Everyone has an angel, a guardian who watches over us.
We can’t know what form they’ll take. One day old man, next day little girl.
But don’t let appearances fool you, they can be as fierce as any dragon
Sucker Punch (2011).
Hi all! My name is Gustavo and I bring you today an article originally by Guillem.
I’ll talk today about one of my favorite classes in Arkham Horror LCG, the Guardians. As many of the investigators inhabiting the ends of Arkham, they use to be surly people, marked by experiences that would have driven mad other ones, but not them. They have the determination to face all the horrors they find at all costs, even if their own lives are in danger.
The Chosen ones
With the release of “The Circle Undone”, we have now 5 investigators belonging to this class at our disposal, since in this last Deluxe Expansion we find Carolyn Fern, which has had appeared before as promo content in a novella, To Fight the Black Wind.
We can say that the Guardians are made from a special material: They are the Chosen Ones, those who would do anything to defeat an enemy, even exposing their own lives. If you’re not capable to move across the whole scenario to face that enemy that is bothering your partner, even if you could receive a good hit in the way, stop reading: This is not your class.
All of them have lived some experience in which their existence has undergone a turn that changes everything:
- Roland Banks, The Fed: Everything he has seen in all his years of service in the agency have defined his reserved nature. He doesn’t say anything because no one would believe him. Yet, he can’t give a whit: If he doesn’t do the work, no one will do it. With access to Seeker cards, he is one of the best solo investigators in the game. His more than acceptable stats (3 Willpower, 3 Intellect, 4 Combat, 2 Agility) allow to build a quite potent deck around him.
- Zoey Samaras, The Chef: Even when no one believes her, God told Zoey when she was a little girl that she had a mission in life: Protect the innocent and smite the wicked. The Lord’s voice is her guide, that’s enough for her. Zoey is an investigator routed to fulfill the Lord’s plans without questioning them, her 4 in Willpower shows her grit. She doesn’t need to know anything, nor evade her destiny (2 in Intellect and 2 in Agility). She just needs the executioner hand (4 in Combat).
- Mark Harrigan, The Soldier: It wasn’t war and its horrors what broke Mark’s soul: It was the monsters, those horrible creatures that took Sophie’s life. He knows they are real, that they are here and that he is the one that will stop them until there’s not even one alive. That’s his only task, even more important than his life. His 5 in Combat make him unstoppable.
- Leo Anderson, The Expedition Leader: He has travelled the world to remote and lethal places, finding mysteries that have broken all his schemes. In his last expedition, only he and his trustful ally Mitch Brown survived, or at least didn’t lose the mind. Fed up with burying people who trusted him, he’s decided to have a different ending on his next adventure. Stats wise talking, the most noteworthy part is his 1 in Agility, but who wants to evade an enemy if you can execute it?
- Carolyn Fern, The Psychologist: While studying his patients minds, she’s seen and heard disturbing things. Some of the talk of distant kingdoms, others about strange creatures that watch in the dreams. Patient after patient, her disjointed investigations have something in common, but they don’t seem to arrive anywhere. Even so, she won’t give up until she manages to discover what is tormenting her patients. She’s the most atypical investigator of the class: 4 in Intellect and 2 in Combat. No, it’s not a misprint: She breaks with everything we know until now about this class, and nothing that we say about her partners can be applied to her: she is a rara avis.
- Tommy Muldoon, The Rookie Cop: Being the youngest one from a family with long story in the police force, great things are expected from Tommy. What no one told him was abouut the strange things that usually happens in Arkham. Despite this, he will always do his best to yield the justice hammer. Having the same skills stats as Roland (3 Willpower, 3 Intellect, 4 Combat, 2 Agility, with a small twist on the health and horror), he may prove quite useful with his loyal firearm Becky, basically providing him with infinite ammo.
Well, now what?
Checking the cards for this class it’s more than clear that their main purpose is to hit and hit hard. Tit-for-tat, they are also designed to receive and endure the most possible damage.
Time for hits!
If someone can damage the enemies that appear through the scenario is the Guardian. This class has several cards that allow us to increase the value of Combat and damage of our attacks.
To increase our combat value, we find cards that can do it directly (Like Beat Cop or Ace of Swords), paying resources (Keen Eye or Physical Training) or through weapons that increase the value when we use them for fighting (.45 Automatic or Machete).
This type of cards is essential in your deck in order to get a good margin that let you realize the combats with a minimal failure risk. Failing a combat can make the difference between success and failure of the mission.
To increase the damage of our attacks we’re more limited. If we exclude a few cards like both versions of Vicious Blow, we depend only of our weapons to realize that demolishing attack that will end with our enemy in few onslaughts. The .32 Colt gives you that +1 damage and 6 ammo at an affordable price (3 resources) while other weapons like Flamethrower allows you to attack all the enemies you are engaged with.
