The Last King

Other encounter sets in this scenario: Ancient Evils, Decay and Filth, Hastur’s Gift, The Stranger

Size of the Encounter Deck22
# Enemies6
# Willpower2
# Agility0
# Doom3
# Damage4
# Horror7

My take on this encounter deck: This is the smallest encounter deck used in any of the scenarios so far, but this scenario is not really driven by that deck anyways. The thing that makes this scenario tick is the unique party guests and their piece by piece transformation into horrors that come after the players.
One such transformation is scheduled to happen every three turns, but the presence of Ancient Evils in a small deck makes this very volatile and seeing two guests hulk out on back to back turns is not uncommon at all.
The rest of the encounter deck is a couple of smaller enemies, some horror and damage dealing and the cards that deal with the Man in the Pallid Mask who is easy to seek out and defeat in the small map of locations. Take note that the card Dance of the Yellow King from the Hastur’s Gift set becomes a lot more dangerous here as the unique enemies are indeed Lunatics.
The Decay and Filth is in here mostly for flavor reasons, the shroud manipulation aspect of the set doesn’t really do a whole lot here as gaining clues is usually not related to shroud here. In fact, Seekers will sometimes find themselves out of a job for the first half of the scenario as only Constance is immediately convenient for them as a clueing target. The others use either other skill tests or, in the case of Jordan, require some extra setup to be done before they can be interrogated.
The scenario specific cards both attack the number of available actions to complete the scenario. Those actions are also the most precious commodity here.
This is a fantastic scenario, ranking among my favorites because it is so unique and because it can be played in different ways. You can either go into it “the intended way” and try to grab as many clues as possible before running from the overwhelming force of the enemies. Or you can go in guns blazing and try to murder every last one of them before the time runs out. Both approaches work perfectly well and are very engaging – even more so since this is only the second scenario of the campaign and everyone is still running relatively low powered decks.
Cancel these: Ancient Evils, Tough Crowd. In a scenario as time constrained as this, every action counts even more than usual. Obviously this makes Ancient Evils the public enemy number one and being able to counter it is so massive that i would seriously recommend upgrading any Wards of Protection to level 2 from your Curtain Call XP. Tough Crowd is a distant second, especially on high player counts it can also be a huge drain on your actions. If you are playing Return To and replaced your Evils with the much less threatening Delusory Evils, then Tough Crowd is a good card to hold a cancel back for, but something like Dance of the Yellow King can certainly be a valuable target as well.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player must put one of their clues back on one of the five (untransformed) dinner guests or take a horror and damage.

My take: The card gives a lot of options on how to resolve it which most of the time means this card isn’t particularly bad to deal with. Picking up the clue again only costs one action and it offers a free choice on which guest to put the clue.
The damage and horror option is also very valid and saving an action here can make a lot of difference due to the close time constraints of the scenario.

Threat level: Low. The player choice involved offers a lot of ways to mitigate any bad cases.

Dealing with it: If you plan on putting back a clue and accepting the net loss of one action, there are two good ways to go about it: Either put it on some guest that is easy for you to pick the clue back up from. Or put it on someone who is at a low shroud location so you can investigate those clues the usual ways once that guest becomes an enemy and the clues drop down to the location. If you are sitting on some unused clue discovery cards like Read the Runes or Scene of the Crime, those can even completely offset the loss of the clue from this treachery down the road.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Tough Crowd is put into play for the duration of this round. While in play, all parleys require and additional action.

My take: Annoying little card. Its effect is simple enough, eating up some actions for parleying. Depending on when this is drawn and on the player count, this can potentially be quite hindering. There are only two of them in the deck, so it’s at least not terribly likely to be drawn in two consecutive turns despite the small size of the encounter deck.
While this is certainly a bit more impactful in high player counts, it’s not irrelevant in one or two player games either. Anyone with the standard 3 actions will only be able to parley once, so it reduces the number of possible parleys for the turn from 3 to 1. This is a serious setback towards completing the scenario.

Threat level: Medium to High. Lost actions are quite meaningful in this scenario and this can potentially translate to losing several.

Dealing with it: If you have anything worthwhile to do with your actions other than parleying, this card offers a good window to do that. During the early turns that can mean spending some extra time on setting up another asset or ally. Later, contributing towards fighting off the enemies can be an option for flex investigators that don’t want to spend the extra actions for parleying. At that point, it is often better to just accept the loss of the action. Anyone who can gain extra actions is also better equipped to deal with this card, as increasing the number of actions from 3 to 4 will at least allow to get two parleys done.

Return to The Last King

My take on the modified scenario: Return to Last King improves on an already excellent scenario in many ways, adding extra cards to the special Sickening Reality deck and making Dianne a more relevant presence on the board. Only one new card is added to the deck, but it’s a very high impact card. Shocking Display is there to offset the addition of the extra cards to the Sickening Realities and will throw one extra random transformation into the game at any point.
In terms of replacement sets, it’s a more mixed bag. Decay and Filth becomes Decaying Reality, introducing another Hunter enemy and also another treachery that taxes player actions. This makes it fit much better with the mechanics of this scenario, absolutely an improvement. The change from Ancient Evils to Delusory Evils is much more of a controversial one, though. Personally, i think removing Ancient Evils from this scenario and replacing it with a card that reads “Lose an action. Maybe. Sometime down the road.” is just a massive blow to how tight the scenario is on the action economy. I have a distaste for Delusory Evils at the best of times, but in this scenario it makes zero sense to me. Personally, i ignore this switch and just keep on using Ancient Evils and deal with that and Shocking Display at the same time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
On another completely random note, this Return To also adds one of my favorite pieces of illustration from the game: Kudos to Andrea Ugrai for the Party Guest/Crazed Guest pair of artworks, especially the latter one. Just look at how much fun that girl is having once she lets loose. Cracks me up.

Number in the encounter deck: 1

What it does: One of the set aside Sickening Reality cards is chosen at random and immediately resolved, transforming one of the party goers into its enemy version. Shocking Display has Victory 0, removing it from the encounter deck after resolving. It can not be canceled.

My take: As long as this card is in the encounter deck, any of the party guests is potentially a ticking time bomb. The uncertainty added by having this around is great. Of course it’s also a very high impact card, leading to multiple transformations happening right after another, severely changing the board state from one turn to the next.

Threat level: Very High. This card equals to dropping another big elite enemy into play.

