Hank Samson
The Farmhand


Assistant. Warden.

  • 3
  • 1
  • 5
  • 3
Health: 5. Sanity: 5.

You may be assigned damage/horror dealt to Ally assets or other investigators at your location.

When you would be defeated by damage and/or horror: Instead, heal all of your damage and horror and swap this card with its bonded Resolute version, either side faceup.

effect: +1.

Magali Villeneuve
The Feast of Hemlock Vale Investigator Expansion #15.

Hank Samson - Back


Deck Size: 35.

Deckbuilding Options: Survivor cards () level 0-5, Neutral cards level 0-5, up to 10 other Innate and/or Spirit cards level 0-2.

Deckbuilding Requirements (do not count toward deck size): Stouthearted, "Where's Pa?", 1 random basic weakness.

Growing up on a farm, Hank Samson did all the chores Ma and Pa told him to do, including taking care of his brothers and sisters. When Pa showed him the strange animals in the city stockyard, Hank felt uneasy, but he did as he was told. When Pa told him to wait, he waited. And when Pa didn't come back, Hank went to find him. Pa taught him that family is everything, and you don't just leave family behind.
Hank Samson
Hank Samson
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(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: A couple of questions regarding defeat, trauma, and being killed/driven insane: 1) If an investigator is killed or driven insane mid-scenario (and therefore unavailable to use for the remainder of the campaign), are they also instantly defeated? For example, Calvin Wright takes a 6th mental trauma due to his weakness during a scenario? 2) A bit more premptive: if an investigator's 'printed' health or sanity changes during a scenario (e.g. due to Hank Samson switching to a resolute version) are they killed or driven insane against their 'current', changed values? If so, with Hank, at what point does he revert to his 'pre-resolute' investigator card? Or are 'printed' values always represented on the 'original' card? A: 1) Yes. If an investigator receives trauma mid-scenario that surpasses their limit, that investigator is defeated immediately. 2) No, at least not for Hank. Hank’s “printed” health and sanity should always be treated as 5 and 5, the same as his standard investigator card, even while using a Resolute version. He will revert to his standard investigator card at the end of each scenario. (Rules Form, August 2023)

  • Q: As Hank Samson, can I trigger my ability when an effect directly defeats me, for example, if a game effect specifies "each investigator is defeated," or I play "I'll see you in hell!"? A: No. Hank Samson's ability only triggers when you would be defeated specifically by damage or horror. (Feast of Hemlock Vale FAQ, February 2024)

  • Q: When I swap from Hank Samson to his bonded Resolute investigator card, does his Resolute card come into play with physical or mental trauma? A: No. Physical and Mental trauma are assigned as damage and horror only during the second step of setup. (Feast of Hemlock Vale FAQ, February 2024)

Last updated


Some rules I had reviewed when trying out Hank for the 1st time, collected for your reference :

  • Engaged enemies attacks in order of your choosing. Each attack "dealt" damage / horror, then you have to go through assign then apply, then you continue to the next enemy's attack. Hank's full heal ability can be triggered in the apply step inside each attack. This allow you to intentionally take smaller enemy attacks first such that you goes to the brim (4/4) before taking the biggest hit the last to go way past 5/5, then perform full heal.
  • When using Hank's ability to tank for others, you must place damage / horror tokens on Hank Samson card and not any other soak assets he has. The "dealt" occurs to other investigator, when they are going through their assign step (which they can assign to their own soaks as normal), the ability additionally allow using Hank Samson card as if he is their own soak asset. "You" in Hank's ability does not allow using any other assets Hank controls, "you" only works that way in response to taking / being dealt step, this is already the assign step.
  • The Ally clause allow Hank to take hits for treacheries/ability that specifically said to deal damage/horror to Ally asset. (Worded like on Beat Cop (2), Field Agent, ...) But if it said deal "direct" damage/horror to Ally then you can't. (Like TCU Spoiler.) Hank's ability work in assign step and direct damage/horror rule said it "cannot be assigned or re-assigned elsewhere".

