Gardien
Soutien. Main x2

Objet. Arme. Arme à feu.

Cost: 5. XP: 4.
Test Icons:

Utilisations (8 munitions).
Dépensez 1 à 5 munitions : Combattre. Vous gagnez +X pour cette attaque. Au lieu des dégâts normaux, cette attaque inflige X dégâts. X est le nombre de munitions dépensées comme coût de cette capacité.

John Pacer
La Cité des Archives #229.
BAR M1918
Reviews

Magnificent. Introducing the Browning Automatic Rifle, a weapon that lets you spend exactly as much ammo as you need to one-shot the enemy.

I think the most obvious card to compare this to is Lightning Gun, and I think they tend to be neck-and-neck. The key here is that the Lightning Gun's insane +5 bonus is usually more than you need, given that every character who can buy this already has at least 4 . Mark Harrigan in particular is going to prefer the BAR's more judicious approach to spending ammunition.

Some noteworthy interactions:

  • Probably the best card to date to combine with Sleight of Hand, so Zoey Samaras and Leo Anderson should especially consider it.
  • One of the few cards for which Contraband unambiguously pulls ahead of Extra Ammunition.
  • Speaking of which, Extra Ammunition and BAR are genuinely terrible together. You want Extra Ammunition to at least double your usage out of a weapon, and this combination is nowhere close. (I might consider it before Contraband, though. You could probably make the case that it's worthwhile to get 22 ammo instead of 16.)

The BAR seems to just generally love Rogue cards, actually. Even Double or Nothing, a card I'm not ordinarily fond of, can seriously up its game in a BAR deck, where its chances of producing a 10-damage strike are much better than with Shotgun.

In all, the Extra Ammunition problem prevents the BAR from being quite as good as the Lightning Gun, but it's not quite as expensive, either, so they're roughly in the same tier. (Lightning Gun pulls ahead on Expert, though, because its +5 becomes more relevant.)

The BAR seems so powerful for Leo that I think it's my automatic first upgrade if I ever run him.