Dealing with it: This card should be considered being a part of the scenario setup and agenda that just happens more than something from the encounter deck that you try to defuse. “Cannot be canceled.” speaks a clear message: Something big is happening now and you will not prevent it. Dealing with the fallout usually requires either defeating a difficult enemy or taking this as the final cue to get out.


Continue reading here:


Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleEnemy, Horror
Threat LevelLow to Mid
# of scenarios2
Appears in: A Phantom of Truth, Black Stars Rise

My take on this set: There are a couple of Byakhee enemies that the players meet throughout Carcosa. Ironically, the one in the Byakhee set is probably the weakest of the bunch. The real star in this set is the Hunted By Byakhees treachery then, which increases the chance for the more dangerous ones to be drawn. This set does its most important work during Phantom of Truth, where it brings up the number of Byakhee related cards to the level needed that they can feel like a constant threat. During Black Stars, it’s more filler and interacts only with its scenario specific Riftseeker enemy.
This is a fine set of cards that is maybe a bit underused by the campaign? Only two scenarios feature these enemies and one of them only does so as an afterthought.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The Swift Byakhee has below average fight and evade and the basic 1 damage and horror. Only its health of three gives it some staying power. It does have Retaliate, but the low fight value means that is only going to be relevant for investigators that are unprepared for combat.
The Byakhee has Hunter, and in fact does use a special version of the keyword that allows it to move any number of locations to find someone to engage. If they did, they forfeit their attack in that phase, though.

My take: That souped up Hunter ability means one thing to me: This enemy is to be defeated, evasion is not a great option. Luckily, this is not as difficult as the other Byakhees can be. It might take two attacks sometimes, but usually this thing goes down the turn it enters play, never to make use of any of its special Hunter rules.
If you are finding yourself without a combat ready investigator and rely on evasion, this enemy does become a huge problem, though. Attacking it without a weapon (or a weak weapon) risks extra attacks from Retaliate and evasion would eat up a lot of actions over time. Still, i would say this would be your fault for being unprepared…
All things considered, this is the weakest Byakhee in the game so far. The rest of them do all deal a whole lot more damage and/or are much tougher to kill.

Threat level: Low. Can be killed off easy enough to usually not be a problem.

Dealing with it: This sort of enemy is the reason why even evasion focused investigators should have something in their back pocket to deal damage sometimes. To offer two examples, Backstab does a great job of killing this thing in one action for rogues (and Wendy). Acidic Ichor does the same for Seekers.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player has to take an agility test that is very hard to pass. For each point they failed by, a card is discarded from the encounter deck. If a Byakhee is found, it is drawn and spawned. If an Omen is found, the player takes a horror.

My take: There are a lot of moving parts here and drawing this card is a bit of a gamble every time as the effect is determined by layered chances. But still, the worst case scenario is having to engage a Byakhee enemy and getting a horror on top. Often, this card will act just as if you had drawn the enemy itself, so it acts as extra copies of any Byakhees already in the deck.
Phantom of Truth has six Byakhees in the deck, Black Stars has four. Not only is this card more likely to draw an enemy during Phantom, but it also has the Agents of Hastur set or its replacement, which do in my opinion have the strongest Byakhees. Screeching and Preying Byakhee are just more dangerous than Black Star’s Riftseeker.

Threat level: Low to Mid in Phantom of Truth, Low in Black Stars.

Dealing with it: An agility(6) test is not something that you usually expect to pass, so taking that test will mostly be aimed at failing as little as possible, to reduce the chance of having an enemy appear. After that it’s just flipping cards from the encounter deck, seeing what happens and possibly deal with the enemy.

The Stranger

Set Size3
Number of unique Cards2
RoleSearching the Man in the Pallid Mask, Horror
Threat LevelLow to Mid
# of scenarios2
Appears in: The Last King, A Phantom of Truth, Black Stars Rise

My take on this set: Three of the scenarios use this encounter set to increase the chances of having the Man in the Pallid Mask enter play. To that end, The Pale Mask Beckons acts as a second copy of the weakness enemy that is shuffled into the encounter deck.
The other card, Marked by the Sign, is a potent horror dealing treachery. It swings from almost okay to bad depending on the presence of the Man in the Pallid Mask by threatening to deal direct horror to a player. Thus, it acts as a way to punish the players for not seeking out the stranger to remove him from the board.
There are two places where the campaign cares about the number of checkmarks the players collected for defeating the stranger: During setup of Phantom of Truth, having 4 or more checkmarks awards players with an additional tick for either Doubt or Conviction. And during Dim Carcosa, the first agenda starts with extra doom depending on how well the players followed this sidequest. This encounter set doesn’t help a whole lot with the first time, as it is only used once before Phantom of Truth. The extra three possible occurences before Dim Carcosa are appreciated, though.
The cards from this encounter set all deal horror, which usually finds ways to stack up with that from other encounter cards (from Hastur’s Gift or Agents of Hastur, for example), but not to the extent that Unspeakable Oath and Dim Carcosa do.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Marked by the Sign asks the player to pass a willpower test. If they fail, they are dealt 2 horror. The card has Peril, so no other players are allowed to help with the test. Should the Man in the Pallid Mask be in play, this card is upgraded in two ways: For one, the test is more difficult. And secondly, the horror becomes direct horror instead.

My take: One of the very few encounter cards that deal direct horror, bypassing all the usual soaking assets that players run to extend their sanity. The Carcosa campaign already puts an above average amount of pressure on sanity, so those two points of horror are usually very relevant and making it direct is only going to increase the chance for this card to threaten the player. The difficulty of the test is either 2 or 4, which is quite the dramatic swing in terms of who can expect to succeed at passing it.
The saving grace for this card (and this set, really) is the selection of scenarios in which it is used. Last King, Phantom and Black Stars are all scenarios that do not necessarily pile on the horror as much as for example Unspeakable Oath, Pallid Mask and Dim Carcosa do.

Threat level: Medium. Direct horror can be a real pain and just knowing that this card is around takes some of the leeway that players have in dealing with horror away.

Dealing with it: More than usual, consider preserving your investigator’s own sanity, even if it may lead to discarding an ally or asset. Of course, this card is also a good motivator to go and deal with the Man in the Pallid Mask once he shows up.

Number in the encounter deck: 1

What it does: The Man in the Pallid Mask is put into play from his bearer’s deck. If he already was in play, he does an immediate attack against everyone instead.

