Meet Daisy Walker with Guest Writer James Phillips
Join guest writer James Phillips as he casts a special light on one of his favorite investigators for Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Daisy Walker. If you’re interested in picking up the Revised Core Set or are just wondering a bit about Daisy, then read on!
James Phillips Showcases Daisy Walker
With the recent release of the Revised Core Set for Arkham Horror: The Card Game, it’s a great time to introduce yourself to the characters of the Arkham Horror Files universe. There are 5 characters in the box, representing the 5 different classes in the game, and today I want to talk to you about the best class and best investigator – the Core Set Seeker, Daisy Walker.
The characters you play as in the Arkham Horror games are called “investigators” for a reason. There might be monsters to fight, or other tasks to do, but ultimately, your job is to investigate, to find things out, and there are few people better at that than Daisy.
Daisy is a popular character who has appeared in various places over the years – she appeared in a series of novels from Fantasy Flight back in the day, but has also appeared more recently in the Investigators of Arkham Horror book, as well as having significant roles in Aconyte Books’ Litany of Dreams and The Devourer Below. The Aconyte titles are absolutely beautiful, and The Devourer Below is practically required reading someone who is looking to get into Arkham Horror: The Card Game and wants to know more about the wider story.
The various stories all portray Daisy as a calm, sensible, rational, and ultimately very capable young woman. She’s no fighter, but she offers enough just by bringing her brain along that others can afford to pick up a little slack if there are monsters that need bashing. In Litany of Dreams, Daisy is shown as initially quite sceptical as to the reality of the mysteries, monsters, and madness of the world of the Arkham Horror Files, as well as a little nervous about the damage it could do her professionally to be seen as involved with superstitious nonsense. However, beneath the need to maintain a professional veneer, she is also shown as a deeply caring individual, not afraid to make sacrifices to help the unfortunates around her. By the time of The Devourer Below, she seems a bit more experienced in the ways of the Mythos, having survived a few close shaves thanks to the help of fellow investigators. I won’t spoil any more details, but I will let you read the stories for yourself.
In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, the way to win is by investigating and finding clues, typically by taking an investigate action using your intellect – or, as it is sometimes colloquially referred to, your “books.” Daisy is a librarian at Miskatonic University’s Orne library, and as befits a librarian, her ‘books’ skill is high, at 5 (only one other core set investigator has a 5 in any skill).
As well as having a very strong intellect, Daisy’s card reflects her background in other ways: by day she supervises the Restricted Section, where the most dangerous books are found, and her talent with tomes is unrivalled: where most characters can only manage 2 tomes (or indeed 2 of anything that you hold in your hand) at a time, Daisy not only has a bag to hold an additional book (Arkham Horror: The Card Game Revised Core Set, 8), but she even gets a free additional action every round to use on one those tomes. For a game that gives you 3 actions per round, that 33% increase in what you’re able to do is huge, and can make Daisy really powerful. You go for Old Book of Lore (Revised Core Set, 31) to ensure that you always have the card you need when you need it, Medical Texts (Revised Core Set, 35) to heal damage from her small health pool, or even upgrade to an Encyclopedia (Revised Core Set, 42), for a +2 boost to any skill. Whatever the task, Daisy will find the right book for the job.
Of course, every Arkham Horror Investigator has a weakness and, fittingly, Daisy’s weakness is another tome – none other than the blasphemous Necronomicon (Revised Core Set, 9), the darkest of all the forbidden works of which she is custodian. Once gazed upon, the pages of this blasphemous volume will slowly eat away at your mind, and Daisy will need to pay a hefty cost in sanity, or turn what should have been her greatest successes into failures. While it can cause you problems, the Necronomicon is a very thematic weakness for Daisy and, as a tome, you can at least use her free action to (eventually) get rid of it.
The Tome is Mightier than the Sword
As great as books are, you can’t just hit ghouls and cultists over the head with them, and while she clearly has a brilliant mind, Daisy’s physical stats let her down a little: a mere 5 health, 2 combat and 2 agility – she doesn’t want to be stuck with enemies too long, and she doesn’t appear suited to getting rid of them.
That said, the Seeker role has a few tricks for getting around enemies. Use a Barricade (Revised Core Set, 38) to stop an enemy’s approach, and Mind Over Matter (Revised Core Set, 36) can let Daisy use her brains to fight instead of her brawn.
Fortunately, as well as a Seeker, Daisy’s exposure to the strange world of the Restricted Section – and the horrors of Arkham beyond that - has opened her mind, and thus she is also a Mystic, able to take Mystic cards from Levels 0-2. If you need to fight something, then you can use spells like Shrivelling (Revised Core Set, 60) to blast them with your mind!
As Arkham Horror is inherently a campaign game, your Daisy starting deck won’t stay the same for very long, as you acquire XP and improve cards in your deck. Staple options like an upgraded Magnifying Glass (Revised Core Set, 40) to make sure that you get the clues from even the toughest locations, or Cryptic Research (Revised Core Set, 43) to get you some more cards. In the Revised Core Set, you also have access to the upgraded Old Book of Lore (Revised Core Set, 186), which lets Daisy not only find extra cards with her free tome action, but also play those assets without spending another action!
Once you finish playing Daisy through the Revised Core Set, there are so many options open for where to take her next. The Dunwich Legacy cycle is a great thematic fit that will see her confront a new version of the mystical Necronomicon (you can read through the series of fictionalized plays I did of this campaign with her here). If you pick up The Circle Undone cycle, you can simply Deny (the) Existence of any damage that comes your way, whereas a trip into the Dreamlands with The Dream-Eaters cycle can secure the assistance of another librarian, Abigail Foreman. Or you could even grab the Harvey Walters Investigator Starter Deck, and relieve Harvey Walters of the assistance of Whitton Greene.
If you want to get really crazy, you can even venture into a parallel reality where a new Daisy is waiting, and you’d better find her tomes quickly, because it really is Read or Die!
Ultimately, there are no bad choices – wherever your Arkham adventures take you, Daisy will be a valuable asset to have on your team.
James Phillips, or Mighty Jim, is a member of the Card Game Cooperative Podcast Team, and the writer of the Fistful of Meeples Blog. When he isn’t trying to keep up with three different LCGs and a small child, he can be found playing D&D, or painting up miniatures for his board game collection such as Journeys in Middle-earth and Mansions of Madness. You can contact him via the Facebook pages for the blog or podcast, or by sending a DM to MightyJim#6786 on Discord.