- Q: With Fence, can I play an Illicit asset (or appropriate event, such as Pay Day) in the after my last action? This seems a bit more prickly as I need to initiate a play action before I can give fast to the card... But then also fast cards don't use the play Action to enter play? A: Yes, you can. Fast assets can be played in any player window during your turn, including the one after your last action is taken. Fence gives the card fast before it is actually played, so this is taken into account during its initiation sequence.
When you play an Illicit card during your turn, exhaust Fence: The Illicit card gains fast. If it was already fast, reduce its cost by 1 instead.
I think this card is thematically great and that an evasion-first Finn deck built with Illicit cards is extremely fun to play and very formidable in solo standard and hard. I concede that you generally only want to bring one pair of mulligan-worthy economy cards and that most rogues will want to opt for Lone Wolf. Even with Finn, especially on higher difficulties, using Lone Wolf for consistent stat-boosting is a pretty tried-and-true strategy. That said, when played early, the additional actions and advantage managing opportunity cost provided by Fence is a huge boon, especially in a lean Finn deck where nothing costs more than 3 anyway and a couple of Pay Day or Emergency Cache is usually enough to play a few key assets and a stream of cheap events. While Fence does share the same drawbacks as other economy/set-up cards (bummer if you don’t draw it until late, bummer when you draw the second one), the cards it interacts with are quite good on their own and there’s nothing sitting in your hand waiting for a dependent combo.
Playing Fence early has generally provided me with three to six additional actions in the scenario. With Finn, they’re often used after evading an enemy when getting a few things done and moving on in the same round is crucial.
Some synergies with Fence and Finn:
Pay Day - upgraded from a more complicated Emergency Cache to an actionless 3+ resources
Smuggled Goods - from a somewhat lackluster draw to the same as drawing the Fenced-up version of Lockpicks, Lupara, or Pay Day
Lupara - obliterate the enemy and still move or investigate in the same turn
Lockpicks - this card just seems to love being fast; sometimes with a good opening hand, you can start on a 1-clue location, play Fence, draw a resource, then drop Lockpicks and get the clue before your first round is up
The opportunity cost consideration is hard to quantify but feels very real when playing. The easiest example is when the encounter deck is throwing Corrosion at you and discarding Lockpicks feels a lot less painful when you didn’t already pay 3 resources for it. In smaller ways, it helps with managing resources and hand slots throughout the scenario.
As a side note, I don’t think the upgrade from Sleight of Hand is painful or that the card is particularly missed. The only really great SoH combo is with Lupara and I’d rather not wait on drawing both cards. (Lupara is still excellent with Fence, dependably performing its task of killing most enemies in one or two actions.) I know some rogues like Sleight of Hand for Lockpicks but with Finn investigating at 8, I’ve never run out of supplies before the scenario ended or the encounter deck ate the card. Just playing Lockpicks fast is the better option. I found that Sleight of Hand would often sit in my hand or get used for the heck of it and that I would rather have drawn one of the many available skills or events that more directly help me kill things or turn bad results into good ones (there are really so many to choose from for rogues).
There is definitely a fun factor element to this card but having Fence out provides a ton of benefits and feeds so elegantly into the Finn solo experience of rushing around and mostly leaving enemies in the dust except for a few big offensive rounds that I would highly recommend giving it a shot if that style appeals to you.
These cards offer compound consistency when brought together, therefor strengthening both cards since now there are more windows for you to draw and apply the mechanics they offer. This means that you can either include both in a deck or upgrade Sleight of Hand into Fence (if the Fast keyword is the effect you indeed desire, I think Sleight of Hand is the better card of the two because of the fun interaction with firearms).
I don't think Fence is a good economy card, not at all. The actions saved and resources gained get outclassed by the classic Leo De Luca by a mile. What Fence does offer however is the circumstantial but powerful benefit of allowing you save yourself the cost on items you don't actually need, until you need them.
Think of it this way: How often has it gotten in the way that you need to spend an action here and there to play the gun, to play the Lockpicks before you run at the problem at hand? How often do your assets get burned by the encounter deck and how often do you wind up not actually needing the item you played? Fence lets you be very efficient with the where and when of the cards you play.
