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SamWeiss

Union and Disillusion Player Cards - First Thoughts

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Posted (edited)

Warning Shot - 3/5 (4/5 in 3-4 player)
Spend 1 ammo, scare off non-elite enemies.
I like it. It let's you dump several flunkies in an out of the way location so you can go about the scenario as happy as can be. This will make it more useful in 3-4 player scenarios where you are more likely to get swarmed by a pack of flunkies, and less relevant in 1-2 player games where you will likely only have one flunky at a time, and why not just shoot him with your 2 damage weapon and be done with it? Of course the answer to that is, this is test-less - you cannot fail, unlike a regular shot where the Tentacles lurk to mock you.
The biggest downside is that it is an event, so you need to have your firearm out, then draw this, and you can only have two in your deck. Otherwise this would be game breaking for every low Fight Investigator who can take it. As it is, it is "just" good.

Telescopic Sight - 1/5 (unless I am really missing something)
Exhaust to target enemy in adjacent location ignoring aloof and retaliate. Can no longer use weapon against enemies engaged with you.
So for 3 more xp, 3 more resources, and 1 more action, you can make your Springfield M1903 useful. Once per turn.
Or, you know, put it on a good weapon so it is only useful once per turn because . . .  something?
Sure, there are a couple of scenarios where potting adjacent aloof enemies is REALLY useful. And then there is every other scenario where not being able to attack enemies engaged with you is a great way to take a point of trauma.
Oh, it can only be used on 2-handed weapons. Which makes me really want to ask the designers if they intended it to be an exclusive upgrade for the Springfield. Why? Well, mostly because you either physically cannot, or physically do not want to, place a telescopic sight on a shotgun, submachinegun, or light machine gun (the BAR), and definitely not on a flamethrower or lightning gun. Well, unless you like blinding yourself when you pull the trigger.
Also, in a bit of absurdity, by RAW, you can put a telescopic sight on Jenny's Twin .45s and Detective's Colt 1911s. I have to wonder if that is going to get a bit or errata in short order.

Knowledge is Power - 4/5 (and this card does corrupt absolutely)
Fast action, use a tome or spell in play or in hand.
No cost. No charge used. No action used. Just activate that tome or spell. You could discard one in hand and draw a card instead, but I expect that would be rare. Otherwise totally free use of a tome or spell just for having the card in hand. Yeah, that's some seriously tempting power.

Esoteric Atlas - 3/5
Double move. 4 uses.
It MUST be a double move, which reduces the value somewhat. And it takes a hand slot, something Seekers have too many other uses for. I can see it being a bit more useful for Daisy if she gets her satchel into play, as well as for Ursula to deal with her weakness.

Investments - 3/5
Wait 10 turns, get 10 resources.
There's the catch - the waiting 10 turns to collect. If you are big on instant gratification, this is not the card for you. And then of course there is the question of whether you have 10 turns to wait to collect. On the plus side, that means a big infusion of 10 resources for the end game.
Oh, and the card text reads: "Exhaust and discard . . ." Because . . . if you don't exhaust it before discarding something happens? Hmm . . .

Decoy - 2/5, 4/5 in multiplayer
Evade 1-2 non-elite enemies up to 2 locations away.
So you can pay some guy to distract the Yithians trying to kidnap your 1 Agility fellow investigator across town. Typically rogues can do this on their own, making the card way more useful in multiplayer, though Preston will always want it.
This is the second Service keyword card, following Intel Report for gathering clues. Will there be a "Drive By" to inflict 1-2 damage coming soon? And what kind of Willpower service would you purchase? Maybe some healing?

De Vermis Mysteriis - 3/5?
Exhaust and add 1 doom to replay a Spell or Insight card.
As always, Mystic cards are my weak point. But I routinely see discussions of doom finagling, so I'm figuring that kind of Mystic deck would really enjoy this card.
And Daisy can use it!

Guiding Spirit - 4/5
+1 Intellect and 3 Sanity soak ally.
It exiles, but it costs 1 xp. As I said about exile cards, that means an "effective" xp cost of 1-5 over a campaign. The Intellect boost is sweet for a Survivor, with the Sanity at least partly making up for this being an Ally and displacing Peter Sylvestre. Maybe that is not as good as I think it is, but it certainly looks worth it, especially since the Guiding Spirit is a mere 1 resource to put into play.

Fortune or Fate - 3/5 (I think)
Cancel 1 doom on a scenario card (so not your new wormy book). For 2 resources. Then exile. At 2 xp. Max once per game.
This is a difficult one. An extra turn is always sweet. But 2 xp each time? And a single Wild icon for a skill test on the other one sitting in your deck? It is definitely very Survivor, but is it worth displacing those other Exile cards?
Oh, it is Blessed, so Father Mateo can invest in it if he wants.