5argon · 8404
I'm not sure if Peter's heal is going to be blocked by his bond card's You cannot be healed. In previous ruling being dealt damage includes asset being dealt damage, would that also mean being healed include asset being healed? In that case, Peter's healing will be blocked. — ben_feng0415 · 1
I don't think you can use his reaction to take damage over his maximums, but if he us being hit by the attack himself I think that works fine. — Xenas · 7
Only assets are forbidden from taking damage/horror over what their health/sanity would allow. Investigator cards can take any amount of damage/horror (in fact they must take all leftover damage/horror not assigned elsewhere) so Hank could easily tank, say, 100 direct horror and come out looking even better. — koaexe · 27
The resolute versions state “You” cannot be healed, which means Hank. This does not have any effect on assets that can heal themselves such as Peter Sylvester. — nckjnsn · 1
Cards like his signature “Stouthearted” and “Right place, wrong time” can heal resolute Hank because they move damage rather than heal it. — nckjnsn · 1
How this works with agenda 2b of the first Carcosa Scenario? This means he can survive — vak36 · 1
@vak36 The designers of that scenario were certainly not foreseeing Hank Samson and I'm sure their intent was for everyone to be defeated by horror at that point. But rules as written Hank survives and the scenario continues without an Agenda, because a scenario can only end if you reach a resolution or if every investigator is eliminated. This doesn't break the game. There are scenario that are in fact intended to continue even after the last agenda advanced. It would just mean that Hank can continue to play until he either resigns or he's defeated. — Killbray · 10568
Does his elder sign in the resolute version actually kills peter sylvestre ? since it's "Move 1 damage" if you have damage and only peter you actually have to kill peter... — Lagomorph · 1
No, reaction triggers are also optional. You don't HAVE to move a damage to an asset, just CAN do it, if you want to. — Susumu · 351
@Susumu: Elder sign abilities are NOT reaction abilities, and are NOT optional (although *specific* elder sign abilities like on Stella/Rex/Dexter/Wilson/etc might have options within them). ST.4 says "The [elder sign] symbol indicates that the [elder sign] abilityon the investigator card belonging to the player performing the test must activate." To highlight for clarity: "MUST activate". One cannot ignore an elder sign ability any more than one can ignore a spooky token ability on the scenario reference card -- and indeed, ST.4 uses the same "must activate" text for them too. That all being said: personally I think this was a major oversight in Hank's design, and I fully support playgroups *houseruling* the token-movement of Hank's elder sign to be optional. But strictly per the rules, it is clearly and unfortunately mandatory. — anaphysik · 94
Gah gah gah, to note: the text says "must INITIATE" (highlighting mine), not 'activate'. That's what I get for typing it out rather than copy-pasting... The conclusion remains the same, however. — anaphysik · 94
You can take direct damage from gators on your assets like true grit, but cannot take direct ally damage on yourself? What's that suppose to mean? — vak36 · 1
@vak36 Hank's ability canNOT interact with direct damage/horror at all (nor can cards like True Grit; Calvin's Until the End of Time is a special exception). E.g. there are many treacheries that deal direct damage to Ally assets -- Hank cannot place that damage on his investigator card instead. What he CAN do is interact with the costs on Beat Cop(2), Grete Wagner, and Field Agent, as these don't say "direct". (Also, be aware that Hank's ability only lets his investigator card take damage/horror for others; it doesn't let any of his assets do so.) — anaphysik · 94

Obviously Warden Hank is a good. 6 will let you kill everything. But I'd like to comment about what else can he do.

So, I just need to get sure this is correct.

Let's say you run a Dark Horse build. The Resolute - Warden form works against this kind of build since you don't want to have resources to get your +1/+1/+1/+1 at any time unless you find a way to burn your resources earnt by blood (Dig Deep and Scrapper are a thing).

So, let's say you decide to go into your Resolute - Assistant form. While your Dark Horse bonus is activated, you are at a pretty 4/4/5/5 and when you suffer Horror you draw cards. This statline is so so neat and you can flex with this. Later on the campaign of course you will get Charisma + Jessica Hyde + Peter Sylvestre and you will sit in a nice and comfy 5/4/6/6 while both are in play.

If I'm correct, in later stages on a campaign Hank will be basically inmortal and he will be able to do as he pleases with the game, since Mythos cards aren't a thing for him anymore, you will be able to success at hitting things consistently with Fire Axe, and you can add clue getting to your team using Mariner's Compass.

