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Arctic Scavengers: Recon» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Recon Strategy Thoughts and Discussion rss

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Paul Smith
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- I haven't seen any Recon Strategy discussion yet, so I decided to post something. I went card by card to give an "Unboxing" type of feel.

• Great at digging, moderately good at fighting
• Cheapest 2 population mercenary, much more affordable compared to 2 med , 2 food cost mercenaries. They can be hired easily, even in the early game.
• Can manipulate the junkyard so that you put junk or other bad cards on top of the junkyard pile, which will make your opponent’s waste a dig action finding nothing good on top.
• Synergizes with the Yardmaster leader ability to place good cards at the bottom of the junkyard (keeping them away from opponents) and then can dig them out with Scrappers later that round.
• Synergizes well with Cargo Sled Contested Resource because their high dig value increases likelihood of getting two good tool or med cards.
• Meta changing? Can build a strategy around this one mercenary.
• Situational ability but you can draw 1 card to replace it if it not useful on a given turn.
• Synergizes with Portable Decoys Building by increasing population size
• Vulnerable to the snipe action (Sniper Team, Assassin) but work well with Medics, Combat Medics who benefit from his ability (You protect me and I will help you fight)
• Combos with Couriers because they are more likely to find a mercenary with a high population score.
• Gets more powerful with the Portable Decoys building, which increases your population size during the skirmish.
Useful with mercenaries that have a higher population score than fight score
Mercs that benefit from the Provocateur:
MercenaryPopulation Fight Score
Refugee 1 Cannot Fight
Medic 1 Cannot Fight
Engineer 1 Cannot Fight
Hardy Scavenger 1 0
Assassin 1 Cannot Fight
Sniper Team 2 Cannot Fight
Sled Team 2 1
Field Crew 4 2
Combat Medics 4 1
Tribe Family 3-5 0
Tribal Hunters 2-4 0-1
• Bad with units that have a higher fight score than population score
Mercenary Population Fight Score
Brawler 1 2
Scout 1 2
Guard 1 2
Spy 1 +2
• 2nd mercenary in the game that builds buildings, but doesn’t require medicine to hire (and is therefore easier to hire in the early game).
• More versatile than an Engineer but not as good at digging in the schematics pile and it needs another mercenary with the dig ability in order to dig.
• It may be redundant to play with both Tinkers and Engineers, but it may be fun to try just to have a game with a lot of buildings. Recommend some toolkits in the junkyard when playing with both.

Drill Sergeant
• Good dig, minor fight ability. Used mostly for its special ability that allows you to put your 2 best cards in your discard pile back in your deck. These are usually mercenaries you just hired or contested resources you just won. You then shuffle your deck and draw 2 cards. Essentially, this a draw two cards action that also lets you put 2 good cards in your deck.
• Since this is not considered a draw action you can perform another draw action during this round.
• Combos well with Couriers because they are likely to draw one of those 2 good cards back.
• One of the better mercenaries in the expansion, IMHO.

• Great for finding the right card and setting up combos.
• Highest base draw ability of any mercenary but with a drawback. Synergizes well with Drill Sergeant, Provocateur and really anything where you want to draw more cards.
• Should only get better as more cards are released as more combos are possible.
• One of only a few ways to get a powerful draw engine going. Arctic Scavengers doesn’t have many ways to draw large amounts of cards, unlike other deck building games.
• Unique cost of 2 meds. Basically a sniper team but only 1 population and can only snipe tribe members with a population count of 1.
• Basically all strategy for snipers applies here. If you are using both Assassins and Sniper Teams, Medics and Combat Medics become very valuable.

• Good fighter with an ability that can cancel an opponent’s action that target your cards.
• Examples include the snipe, disarm, spy, Demolition Crew actions.
• How useful Guards are depends on how many of these abilities are in play. Same cost as a Brawler but they can cancel instead of being able to dig. If there are no actions to cancel, then a Brawler is better than a Guard.
• Guards will only get better as more cards that target your opponents’ cards are in the game.

Hardy Scavenger
• You can bring these back if you don’t win the skirmish (e.g. you lose or tie).
• They are weak though, so if you don’t have a plan for them during the next round, they may be useless for two turns in a row.
• The usefulness of their ability increases with the number of them in your deck. You may have to include Hardy Scavengers in your starting deck in order to get a good number in your deck throughout the game.
• They are versatile, but require tools to be good at just about anything.
• The lack of a value for the draw action hurts them. Regular Scavengers can at least draw another card to replace themselves on a turn when they wouldn’t be useful.
• Works well with Provocateurs if you can bring a bunch back for that skirmish.
• In general I think I like regular Scavengers better, but these mercenaries have a lot of potential.
• Hardy Scavengers are just as good as regular Scavengers in the early game since you won’t want to use their draw ability early on and because the skirmish doesn’t begin until round 3.