Edited by SamWeiss
Minor typo.

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Posted (edited)

Nice write up,  can't say I always agree, but I've not played with them.   Here are my first impressions


Warning Shot - 3/5 
I do like the idea of spending an ammo to flush a non-hunter enemy into a location that you don't have to deal with them.   Also,  It doesnt matter *what* ammo you spend,  just 1 ammo.    So an ammo off of your cheap .38 colt or .32 Derringer is just as good as a blast from a lightning gun.   That makes the card a lot better.   I think warning shot might get played in characters who want to run the weaker guns,  like William Yorrick.    Could be a nice card for the first couple of scenarios.   Maybe getting replaced later on,  but handy early campaign for sure.  I like this.

Telescopic Sight - 3/5 
I'm rating this much higher than SamWeiss did,  because it enables a new play style,   a sniper build.   And I think that's super cool.    Guys, remember Marksmanship and how good it is?   Well.... this is repeatable marksmanship.    That seems super strong.   Maybe strongest in 3-4 player where you can have this on a secondary fighter.  Unfortunately the extra text of making the weapon unable to be used on enemies engaged with you anymore...   stinks.   Because of that,  I just can't rate this any higher than 3/5.  

Knowledge is Power - 1/5 
I can see an argument here for Jim to just smash somebody once with a level-5 shriveling as a fast action at 0 cost.   Seems allright.  On anybody else,  1/5.   Even doing something like Panakotic Manuscripts,  this just isn't worth a deck slot for a one-time use.

Esoteric Atlas - 1/5
Number of time I want to move to a *revealed* location exactly 2 spaces away?    Pretty much never.   I'll tell you what,   for the same cost in resources, the same cost in XP,  in the same faction,  and not taking up any slots,   I'll just play Pathfinder instead and use it as much as I want.    Seriously,  why does this card exist when Pathfinder is superior in every way?   One of the worst cards so far.   

Investments - 2/5
I dunno.  I'll take Dario or Lone wolf over this.    Maybe it's a replacement for Lone Wolf in a 4 player game,   but it is much slower and the resources you get aren't immediately available. 
SamWeiss,  you wrote:  


"Oh, and the card text reads: "Exhaust and discard . . ." Because . . . if you don't exhaust it before discarding something happens? Hmm . . ."


Actually this is rather important.   Otherwise I could exhaust the card, add a resource to investments (say,  bringing it up to 10) , and then use the action on investments to take the money.   Since I can't exhaust the card again, I must wait until the next turn to take my money.    This delays the card's payoff an extra turn.


Decoy - 2.5/5
I'm sure Preston will get a lot of use out of this.   I played the similar Cunning Distraction and found it to be very good in his deck.    Might be a nice Wendy card too,  if she can bank enough resources with drawing thin.   Anyone else though... meh.  

De Vermis Mysteriis - 3.5/5
This is... pretty cool.    Right at this moment I am not sure how best to take advantage here.   But I am sure it can be done.    It turns all your "event" spells into repeatable spells.   Or you could play Drawn to the Flame like... a LOT.    I dunno.   Seems like all sorts of jank is enabled here.   I love that.    But like I said, right now I am not sure exactly the best use of this.

Guiding Spirit - 2/5
I dunno.   Competing hard against Peter Sylvestre here.   I just don't know how useful the +1 lore is on a survivor?   Who likes this?   

Fortune or Fate - 3/5 
This seems to be directly reflective of your opinion on exile cards.   If you like them,  Fortune or Fate seems like a really nice one to have.   If you don't....  you're not going to be including this.   Therefore I am rating it somewhere in the middle.   Personally I dont like the exile mechanic too much.

Edited by awp832

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Posted (edited)

I didn't find these cards particularly exciting, there's a few workhorse cards and some very niche effects. However...

