Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleEnemy, Doom, Action Tax
Threat LevelMid to High
# of scenarios3
Appears in: City of Elder Things (v1, v2, v3), Heart of Madness #1 and #2

My take on this set: Among a number of rather conventional enemies in Edge of the Earth, the Penguin set stands out as something that is actually a bit more situational in how you handle it. So there are some decision to be made when you encounter it which is always a good thing. I feel like Wuk! Wuk! Wuk! is missing a certain something to make it really cool, right now it’s just basically another two copies of the penguin and it usually won’t matter which card from this set you drew. But the enemy itself is a great addition to the game. It’s high impact without featuring any big numbers and has an ability that asks for player interaction in one of two different ways (defeat it or leave it) while also opening up the possibility to tech for it with certain card choices from the player pool. Good stuff.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Giant Albino Penguin is an Aloof enemy with respectable 3 health, but only 2 fight and evasion. Entering or leaving the Albino Penguins location costs an extra action. So while this enemy doesn’t pose a threat in the traditional sense, it is a huge action sink between Aloof and its main ability.

My take: I like this one. If you have to move through its location it’s a huge bother because it would cost you 2 actions extra. Fighting it makes the action tax go up even further. Luckily it spawns right on top of you, though. That means your choice is usually to fight and kill it right now (and do so through Aloof and 3 health) or just move ahead and leave it behind. That way you’ll only lose 1 action to it, but the critter will stick around and hinder you if you need to backtrack. Or hinder your teammates that might want to pass through the same location.

Threat level: Mid to High. These can drain a lot of actions from you. They become extra relevant the more players you have in your group.

Dealing with it: These penguins are just tailor-made to see the business end of a Spectral Razor, aren’t they? Anything that lets you bypass the Aloof engage action is of course very valuable here and so is anything that lets you deal 3 damage in one attack. Without at least one of those, you are looking at a whole turn just to shoo some bird away. What makes this more complicated is that it spawns on the investigator who drew the card. And that’s not necessarily the one that does the enemy handling, so they would have to move into the penguin’s location (which is taxed by another action) first. If your enemy handler is able to run cards that deal damage to connected locations, that is going to be very valuable. In fact, it’s something to spend XP on past Forbidden Peaks just so you are able to deal with these enemies more efficiently. Marksmanship is great here and so is Get Over Here!. Dynamite Blast works just fine as well and the campaign actually offers you a stack of Dynamite through one of the expedition assets.
In one or two player, seriously consider just moving on though. If they aren’t at a location that you need to move to again, you can just eat that one extra action to leave the location and be done with it. At least until…

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The investigator has to either move the Albino Penguin that is farthest away to their location or put a doom on the enemy. If none of the penguins is in play, one is found from the encounter and discard piles and then drawn.

My take: I don’t think the option for doom is all that viable except for very few corner cases like when you are about to take out the thing with a Dynamite Blast anyways. So for the most part, Wuk! Wuk! Wuk! is just another copy of the Albino Penguin.

Threat level: Mid to High.

Dealing with it: Instead of dealing with this card, you’ll be dealing with the penguin. See above for notes on how to do that.

One Reply to “Penguins”

  1. Funny how Elder Things feel really generic and underutilized in the campaign, whereas Penguins are scary.

    Multiple times have I used the Dynamite supply on myself just to get rid of a Penguin, because the action was worth more than the damage.

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