Delve Too Deep File X: Jenny Barnes

Welcome to the tenth instalment of Delve Too Deep, a series of articles where I go a little insane talking about Arkham Horror: The Living Card Game. To all my readers and the people who have been engaging in discussions on Facebook, reddit, and elsewhere, thank you so much for joining me in my quest to discover the secrets behind this wonderful game. I hope you keep reading for as long as I keep writing, and enjoy your visits here!

We’re now up to our third investigator from the upcoming deluxe, The Dunwich Legacy. We’ve explored Rex and Pete in two previous articles, and now we come to the aptly titled “Dilettante”; Jenny Barnes.

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Notable Strengths of Jenny

Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. With a reasonable score of 3 in every single stat, Jenny is able to take a decent stab at any task she’s given. This also allows her to be built in MANY, MANY different ways, making her a very interesting and difficult character to build for. I’ll be including two different builds down below as a result.

Adding to that flexibility is her very simple ability; she gains two resources instead of one at the end of each turn. No actions to trigger it, no conditions to meet. Just an extra resource at the end of every turn for Jenny to do whatever she may very well please with.

This resource gain, and her access to all of the goodies in the Rogue faction (like my favourite card, Burglary, as well as Hot Streak after gaining some experience) combo extraordinarily well with her powerful unique card, Jenny’s Twin .45s. Even at something as low as four resources, this is an amazing weapon; a Baseball Bat that doesn’t break! Once you start getting crazy and hit seven or eight, you’ll have no problem using the most powerful weapon in the game for the rest of your adventure.

Notable Weaknesses of Jenny

Flexibility is also Jenny’s greatest weakness. She comes as something of a “jack of all trades, master of none” kind of character, very befitting of her title (roughly equating to “amateur”). Every other character in the game so far has started with at least a 4 in one skill, clearly indicating that as their primary way forward. It also allows them to use that skill with reasonable success sans assets.

Jenny’s across the board 3s do not allow such confidence. Without assets, she can’t do anything reliably, and there are not a whole lot of great stat boosting assets native to Rogue. This means that Jenny’s out of faction slots are likely to be dedicated toward stat boosters in order to guide her down a specific path, leaving her little wriggle room for some neat tricks. Like many other characters, this leads her to be a bit sluggish initially, lest she be unreliable.

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The absolute craziest weakness in the game, often requiring more than three actions to resolve!

Finally, Jenny has one of the most outrageous weaknesses in the game. Requiring you to travel to the furthest location from you (worse in some scenarios than others) to then spend two actions to make a check you HAVE to succeed to get rid of it is an absurd amount of actions. Whilst the penalty of a mental trauma is not so great for her given she starts with 7 sanity, it is still very irritating, to the point that it is definitely worth a mention.

Build Path: Jenny Generous

Investigator/Signature Card
Jenny Barnes
Jenny’s Twin .45s
Searching for Izzie

Assets
2 Burglary
2 Liquid Courage
Leo De Luca
2 Hard Knocks
2 Dr Milan Christopher
Arcane Studies
Knife
2 Flashlight

Skills
2 Unexpected Courage
2 Manual Dexterity
2 Overpower
2 Perception

Events
2 Think On Your Feet
2 Elusive
Backstab
2 Emergency Cache
2 Teamwork

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Take this! (Love the flavour text)

I’ll admit, this is a bit of a weird deck. It is again making use of my absolute favouriteBurglary + Dr Milan engine, but unlike with Rex, there is a much different purpose here; to build up to a huge Teamwork where you give everyone on your team pretty much all of your resources, plus Dr Milan once you no longer need him. This way, you can alleviate any stresses they may have about gaining resources, and take advantage of the excess resources you’ll be sure to have.

Like Roland, you have the potential to build into a huge carry thanks to access to Arcane Studies and Hard Knocks, a pile of resources, a powerful weapon, and Leo De Luca. This will take time, however, and I’d suggest instead making use of your jack of all trades nature to be a good assistant in all areas. Is your lead clue gatherer struggling? Go and lend them a hand. Is your primary fighter being overwhelmed? Go and relieve them of some stress.

To compliment this strategy, I’d recommend taking Hot Streak as your first big purchase, replacing Liquid Courage, Think On Your Feet, or Backstab (they’re not necessary at all). The huge resources means you can either transition into your super late game carry or donate even more resources with Teamwork. Afterwards, consider Sure Gamble for some security during important skill checks, and maybe a Bulletproof Vest or Elder Sign Amulet. If you’re really desperate, you can grab an upgraded Leo de Luca if you have nothing else to buy or can’t afford anything, but really only then.

Dynamite Blast is another option if you’re not feeling like using Teamwork. It’s a very powerful card indeed, and given how rich you can be, the cost shouldn’t be as prohibitive as it is for others who are able to use it. This completely transforms you from “Generous” to “Anarchist”, however.

Build Path: Jetting Jenny

Investigator/Signature Card
Jenny Barnes
Jenny’s Twin .45s
Searching for Izzie

Assets
2 Pickpocketing
2 Hard Knocks
Leo De Luca
Peter Sylvestre
2 Flashlight

Skills
2 Unexpected Courage
2 Manual Dexterity
2 Overpower
2 Perception

Events
2 Sneak Attack
2 Backstab
2 Elusive
2 Think On Your Feet
2 Bait and Switch
2 Dynamite Blast
2 Emergency Cache

This is more of a fun build where you’ll be playing the “damsel in distress”, running away from all the monsters and drawing cards from Pickpocketing. Bait and Switch allows you to send any monsters that manage to follow you away, while you have many other tools to avoid any other creepy creatures awaiting you, while Sneak Attack and Backstab let you put an end to any hunting horrors trying to devour you.

