Naomi’s Crew

Set Size6
Number of unique Cards3
RoleEnemy, Resource denial
Threat LevelLow
# of scenarios2
Appears in: The House Always Wins, Blood on the Altar

My take on this set: Naomi’s Crew has a lot going on considering it’s just a set with some basic enemies that tide players over until the third act brings out the monsters. Both evading and defeating these enemies has its merits here. Retaliate on the Mobster and the fight value on the Thug beg players to evade these non-Hunters. At the same time, this is setting players up for a trap as those enemies can surprisingly be back and bring the hurt when they get activated by Hunted Down. Neat. There’s also a little resource denial subtheme here, but personally i never experienced it to matter much. That’s fine though, if nothing else it does add to the mobster flavor of these guys.
One interesting thing about these cards is how they are influenced by the Return To Dunwich box. The Hired Gun, a special enemy for Return to Blood on the Altar, changes all of these cards and makes them more aggressive, adding Hunter or Surge.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Mobster is a fairly basic human enemy. With twos across the statline and only 1 damage, it doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the investigators, but Retaliate and a Forced effect that drains a resource on attack does give it some extra punch.

My take: As long as you have a weapon of some kind, defeating this guy should not be an issue at all. Evading him is also a solution, but Hunted Down is at least something to consider when doing so. If you are playing Return to Blood on the Altar, these can gain Hunter from a Hired Gun, so it’s probably best to just use a charge or an ammo from one of your weapons and wipe these from the board.
Retaliate on a low fight enemy such as this one is only an issue for characters that aren’t equipped for fighting. So while it does stop your Seeker from just punching them and hoping for the best, your fighter will easily clean these guys out.

Threat level: Low. Basic filler enemy.

Dealing with it: Evading and defeating are both perfectly valid options here, whatever your investigator is best equipped to do. When evading him, you’d ideally want to get two locations away from him because of Hunted Down. But even if Mobster gets to attack from a Hunted Down that would mean losing a stamina, a resource and and action… that could actually be preferrable to having Hunted Down surge.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The Thug has four combat, a significant upgrade from the Mobster. He also deals two damage with each attack, so that’s much more relevant as well. Anyone engaged with the Thug is unable to gain resources in any way. This includes not only the 1 resource from upkeep, but also any other income you might’ve gotten from card effects.

My take: This guy has enough of a combat value that he actually becomes a bit of an issue to defeat. Usually still takes one hit, but failing attacks against a difficulty of four isn’t too uncommon. Evading him is easy enough and he lacks Hunter, so that can become a safer and more efficient way of bypassing him. Once more, Hunted Down adds a bit of a risk to that plan and so does the Hired Gun from Return to Blood on the Altar. So if you go for it, consider gaining some distance.

Threat level: Low to Mid.

Dealing with it: My favorite Sneak Attack target. Aside from using such almost tailor-made answer cards, a similar thing goes as for the Mobster. Deal with him in whatever way your investigator is most likely to succeed. Both evasion and combat are viable options.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: All unengaged Criminal enemies move one location towards the player. If any of them engage the player as a result, those get to make an immediate attack. If no valid enemies are around, Hunted Down surges into the next encounter card.
Valid enemies for this card are the two enemies from this set, the Pit Boss from House Always Wins, the Hired Gun from Return to Blood on the Altar and also Siobhan and the Bouncers from the All or Nothing Print&Play version of House Always Wins.

My take: I am not in a habit of letting these guys live, so 9 times out of 10, this just surges for me. That being said, the card can be somewhat annoying if it doesn’t. Just engaging and being attacked by one enemy is bad already, but if you’ve been evading enemies all scenario, this could potentially cause multiples to gang up for A LOT of damage. As a result, do keep the existence of this card in mind and try not to fall for that trap. One thing to note about this card is that the surge is not dependent on anyone engaging or moving, it’s only depending on an unengaged Criminal being in play. So even if all this does is move a Mobster on the other end of Dunwich, this will not surge. This can be an argument for leaving some Criminal behind to satisfy the card.
Hired Gun will give Hunted Down the Surge keyword. This can stack with the conditional surge from the treachery itself, turning it into something similar to Overzealous.

Threat level: Low to Mid. Can be bad, but it does scale with the number of Criminals on the board. And that is a number the players can usually influence fairly well.

Dealing with it: Kill ’em all. It’s a crude solution, but it works. Otherwise, evade them but keep at least a location buffer between them and you. Bonus points for leaving some Mobster behind just so this card loses its potential to surge. That happens very easily during the first act of House Always Wins where the criminals all are aloof for a while.

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