Warning Shot

This card is pretty great. You shouldn't underestimate this card's effect at all - obviously it can be used to shunt one or more non-hunter enemies into a cul-de-sac that has already been cleared and they're essentially as good as dead, but it does a lot more than that as well. If the team is overwhelmed in the Mythos phase, you can go first, maybe shoot an enemy, then play Warning Shot, then move on - giving the rest of the team the ability to move freely. If you're really tanky (like a Zoey build), you can use it in a similar way to Taunt - force all the Hunter enemies engaged with your allies to an adjacent location, then in the Enemy phase they will Hunter back to your location and you can choose who they engage with (assuming they don't have Prey effects). It's great for helping split up big groups of enemies if some are Elite and some are not (e.g. at the end of The Gathering, if you're fighting the Ghoul Priest and some non-elite mooks). It works on Aloof enemies, so you can use it at the start of The House Always Wins to corral the Gangsters, or to shunt Whippoorwills or Humble Supplicants away for a round. It works really well together with Dynamite Blast, as you can force all the enemies into an adjacent location to let you safely bomb them - and if there were already some enemies in that location you've just made your Dynamite even more efficient. This grouping effect also helps to a lesser extent with other AoE attacks like Storm of Spirits. You can even use it just as an emergency button - if you're just sprinting to finish the game (agenda almost ended or you've almost escaped in one of those "everyone resign" scenarios) you can use it for a single turn's breathing room, which is all you need. It's a lot less attractive later on if you're going for a pure big gun build with Flamethrower and Lightning Gun because it's a huge waste of ammo, so in that case it's one of those cards that's great early on and worse later on (which is a great place for a card to be), but if you're using smaller guns or the M1918 BAR it's a lot less of a problem - and if you're using the Guardian .45 Thompson (3) you get the ammo back as a resource anyway, so money for old rope (having completed a .45 Thompson build I can confirm it's really, really fun - let me know if you wanna see the deck!). I love this card and I think that, if you try it out, you'll be surprised at just how many times it can be exactly what you need.

I love the art! My favourite girl Alice Luxley appears on another card, and stares down a spectral horde without flinching. Flavour text is short but sweet. And the mechanical flavour is complete gold.

Telescopic Sight

I like this card, but this card also sucks really, really badly. The good first: It's obviously meant to redeem the Springfield M1903, it's right there in the card art and the Springfield already has the disadvantage. I quite like the idea of playing the Springfield and the Telescopic Sight, and then using Teamwork to hand it to a buddy to have them cover you (since it unforgiveably has to be one of your own weapons, not one in the same location) - utterly inefficient and wasteful, but cool. I could see using it for fun with my Zoey .45 Thompson build - have a main Thompson, and then a second one in a Bandolier (2) for sniping. It's kind of like a built-in Marksmanship, only without the damage boost or the utility for ignoring Retaliate on an engaged enemy, and I can certainly see fascinating situations where you take out big boss enemies from a distance and pick off enemies left and right, saving lots of actions moving. It pairs naturally with Well-Maintained and Act of Desperation to get the sight back and make an attack once the gun is dry - or if you are caught with no other options. And it also naturally pairs with Warning Shot in this same pack to push enemies away if you are ambushed so you can snipe them. It's amusing to think of putting the Telescopic Sight on the "dual wielding" weapons but both Jenny's Twin .45s and the Detective's Colt 1911s are Signature cards so they can't be traded, and as such there's no way to put a Sight on them anyway.

However, the card has several huge problems. Firstly, it's really, really expensive. 3 exp, 3 cost and preventing you using 2 hands' worth of weapon for attacking engaged enemies, in order to let you snipe, it's just not remotely worth it. Marksmanship is a fun card but still more niche than staple, and it is far more flexible than the Telescopic Sight, still allowing you to attack engaged enemies, and also giving you conditional extra damage - and sniping is definitely something that is better in event form - nice to have as an occasional option when you need it, rather than being your primary strategy. If you want to not be a guardian who is completely helpless when engaged with an enemy you at the very least need Bandolier (0) and a 1-handed weapon like a Machete, and since you are presumably running 2-handed guns in the first place you're probably looking at Bandolier (2) and a second big gun - that's so much setup just to make this usable. It also doesn't prevent damage to allies if you miss so you're still putting people at risk if you snipe enemies engaged with them. The icons suck as well, slightly worse than a single wild icon and since it's an event, you can't even target it with Well Prepared. The real death knell for this card is the Blackjack (2) - it's one-handed, it's a self-contained package (so takes 1 action and 1 card to set up rather than 2 and 2), it is a melee weapon so no ammo issues, it won't harm allies if you miss enemies engaged with them, it's cheaper than the Telescopic Sight by itself, not even taking into account the cost of the weapon you're fitting the sight to (the cheapest 2-handed gun is 4 resources, aside from getting an Old Hunting Rifle from a friend with Teamwork) - and sure you need to move to be in the same location with the Blackjack and it won't let you do the occasional risk-free snipe if you have an unengaged enemy alone in a location, but it's so much more efficient and plays far better with other cards.

