Brute Force

A lot of people have been talking about using Brute Force as a one-off, "in-case-you-need-it" card, and that's true, it's only good in a pinch if you're playing as most investigators. But if you are playing as Silas Marsh? Just throw away one of your weapons, because you won't be needing them as much.

The majority of enemies in this game have around 2 health, maybe 3, and occasionally 4. With Silas's base 4 , he's going to get 7 minimum, which means on Standard he's going to easily succeed by 2 or more most of the time and land 3 damage. And after you land that 3 damage with Silas, use his unique ability to return Brute Force back into your hand so you're ready to punch another cultist.

In the unfortunate case that you lose Brute Force, either through a random discard or because you had to REALLY punch SUPER hard this turn or what have you, there are many options to get it back. This includes Silas's ability, of course, as well as cards like Resourceful and True Survivor.

Resourceful in particular is interesting because I believe that if you commit it with Brute Force, you would be able to use Resourceful's ability to pick up Brute Force from the discard pile, and then use Silas's ability to put Resourceful back into your hand. So for your next fight action that turn, you can commit both Brute Force and Resourceful again, and use Resourceful AGAIN to put Brute Force back in your hand, so you're, again, ready to punch yet another cultist.

I suspect that Brute Force may become less useful the more players you have, but for what it's worth, I tested it in a 3-player Return to Dunwich campaign with an investigating-focused Luke Robinson and a fight-focused Leo Anderson, and with Brute Force along with Sharp Vision, I was basically able to do everything that the other two players were too busy to take care of. By the end of the campaign, I only used my Meat Cleaver to commit to tests. And plus, there's nothing more satisfying than punching a cosmic horror with nothing but your bare fists.

Great write-up!!! I feel compelled to note that Silas’ reaction ability makes it so that you lose the skill boost and non-lasting effects of committed — Sycopath · 1
Skills. So in the case of brute force/resourceful you have to leave the card committed to benefit from the bonus damage or recursion. — Sycopath · 1
Yeah, this sounds like a misunderstanding of Silas - if you use his reaction, it's as if the card hadn't been committed at all. The ability is insurance against wasting good skills on autofails or tests you would've passed without them. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
@Sycopath @TheNamesWasTaken Alright so it looks like I completely misunderstood Silas's ability, which is super embarrassing and also sad because I thought I had stumbled onto something good lol. I need to rethink all this. — doctorcello · 2
Combo aside, I still found a pair of Brute Forces to be great in Silas. I ran him as a primary investigator, but between Brute Force and Resourceful, I could help out a fair bit with damage when it was needed. — Death by Chocolate · 56

Shrivelling (the "Mystic Gun") is a staple level 0 card for almost any Mystic that wants to fight at all.

For those starting with the game, this is a good (but not exceptional) card. It allows Mystics to fight decently. Compared to the .45 Automatic...

  • Equal or -1 skill value for each fight. Most mystics have 4 or 5 willpower. A Guardian usually has 4 combat, which means they beat out Mateo or Jim when you factor in the .45's +1, but go even with Akachi or Agnes. Note however that Mystics typically have an easier time boosting their key stat, with cards like Holy Rosary.
  • One resource cheaper. Mystics are usually resource starved.
  • You take 1 horror if you reveal a bad symbol. Mystics usually have high sanity pools, so this is not a huge issue, but it can add up if you get unlucky.
  • Takes up an arcane slot, which is a competitive slot (equivalent to hand slots for Guardians).

Shrivelling comes off about even with the .45.

As time has gone on, we have received few other level 0 arcane assets that allow you to fight with willpower - Azure Flame is very similar, while Wither doesn't give you that coveted +1 damage. Shrivelling remains competitive as a result. Consider Azure Flame if you would prefer to take damage than horror. Or even run both!

Crash · 6
It's also 1 resource cheaper than the .45, with the same amount of "bullets." — SGPrometheus · 250
Oh wait you do mention it. How'd I miss that? — SGPrometheus · 250
Chuck Fergus

I'm a bit confused over how this card works or not works. When does the trigger for When you play an event actually trigger and resolve?

Under Appendix I: Initiation Sequence it says: When a player wishes to initiate a triggered ability or play a card, that player first declares his or her intent. There are two preliminary confirmations that must be made before the process of initiating an ability or playing a card may begin.

These are Check play restrictions and Determine the cost. I see the two points of injection either After declaring Intent or After resolving preliminary confirmations. If it is before validating preliminary confirmations this card makes it possible to play event during other player's turn and during other phases which I'm unsure if it is the intent. But otherwise if it resolves after it creates other problems that you need to be able to pass the preliminary confirmations before actually applying Chuck's changes to the event, thus always needing to have an action left and original resource cost needed.

This also comes together with how do you trigger the play of an event here, if you do it with the play action it makes it even illegal to go forward with it as a fast action as stated both under fast action and play action. Under play action it says: Cards with the "fast" keyword are not played by using this action (see "Fast" on page 11). And under fast: Fast Fast is a keyword ability. A fast card does not cost an action to be played and is not played using the "Play" action.

