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Choosing which Investigator(s) to play is probably the most important decision you'll have to make in the whole game, since it dramatically affects all the following ones!
This guide will hopefully help you and your trusted colleagues choose well and play each character to its strengths.


Note:
The following is an admittedly lenghty-albeit I hope interesting-analysis; if you don't have the time/will to read it, you can just jump at the bottom and read "The Investigators!".





The First Step: Considering Roles and Team Variety.


Before choosing exactly which investigator out of the available 12 you want to play, I advice you first decide which kind of investigators you, as a team, need.
There is a pattern common to every game of EH, but it is heavily influenced by the GOO you're going to play against.
If you're a random-pick guy, you probably already know that doing so makes the game much harder: you can just follow the general guidelines valid for each Ancient One, without having the chance to adapt your choice to the particular challenges a specific AO presents you with.





Small Ancient One-specific Note

Generally speaking, each AO focuses on one of the basic aspects of the game, so you should be able to work out the correct team balance by keeping in mind what you will need more.

Azathoth: Clues.

Yog-Sothoth: Lore (Closing Gates and Spells).

Shub-Niggurath: Killing Monsters.

Cthulhu: Practically everything, probably better to focus on Lore.

Yig: Killing Monsters





The basic Classes


Let's take a look at the general tasks you'll have to perform in each ad every game:

1- Closing Gates.
If you want to have a shot at winning, you just can't do without.

2- Solving Mysteries. This is how you win the game; it is comprised of many possible tasks, depending on the Mysteries that will be randomly selected. In general, you will need:
2a- Gaining Clues.
2b- Fighting Epic Monsters.
2c- Succeeding at specific Encounters. This is very similiar to 1-Closing Gates, so from a "needed-task" point of view this is not a different one.

Please note there are some GOO that require you to perform additional tasks, mainly gaining Artifacts or Spells. This goes under the GOO-specific strategy that will not be covered in this guide, since it's a very complex topic that requires a guide on its own.

So, from the previous tasks emerge three classes of Investigators needed to win a game:

1- Gate Closers
2- Clue Hunters
2- Monster Killers


This is the most basic distinction. However, it is just a good approximation but is not enough. Let's see why.





Analyzing Tasks


First off, there's another task you'll have to accomplish, mainly during the early stages of the game: Rumor Solving.
In EH, letting Rumors fail is often a bad idea: some will cause you to outright lose the game, others will cripple you severely and should not be taken care of only if you're about to win.
So let's consider what is needed to solve Rumors.
There are two types of Rumors, with only a few exceptions: those that require you to defeat an Epic Monster and those that require you to spend Clues in order to solve them. The second type most often requires you to pass an Obs test then spend Clues equal to half #Investigators.
So what do we need to solve Rumors?

Either
-Fighting Epic Monsters

Or
-Passing Obs tests
-Clues

In both cases you'll also have to spend actions to get to a specific locations.
So good investigators are those with Fighting Skills for the first kind of Rumors, investigators with the ability to generate Clues and high Observation for the second.



Let's consider Gate Closing.
You'll need to travel to the space the Gate appeared in, then defeat any monsters there guarding the Gate. Finally you'll need to pass the Other World encounter.
Gates can be: unguarded (the Monster spawned there moved to another space due to an ability), lightly guarded (monsters with 1 or 2 toughness) or heavily guarded (monsters with 3+ toughness). The more frequent case is lightly guarded, so it's almost mandatory for a good Gate Closer to have a way to deal with light monsters (a weapon, Shriveling or Mists of Releh).
To pass the test you need mainly good Lore and Will stats. However, this is not enough to grant you an acceptable chance at closing Gates [you can look at this file by Scarlet Witch for further info: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1185334/math-eldritch-horror...] , so you'll need some kind of improvement, possibly of the kind that is not skill-specific (unless it is Lore), since OW encounters might test literally every skill.


Now let's focus on gaining Clues through Research Encounters (or Clue Hunting, as I like to call it).
You'll need to travel as always, but more often than not you will not need to fight, since monsters appear only on Gates and Expedition spaces, whereas a Clue can be spawned on every space. This means you might have to travel a bit more than usual, however.
You'll need to pass a single test-meaning it is easier than closing Gates.
Observation is the skill tested the most, but you might also have to test the other ones.
Sometimes you'll have to deal with a monster ambushing you, mainly Cultists, thus a light weapon might prove useful.
Keep in mind Research Encounters are much harder when playing with Forsaken Lore expansion.