Ultimately, this card suffers just like the Springfield M1903 by being far too restrictive. If it was level 2 to let Yorick put it on an Old Hunting Rifle, cost less, could be put on weapons carried by allies...maybe it would have a niche. As it stands, this card is just so inefficient, so cumbersome, so restrictive and so expensive that it is absolute rubbish. Don't get me wrong - I'm already considering a Bandolier/Machete/Springfield M1903 build, but that will be purely for fun. You might find this card really enjoyable but I can't in good conscience recommend using it.

The art is essentially "fine". I'm a big believer that the background is important for gun art and in this case it's pretty nondescript but it does its job.

Knowledge is Power

If you can take this card on a mystic (Jim Culver if he has spare off-class slots, Marie Lambeau, and let's be honest Norman Withers, so far) you absolutely should take it, from the very start, and never ever get rid of it. It's that good. If this card wasn't Fast I would still take it on a mystic - as it is, it's absurd. At bare minimum it's 0 exp and 0 resources for an extra action and an extra charge for Shrivelling or Rite of Seeking or whatever, which is an incredible deal. And it gets far better than that. If you've ever been in a situation where you've been jumped by an enemy and you have Shrivelling or Mists of R'lyeh in hand and you are defenseless without it (note that both Norman and Marie have terrible Combat skill) and you really don't want to take an attack of opportunity but you have no choice (which happens multiple times a campaign for me), this card will let you blast them with the card in your hand! You'd keep this in your deck forever because it naturally improves as the power of Spells in your deck improves. Note that it also works really, really well with De Vermis Mysteriis in this pack, since it will not cost you the doom to use! This card would be worth taking as a level 3 Mystic card any day of the week.

For seekers it's a bit less attractive. Obviously there are still tomes that you would be happy to get an extra charge and a free action use of - the Pnakotic Manuscripts come to mind as one that everyone might want, but that's about it in general. It suffers from the fact that the majority of tomes aren't very good... Unless you're playing as Daisy, for whom this card is amazing. Obviously she can use Mystic cards so she gets some of the benefits in the previous paragraph, and also gets to use De Vermis Mysteriis if she wants it. She's also likely to bring Tomes that no-one else has any use for - Scroll of Secrets (0), Esoteric Atlas (see below), Old Book of Lore and Encyclopedia are all cards that no-one else wants because they're horribly inefficient if they cost an action to use, but worth considering if you have a free action for using them. And since Knowledge is Power ignores all costs, you can get a second use out of these cards even if they're already exhausted.

Don't sleep on the ability to use the ability on a card in your hand, and then discard that card and draw to replace it - this opens up the possibility of including more niche effects such as Scrying or Esoteric Atlas, using their effects once from hand and then cycling them without ever needing to waste an action to play them before enjoying their effects - obviously you're down the card for Knowledge is Power but it's Fast and costs no resources so the efficiency is still sky-high. You can essentially convert any Tome or Spell asset into a one-time 0-cost fast Event, which is just fabulous flexibility and efficiency.

The art is "OK", just yet another reading-from-a-book piece of art, but the colouring is cool and I like that it's a priest doing it, since it helps sell the obvious but creepy flavour text of "...and power corrupts".

Esoteric Atlas

Are you playing Daisy? If so, strongly consider this card, especially if you're playing with rogues or other investigators likely to evade and leave enemies, and/or you're looking at big, windy maps like those found in The Forgotten Age and Path to Carcosa, since it becomes very efficient using your Investigator ability and has a lot of niche utility. Are you playing Roland pure solo and using cards like Warning Shot? If so, maybe consider this as an option. Otherwise, just take Pathfinder and be done with it. This card has limited uses, limited utility and questionable efficiency - there will be times it will be great, and its utility goes up in The Forgotten Age to get around the many evaded snakes, but it costs exp. If this was 0 exp it would see a lot of play. If Pathfinder gets a nerf in upcoming Taboo lists (which seems plausible), this might see some play. If in future we see a Rogue who can take level 1 Seeker cards, or a Seeker secondary Rogue, this might well be great for them. But as it stands...this card is simply outclassed for most people, and like most tomes, is mostly just worth looking at for Daisy Walker.

I feel bad ragging on card art for being just people reading spooooky books because it's a genre staple, but there's no getting around the fact that it's very prosaic at this point. It's among the better examples, at least. Mechanical flavour is uninteresting and there's no flavour text. Meh.

