Zamacona is another enemy weakness, and like most, he is a much bigger problem in solo than multiplayer. There's a lot of supercheap technology that deals with him: handcuffs and spectral razor come to mind. Or stir the pot targeting another enemy. With mind wipe, a friendly mystic can make him extremely vulnerable to the countess’s trickery.

Elusive and "Spawn - Nearest empty location" can be a great aid (in case you want him to fall off a train) but if you’re only dealing one damage per attack, he’s going to stick around forever. The pitchfork, a beat cop(2), or drain essence (from someone else in the party) can deal with the Z-lister without having to chase him down even more.

MrGoldbee · 1402
I really hate him. He is so much trouble. Not he only stops Alessandra for doing her thing, but he also can take so many actions from you to beat if you don't have the right cards at the right moment. Sure, you can OHKO him with Spectral Razor or Dinamite Blast, but if you don't have the right cards in your hand when he spawns he may take at least 3 actions to kill (hoping you smack him for 3 health, move, engage, attack). Daniela Reyes will usually run cards good for dealing with him, so that's a thing too. He is even harder to digest than Hoods from Rita Young for me. — rodro · 70
Can't you just hit a Backstab for 3 damage? — MrGoldbee · 1402
You could, but Backstab requires you to have it in your hand and risk everything in a 4 base agility test. You are Rogue, so passing the test isn't a mayor concern, but you will lose all your round moving, engaging and backstabing him. And you must deal with him fast because he basically shuts off Alessandra because of Doom. Dealing with him in later stages of a scenario has proven devastating for my group in this last campaign, and usually I blasted him with Spectral Razor because Alessandra can't deal with him fast and she needs to do her Parley action every turn to be good. — rodro · 70
I don't get the point why you name cards to solve him that can't taken by Allessandra. If you want to deal with him easy take 2 string of curses in your deck. Since it's a parley Allessandra can take it and if you play it zamacona get one doom and you can choose the second option to defeat him instantly. The other option beside guns is backstab. And yes you can probably get a lot out of two damage options and Delilah. — Tharzax · 1
You can't use String of Curses on him, he says you can't Parley with him and String of Curses is a Parley card. — Soul_Turtle · 405
Then Backstab seems the best choice if you want to get rid of him fast as Allessandra. — Tharzax · 1
Someone else can String of Curses him :). — MrGoldbee · 1402
But then he didn't get the doom from his forced ability. So Allessandra needs to parley first — Tharzax · 1
Blackmail File

The effect, making an enemy aloof for a round is quite nice -- it is frequently better than conventional evasion. A frequent awkward experience when investigators split up is that a seeker will spawn a hunter enemy while they're separated from the guardian. If the seeker evades, clears the location, and moves out, then there's no inherent reason for anyone to go back in. But if the enemy is left alone they will hunt and attack someone the following turn.

If you make a hunter enemy aloof you can move away and let it move onto and engage your guardian without getting to attack him.

Sadly, I don't see many characters with rogue access wanting to play a 2-cost asset that allows them to spend actions to make will tests vs only non-elite enemies against sometimes quite high skill requirements. So this seems pretty bad. But it probably will show up here and there as scenario tech because you can tuck it into underworld market, boost and discount it with Sleuth, and so on.

I've been considering it as splash for some shenanigans in a Zoey deck where you might want an enemy to engage with you to trigger her signature. — nixmyth82 · 10
Aetheric Current

Kate has two great signature events; generally this is the one you’ll want more. At bare minimum, it resets your clues, giving you between a few and half a dozen +2s in your future. If it only did that and it was a general evade with books, it would be OK. But no… This is noping an enemy. In solo, you might not see it again; In multiplayer, there’s a chance it’ll get dealt to the fighter. In very rare circumstances, like the encounter deck being empty, the enemy goes to the discard pile, because you can’t shuffle something into an empty deck. This is tremendously useful against enemies that explode when they die, certain enemies in The Forgotten Age, or beefy foes with tons of hit points. This was extremely useful in dealing with Horror in High Gear and The Deep One Bull in Innsmouth.

MrGoldbee · 1402
Chemistry Set

Seekers traditionally have not gotten good accessories, especially at level 0. But don't cry for them. Instead of accessories they get very strong slotless assets like Pathfinder, Empirical Hypothesis, Fieldwork, and the like. Now that Hemlock Vale is out, Seekers ... still don't have a good level 0 accesory.

