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Subject: Jim Culver goes to Dunwich rss

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Jacek Deimer
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The motivation for this playthrough was discussion about Jim Culver in this topic: Jim Culver - why??

The questions were: Is Jim a good Mystic solo? Is he good at all? What about his ability? Are Ritual Candles and Defiance a good or bad cards?

Some players think that Jim is utter crap almost at the bottom of the investigator list (at the moment we have 20 of them).

Others believe that his ability and se of balanced stats make him well rounded, strong performed in most situations.

To get more insight on the topic, I decided to try him myself and played Dunwich Legacy Campaign with him on Standard difficulty.
Let’s see how it went!

======
INTRO
======
Campaign – Dunwich Legacy
Difficulty – Standard
Card Pool – Up to Dim Carcosa


========
THE DECK
========

Starting Deck

Jim Culver

Shrivelling 2
Rite of Seeking 2
Drawn to the Flame 2
Defiance 2
Forbidden Knowledge 2
Ritual Candles 2
St.Huberts Key 2
Ward of Protection 2
Delve Too Deep 2
Uncage the Soul 2
Arcane Studies 1

Fire Axe 2
Dark Horse 2

No Stone Unturned 1

Flashlight 2
Emergency Cache 1
Unexpected Courage 1

Random weakness: Internal Injury (could be worse)


Deck overview
Typical Jim the Axeman deck, including Dark Horse + Fire Axe combo. Modified slightly to test performance of some cards. Some choices might be controversial, but the goal was to test few things:

Defiance & Ritual Candles – those are one of the main reasons for this campaign play. Are they actually useful?

Delve Too Deep – Well, I am greedy bastard ;) Also, the plan is to get Key of Y’s ASAP, so this might help. I would like to see how much it will affect the deck.

Forbidden Knowledge – I was amazed how well this card worked for Agnes baker. It will let Jim used his Fire Axe again and also easily activate Key of Y’s when he acquires them.

No Stone Unturned – To find a missing piece of Dark Horse / Fire Axe /Arcane Studies combo. Especially Fire Axe as it looks like our most reliable combat option.

Upgrade Path
2x Key of Y’s
1xBlood Ritual
2xGrotesque Statue
2x Shrivelling III

Mulligan Strategy
Getting combat option (Shrivelling or Fire Axe) essential. So aggressive mulligan for this. After that St.Hubert’s Key (Key of Y’s) and Dark Horse.



=====================
CAMPAIGN PLAYTHROUGH
=====================

So, this is how it went, I made brief report of most important event in each scenario. Also I took notes of several statistics (like activation of special ability / performance of specific card / occurrence of some events).


1. Extracurricular Activity

I decided to start with this one as I think that reward possibilities are generally better if you play House Always Wins and rescue Peter Clower.

Starting hand (after mulligan): Fire Axe, Shrivelling, Forbidden Knowledge, Defiance, Ward of Protection.

At beginning everything went well, we’ve got strong combat opening, drawn dark horse quite early. There was small problem with Arcane Barrier, several actions lost. Unfortunately, Jazz was hiding really deep in the deck. Jim ran almost out of the clues on the board. Last two were in Orne Library, blocked by locked door and in Science Building. Experiment was going to show up in a moment. Nonetheless Jim was quite well prepared to face it: Shrivelling (4 charges), Fire Axe, Dark Horse, Forbidden Knowledge and had full hand of cards, including Unexpected Courage. Jim went to Science building, got the clue and also got a meeting with Experiment. Things didn’t go too well, Fire Axe missed ones, Shrivelling misfired, only 2 damage done. Next round, Jazz shows up, dude why here, why now :(. Evade, Parlay, Run. Restocked Jim gave combat another go, went well, another 6 damage, unfortunately Jazz had to sacrificed himself save Jim’s life. Then, well, then Whippoorwill happened, Fire Axe missed and last charge of Shrivelling misfired again. Fortunately, there was option to Resign.
Resigned. XP: 1 ; Tablet token added to chaos bag

Remarks:
Maybe fighting the experiment wasn’t the best choice, but the fight was really close. Base INT of 4 hurt both Shrivelling and caused struggle with Arcane barrier. Not being able to easily deal with Whippoorwill was another issue. Nor problems with investigation. Overall, feels quite slow and resource intensive.

