Q: What happens if I play 21 or Bust and the combined value of the revealed tokens is more than 21? A: Nothing (you bust). - Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion Frequently Asked Questions section
Q: What happens if I reveal a frost (), bless (), or curse () token while resolving 21 or Bust? A: These tokens have no value when revealed outside of a skill test, so they do not add to your total. You may choose to either continue to reveal tokens or stop, as instructed. - Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion Frequently Asked Questions section
One at a time, reveal random tokens from the chaos bag until you choose to stop. Treat each , , , or as a 5; the as a 10; and the as either a 1 or an 11. If the combined value of those tokens (ignoring +/-) is...
- ...18 or less, gain 4 resources.
- ...19, gain 5 resources.
- ...20, gain 6 resources.
- ...21, gain 9 resources.
The expected resources is about 5.0 resources, same as Emergency Cache, in standard token setup. Many "5" give slightly better result, but many above 5 (-6, -8) give poor result. In this reason, this card is not suitable for expert difficulty. If you consider "fun", 21 or bust is good choice unlike Henry Wan, since 21 or bust at least achieves E-Cache.
Additionally, if your deck has Prophetic, 21 or bust may be better than E-cahce. Since 21 or bust has fortune trait, you can play 21 or bust for free with Prophetic. Sadly, Prophetic doesn't have , so that only off-class investigators can do.
Note: additional -5 or symbol token slightly increases the expected resources, and -7 or -8 token significantly decreases the expected resources.
The below is my stratagy. I believe your intuition is better, so please refer this just for fun.
Here is my stratagy to achieve E-Cache. According to the combined value of revealed tokens,
- 11 or less: reveal 1 additional token
- 12, 13: reveal 1 additional token only if and/or was revealed. (exceptional case: stop if you revealed but you bust if you treat as 11).
- 14, 15, 16: reveal 1 additional token
- 17, 18, 19: reveal 1 additional token only if was revealed and treated as 1.
- 20: reveal 1 addtional token with above condition and if 2 or more "1" tokens exist in bag.
- 21 or more: stop
Nevertheless, I believe many of you don't want to stop when the total value is 12 or 13 (including me) for fun. I also give the expectation value when you follow above stratagy but don't stop at 12/13.
NotZ Standard bag] ideal: 4.98, proposed: 4.96, proposed(non-stop): 4.86, 17-stop: 4.76
NotZ Standard bag + ] ideal: 5.01, proposed: 4.99, proposed(non-stop): 4.95, 17-stop: 4.85
NotZ Hard bag] ideal: 5.02, proposed: 5.00, proposed(non-stop): 4.97, 17-stop: 4.88
NotZ Hard bag + ] ideal: 5.07, proposed: 5.03, proposed(non-stop): 5.03, 17-stop: 4.96
Here, "ideal" means ideal stratagy. I reveal one additional token only if the expectation will be increased considering all cases. It's the upper bound if you don't know the future information.
With above stratagy, you can achieve below table in standard NotZ.
- 17stop: we stop whenever the sum is 17 or above
- 12/13/17stop: In addition to 17stop, we stop if the sume is 12 or 13 (not 14~16).
(modified Oct 8, 2021)
Sometimes in Arkham Horror we tend to get obsessed with Min-Maxing. 21 or Bust is a card whose greatest strength is that it is just fun. It's enough of a gamble that the team feels tense when you are at 17 and want to pull another token, it's not game-ruining when you fail, and it's an incredible experience for the group when you actually manage to hit 21.
Outside of gambling, this card does have some utility through the reveal token text. If you're running Favor of the Moon for curse mitigation, this is a really good card to release a sealed curse on. The curse token itself has no downside, and you gain a resource as part of the effect.
Side Note: If anyone tries to give you crap for running this instead of Emergency Cache, remind them that there are dedicated fighters out there running .35 Winchester.
Can Jim Culver treat as 0 while resolving this card? And can I choose the value of after i draw next tokens? Or I have to choose it right when I draw it? 200 characters, so have a good day if you read this!
This card is interesting thematically because, while Rogues have a lot of betting in their thematics, they tend to NOT gamble! A rogue, before this card, said "Gambling is for chumps" like the ace hustlers they were and what their cards were more about them being certain about the outcome and deciding to make calculated wagers, not gambles. They leave that for Mystics and Survivors!
It isn't going to affect the mechanics one way or the other, but it does make my rundown of Rogues for new players a bit less accurate!