Asset. Hand

Item. Weapon. Firearm.

Cost: 4.
Test Icons:

Uses (4 ammo).

Spend 1 ammo: Fight. You get +1 for this attack. This attack deals +1 damage.

John Pacer
Core Set #16.
.45 Automatic

Something like old trusty, this 'un

The .45 is something of a template weapon: 4 resources provides 4 ammo, each shot giving +1 and +1 damage. That breaks down to 'pay 1, get +1 and hit for 2' which is no bad thing at all. Of course, the cost to play the card is not insignificant. If you draw the .45 late in a game, particularly if you're already set up with another weapon, perhaps even a different firearm, you might struggle to afford this. Yet the cost is a hallmark of the .45's reliability: there are no conditional clauses on this weapon. You get bang for your buck and each shot you take gives you the same bonuses.

The .45 also provides some of the boons we'd associate with a staple, reliable firearm. It can be reloaded with Extra Ammunition, have its ammunition double with Contraband (as though you had a second clip sitting in your pocket, useful for those times when you don't have a duplicate .45 ready and waiting...). We've also, at point of reviewing, seen two enemies who care how you attack them. This marvel rewards keeping your distance; something in the sky fears firearms. Neither of these last details are a reason to make the .45 a "must-include" in a dedicated combat-deck, but they are certainly points in its favour.

The icon on the card is a slight disappointment, in so far as if you're set up with another weapon, particularly as a dedicated fighter, you're probably not trying to evade too much. Perhaps an upgraded .45 might have and and provide further utility.

The three investigators who can take the .45 (discounting the fact that all Dunwich investigators can, plausibly) are Roland Banks, "Skids" O'Toole and Zoey Samaras. All have respectable , and appreciate the bonus from the .45. All have access to other guardian weapons, but will happily include the .45 to fill out the weapon slots of their deck. I suspect it will be some time before this card is not given consideration by any would-be fighter.

zozo · 2783
Great review! Nice to see a card like this in the core set, a real no frills weapon they can slowly introduce spins on for particular builds. Also like calling out the particular enemies; at the moment, you're never disadvantaged using this, though that may of course not always be the case! — unitled · 2182
Good review! It's biggest in faction competitor is of course de Machete. I really like the minor differences between both weapons, which give them really different flavours. Generally, I think the Machete is the better weapon, but in a build where you got lots of cash to spend and expect to face multiple enemies at the same time (more often in group play than solo play) the .45 has an egde over the machete. — Heyenzzz · 5608
Good to know. Thank you. Keeping the .45 automatic — andreimihai.tudor · 1

Poor .45 Automatic: if there is a card that suffered from the power creep the most, it's most likely this one. At least assets like knife were always complete trash day 1 and only got worse with each expansion, but this automatic started out solid from the core set (if with pretty vicious competition) and found more rivals that managed (more or less) to fit niche playstyles or were more versatile than the gun itself (then again, the .45 DOES remain a superior pick to other level 0 guardian weapons)

The main issue I find with this weapons that hampers its playability compared to competitors is that it just is slightly overpriced for what it does: getting 4 attacks with a +1 fight and +1 damage for a one-handed weapons it's pretty bad for a guardian card, and there is no way around it. If this was +2 fight (like its leveled up version) or just had a cost of 3 resources, then this card could actually compete with the weapons introduced in the later expansions, but right now it's stuck in a limbo where it's not as bad as .32 colt, blackjack or trench knife to never see play outside specific builds, but cannot hold a candle to reliable one-handed melee weapons of the same level

At least, back in the Night of The Zealot, the .45 Automatic did complement the machete pretty well: while you be equipping and using the later almost immediately, the .45 does make for a good off-hand weapon when Roland or Skids get engaged with more than one enemy, which would lead to the machete losing its bonus damage, allowing them to remove the weaker threat with the bullets and wailing on the one with more health using the melee weapon.

But right now, there is little to no reason to take this gun over some other weapons of the same level and I will go on detail why I feel every other weapon outclasses the automatic and where the .45 is stronger compared to them