Stats:
Jim’s ability (how many times it could be used): 3 Relevant (how many times I actually used it): 0
Elder Sign (how many drawn): 4 Relevant: 0
Defiance (how many times used): 1 Relevant: (how many times named token has been drawn): 0
Ritual Candles (number of opportunities to use) : 0 Relevant (did it help?): 0

Let’s move on! (I will be more concise with description of other scenarios.)



2.The House Always Wins

Starting hand: St. Huberts, DH, WoP, Trumpet, RoS

Critical misplay at the start -> Played Rite of Seeking first round. Simply forgot how investigation actually work in this scenario. No allies, no free clues. Got stuck on gambling. Pressured to “cheat” by Pit Boss. Got surrounded by Criminals, fortunately Servant of the Lurker eaten them all ;) Fight with the servant took forever. Managed to discover all rooms, VIP room was last one. No time to continue, had to resign.
Resigned. XP +2; Elder thing token added to chaos bag. Problem with criminals (quite bad thing for scenario 7).

Remarks:
This time got slowed down by my misplay of RoS, also Frozen in Fear was a problem, took a lot of time to get rid of it. Could have “cheated straight away” Didn’t manage to assemble a good combo, which looks to be crucial here. Actually got very lucky that Abomination removed 2 or 3 criminals including Pit Boss, without that this scenario would have ended far sooner.

Stats:
Jim’s ability: 1 Relevant: 1 (Helped to get rid Frozen in Fear)
Elder Sign: 0 Relevant: 0
Defiance: 1 Relevant: 1 (made difference equal to +1)
Candles: 0 Relevant: 0



3. Miscatonic Museum

Starting hand: FC, FA, WoP, St.Hubert’s, Armitage (took him after THAW as I felt struggling with money all the time)

Things were going smoothly, no problems with investigations, hacked and slashed Horror whenever he showed up. Got lucky and discovered restricted hall at first opportunity. Could actually finish the scenario, but got gready and decided to give another round to play 2 Delve’s Too Deep sitting on my hand. Of course things went south: Slithering Behind You summoned the snake, token made me drop a clue. Beaten the beast, but didn’t manage to pick up both clues on time, Agenda summoned snake again, this time it was too strong and I was out of resources. Got beaten hard
Deafeated. XP: +2; +1 Physical Trauma

Upgrades:
-1 Forbidden Knowledge (Didn’t realise how bad it is without Holy Rosary/Peter Sylwestre. Also total anti-synergy with St.Hubert’s Key)
+1 Key of Y’s (Let’s see how it works

Remarks:
Nothing special. Good have succeded if not being too XP greedy.

Stats:
Jim’s ability: 7 Relevant: 1
Elder Sign: 1 Relevant: 0
Defiance: 1 Relevant: 0
Candles: 0 Relevant: 0



4.The Essex County Express

Opening Hand: DH, RC, Defiance, Shrivelling, Flashlight

Here it started really bad, didn’t manage to get St.Hubert’s Key or active Dark Horse and was struggling with an Acolyte at the very beginning. Shrivelling failed me again. Quite embarrassing. After that it went ok, until Car 4 (Dinning Car), met nice couple of Grapling Horror and Emergent Monstrosity. Actually no way to deal with both of them at the same time. No chance in combat, got hit by Broken Rails, tried to Evade, didn’t work. For a moment thought that maybe at least I could play my 2 Delve Too Deep’s, then realized that Attacks of Opportunity will kill me before getting XP.
Defeated. XP: +1; +1 Mental Trauma

Remarks:
This is the moment I am starting to get worried. XP I’ve got is abysmal, I got 2 bad tokens in the bag and 2 points of trauma. Actually couldn’t do anything to prevent failure in this scenario. With very good setup Jim can’t handle tougher enemies.

Stats:
Jim’s ability: 1 Relevant: 0
Elder Sign: 0 Relevant: 0
Defiance: 0 Relevant: 0
Candles: 1 Relevant: 0



5. Blood on the Altar

Opening Hand: RoS, Delve, Shrivelling, Defiance, FC

This scenario went very quickly. Got Psychopomps Song at start, Night gaunt under first location. Struggling to deal with it. Got on the Wings of Darkness, failed the test. Aventually beat the Nightgaunt, but was almost out of health. Next, got 2/2/2 Mobster, shrivelling already used up, got beaten to the ground.
Defeated. XP: +2; +1 Physical Trauma.

