Calvin, Carcosa, Hard, Solo,

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
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Pilgrim 225

It was time to test out Carosa solo, hard mode, with my favourite faction, . I have not yet tried a Dark Horse build so I decided to give that a shot.

Card choices.

I decided to go with the Gravedigger's Shovel and Lantern suit to give Calvin better access to weapons if Fire Axe is not in the starting hand and options for improving investigating.

The Dark Horse suit is pretty standard with Madame Labranche and Fire Axe.

One offs for Cherished Keepsake, Leather Coat, Painkillers and Smoking Pipe to help manage Calvins ability.

Full suit of skill cards to enable Calvin with his ability.

Lucky! because its the best card in the game.

So how the hell do you play Calvin. Well it took a bit of mucking around to get him right. He struggles early game but becomes more powerful later game. This is obvious. Less obvious is that with his eventual accumulation of trauma due to Voice of the Messenger he becomes more powerful towards the end of a campaign.

The whole mechanic with sanity and horror means that your approach to monsters and mythos cards changes wildly. You almost welcome the chance to take damage from a foe or fail a mythos test. But steady on because the more powerful Calvin becomes the closer to the end game you get. This provides for some satisfying and exciting final moments. It helps to get to around 3 - 4 horror early as this enables you to get clues easier and overcome some more tricky mythos effects. Taking damage is a considation but if you have Dark Horse, Madame Labranche, and Fire Axe out you are not going to find it too difficult to dispatch of enemies. In short be careful, but not to careful.

The Dark Horse combo is great but doesn't necessarily help with investigating and will impact on future upgrades as you do not want anything over the cost of 3. Even 3 feels a little pricey. This also became an issue with Corrosion as this card would eat through your assets. I don't know if I would go down the dark horse route again.

Upgrade path.

I don't know if I am an expert on this. I started with Scrapper and Plucky. Primarily as a way to spend resources to get the Dark Horse bonus. However Scrapper is only an okay card and with Fire Axe Calvin chews through enemy's.

Upgraded Lucky! is just amazing and should be one of your first.

I tried out Will to Survive which is one of the best upgrades in the game however with a Dark Horse build it isn't that workable. You want cheap powerful upgrades and that reeks of one thing, Exile Cards. This was essential in The Unspeakable Oath as that scenario is killer.

The best exile cards in my opinion and easily worth their XP even if you use them every time. I would priorities Flare and A Test of Will, Devil's Luck isn't to bad either. Probably the most powerful but costly in regards to XP is Stroke of Luck. This has the advantage of being able to get the icon and not need to be exiled if the test succeeds, however 2 xp is a lot just for a card with one . Yet the ability to simply pass a test is amazing.


I enjoyed playing Calvin but I do not believe by any measure he is the best . I would say go with "Ashcan" Pete any day. Even Wendy Adams is probably better. But Calvin forces you into some interesting play situations and makes for a unique play through.


Jun 25, 2018 CecilAlucardX 2

I notice you didn't take any spirit cards. Was this by choice? Would it have changed things, having Ward of Protection or Fight or Flight? Or even Mano a Mano?