Alessandra Zorzi

FoHV has been out for a month and still no reviews, so here's the description from my "One for All" series of decks that has a similar breakdown for each investigator:

Right out of the gate, Ali has an above average statline, the coveted 7/7 in health / sanity, AND a free action she should be able to use nearly every turn. What we're actually doing with that action is not at all straightforward. Parley actions are consistently inconsistent, but they are mostly event cards, and mostly require a nearby enemy. Events and variability means that as long as our Duchess has lots of cards and somebody to talk to, she should have solutions to lots of problems. Her signature card isn't just a powerful tool to make enemies do your bidding, it's a guide that shows you exactly where Alessandra wants to be: elegantly dancing around the board with her short-term frienemies.

True to her Rogue roots, this presents a very risky playstyle. You never know when you're going to run out of interesting things to say, and suddenly all those fishmen you've enamored remember that you stole 6 clams from them, and you're not actually their friend. You'll always want an exit strategy for when you run out of cards, resources, or pull an inopportune autofail. Or when your weakness Zamacona shows up... that guy's a serious creep!

Some archetypes that work well for this template:

  • The Socialite - Ali just wants to parley, so give her lots of parley cards that work with her stats (foot and book, naturally. Brain if you've got some boosts!). Anything that powers up your parley is important, and Fine Clothes is mandatory if you have it. You'll probably want some improved card draw to keep your hand flush with options (and to find your clothes!). Resources shouldn't be an issue if you bring along cards like Grift and Bianca "Die Katz". Speaking of Bianca, cards that potentially spawn enemies gain utility here as well.

  • Big Money - The previously mentioned resource generating parley cards are reason enough to give our Countess a head start on a big money build. The fact that having oodles of resources gives you ample opportunity to beef up any and all of your stats (with either static or temporary boosts) is also a very nice way to power up your parleys, regardless of the stat they're testing. Find some wealthy financiers to generate you some resources, and use those resources to fuel engines that make you better at telling everyone how rich and powerful you are! That's capitalism, baby!

  • Less is More Clues - With your signature in play, you don't really need a tonne of extra parley cards to fully utilize your bonus action. While there are some clue-oriented parley cards worth taking, this still leaves a lot of space for tools that help you investigate and boost your book; so you'll have a really smart army of baddies doing your dirty work at a good safe distance.

  • Less is More Fights - Agility based characters have gotten a lot of solid options to eliminate enemies over various releases, and Ali can use the same principles in the previous archetype to make her exceptional at enemy management and flying solo. You'll have unrivalled control over when, where, and how many enemies you want to tangle with, and can set the board up for some big multi-target hits. Perhaps best of all, you can laugh at Zamacona whenever he's dumb enough to show his ugly mug in your town.

  • Uniquely effective and staple cards for Alessandra: British Bull Dog, Fake Credentials, Eldritch Tongue, Fine Clothes, Bianca "Die Katz", Fox Mask, Backstab, Grift, Persuasion, Stir the Pot, Well-Dressed, Vamp, Flashlight, Leo De Luca, Lockpicks, Lone Wolf, Lucky Cigarette Case, Scrimshaw Charm, Streetwise, Underworld Support, "Hit me!", "I'm outta here!", Bank Job, Coup de GrĂ¢ce, Narrow Escape, Scout Ahead, Slip Away, Nimble, Quick Thinking, basic neutral skills, Drain Essence

EzieBaikUben · 412
Black Fan and Leo (paired with Motivational Speech) are a great combo. 6 actions a turn. — MrGoldbee · 1402
Yeah, I'm very tempted to try a big money Zorzi deck! — EzieBaikUben · 412
Nice review, I miss one card to mention though, which should be a staple for her in any campaign, that has big non-elite enemies like the "Conglamoration of Spheres" or "Brood of Yog-Sothoth": String of Curses". Pair it with "Eldritch Tongue" (or "Double, Double" if you have the XP for that) for an auto-defeat and auto-clue. This tech was found by a fellow player of me, and he had a great target for the combo in "Hemlock Vale", too. — Susumu · 334
Nice, that looks like a good one! For my own sanity, I've restricted my list to cards I actually own, but I welcome anybody to use it to add to their own list! — EzieBaikUben · 412
Hatchet