Upgrade: None, saving for second Key of Y’s

Remarks:
Actually didn’t expect this to go so quickly. Setup was poor, hand before mulligan had no combat, investigate or stat boost. After mulligan wasn’t much better. Again, Shrivelling failed, without weapon there is much that could be done to deal with enemies.

Stats:
Jim’s ability: 0 Relevant: 0
Elder Sign: 0 Relevant: 0
Defiance: 1 Relevant: 0
Candles: 0 Relevant: 0



6. Undimensioned and Unseen

Opening hand: Flashlight, Flashlight, No Stone Unturned, FA, DH

First few round Jim was spending on setup, gathering clues and getting Esotheric Formula. Got really good combat package FA + DH + Key of Y’s and Esoteric Formula + Arcane Studies as a backup. Just waiting for Broods too show up. But, the Lupine Thrall showed up first, got enhancement attachment. Unfortunately, Fire Axe power to 7 failed, Jim got hit by AoO. Esoteric Formula, also at 7, failed too, another AoO and Jim lost the Key. At this moment Jim got panic attack, evasion was not an option, so he dumped 3 clues on Thrall using location ability and started working on it using Esoteric Formula. After that next fee round were spend gathering clues and trying to get Broods in positions to get weakened. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going too well. Second Lupine Thrall showed up and complicated situation. Too find means of dealing with it, Jim drawn extra card and got defeated by Internal Injury.
Defeated. XP: 0; +1 Physical Trauma

Remarks:

Again Jim had problem with big enemies. Powder on Ibnu-Gazi could have helped but previous scenario went the way it went.

Stats:
Jim’s ability: 6 Relevant: 1
Elder Sign: 2 Relevant: 0
Defiance: 0 Relevant: 0
Candles: 2 Relevant: 1 (But was redundant due to Jim’s ability)



7. Where Doom Awaits

Opening hand: FA, AS, Shrivelling, RC, RoS

Having 5 Trauma, 2 doom on agenda and no Naomi support I did not have high hopes. On the other hand, the actual opening hand looked quite good. At the very first upkeep, got hit by Final Rhapsody, but not much (1/1). First Diverged Path was a bit underwhelming, Destroyed Path, just waste of time. Second one was Frozen Spring, lost 1 actions. Got stuck there with Avian Thrall and got hit with Frozen in Fear. Couldn’t stop Devote of the Key from getting to the top. Thrall and FiF took a lot of time and resources, agenda moved forward. Third Divergent Path was Eerie glade, here Rite of Seeking failed me, again lost a lot of time. Finally managed to advance act but at the same time another Devote was sacrificed at the top. Time ended when Jim was barely on Ascending Path.
Defeat. The world as we know it has ended….

Remarks:

Not much too say, at this point situation was quite bad, trauma, lack of XP and apparent weakness of the deck. There was a bit of bad luck here, again big enemies where a problem, maybe not a total disaster but a huge time sink. 2 biggest offenders: 2x Frozen in Fear and 2x Elder Think token (at -6 and -7).

Stats:
Jim’s ability: 3 Relevant: 0
Elder Sign: 2 Relevant: 0
Defiance: 1Relevant: 0
Candles: 2 Relevant: 0



Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed in the following sections are just my personal opinions, not absolute truths. I strongly consider possibilities that I might be very wrong with some (or all) of them.

=========================
POST CAMPAING EVALUATION
=========================

Final Stats:
Jim’s ability: 21 Relevant: 3
Elder Sign: 9 Relevant: 0
Defiance: Relevant: 1 (was equal to +1 bonus)
Candles: 1 Relevant: 1 (But made redundant by Jims ability)


Jim’s ability(ies):
His main ability had potential to make difference in 21 cases. Actually it was only relevant in 3 instances. In other cases, tests were successful even with modifier of Skull token. Skulls rather harmless tokens in Dunwich on standard difficult and usually equal to something around -1 or -2. They are even less relevant as campaign progresses, when worse tokens get added to the token bag.
His secondary ability was never used, there was never a reason to change elder sign into a skull.


Jim's stats:
4 WILL – A feel it is underwhelming and undermines one of the main reason to play Mystics, resilience to encounter deck. Multiple times I was struggling with FiF or other Treacheries like Arcane Barrier, got hit by Visions of the Future Past and had to commit resources to Rotting Remains. Made Shrivelling and RoS less reliable than I would like.

3 INT – that was actually ok for the most of the campaign. Usually had something to boost it by 1 or 2 (Flashlight, Dark Horse, St.Huberts Key). Some hiccups on 4 Shroud locations, but overall I am very happy with that part of Jims performance.