Chemistry set is a weird little jack of all trades of a card. It can theoretically generate a trickly of free draw for doing something you were going to do anyway, like a variant Lucky Cigarette Case or Empirical Hypothesis. It can theoretically be a clue accelerator like a baby Fingerprint Kit or re-usable Working a Hunch. It can theoretically generate resources over time, like a Dr. Milan Christopher or Thieves' Kit or Lone Wolf or something.

Trouble is, if you compare this to almost any dedicated single-function card, it's miles worse. You'd have to hit the resource gen three times to surpass the humble Emergency Cache, let alone Crack the Case or Rogue economy. You'd have to hit the draw 4 times to outdo Preposterous Sketches. If you want to compare it to draw assets, it gives you one chance per turn to draw if you suceed by exactly 2 when when hypo/cigs give you 3 chances per turn to succeed by 2/3 or more. You have the hit the succeed by 4 2-3 times before it beats Working a hunch, 4 times before it outdoes Fingerprint Kit (although of course it is cheaper to play).

Now, you might say that it's unfair to compare multi-function cards to specialized cards because versatility is a strength that you pay for. But I'm less certain that's true when you don't actually choose what benefits you get. You can't really rely on it to fix a hand size or resource economy problem and you can't stop it from giving you effects you don't need or want like forced draws on an already-full hand or "additional clues" when there was only 1 left in the first place.

So, let's suppose you play it, use it every turn for 6 turns, and trigger it half the time, hitting the benefits once each. You put in 2 resources, a card, and an action, and got back 2 resources, a card, and an additional clue. The net benefit after 6 turns, then, is that you spent an action to get an effectively testless clue. It's like a 0-cost working a hunch that drew a card instead of being fast. Only it's not really a free clue like with Working a Hunch, because you probably had to put some resources into oversuccess intentionally to hit that +4.

If you get it mid scenario, that's probably all you can expect to get from it. If you get it first thing, you can perhaps hope to hit each of its functions one more time. Which is indeed a pretty good return on investment, but nothing out of line with other early asset plays. And besides the up front cost to get it in play, it's also forcing you to take activate action on it which might block you out from using other tools or investigation events that are more effective. And it can blow itself up.

Not even Kate Winthrop really wants this, IMO.

It combos with labcoat, so -1 becomes $2. — MrGoldbee · 1402
Sure, just spend 4 resources, two actions, two cards, and 1 XP and occasionally you can turn a fail-by-1 into a clue and some cash. But I'd still rather play Fingerprint kit (3 extra clues for 4 resources, 1 card, 1 action, no xp) or 2x Working a Hunch (4 resources, 2 cards, no xp, no actions, 2 clues) — OrionAnderson · 43
Once you get Steady-Handed you want to use this because you have better control of what you are getting. Lab Coat can help too in harder checks. I don't really think I'd want to play this without any way to control my results. I find the "science" card set fun because it is all about calculated risk everytime you experiment with the chaos bag, but until I try I don't know how powerful it can be. — rodro · 70
Steady-handed looks pretty good in high-horror campaigns, especially for jittery folks with off-class seeker access like Trish and good old Roland. It's a lovely complement to actually good "succeed by" cards too, like ancient stones, deduction 2, lockpicks, cigarette case, sharp vision, and so on. But I'm not taking Chemistry set in my level zero deck in hopes of redeeming it with steady-handed later. — OrionAnderson · 43
It's a quite cheap tool in an uncontested slot (for seekers), which give your basic investigation additional effects. Compare it with the grim memoir, which also enhance the basic action. I every game as a seeker I use the basic investigation quite often, so the additional effect will be good in my eyes. With steady handed and fine tuning (the second one, the first goes to the thesis) it only gets better. — Tharzax · 1
With Steady Handed, in a standard/hard bag, this card can give you approximately 60% chance of getting an additional clue, per use. As Tharzax said, you can Fine Tune it, and I personally prefer Fine Tuning my Steady Handed as well, to get 2 shots at it each turn. Also as Tharzax says, this turns regular basic investigations into potentially great acceleration/fuel for your engine. I won't say this card is busted, but after playing it in Kate, which is the queen of oversuccess/skill value control, I had great results and loads of fun. Because that's another aspect of this card: it adds a mini game to the Seeker gameplay that I personally found fun and changing from the "Pathfinder -> Basic Investigate x3 -> Hiking Shoes" loop." — Valentin1331 · 56175
@Velentin1331 Even with Steady Handed in play I experienced much less than a 60% success rate at picking up extra clues. Not saying that no one ever gets that kind of consistency, but the bag is it nearly as generous in practice as it is in theory. After a whole campaign using Chemistry Set and Steady Handed my takeaway was that basically any other clue acceleration would have been more reliable than my results with the Chemistry Set. — Pseudo Nymh · 41
Wilson Richards

