Guardians of Time

Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleEnemy, Damage
Threat LevelMedium (Mid to High with 4p group)
# of scenarios2
Appears in: Untamed Wilds, The Boundary Beyond

My take on this set: This is a neat little set that doesn’t see enough use during the Forgotten Age campaign. It’s only used in two scenarios. What’s more, if you align yourself with Ichtaca the set gets disabled for half of the one scenario and is completely omitted during the other.
Guardians of Time is a small set focusing on dealing direct damage to players. This is especially dangerous for poisoned investigators, who are already subject to periodically losing health to the Creeping Poison treachery.
The other thing notable about these cards is how hard they scale with the number of players. Both cards are able to hit multiple players at once, multiplying the damage they deal. For that reason, their value goes up in full parties dramatically.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: These enemies spawn at empty locations, guarding their surroundings from investigators snooping around in the jungle. Eztli Guardians have two life, which makes them easy to take out at first glance, but their four fight and Aloof makes that actually quite problematic. They only deal a damage in combat, however they attack connected locations as well while unengaged. They do have Alert which is largely there just for flavor. With 2 evade and Aloof, the Alert keyword will pretty much never do anything.

My take: What a pain these are. They attack only for a single damage, so just suffering through it sometimes is attractive because the alternative means having to spend a turn moving over to their place, engaging them and passing a reasonably difficult combat check. These guys are especially annoying during the Boundary Beyond, both for ingame and for out of game reasons. They can cover a lot of locations during that scenario and are well worth taking out if they not spawn in one of the two corner locations. They also add a certain amount of book keeping to the shifting location connections during the scenario.

Threat level: Medium. Their strength comes from being able to attack multiple investigators in one turn, allowing them to rack up a good amount of damage over time if things go perfectly for them.

Dealing with it: The first decision to make is where to spawn them. If possible, an Ancient location has to be chosen, but nonetheless it’s often possible to spawn them a bit out of the way where they aren’t immediately dangerous. During Untamed Wilds, they often become a free mythos draw that way, even before parleying Ichtaca can literally turn them into freebies.
Whenever they are relevant, they are a decision of what is going to hurt more: The damage they cause or the actions needed to take them out. Fight events that also engage (Spectral Razor, Get Over Here) can do great work here and so can cards that can deal two damage to unengaged enemies (Blood Rite, Storm of Spirits).
One little detail about their unengaged attack: It only hits connected locations, not their own. So you can share a location with the aloof Guardian without being attacked. Ironically, that allows you to plunder the clues from the Ancient location they are guarding without being bothered by them.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Arrows from the Trees deals damage equal to 1 plus the number of allies they control. Not only the player who drew the card is affected, but also every other player at Ancient locations. There is no test attached to this damage, it simply happens.

My take: Even though the baseline of only being dealt one damage is quite low, there is no test here to avoid it. When players have allies with only 1 stamina around that things get bad. Being confronted with the choice of either discarding their Milan/Peter/Initiate or taking the hit themselves, players will often end up taking a lot of extra damage. Like with the Eztli Guardian, this card gains a lot of its punch from hitting multiple players at once, thus potentially racking up an impressive amount of health lost.

Threat level: Medium. The lack of a test is huge here, allowing the card to stack up with the poison related cards to chip away at player’s health until even small enemies can become a life-threatening issue. It’s held back by sometimes not doing a whole lot more than a single point of damage, though.

Dealing with it: First off, if you are playing the sort of ally heavy deck that has multiple weak allies out at the same time, you should not linger in Ancient locations if you can avoid it. For anyone else, it’s probably not worth playing around the two copies of this card specifically. The saving grace here is that the same allies that scale the damage on the treachery can also take the hit for you, allowing yourself to tank the hit with allies that have multiple points of stamina.

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