Science is cool. ‘Science!’, the extreme, Hollywood and internet meme equivalent, is downright magical. And some of my favorite teachers have been my science teachers. A great teacher, beyond their value as educators, can be role models, real heroes.
So why do I find Mr. Goddard so lackluster on theme? The art is fine, the actor chosen is fine, the abilities tell a story, even evoking that- razzle dazzle burn stuff, make anything out of junk -Hollywood science. There is a definite place for a Teacher hero in Woodinvale. I think for me, it may be due to a lack of a strong personality trait or story through-line for my imagination to latch on to. Mr. Goddard’s fluff paints him as a nice, nerdy guy that’s dedicated to his students. That’s fine, great even, We need more real life teachers like that. But… it’s a little bland. Mr. Goddard is Walter White without any bad to break. Which isn’t to say he needs to be a criminal, have a scandal with a student(in his backstory. What happens on the last night on earth is free game.), or anything tawdry to spice him up. Honestly, some mechanic tying him to Students, protecting them by giving himself or them a boost, perhaps by drawing extra cards, would have been fine. I don’t know, I want to like the guy, I just always forget about him. I should have listened in class more.
Mechanics and Theme:
Goddard is an adult, male hero with three wound spaces. Teacher and Science as keywords add absolutely nothing mechanically, but this is a game that adds tons of extra tokens with absolutely no rules support, like motorcycles and briefcases full of money, just because it’s fun, so no demerits here.
Jerry Goddard has FIRE. He always counts as having a fire item, and he ignores lights out. This is, of course, scenario specific and somewhat item dependent, but wow, having someone reliable to give dynamite to or run through a dark building to get to a goal is great. There have been certain games WITHOUT the good teacher where his presence was sorely missed, where that one necessary, game winning fire item just wouldn’t turn up. So no marks against this one. I do wish this ability had some interaction with the fire mechanic introduced in later games in the series, but I see why giving him, say, the ability to start or put out fires indefinitely would be a little game-breaking. Still, this ability is dependable and feels good when it’s used.
Mr.G also is QUICK THINKING. Like a good little McGuyver, he may pitch 2 items at any time to immediately draw a hero card or take any (non-play immediately, non-townsfolk) event out of the hero discard pile. Depending on what items are available to him, and what the goals are in the scenario, this can be handy. 2 items is a steep price, and there are times that even lackluster items can be useful, so simply drawing a new card blind seems not worth it often BUT being able to do this anywhere, at anytime, makes up for it. Being able to cherry pick a majority of events out of the discard pile with it this is even better, because events are awesome and can be doled out to any hero that needs it. So as long as Goddard has been searching and is armed with stuff, it will be hard to get the drop on him, especially as the game goes on and the discard fills with events. This power may be circumstantial and a bit technical, but it’s very decent, and again, just nice to have. (As a zombie player, I’m thinking about that AT ANY TIME activation clause, and realizing my hero’s haven’t been using this nearly enough-especially right before fights.)
Got’Dang Goddard also gets REPAIR, if using the advanced abilities. Instead of searching, he can take any non-weapon item out of the hero discard pile, as long as he rolled more than a 5 for movement. Cool? I mean, if you rolled so well for movement, searching isn’t going to be your top choice for move actions, and with that five, you could even draw from a survival of the fittest deck if it’s in play, so I get the value in the sacrifice of this, but it just won’t be chosen much, mostly. Unused powers aren’t very fun, especially if you paid experience to get them, and even when this is used, it’ll be mostly for crazy specific items, or to restock his items so he can throw them away again to use his QUICK THINKING. There’s certainly a cute little engine here, but, I don’t know, see me after class, REPAIR, you’re struggling.
When choosing an Upgrade deck to specialize in, SPECIAL, synergizes best with what you’re going to want to be doing most with Goddard. He needs items to active his big guns, so searching and exchanging will often be his top priorities, so the support cards of this deck will complement the fact he’ll be hanging around his allies to exchange things. The Blood in the Forest deck even has a card called QUICK THINKING. A strict interpretation of the rules says that since this has the same name as Goddard’s ability, he can earn the boosted part of this right away, even though the abilities don’t do the same thing mechanically. I allow this in my games on paper, but it hasn’t come up yet in practice. As always, any upgrade path can work fine for Goddard, mixing them up is fun, shooting guns is fun, punching is fun. The optimized choice is Special though.
If you factor in all the variables, solving the Goddard equation results in a hero, that with a little preparation, has a solution for nearly any dangerous situation. I recommend searching at every opportunity, staying close to allies and exchanging often. Don’t get too attached to Goddard’s items, keep him stocked up for emergencies, so he can discard right when things are most dire. Depending on what events have been discarded, you may be able to equip everyone with a Heroic card, or heal someone right when it’s needed most. Plan ahead, stay well stocked, be reactive, and use Quick Thinking as much as possible. Goddard is a bit tricky to master, but he has a plan for any occasion, and having fire at the ready never hurts. I might not be the Teacher’s Pet, but Goddard gets an A in my book.
- Last edited Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:24 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:13 pm