• Works with any tie (you don’t have to be tied for highest fight score)
• Pretty cheap, but situational
• Ties for highest fight score are pretty common, so this ability is more useful than it initially appears

Scouting Refugee
• Triggers off any abilities that refer to Refugees.
• Have modifiers, rather than base skills.
• Can cancel spy actions.
• How useful this is depends on how many cards with the spy ability are in play, what leader ability you have and if the Humanitarians gang is in play.

• The Spy is affordable at 3 med/food.
• +2 Fighting or Spy on 4 cards.
• Is that worthwhile? Depends.

Contested Resources

Combat Medics
• Great with the Provocateur
• Great Contested Resource
• Flexible- can be used for 2 meds or fighting
• 4 population score!

Tribal Hunters
• Range from 2-4 population, 0-1 fight score and 1-2 hunt.
• 2 pop. Member is weak and frankly not good enough to be in the contested resources deck
• 3-4 pop. Score hunters are good and may replace 3-4 pop. Tribe Families in the contested resources deck

Demolition Crew
• Only include in the contested resources deck if you are playing with buildings
• Very powerful against buildings with a big build time.
• Only works on buildings currently under construction.

Cargo Sled
• Similar to the Rifle, but it helps with digging not fighting. Weaker stats than the Wolfpack contested resource but it has a special ability.
• Compared to the rifle, in my opinion, the +2 fight is usually better than +2 dig ability.
• Could be very powerful if you win it early game, weak late game
• The odds of finding two good med/tool cards when digging are not as good as one would expect.

Tear Gas
• Cannot be disarmed, doesn’t require a tribe member
• Like a Sniper Team but it can’t be stopped. Unlike a Sniper Team, it isn’t worth population points.


• Very powerful-lets you use a tribe member twice, although they can only perform a given action once. One of the strongest cards you can find in the junkyard.
• Cannot be disarmed, doesn’t require a tribe member

• Cannot be disarmed, doesn’t require a tribe member
• Affects ALL piles in play, can get a lot of info from other players. Improves other spy abilities and moderately improves hunting.
• Can be stacked (not a tool).


Scout Tower
• Medium build time of 3.
• Requires a card to activate.
• Can be improved with binoculars.
• Can look at contested resources pile, which is very important.

Portable Decoys
• Helps you win skirmish tiebreaker and also synergizes with the Provocateur.
• Benefits from any card, not just tribe member cards.
• Low build time of 2.


The Swindler
• Can play Refugees to reduce hiring costs.
• Comparable to the Ranger, which lets Refugees hunt, but The Swindler can reduce cost by a med. Unlike the Ranger, The Swindler can only use his ability once per turn.
• Incredibly powerful early game as you can hire good mercenaries that require medicine earlier than your opponents can. Builds a strong deck building engine from the very start.
The Yardmaster
• Can manipulate the junkyard to improve their chances of digging good cards and hurt their opponents’ chances.
• Can use ability during an opponent’s turn.


The Humanitarians (Population = 5)
• Thematically interesting, nice art as well.
• Punishes people who trash or kill their refugees (e.g. Butcher, Cannibal or Fanatic)
• Rewards people for hiring extra Refugees.
• Creates an interesting balance between trying to win 5 population at the end of the game but if you hire extra Refugees you are diluting your deck with weaker cards and putting yourself at a disadvantage during the game.
• In my experience with it thus far, the winner of this gang usually only has one more Refugee than anyone else did.
• This gang will get more interesting as more Refugee cards are made in any future expansions.

Thoughts on the Expansion:

• Adds a lot of variety, in gameplay and strategy. The same old strategy will not work anymore.
• Buildings are a little more effective now than they once were.
• Provocateurs are going to be the lynchpin of many player strategies now.
• Gameplay is more combo heavy than it used to be and cards have a lot more direct interactions with each other.
• Not sure if the spy action is really worthwhile, but more experience with it will tell.
• These new mercenaries are used mostly for their abilities and not their stats. Few of these new mercs can hunt. I recommend playing with some of the base set mercenaries to make up for this.
• There is now more of an incentive to keep digging later in the game.

-What are your thoughts on this expansion? Did any interesting strategies or tactics catch your attention?
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