Last Night on Earth’s theme has always been top notch, but I think they really upped their game with Stacy. The intrepid, headstrong, down right foolhardy reporter is a fantastic character archetype, not only prominent in horror, but everything from noir and crime drama, big budget action schlock, and of course, comic books. So with Stacy, it’s easy to be reminded of a familiar character or stereotype and bring it to the table with a reference or joke. Stacy really drives home the dogged pursuit of truth angle too, with plenty of abilities encouraging risks and going into places where people normally shout ”DO NOT GO IN THERE!” The bigger the risk, the sweeter it is when things actually work out, making games with Stacy tense, dynamic, and rewarding.Follow the leads and investigate with Stacy, what you’ll find might not always be pretty, but it might just end up the story of a lifetime.
Mechanics and Strategy:
Stacy is a fully adult hero, with three hit points and everything. She is also Strange.
Before we get started, Stacy’s whole thing is kind of a double edged sword. All her abilities involve risk, activating to their full potential in places that would usually be deemed the least safe and strategically unsound. She is indeed, not made for all games. But there will be scenarios and opportunities where she shines. There will be times where standing on a spawning pit for three turns in a row will be unavoidable, even vital. Getting rewarded for it with Stacy’s abilities is good use of unexplored play styles , tactics, and game design space. This is just a caveat up front that yeah, playing as Stacy can be dangerous, takes some skill, and some games will not give her opportunities to use her abilities, or even worst, will encourage risk taking to the point where she, or even the game, are lost. It’s not always best to split up and go it alone in this game, and one of Stacy’s abilities is predicated on going places where others can’t…so yeah.Proceed with caution, but don’t write Stacy off as a lost cause. This is all the negatives up front, but the high points are below.
Stacy is DARING. Buildings that are Taken Over don’t impede her, she’s still capable of moving through and searching in them. There are plenty of times when a building is Taken Over, but not filled with zombies, that would be perfect opportunities to search. Sometimes a building with a vital stock-up item or handy shortcut will be Taken Over, that with Stacy, are accessible. Certain scenarios may have the misfortune of having a random building taken over in a place, that while technically still winnable and thus able to be placed legally, will be all but impossible to actually achieve victory…. without Stacy. Having the vital skeleton key in Stacy, access to the inaccessible ,has been the key to victory in countless games and it is often difficult to predict when this is so, so take it scenario by scenario, even round by round and turn by turn, and be open to opportunities that take advantage of this.
Stacy is RECKLESS. Ending her move action on a zombie spawning pit immediately allows her to draw a Hero card. Searching is not required, you can move to the pit, and then draw. Of course, on subsequent turns, you can stay put, search(if the pit is in a building) and then draw the free card. This is also one of the very rare ways to draw a card on an outside space, if the pit happens to be outside a building. While the name of the game won’t always be card draw, the advantage that extra equipment, items, and events bring can always be appreciated, and given the right circumstances, Stacy can outpace and rival Jake for card draw supremacy. This really shines in scenarios with scenario search items.
Be aware that several zombie cards drop extra zombie spawn pits, some accompanied by being Taken Over as well, and there are scenarios that start with extra pits, or have them in unique configurations. Blood in the Forest is brimming with extra pits. Due to the mechanics of spawning, the more pits there are, the less concentrated zombies may be on them. A bad streak for zombie spawn rolls may leave several pits unattended for a while, so take advantage of this while you can.
Thanks to the excess of card draw granted by her abilities, Stacy may find herself well equipped with items and events, capable of fending for herself on dangerous spawning pits. At this point, ironically, you may not need to be searching anymore, at least for yourself. Scenario search items are a different matter, and Stacy, as stated earlier, makes a good candidate for the task. Also, as much as her abilities push her to break from the crowd, going places others can’t and beelining for spawning pits, Stacy makes a decent team player, oftentimes with many excess items to exchange. Stay with a partner as the norm, especially early in the game, breaking off into Taken Over areas only when necessary, and hopefully when well equipped. One of the most important strategies for hero success is to search early, and more often than not Taken Over markers get added throughout the game, so Stacy’s abilities work better in mid or late game. Search normally and with a partner until then, on spawning points if feeling up to it to speed the process along. Just because her abilities are named Daring and Reckless doesn’t mean you have to play Stacy as too foolhardy.
Stacy’s Advanced Ability is CURIOSITY. When searching in a building that is Taken Over or has Light’s Out, she may draw three Hero Cards and choose one to keep, discarding the others. This really complements her abilities and reinforces her as a card drawing master. All the caveats urging caution and restraint apply here, but this is a fine and useful ability if available.
Stacy, when considering what Upgrade path to take using the experience system( or simply looking at what strategic role to focus on), should investigate the virtues of the Special upgrades first and foremost. It emphasizes card draw,(as well as card cancelling, healing, movement, and defense-no hero hates having these) and doubling down on an established role is always nice. Searching heroes in general end up being Jacks and Jills of all trades, equipped with all various and sundry items, so by all means stay open to specializing in ranged, melee, or dabbling in all three, depending on what is drawn.
Stacy may have been better off keeping her nose out of other’s dark business, but now that’s she’s in it so deep, you may as well make use of her dogged pursuit of scoops. She’ll go where other’s won’t, ask the hard questions, and isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. Maybe what’s buried should have stayed that way, and zombies are more dangerous than some skeletons in closets, but dang it, this is Stacy’s big break! If you can help Stacy make it through the night alive you’ll have a prize better than any Pulitzer. And that’s news you can use!