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Light ’em up and put an end to the horrors lurking in the darkness!

Once you’ve grown tired of running away, light up a fuse and let a Dynamite Blast rid you of a group of pesky monsters that you’ve left in the dust. Or better yet, bait them towards you and gun them down one by one with your twin pistols. Whatever your choice, you have a surprising number of ways to either flee from the monsters, or unleash the terror that is your wrath on them!

Once you level up, I’d recommend swapping out Peter Sylvestre, the high school hunk, for the more alluring Cat Burglar. This will then free up a slot in the out of faction area, which you could use to grab a Barricade (if you’re feeling like locking the monsters into a room, or are alone in your adventures), a Scrying (another good option if you’re all on your own), a Teamwork (if you’re still feeling a little generous) or perhaps hone your Survival Instincts (a good choice if you’re trying to do something sneaky). Afterwards, take Hot Streak and Sure Gamble yet again; they really are the bread and butter upgrades for Rogue at the moment.

Conclusion on Jenny

I feel as though Jenny will be absolutely amazing…someday soon. At the moment, in spite of the flexibility of her stats and ability, there just aren’t enough options for her in her native faction to assist in very useful strategies. Skids relied quite heavily on the Guardian faction for his carry build, and unfortunately Jenny doesn’t have that luxury. Her strategies are both cute, and I quite like the ideas behind the “Generous Jenny” build, but I feel like there are other investigators that just outshine her at the moment.

Again, her flexibility will be interesting as more and more content is released, and I’m very keen to try her out in multiplayer games specifically. Just like every other investigator, I love the design of Jenny. I may not be overly convinced about her usefulness at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try out this new gal!

What about you guys? What do you think of Jenny? What are some builds you have in mind? Let the discussion commence, and as always, thank you for reading, and may your skill checks remain untentacled!

*images courtesy of arkhamdb.com and Fantasy Flight Games

 

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4 thoughts on “Delve Too Deep File X: Jenny Barnes

  1. I’ve been preparing for Dunwich Legacy’s release by trying to design a Jenny deck too. I think it come somewhere in between your examples. I’m probably going to be playing two-handed, though I’m not sure who with for this.

    Asset (13)

    1x .41 Derringer
    1x Knife
    1x Holy Rosary
    2x Dr. Milan Christopher
    1x Peter Sylvestre
    1x Arcane Studies
    2x Burglary
    2x Hard Knocks
    2x Pickpocketing

    Event (8)

    2x Elusive
    2x Emergency Cache
    2x Sneak Attack
    2x Think on Your Feet

    Skill (9)

    1x Double or Nothing
    2x Manual Dexterity
    2x Overpower
    2x Perception
    2x Unexpected Courage

    Jenny’s even stats make her an interesting character, and I thought it might be interesting to try to boost them, if possible. Thus, we’ve got Peter Sylvestre to boost agility, which dovetails with many of the Rogue cards, Dr. Milan Christopher to boost intellect, and Holy Rosary for willpower.

    For talent assets, we’ve got Hard Knocks and Arcane Studies – so Jenny will be able to pay to boost any stat.

    Obviously, the big ticket item is Jenny’s Twin .45s – and I’ve included a couple of Pickpocketing cards to help find them in the deck. Hands have largely been kept clear (to be ready for them). I added a .41 Derringer in case they’re deep in the deck – it’ll give a higher weapon density, and I chose Knife over Kukri due to it’s discard ability (ready for getting the .45s out) and low cost.

    Elusive is included to help deal with Searching for Izzie, as is (to some degree) Think on Your Feet

    In the future: For a campaign, Adaptable seems an instant pick, and with so many allies, Charisma seems a must. Peter Sylvestre will likely be replaced by Cat Burglar, and Cunning Distraction taken. Sure Gamble and Hot Streak would also be high on the list, likely replacing Emergency Cache. Hired Muscle could make an appearance, too.

    Depending on how the balance feels on resources, I might swap Emergency Cache for Backstab too, though with lower agility than Wendy or Skids, I don’t imagine this being quite as useful.

    Like

    1. Now that’s a comment!

      I think you raise an interesting point about naturally raising all her stats to 4 where possible; this would make her go from average at doing everything to great! The major difficult, of course, is the fact that most of them take up the Ally slot. Once Charisma is out, I can see this being a lot more viable.

      I don’t know if I agree with including cards whose sole purpose is just to deal with her weakness; I think that most of the time, if I draw it and the scenario is going alright, I’ll go deal with it. Otherwise, I’ll just accept the mental trauma.

      Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

      Like

      1. Yeah, Charisma is required for that – but as soon as it’s out, I’m going for it!

        Ellusive/Think on your feet isn’t _just_ for Searching for Izzie – they’ve good icons, and are useful ways of avoiding enemies. They also should be pretty handy for Izzie too.

        I did wonder about ‘Opportunist’ and it’s wild icon – but I’m really not sure what to make of it, to be honest. I mean, how often do you pass a test by 3 or more? Is it worth it just for the icon? Think on your feet seemed more useful.

        Like

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