Crimson Conspiracy

Set Size5
Number of unique Cards2
RoleDoom, Concealment
Threat LevelHigh to Very High
# of scenarios3
Appears in: Riddles and Rain, Dancing Mad, On Thin Ice

My take on this set: This set appears to be the Scarlet Keys version of the cultist set, something we’ve seen in most other campaigns as well: Its primary card is a small enemy that carries a doom and needs to be defeated before it makes the agenda advance prematurely. Previous iterations on the concept gave players ways to deal with the enemy in other ways, be it through damaging them from afar or for example through some parley tests. Not so this one. Coterie Agent heavily profits from being impervious to harm while in the shadows and forces players to go after him the long way, possibly through one or both of his decoys.
That makes this encounter set quite dangerous and a huge hassle to deal with. It also stacks up very well with other sets that introduce concealed enemies which can lead to this just straight up being 5 cards that add a doom that are likely to impact the agenda thresholds.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: When Coterie Agent is revealed, they hide in the shadows together with two decoys. Their stats are mostly irrelevant, as they have a reaction trigger that discards them as soon as they are exposed. However, until they are, they add a doom to the board.

My take: These can be nasty. Ignoring doom usually isn’t something you can do so you will have to somehow engage with them. This can eat up quite a few actions as you have to travel around and then possibly run into a decoy or two.
Unlike previous versions of the “Cultist”, these can also not easily be bypassed with something like Small Favor because they are immune to player cards and damage while in the shadows. As the final little insult, these are discarded on being exposed and not defeated. That means that any cards you have that do things on defeating enemies will not trigger on getting rid of the Coterie Agent… unless you choose to not trigger their reaction ability on purpose.

Threat level: High to Very High. Unless you get lucky, these will eat up most of your turn. Or if you are unlucky, even more. Also stacks up in a bad way with other concealed cards, making the Agent hard to root out as they might be able to hide behind decoys from other cards as well.

Dealing with it: There’s a high degree of luck involved with these, as you can either immediately flip the right one (so it only cost you one action) or you can run into two decoys and spend the better part of two turns to rooting these guys out. You do have some choice when placing the mini cards. One usually has to go on your current location and that’s the one you can immediately uncover. For the other two, consider not just the shroud on the location but also the connections between them. Ideally each of the three locations is connected to the other two so the worst case at least doesn’t make you backtrack an extra location. Other than that there’s not terribly much you can do to bypass what this card wants you to do, the Concealed ability makes it very resilient. Like all Concealed enemies, they are vulnerable to On The Hunt and Kicking the Hornet’s Nest, though.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: This adds a doom to a concealed enemy. If none is around, one is fetched up from the encounter deck or discard pile.

My take: As usual, our Cultist encounter set comes with a treachery that serves up these cultists. When there’s no other concealed enemies to interact with, this is fairly straightforward. Riddles and Rain does have the Red-Gloved Man as another potential target for doom, though. And Dancing Mad has the Coterie Assassin and Enforcer to interact with. That makes it actually a bit tamer in Dancing Mad, as those enemies from the Cleanup Crew are easier to uncover if you have to add doom to them. And you can pull them up instead of a Coterie Agent if no concealed enemy is in play, bypassing the doom thing completely. That being said, if there’s a lot of enemies in the shadows (like in Dancing Mad), then the added doom can become very difficult to remove.

Threat level: High. Mostly serves as another copy of the Coterie Agent, but with some variance in either direction depending on how big of a thing concealment is in that scenario.

Dealing with it: If you do have to pull an Agent with this, you will want to get one from the deck instead of the discard pile, just so you don’t have to draw it later. Of course, if you are able to get a different concealed enemy without doom on it, that can be very helpful, too.

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