My take: Being attacked by the Man in the Pallid Mask equals to being dealt one point of horror, which isn’t nothing exceptional by itself. But it does of course hit everyone in the group and it does stack up with the other card in this encounter set.
The card’s most important function is summoning the Man himself, though. In that function, the treachery isn’t even bad, it basically works as drawing a card for the player (even if it is a weakness, that is one weakness less to draw another time) and works towards getting those checkmarks for pursuing the Man in the Pallid Mask.

Threat level: Low. Most of the time, this card is beneficial. If it isn’t, it’s still not too bad.

Dealing with it: Nothing much to do here. This card is more or less part of the scenario mechanics, giving players another chance to draw the unique weakness enemy that they want to meet and defeat.

Weekly Evils – #22

Week in Review

After accidentally skipping Innsmouth in favor of Dunwich before, this week remedied this by going after In Too Deep, a frantic scenario where we have to flee the city while being under heavy pursuit and also trying to uncover as many about the village as possible. Of course, this also meant tackling two Innsmouth encounter sets: Syzygy adds two fairly impactful cards that interact with the two primary timers in this campaign, doom and flood. The Locals offers insight into the people of Innsmouth and into how little they appreciate us snooping around.
For next week, we got an invitation to a dinner party. Should be good fun 🙂


I started on writing up a comparison of the LotR and Arkham LCGs last week, and realized while doing so that this would take a bit more space than anticipated. So i split up the whole thing, today i’ll pick up where i left off.

Continuing my list, still in no particular order:

  • Treacheries: Both games have interesting and varied treacheries that do the major work for setting the stage and the general feel of the scenarios they are in. But LotR runs into a problem here. Every player has three heroes and while enemies are certainly able to immediately give something to do for a blocker and at least one attacker, this isn’t necessarily the case for treachery effects which still need to produce enough of an effect to keep the players (and their armies) busy. What happened in LotR then is that its treachery cards are completely out of control 😀 Massive effects that swing the game around, discard multiple cards at a time, defeat heroes out of the blue or dump several enemies into play at once. Frankly, it’s a bit silly. Treachery cancellation in Arkham is a nice thing that can help a lot. In LotR, it’s the bare necessity to even stand a chance. And even then, you will get buried in Surge effects… because man, does LotR love using Surge as another tool to get the treacheries up to the task of challenging the heroes. I feel like Arkham found the sweet spot with its treachery design here. It’s much less swingy. For all the memes we have about drawing cultists into Ancient Evils, it never quite reaches the levels of Crebain into Orc Ambush into Sleeping Sentry. Yes, all three of those cards are from the same encounter set. The first one makes it so you can’t cancel anything. The second one puts all Orcs from the discard back into play. The third one exhausts or kills everything you have so those Orcs will likely tear you apart in the combat phase… are we having fun yet? 😀
  • Mythos phase: One neat thing in LotR is how their equivalent of the Mythos phase is not positioned in the beginning of the turn like in Arkham. In Arkham, Mythos happens, players draw their encounter cards and then can spend their whole turn dealing with it. In LotR, players need to decide on which heroes to commit to questing (very roughly equivalent to searching clues; advancing the game) *before* they draw their encounter cards. And then have only the non-commited heroes and allies available to deal with the fallout. This decision point is one of the most interesting in the whole game in my opinion and it’s a bit of a pity that Arkham has nothing quite like it.
  • Randomization: Both games do realize that having the results of everything being predetermined makes for a solvable and ultimately boring game when giving players so much freedom of building decks. Arkham of course uses the dreaded chaos bag to influence everything, adding random outcomes and drama to most things the players do. The only thing that LotR has in this vein is the concept of Shadow cards. Whenever an enemy attacks, it gets assigned a card from the top of the encounter deck. After declaring who blocks what, these cards are revealed and take effect. As with the encounter cards, there are some really disgusting shadow cards around and knowing about the possible effects is every bit as important as knowing the encounter cards themselves. The big flaw of this system is that it only applies to combat, though.
    Both systems are fine for their respective games, but i do like the chaos bag more because it is so broadly applicable and also because it is a better source of player agency.
    As a related aside, the lack of such a randomization feature is one of my biggest complaints about Marvel Champions and the reason why it feels so incredibly mathy compared to the other two games.
  • Flavor: Both games have fantastic backdrops (Pulpy Lovecraft vs Lord of the Rings) and I couldn’t possibly choose one over the other. Both games also execute on their premise equally well. Just high marks all around.
  • Art: Yeah sorry, i do like the Arkham art but the illustrations on LotR cards are just something very special. Like, don’t get me wrong. I like the art on Roland Banks or Daisy but i could hardly believe they are from the same artist that also did Legolas, Galadriel and Eowyn. To be honest, the asset reuse from the other Arkham games also gets a bit to me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Let me be clear though: I am not saying that Arkham has bad art. I am saying that LotR has exceptional art.

There’s probably more that could be said, but that’s all i got for now. I am sure i will think of something important once i hit Submit 😉 To come to some sort of conclusion, there is no inherently better game between these two. Personally, i like Arkham more because i think the chaos bag, the campaign system and the locations are great concepts that enhance the experience a lot. But the deep and rich deckbuilding that LotR has is magnitudes more interesting than the somewhat plug and play decks of Arkham. LotR is also an insanely pretty and more thematically consistent game, perfectly feeding off its source material.

I’ll also add a few words on the third wheel, Marvel Champions. Marvel is mechanically a lot closer to LotR than it is to Arkham, ditching physical locations and going back to LotRs system with the schemes, except dumbed down to the point where there are only three or four different ones. It also does the same exhaust/ready thing with the heroes, forcing them commit to either attack, defend and quest each turn although they did change the order of operation to be less punishing. This change coupled with the removal of any random element from action outcomes means that players rarely have to decide anything with incomplete information, though. There are no scenarios, instead the game is pulled together from a plug and play system of combining a villain with a sidescheme. This makes it lack any thematical coherence right from the start. To be blunt, i don’t see anything that Marvel does better than LotR, it looks to me like a big step back. I suppose it isn’t as swingy with its treacheries which might be a plus? Even that is arguable. I do own the game, i don’t regret getting it and a couple of extra heroes and villains. But every time i play it i feel like it’s missing something more stimulating. As for the art… it’s existing art from the comics, with all their inconsistencies and fluctuating art styles over the decades. I wouldn’t call it a pretty game, but it’s what’s to be expected considering the source.
My suggestion, if you are considering to get into Marvel Champions: Unless you are getting it strictly for the Marvel theme, see if you can’t pick up a LotR collection on ebay or something. It’s just the better game. By a lot.