3 STR – This was the most let down for me. 3 Fight is horrible; Jim was stragnling at times even with the weakest possible enemies. It got better with Fire Axe and/or Dark Horse, but even in that case he wasn’t very reliable. He was usually loosing his steam after dealing 3 damage (2 strikes) Without a combo assembled he had almost no means of defence.

2 AGI – It was bigger problem that I tought. There were multiple occasions where I really wanted to run and simply couldn’t. Of course I wouldn’t have too if had better options for combat.
In summary I felt very limited in term of combat and evasions. On top of that Mystic’s signature abilities were really weakened by only Willpower of only 4.


Cards:
Defiance – Managed to used it 5 times, was useful once. And still bonus was equal to having Unexpected Courage. Would have actually preferred to have UC and Fearless instead of those.

Ritual Candles – Managed to get them into play 3 times. Had 5 possibilities to trigger, but wouldn’t help in any of those cases. Redundant due to Jims ability. No point of using those, waste of card, action and resource.

Forbidden Knowledge – Total miss. Loved it in Agnes build, here they only hurt the deck. Total anti synergy with St.Hubert’s Key. Planned to use it in combo with Key of Y’s, but I don’t see need for that. Mystics have plenty of opportunities to hurt themselves. Especially with all battering they can get from the enemies.

Delve Too Deep – I knew it might hurt the deck, but I hoped that the deck will be stronger, so DTD impact will be lower. In practice it was dead draw. There was no time to use it, I was struggling most of the time without a breath. On top of that I was actually terrified to use it. I realised that Jim has slim chances of dealing with most encounter cards (both enemies and treacheries.

Drawn to the Flame – Great card, but again I was too afraid to use it, so I actually never played it. What a shame. Would be handy at few moments, fortunately wasn’t necessary.

St.Hubert’s Key – Very mixed feeling about this one. On one hand it is amazing card. On the other hand, it drains almost all of your resources during setup, which could be fatal solo. Needs some horror soaks to stay on table longer. At later stages of the game it was basically “Heal 2 horror for 4 resources”.

Key of Y’s – Still believe it has amazing potential, but some horror soaks are very welcome. Actually managed to play it only once, but was amazed how quickly it gave +3 boost to all stats. Have to be a bit more careful when playing with it next time.


Deck (as a whole):
Well, I think my deck wasn’t good. I had definitely 8 cards with shouldn’t be there: Delve, Forbidden Knowledge, Ritual Candles and Defiance. Those cards didn’t help in progress of any of the scenario in any meaningful way. I’m sure if I replaced those with a set of basic Skill Cards and Unexpected Courage, performance of the deck would be much better.

Upgrade path was also questionable. Key of Y’s might be amazing but maybe getting 2 copies of Shrivelling III would have helped more.
Definitely there was a lot of room for improvement



===================
JIM vs AGNES
===================

I managed to play Dunwich with both Jim and Agnes. Those were 2 completely different experiences.

Agnes successfully completed all scenarios and managed to win campaign, despite having suboptimal deck, which was also limited to Dunwich Legacy card pool. She did not have many problems with enemies due her signature ability. Her ability is huge, being able to shot enemies almost at will is invaluable. It solves problem of Aloof enemies. It lets finish enemies before they have a chance to actually attack her. Overall this creates very good action compression and resource management economy. She is simply faster and more efficient than Jim. Access to Survivor cards gave her much more consistency and resilience. She was a bit struggling with investigation but she wasn’t helpless. WILL of 5 is also huge as she doesn’t have to rely on booster to be reliable in defence and when using spells.

Jim, on the other hand was struggling with enemies. He could deal with them, but it costed him a lot in term of resources, actions, health and sanity. The tempo loss was a huge. But the biggest offender here is his ability. It was practically useless in irrelevant in all of the 7 scenarios played. Agnes ability was relevant in each of them and used multiple times in every scenario. The other tricks that were meant to support Jims idea of manipulating chaos bag were not good too. Also lower WILL and AGI hit him quite a few times. In one situation it caused a scenario loss in other it drained valuable resources.



===========
CONCLUSION
===========

Is Jim a good Mystic solo?

