Doubled Vigilance

Dark Minions has a very good (or bad, depending on your viewpoint) balance of cards. Both large and small companies are hurt by this expansion. Small companies are hurt by cards which don't count against the hazard limit and cards like Eyes of the Shadow. Large companies stand to face lots of nasty hazards and cards like

Doubled Vigilance - Hazard - Permanent-event
Playable on a Shadow-hold (or on a Ruins & Lairs or Border-hold if Doors of Night is in play). If the company chooses to enter the site, it must make a roll (draw a #) and subtract its company size. If the result is greater than 6, the company may enter the site as normal. Otherwise, the company must face an attack to be resolved before any automatic-attacks: Orcs - 4 strikes at 9 prowess. Discard when the site card is discarded or returned to its location deck.

This is a pretty good answer to the typical Indy deck company. It makes it pretty much automatic that a medium to large company will face an extra (decent) attack and it give a fairly good chance that small companies will also have to face it.

The probability that a company will have to face this orc attack is pretty high. For a company of size 2, the probability is about 72% (8 or less), for a company of size 3 it's about 83%, size 4 92%, size 5 97%, and it's automatic for any company of size 6 or 7. Those are some pretty good odds.

Now, how effective is an attack like that? It's got one more strike than an Orc-watch, but is more limited in play. However, it's more limited in play without Doors of Night. Doors is, however, in probably a majority of decks and frequently out. With Doors, this card reaches most sites, so if you include Doors, you can be pretty sure of giving this card a high frequency of play. The attack, as I mentioned, is not too shabby, as it has a pretty good chance of at least tapping some characters, which is almost all that counts during the site phase. Plus, it benefits from all those nifty orc enhancers which have recently made orcs a viable (and dangerous) strategy.

Even if you can't tap the party with this card (and other hazards during the M/H phase), they still have to face the auto-attack (and you will likely get to choose many defenders with that). There is some chance that your opponent will survive with a character available for an item (or the right character for the faction), but this card almost certainly prevents multiple item grabbing with Thorough Search or Durin's Ring.

Is this card better than just including a creature? In many cases, yes. Most of the creatures that can be keyed to border-holds, ruins & lairs, AND shadow- holds have weaker attacks, and also won't plague a company for multiple turns if it fails to make it in. This card also doesn't give any MPs, although 1 MP usually won't make too much of a difference. This card can't, however, be played on-guard.

So all in all, Doubled Vigilance is a card that can cause a company to wait an extra turn, and possibly force them to move somewhere else, giving you more opportunity to play hazards on them and they less chances to get MPs. Which is what the game's all about.

Ratings for Doubled Vigilance:
Isildur: 6.75
Frodo: 8.0
Samwise: 7.1
Wormtongue: 5.5
Legolas: 7.0
Strider: 8.0
Gandalf: 4.5
Morgoth: 6.5
Farmer Maggot: 7.5
Average: 6.8

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Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1996 by Trevor Stone. Permission given to duplicate so long as no profit is made and the copyright notice is kept in tact, blah, blah, blah.