Alright, enough chatter for one day. See you next week 🙂

In Too Deep

Other encounter sets in this scenario: Agents of Cthulhu, Creatures of the Deep, Rising Tide, Syzygy, The Locals

Size of the Encounter Deck37
# Enemies13
# Willpower6
# Agility4
# Doom2
# Damage8
# Horror6
These numbers represent how the deck looks after the first agenda advances. Before that, it is missing four of the enemies.

My take on this encounter deck: This is a rather large stack of encounter cards and it includes a generous number of enemies. Most of them are Hunters, too. In Too Deep is a combat heavy scenario where the investigators are constantly being followed by all sorts of Deep Ones and their worshipers. In addition to the thirteen enemies from the deck, there are another two big splashy enemies entering from the set aside cards, of course: The Innsmouth Shoggoth and the Mob. So bring some heavy calibers, you are unlikely to get much done here on pure evasion.
There’s not a whole lot of testing going on with the treacheries here. The only treacheries asking for willpower are Pulled Back and the very similar Dreams of R’lyeh and Innsmouth Look. Having four copies of these sanity draining treacheries around could be bad if they stack up on a vulnerable investigator, but luckily the size of the encounter deck makes that at least unlikely to happen. The only agility tests come from 4 of the cards from the Rising Tide set. So any investigator who is weak to those can avoid them by sticking to non-flooded locations (while that’s still possible at least), but again there’s only 4 out of almost 40, so it might not be worth worrying about.
There is however a solid amount of treacheries here that deal horror and/or damage. This synergizes well with the Hunter enemies who are also threatening to attack your sanity and stamina. The pressure on stamina and sanity is about equal. While there are more damage sources than horror sources, Dreams of R’lyeh and Innsmouth Look both reduce sanity – and that’s kinda like being dealt horror as well.
This scenario also features flooding. The Rising Tides treachery gets some help from Syzygy’s Tidal Alignment this time and they do a suitable job of creating some extra flooded spots in addition to what the agendas are doing. Still, flooding still mostly comes from the agenda, the four extra cards that are hidden in the encounter deck are rarely going to be super relevant.
This scenario is really hard if you try to get everything done. More than many other scenarios with scaling levels of success this one asks a lot of the players ability to estimate how much more they can get done before having to hurry for the exit.
Cancel these: Deep One Invasion, Inundated. It’s hard to justify holding back a Ward for just a single copy of a card in a stack of 37, but when given the chance it is worth trying to do so. Canceling multiple enemy spawns with one card is excellent. Syzygy is also definitely worth canceling, but since it has Peril, that’s even less likely to be worth holding out for than it is for Deep One Invasion. Inundated on the other hand can cost the players the ability to visit all the locations they want to, canceling that is going to be especially worth it in bigger teams where picking up the clues to remove a single barrier can cost the equivalent of five actions.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Ravager is on the more dangerous side, as far as Deep Ones go. Its statline ranges from 2/4/1 to 4/4/3, depending on the flood level of its location. It’s a Hunter and hits for 2 damage and 1 horror on attack. Like most Deep Ones, it has an engage effect. When Ravager engages a player, that player has to take a test against their combat skill. If they fail, a barricade is created to the west of the current location.
Along with the Young Deep Ones from the Agents of Cthulhu set, the Ravager only enters the encounter deck once the agenda advances for the first time.

My take: The most relevant stat here is the four health, making them a considerable time bump. Taking them out is going to be the job of your main fighter, not only because they have decent fight and evade while in flooded locations, but also because those are most likely to pass the test on engaging.
Their high damage on attack means that it is worth seeking them out and engaging them on your own terms before having them hunt into your position. When doing so, make sure that you don’t accidentally get cut off from the rest of the team by the engagement ability.

Threat level: Medium. A solid threat that will require a turn to deal with it.

Dealing with it: Four health is where enemies usually start requiring multiple actions for sure as they leave the range of cards like Spectral Razor or Dynamite Blast. So unless a player carries a Flamethrower or BAR around, moving into its location and attacking two times is going to take a full turn. Should they miss an attack, there better be another player around to finish off the Deep One or the creature is going to make an attack which in this case hurts quite a bit.
It should go without saying that engaging this enemy on dry ground is preferable, but of course that is going to be possible less and less as the agendas advance and the flooding continues.
It’s a humanoid non-Elite enemy, so (as is becoming a common point all through Innsmouth) the Guardian card Handcuffs is going to be excellent at tucking these down without having to reshuffle them ever again.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: A much smaller enemy than the Ravager, the Emerging Deep One only has 2 health. While it has decent combat, it is very easy to evade. It has Hunter. While it deals “only” one damage and horror on attacks, it does get a bonus attack when engaging at a flooded location. When Emerging Deep One enters play at a location that is not fully flooded, it does so unengaged and exhausted. There are three of these in the deck and unlike the other Deep Ones, it is in the encounter deck right from the start.

My take: This little bugger is deceptively dangerous. If it hunts into you while at a flooded location, it immediately gets to attack twice. So removing it from the board should be a priority. Luckily that’s easy enough to do. Once you are standing at locations that are fully flooded, these come into play with an immediate attack, stacking up with the damage that the agenda likely dealt to you the turn before. Once this happens, it’s usually the sign to get out of this scenario or at least move on to safer locations.

Threat level: Low to Mid. Easy to dispatch, but they are somewhat of a priority.

Dealing with it: These are part of the payoff for flooding in this scenario. The agenda effect for ending the turn in fully flooded locations is less punishing than in Pit of Despair or Devil Reef, so these pick up some of the slack. By staying ahead of the rising waters, these can be defeated fairly easily. Once that is no longer the case, that’s your cue that you are supposed to hurry on your way towards the Railroad Station.

Number in the encounter deck: 1

What it does: After shuffling the encounter discard back into the deck, Deep One Invasion fills all the locations to the east of the player with enemies. In order to do so, cards are discarded from the encounter deck until enough Deep One Hunters were revealed and spawned at those locations. There is only one Deep One Invasion in the encounter deck. The enemies that can be spawned by this are the Ravager, the Emerging Deep One and the Young Deep One.

