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Sara Biddle
Scatola Base #45.
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(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • You can use Burglary even if there are no clues on your location.
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I found it a little strange that the only review of Burglary was positive, because I consider this one of the worst cards in the Core Set. In the abstract, spending an action for three resources is sometimes good, because three resources are (very slightly) more valuable than an action. But Burglary brings along with it a host of problems and complications.

Most significantly, there's the up-front 1-action, 1-resource, 1-card cost of playing Burglary. This means the card takes forever to generate a profit. If you successfully Burglarize once, you've swapped 2 actions, 1 card, and 1 resource for 3 resources. Terrible. If you do it twice, you've swapped 3 actions, 1 card, and 1 resource for 6 resources. Still terrible. If you do it three times, you're getting close to breaking even. At 4+ times, you start generating a small profit. For this to really generate enough upside to justify the deck slot, you'd probably need to successfully activate it 5+ times. That is a lot of time to spend Burglarizing--a lot of time in which you're not advancing the Act deck and actually winning the game.

Burglary is even worse than that, of course, when you consider that you might fail the test. The three investigators with in-faction access to Burglary have a base Intellect of 3. That means that unless they're hanging out at a 1-shroud location (which may or may not be there) on Easy, they'll likely fail the test a good chunk of the time. That makes Burglary take even longer to pay for itself, if it ever does. Voluntarily inflicting a ton of skill tests on yourself, by the way, also will expose you to a host of bad special token effects.

Arkham Horror is a rush game. You have limited actions in which to get your objectives done, and you've got to get moving quickly. You simply do not have time to sit around at a low-shroud location for multiple turns doing nothing but amassing resources. And if you play Burglary and only use it a little bit, then you've gotten a terrible deal.

I will grant that Burglary is better for Rex Murphy than it is for other investigators. However, I think it is still not worthwhile even for him. In my opinion, even for Higher Education Rex, picking up 2 clues is slightly better than picking up 1 clue and 3 resources. That means the only real use for Burglary is to clear out locations with 1 clue more efficiently. But Rex has a huge number of ways to get that last clue without sacrificing efficiency (Working a Hunch, Deduction, Seeking Answers, having a teammate do it, etc.) When you consider the up-front cost of Burglary, and the fact that Rex probably has to invest cards and/or resources to succeed by 2+ to get the resources and the clue, I think Burglary is still not paying for itself.

Moreover, Burglary takes up a splash card slot for Rex. That means that instead of a dubious efficiency gain when investigating 1-clue locations, Rex could have had one of the strongest cards in the game: Ward of Protection, Fire Axe, Dynamite Blast, Elusive, etc.

