Fantasy Flight Games have been kind enough to send us a few spoilers for the Sinister Motives campaign expansion, so as a result we’ve got three encounter cards to share with you!
[Tim] Swinging Assault is a fairly standard ‘villain attacks’ encounter card when revealed in Hero form, but it’s the Alter-Ego effect that stands out to me.
Forcing you to change to Hero form and then immediately getting attacked is pretty brutal. If you’ve just gone back to Alter-Ego with the intention of recovering next round, it may even knock you out.
With two boost icons, overall I think this card is a decent addition to an encounter deck that aims to provide a reasonable challenge.
[James] Treacheries that grant the villain an additional activation aren’t exactly a new concept, but this one stands out due to how that activation resolves against identities currently flipped to their alter-ego side. Forcing that player back into hero form before they are able to take their next turn could be pretty disruptive for those characters that like their alter-ego actions (looking at you, Ms. Marvel). Additionally, if you’ve flipped out of a desperate need to recover then Swinging Assault could be game-ending.
The additional boost card that a hero mode reveal receives feels less threatening than the forced flip to me overall, but it is by no means insignificant. There’s so many nasty boost effects in the game now, not to mention the additional damage it could bring, but that forced flip is going to be the real downside of this card.
[Tim] Now the heroes can experience what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Webbed Up! How annoyed you are going to be about this will really depend on your aspect and the number of heroes involved in your game. True Solo players will find this card particularly harsh, as their hero will often be required to do most of the attacking, but in games involving multiple heroes it’s unlikely to have as much of an impact (unless the Webbed Up hero is playing Aggression).
The boost effect is nice, and in an encounter deck that already has some stun effects it could lead to a lot of damage being dished out. So far, I like the Symbiotic Strength encounter set!
[James] Well this card certainly looks familiar. Can’t say that I’m looking forward to being on the receiving end of a stunlock deck. I’m curious to see how many copies of this are included in the Symbiotic Strength modular encounter set as I feel it gives the villain some solid control.
Webbed Up is going to be a massive tempo hit for the player that’s unlucky enough to reveal it, especially if they are running a deck that lacks any cheap attack events, or upgrades, to help burn through the double stun. Considering how some of the more aggressive solo decks rely on their hero activation to thwart this card could leave them in a very rough spot.
[Tim] Due to how prevalent chump-blocking with allies is, not being able to defend against the villain’s attacks is game-changing. Thankfully, Tracking Display is relatively easy to get rid of – you just have to exhaust a character you control and discard a card at random.
However, this card has Surge, meaning that it’s possible to reveal this as an encounter card, attach it to the villain, then reveal a ‘villain attacks you’ card all in one sitting. This proposed scenario doesn’t even take into account situations where you are already drawing more than one encounter card in a villain phase, which would increase the chances of another attack.
Overall, this is a card that you will get rid of at the first opportunity and the cost isn’t so high that it’s going to hurt you too much (especially as you can play some cards from hand first to ensure that the ‘random’ one is one that you didn’t need), except maybe when revealed as a boost card (three icons always hurts!).
[James] As much I like the idea of Tracking Display shutting down the defend action it’s so easy to get rid of that I’m not sure how much harm it will cause you in the long run. That surge should not be dismissed, of course, as it could very well result in an extra attack itself. However, despite being a bit of a tempo hit the cost to discard it is still low enough that there’s not too many situations where you won’t do it immediately at the start of your next turn. I feel the most threatening aspect of this card is the triple boost icons.
Obviously this is only one card from the Osborn Tech set, and if all six of the attachments have surge then that could result in some very silly Villain phases. If all the attachments require a character exhaust to remove too, which is probably a safe assumption, then being left in the position of having to choose which one to discard could ramp up the threat Tracking Display offers.
Thanks again to FFG for these spoilers. We’re looking forward to Sinister Motives!