My take: Depending on how deep you are into the scenario, this can spawn up to four enemies. If it comes to that, you are likely to leave already, so usually this will be worst while spawning two or three enemies that are now on your tail while you still have some locations to visit and barricades to remove. A Deep One Invasion will also make it much harder to backtrack to certain locations where you may want to collect or use keys.
Drawing this card in the first turns can be a freebie, while you are still at the eastern locations, setting yourself up and collecting your first clues. To be honest, i am surprised this card isn’t set aside and shuffled into the deck together with the Young Ones and Ravagers.

Threat level: Mid to Hard. There is some unpredictable scaling at work here, but spawning multiple enemies can certainly have a high ceiling.

Dealing with it: If you can not cancel it, dealing with the enemies is going to be required. Since there’s only one of them in the deck, there’s no real point to playing around it, except to maybe hold back a cancel for it.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Inundated places a barrier at the players location in each direction that doesn’t already have one. If no barrier was placed, the card surges.

My take: Very situational, but likely to cost the players something. Mostly, this places barriers to the east (obstructing the way back) and north/south (impeding movement in the column). This has the potential to break up the team, to be in the way when backtracking to key locations, but in most cases it will require the team to remove another barrier when they want to explore another location in that column. Removing a barrier costs clues, so that is the primary cost of this treachery. Note that this cost scales with player count, meaning that this card does so as well unless there is a special ability on the location that can be used to remove the barrier instead.
Of course, sometimes these barriers don’t matter much because they only lock off areas that you are already done with. If nothing else, the extra barriers can make the Elder Thing token in the bag a lot worse, i guess.

Threat level: Medium. A consistent drain on the player’s clues which in turn leads to many more actions spent clearing other locations if the players want to explore more of the map.

Dealing with it: Clues are plentiful if the only goal is reaching the Railroad Station. However, if the players plan on finding the keys and unlocking the flashbacks then the backtracking and the requirement to visit more of the locations will already be a massive drain on the clues and actions. An untimely Inundated or two can make this very hard. How to handle this card is going to depend a lot on where it lands, if there are other ways around the barricades and how important it is for you to go through them.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player has to take a willpower test. If they fail, they are moved one location to the east and have to drop their keys on that location.

My take: Again, very situational. On its surface, this card only costs an action, but depending on the context it can be so much worse. If the investigator was pulled through a barricade, they need to remove that to get back to where they were. If they were pulled into the arms of enemies, they might suddenly see themselves cut off from the rest of the team with a bunch of scary fishpeople in their threat area that are queuing up to resolve their engagement effects. If the location wasn’t picked clean of clues before, that may even have to happen now to pick up the keys again. If its a previously unrevealed location, even worse things can happen.
But then again, you can also draw it early and it can either completely whiff or just cost an action.

Threat level: Medium. The range of possible consequences from this card is wide, warranting a certain respect on its potential alone, even if that is not often going to play out so badly.

Dealing with it: One of the best things you can do to keep this card from being too terrible is being proactive about dealing with the enemies in this scenario. This card punishes evasion based groups a lot, making the Hunters that were left behind immediately catch up again. If this card doesn’t move the player into a location with enemies, it’s usually not going to be too terrible.

The Locals

Set Size6
Number of unique Cards3
RoleEnemy, Stalling progression
Threat LevelMedium
# of scenarios2
Appears in: The Vanishing of Elina Harper, In Too Deep

My take on this set: This is a fine set that represents the misshapen hybrid people inhabiting Innsmouth. In terms of flavor, it reminds me of the Dunwich set, which also did a great job of providing some context for the people living in the village. Thankfully, we also got an actual villager as an enemy card this time around, something i was missing in the Dunwich set.
This set focuses on making life worse for seekers, as all of them interact with intellect, parley or clues in some way. Clearly the Innsmouthers (Innsmouthians? Innsmouths? Whatever, Fishpeople!) do not appreciate us snooping around in their town and the cards reflect that.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Innsmouth Troublemaker spawns at the location with the most clues and starts hunting the players from there. The stat line is reminiscent of what we’ve seen on Deep Ones: Low evade, but competent fighters. They also deal a good amount of damage. For an action, the hybrid can be parleyed with. This does not require a test, but the player has to drop a clue on their location. Troublemaker will then exhaust for two turns. This parley ability can even be used from a connecting location.

My take: A chunky enemy that can be a drain on your actions if you are not too careful. Using the parley costs basically two actions, one of them to pick the clue back up. Since the parley is not a regular evade, but a “double evade” instead, this can absolutely be worth it, though. It’s going to depend on how easy it is to get the clue back, so location shroud might play a role in the decision.
He hits hard enough that letting him hunt into you is not really something you want to see. If it’s early in the game, you will probably also want to kill him right then instead of having him follow you around all scenario.
This is a cool enemy, with good tension between wanting to defeat him, evade him or just run from him. The design team really knocked it out of the park with their enemies in the Innsmouth cycle.

Threat level: Medium. A burly enemy that requires attention.

Dealing with it: As mentioned, the decision between defeating and evading this guy is going to depend on several factors. Among them: How deep are we into the scenario? How important are those clues right now? How easy is it going to be to pick those clues back up?
Aside from dealing with the Troublemaker in the usual ways, there are also two Guardian cards that are great all throughout the Innsmouth campaign and can shine here again: Handcuffs can permanently disable him easily. And for the less subtle among us, there is always Dynamite Blast.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Innsmouth Look is put into a players threat area where it stays until they spend an action and succeed at a willpower test. While affected by this card, the investigator loses 1 sanity and 1 intellect. They also gain the Deep One trait.

My take: As with Curse of Yig, i am still waiting for that payoff for the changed investigator trait. Maybe something’s still coming up later… In any case, this is the latest card following the template of Curse of Yig and Dreams of R’lyeh, and much of what was said there goes for this one as well. Due to their focus on grabbing clues from many locations under time pressure, losing intellect can be a real pain in the scenarios that are using this card, depending on who gets stuck with it.

Threat level: Medium. This is a bit hit or miss depending on who gets it, but the potential for this to be a huge annoyance is certainly there.

