The only thing I can think of with this card is Joe Diamond strapped with his Colt 1911s, jamming an Ice Pick into a shoggoth, slamming it in with a Sledgehammer and dropping one final shot into the thing for good measure. No Bandolier required as both of those tools take up no hand slots as long as he's packing heat!
Item. Tool. Weapon. Melee.
: Fight. You get -1 and deal +1 damage for this attack.
: Fight. You get +2 and deal +2 damage for this attack.
This card is not a niche card, rather, one of the best, if not the best, level 0 weapon. Its main strength in my opinion is actually the second ability, as I explain below. The first ability is just icing on the cake that adds some flexibility for enemies with low fight and high health. You can choose to attempt 1 (basic attack), 2 or 3 damage to handle a given enemy situation. My only hesitation about saying it is the number 1 weapon at level zero is that it is two-handed, which is unacceptable for some decks.
Why is the second ability so good? The answer is: the +2 combat with unlimited uses plus increased damage. Many people miss this important point when they look at/review weapons: the net damage you deal per action is affected by not only the damage modifier but also how often you hit. It is a mistake to look at .32 colt and sledgehammer and say that the colt deals 2 damage per action and the sledgehammer’s second ability only 1.5. People tend to act as if a given weapon will either never hit or always hit, which is obviously incorrect.
In fact, the +2 combat action often has a big effect on the average damage dealt. For example, using the standard night of the zealot chaos token pool, going from a net even fight test to a +2 increases odds to hit from 4/16 to 13/16, which translates to a more than 3-fold increase in damage! This is why the second ability on sledgehammer is usually better than the first on a per action basis, because you have to be at a huge skill advantage to have the 0.5 damage boost be more important than the 3 point difference in combat.
And it doesn’t run out of ammo. This should not be taken lightly. Those of you that remember how much better machete was at level zero than the firearms at the time will understand. So while the .45 Thompson deals more damage per action, this is not a fair comparison with its limited uses. Direct competitors with sledgehammer at level 0 that increase damage and have unlimited uses are fire axe, knuckleduster, meat cleaver, switchblade, dragon pole (any others I’m forgetting?). Gravedigger’s shovel gives +2 combat but no damage bonus. It’s easy to see that sledgehammer is arguably the most useful among these, its main limitation again that it takes up two hand slots.
What about the first ability? This is obviously best when you are at a large combat advantage, such as enemies with 1 or 2 fight. It is hard to use when your base combat is less than 4, but will still usually be better than a basic fight action, since it deals double damage with hits. It’s not so common that -1 combat reduces your chances of hitting by 50%.
One trick to use with the sledgehammer is gaining an extra action to get two of the double action hits in; for example, the original Skids loves this as he can always swing twice per round by paying for an extra action. Otherwise, you can use the odd extra action for something else, such as a basic attack, an evade, or a fight action on an event or arcane asset.
In summary, for survivors and guardians willing to use both hand slots for a weapon, this card is right at the top of the competition. Please consider odds to hit when comparing weapons.
THIS IS A THOUGHT PROVOKING CARD
edit- added some more(thanks Zerogrim), fixed some grammar
tldr: it is a Daniela card with bandolier, if you use with others, give it card support. That's about it.
Okay, we have a lvl zero splash card that both guardians and survivors can take,for a card, 3 resources, two hand slots and an action,we get...
1 Action - -1 Fight +1 damage
2 Actions - +2 Fight +2 damage
the two printed abilities on the card are interesting, but I won't mention the second action ability first, because if you can't use the first ability, I wouldn't take it at all. There are alot of people that could take this card, COULD, but should stay away, the -1 is not very nice unless you have card help. A few people come to mind tho.
Mark Harrigan COULD with his fight, he could use it effectively, but for the same cost, minis a hand slot, he could have a .32 colt, it use ammo of course, but he is the gun specialist and therefore should use guns.
Natcho COULD with his Fight, but he is better off using his boxing gloves, because it helps him get his spirit events back.
Survivors could take this, but I don't know who would really want to, I had a nice Theory with Calvin Wright... if you put enough damage on him, you COULD use it, but we have the meat cleaver, which is obviously the victor. Silas COULD of course with the skill card help,but that goes against his net and harpoon. William COULD use it, but he is better disposed to playing cards that get discarded and playing them back.