Monster Killing, perhaps surprisingly, cannot be considered a crucial task on its own; that is, aside from specific Mysteries or Rumors requiring it, it is only a support task.
You can very well do without having a powerful fighter, since there are many ways to make up for the lack of such an ability (Tokyo, Shriveling, Mists of Releh; Agency Quarantine, Police Assistance). It might mean it will take you more time to solve a fighting Mystery, but if the team is better at performing a more important task the tradeoff is well worth it.





Another look at Classes


We can now begin to see that tasks are complex and usually require a combination of different abilities.
To sum it up:

Rumor Solving: Clues, Observation or Monster Killing

Gate Closing: Lore/Will, Increased effectiveness (Assets, Spells, Artifacts, Improvements), Light Monster Killing

Clue Hunting: Observation, (more) Traveling

Monster Killing: Strength/Will, Increased Effectiveness (Weapons, Spells)


So a good Closer is also a bit of a Fighter; a Clue Hunter also solves Rumors.

Two of the tasks above require increasing effectiveness, which can be accomplished by acquiring assets, gaining spells or improvements (or Artifacts).
This is an additional task, not directly necessary to win but fundamental nonetheless: Increasing Effectiveness. Investigators focusing on this task usually spend the early stages of the game just powering up to be better able to weather the storm to come.
Investigators good at gaining Assets and Spells, besides strengthening themselves, also work as Support, since both this components can provide players with the ability to help the team as a whole. In addition to this, they can trade what they got to other Investigators who need it more, so they really work as support characters.

Finally, seeing that Rumor Solving and Clue Hunting require more or less the same abilities, and noting that many non-fighting Mysteries share these traits as well, we can consider a single class able to accomplish all of these tasks: the Solvers.

So, the "Advanced Classes" are:


- Solvers

- Closers

- Killers

- Support (Assets, Spells)





Additional Considerations


We'll also have to consider timing issues: How strong is a given investigator at the start of the game? Does he have the ability to power up himself significantly over the course of the game if given time?
Most of the investigators start with the ability to fulfill a specific role and develop other, more effective, abilities during the course of the game.
Therefore: which investigator is more of cannon fodder-meaning you don't have to care very much if you lose him and should push him closer to his limits-and which one you want to survive since he's heavily improved or fills an important niche?
Investigators who require time to develop can often carry the game home if their teammates can cover their back taking care of the more pressing issues while they power up.

The last thing we'll have to consider is whether an investigator is stronger with a lower or higher player count. Low investigators games (3-) tend to reward flexibility (and are generally harder) whereas high investigators games (4+) reward specialisation and "team" abilities. Furthermore, a few investigators really become powerful in games with a very high investigator count (6+).
#Investigators:
Low (3-) -> Flexibility
High (4+) -> Specialisation; Weak early, very strong later
Very high (6+) -> High specialisation; Special abilities


One final caveat: as far as roles are concerned, you have to keep flexibility in mind: sometimes it's a good idea sending an investigator to do something he is not perfectly suited to accomplish, however I suggest refraining from attempting something out of an investigator's roster of abilities: you will just waste time and if you come to doing so it (almost always) means you have mismanaged your team.
















The Investigators!


Finally, here is the in-depth analysis of each investigator!
The Investigators are listed in alphabetic order; the format is:

Name ( #Investigators ; Phase ; Class(es); Start; Development )

#Investigators: number of Investigators he's better with. Those marked with (*) are good with every player count.
Phase: phase of the game in which he's stronger (Early, Middle, Late).
Start: what he's good at right from the start.
Development: which ability he is able to develop during the game, if any.


Classes/Roles:

Solver

Closer

Killer

Support: Assets, Spells





Akachi Onyele ( 3- ; Early; Closer; Start: Gate Closer; Development: n/a )

Akachi's abilities are all about Gates and she starts with the Mists of Releh spell, which allows her to skip the part about getting weapons to break through monsters guarding Gates.
However her Lore is not high enough to properly fulfill her closing duties and to reliably cast the Mists, so she really needs to improve it somehow.
Akachi's main weakness however is that she'll have a hard time increasing her effectiveness: her mediocre Influence value does not allow her to acquire Assets very well, while improving her Lore in Shanghai or acquiring spells in Buenos Aires (or Arkham) both require some time, meaning that she's going to lose her main advantage: the ability to start closing Gates right away.
Her active ability is very good when Gates spawn one at a time (4- Investigators), otherwise it is marginally useful.
Nonetheless, if you can somehow trade her something to increase her effectiveness she becomes very good (Charlie is particularly helpful in this case), because her ability to teleport when closing Gates means she'll always be in the right place at the right time (and saves her a good deal of actions).