sfarmstrong · 247
Lightning Gun seems better with Sleight of Hand unless you are going for 1 action burst damage. LG can do more overall damage, and is always more accurate over all shots. Contraband still doesn't seem worth it because it takes at least 3 ammo to make an effective shot. — Urgergaberg · 1
Dont forget custom ammunition. — Tsuruki23 · 2119
Would this get the extra damage from custom ammo. Depends when the extra damage is calculated, I guess... — Urgergaberg · 1
Do i get this right, this weapon's effect replaces the 1 damage all attacks do? Or is the damage equal to ammo spent in addition to that? — Django · 3800
Yes, you will only do damage equal to the ammo you spend on the attack. — Urgergaberg · 1
It's pretty close with Lightning Gun, but yeah, I'd generally prefer BAR. I expect that it will be more common to want to spend two actions to take two +4/4 shots, or one +5/5 shot and one +3/3 shot, than to spend three actions each taking a +5/3 shot. For one thing, you could very well need the middle action to move so that there's something to hit with the second attack. The third shot with Lightning Gun will usually be wasted outside of a boss fight, and in a boss fight dealing nine damage in three actions isn't necessarily better than dealing eight damage in two actions. The BAR is especially at an advantage against four-health enemies, which are quite common. I'll stand by my claim that BAR is the best Sleight of Hand combo to date but, again, I do recognize that it's close. I'll also reiterate that Lightning Gun is the champ on Expert. — sfarmstrong · 247
Am I the only one who doesn't like this card?? The only way to make this card worthwhile (aside from the Sleight of hand combo which is quite strong I must admit) is to play it in conjunction with Contraband. That leads to 2 issues: The first is that it's only viable for Leo or Zoey who are the only Guardians who have access to Contraband (along with Sleight of Hand). The second is that you actually have to be sitting on at least 9 resources and have the actions to spare to play both the BAR and the Contraband before starting to use ammo (you wouldn't want to waste Contraband ammo so you really want to play these cards together). When you run weapons like Shotgun or Lightning Gun you always pack extra ammo with you to make them more efficient and reliable. The same can be considered with BAR, so I really wouldn't run this if I don't have Contraband. — matt88 · 2358
And I probably wouldn't run it all. — matt88 · 2358
No, matt88, you aren't :) One is right - it is the best weapon to deal burst damage. That's all. This weapon is flexible, but for 2-3 shots. What next? The answer is not that simple like with LG. BAR has some sweet synergies (Custom Ammo, Contraband), but again - they must be played before the first use of that weapon, so they need a huge initial investment. LG is much more straightforward - pull it, kill things, reload with extra ammo, still being a weapon with the best use of 1 ammo, much better than with BAR. I would always want LG first, BAR could be second heavy weapon with green Zoey and Leo. — KptMarchewa · 1
These problems all seem very manageable to me. I mean, it kind of seems like you're comparing the value of LG in an LG-optimized deck vs. the value of BAR in... an LG-optimized deck. Extra Ammunition and Experimental Ammunition are wonderful cards, but add those to LG and a Level-2 Beat Cop, and - let's face it - Stick to the Plan, and you're looking at a massive commitment of XP and resources. You can get a decent BAR deck up and running in just a scenario or two, and having the extra XP to buy Stand Together or (for Leo) Level-2 Hot Streak will do a pretty good job of mitigating the higher up-front resource cost. Obviously, a 25-XP LG deck is going to outperform an 8-XP BAR deck, but I expect I could build a pretty damned impressive 25-XP deck if I favoured BAR. — sfarmstrong · 247
@sfarmstrong Can you give an example if a 25-XP BAR-centered deck?? — matt88 · 2358
@sfarmstrong I meant: ... of a 25-XP BAR-centered deck?? (Sigh!) — matt88 · 2358
I don't think you need to have 25 xp before the LG or BAR are good. They are both good in their own right. The problem is the support cards that synergize with BAR fewer and/or weaker. Both of the ammo cards are weak with BAR. The BAR requires 3 ammo per shot to be better damage than level 0 weapons. So Extra Ammunition gets you 1 more shot. Custom Ammunition is slightly better because the extra damage will save you ammo but only if you are fighting a monsters. At 3xp and 3 cost, I think that is worse than Contraband (not hard math, just how I feel about it). At 9 resources, that combo seems unplayable. BAR is still really good with Sleight of Hand for the exact reason sfarmstrong brought up, it would save you an action when fully unloading it. If 10 damage from the BAR or 12 damage from the LG is needed will depend on the situation. But LG is also more XP, so its acqusition is slightly slower. So it is possible you can pick up a BAR earlier in a campaign, so that is something. I think in the end the BAR is good, it just has weaker synergies than LG. — Urgergaberg · 1
@matt88, I'm not prepared to put together a complete deck yet, but I would have enough XP to get Stick to the Plan and two copies of Stand Together, plus maybe "I've Had Worse". That would give me a strong opening and reliable economy - I basically end up with a deck that wrecks enemies nearly as well as an LG deck, but I've got more reliable resource-generation and card-draw. — sfarmstrong · 247
https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/7630/leo-s-bar-25xp-1.0 25xp dream first turn: Bar with 16ammo — Fireblaze · 2
Wouldn't this weapon be better compared with the Shotgun seeing as how both of them deal damage equal to amount you succeed by? The Lightning Gar is just an ultra powered .45. — LaRoix · 1502
@LaRoix correction, BAR does DMG base on number of ammo spent. Not how much you succeed by. — 1337duck · 1

So I've had the chance to use this in Dunwich now as Zoey, and I was pretty dubious at first but I think I really like it. I didn't even combo it with any of the ways of getting extra ammo. Ok, the obvious thing to say - in most cases the Flamethrower is better and for various pretty clear cut reasons. But anyway, I had one Flamethrower already and so I got a BAR just to mix it up and try some new stuff and was pleasantly surprised.

The first time I used it got snagged by an Avian Thrall in a very early turn and that really sucked, big time. I ended up spending all 8 ammo in one go to overcome the negative modifier which felt really bad at the time, but it highlighted the flexibility of this gun - not only is the damage flexible, so is the combat boost. Now, ok sure using all 8 ammo in one go is well yeah pretty wasteful, but with the Flamethrower I would've had no way out of that other than to just take a bunch of pot shots and hope I got a 0, or alternatively swap it out for a blade and lose the ammo entirely that way too. Basically, got two rules wrong there. Flamethrower wins that one.