CaiusDrewart · 3046
There's argument for it in harder modes Rex because higher ed means you can commit +6 to a test and still generate a *profit* with Dr Milan. On lower difficulties Milan's +1 resource and the natural drip are enough to never worry about it. Still, however, not a great card in most any other circumstance. — Difrakt · 1278
While the above is certainly impressive, on Expert I find that I want to be getting multiple clues per action as much as possible. I find that Burglary just slows Rex down a little bit too much. If the goal is to fuel Higher Education I'd think Emergency Cache would usually be stronger. — CaiusDrewart · 3046
Is the goal of any given card to make it pay for itself? You could look at this card as an opportunity to smooth out resource flow if used in an opportunistic way. Get one resource for sure or risk the Chaos bag for 3. If you have a 5 cost card, let's say Dynamite, but only 2 resources a successful Burglary attempt would let you play it whereas taking one resource per action would not. It definitely reflects the gambling nature of the Rogue class. And I'm by no means saying it's useful, rather, I'm trying to see what opportunities it provides if played. — cheddargoblin · 86
For the situation you described--wanting a lot of resources in a hurry--I think Burglary is not that great. First of all, if you hadn't played Burglary in the first place, you'd have more actions and resources free, and more flexibility to respond to situations, not less. Second, if you've already got Burglary out and you need resources fast, what if you're on a 3+-shroud location? Then it's no good at all. Emergency Cache is the card you want for that situation. I'm not claiming Burglary is 100% useless, and there are no situations whatsoever where it can work, but on the whole it usually won't help you win scenarios. — CaiusDrewart · 3046
The biggest problem with Emergency Cache is that you can only run two in a deck. Assuming you are running two, does Burglary satisfactorily augment resource generation? I'm not attempting to suggest that Burglary replaces other cards, rather, I am trying to understand what opportunities it provides on its own. That may still be not enough of a boon to include it in a build. (We'll see what other resource generation cards come along next cycle, can't wait!) — cheddargoblin · 86
I wrote the other review. Yeah, with the Dunwich Legacy campaign we've seen better/alternative ways to gain resources appear (or things like Dark Horse so you don't want them). Though I have had success with Rex and burgling, it would be fair to say I've cooled on it somewhat. — AndyB · 932
Readinf the review and comments, it made me think about an interesting article I read on the mythosbusters blog. . It kinda adresses the way cards are often rated. — Heyenzzz · 6670
@Heyenzzz: The author of that review very strangely recommends Burglary as a good card, probably because he or she did not stop to take the up-front cost of Burglary into account. The overall point seems to be that actions are really valuable, and we shouldn't equate actions, cards, and resources. Certainly I would agree with that--the main point of my review, I would say, is the fact that actions are so much more valuable than resources is why Burglary is typically bad. — CaiusDrewart · 3046
The linked article is apt, but I think what you are missing is in terms of the author's point is that Burglary is efficient when considering that using standard basic actions, it would take 3 actions to generate those resources (and even adding in the fixed cost of playing burglary, action efficiency kicks by the 2nd time you use it. But that's not really where this discussion is interesting, its in the concept of consistent / repeatable economy vs temporary economy (a concept core to most euros). While both Emergency Cache and Hot Streak are great resource generators, they are draw dependent and temporary. Rogue decks offer the most consistent capability to gain resources, which connects to their ability to consistently use tools like Streetwise, Hyperawareness, Hard Knocks and other free action core stat buff cards that trade resources for effectively guaranteeing checks. And that connects to the points above about generating a clue+ per turn. Other than cards like deduction or the Talent card that lets you fail your way into 2 clues, the most efficient clue acquisition is making sure your investigates don't fail, and using an engine like Burglary > Streetwise > Lockpicks is a great way to end up with 9 or even 12 intellect on a check, which is the holy grail of Roguish investigation. I'm not saying I 100% believe Burglary is essential or even good, I need to play more before I could come to such a conclusion, but I'll say it has been seriously helpful in games I've played, and that it pairs extraordinarily well with Double or Nothing (find a 1 or 2 shroud location, use the right buffs, 6 resource boon). — ShintaSaito · 1
I appreciated this analysis and would supplement it with two pieces of info as of recent releases. — jblade · 19
Turns out I'm bad at commenting, so I just wrote my own review. :-) — jblade · 19
I love Burglary in Rex and I aggressively mulligan searching for it. It gives a tone of resources while still being commited to searching for clues and pushing the game forward. Between this and Milan I have more resources than typically I can spend which made me even play Team Work to spread the riches around. — bazyn · 8
I think Burglary can combo well with Leo, since you tend to be using up lots of resources/turn with Leo. The extra action from Leo can be used on Burglary when you happen to be at a low shroud location, and the resources gained can power a few rounds of extra actions. — Leviat · 2
Burglary-Rex(Others are terrible at burglary) — Investigator Zoey · 137

This is what I like to call "an OK card."

It's not great when compared to the many ways to collect resources these days, but I don't think it's bad. As with most cards, this really only shines in two circumstances.

Quick recap for those of you who haven't scrolled down to CaiusDrewart's excellent review: this card is not as efficient as it seems. While it might seem like 3 resources for 1 action, you gotta do a little more math to break down the cost. The first action of playing actually nets you nothing. Strict loss for 1 action. You lose 1 action, 1 resource, and 1 card. After that, you spend 1 action for what I'd hope is a decent shot at 3 resources.