Investments

This card suffers heavily in several ways. First, it encourages you to play badly. With a couple of exceptions that I'll talk about in a bit, the best resources are the ones you have right now. in 10 turns, Investment will become the most efficient one-off resource gain card in the game (one "click" more efficient than Hot Streak (4), being worth net 9 resources for 2 actions rather than net 7 resources for 1 action, though obviously actions are more valuable than resources). But for those 10 turns, you are down a card, a resource and an action for no benefit while your investments mature, whereas another card would be getting you benefits immediately. It's no good sitting on the card and not being able to afford guns or useful events or boosts with Streetwise in the meantime. 10 turns is a LONG time to wait - it's most important to have resources early on when you need to set up your board state, and you might be dead in 10 turns' time. Not to mention, cashing in your Investments takes an action that provokes opportunity attacks, so if on turn 10 you're locked in combat or need all your actions to move or whatever, you'll be waiting even longer. So you could cash it in early for far less benefit - and that's what I mean by "playing badly". It will take 5 rounds (plus the round to actually use it, since you can't boost and claim in the same round) to become as efficient as Emergency Cache (0). If you draw a gun and really need to play it 2 rounds after you play Investments, will you cash in now to buy the gun? What an absolute waste of your time, you could have spent 2 actions gaining resources rather than playing and cashing in the card and you'd be up a card. Not to mention, if you need passive resource boosts, we already have Lone Wolf, which obviously has its own restrictions but becomes efficient much quicker and arranging your turns to ensure you get the boost is far less cumbersome than the issues with Investments. In addition, if you draw Investments later on in the scenario it's completely worthless and has a single Intellect icon, making it basically a dead draw later on but not vital enough to be worth a hard mulligan for early on, the same problem as the Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. So in general, this card sucks, avoid it.

Now, let's talk about the niche benefits. It's nice for rogues who like having huge piles of resources to use with Well Connected and Money Talks, simply because it's such a huge injection of resources and such investigators are probably playing the long game. It's nice to have it ticking over while you spend resources as you need to, knowing that you will eventually get 10 resources to switch on Dario El-Amin and Well Connected, but by itself it's at best a card you take early and replace with stronger resource gain later on - nothing wrong with a card that's only valuable early in a campaign, but that's about it. It's stronger for Preston Fairmont, since the resources are "moved", not "gained", meaning that they will go straight to his resource pool rather than his Inheritance, so it actually becomes more efficient relative to other resource gain cards for a big-money Preston build. But the real jank for it is Dark Horse builds. Preston Fairmont Dark Horse builds are quite popular, though I really think they're much weaker than big-money builds. But for, say, "Ashcan" Pete, Investments might be a big boon - you keep the resources out of your pool so Dark Horse remains on, and you can cash them in when you need to pay for some assets and/or events, and then throw the rest into your Fire Axe or Scrapper. "Ashcan" Pete can even use his investigator ability to ready Investments and charge it up more quickly - usually this would be a criminal waste of a card when you could ready Duke or something, but everyone's had those turns where you have more cards than you know what to do with and there's nothing you really need to do right now...I think it could be relatively potent. Worth a look, certainly. Wendy Adams and even Jenny Barnes and Finn Edwards can also use both Dark Horse and Investments and I know that people have made some rather effective Dark Horse builds for them, so...maybe. It's still questionable efficiency, but might be a useful cog in the Dark Horse engine.

Art is actually disappointing, just a big pile of money when there could have been the opportunity for some fun art. No flavour text, either. It does its job, but that's all.

Decoy

If you can afford this card, it's great. It's a bit more niche than the similar Intel Report, since clue gathering is always useful but evading is only useful if you need it. But if you can afford it (Preston Fairmont obviously can and Jenny Barnes also has a huge cashflow, but lots of Rogue builds and even Dr Milan Christopher or Wendy Adams builds can amass loads of resources), it's still great. No-questions-asked evasion is great in general, as this is a reliable temporary solution to a lot of problems, and the flexibility makes it a lot stronger on multiplayer - being able to evade for allies, at range, up to two enemies at once, can and will turn a scenario around. Additionally, it has double matching icons so even if you can't afford it at a given point, or you only use it in niche situations, it can double as an ersatz skill card. I've seen it used (proxied) by Preston Fairmont in four player and it stayed in the deck until the end of the campaign because it's just so, so reliably useful. If spending 4 or 6 resources doesn't make your eyes bulge, put this in your deck. You won't be disappointed. There's not much more to say really, automatic evasion is pretty well known by now and it obviously has various useful combos particularly with survivor cards like Waylay or Close Call. Just looking at this card, anyone can see that it's solid, powerful and not game-breaking.

The art is really cool, basically. I really like it, it's dynamic and tells a good story. And in terms of mechanical flavour, I love all the throw money at the problem cards. I wonder if we'll see a similar one for damaging enemies where you call in a hit or something...