Charlie Kane ( 6+ ; Early; Support: Assets, Solver; Start: Assets; Development: Assets )

Due to his ability to provide investigators everywhere with Assets from the reserve coupled with his huge Influence value (4 + Personal Assistant!), Charlie really shines as a team player. However, he is very specialised and will have a hard time accomplishing other tasks; furthermore, with only two Strength and two Will he's going to suffer from every Injury/Madness he gains and his four Health makes him very fragile.
All in all, I think he is better used in very big games because of his hig level of specialisation (and the increased usefulness of his already great passive ability).
His active ability is very good and mitigates his late game weakness: when everyone will be well-equipped (or you will have to take acre of more pressing matters than acquiring Assets) Charlie will cease to be a useful investigator. Remember that even if he can give another investigator one of his actions you will essentially waste an encounter-something you cannot afford to do if you're playing with 4-5 investigators or less. In this case, it's probably better to let Charlie be defeated after the first few rounds-but before time becomes precious-and be ready to replace him with a more active investigator.



Diana Stanley ( 4+ ; Middle; Killer, Support: Spells; Start: Killer; Development: Spells )

Diana is the best spellcaster of the game, due to her high Lore plus Arcane Manuscripts. She also has a very powerful passive ability (reducing horror values to 1) making her theoretically the best fighter in the game, especially in final battles. However, this comes at a price: Diana is plagued by haviing only one(!) Will. This is not a problem when she's fighting (high horror) monsters due to her passive, but it will mean she's going to suffer badly from every Madness she gains-and Madnesses are gained frequently! This makes her a very fragile investigator, since some bad luck may prove disastrous making her go insane all of a sudden.
In addition to this, her active ability may prove extremely useful but is very situational so you will not have the chance to use it very often.
I think she's best used a support investigator, standing in Buenos Aires to gain powerful Ritual spell and fighting against powerful monsters from time to time, possibly benefitting from someone casting Instill Bravery if she happens to lose a lot of Sanity from madnesses.



Jacqueline Fine ( 4+ ; Early; [Solver, Support: Spells, Closer; Start: Clues ; Development: Spells )

Jacqueline Fine is, in my opinion, the best Investigator of the game. Her passive ability is a game saver and has strong synergy with her active ability, which is a game saver in its own right. These two abilities combined clearly make her a superior investigator.
Her lack of fighting skills only means she's better off as a Solver/Spell Support character (exploring unguarded Gates from time to time), while her Flesh Ward starting spell nullifies her low Health and helps the whole team.
She's probably stronger in games with an average number of investigators (4-6) since her Clue ability reaches its peak: with less investigators it is less likely to trigger while with more investigators the extra clues she provides make less of an impact due to the increased demand.



Jim Culver ( 4+* ; Middle; Killer, Closer, Support: Assets, Spells; Start: Slay epic Monsters , Development: Spells, Assets )

Jim's flexibility is awesome! He is an exceptional fighter, due to his passive-which also makes combined attacks on powerful monsters more effective-while his active ability allows him to recover Sanity even while standing on spaces with monsters and makes him able to help fellow investigators on his space.
The ol' Jim doubles as an excellent solo and team player, with the added bonus that he can also close Gates (3 Lore/3 Will), cast Spells and acquire Assets to improve his effectiveness: he is the only 3-Lore investigator who also sports a high Influence value, making him able to acquire spells in Arkham/Buenos Aires while also acquiring Assets!
Finally, his starting Shriveling spell makes him tremendously effective as a Epic-Monster Slayer, covering what usually is one of the main weaknesses in a team: needing time before having the chance to tackle a strong monster.
His only (minor) weakness is his lack of specialisation, especially on the caster development: if you want him to be really effective, you need to improve his Lore somehow (a combination with Norman using his Feed the Mind in Arkham is a good solution). If you manage to do so he becomes a game-winner, being able to defeat strong monsters, cast spells and efficiently close Gates all on his own.