Dealing with it: If a pure enemy handler gets stuck with this, they can probably just ride it out without having to do anything about it. It kind of mirrors Curse of Yig in that regard, which was somewhat irrelevant for seeker types. Remember that anyone at that location can help out with that test, so if for example Trish isn’t able to shake it off, maybe have someone with a bit more willpower get rid of it for her.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player has to pass an intellect test. If they fail, Furtive Locals is put into play and the investigator takes one damage. But even if they passed the test, they still need to pick one of those two things to happen.
Furtive Locals is discarded at the end of the turn (unless there are multiples, in which case only one is discarded). While in play, investigators can not parley.

My take: This doesn’t seem bad at all? Not being able to parley for a turn doesn’t strike me as much of a problem and neither does suffering a damage. As far as results from the Mythos phase go, any of these effects are absolutely okay and even when taken together they are still on the low end of what to expect. Not terribly impressed by this card so far, although i suppose that bad timing can make it situationally awkward when you are just about to parley with a unique enemy in Vanishing or trying to stop a Troublemaker from hunting your seeker. During In Too Deep, the location abilities that tear down barricades also count as Parleys, so those would also be affected. The ability on the act that allows spending clues to remove barricades does not count as a Parley though.
I do like that template of “on fail do both, on sucess pick one”, though.

Threat level: Low. Only situationally relevant.

Dealing with it: There’s not a whole lot to do about this card in terms of preparations or special precautions. It’s only rarely relevant in the first place, so just deal with it when it shows up. Worst case, it can lead to having to engage and defeat an enemy you were going to parley with. During In Too Deep, it might force you to spend some clues to remove barricades instead of using a location ability, so keep a few clues in your back pocket for that occasion. You should do so anyways, for emergencies.


Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleDamage, Doom
Threat LevelMedium
# of scenarios4
Appears in: In Too Deep, A Light in the Fog, Lair of Dagon, Into the Maelstrom

My take on this set: The two cards in this set are very different in terms of their effects, but they share the ability to affect multiple players at once. One card is this cycle’s version of Ancient Evils, like other variants or replacements we’ve seen before it adds Peril but offers some alternative options. The other one does a bit of extra flooding, helping out the Rising Tide encounter set. This is a solid set of cards, fairly straightforward. Both cards come with only 2 copies and the encounter deck of In Too Deep is pretty big, so they are not a large presence (at least at two players).

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Syzygy forces the investigator drawing it to make a choice between three effects that affect everyone at the table. Either everyone loses 3 resources or 2 sanity or a doom token is placed on the agenda with a chance of advancing.

My take: This cycle’s version of Ancient Evils offers investigators a choice of taking other punishment instead. Doing so is going to be worth it often, especially late in the game when resources are not as important anymore as they are in the first couple of turns. Note that as long as even a single player has 1 resource to lose, picking that first option is legal.
Should the resource option not be available, either due to everyone being broke or due to drawing this way early in the game when the resources are still crucial for setting up, then the other two come into play. Both are pretty bad and the choice between them is much more situational. If everyone can afford to lose two sanity, that can be an option to squeeze another turn out of the scenario, but it’s not going to be a feasible option all the time.

Threat level: High. One of the options can often be “an easy way out”, but this can still hurt a whole lot. Especially in larger teams.

Dealing with it: If no cancel is around (the card does have Peril, after all), then mitigating whatever effect is chosen is what’s going to be important. One thing that can be done to prepare for this card is spending your resources instead of hoarding them. As long as at least one resource remains on someone, the first option can be picked, if everyone already spent most of their money the impact of this card can be severely reduced.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player chooses a location with at least one investigator at it. Everyone there is dealt one damage. Also, the flood level of that location is increased. If it can’t, Tidal Alignment surges instead.

My take: No matter if Tidal Alignment surges or not, it will always deal at least one testless damage. Usually increasing a flood level will be preferable to drawing another encounter card, so the location should be picked accordingly.

Threat level: Low to Mid in full groups, Low otherwise. Increasing the flood level has shaken out to be a relatively minor effect so far. So i would evaluate this purely on its ability to possibly damage multiple players and, in a worst case, surge.

Dealing with it: If everyone is standing at the same spot, this will not only maximize the damage done, but it will also remove the player choice from the card that helps preventing it from surging. So consider having not everyone occupying the same location. And if you have to, at least make it one that can have its flood level increased.

Weekly Evils – #21

Week in Review

Oops, i skipped Innsmouth. It was supposed to be time for a look at another three Innsmouth sets this week, instead i did Dunwich. Oh well. The project is drawing to an end anyways, soon enough we’ll have everything 🙂 With Dunwich and Naomi’s Crew now also in the bag, all that is left is three scenarios. One of which, Blood on the Altar, is also up since yesterday. So the next time we visit Dunwich, we finish up the campaign.
Next week: We are getting in too deep into Innsmouth 😉


I trust everyone found a good start into the new year? Over the holidays (of which i am currently counting the last remaining hours…) i unearthed the Lord of the Rings LCG from my gaming shelves. Was looking for a bit of a change of pace and also wanted to take a look at that game again now to see how it compares to Arkham.

And i got to say, it holds up very well. LotR is a really good game and doesn’t need to shy away from the comparison to its fellow LCGs. Deckbuilding is of course something you need to like to enjoy LotR, it is a much bigger piece of the game experience there than it is in Arkham. So i whipped up two quick decks with some of my favorite archetypes from that game (a tri-sphere Sylvan ally bouncing deck and a Galadriel centered mono-Spirit support deck) and played through a couple of scenarios.

Here are a couple of things that i took notice of, in no particular order:

