Hello again. I apologize for the delay in getting this out, life got a little out of hand here for a while.
This strategy guide is the second half of a thread I wrote some time back. It contained the character analyses for Anton through Emilia, the remaining survivors are covered here. Again, I'll be covering both the characters as seen in the basic game, as well as their performance using the "Memories From the Past" expansion under a spoiler box. If you want to explore the memories expansion on your own, I'd recommend avoiding the spoilers for now.
Emira: Diamond in the Rough
One might think that, being homeless already, Emira wouldn’t be much worse off than before the war. Thing is, even the destitute greatly benefit while civilization is in play. People who’ve lost everything generally don’t have much to give to those less fortunate. Churches, hospitals, and other support networks are frequently overloaded, inaccessible, or even wiped out. Finally, you’re a lot less likely to get shot at during peacetime. Regardless, Emira knows a thing or two about survival when you have nothing, and she’s eager to help.
Emira’s not a fighter but that’s ok, you want her scavenging as much as possible. Every night she will find one “vegetable” (or at least, something with the nutritional value of a vegetable) automatically during the course of her searching. You choose when, I usually take it first thing but you have the option to grab it anytime before the findings phase. Effectively, this can make Emira a “free” occupant at the shelter, you don’t need to worry about finding additional food to feed her. (Well, she does still need water…) Having said that, her spirits encourage her sharing her bounty. By keeping her at at least 1 hunger, you can take advantage of her Spirt B “lower Emira’s hunger 1”.
Her other spirits are less charitable, she has a nasty drinking problem and crippling depression. Booze is a lot more difficult to come by than cigarettes and coffee, and when “Army Deals” is in effect it gets prohibitively expensive. Also keep in mind if you’re stockpiling alcohol for Emira’s addiction, it becomes a hard choice whether to use it on other depressed characters when they’re down. (I feel like this is where I should recommend to build a moonshine still if she’s in the shelter, but I have to confess I never have. I always seem to have herbs or chems lying around to eventually turn into cigarettes for those people, but I often trade my sugar early and don’t have it on-hand later to turn into alcohol. If you do regularly make the moonshine, let me know how that works out for you).
If you can keep Emira happy, she’ll take good care of you.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Emira’s memory triggers aren’t the kind that will get you ahead, but she has several that will save her when times get tough. If she goes without food for too long, you can drop the hunger back to 0 at the cost of gaining an illness. (Not sure what she ate, but you don’t want it.) If her misery gets too high, sleeping in a bed will drop it back to 0. If the shelter is desperate for food (probably because of the rats), Emira has a one-time ability to draw a free pantry card at the beginning of a scavenge. These all either forfeit her card, or have penalties you won’t want more than once, but when you need a miracle Emira provides.
Katia: Queen of the Black Market
In war, not everyone who fights uses violence. Brave journalists everywhere do their best to expose the cruelty of tyrannical leaders to the world when their practices become unjust, as well as shine the light on how rebel terrorists are rarely the brave freedom fighters they claim to be. Katia used her position as a reporter as the troubles began to put pressure on the warring factions in an effort to prevent atrocities. Sadly, there’s only so much one person can do and now she finds herself in the same predicament as the rest of the populace. Still, with her training and contacts she still has a role to play.
There’s no reason to keep our resident reporter home at night. The stories are to be found out in the city, and she’s not trained for combat anyway. Her ability to trade without having to worry about paying commission is handy, but very situational. If there isn’t a location with trading opportunities, you can’t trade. If you don’t have any spare items, you probably aren’t trading. Still, take advantage whenever a trading post arrives to get rid of any spare goods you don’t need for whatever will solve your current crisis.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I liked base game Katia, but always felt she was underwhelming. I don’t feel that way anymore. With Memories, Katia is easily a contender for most powerful non-red character in the game.
If you are playing Katia with memories, build the radio as soon as you possibly can. This is your number 1 priority. Upon building it, Katia’s memory will give you one free radio action the beginning of each day FOR THE REST OF THE WAR! (as long as she’s alive…) It doesn’t even cost her card. You will always know when the airdrops are coming. You will always know when the soldiers are about to shell the town. You will frequently know when the night raids will be bad, and can plan accordingly. You will know exactly how much colder it will be, and how much wood you’ll need to counter it. Finally, you will know exactly when the cost of goods will change because of “Famine” and “Army Deals” and (because of her trading ability) will be poised to make the most profit from it. (For example, buying all 6 cigarettes for 2 sugar and trading them in the next day for 3 meat and change is fantastic.)