Leo Anderson ( 3-* ; Middle; Support: Allies, Solver, Killer; Start: Expeditions; Development: Allies )

Leo suffers from a relatively slow start and gives his best send him on an expedition, a task he excels at due to his Wilderness bonus and starting Hired Muscle.
His ability to gain Allies regardless of their value or the space he's in however will quickly make him a flexible and well-rounded investigator, his only weakness being his mediocre Lore which keeps him from effectively using many Artifacts and closing Gates.
His ability to benefit from being in Wilderness spaces is very situational (it really depends on the GOO you're against) because you might not want to go there just to gain Clues since uncharted paths make travelling harder.
All in all Leo is a powerful character, but he's better in the base game in which Expeditions are a good option and Allies are all very useful.



Lily Chen ( 4+ ; Late; Killer, Closer; Start: Killer; Development: Improvements )

Lily is theoretically the best Closer in the game: she has the fighting prowess needed to break through monsters, even stronger ones; her passive ability allows her to quickly develop a well-rounded skill distribution; she starts with a very useful asset (Lucky Rabbit's Foot) that helps with tests regardless of the skill being tested.
She also doubles well as a full-time fighter (and is close to Sydney for improving her Strength, up to a whooping six!), and her active ability means she's unlikely to be defeated-a very useful feature, considering the time you're going to spend to develop her.
Her Achille's Heel is her low Influence: she does not have the ability to acquire Asstes very well while spending time in Named cities resolving Location encounters and will have a (relatively) hard time passing named Location encounters to gain Improvement tokens, meaning her initial power up might take the whole Stage I (3-4 Rounds). When she does enter play however you can be sure she is going to put a dent into everything you want her to do!
Unfortunately Lily suffers greatly from the new Location Encounters coming with the FL expansion, which are way worse than basic ones. This means her power-up phase will take much more time making such strategy not viable.



Lola Hayes ( 3-* ; Mid-late; Support: Assets, Killer, Closer; Start: Assets; Development: Improvements, Assets )

While playing Lily may sometimes feel as gambling, due to the amount of luck required in the first few rounds to power up, Lola is a very reliable character.
Even if, compared to Lily, she has a lower Strength which makes her less effective as a fighter and puts her at risk when gaining Injuries (while lacking Lily's balance between Health and Sanity and her ability to adjust them) Lola does have a very high Influence value, thus she can reliably improve her skills while acquiring Assets, gaining Debts and removing them; this is why I strongly suggest choosing Influence as the starting skill to improve.
Her active ability also makes her much more flexible than Lily, and saves her travel time: she can spend the first few rounds in Shanghai, switching Improvements as soon as Lore is fully Improved, then she can just switch Improvements again when she needs to perform specific tasks, making her capable of doing nearly everything.
Her passive ability is just the icing on the cake (it is the weaker version of Lily's Lucky Rabbit's Foot) while her starting Derringer makes her a surprisingly effective light-Killer, since she just needs a weapon-which she has the Influence to buy-to reliably kill most monsters.
If there is something too strong, she can just sit in Tokyo and kill it from afar exploiting her monstrous Influence skill, while having a very good chance of closing any Gates appearing there-essentially acting as the Warden of the East!
Be warned however that FL nerfed Tokyo, and even if Lola remains the best-suited investigator to exploit it (Charlie no longer has a good chance of success) she'll have a harder time than before.



Mark Harrigan ( 6+ ; Early; Killer; Start: Killer; Development: n/a )

Mark is probably the most specialised Investigator alongside Charlie. He starts ready to kill monsters and can barely do anything else: his abysmal Lore makes him unsuitable as a Closer, his low Influence makes him a poor support character while his low Observation makes him one of the few Investigators who should not investigate!
This is why I strongly suggest using him only in large games: otherwise the team will inevitably suffer from a lack of flexibility.
His low(4) sanity also makes him very fragile, forcing him to rest very often betweeen kills (he's better off confronting monsters with low horror) or rely on some support Spellcaster to cast Instill Bravery to save his Sanity.
His ability to lose one Health to inflict one damage is very useful, its only weakness being the fact it requires an Action, and is Mark's saving grace.
Between his active ability, the need to Rest very often and the actions spent traveling, Mark will not be able to do much else besides fighting monsters, so if you want to play him to his strengths you'll have to play a very straightforward game; if you're looking for something else you're probably better off with another investigator.