It is hard to make a conclusion after 1 campaign playtrough, on top of that with fairly suboptimal deck. But the signature ability is huge part of each investigator. In case of Jim, his ability looks to be almost irrelevant. Mystics card pool isn’t very strong and his deckbuilding options are very limited. I was struggling, and I think that on standard most investigators would get away with sub-optimal decks. This was probably the worst campaign I played, in terms of results (both solo and multi). In my opinion, no, Jim is not a good solo Mystic.

Is he good at all?
Again, hard to make definitive conclusion. But I am in a camp that he will have his niche in 4-player games. But only when we get a reliable tutor to get his Trumped early on. Also, he is perfect candidate for Continuous Campaign Variant. In that case his horror healing Trumpet becomes relevant from turn 1.

What about his ability?
7 games is not a huge sample, but both stats and guts tell me that his ability does nothing (or so little that it is not worth considering), at least on Standard.

Are Ritual Candles and Defiance a good or bad cards?
On Standard Defiance seems to be a weaker version of Unexpected Courage. I almost always wished to have something else on my hand. But it was definitely better than Ritual Candles. Ritual Candles do not work, take valuable slot, cost resource, action and a card. So, yes, they are bad.



============
FINAL WORDS
============

Despite poor results I really enjoyed playing Dunwich again. Mystics are probably my favourite class.

I would love to do 2 more playtroghts:
One with Akachi trough Dunwich to see how she will fare in comparison to Jim and Agnes.
Second, Jim again, but this time with better deck and through a shorter campaign, Return to the Night of Zealot (when it gets released).

I would greatly appreciate any feedback on Mystics and especially Jims deckbuilding

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Brandon H
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My experience with Jim in Dunwich was similar, before any Carcosa cards were available. Early enemies meant he never left the first location on Extracurricular, Essex, and Where Doom Awaits (which, you know). He also had the Hunting Horror before he even got into the museum. He fended it off but still ultimately had to resign.

I look forward to your account of Akachi's leisurely stroll through Dunwich. Just be sure to prep for Where Doom Awaits.

I have Calvin carrying the Key of Ys in Dunwich right now. It's nice but, so far, a long way from the game breaker it looks like.
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mathew rynich
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Jim really wants Grotesque Statues. That's what you should have replaced the Ritual Candles with in my opinion. That lets him make more risky skill checks. Also I agree that more than the other mystics Jim wants to upgrade his Shrivellings to deal with the worse enemies as the campaign goes on. I'm surprised so many of Jim's skull triggers were irrelevant in your experience, but I'm wondering if that comes down to playstyle. Were you usually throwing cards into skill checks to get well above the target number?

Also it looks like you have no ally, which is a slot that really needs to be filled. If you try an axeman build again I think you wanna try taking Madame Labranche. I haven't tried it yet, but she feels like a real nice utility piece for that Dark Horse/Fire Axe combo. Another popular include for Jim is Alyssa Graham since that helps him be a better investigator. Also deck control is always a good thing.

Good work taking the time to document your Jim run. The investigators are all definitely not equal in power level (LOTR LCG was the same way). Also sometimes a campaign just plays to a particular investigator's strengths. I am currently replaying Carcosa with Carolyn and William and Carolyn is just destroying the Carcosa campaign. I'm on Black Star Rise right now. I'm almost begging the scenario to give me more horror so I can benefit off of it. Carolyn is running St. Hubert’s Key and it's amazing on her. For Jim I usually used Holy Rosary, but he didn't have the other options at the time. Key of Ys feels like it can be amazing but it also in some builds looks pretty similar to 2x St. Hubert's Keys for 10 xp.
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J. Chris Miller
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Wait - you never included Song of the Dead? Jim's ability fired 21 times during your campaign...

Song allows you to poke for 1 damage, and then finish off the creature with Shrivelling. If you hit a skull, you no longer have to use Shrivelling. This is good because it lets you not have to use 2 shrivelling counters. Song also gives you +1 to the check.

I can't comment on how good he is solo, but he was amazing in the 2p campaign I played.
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Jeff Thornsen
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Thanks for posting this.

I think he's definitely designed for multiplayer to function as a support character. I don't think he is very good solo since he lacks combat options and gets easily destroyed by the Encounter deck.

To that vein, you probably also want to include a lot of Skill cards (Guts, Unexpected Courage, Overpower, Perception) since these can be used for support or yourself, and helps you cycle the deck so you can find the other cards you really need/want to draw.

