the Camera.  A spell slinging Daisy is another matter entirely.  Is it worth it for Mystics?  Probably not, but a Dark Horse Jim build, possibly.  This is a very good thing for the game, as it will enable a much broader and more interesting set of deck options.  I've seen this myself - Protective Incantation is generally considered awful, but in a bag control Norman build with Milan to fund it, it's incredible (hence my thoughts of what Henry could do paired with someone like that).

If the only thing we care about when we look at a card is how well it supports the very one-dimensional Seeker/Guardian play, it's going to miss a lot of what's coming.

 

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16 hours ago, Buhallin said:

Especially with regards to the Camera, but also to Henry (whose range is admittedly much smaller) I think we're reaching a point in the game where card analysis is going to have to start looking past just "good" or "bad", or "Good for Seekers", or even "Good for Daisy".  The card pool is big enough now that most major needs are covered.  If the only analysis left is "What helps Seekers get clues better" then the range of interesting cards is going to be very narrow, and the only thing available is power creep. 

Instead it feels like we're starting to get cards that bring wider flexibility, but with a cost.  That cost won't be paying for all decks, even within the same investigator.  A clue gatherer/support Daisy won't want the Camera.  A spell slinging Daisy is another matter entirely.  Is it worth it for Mystics?  Probably not, but a Dark Horse Jim build, possibly.  This is a very good thing for the game, as it will enable a much broader and more interesting set of deck options.  I've seen this myself - Protective Incantation is generally considered awful, but in a bag control Norman build with Milan to fund it, it's incredible (hence my thoughts of what Henry could do paired with someone like that). 

If the only thing we care about when we look at a card is how well it supports the very one-dimensional Seeker/Guardian play, it's going to miss a lot of what's coming. 

  

Thanks, for this post.

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Posted (edited)

Having played the game more sporadically over the last couple of years it has certainly become apparent to me now that I have been back playing consistently for a few months how the card pool now is starting to round out investigators and open up interesting deck builds.. the points made by buhallin on the camera and in general really hit on that note for me..... sixth sense starts to open up the concept of a mystic doing lots of the clue gathering even more, so if they can take the camera it’s going to power up all their spells as well... 

as ever I really enjoy reading people’s take on the cards, as it often opens up lines of thought for me that can lead to some great deck ideas!!!

 

Edited by gazzagames

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Here is my take:

Alice Luxley: She seems decent for investigators that don't are primary fighters. Though i fear the restriction is pretty high. Having an enemy engaged with another player at a location you are able to investigate this round is a pretty steep requirement. Also the damage needs to be meaningful which sometimes it isn't. 3/5

Well Maintained: Awesome card. Also worth using when you're not upgrading your weapon. It is a more flexible extra ammunition which also has the utility to save you from frozen in fear or other treacheries like drawing the sign. Also This card is bonkers in Mark Harrigan because he can also use "act of desperation". Hit your weapon in the head of a cultist, get x resources, get the weapon back to your hand, replay the weapon. 5/5

Mr Rook: An old book of lore that soaks damage and doesn't cost an action to activate? I dont consider the "risk" of drawing a weakness a downside. When you feel you're not under pressure, draw 9. When under pressure, draw only 3. 5/5

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera: This card might be great in investigators that are not primary seekers like Carolyn. Note: You dont have to be the investigator that clears the last clue. Any seeker at your location can take their turn first, clear the location and giving you a willpower/knowledge "for free" in the process. 4/5

Swift Reflexes: 2 resources for an extra action does not always seem like a lot. Extra actions are always great. I consider this a lvl 0 variant of Ace in the Hole. 5/5 if you have the money

Henry Wan: I don't like taking extra risks.  1/5

Wither: Finally a second lvl 0 spell for mystics that does damage. Unfortunately the reduction of attack value doesn't last for the whole investigator phase. 3/5

Sixth Sense: Simple, mediocre in efficiency. Needs a bit of work to have its special token effect resolve reliably. 3/5

Belly of the Beast: Again, the same limitations Alice Luxley has. 2/5 for clogging your hand most of the time

Drawing Thin: Very flexible card. Activate this card while investigating while also being short on resources. Either result is great. Might be tough to fit this card in a deck though. 4/5

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I put Hawk-Eye Folding Camera in a Joe deck and got it early in a couple games.  It was fantastic.  I can see it being dead in my hand if I draw it late game, but when it came out early the bonuses it gave to Joe were too good to be ignored and it was easy for him to clear a couple of locations quickly in pretty much all the TCU scenarios so far.