Norman Withers ( 3-* ; Early-Middle; Solver, Closer, Support: Spells, Killer (Ability); Start: Solving Rumors/Mysteries ; Development: Improvements )

Norman is, like Lily, an investigator who relies heavily on initial luck (or at least not-so-bad luck) to be effective. This time luck is needed to past Lore tests when casting his Feed the Mind spell: this is crucial to having success playing Norman Withers and if you can somehow improve your odds of succeeding at doing this (mainly by gaining assets such as Arcane Manuscripts or Lucky Cigarette Case) you should absolutely do it.
With a bit of luck on your first two tests, Norman can easily become a powerhouse, improving his Lore twice then either Observation (Rumors, Mysteries, Clues), Will (Closing Gates) or, less often, Strength (more resilient to injuries and better against Monsters).
Unlike Lily, Norman has many other powerful abilities that make him one of the best investigators.
First off, his ability to spend one Sanity in place of spending a Clue make him the perfect Rumor/Mystery solver. He's a must when playing with few investigators, especially when there are only two, since you will not need to resolve quite as many Research encounters to gain the Clues you need. In addition to this, he will easily be able to complete all Mysteries which require doing X and spending a Clue.
His "virtual Clue" is very useful even when resolving many encounters, be them Location or Other World.
Secondly, he starts on Arkham (and has a way of improving his Lore, as noted above) so he can easily become a strong Spellcaster.
Finally, his active ability, although very pricey, can remove powerful monsters (Star Spwan, Dark Young, badly positioned Lloigor, Zombie about to transform into a horde) from afar.
He definetly is one of my favorite investigators and is even stronger with FL due to Reseach encounters being harder (making his passive even more valuable) and Feed the Mind spell being somewhat improved (new copies are better than old ones).



Silas Marsh ( 6+ ; Middle ; Solver, Killer, Support: Assets ; Start: Encounters at Sea ; Development: Assets)

This is an investigator who benefits greatly from larger games since he excels at covering specific locations on the game board. He is not bad even with lower player counts due to his amazing mobility (active ability) which makes it easy for him to reach nearly every location on the map.
Silas' most powerful feature is, in my opinion, his ability to perform a full Acquire Assets action (that is, Acquire Assets+Debt; test Influence to discard Debt) while moving around!
This is partially offset by his bad starting possession (the Fishing Net is a subpar 2-value Asset), meaning Silas will start being useful as a Killer only after a few rounds; in the meanwhile however he can easily collect Clues spawned near Sydney and/or solve Rumors (which often occur at sea) while continuing to do his acquiring Asset. His bonus at Sea is a nice touch which complements well his specialisation.
Later in the game, when powered up, his mobility will prove even more useful in allowing him to be exactly where he's needed.
Silas' weakness, aside from his already mentioned weak starting possession, is his low sanity: 4 is not enough to make him a top-notch fighter, unless he can benefit from Instill Bravery support-meaning once again Silas is stronger in games with many investigators.



Trish Scarborough ( 3- ; Early ; Solver, Killer, Support: Assets ; Start: Solving Rumors/Mysteries ; Development: Assets, Massive Rerolls )

Nice thematic investigator! I love playing with Trish, especially in low-player games.
She really feels a cunning spy, ready from the start to meddle with evil's plans, having her amazing active ability and a great .45!
She's incredibily flexible, being a strong fighter, able to solve Rumors and gain Clues while having the option increase her effectiveness buying Assets.
Her passive ability makes her "free"-Clue act as a useful double-reroll if you need really need to pass a test. Keep in mind that if you hoard Clues her active ability is kind of wasted, so you should trade them off to someone else or use her for solving duties only when you need a just single Clue or two. Finally, in the endgame she can make excellent use of spare Clues to pass important tests or defeat epic Monsters.
The problem I find with Trish is that her flebility bites her back as lack of specialisation, since when playing with 4+ players Norman outclasses her in the "solving" department while other investigators can easily take on the role of Monster Killers.
Her low Will doesn't help either, since she's going to have a hard time fighting strong monsters (which usually have 2+ horror) and resisting Madnesses.






That's all, good luck and beware of those funny tentacles..just behind you!goo



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Frank Franco
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Great guide.
But honestly, if you're not doing random hero selection you are cheating
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BRett Anderson
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great post!