De Vermis Mysteriis

I don't know if I like this card, really. It gets better for a Marie build as the doom is beneficial to her, or for a Sefina Rousseau build since she runs lots of events (but she's already completely starved for XP). But I think it's too inefficient to be worth much for other characters. There will be times that playing an event from discard will really help you out, and the resource discount helps offset the inefficiency of having to play the book in the first place, but it's a situational benefit that already requires setup, and then you need to deal with a huge pile of doom. You could certainly use it to play Moonlight Ritual on itself and clear the doom, so that helps a bit and might work out well for a high-doom build in general by letting you get more use out of Moonlight Ritual and Sacrifice, but since it removes the targeted event from the game, you won't be able to build an engine or anything, and it might end up disadvantageous in the long run for a Sefina build that draws its entire deck multiple times a game. The fact that it uses up a hand slot is a problem for many Mystics as well, since there are a lot of good hand slot cards already - but I guess if you are running lots of hand slot items it's one way to discard De Vermis Mysteriis and get rid of the doom. I think this card is pretty much only a good choice for Marie Lambeau builds, but that's fine - together with Knowledge is Power I think this pack finally makes Marie a genuinely interesting and unique investigator and I now want to try her out. This is a card you need to build around to an extent, and for anyone other than Marie it isn't strong enough to be worth that at all. But then, I prefer cards that have niches to cards that are generically strong anyway.

Art is another book etc etc., but I do like seeing one of the big O.G. mythos tomes in the game, other than the overused Necronomicon. The colour scheme is very purple which I guess works for mystics...

Guiding Spirit

This card suffers from the fact that Survivor has such strong allies already, particularly Peter Sylvestre who also occupies the horror soak and stat boost areas. However, this is my favourite implementation of the Exile mechanic so far, I much prefer it on efficient soak assets than on events (I mean there's also Fire Extinguisher but that card is nearly worthless). We have yet to see many survivors with a strong investigation focus yet - this might see play in certain Wendy Adams builds, but the Agility boost from Peter Sylvestre also buffs her investigation with Lockpicks. It's nice and cheap in terms of resources which is good. It might be worth a look on Minh Thi Phan since she has a lot of builds that quickly run out of things to spend exp on, particularly if you're worried about horror (Carcosa and high-trauma Forgotten Age, say), and the low resource cost plays well with Dark Horse. But in most cases I think this is a theoretically good card that doesn't yet have a niche. Hopefully we'll have a high-investigate Survivor (perhaps an investigation counterpart to William Yorick, 0-5 Survivor and 0-2 Seeker), at which point this will be a great card. I don't think I'm likely to play this card at the moment, but it's one to watch.

I love the art and the mechanical theme though! Just in terms of flavour this card is a complete win. I'm itching for an excuse to put it on the table.

Fortune or Fate

This is a genuinely interesting Exile card. A Test of Will and Stroke of Luck are the other generically useful Exile cards worth taking late in a campaign, or in a one-shot, or if you have run out of stuff to buy with exp, but skills to pass events and events to cancel Treachery cards are both things that other classes can also manage. But this is a unique effect and one worth considering even earlier in certain campaigns. Anything doom-related gets much better with more investigators; here, if you use the card judiciously, you're almost certainly buying a full round of the doom clock for the group. It's a nice counter to certain annoying Encounter cards and helps counter scenarios with an uncertain or variable amount of doom placed, and/or those with an aggressive doom clock making it hard to actually achieve an ideal result (e.g. Midnight Masks, Doom of Eztli, Threads of Fate). This is both a tech card for countering specific scenarios, and a nice effect for saving the group's bacon when things are getting really down to the wire. It's a deceptively simple effect, because there will be a lot of situations where the best use is tricky to determine - is it worth cancelling doom from the start of the mythos phase if there's Ancient Evils in the deck (almost certainly yes)? If you cancel the doom placed on an Acolyte and put it somewhere out of the way, that's essentially countering the entire card since you can safely ignore it...until Mysterious Chanting is drawn. If the agenda is advancing anyway (because there's more doom on the table due to, say, the Dark Cult encounter set or player cards), this won't stop it, since agenda advancement is seperate to doom placement. The "Max 1 per game" restriction is not unexpected but is quite harsh since it means the second copy drawn is a dead draw with a single wild icon, but only putting 1 copy in your deck means you're much less likely to draw it before you need it. Is it worth it? Maybe, but I'd have to try it out first. My suspicion is that it will sometimes be a fantastic card but will other times end up not doing anything useful. Compare with Marie Lambeau's signature Mystifying Song, which has a very similar effect that nevertheless works a lot more reliably and isn't rendered useless by various encounter card effects and doom on the table. At least, as an Exile card, it can be a good choice for tech against a specific scenario, since it automatically leaves your deck once used rather than sitting around after it has fulfilled its function - as long as you can actually draw and play it.