1)Machete: As mentioned before, the Machete was already competing pretty effectively with the Automatic from day 1: they have the same accuracy, but Machete has no ammo limit, a lower cost at the exchange of its bonus damage being conditional. On paper that sounds balanced and make both weapons good respsonses for different situations, in practice Machete more often than not outclassed the Automatic from the getgo because of how enemy spawning works, making it VERY unlikely for an investigator to be engaged with more than one monster in one mythos phase. As long as whoever wields it can kill an enemy in the same round they spawn, they are good to go to take out another next round. As metioned before, where the Automatic shines is when you are engaged with multiple foes, maybe because you didn't manage to take out an enemy after a bunch of unlucky auto-fails, but also to take a shot as at an enemy engaged with another investigator without having to spend another action engaging it, as the damage bonus of the machete only triggers if it is engaged with YOU; but that is a very risky use of the weapon given it can cause friendly fire on a miss. Because of that, the Machete overshadowed the Automatic for the longest time as the best level 0 guardian weapon, to the point it got a taboo at some point that limited its immediate accesibility by slapping a 2 exp cost on it (which in my opinion, didn't fix much when you are just one in the thick of it from getting it at the start), but that taboo has been lifted recently anyway, and while the Machete isn't quite the same perfect starting weapon that was a mainstay in every combat deck that has access to it, thanks to the introduction of other solid weapon assets, the damage to the .45's viability was already done. There is however one situation where the gun beats the sword though: Dream Eaters! Because of the mechanics of Swarm enemies, you are considered to be engaged with multiple ones even if there is only one foe of that type in your threat area as long as there are other cards attached to it. Because of that the +1 damage to the machete won't trigger, but the .45 Automatic can still make short work of them.

2)Survival Knife: Survival Knife has the same to hit bonus as the gun, but not the bonus damage on the action, but it allows you to resolve an extra attack, that gets +2 fight and +1 damage during the Enemy Phase after resolving the attack of one enemy by exhausting it. While preferably you want to defeat monster BEFORE they deal damage and/or horror to you, Guardians have on average such ludicrous high health pools and access to so much health (and also sanity sometimes!) healing (some better than other options) and allies to tank for them, that taking damage for essentially an actionless attack that deals +1 damage is almost always worth it, and the card itself synergises incredibly well with this good boy. The main weakness of this card is that sometimes you may not want to take the attack (mostly because it does more horror than damage and Guardians usually have low sanity) and that it's significantly better when an enemy engages another investigator than yourself, because then you are free to take other actions without worrying about attacks of opportunity before engaging and maybe attacking it to get it in "kill range"; otherwise, if it is enaged with you, most of the time you are forced to swing at it, dealing one damage until it dies, hopefully, or you can get it low enough to be killed with the counter attack, as evasion is usually not an option given guardians poor agility. The .45 Automatic is better at dealing with threats actively, rather than passively

3)Enchanted Blade: Now this is the part where the Automatic is truly left in the dust: this weapon is so good, it actually manages to rival the Machete pretty effectively. This cost 3 asset combines the best of the two apsects of the machete and the automatic: it gives a +1 fight for attacks any time and then you can spend a charge to get another +1 to your accuracy and +1 damage, the drawback? Only has one less charge than the Automatic, (but remains useful without "ammo"!) and tales an additional slot most guardians do not care about (but mystics admitedly may). Indeed, the Enchanted Blade might be one of the best melee weapons in the game by a longshot. The thing that actually that saves the automatic from being seen as completely outdated is that the upgrades are level 3 instead of 2, so the Automatic's upgrade is easier to access by Investigator with off-class access to Guardian cards. Whoop-de-doo! Now on paper the two weapons seem to be sharing the same value per use, as one cost 3 and gets 3 charges and one cost 4 and gets 4 shots, but the problem this is not true because Enchanted Blade can be swung without spending the charge (or when without charges) to deal one damage and it still at least gets +1 accuracy to the attack, this is important because there are MANY enemies with odd value of health and with high fight you might have to waste the extra damage given by a weapon on to hit them. Well, with Enchanted Blade, that's not the case: slap an overpower to an attack without a charge against an enemy with 3 health and kill it next action with a charged attack! The .45 doesn't help you landing attacks without shooting, which is incredibly bad, because, ironically, while damage is definetly an important stat on a weapons (which is why blackjack and trench knife are so garbage), accuracy is also what allows you to land the attack to begin with (which is why most weapons that give bonus damage but not accuracy like .32 colt, switchblade and knuckleduster are considered to be just as rubbish). Now it is true that a whole volley of bullets from the gun will do more damage in total (8 against 6), but the problem is, you need to just draw an autofail once while wielding the .45 to deal the same amount of damage as the Enchanted Blade, if not less. That's not the case for the Enchanted Blade: even if a charged attacks fail, if you end landing multiples chargless attack with it, you are still getting repaid on your investement at end of the day, if to a lesser extent, while missing a shot with the guns hurts FAR MORE without things like extra ammunition. Unlike any other weapons, I genuiely cannot see someone pick the Automatic over the Blade if they have access to either level 0 weapon