I agree with you that the psychic is pro pick in any game since her passive is just so strong. Being able to look at somebody's condition and tell them how bad the card actually is...is super strong, plus free clue! that said, she is not the strongest character in the game.

The actress is the best character in the game. I suspect you didn't realize this because you've been playing her wrong. I would not recommend moving her to influence 5 with her starting +1 stat. It would be far better to take +1 Lore or +1 observation depending on what the group needs more.

Lola already rolls 5 dice on influence tests (4+ her passive) during the encounter and taking a 6th die is foolish overkill when you could be taking a 4 die on lore or observation tests. Also, while influence is great for leveling and gearing up, its not a useful skill for winning the game. Lore observation, and strength are really the fundamental kill, close and solve skills of this game and buffing those 3 is much more important. I think you've been playing her as a support when I think she's actually the lone wolf, do it yourself, all star champion of the game.

You praise the jazzman for his jack of all trades utility. It should be noted that Lola absolutely DOMINATES him as a jack of all trades pick. She gets the same stats as him with an extra InF to boot, and passive ability that makes his passive look like poop. Also she has a derringer, which isn't a great weapon, however it doesn't get replaced by a better weapon (the way a +3 gun would replace a +2 gun), instead it combos well with additional weaponry. She's the investigator I used to win the 1 hero challenge. Lola rocks.

side note: is it just me, or do other people get the impression that the female investigators are generally stronger than the male characters of this game?
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Eugenio -
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@Mr Skeletor

I admit I have never considered the option of choosing Investigators randomly (only AO), since I feel it might increase the importance of luck (which is already significant). However I might be giving it a try and I'll tell you how much chaos it brings into my (usually) well-laid plans!


@Brett

About the Psychic, for me it's more about the Clue rather than the info.
The info is useful too, but you have few control over it; the only condition I would really like to know is Dark Pact, but more often than not I have already used her ability when someone gains it (and I tend not to gain Dark Pact at all unless there's a Sanctuary in the reserve or is the last round in the game, as I suspect most guys do).

About the Actress, as you can read from the guide I actually consider her a very powerful investigator, I'd say in the top 3.
I value Jacqueline higher only because Lola requires setup, that is, if you are not improving her stats you're wasting her signature ability (which is a great one!) whereas Jacquline is stupidly strong right from the start: remember that Clues win you the game!
Actually, I think we diverege on Lola's strategy because you're probably considering a scenario in which there are only a few investigators, so she will be hard pressed to start moving and doing things like closing Gates, solving Rumors, fighting monster etc. meaning that she will be gaining Improvements here and there when(if) she manages to stop in Rome, San Francisco etc.
However if you have breathing room she's much stronger as a "power player".
More than a support investigators-she can be such at the start if someone else needs stuff but has a hard time buying on its own-I see her as an investigator whose power grows up to tremendous levels after a few rounds.
The main point of the strategy I use (which always pays off) with the Actress is that she can gain both Improvements and Assets at the start of the game. Improving Influence is not much about passing single tests (for which I agree with you it would be largely ineffective) it is for Acquiring Assets and clearing Debts: you're going to roll that extra dice at least twice in a round (thrice if encounter tests Influence). Then, when she's done acquiring Assets you can swap it to something else more useful-usually I develop her as a late game closer, due to the fact she has more than a bit of fighting abilities.
The only other Skill that would make sense improving at the start is Will since it's often tested in encounters which improve skills. Lore is useful only if you start closing Gates right from the start (thus skip the power up phase), while Observation at the beginning is useful only if you do not have another Investigator to pick up Clues (she does not start with a Clue so she has very little "solving power").

About the comparison with Jim: Jim's passive is arguably better than Lola's, but more specialised. Jim rolls his extra die when resolving both Will and Strength tests (which is two die) everytime he resolves a combat encounter during a game, so if he fights against 2-3 monsters it is (almost) 4-6 times stronger than Lola's.
Jim is significantly better as a Spellcaster: he has an additional point of Lore right from the start (and his 3 is a base value, thus he can improve it up to 5-it might seem neglectable but it isn't when you test Lore a lot) and starts next to Arkham and close to Buenos Aires.
Not saying he's a better "Jack-of-all-trades" than Lola, but he has an ability to develop as a Spellcaster Lola can only dream of.
On the Derringer I completely agree (I also wrote it in the guide on Assets): it is not much of a weapon in itself but as soon as you gain one its usefulness increases dramatically, especially if you need to kill monster with low toughness.
From a mathematical point of view, when you roll 6 dice (including rerolls) the Derringer provides, on average, an additional success-which is worth, on average, 3 dice, that is, like having another .45 automatic.
Of course the math is more complex but this should be enough to give a good measure of its power.
In addition to this, the .18 gets even better if you use it coupled with a Shotgun, since you'll also have the option of gaining an additional success by turning a "5" into a "6".
Unfortunately I don't think the Derringer can be compared to Jim's Shriveling, at least at the start of the game.