There is a rather terrible downside to this card. The later you draw it the more cards you miss out on the Fast or returns on. If you're playing the kind of deck that warrants this card then you probably have Pickpocketing, Lupara, Leo De Luca, Chicago Typewriter and so on and on, and as it happens, those cards tend to be "Mulligan Queens", a greedy player who doesn't mulligan this for the cards that it targets is taking a terrible and useless risk! I.E, this card must be in your hand Post-mulligan or drawn very early into the scenario, all too narrow a window.
One more downside, when I played this I had Leo De Luca in the deck, I discovered that all too rarely there was any sort of window for this card to be played, or else i'dd play it at the cost of getting out a major item like Lupara or Lockpicks. I can imagine that you wont be able to afford playing this alongside a certain incoming ally.
So, if it doesnt sit well alongside Leo De Luca or Lola Santiago, where does it work? Well according my experience, alongside Peter Sylvestre in a Finn Edwards deck. Perhaps if the lineup of allies we're cheaper, then Fence would be better. But after a couple tries I just don't see the benefit until some more powerful economy Illicit options are released, Burglary level 2 maybe?
Wait for the fire sale.
Its fine, and it has great synergy with Finn. But we also are waiting on a few more cards to make it great rather than good. Especially at a cost of 3.
It lets you throw out typewriters, Lupara, lockpicks and booze and still do stuff which is also great. Especially for the typewriter which loves the saved actions.
But the cost is nothing to sneeze at. I guess it can also save you money or actions... so maybe it is worth it.
Test in Finn, Leo and Skidds. Skip on most of the others.
EDIT- Seen a lot of chatter on this card regarding Joey. Its not worth the slots in my opinion.
But I think it might be worth combining with Burglary. Turning Burglary into a fast action to play means that you are getting money back on it after the second use, rather than the third. Saving tempo on it means the card becomes a lot better.
Plus the flavor slam dunk of combining burglary and a fence.
Quite long time since the last review, I got my Fence from new format The Forgotten Age Investigator Expansion and would like to review it for small collection. Card must be already Fast to get -1 cost, so assuming you only have TFA and R.Core, you only have Finn's Trusty .38 (OK) and Switchblade (not so good) that can get the -1 cost. Most Fence value would focus on gaining Fast.
Revised Core Set era players would have Illicit card pool jumpstarted by 2x Lockpicks (1) and 2x .41 Derringer (2). For Lockpicks you maybe able to sneak in the exhaust Investigate before you run out of actions in the same turn you play it. For .41 Derringer (2) a Rogue that could also investigate may delay playing the gun, and instead use actions to investigate nonstop until after you get an enemy, then you play the gun skipping AoO to deal with it. From my experience, not having to gear up ahead of time like a Guardian and just get to work results in much better scenario tempo, fitting for flex class like Rogue. (If you are not getting enemies, then you are ahead since you didn't pre-play the gun.) And gearing up after you got a spawn not only skips AoO but saves an action, so you have 3 actions to shoot it like those who geared up early.
Holding an Asset on hand until the last moment also allow using resources reserved to play it to use other Event cards on your hand instead. You will have a lot of answers on your hand.
Draw cards like Pickpocketing / Lucky Cigarette Case mixes well with gaining Fast, you can focus on hoarding Illicit cards ready on hand without playing them then you get a lot of choices to choose from when situation comes.
Then you have the classic Illicit Talent Burglary and Pickpocketing. Burglary gaining Fast reduce number of usage count to break even, but it is not a commonly used card. Pickpocketing gaining Fast is actually quite interesting (the Lv.2 version has Fast officially so it must be interesting) as you can wait playing it when there is no easy to Evade enemy yet, similarly to Fast guns, so you don't have to sink an action ahead of time and just work on clues, etc. There is also synergy of Pickpocketing drawing up Illicit guns while you are in the heat of battle (where your drip upkeep resource starts piling up but you have no moment to spend them on assets), then you can gear up with Fence and continue fighting with more ammo.
For Dunwich owners you have Fast Contraband that can add ammo ignoring AoO, or Fast Chicago Typewriter which left you with more actions to improve accuracy in the same turn you play it. Fast 2-handed weapon is interesting as you maybe working with something like Flashlight and it is not out of use yet, but you fear you won't be ready for enemy so you need to play it ahead of time bumping the one handed assets away. Then if nothing comes you are stuck holding clunky weapon and became slower in getting clues. Fast weapon fixes all these kind of problems.
Playing Fence itself is a pre-investment that set you back 3 resources and an action so you should spend 2 XP to get 2 copies for mulligan. If even so it comes 5+ rounds later, commit it might be a better idea.