In comparison I put Belly of The Beast in my Rita deck and it barely did anything.  It was much too situatal, which was a shame.  She needs more good ways to grab clues.  Especially if you fill her hands with the amazing bow and I can't see playing her any other way honestly.  The bow just makes her such a confident crowd control investigator.  For me it really took the pressure off Joe and let him just grab lots of clues throughout TCU.

I feel like between Drawing Thin, Take Heart and Rabbit's Foot there's a real blow through your deck as fast as possible Survivor build.  Certainly people who love to throw cards away every turn like Ashcan and Wendy can appreciate building such a card hungry engine.

Edited by phillos

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11 minutes ago, phillos said:

I put Hawk-Eye Folding Camera in a Joe deck and got it early in a couple games.  It was fantastic.  I can see it being dead in my hand if I draw it late game, but when it came out early the bonuses it gave to Joe were too good to be ignored and it was easy for him to clear a couple of locations quickly in pretty much all the TCU scenarios so far.

In comparison I put Belly of The Beast in my Rite deck and it barely did anything.  It was much too situation, which was a shame.  She needs more good ways to grab clues.  Especially if you fill her hands with the amazing bow and I can't see playing her any other way honestly.  The bow just makes her such a confident crowd control investigator.  For me it really took the pressure off Joe and let him just grab lots of clues throughout TCU. 

I feel like between Drawing Thin, Take Heart and Rabbit's Foot there's a real blow through your deck as fast as possible Survivor build.  Certainly people who love to throw cards away every turn like Ashcan and Wendy can appreciate building such a card hungry engine. 

I can see if you are playing Rita with the Bow how Belly of the Beast doesn't work.  She just doesn't evade enough.  A build that more involves Rita evading to manage enemies will see different results.

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Rita still evades often.  She needs to reload her bow alot in combat situations (multiple enemies engaged or back to back fighting rounds for example) .  Also sometimes she just wants to evade a witch badly in TCU.  Also she get's the ping damage from evading which is important for 4+ hp enemies.  She doesn't evade as nearly as much as she did before I bought the bow though, which means to opportunity to play Belly comes up less often.  In addition the problem is she's not always evading where she needs to pick up a clue when she does have a good reason to evade.  When she does it's great.  When she doesn't and I have belly in my hand it feels sucky.  Though I'll give it some more time.  I suspect it would be better in a solo Rita sporting the bow, where she's starved for ways to pick clues off locations.  In two handed solo Joe was usually cleaning up clues around the place.  Rita was left to control the crowd or force her away across the board to initiate some trigger.

Add:  On the Camera again, I'm convinced it's better than alot of the tools Joe can take.  I went into Acidic Ichor early for big damage when he needed it.  Between that and his sig guns and Enchanted Blades he was fine as a secondary fighter.  I found he didn't really need to fill both hands with weapons.  He just desperately needed to shore up his willpower and sanity.  He's got high enough int where he can get by without the mag lens if he needs to, but I have it in there just to give him another redundant tool to slot if he doesn't see Camera early.  My Joe deck has a hard time paying for Fingerprint Kit.  Also with the clue gathering insight stuff in his hunch deck I found he didn't really need a bunch of clue acceleration help at 1 and 2 player games.  Maybe at 3+ when he's suppose to be the primary clue gatherer.  I believe I'm going to cut it.  Between Camera, Tooth of Eztli, Curiosity, Steadfast and Logical Reasoning Joe has been doing okay against the Willpower onslaught that is TCU. 

Edited by phillos

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So, yeah, Drawing Thin. I subbed it in my Rita deck for the last two scenarios of FA. With Will to Survive, Resourceful, and True Survivor, it made the game simple. I didn't even get all the combo pieces at once, but it was Enough for several broken turns every game. Did they playtest Drawing Thin sufficiently? I think it needs changes.

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