So I can see this card being either too generous, very clumsy or just mechanically broken depending on how and when, when you play triggers the trigger?

iro · 2
It's a 5xp card that you have to find and get into play and that takes a valuable slot; I don't think there's a way for it to be "too generous." I've been playing it in that mode, allowing me to play tactics and tricks during any free window. It doesn't feel broken; in fact, Leo de Luca frequently feels more useful, but perhaps I'm just not abusing any degenerate combos. — SGPrometheus · 250
I can agree with you there, paying 10 XP for two, and barely an upgrade over Luca. I just like when rules are clear, and from the rules I can find this is sadly very unclear, but I guess the card will be in the next FAQ. — iro · 2
The wording is the same as Fence so I don't see how that is problematic, (From the FAQs for that card: "[it] gives the card fast before it is actually played, so this is taken into account during its initiation sequence"). More problematic is that unlike fast assets, fast events can only be played at specific timing points specified on the card which are not specified on events that gain fast via Chuck. — pneuma08 · 23
Physical Training

Despite doing pretty much the same thing as Arcane Studies (4), this one is a whole lot more worthwhile for two major reasons:

  1. It's not in the same class as Recall the Future, which almost completely overshadows Arcane Studies (4) to the point where if I was going to run that card I'd almost rather just run Recall and Arcane Studies (2).
  2. It is in the same class as Well Prepared, and enables it quite nicely. It's possible that the weapons you run might also cover the 2 combat, especially once you've invested some experience (though not all do), but 2 willpower is a whole lot more difficult to find on assets (currently just First Aid and Armor of Ardennes in guardian assets that you can play under your own control). That means this card may effectively offer a total of +4 in free skill boost to a Guardian's most important skills every round, divided between up to three different tests.
Thatwasademo · 25
Thoughtful! — MrGoldbee · 92
Daisy Walker

Surprised to not see any comparisons between Core Daisy and her Read Or Die version.

The front sides provide you a clear choice: Do you want constant extra actions, or do you want constant stat bonuses? With two or fewer tomes, Read or Die Daisy (Front) is just a purely worse version of the Core card, so to get anything out of it you should plan to have 3+ tomes in play - requiring a deck full of tomes, plus the actions to play them, plus the means to hold more (Daisy's Tote Bag, naturally, plus Arcane Enlightenment). In return for this lengthy build-up, however, you can eventually reach high levels of Willpower towards the middle of the scenario. In a way, this is reminiscent of Diana Stanley, but relying primarily on investigation rather than combat to see you through the early game.

The two versions of Daisy's deck-building are intriguing in their differences. First the overlap: both can take Neutral cards 0-5. Core Daisy can further take Seeker cards 0-5 and any number of Mystic cards 0-2. Read or Die Daisy loses some functionality in both aspects. Her cross-class abilities get dramatically reduced, limiting her to only 5 level 0 cards (though these cards can come from Guardian now as well as Mystic, there is relatively little in Guardian that will appeal to many Daisy decks). Her Seeker options are also dramatically hindered; in exchange for losing access to most high-level cards of her class, she gains access to exactly 3 tomes which the Core version can't include:

Ironically the Read or Die front may combo better with the Core back of Daisy than with the Read or Die back -- in the quest to build Daisy like an investigating version of Diana Stanley, it would be a shame to be limited to only 5 level 0 Mystic cards.

Finally, it seems worth talking about the two Advanced versions of her signature cards (remember that unlike the alternate versions of her player card, the Advanced cards must be used together):

  • Advanced Daisy's Tote Bag gives you a powerful reaction that further optimizes the action efficiency of Core Daisy's use of tomes while also allowing Read or Die Daisy to assemble her library more quickly.
  • Advanced The Necronomicon has the same Revelation and removal text that the Core Necronomicon weakness has, but the effect while the weakness is in play is more varied. Instead of simply auto-failing tests, the Advanced weakness resolves all of the other negative symbol effects. This can at times be worse than simply auto-failing (some scenarios have pretty brutal effects for drawing negative symbols) but at times could result in doing nothing at all (for instance, in scenarios where symbols have a "-X" effect). Moreover, since the value of each negative symbol is known ahead of time, you could hypothetically plan ahead and increase your check value by enough to beat all three negative symbols combined.

Thus, in most cases, using the Advanced versions of her signature cards gives you both a higher ceiling and a higher floor, with the weakness only making life worse for you in certain scenarios.

jmbostwick · 6
Thank you JM! — MrGoldbee · 92
It is a pretty silly extreme, but the Parallel back can only get up to 13 tomes in play while the original back can get up to 14 tomes in play, (but then needs a Familiar or two to actually benefit from the capped Willpower). — Death by Chocolate · 56
(+1 for either of you are playing The Forgotten Age!) — Death by Chocolate · 56