Instead of a scenario playthrough, I’m posting some early thoughts on the Tinkerer class now that GREM has hit level 2.
The Tinkerer, as a class, is hard to disentangle from the Quatryl image that represents it. Ostensibly, Tinkerers could come in any form. They’re simply a type of character that enjoys traps, automatons, and Steampunk conventions. But The Tinkerer on the field is distinctly set apart from others due to its small stature and unusually shaped potato head.
By Level 2, most of the Tinkerer’s cards fall into a few categories: AOE (Area of Effect) attacks focused on damage, Status, Heal, General, and Specialty.
Cards like Flamethrower and Ink Bomb put out moderate damage to small groups of enemies. At this point, I usually save these cards for the final two rooms to clear big monsters. If one of these cards is used earlier in the round, it’s almost always as a time-saving move to clear multiple smaller monsters that are blocking progress.
I was expecting to use cards like Stun Shot a lot more often. So far, it hasn’t been necessary. In a two player game, we rarely take enough damage to be concerned because (a) there aren’t as many monsters as there are in 3p or 4p games, (b) we have more room on the board to kite, and (c) outputting damage is a better strategy right now than defending against damage — IE if defending against an attack simply delays it, killing a monster means fully negating it.
Maybe these are helpful in 3 or 4-player games, but for us these have been largely wasted cards so far.
The Tinkerer has a few cards that are basic, decent ranged attacks or 4 hex moves. This plays right into the Tinkerer’s strength of having one of the largest hands of the starting classes (…I’m guessing? We haven’t seen the other classes yet). GREM starts with 12 cards and using vanilla attack and move actions (none of which are Lost) means that those cards can extend his time on the board. If I don’t Lose a card before my first rest, I can be pretty sure that I will have more than enough cards to play out the scenario.
These odd duck cards are fun yet highly situational. Proximity Mine (which is Lost after using) hasn’t hit the table as much as I first thought, but Hookgun has become a real winner. That simple 2 damage + pull makes for some powerful early game combos. Pulling a monster into a basic trap means 5 damage. Pulling them into a proxy means 8, which is one of our highest possible damage outputs. And, of course, traps aren’t subject to Shield rules…
Above, you can see an easy opportunity to convert that simple, reusable 2 damage card into a 5 damage card. GREM could step to the far side of the trap and pull the elite in to begin chipping away at his health OR he could pull the Archer in — possibly giving the archer disadvantage on his next turn and requiring the elite to walk around his buddy to whack GREM.
The Tinkerer has been a fun first class so far. It fits into multiple situations and it almost never seems like I have no good choices to make. (That HAS happened with the Spellweaver before who mostly has direct damage cards.) GREM also accumulates XP fast due to his large deck size and easy to trigger 2 XP cards. He does NOT collect gold very fast. He has few Loot actions and chasing coins often seems like a waste of his turn.
GREM pulled Zealot of the Blood God for his personal quest, which means that he’ll retire as soon as he’s become Exhausted twelve times. He’s already at five, which means that he’ll retire very early on in the overall game — possibly before we even hit 10 completed scenarios.
Am I OK with that? I think I’m ready to play other classes. The Tinkerer was a fun intro, is always helpful, and can pull off some narratively cool moves, but he’s a backseat driver. It’s hard to split from the party to clear rooms on his own, so he’s often relegated to trailing behind the Spellweaver to clean up.He may be more fun in a larger group.
For a two-player game? I’m happy to be on track for an early retirement. We’ll see if the BURNING MOUNTAIN gets me one step closer.