But just look at that art! It's so awesome! So evocative! Does this portend a Cthulhu/ship cycle and the official release of Silas Marsh? Maybe, but either way I love the art. No flavour text is a shame, but I do like the re-use of a LOTR LCG card name (seems to be a theme with Survivor cards, looking at you, A Test of Will).

Edited by Allonym

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10 hours ago, awp832 said:

Seriously,  why does this card exist when Pathfinder is superior in every way?

Because Pathfinder is in Dunwich. 

Based on community posts over the last few months, I think we're to the point now where design doesn't, and shouldn't, assume a complete card pool.  So expect more redundancy in function going forward.

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Posted (edited)

Agree most with Allonym on these cards. Honestly, the only cards I got excited about were Knowledge is Power and MAYBE De Vermis Mysteriis because it's unusual.  

I am in LOVE with Knowledge is Power though. You couldn't ask for a card to do more for less. I mean I guess you could, but it would just be an absurd request at that point. 

Edited by Soakman

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44 minutes ago, rsdockery said:

Wait, is Union and Disillusion out already?

Not sure, I haven't gotten my Team Covenant pack yet, but the cards were spoiled some time ago on Reddit.

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1 hour ago, rsdockery said:

Wait, is Union and Disillusion out already?

It is out through some channels. The Arkham Chronicle have had a video up already for this:

 

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Posted (edited)

I'd seen the spoilers; I guess I just sort of assumed we posted these topics on the official release date.

Anyway, here's my post.

20 hours ago, awp832 said:

Knowledge is Power - 1/5 
I can see an argument here for Jim to just smash somebody once with a level-5 shriveling as a fast action at 0 cost.   Seems allright.  On anybody else,  1/5.   Even doing something like Panakotic Manuscripts,  this just isn't worth a deck slot for a one-time use.

I really think you're overlooking this card's power. First off, it's Fast. That means you've still got your full turn ahead of you, and it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. That means you can buff yourself with Encyclopaedia for all three of your actions, or use Pnakotic Manuscripts to guarantee an evasion, or (as Joe) use Guiding Stones to trigger Alice Luxley against an enemy engaged with you.

Second, it's flexible. It can copy any Spell or Tome asset. Maybe you don't think it's worth it to get an extra use of Shriveling, but it can be either Shriveling or Rite of Seeking. It can be whatever you need it to be, depending on your situation, and that makes it something you can take into any scenario.

20 hours ago, awp832 said:

Seriously,  why does this card exist when Pathfinder is superior in every way?

I tend to be a bit nicer than most, and even I don't have high expectations of Esoteric Atlas, but I will note that you can combine it with Pathfinder to jump three spaces in a single action. That's usually overkill, but it's quite valuable in some scenarios. Again, though, that's not really a good position for an experienced card to be in; I expect it'll mostly be useful in standalone.

11 hours ago, Allonym said:

But just look at that art! It's so awesome! So evocative! Does this portend a Cthulhu/ship cycle and the official release of Silas Marsh?

Take another look at De Vermis Mysteriis. It's been subtitled "Signs of the Black Stars," and it appears to be on the deck of a ship.

Edited by rsdockery

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21 hours ago, SamWeiss said:

Guiding Spirit - 4/5

+1 Intellect and 3 Sanity soak ally.
It exiles, but it costs 1 xp. As I said about exile cards, that means an "effective" xp cost of 1-5 over a campaign. The Intellect boost is sweet for a Survivor, with the Sanity at least partly making up for this being an Ally and displacing Peter Sylvestre. Maybe that is not as good as I think it is, but it certainly looks worth it, especially since the Guiding Spirit is a mere 1 resource to put into play.

 

And as it has no health it can't be pinged by naughty encounter cards.....

 

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Can you have spoilers for player cards? You can have pre-release reveals but I think the only thing that could be counted as a a spoiler would be a scenario card.

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9 minutes ago, rsdockery said:

I really think you're overlooking this card's power. First off, it's Fast. That means you've still got your full turn ahead of you, and it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. That means you can buff yourself with Encyclopaedia for all three of your actions, or use Pnakotic Manuscripts to guarantee an evasion, or (as Joe) use Guiding Stones to trigger Alice Luxley against an enemy engaged with you.

Second, it's flexible. It can copy any Spell or Tome asset. Maybe you don't think it's worth it to get an extra use of Shriveling, but it can be either Shriveling or Rite of Seeking. It can be whatever you need it to be, depending on your situation, and that makes it something you can take into any scenario.

