- Erratum: This card’s constant ability should read: “Each time a non-Elite enemy would spawn at attached location, spawn it at a connecting location instead, if able.” - FAQ, v.1.4, September 2018
Attach to your location.
Non-Elite enemies cannot move into or spawn at attached location. Each time an enemy would spawn at attached location, spawn it at a connecting location instead, if able.
Forced - When an investigator leaves attached location: Discard Barricade.
I've never liked the 0-lvl Barricade, neither have I seen any necessity to add it in any investigator's deck. But this updated version seems to have some potential. Let's try to find out: does it? For a price of a one card draw and an action you:
- avoid dealing with monsters drawn from encounter deck and enemy weaknesses right now. They still can cause you a lot of troubles should they be hunters;
- help other investigators from the adjacent locations to run away from the monster they can't deal with right now (for a price of one attack of opportunity);
- avoid non-Elite hunters lurking outside. The problem is that this effect is temporal since you usually need to move, and once someone leaves the location, the card effect is gone. And you have to cope with all the hunters at once (on practice, it's rarely a real pile of monsters, but nonetheless). You, however, still can try and manage to spread non-hunters so, that they don't prevent your further advance. The card can be useful for solo seeker who tries to avoid fight as much as it is possible, as well as for a group of 4, since it is a good chance someone of them will draw an enemy during a mythos phase, and with this card attached to the location it means that that investigator will have 3 free actions next turn without a need to deal with the enemy. And the more investigators are in the location, the better chance of that to happen, unless I'm really bad in math and odds. All above said seems pretty decent on paper, but there are many other issues with it:
- there are plenty of other cool cards to buy in seeker's card set and 3 exp is not that cheap;
- universal card >>> specific card. This card is almost of no use if you don't have a scenario location where you are expected to spend several turns. And it happens not that often;
- you're still playing with odds: you don't know whether you will draw some monsters or not. It's not a guaranteed escape from them (well, partially it is, when you play it so, that another investigator from the adjacent location can leap to you). So the card is not good from the perspective of 'action economy' either. At the same time, I would probably add it to my deck closer to the scenario end, since it seems pretty fun to play when you can benefit from it. And it still has 3 different icons so you can improve someone's odds slightly (or significantly if you are Mihn).
This review is coming atcha from a fellow who has never used this card. I therefore speak with all the confidence and all the experience of a political pundit.
Here's my golden dream: couldn't this card be the ultimate answer to enemy control? Now that it also prevents monsters from spawning at its location, when you are camped out in your barricade, you WANT to draw monsters. And there are cards that can help you do it. If you're a couch-bound Rex, you could take a couple copies of On the Hunt and "Let me handle this!", and greatly increase your chances of drawing monsters or taking friends' monsters. Your buddies can help with cards like Scrying, "You handle this one!", and other encounter deck manipulation tools.
What happens to those monsters bouncing off your bunker roof? It's embarrassing for them, but they just sort of pile up. The hunters are totally neutered, because despite your inaccessibility, you are always going to be the closest investigator, and therefore, unless their instructions say otherwise, they will try to hunt you. Even if there is another investigator just as close, the rules still allow you to designate yourself as the target (again, unless special prey instructions dictate otherwise) And so, on the enemy phase, they will pathetically nose around your impenetrable cocoon, accomplishing nothing, while your friends clear the board of clues.
The advantage of having the vast majority of monsters drawn do NOTHING at all doesn't really need to be spelled out. It's so good, that it's almost worth it in a four player game to have one person just camp out and do nothing but try to draw enemies. But of course, as we all know now, it's possible to work remotely. All investigators with access to Barricade also have access to In the Know, Seeking Answers, and Pendant of the Queen, among other tools. Connect the Dots chains very nicely with In the Know, allowing you to gobble clues efficiently from the comfort of your little sanctum. And though In the Know will run out quickly, there are ways to recharge it: Truth from Fiction, Enraptured, and Eldritch Sophist, specifically.
To me, the question is, how many scenarios give you the luxury of camping out like this? Obviously in scenarios like Essex County Express, it's a no-go. It's worthless in The Miskatonic Museum, because the only enemy in the deck is elite. But take a scenario like The House Always Wins. How cool would it be to chill in the Clover Club Bar all game? When the first abomination spawns in the Lounge, rather than making for a beeline for your compatriots in the back rooms, he'll just lurk around the lounge, giving you dirty looks and maybe kicking over a table every now and then. When the second abomination tries to show up in the bar, he'll find himself ignominiously shunted into the lounge instead, thus doubling the stupidity. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to draw the third, so all three stooges can chill there together. The only potential complication is the damn Clover Club Pit Boss, who is elite. The team needs to find a way to make him hunt west rather than east, possibly tough to do if you are the seeker...
And now my dream ends, and I await the rude awakening which I'm sure will be delivered to me by the first commenter!