FoHV has been out for a month and still no reviews, so here's the description from my "One for All" series of decks that has a similar breakdown for each investigator:

Tools! What the heck is a tool, anyways? They're definitely assets. They probably have their own associated skill test, are very likely help you fight or investigate... and our boy Wilson wants to play lots of them! This means that his stats and abilities make him a relatively sturdy flex character who can pick up clues and take out enemies in equal measure. He can single-handedly churn through scenarios, and with a mitt of decent cards, he can fairly easily re-focus his efforts on whatever task the game throws at him. It's also remarkably easy to tweak your role mid-campaign with just a few simple upgrades, as Wilson's card choices can have a greater impact on his gameplan than most investigators. His signature is pretty neat too, allowing you to make duplicate item draws more useful and combo with big costly items like sledgehammer or pitchfork.

Even with some cleverly integrated stat boosts, Wilson is still a generalist, and generalists don't always have the sheer output specialists can typically achieve in Arkham - especially in larger teams. Static boosts and skill cards with lots of icons will help him overcome some of the tougher tests he'll eventually encounter. Like most of the Hemlock Vale investigators, Wilson isn't super beginner friendly to pilot either, and his deckbuilding can be rather complicated without some digital assistance.

Some archetypes that work well for this template:

The Handyman: Wilson's discount creates some bonuses that might not be immediately obvious. Playing lots of cheap tools potentially means resources spent on tool assets can be decreased by half or better. It also lends itself to playing limited use or discard-able assets that encourage you to cycle them in and out with your discount. Costly tools make great discard fodder for his signature Ad Hoc though, so those are absolutely worth including if they have powerful effects. Lastly, remember that his second ability only activates on skill tests printed on tool cards, so keep all these things in mind while filling your toolshed.

Full Flex / Solo - Keep a good balance of tool-based weapons and investigation aids, and you should be completely self-sufficient on almost any scenario. Static boosts to your combat and intellect skills will improve your odds, and targeted skill cards will really help push you through some of the more challenging tests.

The Specialist - Focusing your deck around either investigating or fighting will allow Wilson to fill voids in his team and more easily tackle the most challenging problems the chosen role can throw at him. Show Rex or Zoey that you have the right tools for either one of their jobs.

The Fixer - Fighter can't find their gun? There's a Pitchfork for that! Cluever scrambling in the shadows of a 5 shroud location? There's a Matchbox for that! Wilson has access to many more utility options than your average guardian, and loading your deck up with these can turn him into an interesting and effective support character.

EzieBaikUben · 412
Glad to see a referenced to Let Me Handle This, and undervalued card IMO. That said, I'm curious how you see it as a 'uniquely effective or staple card' in Wilson? Same with Emergency Cache and neutral skill cards, is there some Wilson tech I'm not seeing that gives him extra value with these cards? — Pseudo Nymh · 41
The emergency cache and neutral skills are just staple cards that most characters benefit from having in their decks. Let Me Handle This though I feel is a better choice for Wilson because of his generalist statline and it fits well in the support archetype I'd listed. — EzieBaikUben · 412
Strange to list a bunch of generic cards but not point out Tool Belt, which feels almost mandatory for Wilson (both mechanically and flavorwise). — anaphysik · 94
A warning to Wilson players: several cards representing real-life tools are not Tool-traited (which matters for both deckbuilding and the skill boost). E.g. Machete, Fire Axe, Meat Cleaver. I'm also surprised that Salvage wasn't made in such a way for Wilson to be able to play (e.g. by making it Improvised in preparation for Wilson in the next expasion, and simply giving Wilson 0-5 Improvised access, which would barely be different from 0-1 anyway). — anaphysik · 94
@anaphysik Unfortunately the list is restricted to cards I have in my own collection, otherwise that'd be a great include! — EzieBaikUben · 412
If anybody wants to use my list to do up something more complete, they're more than welcome! — EzieBaikUben · 412