4)Blessed Blade: Thankfully for the Automatic, the blessed blade doesn't instantly overshadow it, in fact I will say on most builds, the gun is far better than this weapon, as weapons with conditional damage are usually REALLY bad unless you build to "narrow" its randomness or remove it all toghether. The fact is, you do not take the Blessed Blade because of its combat capabilities, you take this specifically because you are building a deck focused around bless tokens, either in putting them consistently in the chaos bag or sealing them for various effect, and this weapon allows you to generate one token per round as long as you can attack something

In conclusion: as I explained, I do not think the Automatic now is just there to complete a collection, but it suffers from lacking specialisation compared to other assets of the type. Want to kill something without spending too many actions? Survival Knife is for you. Need a reliable weapon to duel weak enemies without having to worry about ammo? There is Machete! Need a weapon that can deal good burst damage with high accuracy and can also aid your basic 1 damage attacks? Take Enchanted Blade. I can see the .45 being used for gun-centred builds that are more thematical than optimal, perhaps as a target for Custom Modifications, but given the cost of 3 resources of that card, combine with 4 for the gun, that is prohibitively expensive: you might as well slap it on the .32 Colt instead so you can actually hit something with it!

Also, a small add-on on its upgrade: .45 Automatic (2) is a significantly better upgrade to the weapon, mainly for getting the +2. In all honestly however, it's again overpriced, this time in exp, for what it does. For 2 points, beside the extra fight bonus, you get only 1 fight icon to commit and the abilty to ignore retaliation. The later ability sounds a lot better than what it is, because, while retaliate is a decently common keyword, if you are playing a campaign for the first time, you will have no idea in which scenario enemies that retaliate show up and when. It's only worth its price on replays, to be honest, when you know when you want to put down the .45. I feel like it would be significantly better if it would cost only 1 exp, and that's without getting how this is a non-level 0 weapon: comparing that to others guardians can access is a whole 'nother story for another time not worth getting into detail right now (though I will say, there are still worse ways to spend your experience)