Thanks for the interesting comment.
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John Curtis
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We do the draw 2 (or 3) and pick one method of selecting characters. And as an aside, you keep the extra character(s) and when you are eliminated, you must play one of the ones not selected. When your "reserve" pile of characters is out, you are out (we do the same in Arkham Horror--always drawing 3 at the beginning).

Your analysis here will help players when selecting which character from their draw to take.

Thanks!
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Patrik G
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Great guide!

I usually play EH solo with two investigators and I have recently started to think about your first part, which GOO does what. I think that is crucial in selecting your investigators, especially in low player games.

In my last game I defeated Cthulhu with Silas and Lola, even with a crappy start, but once Lola took off she was a unstoppable power house. The game ended with Silas finishing off Cthulhu with a rifle and Lolas passive helped to reroll that last dice that I needed (I was out of Mythos cards so the game was hanging on one single roll...)

Azatoth I took down with Leo and Lola (sounds like a good 70's group), basiclly doing the same thing. Lola went on anabolics early in the game and Leo and his henchmen collected clues (yes, got lucky to get some wilderness clues).

Thanks!
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Eu8L1ch wrote:
@Mr Skeletor

I admit I have never considered the option of choosing Investigators randomly (only AO), since I feel it might increase the importance of luck (which is already significant). However I might be giving it a try and I'll tell you how much chaos it brings into my (usually) well-laid plans!


I like the "choose randomly within skill type" method for choosing investigators:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/16327775#16327775

Andarel wrote:

Quote:
4) For the first group game should I choose random characters or set up a group that might make it easier. If I do set up a group what characters should I chooose? (Gaming group of 4)


Up to you! You probably want a spellcaster / gate-closer (Norman, Jacqueline, Diana, Akachi), an investigator (Trish, Lily, Lola), someone with good influence (Charlie, Lola), and a combatant (Lily, Mark, Silas). But there are a lot of options, and most things work alright. Note that different investigators vary in strength against GOOs - Jacqueline, Norman, and Trish are particularly good against Azazoth due to easier clues.


Here is a script to randomly choose investigators:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/16136235#16136235

clowntable wrote:

Here's a script:
http://pastebin.com/index/CFcsWKGQ

You can just copy/paste it to:
http://www.compileonline.com/execute_python_online.php

And insert the number of players (1-8) at the bottom where it says "Command Line Arguments". Then click "Execute Script" at the top-left.



 
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Hector Cruz

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BrettAnderson wrote:
great post!


side note: is it just me, or do other people get the impression that the female investigators are generally stronger than the male characters of this game?


Funny, I didn't notice until you pointed it out but the few times I beat the game were when female investigators (Lola, Lilly and Trish mostly) taking over after the males failed.
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Troylus wrote:
BrettAnderson wrote:
great post!


side note: is it just me, or do other people get the impression that the female investigators are generally stronger than the male characters of this game?


Funny, I didn't notice until you pointed it out but the few times I beat the game were when female investigators (Lola, Lilly and Trish mostly) taking over after the males failed.


Oh forgot about that part of Brett's comment, I was carried away by the talk about Lola, she's so charming..
To answer his question: Yes, it seems to me too that female investigators have an edge over the male ones!
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David
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That's an excellent article. Thanks for taking the time to write it. l will refer to it the next time I break out EH. In fact I may ever print a copy to keep in the box.
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Snowman wrote:
That's an excellent article. Thanks for taking the time to write it. l will refer to it the next time I break out EH. In fact I may ever print a copy to keep in the box.


Wow, thank you very much!
 
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Great guide.
But honestly, if you're not doing random hero selection you are cheating

Page 4 Rulebook: Starting with the Lead Investigator and proceeding clockwise, each player chooses one investigator.

