In case you missed it, Ancient Evils now has pages for the Standalones. At least for the ones i already played, but more are coming soon. I kinda lucked out and was able to get all of them except for Labyrinth which i couldn’t play anyways. So far, Rougarou and Excelsior are both up, Outer Gods i am currently working on. Should probably get posted sometime next week.
Link: Standalone Hub
I also started on a new article series about the design of some Arkham mechanic. In those articles i compare them to how they work in Marvel Champions and Lord of the Rings, trying to gleam interesting stuff from the contrast. I am happy with how the series went so far, there’s three articles up right now and i got a couple more planned.
Link: Article Hub
I also finally got my copy of Return to Circle Undone this week. I am currently playing it, so i should be able to update the scenario pages for the campaign soon and also write up the Resurgent Evils post with the overview of the Return to TCU product. Good stuff.
Meanwhile, in the wider Arkham world, spoiler season for Edge of the Earth is in full swing and this week we were bombarded with a flurry of previewed cards through various content creators. While i do not have a card of my own to share, i certainly do have opinions on them, so let’s take a quick look at all of them! Where possible, i will link to the original source so you can check out the cards there. If you want one link to see everything, i suggest this page on Hall of Arkham.
Daniela Reyes: The final investigator was previewed by Optimal Play on their Youtube channel, including signatures and weaknesses. I am certainly interested in playing her, i’ve always been one that likes the Guard Dog and Survival Knife playstyle. Having an investigator dedicated to that is cool. I also have visions of her going around with a Chainsaw…
Medical Texts(2): A fine card. It’s not going to make a huge splash, but i have certainly felt the lack of a Healing Words(2) before. Getting to take actions to heal 2 damage can take the pressure of many situations involving high trauma, in particular during Innsmouth or TFA campaigns. Daisy is a lot less fragile with this thing in her arsenal as well.
Unearth the Ancients(2): Oh, this is powerful. Here’s what you get for 2XP: -1 cost, an extra icon, an extra asset put into play and possible an extra card drawn. Also, you no longer replace the clue. This last part is huge, especially since you can use this card to replace the shroud value on a tough location with the cost of some asset in your hand. And then still throw your Deductions at it to get multiple clues. Really, really good.
Toe to Toe: This card is amazing and will see so much play, it could rival Vicious Blow. “Automatically successful” are some powerful words. This is good even when you play it straight, but add some synergy to it from Guard Dog, Daniela, Calvin, Nathaniel… and you got an absolutely stellar card. And it’s level zero! And no cost! Beautiful.
Brand of Cthugha: Doesn’t compare too favorably with existing combat spells or Enchanted Blade once we consider that this costs an XP. However, this Brand has value as a side arm for Guardians with big guns that doesn’t require a Bandolier. It’s also the only sidearm you can carry with a flamethrower, which is weirdly on theme.
Gang Up: 3 resources seems like a lot, but this card scales really well. Remember that your investigator card counts for this, so all you’d need is Joe Diamond with an Enchanted Blade (or Brand of Cthugha) and Gang Up already hits for 4 damage. That seems really powerful and at that point we aren’t even trying to maximize it yet.
Prophesiae Profana: Ah, the obligatory level 5 seeker card that has the community in upheaval and clamour for pre-release taboos. I don’t think this is anywhere near that busted. Sure, a double stat boost is good and the teleport ability can also be, depending on the scenario. But that “ignore Attacks of Opportunity” thing doesn’t impress me much, to be honest. Maybe it’s a two-player thing, but AoOs are barely even a thing in my games? But still, obviously a powerful card worth the 5XP. I am just not sure how often i would actually play it.
Jeremiah Kirby: This is an interesting card, but it has the age-old problem of being in direct competition with Milan. A deck purposefully built to always draw 5 could get good value from him, but that’s likely going to be the exception. Personally, i like skills in Seeker way too much and Jeremy here will not be able to draw them because skills have no cost at all.
Defensive Stance and Survey the Area: These are skills can easily add 5 or more icons to your skill test. That is going to be worth it somewhere for sure. The first thing i am thinking of is making Leo or Harvey pass agility tests, but there’s likely a whole lot more to do with them. Both skills have a bit of competition from existing cards, some of which (like Daring or Mind over Matter) don’t cost XP. So it will remain to be seen how much play they get. These are certainly fine cards. Being Practiced but not working with Amanda or Practice makes Perfect is super weird, though…
Cyclopean Hammer: Finally a big weapon that can take it up with Timeworn Brand, even if it takes two hands. This thing packs a lot of punch and the forced enemy movement is useful for sure. Icons that make it excellent for use with Well Prepared round out the package. Now this is a card i would enjoy spending 5XP and 5 resources on.
Join the Caravan: I guess? To be honest, i find it hard to get excited about yet another Seeker move card. There’s so many of them already and i don’t see this being worth scaling Synergy for. Could have a spot in Joe’s hunch deck, but this card is sort of whatever to me.
Underworld Support: That’s more my thing! I already have played Highlander on occasion before without an official card that even rewards me for doing it. I don’t think this is all that efficient strictly speaking and i don’t think it should be – playing Highlander is something that you do to pose yourself a deckbuilding challenge. That being said, if you plan on running a couple powerful one-off cards anyways (like anything exceptional, for example), this could help you find what you need.
Nkosi Mbati: Oh, this guy is powerful. The two immediate things that come to mind are Jim Culver treating everything as a skull and that you can name Blesses with this guy. That’s some huge boost to consistency for those sort of decks. But even if you aren’t Jim, treating other tokens as skulls is usually going to be really good. What an interesting card to upgrade your Olive McBride into for token fishing decks.
Sled Dog: Oh my. These could seriously go into a lot of decks. Lola likes these a lot. Leo does as well. The limiting factor is going to be how well you can come up with the resource costs for the dogs. But if you can manage it, that’s a lot of potential power in a level zero neutral card. I am thrilled that these exist, they are going to be worth tinkering around for several investigators. Even Mandy could rather easily find all four of these, put them into play and attack for 4 damage with 5 fight. Mandy! Hilarious.
Blur(4): (This has been previewed by Veronica on the MB Discord, i don’t think i can link there directly). We’ve seen level 1 Blur before, so the interesting part for me here is that we can see how these sort of cards are being upgraded. It’s safe to say that for example the Cthugha blade will have a level 4 version following this template. As for the card itself, i am certainly interested in getting extra actions when evading. Not sure i like paying 4XP for an evade card, though. Suggestion is one hell of a competition here. The nice thing about Blur is that it doesn’t need high willpower, though. Someone like Finn might be interested and i feel like that is the most likely spot for Blur. Mystics probably have better already established cards.
So in conclusion we got a lot of exciting stuff going on right now. And we aren’t even done yet, there’s more to come in the next days.