Of the four power creep cards, only 1 has guaranteed damage without a condition and it takes up more slots and has less uses, .45 is exactly what it needs to be, the simplest weapon in the game for a fair price and no drawbacks. — Zerogrim · 266
I think As far as level 0 weapons go, it's okay. Enchanted blade does beat it, but as a fighter, you might take them all, just in case. You can never be too prepared, I'll say I've never touched the lvl 2 version, because there is better weapons to be had for your exp. Also custom mods really made firearms great again. I build a Tommy deck,utilizing it and Becky, and the .45 was back up. It worked pretty well. It goes to show that new cards can make old cards shine.(I still upgraded out of the .45 tho) — Therealestize · 52
So many blue links! — MrGoldbee · 1338
I miss the enemies who punish you for using melee weapons... (like the sphere or avian thrall back in dunwich) why is this no longer used so often? what do you think? — otto.muck · 13
I know generally we comment on cards without pack ownership in the way (otherwise it is difficult to be objective). But personally, any card from Core Set I award it a little bonus point just for availability. So, each time they design a new Investigator Expansion box, the premise is that just that single box must be reasonably playable with core cards combined. (I'm biased too since I loves building single expansion decks) For example, Scarlet Keys IE is light on Guardian's offense but they can always say "but you have .45 Automatic/Shotgun in the core set". The same as releasing Vincent with only tricky heal cards like Bizarre Diagnosis or high costed one like Surgical Kit, and Bandages is in the other box "but you have Medical Text, First Aid (0/3) in the rcore set". Availability out of the way, I see they are also actively "patching" the guns inside the campaign expansion with enemies weak to ranged attack or location that refills ammo/supply, which make it harder to review guns, but if they are committed to do this every campaign then it would matter. (I think committed to campaign-based situational buff is a good idea to protect the gun's design space going for more years) — 5argon · 4487
@otto.muck I was thinking the same thing! I'm afraid unlimited melee weapons will always by design be favorable over limited guns. I'd like it more if ranged weapons were often more favorable against enemies than melee (just like in real life!) — Nenananas · 228
Hey guys, thank you for the comments: this is my first review and I wanted to go in-depth about my opinions to give my take on this card, glad to see my post caused so much discussion so quickly. I will reply to some comments soon enough — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
@Zerogrim Honestly, you can say the only thing the Automatic has over the Blade is the "mag size", because its slot requirements are a non-issue for any non-mystic investigator essentially. Guardians do not care that much about arcane slots, maybe they will put down Flesh Ward (or Rite of Santification if they are doing a bless build) at no exp, but it's rare for them to use both at once, even when leveling up. This really matters only to Guardians with access to mystic cards (like Mary) or Mystics with access to guardian cards (like Diana), or any investigator with access to mystic or guardian cards that also use arcane assets. I will say, the extra slot DOES matter a lot for Mystics though. — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
@otto.muck I will say because the bag of balls is such a badly design enemy: it's a complete joke in multiplayer because anyone who has fight above 2 can beat the crap out of it, and anyone with less than that can also help if they have a weapon in hand. It might slow down the group, but it a non-threat beside wasting everyone's time. However, in single player? They are a nightmare to deal with, if you do not have ways to one-hit ko them or deal 3 damage with a ranged weapon they will be attached on your behind and keep dealing attacks of opportunity until you take them out, which WILL take an entire turn most of the time. I really don't like them, and I'm glad nothing like those enemies were made again, because all it does is punish players that do not have prior knowledge of their existence. I think Poltergeist is a better designed enemy on how to make an enemy that is immune to normal fighting tactics, and even then I'm not a fan on how it enforces you the whole meta of "Take Fine Clothes, JUST IN CASE" for every time you play a campaign for the first time. Avian Thrall is fine though, I like it's design because it rewards use of guns, but it doesn't melee weapons useless, you just need to scale your fight higher, and like the spheres, there are many others way you can deal with them (instant kills, testless damage and so on) — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
Good review, on your first one, you nailed it! It's a bit like the Lightning Gun to a certain extent, it had a spot when the game started and there was space for more generic cards, and as the card pool grew, much better cards were designed, that require you to build around, and highly reward you when doing so. — Valentin1331 · 35986
@Valentin1331 Thank you, in my whole career as a Guardian, I have yet to try Lighting Gun: the cost in exp and resources scared me off. But I imagine from what I saw it can be a solid weapon if you build for it, you just need to avoid playing it too early and wasting ammo on small fries, which is probably not too hard to do with badolier: because flamethrower takes the body slot as well, it's probably significantly more time sensitive than LG, you need Extra Ammunition and Custom one to continue your assault — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
And Venturer too: Venturer I always found a bit hard to play because of his cost, given you can usually just play another copy of a gun in his place, even if he also come with some soak, but his value goes up the more firearms you use, and the better he is if you buy those above level 0. Even then, I feel the best investigator that can make use for them is Leo, given he can generate money fairly easily with his rogue card access and can also use Adaptable to add him to the deck when he would be most useful. Roland and Tommy can also consider him if they are focusing on making the most of their signature — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
@heroesoftomorrow I agree! But I still belive the game would benefit if enemis would differentiate more between melee and ranged combat. For deckbuilding, I would find it cool if such considerations had to be included and not just: what is the best weapon — otto.muck · 13
I think they realized with ORBS that its not fun when the 'stick' is too heavy, its a common design problem that offering a cool power and balancing it by sometimes the scenario making it suck out of nowhere feels really bad. Instead it seems like they are focused on making the firearm tag actively a positive via cards like custom modifications worthy of actually building a deck around, rather than simply trying to overcome the flaws of, which is a much more carrot method at the very least. .45 is now very playable in flex decks at the very least due to the rare value of a 3 damage 1 hander. — dezzmont · 178
@otto.muck I just wish traits mattered a bit more beyond deckbuilding and searching to be honest: especially investigator traits. I never seen them do anything during a scenario, but it's cool when they actually have an effect on the story like in Circle Undone, or only just for flavour like in Dream Eaters and Edge of the Earth. For example I wish Malfuction had the added cavet of "If a card you control has the "mechanic" trait you instantly succeed instead", so that people like Daniela and Lonnie could truly shine in what is supposed to be their speciality in lore — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
Edit: nevermind, neither Daniela or Lonnie have Mechanic as a trait, but as a title. Disregard the last part of my comment — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15
@dezzmont Yeah, as I said: the 45. Automatic isn't unusable, just feels weaker than other weapons, but you can certainly work with that. I do like the fact they are focusing on making guns more part of a combo deck playstyle instead of the simple straightforward use of melee weapons of putting them down and then started bashing. The latter is simple and effective and has a low skill ceiling so anyone can make use of that, you don't need to know the game like a prayer to be aware Cyclopean Hammer doesn't need much to kick butts, but it has an overalll low, if stable damage potential. Guns on the other hand can hit INCREDIBLY hard with the right build, and of things like Custom Modification, Custom Ammunition and Enchant Weapon (though you can also put it on a melee weapons, which is arguably a better play) can make you reach ludicrous amount of damage output, it also helps as soon as you have exp you can get stuff like Extra Ammunition (or Swift Reload if you have access to rogue cards, Contraband even you can get right from the start if you jave the economy for it) to make guns last far longer. The weakness of this playstyle, just like most combo decks is that you need to draw things in the right order: there is nothign worse than having 6 card in your hand with 3 of them being upgrade and the other being non-asset cards — HeroesOfTomorrow · 15