Machete will not provide a damage bonus for attacking a disengaged enemy (evaded or Aloof), or an enemy engaged to another player. You can spend an action to Engage an enemy to gain the damage bonus.
- Machete will provide a damage bonus for attacking a Massive enemy, as long as it is ready and the only enemy engaged with you. A Massive enemy is “considered” engaged with you, so it will enable abilities – like the Machete’s – that require you to be engaged with an enemy. However, there is no timing point of engagement, you’re just “considered” engaged with it, so you can’t really trigger reactions to becoming engaged with the enemy, like Zoey Samaras or Zoey's Cross.
Item. Weapon. Melee.
: Fight. You get +1 for this attack. If the attacked enemy is the only enemy engaged with you, this attack deals +1 damage.
Costs 1 additional experience.
The decision to increase this to a 2xp card was a very good one, because it was just too strong At level 0, making all other level 0 weapons poor contenders when the Machete is available. Looking back to before the taboo, the existence of Machete was very frustrating, because it discouraged trying out other weapons. Also, it permanently takes up a hand slot, making it harder to use other tools (like magnifying glass for Roland, etc) and 2-handed weapons.
So how does it stand as a 2 xp weapon? It’s still good, and now fills a nice niche instead of just limiting deckbuilding choices. At the time of this review, your choices at level 2 Guardian include Machete, Survival Knife, .32 Colt, Blackjack and .45 Automatic. Each has its own merits, and among these the Machete is still a top choice for investigators with high combat.
Machete is one of the finest weapons in the core set. It's cheaper than the .45 Automatic, not limited in the number of uses like that or the .41 Derringer, and it's damage bonus is reliable too. The only issue is the need to be engaged to an enemy - and only one enemy - to get that damage bonus. Even if you can't, though, it's still as good as a Knife, and often you're only having to deal with one enemy at a time.
It's a great weapon for Roland Banks or "Skids" O'Toole, though it's less clear that it's a good choice for Zoey Samaras, as it seems to her advantage to engage with as many enemies as frequently as possible. If used in a group with Scrying to control the flow of encounter cards, it's a really useful weapon for Roland to have; keep him engaged with only 1 enemy, damaging lots and gaining clues.
This one is one of my favourites, because it is middling priced, effective, doesn't use ammo, and in an uncertain world, reliable.
Three campaigns in, and Machete remains the best level 0 weapon in the game. At the very least, for all five Guardians presently in the game, it is the weapon of choice. It could cost 2 or 3 XP and it would still probably be worth buying. At 0 XP, it's a steal. Getting a weapon that deals +1 damage into play early is vital, and there's no better option than Machete.
Compared to .45 Automatic, .41 Derringer and the like, the fact that Machete doesn't have to deal with ammo is a gigantic advantage. One Machete can last you literally the entire game. These other weapons will run out of ammo after killing an average of about two monsters, which is nowhere near enough to last a scenario. There's no contest here.
Compared to .32 Colt, the Machete's to-hit bonus just makes it better, as far I'm concerned, especially when the difficulty level goes up. Guardians will often want to run both, of course, but there's no doubt which of the two I'd rather draw in the vast majority of situations.
Fire Axe may be better for investigators with very low Combat, like Wendy or Rex, who nonetheless want to fight with Combat. But for investigators with decent or better Combat, Machete will deal 2 damage much more efficiently and consistently.
As for Machete's "only engaged with one enemy" drawback, I don't see this as that big a deal. In solo play, enemies most often come at you one at at time anyway. In multiplayer, you can usually coordinate with your teammates such that the Machete wielder is only engaged to one enemy at a time.
Furthermore, if you are absolutely swarmed by enemies, the Machete still isn't necessarily worse than its competition. Will a .45 Automatic be better if you're fighting a bunch of enemies? Hardly, as it'll just run out of ammo.
Extra-damage effects like Vicious Blow, Beat Cop, and Zoey's Cross are also helpful for circumventing Machete's drawback, as if you are fighting two enemies you can use these to rapidly dispatch one, and then unleash the full force of Machete on the other.
Yes, there are occasional enemies, like Poltergeist and Conglomeration of Spheres, against which Machete doesn't work or doesn't work well. But so what? In the grand scheme of things, these enemies are relatively uncommon. The fact that the Machete isn't absolutely perfect isn't much of a criticism against it. Against the vast majority of enemies in this game, it's dominant.
Nothing really to say, just wanted to post my custom upgrades of some Core set cards I created and wanted to share.
Edit: This post has been modified after giving some thought on the cards and receiving some feedback. Holy Rosary (2) has been modified and 2 new cards have been added (Flashlight (2) and Guard Dog (2)).
Here are the links:
Machete (3): i.postimg.cc
Guard Dog (2): i.postimg.cc
Holy Rosary (2): i.postimg.cc
Flashlight (2): i.postimg.cc
Guts (2): i.postimg.cc
Perception (2): i.postimg.cc
Overpower (2): i.postimg.cc
Manual Dexterity (2): i.postimg.cc
Unexpected Courage (3): i.postimg.cc
I would really love to see a Machete (3), Holy Rosary (2) seems fair (maybe a little overpowered) and the upgrades of Guts, Perception, Overpower, Manual Dexterity and Unexpected Courage seem like a great way to spend leftover XP.
Feedback is welcome!!!