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.
Oggetto. Arma. Mischia.
: Combatti. Ricevi +1 in questo attacco. Se attacchi l'unico nemico impegnato con te, infliggi +1 danno in questo attacco.
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.
Reviews here talk about 1 enemy engaged and 2+ enemies engaged a lot, mentioning how easy it is to just kill one before the 2nd one arrives. But also easy to miss for beginners that you can fight with 0 enemy engaged (which won't get +1 damage), often a solution get the tempo back on track. I agree that 2+ engages are rare, even in high player count. But 0 engage situation isn't rare at all. For example :
- Fight enemy that just spawned on the other investigator and you want to go first.
- Fight exhausted enemy when the clue finder wants to go first and start with Evade.
- Wants to Evade first to turn off Retaliate before fighting, now it also turn off the +1 damage.
- Fighting enemy while you are at critical health / sanity. You don't want to have engagement after your 3rd action.
- Quite often your friends still have usable health / sanity to take the Enemy Phase hit. Guns do let you continue dealing high damage at critical condition longer as long as you have your friends grabbing the enemy, even if they can't fight.
- If you bet on your final action to kill the enemy but it didn't, your friend lose turn flexibility as they have to go later and Engage the enemy from you to save your life.
- You want to ensure exhausted enemy to survive 2 dmg/horror hits in Enemy Phase, so normally you start with Evade 1-3 times until it succeeds, use the remaining action if any to Fight. Now, you are incentivised to Fight as much as possible to get the +1 damages then Evade on the last one, which maybe risky if that test fails.
I played only 2P from the start for a whole year and the disadvantage was negligible, Machete was a staple. 3P and above however I realized how useful and exciting the kill-stealing Fight without Engage could be. So many things can occur in just one Mythos Phase on 3P+, and I need more flexibility to resolve it. My group pretty much shoot bullets left and right as soon as Investigation Phase begins without engaging first by default, unless friendly fire would defeat the investigator then we start playing safer. We found something like .45 Automatic to be a better fit for the group's playstyle despite limited ammo.
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!!!