Calvin is my new favourite investigator
By - Sass-e-nach
I love Calvin, he's a total powerhouse with a completely different playstyle to every other investigator.
He's also *really* fun to play in multiplayer, because his high-risk "wrong" playstyle massively increases the stress for everyone else. Every scenario, I'd race to get to 1 health 1 sanity, and then my friends would freak out every time I drew a card or went near an enemy.
without going too detailed/spoiling, what's the general strategy for him? I've always been curious because his signature card will seemingly help a little, but not quite enough to counter playing the majority of the game with 1 and 1 sanity/health (there's enough cards in the deck that can deal 2 or 3 damage/horror). do you just make a huge chunk of your deck damage cancelers and soak options? and then you just use his base 5 stats without needing too many things to buff them?
Calvin can make excellent use of cards that hurt him for bonuses (like Meat Cleaver, Lesson Learned), reorganise damage/horror (Smoking Pipe, Painkillers), or take advantage of his weird stat line (like Fight or Flight, Rise to the Occasion, and *maybe* the 'desperate' skills).
Throw in a bunch of cards that benefit from failure, a bunch of cards that cancel damage/events, and a bunch of damage soak/healing (especially allies with stat bonuses, or the tarot card that gives +1 health and sanity), and you end up with a character that can do just about everything.
It's all about balance though - you can play recklessly in the early game while you build up your soak engine, even pulling enemies off other investigators and walking off with them (attacks of opportunity are your friend).Then once you're happy with your stats in the 4-7 range, you can stomp your way through most skill tests while juggling unexpected sources of damage/horror.
The best part is that if your juggling ever fails, you still benefit from being defeated. Bonus points if you blow yourself up/have a ghastly revelation on the way out.
Leather Coat, Cherished Keepsake and Scavenging is a strong combo for him. Alternatively you can go the Peter Sylvestre/Jessica Hyde route.
He seems interesting but I’m legit too intimidated to play with him. Maybe once I’m a better player.
Calvin is actually a really good investigator to play in order to become a better player, as he teaches you that health and sanity are just another set of resources!
You’re thinking about him wrong then. In just about every possible way, Calvin is the most risk-free investigator there is. BECAUSE if you are defeated in a scenario, that gives you a trauma…which STRENGTHENS you.
The trick to Calvin is just make sure you know where damage and horror might be coming from…and where you’re putting it when it arrives. And that primarily focuses on his signature weakness, which is a campaign clock for him. So you can’t build him with too much card draw, because you need to be drawing his sig just once per scenario.
Otherwise, Pete, Jessica Hyde, Perseverance, I’ve Had Worse, Delay The Inevitable, or even Scavenging with a Coat and Teddy Bear are all great ways to keep Calvin healthy.
Don't forget the Five of Pentacles - a pretty bad card outside of Calvin but Calvin loves it.
The intimidation isn't usually from fear of defeat, but with having a statline of zeroes. 😉
> The intimidation isn’t usually from fear of defeat, but with having a statline of zeroes. 😉
Then you’re thinking about it wrong. A stat line can’t hurt you. A stat line just makes it harder to pass tests. So, what you’re really worried about is failing tests.
If you fail tests against enemies and/or treacheries, you won’t have a 0-stat line anymore. And if you fail tests on investigations…we’ll, don’t do those unless you’ve got a Trial By Fire or Rise to the Occasion…or something similar.
Remember survivors fail forward. So, play cards like Take Heart and Rabbit’s Foot. Also, consider that an Attack of Opportunity doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
Calvin gets to a monster stat line really quick.
Tommy is a good ease in to Calvin's play style. They both use damage/horror as a resource, but Tommy puts it on his assets so it's much safer. Helps get you in the mind set that sometimes taking damage on purpose can be a good thing.
I ran him in multi player TFA as it released and he was super fun but I couldn't get him to be fast enough for my liking. He always got things done but at a very deliberate path.
I'm looking forward to rebuilding him with the full pool and see what has changed at some point.
I'm hoping that the Brute Force/Sharp Vision suite of cards will be able to provide a bit of tempo. As you say, there's not a whole lot of efficiency otherwise. I've built him mostly just to take the heat off the other players and handle as much of the encounter deck as possible.
The trick is to play into the survivor turn-failure-into-success cards while you're still healthy, then start crushing tests when you're bloody and bruised. Look What I Found, Lucky!, Live and Learn are all great for him. Rise to the Occasion (3) is particularly good for him.
I don't have all of those unfortunately, I don't have a full cardpool. Technically I don't even own Calvin. I don't have TFA and had to borrow him from a friend so I could play him.
Deckspace is also an issue. I built him to with a lot of cards that are intended to help out the rest of the team - Solemn Vow, Let Me Handle This, Heroic Rescue, I even wanted to test out Self Sacrifice. A lot of these will need cutting at some point but not for other lvl 0 cards. Although... I did think about going Versatile so that I could add a copy of First Watch and faceplant the entire encounter phase. That sounds like fun.
Oh man - I hadn't realized Self Sacrifice was spirit-traited. That seems to be the one of very few cards to break trait conventions. Spirit is almost exclusively events.
I haven't played Calvin since before TDE came out. I'll have to give him a shot with that. It's so much fun tanking for the party.
Edit: Have you gotten much chance to use Self Sacrifice? How has it been?
Sadly not. We only got to play the first scenario because we didn't have much time, and I never drew it. In truth it seems a bit swingy to me. Opportunities to use it won't necessarily come along and then it only kicks in if the test fails. I like that it exists though, and I want to use it.
> replace it with a different weakness of my choosing at the cost of a trauma
Unfortunately you don't get to choose the new weakness. It will still be a (new) random basic weakness.
> put Overzealous in my deck. Arguably the worst weakness in the game not called Doomed
Personally, I think The Tower is worse than Overzealous in most decks
>Personally, I think The Tower is worse than Overzealous in most decks
Yessssss. My buddy and I both pulled The Tower at the start of Return to FA. Let's just say we re-drew weaknesses.
First run of TDE I drew the tower and was *overjoyed* when I saw the option to re-draw it. I had to deal with it for a whole campaign as Minh and I hated it.
Ah, looks like I cheated then. Must have misunderstood what it said. Oh well, I'm not going to go back and retcon it, and it's not like I chose a trivial weakness to play with so I feel ok about that.
And yeah, now that you mention it The Tower is pretty brutal. Best case scenario it costs you an action and 4 resources, but it usually shows up the least convenient moment and ends up being way worse than that.
Calvin is my dude, probably because I'm used to tanking in MMOs so the idea of being the "Tank" and getting unfathomably strong from it for my team appeals to me. If you really want to try a "Broken" Calvin and have the Rougarou stand alone, get him Monstrous Transformation and laugh as you hulk out and destroy all in your path.
And then you can adorn Rougarou-Calvin with a fancy Key of Y's around his neck to really make his stats silly!
LOL Calvin becomes One Punch Man at that point!
I also just had my first experience with Calvin in Dream-Eaters (B side) and he was really fun! Dream-Eaters felt like a safe choice for first-time Calvin piloting since he only had 4 scenarios so I didn't have to worry about him dying from trauma from his weakness before the campaign was over.
He was great, but still takes a backseat to my true completely-different-playstyle love, Patrice.