Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Character Guide: Ms. Abigail

Character Name: Ms. Abigail.

Inspired by: Unknown for now.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Defensive.

Ability: "You may ignore he effects of brown-borders cards with values J, Q, K, and A if you are the only target." She can choose for the effects to occur if she so wishes -- she can, say choose to enter a Duel if she views it as favorable.

Activation: When a brown bordered card that targets only Ms. Abigail is played.

Cards enhanced by Ms. Abigail's ability: Duck (she can save and return it for when she actually needs it, which is less frequent than for other players), Crate (also save up needed Missed!)

Cards weakened by Ms. Abigail's ability: Her optional immunity makes the need for Missed! cards and Escape less relevant; they're definitely still valuable, just less so for her than for many other characters

Cards less effective when played against Ms. Abigail: Here are the list of royal brown bordered cards that target a single player:
  • BANG!: K, J, K, Q, A, Q, K, A (28.5% of base + DC game BANG!; 27.5% with A&D)
  • Springfield (DC): K
  • Backfire (VOS): Q
  • Tomahawk (VOS): A
  • Flintlock (A&D): A
  • Duel: Q, J (2/3; only 1 can necessarily engage her)
  • Cat Balou: J, K (2/5 with base + DC; 2/6 with A&D)
  • Panic!: J, J, Q, K (4/5 with base + DC)
  • Also weakened are Buntline Special (indirectly weaker; royal BANG! she does not cancel, but is rather immune to them she does not have to discard in those cases), Double Barrel (her immunity is not a cancellation, weakening Double Barrel on the diamond BANG! played, of which there are 4 royals), and Volcanic (royal BANG! have no effect); mass discards (Bandidos) are less effective against Ms. Abigail due to her natural defenses. Jail is also less relevant when played on her.
Cards more effective when played against Ms. Abigail: Few cards truly weaken Ms. Abigail (versus just being more relevant to play against her), but some stand out: The Big Fifty, as it cancels the target player's character ability and cards in play (so it can cancel out her optional immunity to brown royals); and the Lemat (since any card in the hand can be played as a BANG!, play non-royal cards as BANG! against her). 

Ideal Roles: Sheriff.

Characters Ms. Abigail counters:

BANG! driven offensive characters: Slab the Killer, Willy the Kid, Bloody Mary, Colorado Bill (she doesn't need to avoid the shot for her immunity to be valid)

"Draw!" driven: John Pain (she is less likely to feed him cards)

Characters who counter Ms. Abigail well:

"Card Depleters": Pat Brennan (pull her gun cards to limit her distance and ability to apply her BANG!), Jesse Jones (pulling cards from her hand can deplete her offenses and Beer), Flint Westwood (trade a royal card to her that you couldn't affect her anyway to get 2 of her cards, likely grabbing relevant cards she has stored), Youl Grinner (her immunity make her likely to have more cards than Youl Grinner and have to hand a card over), Gary Looter (immunity makes her likely to hold on to cards and go over her limit),

"Alt-Offenders": Doc Holyday (discard BANG! have no value), Belle Star (cards she in play in front of her are irrelevant on Belle's turn; her immunity is still relevant), Suzy Lafayette (she can still play her ineffective browns to draw more cards), Lee Van Kliff (he can repeat the effect of a card by discarding a BANG!, the value is no itself repeated, nor the value of the discarded relevant, allowing him to step around her ability), Black Flower (any club she can play as an extra BANG!, so she can more easily play non-royal BANG!), Der Spot-Burst Ringer (She is not immune to Gatling, as it targets more than one player), Evelynn Shebang (draw refusal for BANG! conversion means the BANG! are valueless, and thus Ms. Abigail's immunity is not triggered), Jacky Murieta/Mexicali Kid (resource converted BANG! are valueless, which Ms. Abigail is not immune to)

"Card Converters": Calamity Janet (convert your royal BANG! into Missed! and your non-royal Missed! into BANG!)

"Card Acquirers" (they have a higher chance of getting cards that will affect Ms. Abigail): Black Jack, Kit Carlson, Sean Mallory, Pixie Pete, Don Bell (when he gets his second turn), Jose Delgado, Tuco Franziskaner, Raddie Snake, Pedro Ramirez (he can see if the discard pile card is a non-royal value, and then draw it if he so chooses), Chuck Wengam/Bill Noface

2-Player Value: Great. Immunity is cards in a 2-player situation really helps.

Armed and Dangerous Value: Solid. Immunity allows her to hold on to cards with Missed! effects and then discard them on her turn when over her hand limit to gather load tokens.

Gold Rush Value: Solid. While she's not great at gathering gold nuggets, she is good at restricting other player characters from gaining gold nuggets by attacking her.

General Strategy: Ms. Abigail is another of the few characters included in Armed and Dangerous which has universal value outside of the expansion. Her ability most resembles Apache Kid, who is immune to the effects of diamonds played by other players. Similarly, she may be immune to the effects of royals (J, Q, K, A) where she is the only target. The may is relevant, or she'd be immune to cards she might play that target herself, or she'd be less able to willingly enter into a Duel. Notice how Apache Kid's ability still protects him from multiple target cards like Indians!, while Ms. Abigail does not have that luxury.

The net effect of this is Ms. Abigail is roughly immune to about 25% of the attack cards in the game (and her ability is easier to plan around than Jourdonnais' as it is guaranteed), and she is especially difficult to remove cards from. It's easier to discard, rather than steal from her, but they are both very difficult. Ms. Abigail should use this to her advantage, looking for blue and orange (dangerous) cards she can get out into play. Green cards are also valuable, especially as allowing her to offload her hand of defensive cards and focus more on offensive options -- she can use them only when needed, applying her immunity to any foolish player using a royal against her. General Store will be very helpful in nabbing these, as well as Tornado.

Duel's are less advantage for Ms. Abigail to participate in. For one, it allows her opponents to actually use royal BANG! against her by discarding them, while prior they would have no effect. She'll also be able to more likely keep high range gun cards in play, so the distance benefits are less relevant.
She should make sure she can counter multiple target attack cards well -- grabbing them when they appear in a General Store, and keeping a BANG! in hand to ward off Indians! and Arrow.

A clever Ms. Abigail player could also card count, and determine which royals have been played, as well as those that are in her hand, so she can get a greater sense of her probabilities of being affected.

Playing against Ms. Abigail: In some ways, knowing that Ms. Abigail is immune to your royal browns that target only her helps orient your behavior -- you don't waste your time playing them against her, say, versus Jourdonnais' where there's just a chance they won't affect him. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Use royals to feed the activation costs for other cards or abilities (Dodge City cards, card conversion abilities). When Indians!, Duel, or Tornado is played, discard the royal. Keep your eye on non-royal browns appearing in the General Store.

Since her ability only protects her for cards targeting only her, multiple target attacks that are royal are very valuable (I'm looking at you, Indians!, which has an A and K of diamonds). Note that when the game drops to 2 players, that immunity will suddenly kick in...

If you're paying attention to the card distribution of royals, you'll notice that is very hard to Panic! and Cat Balou cards from Ms. Abigail. This means that you need to play the cards that do steal/discard cards from her very wisely (Whip, Squaw, Brawl, Ragtime, Bandidos). Don't waste them on a green card; use them on something really meaningful. 

No comments:

Post a Comment