Oh, wait, you can trigger this item's up to three times? Then God have mercy, forget what I said about Warden Hank not working with Dark Horse. Let's say you end your turn with 0 resources. In case Warden Hank suffers damage before your turn starts or via Spirit of Humanity, you get 2 resources thanks to his and you also get your upkeep resource. You will be able to investigate with Mariner's Compass with your lame base 1 . If you use this 2 resources + the upkeep resource, you get a +3 and, on top of that, your Dark Horse bonus. Warden Hank can investigate at 5 getting 2 clues once per round as long as he has suffered damage before the investigation check.

Maybe I'm too overhyped about this, because there are way easier options to get clues with low survivors not involving janky combos (for example, using Old Keyring in 2 shroud locations while leaving big clue getters doing their job in harder locations). What I'm trying to say is that Hank using the Dark Horse engine looks fun and consistent. Depending on the scenario, a Dark Horse build should let you get in either Resolute form and you can still get the best of both worlds. Assistant Hank will better in scenarios where you need to get more clues, still kicking any enemy in the butt when needed while tanking damage/horror for other investigators. Warden Hank will be more consistent in scenarios where there are more enemies because of better values and ocassionaly, if you have your setup ready, as a reward of doing your job tanking damage, you can get 2 clues.

Can Assistant Hank exist without Dark Horse? We know Warden Hank will always have a place as an aggresive tank because of having the biggest printed yet in an AH investigator, but a 3/3/4/4 statline, while looking pretty needs some work. Unless you are a investigator, you lower difficulties with some cards like Gumption or Old Keyring, you are just lucky or you live and learn from your mistakes. He will be consistent because of this , allowing him to draw many cards during the game.

Hank is good. You can build him to suit a ton of groups. Obviously he will have a better time dealing with enemies while tanking stuff, but he can flex if the group and/or the scenarios require it because of his overlooked Assitant Resolute form.

Sure, flavour-wise he isn't as neat as the other investigators of his expansion, but the other investigators are just so neat in this regard, Hank Samson doesn't care, he will just survive everything.

rodro · 73
Until you take testless damage, or a boss eats you, or you take the autofail (or -7), or take damage on a symbol! He's durable but no healing requires prep. — MrGoldbee · 1417
Jessica Hyde / Devil + Peter Sylvestre should have you covered, but you have to look for them and play them.Also, there are a ton of cards that can soak or just ignore damage in his pool. Even then, no healing requieres prep and proper deckbuilding. — rodro · 73
In standard or hard mode, yes. In expert mode he lacks almost everything — OnThinIce · 19

-This is an excerpt from my 'All for One' series of decks. If you'd like to see similar descriptions for other investigators, just search them up under my username.-

Some might think Hank a simple farmhand. I'm here to say he's anything but! First thing is his unprecedented 5 combat in a Survivor, a class with limited weaponry options that gains a lot from having a headstart in the fist department. His basic ability to take teammate damage is pretty unimpressive, until you factor in that Hank the tank actually gets a total whopping 10 health and sanity, which he can stretch even further since excess damage doesn't carry over to his bonded cards. Those bonded cards more than make up for his lacklustre starting ability; granting him even more impressive stats, aaand a much deserved reward for doing what he does best: taking a beating! While his Warden form is what you'll be wanting majority of the time to smash beasties better, you have some added flexibility with his Assistant card if you know there's not much fighting, or you need to soak up some extra horror.

Up until that point Hank reaches his "final form", his ability doesn't generate as much value as your average investigator, and you'll never be that excited to see his elder sign. The impact Hank has in the first half of a scenario is going to very much depend on what cards he's drawn, and with his limited cardpool, options for weapons are somewhat lacking when compared to other fighters. Another Hemlock investigator with a nasty weakness, Hank's search for Pa has potential to really sideline your gameplan. Burst damage or horror healing are welcome options to have on standby before you realize Pa's gone missin' again! Also, for some reason the designers decided to give big Hank a big ol' deck, so consistency is not his strong suit.

Some archetypes that work well for this template:

EzieBaikUben · 477