Katia has no purely negative memories, and many other excellent abilities. I’m not going to list them all, but the one other you should be aware of is her ability to find strength in the sacrifice of others. When a member of the shelter dies, Katia can lower the Misery of all the survivors including herself. This will cancel out any Misery penalties gained for high empathy characters, and low empathy characters will find their spirits lifted. Again, her card is not expended, so she’ll be ready to continue helping the team as the war progresses.
Katia was fighting for the oppressed people of this city since before the war began. Her scope may have changed, but her mission to protect others is still her priority.
Marin: The Walking Woodpile
If I’m ever caught up in a devastating urban conflict, I want to shelter with Marin. A solid worker who possesses a knack for crafting a home from scraps and debris, and a pleasant demeanor too.
His base stats are all average. Middle of the road empathy, 3 inventory, mediocre prowess. He’s equally suitable for guarding or scavenging, use your discretion based on the other shelter members.
What makes Marin so useful is his handyman skill. Marin ‘poking around’ is almost as rewarding as other characters searching heaps in the shelter, and Marin has the benefit of getting to choose what he finds in the basement. With a little planning, you won’t need to spend inventory during scavenging to have the wood and components you need to build fittings and fuel the heater, saving the inventory for other things. (Also, remember that Marin’s poking around bonus also apply to the parts and water spaces in the advanced shelter.)
Marin’s spirit can be a bit of a problem. With his coffee addiction covering both the A and B spirits, assume he’ll need coffee every day. (Nobody else’s addictions happen anywhere close as often as his.) On top of that, Marin is prone to illness if he’s unhappy. Given these traits, it behooves you to keep your pantry well stocked with coffee at all times. (Sadly you can’t grow your own coffee, but at least it’s cheap to trade.)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Marin loves to create, and his passion for building things goes a long way to helping him forget he’s out of coffee.
Always try to keep an electrical and mechanical part lying around in storage at all times, it’s a reliable and reusable way to keep Marin’s misery down. If the garage is accessible, have Marin scavenge it as much as you can. Finally, if you desperately need parts to build a particular fitting, Marin can burn himself out finding everything required.
Do show a little caution though having Marin stroll down memory lane. He has more than the average character’s number of negative memories…
Marko: Action Hero
Firefighters (at least in my area) have a very favorable reputation compared to other first responders. Where police officers have a somewhat mixed record as far as problems solved vs. problems caused, everyone respects the dashing fireman rushing into harm’s way to rescue those in need. Marko lives up to this reputation.
Marko is excellent at everything he does. Respectable combat prowess, high inventory…place him wherever you think he’ll do the most good. Giving him a hatchet will allow him to clear troublesome doors with little effort, as well as making him a terror in melee. On top of all that, his spirits keep him very resistant to disease. (When winter gets bad and your survivors start getting sick, if you send one of the illness tokens to Marko, it’s frequently discarded before the fate card is finished.)
His only minor weakness is he is a bit of a softy when it comes to taking care of other people. He gets real depressed when his people go hungry, and his midlevel empathy makes him a risky choice if your scavenging turns into armed burglary.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Just like in the base game, Marko doesn’t have much in the way of weaknesses in memories. None of his triggers are purely negative (though one is very risky), however the positive memories are somewhat situational. One of the most useful is (when planning day actions) him having the ability to sacrifice his card to ignore all black dots from status tokens for the day. Finally, Marko was a first responder before the war…he really knows his way around a hospital. (just saying…)
Pavle: Bulletproof Athlete
Again, fame fails another of our survivors as sports star Pavle finds himself in the same predicament as everyone else. Separated from his wife and son, he’s doing everything he can to survive to the ceasefire for them.
Pavle’s stats are solid, but not exceptional. 1 Prowess, 4 inventory…he’s capable at either fighting or scavenging though not spectacular at either.
His athleticism lends itself to scavenging more than guarding the shelter. If the group attracts the wrong kind of attention and needs to bug out fast, Pavle’s “fleet of foot” skill can be a literal life saver. (For heavens sake, don’t overly rely on it though. If enough people are shooting at him then he and his team can still get taken out.)
His spirits rarely make much of a difference. A is blank, so more often than not nothing will happen to him each night. C happens so rarely that there’s no reason to bother hunting for a guitar for him. Finally, being wounded is bad for his morale…but in my experience once a person hits 2 or 3 wounds they aren’t going to last too many more nights anyway.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
For most purposes, Pavle may as well not have a memory card. Only 3 triggers have any in game effect, though at least all are positive. One to pay attention to is when Pavle scavenges, he can at any time decide to raise the noise by 3 to draw and resolve a findings card for “furniture”. Note that while it raises noise his trigger does not itself require a noise check, making it a handy way to supplement your findings at the end of a night before heading home or (if at a trading location) adding to the amount of trade goods to barter with.