 

I'm gonna go for a third on this, even if it won't happen all the time, the spell or tome can be in your hand as well, which you can then discard (should you so desire) to draw a card, which is essentially another free action... I think that could come in handy....

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Additional Thoughts

Telescopic Sights: I missed the cross-class limit. It still amuses to consider someone might find a way to trade the thing and stick it on some pistols.
Otherwise Allonym covered what I would add about the 2-handed problem and relation to Marksmanship. Yeah, Marksmanship is an event so you are very use limited on it, but it also doesn't make your rifle useless in close-quarters.

Knowledge is Power: Allonym and rsdockery are what I was thinking of in saying this is such a good card. Play ANY spell or tome effect at NO cost, even from hand. Too good.

Esoteric Atlas: awp832 - I can think of quite a few scenarios where the 2 jump is quite excellent. Any with a central area that you have to move through over and over again for instance. And any where you might want to jump several areas to "escape" a cul de sac location. Mind, that really is too specialized to make the card awesome, but it does keep it from being totally useless.
Also as CSerpent said, which came up in the discussion of the Taboo List and design considerations - a full collection is getting quite expensive, and new players just might not have every set. I'd even expect "redundant" cards are likely to show up more and more.

Investments: awp832 - Thanks for the answer! For some reason it just did not occur to me that you would "naturally" exhaust it on the 10th turn for the max resources, then have to wait to cash it in until the next turn, so the text confused me.
As a side note on that, it occurs to me that the wording means it requires 11 turns to fully collect, not a "mere" 10.
I had also forgotten to consider that you do not get to have it in your opening draw, and it could easily spend several scenarios sitting in your deck then wasting a spot in your hand because you do not draw it until Agenda 3.

Guiding Spirit: gazzagames - I had not even considered that. Gratuitous damage to allies from encounter cards is indeed quite irritating, so the "immunity" is a nice bit.

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Posted (edited)

Esoteric Atlas:   Sure,  you might not have Pathfinder.   But if the only defense of this card is "What if you don't own Pathfinder?"  Then I think my point is made.

KiP:   Well,   I did point out that in some cases,  mainly when you can use it for shriveling,  it might be worth it because of its fast action,  primarily because there are some situations where dealing big damage to a powerful enemy quickly is something you very much want to do.    That was pretty much the single exception I listed,  so no... I'm not overlooking any of that.   I'm standing my ground here.   Other than that....   This one-time use card just isn't worth 1/15th or 1/30th of a deck.  

Edited by awp832

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I'm thinking about Guiding Spirit in "Ashcan" Pete. He is should do enough investigating to make the +1 intellect useful, Duke can protect the Guiding Spirit for a bit with his own horror soak, and he could splash cheap allies from other factions to make a Calling in Favors deck work. I hear that David Renfield goes well with Ashcan.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, rsdockery said:

Take another look at De Vermis Mysteriis. It's been subtitled "Signs of the Black Stars," and it appears to be on the deck of a ship

It appears to be on a table or possibly a gnarled wooden floor with candles next to it; candles wouldn't stay upright on the deck of a ship. "Black Stars" doesn't really have anything to do with Cthulhu (indeed it has more to do with Hastur) and while De Vermis Mysteriis, like a lot of Mythos tomes, deals with a range of subjects depending on what the authors needed at the time, it mainly deals with Tsathoggua and not really with Cthulhu at all...

Edited by Allonym

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Allonym said:

It appears to be on a table or possibly a gnarled wooden floor with candles next to it; candles wouldn't stay upright on the deck of a ship. "Black Stars" doesn't really have anything to do with Cthulhu (indeed it has more to do with Hastur) and while De Vermis Mysteriis, like a lot of Mythos tomes, deals with a range of subjects depending on what the authors needed at the time, it mainly deals with Tsathoggua and not really with Cthulhu at all...

Actually, the black stars bit is about Tsatthogua too, as you mentioned.

"Tibi, magnum Innominandum, signa stellarum nigrarum et bufaniformis Sadoquae sigilim"

Is one of the known quotes from the DVM:

"To you, the great Not-to-Be-Named, signs of the black stars, and the seal of the toad-shaped Tsathoggua".

 

So, I wouldn't take that as any sign about the next cycle or anything like that.

Edited by Eldan985

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You use Esoteric Atlas to jump over enemies that Pathfinder will just force you to move through, which is especially good for things like The Spectral Watcher in TCU. Most people will just think "Why not just kill it?", but being able to simply avoid the thing, will help take stress off the Guardian or whatever, and will allow them to deal with other enemies. It's a lot better in lower player counts, and scenarios with restricted movement(like At Deaths Doorstep for example)

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