I agree with Eugenio and I like play this game like a puzzle where first step is pick the right Investigators, random pick is a waste of time for me.
Also there's no word about random pick hero in optional rules. SO it's no cheating. Also I often left out Hard Mythos like suggest in Reference Guide page 14 'cause the game is too hard for me.



 
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Great Article Eugenio!

So to sum up and order Investigators by number of players:

-3 players
Akachi Onyele
Leo Anderson
Lola Hayes
Norman Withers
Trish Scarborough


4+ players
Diana Stanley
Jacqueline Fine
Jim Culver
Lily Chen


6+ players

Mark Harrigan
Silas Marsh
Charlie Kane


U know I have played EH with 8, 6 , 5 ,4 and 2 investigators and allways lose Tonight I will play with your suggestions and let U know.
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Just one warning, with 4 or 5 investigators the above list has far too many monster killers.

Against Azathoth, Norman Withers can probably clear the board of all the problem monsters on his own, allowing a well equipped clue getter to deal with the cultists, maniacs and ghouls that remain.

Also Charlie Kane can be a useful starting character for 4+ adventures, replacing him with a killer or clue getter about half way through. I find letting Charlie agree to the "you are devoured" dark pact* gives an excellent count down clock.

[* it helps if Jacqueline Fine is available to check which dark pact Charlie has agreed to - you might need to "retire" him before the collection is made.]
 
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As an experiment, I tried those 4+ characters (Jacqueline, Lily, Diana and Jim) against Shub Niggurath. So killers versus monsters, should be easy and it was... for Shub.

The special power killers (Diana, Norman) depend on the scenario. With Shub a lot of monsters arrive without gates (sorry Norman) and cultists don't hang around long before being replaced with goat spawn or dark young (sorry Diana).

Jim's power might stack with other bonuses but that just means that he needs to be shadowing one or preferably two other characters - limiting with fewer than 6 - and the shrivelling spell to do damage with an action is nice.

Diana's horror reduction does not make up for her 1 mind and 4 lore does not compensate for having to cast a wither spell for each combat - I was yearning for Trish and her .45 automatic.

Encounters in Shanghai, Sydney and with Jacqueline's feed the mind spell did provide an excellent Lily but it was clear that she was missing the equipment that Charlie would have provided.
 
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Replaced Diana and Jim with Lola and Charlie and won easily, although the early myths cards were easier.

The early turns with Charlie, Lola, Lily and the Urban Guide camped in Tokyo gave a very good start!
 
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William Tierney
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Looking forward to an update with the new MoM characters...

The new combos are ludicrous too: Charlie Kane and the Lawyer in an 8p game is an extra 2 free buying power per turn. Daisy is a clue spammer that can direct her clues. Patrice thrives as an early gate closer with automatic late-game adaptation because of her abilities.

Interested to hear who you all think is the most powerful in MoM.

My take is that Agnes takes the spot as new "best spell caster" but also starts with storm of spirits so has versatility as a monster-stomper early game. Probably the best single investigator without taking team play into account.

Daisy appears to be the new all-star support who can transition into a spell caster late game. Good for any size game but probably better in smaller games where a few clues go a long way.

I haven't played a large (6+) game with MoM yet, so can't comment on the best new big game character at this time! My guess is going to have to be Patrice or the Lawyer, but time will tell.

RE: male and female dichotomy - MoM has another 4 amazing female characters with lackluster male ones. I feel like I only play females in games where we allow non-random character picking... Seems like the Males all have boring abilities with (maybe) good stats and the females all have great abilities.
 
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Hi William,

Unfortunately I'm not going to expand this guide anytime soon since I currently do not have much time to try the new investigators out as I'd like.

So far, the new one I like the most is Daisy, since she has an in-built buildup ability, is a very good caster and, most importantly, she is able to easily gain a good amount of Clues; I think she is particularly useful in larger games.
The other one I like very much is Ursula since she's incredibily versatile.
I find Agnes Baker unimpressive to say the least, however: her active is not very powerful -even more so with the added randomness in gaining spells- while her passive is just ok. Her low Will and Strength make her very weak against both Injuries and Madnesses, meaning she does not have a good chance of surviving over the course of the game; for me she's kinda like a magic-Mark in that I'll choose her at the start of the game and let her die in a blaze of glory to provide some fighting strength in the beginning.
I think I mostly agree on the fact that the male ones are underwhelming -especially the Bootlegger.
 
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