Roman: Haunted Champion
All of the survivors have witnessed their share of horror in the war. Family and friends lost, livelihoods ruined, homes destroyed. For the most part though, they were passive victims to the horror unfolding in their city. Roman witnessed it all first hand and to a point participated in it. He could have stayed with the military in a position of less hardship, but as time went on he found himself unable to accept the atrocities he was supporting. Abandoning his post, he falls in with our shelter…
Roman is a freaking war machine. At 3 prowess he’s the most combat capable character in the house, and due to his military training his unarmed attacks are as powerful as if he wields a knife. (There’s some debate over whether this applies for night raids or only when scavenging. You can play how you want but I find the evidence pretty convincing that it counts for both.) His carrying capacity isn’t great, so I usually have him guard the shelter from all comers at night.
If you do send him scavenging, do not assume he’ll be an invincible one man army. If well armed there’s a good chance he can kill one opponent in the first round of combat…while simultaneously taking crippling damage from the thug and his friends. He can turn a close fight into a certain victory, just keep in mind if it’s worth the cost. (The equation changes a little if playing with the tactics expansion. With it, Roman becomes a ninja capable of wiping out a squad of armed soldiers single handedly.)
Unfortunately his spirits aren’t that good. For one, he has a nasty nicotine addiction. In addition, he’s seen enough of his comrades killed that he has a hard time dealing with him or his companions getting injured. Be ready to employ the usual trio of books, booze, and cigarettes to keep his misery in check.
I don’t entirely agree with the decision to make his empathy as low as it is. He’s not a psychopath like Emilia or a self-centered rat like Bruno, he put his life at risk to stop commiting war crimes. Still, I suppose seeing all the carnage he’s witnessed can numb a man to it all…I just feel that his efforts at atonement deserve better. Having said that, if the house finds a need to commit atrocities of its own, Roman’s certainly capable.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Roman didn’t survive the front lines to get taken out like a punk now. His memory triggers are packed with a host of one-time tricks that will save his life. As good of a fighter as he is, he’s remarkably good at avoiding fights too. Alternatively, there’s a lot to be said for sacrificing his memory card after the first night raid to get a free board up token...especially if you weren’t able to get the parts to assemble a workshop right away. Finally, as mentioned in a previous thread, I still enjoy the image of cigarette deprived Roman stalking the streets in the early dawn punching out soldiers to take their smokes.
Zlata: Beacon of Hope...or Wicked Temptress
Zlata has a bit of an interesting history in the metagame of original TWOM. Officially, she is a sweet innocent music student who brightens the day of everyone around her. I’m sure the intent was to imply that whenever there was no medicine to give to the starving orphans outside, or everyone else was at each other’s throats due to lack of coffee and cigarettes, Zlata would calm everyone down and raise their spirits. In practice, she kind of enabled her companions to commit horrible atrocities. Having her around allowed you to send otherwise decent people (Marko, Boris, etc…) on killing sprees or looting rampages without remorse.
(There, there, Marko…it’s Ok. You had no choice, you had to kill that elderly couple and take all their food. We might starve in a couple weeks if you hadn’t. How about I sing you a song, that’ll raise your spirits before you go raid the hospital of all its bandages and medicine. I’m sure we need it more than the refugees. Please do it...for me.)
(I'd be less than honest if I didn't mention that her memories in the board game version come down emphatically on the "sweet innocent" version of Zlata. Having said that, there's nothing preventing you from playing her the other way if that is your choice.)
Zlata is the kind of Red character I hope to find later in the game, but not start with. Her 4 inventory is handy, but she’s utterly useless in combat. There’s no point in having her guard so you may as well send her scavenging, just be aware that she’s not going to react well to distressing situations.
Her abilities really come to shine in the midgame with her spirits. I don’t care how you do it, get her a guitar as soon as you humanly can. (The typical way I get one is to trade for a damaged guitar at any trading location that sells gray items, then repair it at the workshop.) Once you do, misery in the household will practically disappear. With a guitar, 5 nights out of 7 Zlata will be dropping 2 characters misery 1 to 2 steps, that’s fantastic. (It’s still a good idea to have a chair for emergencies, but more often than not you don’t need one with Zlata around.)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Most of Zlata’s triggers help raise the shelter’s spirits, either hers or the other survivors. In particular, if you’ve saved a memory for the end of the day, using the card when she plays her guitar will make it so both she AND 2 other characters all have their misery dropped 2. As I mentioned earlier, having Zlata (properly equipped) will END any problems your shelter has with misery.
The other memory to focus on with her is the fact that she is an excellent host. Whenever she greets a new character to the house, she can drop one of the new characters statuses by 1. Considering the sorry state that most new characters arrive in, this is a major benefit.
That's all for now. Best of luck to you all and may you see your way to the ceasefire safely.