  • Setup: Setting up a scenario in LotR takes like a third of the time than it does for Arkham scenarios. Just shuffle up the decks, maybe search for one or two set aside cards. Go. No building the location grid or setting aside the sometimes a dozen or so cards. Quick and painless. Of course that extra setup time goes into deck building…
  • Locations: On the other hand, that location grid is one of the best things that Arkham has over LotR. The amount of decision making that comes from moving around, positioning yourself relative to enemies, scenario goals and other players… all that is missing from LotR. In many ways, LotR is much more abstract than Arkham and locations are just things that you defeat. Marvel Champions actually goes back to something very similar with its schemes and side schemes, except even more streamlined and … well, dumbed down. Not a fan of what Marvel does there, but that’s maybe a topic for another day.
  • Threat: What Doom is for Arkham, Threat is for LotR. And sorry, but this one is just a plain win on all accounts for LotR. Doom is just a counter that ticks up and at certain intervals something happens when the agenda flips. Threat is a number that starts depending on your chosen heroes (because of course Sauron feels much more threatened by Aragorn than by Merry or Pippin) and has massive constant implications for the gameplay because it decides if players need to engage enemies or not. Fantastic system and there are a lot of ways to engage with it in the player cards with whole archetypes around it.
  • Campaign: This is of course the big one in Arkham’s favor. That feeling of playing through a whole campaign with your investigator and seeing them grow is amazing. LotR has standalone scenarios without any “growth” or persisting effects between quests. I do own the Saga boxes (a set of six expansions that retell the events of the book over eighteen scenarios) and they do offer a bit of this, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to Arkham’s way of improving your decks gradually over the course of a campaign.
  • Enemies: Going to have to give this one to LotR. Enemies in the two games work very differently. This could actually be it’s own article on the site, but i will try to keep it as brief as i can now. The encounter deck tries to do two things: stall the players to keep them from reaching their goal (defeat by doom) and/or deal horror/damage to the players (defeat by … well, defeat). Arkham goes about it in a way that i thought wasn’t very intuitive when i got into it. The main sources of damage and horror are treacheries. Meanwhile, the enemies are mostly stalling devices whose impact can be measured in actions spent to deal with them. There are exceptions, of course. But mostly, enemies will not get to attack much, instead their most important stats are usually the combination of fight value and health, determining if they go in one, two or more hits. As a result, they can often feel a bit samey. Again, exceptions exists and things like the engagement effects on Deep Ones are certainly a step towards breaking this trend. But looking at enemies in LotR, those just feel more impactful and dangerous from the start. They are the primary source of damage for allies and players and due to getting always the first attack in (and triggering that dreadful shadow card) they command much more respect. I also feel like there’s more variety in effects on LotR enemies than there is on Arkham enemies, with things shooting from the staging area, drumming up more enemy cards or doing nasty stuff on engagement or entering play. LotR also has a lot more enemies that require serious investment to take down, from Orkish heroes over Trolls to Oliphants.

To be continued.

I was going to write more here about treacheries, deckbuilding, flavor and some other game systems, but i realize now that this is already quite long for my weekly little column here. So i will break this up into two (or more? we’ll see) parts, continuing next week. See you then.

Blood on the Altar

Other encounter sets in this scenario: Ancient Evils, Nightgaunts, Dunwich, Naomi’s Crew, Whippoorwills

Size of the Encounter Deck35
# Enemies12
# Willpower8
# Agility5
# Doom3
# Damage4
# Horror9
Note: The above numbers include the Naomi’s Crew set. That set is not used if player didn’t cause the O’Bannions to have “a bone to pick”. This is rarely going to be the case though, as it requires saving Peter Clover, a notoriously difficult side quest in House Always Wins. For that reason, i assumed Naomi’s Crew to be used by default.

My take on this encounter deck: A thick encounter deck that is pushed past the usual 30 cards by the optional Naomi’s Crew. A good amount of these is enemies, but most of them are human enemies with somewhat low combat stats. Or even Whippoorwills which aren’t fighters at all. During the non-Return scenario, the Nightgaunts are really the only standouts for dedicated fighters here.
The treacheries cover a lot of different ground, with the usual focus on willpower tests and horror. Rotting Remains which does both of those things was even reprinted here to be included without the rest of its encounter set from the Core.
Players have a lot of time in total before the last agenda runs out, but there is at least some motivation to finish as fast as possible to save as many as possible of the potential sacrifices. Ancient Evils and the two scenario specific cards Kidnapped! and Strange Signs support this theme.
The rest is somewhat standard. Some damage, some horror, some agility test, some willpower tests. All in a mix that makes preparing for any of them somewhat unnecessary.
I’ve always liked this scenario for its wide variety of challenges and because the location grid of Dunwich is appealing to me. The one thing that puts me off is how much of a role luck plays in getting a good result from this. Finding the chamber and key only with the last two locations can mean that you will be guaranteed to lose several of the unique allies.
Cancel these: Kidnapped, Ancient Evils. Kidnapped can be a very mean card that has its consequences echo through the rest of the campaign. If it can be stopped with a Ward, that’s an opportunity i would always take. Ancient Evils is the other card that plays straight into the main challenge of the scenario which isn’t necessarily just reaching a resolution. It’s reaching that resolution before too many sacrifices were made.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Servant of Many Mouths is a fairly weak enemy, but engaging him is risky nonetheless. He deals 2 damage on each attack and with a fight value of 3 and Retaliate there is a chance for him to get off an extra attack when players fail their test while trying to defeat him. Evading him is easy enough and his Spawn instructions can put him in remote spots, so players don’t necessarily need to fight him. However, defeating him awards a free clue from any location.

My take: Such a helpful guy. At this point in the campaign, whoever is on enemy duty should have little trouble taking this enemy out and the reward of a free clue is easily worth the extra risk from Retaliate. I am usually happy to see him coming from the encounter deck.

Threat level: Low. Would be Low to Mid if not for his free clue trigger.

Dealing with it: Between spawning at any empty location and his evade value of 1, fighting him is pretty much a thing that a player chooses to do, not something that a vulnerable character gets roped into. So defeating him can wait until you are confident in your fighting abilities to pass the difficulty 3 test. Or until you have some sort of damage for him that bypasses his Retaliate, like a Blood-Rite or Sneak Attack.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Kidnapped plays into this scenario’s unique mechanics with the potential sacrifices. At reveal, the player can pass either a willpower or agility test. If they don’t one of their allies from play is added to the potential sacrifices and Kidnapped is attached to the agenda. When the agenda advances, an extra sacrifice will be made.
Should the player fail their test, but have no allies in play, they are simply dealt 2 damage and Kidnapped is discarded.

My take: What a nasty card. Even if we forget about the kidnap mechanics for a moment, this is a treachery that will remove your ally from play. Seeing how most players will only have one of those in play, there is not necessarily any player choice in what to discard, either. Allies are among the most impactful assets, so this will always hurt. But of course the asset isn’t just discarded, it is kidnapped. And that can be so much worse. As detailed in the resolution of the scenario, each unique card sacrificed is removed from ALL player decks and can not be rebought for the rest of the campaign. Aside from stripping key allies like Milan Christopher or Lola Santiago from decks, this can even remove signature allies like Duke or Molly Maxwell.
Kidnapped will lead to an additional card being added to the sacrifice pile when the agenda advances, so even if this doesn’t randomly choose to remove the player’s ally, it will remove an additional story asset.