Hatchet is one of the weirdest weapons ever printed. The attack is ridiculously good for a re-usable weapon, given the cost, and it has no theoretical maximum uses -- up to once per 3+ health enemy. But, it's only re-usable if you have some other way to kill things, or wait for your team to do so, so by itself it's far less consistent an enemy solution than any normal gun or melee weapon. And while you can use it as a disposable one-shot in a pinch, the extra play action makes it look pretty bad compared to burst damage events. Thus, there are going to be 3 main ways to actually use Hatchet.

**1. To complement another fight asset.

  1. Supplemented by non-combat damage sources (or fight events)
  2. To soften up enemies for someone else to kill.**

I think the "any investigator may trigger" clause on the hatchet pick-up is mostly there because you don't control it while it is attached, but the ability to hand it off will sometimes be useful. I don't think you run this without one of the above ways to make it work for you, but then you may additionally look for opportunities to pass it on to a worthy companion.

Hatchet as Side-arm

The obvious supplement to weapon that doesn't kill enemies is another weapon, but the value prop is a bit tricky. If you already have an unlimited-use 2-damage weapon, the only thing the Hatchet gives you is an attack bonus on the first shot of each multi-action fight. With an agility of 3, it would be +2 over Machete or Fire Extinguisher, and just +1 over Brand. An occasional +2 isn't terrible for a 2-cost asset but the XP and hand slot requirement stings. If you're pumping your stats it could give an even bigger bonus, but at some point that becomes overkill -- if you can hit at all with your main weapon, you shouldn't care about more than a relative +2-3 on your hatchet throw. And in this role it competes with Jury-Rig, Reliable, and passive stat boosts that could bring up all your weapons.

A more promising idea is to pair this with other limited-use or cost-to-use weapons. Paired with a .18 Derringer it saves bullets, with Meat Cleaver it saves sanity, and with Pitchfork or Ornate Bow it saves actions. You could also pair it with a 1-damage finisher such as Enchanted Blade, Spirit Athame, or Gravedigger's Shovel. Certain characters may be able to pair it with combat spells, too. Perhaps the most exciting use is to pair it with other sporadically-available damage options like Duke.

Hatchet as sole weapon.

If you don't want to carry two weapons, you'll need to combine this with non-weapon damage. Survivor has Long Shot which can add a second hit after a successful attack, Aquinnah for damage reflection, Miss Doyle for automated cat scratches, and skills like Brute Force. Some signatures and character abilities help too.

Hatchet as softener.

The problem with using hatchet to wound and not kill things is that either the enemy engaged you, in which case you still need to evade it or escape somehow if you're not killing it, or the enemy engaged someone else, who hopefully does not need your help to kill it. So this is good only when you have very efficient ways to ditch enemies, or are willing to throw axes at your engaged friend. This seems most appropriate in parties with multiple flex players, especially if you can scrounge a free action evade or a Stealth-like "disengage but don't exhaust" effect to let you get away from an enemy that still needs to die.

Who wants to play hatchet?

Rita -- she attacks at 8 with it and can kill with her evades. With Dirty Fightingshe can even evade, trigger a free attack, and then trigger the evade damage for the kill.

Pete -- Hatchet & Duke cover for each other perfectly. Fetch, boy, fetch! He only starts at a disappointing 5 but Dark Horse etc. help a lot

Silas -- can dual-wield with Sea Change Harpoon for a base 8 to stretch his skill cards further.

Maybe?

Yorick can do work with this and get it back if he fumbles it, but has so many other options. #Kymani gets big numbers but probably has their hands full. Agnes attacks at 6 here if she has Pete Sylvestre, more with Cat Mask or Blood Pact. Stella gets a nice 7 but still loses the axe on a fail.

Who Wants to be given a Hatchet?