Alyssa Graham works great with him. She functions as a Horror soak for Forbidden Knowledge, and you can then kill her off using Forbidden Knowledge before the Agenda would advance. She also helps you investigate.
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Jacek Deimer
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phillosmaster wrote:
Jim really wants Grotesque Statues. That's what you should have replaced the Ritual Candles with in my opinion. That lets him make more risky skill checks. Also I agree that more than the other mystics Jim wants to upgrade his Shrivellings to deal with the worse enemies as the campaign goes on. I'm surprised so many of Jim's skull triggers were irrelevant in your experience, but I'm wondering if that comes down to playstyle. Were you usually throwing cards into skill checks to get well above the target number?


I considered getting them down the road, but temptation to get the Key of Y's was too strong and probably a mistake. I am sure that having statues would be a huge improvement over RC, yet huge expense of XP. I also wanted to gather some stats for Candles which is one of the reasons they were going to stay until the end. In every topic about Jim, Ritual Candles are mentioned as a good include. In my opinion they are very bad and I wanted to test that.

About Jim's ability, and relevance. My strategy is to boost my skill to +2 over the check difficulty. I think this gives best return for investment in terms of probability. I am comfortable taking less important tests at +1 (mostly investigations) and might overcommit if test of utmost importance with dire consequences (mostly combat). On standard, most of the time Skull tokens are in 0-2 range which is generally harmless.

I have to admit some scenarios ended quite early and Jim's ability could have had more impact. But not much more, in my opinion.

Quote:

Also it looks like you have no ally, which is a slot that really needs to be filled. If you try an axeman build again I think you wanna try taking Madame Labranche. I haven't tried it yet, but she feels like a real nice utility piece for that Dark Horse/Fire Axe combo. Another popular include for Jim is Alyssa Graham since that helps him be a better investigator. Also deck control is always a good thing.


I considered both Labranche and Renfield as great synergies with Axe/Dark Horse, but had difficulty finding space for them. I am torn about No Stone Unturned. In theory it could greatly improve consistency of opening hand. In practice I was never in good position to use it. The of-class slot might be too valuable for it.

About Alyssa, I didn't feel struggling in investigation much, usually got Key, Dark Horse, Flashlight, Arcane Studies or Rite of Seeking. Never had to use Drawn to the Flame, fortunately, as I was actually afraid to use it. Other than that, she is very expensive and I already felt very constrained in term of resources. She would also probably require Moonlight Ritual or I would not be able to use her ability too much. Still, it is definitely worth considering.

But all of the above are very valid points. During next try, many cards are going out. I will definitely focus on consistency and improvement in terms of combat.

Upgrade path will be different too. I think I will focu on smaller incremental upgrades rather than Key of Y's.


Quote:

Good work taking the time to document your Jim run. The investigators are all definitely not equal in power level (LOTR LCG was the same way). Also sometimes a campaign just plays to a particular investigator's strengths. I am currently replaying Carcosa with Carolyn and William and Carolyn is just destroying the Carcosa campaign. I'm on Black Star Rise right now. I'm almost begging the scenario to give me more horror so I can benefit off of it. Carolyn is running St. Hubert’s Key and it's amazing on her. For Jim I usually used Holy Rosary, but he didn't have the other options at the time. Key of Ys feels like it can be amazing but it also in some builds looks pretty similar to 2x St. Hubert's Keys for 10 xp.


That's true, game can be very random, especially solo, when you see only a part of encounter deck, which can be very favourable or not.

Power level, that was part of the idea behind this playthrough. I wanted to compare it with my Dunwitch Campaign with Agnes and see how actually effective his ability is and cards like RC and Defiance. In reality my Jim deck wasn't working for me. Combat was a big deal and my only reliable option was Fire Axe. Shrivelling failed too many times, evasion was not an option and I've got big problem. Those 2 campaigns were very different. Agnes succeeded in every scenario, Jim resigned or failed every one. I wasn't actually expecting a success with Jim, but also wasn't expecting such a big failure.

I wish you a success with your Carolyn/William campaign. Sounds like very fun combo, both characters take on Guardian role, but completely different parts of it.



coyotemoon722 wrote:
Wait - you never included Song of the Dead? Jim's ability fired 21 times during your campaign...

Song allows you to poke for 1 damage, and then finish off the creature with Shrivelling. If you hit a skull, you no longer have to use Shrivelling. This is good because it lets you not have to use 2 shrivelling counters. Song also gives you +1 to the check.