On the other hand, we must add that while melee weapons can be used as much as we want, the firearms have limited uses due to the ammo. Once they deplete, they don’t even work for throwing them to the head of our enemies. Fortunately, our class disposes of tools for avoiding emptying our ammo supplies.
Well Maintained allows us to return the attached Item to our hand, so we can play it next turn, and Extra Ammunition add 3 ammo tokens to the selected Firearm. Venturer can convert his resources in ammo, and if combined with level 3 Emergency Cache we close the circle. If that weapon we are needing refuses to appear, Prepared For The Worst can give us a help for it to arrive as soon as possible to our hand.
Fitting the blows
A guardian not only has to know how to hit, it’s also needed to fit the hits. Being the punching bag of the enemies that appear during the mission can save the life of your partners, and you need to be ready for it.
True Grit allows us to assign it the damage inflicted to other investigators in our same location, and Something Worth Fighting For does the same with horror. Brother Xavier also allows us to assign him the damage/horror from other investigators, with the bonus of inflicting damage to an enemy when he gets killed.
Let Me Handle This! will avoid some problems to a fellow investigator, while Heroic Rescue puts us between our partner and the enemy blow.
We also have a good number of cards that allow to heal ourselves (like Kerosene or First Aid) or to avoid the damage we may receive (like I’ve Had Worse…, Dodge, or Armor of Ardennes).
In short: we can affirm that Guardians have a great variety of cards to avoid getting damaged, and if that’s the case, they also have the means to heal themselves.
Do I count on you?
Allies are one of the best assistances an investigator can count with. In our case these assets not only give us a few health and sanity points, but they also set the tone of our heroes. There are several allies that can deal direct damage to our enemies without needing to fight: Beat Cop, Guardian Dog, Alice Luxley and Agency Backup.
I’ve got other tricks up my sleeve
In addition to all the previously exposed, the Guardians have some extra tricks for carrying out their mission successfully.
Stick to the Plan is the first of those cards. Being able to access directly, as if they were in our hand, to 3 events at the beginning of the match is a great advantage at the start.
Handcuffs can be a great asset in determined conditions. If the scenario includes those bothering cultists that get doom constantly and that appear everywhere, this card can be a welcome change.
On The Hunt allows us to search the top 9 cards of the encounter deck for a monster instead of drawing a random card, avoiding getting a nasty card (I’m talking about you, Ancient Evils).
Telescopic Sight is one of the best complements for our Firearms. Be able to attack an enemy that is in a connecting location takes us farther, because we don’t have to spend a move action to get to the enemy location. Besides, it saves us from any foul effect we may get by entering said location.
Delay The Inevitable can be the solution to that attack that would kill you or a partner. It may be inevitable, but it can also give you a second chance.
Ever Vigilant is the event you definitely want to have in your opening hand. 1 single action to play up to 3 assets from your hand and reducing their cost by 1! It’s priceless!
Marksmanship is one of the best tricks a Guardian can pull out of his sleeve. Just like Telescopic Sight, this event allows us to attack an enemy that is in a connecting location, with the extra of inflicting a +1 damage if the enemy is engaged with another investigator. If we try to do that with Machete, for example, we need to move to the location, engage the enemy and attack, spending the 3 actions we have just to inflict the extra +1. Using this card when .45 Automatic is already in play just costs 1 action and we do +2 damage.
I’m not dumb either
Besides liquidating enemies, this class has some cards that allow us to be useful when gathering clues, demonstrating that they also know how to use their heads.
Keen Eye doesn’t just give us +1 extra Combat stat till the phase end, but also gives us +1 in Intellect.
Evidence! allows us to find a clue after we defeat an enemy, without spending actions. Scene Of The Crime discovers 1 clue for us, or if there’s an enemy in the location, 2 clues. Its “downside” is that it can just be used as the first action, but on the other hand, it doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
The Guardian is a class that usually is very consistent before the encounter deck. Their minimum Willpower value is 3, and 2 of the investigators have 4, which allow them to face fairly decently the Willpower skill tests that usually populate the adventures. If we add to it that many of the class cards have said icon, makes us not to worry about the tests. Besides, there are cards like Brother Xavier or Police Badge.
The main problem that we can find with this class are the resources. Cards use to have high costs and many times we must juggle in order to be able to play them. So, Emergency Cache is one of the cards that you definitely want on your deck. Stand Together is other of those cards that won’t only get you out of a problem, but also a partner.
Guardians are people that like teamwork. Hardly they’ll be able to resist an adventure alone, but they are the perfect complement. Their mission is to give the extra push to their partners so they can get the clues that will bring the mission to fruition. As you may have seen, they have the necessary tools to take care of any enemy that appear in their way.
Original: Los Guardaespaldas