Now, I'm saying that people with pretty decent fight should only take this, but that doesn't mean that others couldn't, if you give it some support, it will perform. The interesting thing about multi-class cards like this, is that depending on who or what class you take it in, will change the type of cards you use with it.
If you take it as a guardian, you have cards like beat cop, or grete to negate the Fight loss, or physical training to pay the difference. This class, especially as you lvl up, is pretty good at increasing the fight value and not much else.
On the other side of the spectrum, survivors don't provide much in fight up options,but they are extremely good with changing the outcome for the best. Lucky! helps with the risky -1, live and learn makes sure you have the best chance when you use the second ability. There are some team work options with opps(2), and as you upgrade, more options open up.
The main issue here, is that you are taking a 2 hand slot weapon, and a bunch of cards to help support it,so you can't do much else. You could take cards that support and help you find clues, but it is clearly obvious that if you use this, you are supposed to fight and just fight, this make it a pretty decent card the higher the team count.
All that said, I'm sure this is a solid choice for Daniela. Our newest guardian. Her 5 fight and 1 Intellect tells us that she is good at fighting, and not much else, she also upgrades into a bunch of really good survivor cards. The issue is that she can,at the same lvl,use the .32 colt, which is frustrating. It also competes with her wrench (unless you use bandolier.)
So is there anything good about it? well, let's say this is a 3 health enemy ,which is common. you could...
- 2 tests with .32 colts 1 bullet and a punch for 3 damage
- 1 test at +2 Fight for 3 damage.
It's the same amount of action, just less test taking. You can also repeatedly use the sledgehammer, as it doesn't expire. beware using the second ability,you could fail, and that's a waste. but if you take this with survivor access, they have ways of dealing with failure.(including the autofail.)
If you take this card, you will and should, commit to fighting, because that's were this card stands, fighting.
(Any other opinions is welcome, I'm sure I missed a bunch)
This weapon had been surprising in a lot of ways. It's not until I actually tried that makes me realize multiple fight let me virtually pump temporary accuracy (commits, Physical Training, Hard Knocks, etc.) once and get more benefit compared to attacking separately and having to pump twice to hit both. It is more test compression rather than action compression.
In effect, investigators with low like 1 or 2 gets more benefit, since normally you would require massive pumps to land a single hit. I am currently running Wendy with this plus the Jury-Rig, surprisingly bringing her 1 to 5. Suddenly, I am very willing to pump 1 or 2 resources with the good old Hard Knocks to ensure the hit. Crafty in the same package is an excellent temporary pump card to support a play like this.
At 2 it is quite flexible how you use that extra action in a test-less manner. Other than moving in and swing like you are in Monster Hunter, I had some cool plays like keep evading on the last action for long fight with the big guy, or for high enemies, having other investigator take engagement away to tank damages each round and then engage back on my first action to prevent smashing my friend into pulp.
Humorously, possibly the best available weapon for Carson Sinclair.
With a measly 2 , you need to cram as much damage into a single test as possible. Reliably hitting anything with a Machete is impossible; you need buffs, and whether in the form of cards or resources, it's going to be expensive.
Stick a Jury-Rig on a sledge and suddenly frail old Carson is swinging at 6 for 3 damage, easily handling most of the enemies in the game. You hit a wall against 4+ health enemies, but you have a few options to squeak in extra damage in a pinch without additional tests, or to evade them with reasonable success.
And of course, playing as Carson you're going to be glued to other investigators that could pitch in occasional extra damage or evasion when you do hit those edge cases. If Carson is trying to play solo, something has gone terribly wrong.
Like most investigators, however, he probably doesn't want the upgrade. While the bonus on the second ability ensures you'll always hit and kill, six damage is usually excessive and three actions is much more prohibitive than two. The inability to step over to an adjacent location to rescue a fellow gator is crippling, and unlike most characters, his low combat means he can't primarily rely on the first ability. Potentially useful in a duo using Safeguard, if you're excited about not actually playing your character.
I have played this card in Zoey Samaras decks lately has a "placeholder" for Cyclopean Hammer: at the start of the campaign I take In the Thick of It and with the 3 XP I purchase Enchant weapon and with the combination of the 2 cards I can once per round pay 1 action to attack at +3 for 3 damages or pay 2 actions to attack at +6 for 4 damages!