Threat level: Very High. This is a card that can damage player’s deck even past the scenario it is used in. That’s an exceptional trait for a card.

Dealing with it: Cancel it if you can. Pray you pass the test if you can’t. Hope you have a non-unique ally to sacrifice. Those are pretty much the things that the player can try to leverage in trying to combat this treachery. If the risk of losing a unique ally that is vital for the deck is too high, not playing it in this scenario can be a real consideration. Ashcan Pete’s best boy starts in play, but doesn’t take the ally slot, so Pete can play some “sacrificial” ally to get kidnapped in Duke’s place. Loosing Madame LaBranche sucks, but it’s certainly preferrable to losing the dog. Players who use Charisma can do a similar thing and for example protect their Milan by satisfying Kidnapped with an Art Student.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Hey, we already know this card! This is a core set staple, from the Striking Fear encounter set.

My take: It makes a lot of sense for this card to be here, both thematically (Dunwichers are sacrificing people to Silas, investigators stumble across remains of the victims) and for its gameplay effect. Apparently the designers felt they wanted Rotting Remains here, but not the rest of the encounter set. The scenario asks a good amount of mobility from the players and Frozen in Fear would be a massive pain, especially if it were to pop up while players are dipping in and out of Silas’ chamber. So lets all be thankful we don’t have to deal with that for once.

Threat level: Low to Mid. There is a reasonable amount of horror coming from other encounter cards, but not to a point where it becomes a major theme of the scenario.

Dealing with it: As usual: Pass the willpower test as good as you can, soak the rest. Cards like this only become an issue once the sources of horror (or damage) reach a critical mass and that is not necessarily the case in Blood on the Altar.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player who drew this treachery has to add it to any players threat area. Psychopomp’s Song then surges into the next encounter card.
The next time a player with this treachery takes damage, they take an extra two damage on top, then discard it.

My take: Two testless damage on a Surge. Ouch. The saving grace here is that you are able to choose who gets it, so it can either be put on someone who has a lot of stamina and/or soak or on someone who might be unlikely to even trigger the card. There are only two other damage cards in the deck (On Wings of Darkness from the Nightgaunts set), so as long as the player can stay away from enemies, that can even work reasonably well. When it triggers, it can often be a bit of a problem, as this card will of course always stack with some other damage source, putting a player’s stamina into dangerous areas with one blow.
Now, this is pure speculation on my part as i don’t play solo… but this seems ridiculous once you play solo, because you remove the player choice aspects and can see it as just a testless surging two damage.

Threat level: Mid to High. The choice of who to give the card stops it from being absurd and makes it okay to mitigate. It’s still a rather significant effect for a card that surges. High in Solo.

Dealing with it: Whoever is stuck deciding on who to give this should usually find someone who can take it. Aside from fighting enemies, there is not a whole lot of pressure on player’s life totals, so taking this hit should be fine for someone.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: If the player fails an intellect test, an additional clue from the token bank is added to the location. This card is also one of the few sources of player scaling in this scenario, adding an extra clue when playing with 3 or 4 investigators.

My take: This card does not only force players to take another successful investigation action to clear a location, it also adds another clue or two to the total that are moved into the Hidden Chamber in the final stage. So in a game with 3 or 4 investigators, this can equal 4 (or even more) actions. On the other hand, drawing it on a location that already had the card underneath it pulled out will lead to only the extra clues in the chamber. I usually find this card to be a bit of a relief when drawing it. While it does put some extra pressure on the timer (kinda like a mini-Evils), it does not do anything immediate, giving me some breathing room to either put towards dealing with other problems or just to directly adress the extra investigations from this card.

Threat level: Low to Mid. Can cost the team an above average amount of actions, but lacks immediate threat.

Dealing with it: For this card to be particularly bad, it needs to be drawn at a location that players did not clear out yet. Otherwise it is not much of an issue. The intellect test is very much worth throwing multiple cards into it as this one test can prevent multiple ones later on. Groups that can routinely pick up multiple clues with one action will be bothered by this card even less than others.

Return to Blood on the Altar

My take on the modified scenario: Return to Dunwich fixes two things about the scenario. It “repairs” the broken location connections on the original central location which led to having several one-way connections that made little sense and were likely unintended. It also makes sure that having the Syndicate around here is not a favorable thing. In original Blood on the Altar, the cards from Naomi’s Crew were usually diluting the power of the rest of the deck. Return To Blood on the Altar removes this issue by not including the cards from that encounter set in the ones that potentially get put under the locations and by introducing the Hired Gun. Hired Gun is a reasonably strong enemy that gives bonuses to all cards from Naomi’s Crew. At the same time, Naomi herself is available as a reward for anyone who did not cause the syndicate to have a bone to pick with you. So there is now sufficient motivation to maybe go out of your way and save Peter Clover during The House Always Wins.
The only encounter set that is swapped out for a replacement is Ancient Evils which becomes Resurgent Evils. It’s not a terribly relevant switch, as the doom counter gives a lot of time to the players. Should the agenda be just about to flip when the players are ready to finish the scenario, the option to draw extra encounter cards on Resurgent Evils might be able to rescue an extra potential sacrifice, i guess. I don’t think it’s very likely to happen.
All things considered, the scenario doesn’t play very different from the original. The fixed location connectors are welcome and the little bit of extra punch to the criminal cards is appropriate. But the scenario was already one of the better ones from the campaign, so no complaints from me there.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Hired Gun is easy to evade, but relatively tough in a fight. While he is in play, he adds Hunter to every Criminal in play, including himself. Hunted Down, the treachery from Naomi’s Crew gains Peril and Surge while a Hired Gun is one the board. One of these guys starts already in play, the other one is shuffled into the encounter deck.

My take: I like this way of scaling up a somewhat weak set to a power level that is more suited to a scenario that comes a bit later in the campaign. Hunter plays very well on the Criminals, since it gives some extra motivation to actually defeat them despite their low evasion values. Of course, Hired gun himself continues the trend started by Mobster’s and Thug’s statline.

Threat level: Medium. A tough enemy on its own that also enhances several other cards. Already starting in play is the cherry on top.

Dealing with it: That evasion value of 1 is a trap, these should be killed fairly quick. The upside for doing so is being able to evade the regular criminals later. Hunter would put a stop that plan. With 4 health and 3 fight, these guys are tough enough that this is a job for a proper fighter, but at this point of the campaign, that should not be too difficult.


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