I would have probably included it if it cost 0 XP. Generally I do not thing it is good card. It does only 1 damage per attack, which in my opinion is very inefficient when it comes to combat options. The extra damage has only around 15% chance to trigger.

I've drown 21 Skull over the course of campaign, but this included all types of tests, Combat, Investigation, Treacheries and other. Only very small part of that pool would have went into SotD, in my opinion.


CSerpent wrote:
My experience with Jim in Dunwich was similar, before any Carcosa cards were available. Early enemies meant he never left the first location on Extracurricular, Essex, and Where Doom Awaits (which, you know). He also had the Hunting Horror before he even got into the museum. He fended it off but still ultimately had to resign.

I look forward to your account of Akachi's leisurely stroll through Dunwich. Just be sure to prep for Where Doom Awaits.

I have Calvin carrying the Key of Ys in Dunwich right now. It's nice but, so far, a long way from the game breaker it looks like.


I really tried to focus on combat options (Shriv, FA, NSU), and it wasn't horrible, in few cases it was extremely close. I think that if I had more skill cards (UC,Overpower or Guts) instead of Defiance/RC, I would have actually performed much better.

Akachi
I am thinking about Akachi deck, but I am really struggling about my aproach to both Combat and Investigation, especially in starting deck. Should I take poor spells like Storm of Spirits or BLinding Light or Knife/Kukri combo or just give up combat and focus on evasion?

The same with investigation, take Alyssa or St.Huberts Key or both? Or neither and hope that RoS, DttF, Arcane Studies (probably a must for WDA) and Flashlight will be enough?

A lot of thinking as most the options look really bad, but which on is less worse. (And no, no Ritual Candles or Defiance )

I am unsure about the Key of Y's myself. The problem is it doesn't do anything immediatelly after being played. The benefits might be enormous but you have to wait to get those benefits, which might set you back a lot. Probably Painkillers are a must. Definatelly requires a lot more testing.
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James J
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I’m surprised you’re struggling with Akachi. Her ability and her signature mean you get more mileage out of RoS and Shrivelling. Throw in DttF and your investigation (or at least clue gathering) is sorted. As for combat Shrivelling will almost certainly get her by but it relies on drawing it. I’d probably hard mulligan for Shrivelling (and depending on the scenario even mulligan away RoS - and almost always DttF since it’s pretty risky to play without a combat option anyway).
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Brandon H
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Like James says. Don't overthink Akachi. There might be more interesting ways to play her, but she's very strong with just the obvious picks. Shriveling, Storm of Spirits (which is good -- extra damage even against a single enemy, and it lets you hit a Pit Boss by targeting a Rat), RoS, Drawn to the Flame, Uncage the Soul (spells are expesive), Ward of Protection, Arcane Studies for WDA. Caches for resources and Perception for WDA again.

Thats' about half the deck; play with the rest. See if you like Renfield or Alyssa better, maybe have some Arcane Initiate deck millers/meat shields.
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The Waffler
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I think something else you should consider when determining if his ability is relevant is how much you committed to tests.

Because when I play Jim there are scenarios that I feel I don't have to commit as much in order to pass the test. I feel I have a good chance of passing the test if I am just +1 or +2, rather than when playing other characters who sometimes feel like I need to be +3 or +4 in some scenarios.

So in essence I am saving resources and cards by not feeling like I have to commit as much to tests. I think that is the main benefit of Jim's ability, rather than being lucky enough to draw a skull when you need it.

For example if I only committed to +1 above a test because I had a good chance of passing with Jim, then drew a -1 and passed. I would still feel that is relevant to Jim's ability because I saved a resource/card that I would normally have committed to compensate for the extra minus that a skull would have been.

(same logic can be applied to ritual candles, they give me a higher chance of success, so I don't feel I have to commit as much to the test, therefore succeeding when drawing a different type of token is still succeeding, because I save resources and cards that would have been committed otherwise).
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Jacek Deimer
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Jjdelanoche wrote:
I’m surprised you’re struggling with Akachi. Her ability and her signature mean you get more mileage out of RoS and Shrivelling. Throw in DttF and your investigation (or at least clue gathering) is sorted. As for combat Shrivelling will almost certainly get her by but it relies on drawing it. I’d probably hard mulligan for Shrivelling (and depending on the scenario even mulligan away RoS - and almost always DttF since it’s pretty risky to play without a combat option anyway).


Actually, I have everything you mentioned already included. The problem is what to add on top of it to achieve some consistency?
 