Scenario 1: Play Burglary: -1 action, -1 resource, -1 card Successfully Burgle: -1 action, +3 resources (if you are lucky enough) Net change: -2 actions, +2 resources, -1 card

Scenario 2: Get a resource: -1 action, +1 resource (guaranteed) Get a resource: -1 action, +1 resource (guaranteed) Net change: -2 actions, +2 resources

Obviously, this is a bad deal. In the first turn you've played it, you've only lost one card IF YOU ARE LUCKY and passed the investigate. However, this does recoup it's investment the more you use it. One more action (and successful investigation) and you've hit the same efficiency as getting two resources and playing emergency cache level 0. After that, it starts improving, but you're always hit with the possibility of failure. It's valuable if you can dedicate many actions to earning resources and you have an efficient outlet for those resources.

So, in most cases, it's bad.

But when is it good?

As has been discussed before, Rex is the gold standard. While in many situations, Rex needs to be a clue hoover spending each action getting as many clues as possible, there are a number of situations where Rex only has 1 clue at a location, whether you're playing solo or not. In these situations, it could be more efficient to burgle, get the resources and the clue in one fell swoop. In addition, with the ability of certain cards to move Rex between locations DURING an investigate (Shortcut level 2 and Pathfinder,) he can burgle a low shroud location with no clues, move to another location, succeed on the investigation, and collect his bonus clue from a new location (one that may be at much high shroud value.) There is math that could be done on the likelihood in each scenario you'll run into location with only 1 clue. The short answer is "it's pretty likely."

The second case is worth considering is the combo of Burglary with Lola Santiago. If the Rex combo is the gold standard, consider this the bronze minimum qualifications.

Lola's first aspect gives you that nice +1 to intellect and agility, which makes us better investigators. But it's the second aspect that really makes things interesting. Lola's fast exhaust allows us to convert resources to clues at a varying levels of efficiency. What this does is improve the value of a resource.

Suddenly, a single resource can become clue on 1 shroud locations. If a Rogue burgles a 1 shroud location and then uses Lola, they can net 1 clue and 2 resources for 1 action. On a 2 shroud location, the efficiency become 1 clue and 1 resource for 1 action, which is as efficient as Dr. Milan Christopher. That's ignoring the possibilities of burgling from a neighboring location and then moving to acquire a clue.

That said, the only aspect about Lola that makes Burglary directly more efficient is that +1 intellect, which can be accomplished otherwise. However, because resources are now slightly more valuable in terms of action economy, having an efficient way to consistently collect more resources throughout a scenario becomes more valuable.

Does that mean that Burglary is now good?

Nope. But it is adequate. The more and more we use Burglary in a given scenario, the closer our efficiency rating reaches 3 resources/action. It never quite reaches it because our first action cost 1 resource and 1 action, also because there is always a chance of failure. Over a single scenario, over 10 turns, we reach an efficiency of about 2.63, which drops to about 2 if we assume you only succeed 3/4 of the time.

Are there more efficient generators of resources? Absolutely, but few that are as beneficial over the length of a game and nothing is as card efficient. If you can pull off a Double or Nothing + Watch This combo, you get 9 resources for 0/1 actions and 2 cards. Hot Streak level 2 nets you 5 resources for 1 action and 1 card.

This card essentially gives you the fuel to repeatedly rely on Lola throughout a scenario. As you level up, you can supplement it or swap it out with Hot Streak or whatever else is more efficient.