Nathaniel -- If he hasn't found his gloves yet or can get down bandolier 0, this gives Nate an 7-skill 2-damage hit to stretch out his fight events. Finn -- attacks at 7, 9 with dirty fighting, probably boosts foot, may be content to wait for someone else to kill the baddies once he has locked them down. Flurry Lily -- has agility, wants multiple attack options. Kate -- 8 with a science boost. Likes tools. Winifred (big oversucceess).

Oh, I forgot to mention the tool keyword gives this card good synergy with Crafty. If you were already running it to support investigation tools or trick/insight events then you can also pay for Hatchet and pump its attacks. — OrionJA · 1
Fake Credentials

4 XP is just a lot to spend on a hand tool that only gets one clue per action. Making tests easy is nice, non-investigate clue sources are nice, clue-from-connecting location is a good perk, and sometimes you care about parley. But currently outside of Alessandra Zorzi I don't see a home for this as a staple, more a tech card for campaigns that frequently punish investigate actions. Maybe in a single cluever deck that runs this with lockpick and thieves kit to find one ASAP.

Trish might also be a good candidate to investigate and finding a clue without an AoO. — Tharzax · 1
I think this needs to be played in a Parley deck. This is a synergy card for Parley enablers and payoffs. Otherwise there are certainly better cards for fewer XP. It can also serve as a tech card. Imagine this card for instance a scenario with high shroud locations with a big enemy about. I can think of a couple of campaign finales where this is the case. I would list some of these if I was able to spoiler tag this text. If you go into one of these campaign finales and have 4 XP left, you might consider this as an upgrade for your Rogue. — PowLee · 20
Snitch

If you can trigger this consistently, the effect is good: really really good, in fact. And with two excellent traits plus the parley tag there are many ways to discount, tutor, or recur it. But does anyone besides Alessandra want to parley enough to make this worthwhile?

As of Hemlock Vale, Rogues only have 3 assets and 4 events that initiate parley tests, and many are mediocre or require fairly difficult will or intellect tests that many rogues will struggle with. However, #Grift is an acceptable economy card for agility rogues and it can go in an Underworld Market, so you can assure yourself of getting at least one parley event relatively early. Stir the Pot (0) is reasonable damage if you can pass it, and Vamp (3) is a great comfort card if you can spare the XP (though I rarely can). False Surrender looks on paper like an acceptable action compression, but in practice Sleight of Hand outperforms it almost all the time. False Credentials (4) is also powerful but very expensive for a 1-clue-per-action tool and it overlaps functions with Snitch itself a lot. IMO the parley build for Winifred or Kymani with Fine Clothes, False Surrender, Grift, and Vamp is not quite there yet.

This feels a little more promising for characters with some off-class access. Trish can do some disgusting work with Existential Riddle and Snitch, possibly locking down multiple enemies across multiple locations or scarfing 3 clues in one action while escaping from danger. Dexter 100% wants this if he plays Power Word and might consider buying one if he's tutoring out String of Curses anyway. Sefina Rousseau benefits from the same combo, and Parallel Roland can chain this off of any of his Interrogate/Persuasion/Eavesdrop shenanigans too.

Precious Memento

The two versions of the Precious Memento are quite a reliable soak components on their own, though I didn't pay them much attention until now. I'm currently going through my first run of Edge of the Earth, playing Daniela Reyes, and as I wanted as much soak as possible, I only realized now that these are not unique (there's no symbol on the card). Plus, the limit restriction only applies to the particular type of memento you're playing : From a future life or From a former life. This means you could potentially get the two versions of the memento in play at the same time, by just getting another accessory slot from whatever source you could afford (hence the very basic yet very powerful Relic hunter.

This is a 11xp investment, but early on in a campaign it can make a big difference if you manage to get that many xp at the end of scenario 1 or 2. Not everyone will want to get them both, often you'd prefer the campus boy or his mirror sister that come cheaper and tend to find more uses in general cases, but in a niche deck that want to take damage to do-whatever-you-wanna-do-that-for, it' a powerful investment, arguably an infinite damage/horror soak that lets you have some other allies or hand slots to close the case.

10/10 would recommend.

LegoKurow · 1
Both have also the blessed or cursed trait, so the occult reliquary is also an option for the extra slot — Tharzax · 1