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A. Leafman
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Jjdelanoche wrote:
I’m surprised you’re struggling with Akachi. Her ability and her signature mean you get more mileage out of RoS and Shrivelling. Throw in DttF and your investigation (or at least clue gathering) is sorted. As for combat Shrivelling will almost certainly get her by but it relies on drawing it. I’d probably hard mulligan for Shrivelling (and depending on the scenario even mulligan away RoS - and almost always DttF since it’s pretty risky to play without a combat option anyway).


Even if Akachi hard mulligans for Shrivelling--and I definitely agree she should--about 45% of the time she won't find it in her opening hand. That's a big issue if she's playing solo and no one else is there to pick up the slack, especially since the other monster-handling cards available to Akachi either cost a lot of XP (Suggestion, Ward of Protection V) or are not very reliable (Knife, Blinding Light, Storm of Spirits). She can run Arcane Initiate to try to help here (I pretty much always do), but it can still get pretty dicey if she doesn't find Shrivelling for several turns.

monorico wrote:
I think something else you should consider when determining if his ability is relevant is how much you committed to tests.

Because when I play Jim there are scenarios that I feel I don't have to commit as much in order to pass the test. I feel I have a good chance of passing the test if I am just +1 or +2, rather than when playing other characters who sometimes feel like I need to be +3 or +4 in some scenarios.

So in essence I am saving resources and cards by not feeling like I have to commit as much to tests. I think that is the main benefit of Jim's ability, rather than being lucky enough to draw a skull when you need it.

For example if I only committed to +1 above a test because I had a good chance of passing with Jim, then drew a -1 and passed. I would still feel that is relevant to Jim's ability because I saved a resource/card that I would normally have committed to compensate for the extra minus that a skull would have been.

(same logic can be applied to ritual candles, they give me a higher chance of success, so I don't feel I have to commit as much to the test, therefore succeeding when drawing a different type of token is still succeeding, because I save resources and cards that would have been committed otherwise).


Perhaps. The Skull is often a -2 or better, though, and boosting to +2 is a very attractive move anyway. No matter the difficulty there are going to be a lot of -2s in the bag.

Another issue with Jim is that his ability can't really be used this way on Hard/Expert. Taking a bunch of tests at +1 or +2 and hoping for Skulls doesn't work there.
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Jacek Deimer
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monorico wrote:
I think something else you should consider when determining if his ability is relevant is how much you committed to tests.



That is an excellent point, I should have definitely included that in my stats. It would have been very valuable data. Thank you for point that!

It wasn't a big factor in my campaign (I remember taking his ability into account maybe 1-3 times). As it depends strongly on the chaos bag composition and value o Skull token, it could have mattered a lot more if the campaing shaped diffrently. Things to consider:

1. In the first 3 scenarios Skull token is almost harmless and I simply didn't take his ability into account. Let's look at scenarios:
EA: Skull is -1, I anyway want want to boost to +1 almost at any time.
THAW: Skull is -2, but this scenario has 4 other -2 tokens(got Tablet in EA), Getting to +2 over Test Difficulty was still good investment of resources.
MM: Skull is -1 for the most time. It is -3 during snake fight, but as it is quite crital test and I have already 2 other -3 ("Cheated" in THAW) in the bag, I didn't hesitate boosting to +3.

2. It could have been relevant factor in later stages of TECE, BotA and LitaS, here the skull token could go up to -4 or -5. That's definatelly above my comfortable level of commitment to skill test. But still we are talking about later stages of those scenarios. It is a real shame that those scenarios ended so abruptly (or didn't happen at all) that I didn't have a chance to test it.

3. It is factor, but only if you have actually a choice. For variety of reasons you might be forced to overcommit anyway. Cards and effects that boost your stats by 2 are good example. With Jims ability you might have been comfortable with only half of that boost, but you have to commit entire card/effect anyway. Also you generally want to overboost Fire Axe to get extra damage. Opossite is also true, you simply might not have resources to commit anyway.

If my Jim fared better in the Campaign, definatelly his ability would have been a bigger factor in decision making. Especially if I have managed to get no Tablet and ET tokens in my chaos bag. But it is difficult to say how big factor would it be.

Actually it would be great to see stats from few more playthroughts. Unfortunatelly I do not want to commit that much time too Jim (I still plan to run RtNotZ with him anyway) but, if anyone is up for the challenge, I would love to see results (and stats) .


 
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