jblade · 19
I’m not sure why you’re ubsatisfied with an average 2 resources per action. Even ECache isn’t so efficient as to be 3 resources for an action (since it also costs a card). Burglary also helps alleviate one of the biggest contradictions in Rogue kits - they have cards that give extra actions and effects that make for individually strong actions. You typically can’t afford to make all of your actions powerful with cards like Streetwise, and other cards, like Lockpicks are restricted in their frequency. Burglary gives a solidly efficient thing to do with spare actions that doesn’t require much support. I do agree with you overall that ‘adequate’ is a good descriptor of its power level. And it does have a super-cute synergy with level 0 Newspaper if you have other people on the team whose job it is to get 90% of the clues. — Death by Chocolate · 1394
This card is not is terrible, specially if we consider the current card pool. It is so situational, inconsistent and slow that I would rather have an extra weakness instead of this atrocity in my deck....well I exaggerated a llitle but seriosusly, anybody saying this is "good" or even "decent" is objectively wrong, unless you are playing on easy with 2 extra +1 tokens in the bag. In the current state of the game even cards that are — Alogon · 1088
...considerably better than this don't find space in most decks. I don't see any reason to play this unless you only have 1 core an 1 Mythos pack or if you are playing some thematic deck — Alogon · 1088
@Death by Chocolate: It's not bad by any means, it's just a matter of what resource you have most of. If you have cards and resources but are low on actions, Hot Streak is more efficient. If you're doing exceptionally well on card draw, double or nothing and watch this are the most efficient in terms of actions (if you manage to pull it off in response to a treachery, it's brilliant.) — jblade · 19
@Alogon: I respect your opinion, but mathematically, it is unquestionably useful with Rex. Are there better cards? Depends on what you're trying to do. 90% (maybe more) there's something else that'll work better. But that doesn't mean always. There will come times you'll need a constant income of resources and you get other rewards for investigating successfully (like lucky cigarette case, Milan Christopher, and Rex.) In those cases, this card becomes useful. — jblade · 19
I love this card. It's a great chump blocker for treacheries which take one of the assets you control. It's also perfect for rich girl Jenny when paired with Dr. Milan Christopher, 4 resources per action. On a low shroud location with Milan's buff of +1 intel it should work most of the time. And then you can dump those resources into free triggered skill boosters when the need arises. — Andronikus · 1
Another thing that you can do with Lola, is Burglarize a low shroud location and then use the Resources on a different location with a higher shroud, essentially making the test at the new location easier. — Xenas · 7
"What this does is improve the value of a resource." This is a key takeaway. Some decks simply value resources more than others, so they have to consider running the 2nd, 3rd, maybe even 4th best economy card they have access to. That said, when comparing Burglary to something like Emergency Cache, it's mostly a question of long-term efficiency vs. high tempo. — Blackhaven · 3

This is a really nifty card, giving a neat way to build a nice pile of resources. It's great with "Skids" O'Toole for Hospital Debts, and is really good with Hard Knocks ; it's can actually actually supply enough resources to make Wendy Adams dangerous. It's biggest cost is in actions, playing it and using it. As the FAQs say, you can also use it to burgle low shroud locations even when there's no clues still on them, which neat and good fun. Used right, it's (almost) like having an Emergency Cache on demand.

Even better, some investigators can pair it with Dr. Milan Christopher - and now your one action is more likely to succeed, and will get you 4 resources. Rex Murphy might also benefit in particular with this - if he succeeds by 2 or more he gets an extra clue, so you could be getting 4 resources and a chance of a clue too.

AndyB · 932
I mentioned Burglary in my review on Scavenging. They combo together very nicely because both effects trigger when investigating succesfully. Burglary makes sure you get the cash to pay for costs to play the items cards you just brought back from your discard pile with Scavenging. — Heyenzzz · 6670
Using said combo, theoretically you can recover 4 items each turn with 2x burglary and 2x scavenging (Scavenging does not exhaust). — Django · 4974
@Django: Scavenging does exhaust. — Herumen · 1719
Burglary combos very nicely with new investigator Rex Murphy. With his special ability you can gain both the extra resources AND a clue. — Heyenzzz · 6670
I've played a lot with Rex and I just never end up using burglary. Maybe because most of my cards are inexpensive and Dr. Milan Christopher keeps me topped up. If anything my Rex needs to be spending all his actions evading and collecting clues or the party can fall behind. If I ever do need a quick 3 or 6 resources, emergency caches are good enough and requires fewer hurdles (actions, resources, a skill checks). — masonproulx · 70
I disagree partly with the negative comments above. When you play it you are -2 actions (drawing the card, playing the card), -1 resource. After successful uses you are: (1) -3 actions, +2 resources --> (2) -4 actions, +5 resources --> (3) -5 actions, + 8 resources, (4) -6 actions, + 11 resources. You can see that after the second use you are beating straight resource actions and it only improves from here. By the fourth success (possible in many scenarios), you are getting almost double for your actions. — jmmeye3 · 615