I did get to use it in a more piece-meal way later and the ability to take out a creature with exactly the right amount of health all in one action is pretty strong, stronger than I realised. If you end up spending lots of ammo on a tough monster, you also get a much higher modifier - so it actually scales really well for larger creatures as you're more likely to make the damage stick. To be fair though, taking only one action only really applies to big monster of four or five health, and then you're likely only to get one of those out of the ammo supply.

Another nice point is that with the Flamethrower, a couple of times I found myself wanting to engage more enemies to fully utilise the damage, but that would incur an attack of opportunity. Without the damage efficiency the value of the Flamethrower goes down (though it's still great obviously). Perhaps I should not have swapped out those Taunts earlier? But then we're talking support cards which essentially increases the cost of the weapon. BAR on the other hand doesn't suffer from that problem - exactly as much as you need all in one action. The sheer damage output of the Flamethrower means it still holds up really.

The comparison is more relevant for the Lightning Gun as you really need that second weapon to deal with the monsters with four and five health. This is of course means you need a Bandolier, so support cards again. With two four health monsters you can kill them both in two actions with the BAR. With Lightning Gun you can kill one and damage the other in three actions. Flamethrower says "hi" at this point of course, which is why it's still better, and what it potentially loses in the action efficiency it makes up for ammo/damage supply.

Lastly, I frequently find myself at four XP after a mission too, so this one just feels significantly easier to pick up, even though it's only one XP cheaper.

So the M1918 BAR then? Yeah I actually quite like it.

Octo · 76
Avian thrall has a fight value of 2 if you attack with flamethrower or bar. — trazoM · 9
What trazoM said, but also: you can’t spend all 8 in one go since the ability spends 1-5. (Unless you spent 4-5 ammo on the attack and the rest on an ‘Eat Lead!’) — Death by Chocolate · 978
Haha! Classic! Ok, totally misread that ability, and forgot about the 1-5 max. Bugger. *sigh* it's not a playthrough Arkham if you don't get at least something wrong. — Octo · 76
It’s alright. While I agree with you that Flamethrower would have been better in that situation, that’s also a perfect situation for Flamethrower when the enemy has exactly four health. Against a 5 health monster, the BAR can kill in one shot, and against fewer, it can spend exactly as much damage as needed. I think that the major benefit of the BAR is the ‘pay what you want’ style and no limitations. Flamethrower is still king of raw throughput, but the engage limitations can sometimes be prohibitive (due to AoO, since it more than makes up for action efficiency with its damage) and its inability to combo with Marksmanship. — Death by Chocolate · 978

M1918 BAR is very strange weapon comparing other Firearm weapon. If you consider to use BAR, I recommand adding BAR-supporting cards.

BAR itself is not a good weapon. If you don't consider any supporting cards, you can easily find alternatives. I believe you don't use this weapon with spending 1 ammo(=1 damage) without anything. Then, you could trigger at most 4 times. Flamethrower has 4 ammos with 4 damage, and Lightning Gun has 3 ammos with 3 damage. If you want to find more continual weapon, .45 Thompson, Holy Spear, or Enchanted Blade exists.

However, BAR has high potential. BAR deals 5 damage with 1 action, which is the highest value among weapons. BAR has 8 default ammos, which is the largest among Firearm.

Supporting Cards

  • Supplying Ammunition: Contraband, Swift Reload. Here, BAR has and spends lots of ammos. Thus, the card adding flat ammunition is bad. Sadly, both cards are cards. Note that Contraband can be played by another player, so that you may find your teammate with Double, Double.
  • Extra Damage: Custom Ammunition, Enchant Weapon.
  • "Eat lead!": As I know, ammos spent by Eat lead also contribute the BAR damage. However, I'm not sure and it's still issue. It means that you can evade without any ammo loss. Additionally, you can deal more than 5 damage with 100% succeed if ammo is enough.

8 16 32 64 128: 4 Contrabands make BAR as infinite 5 damage weapon. I heard that someone did it with Sefina by playing Contraband and doubled Scrounge multiple times.

elkeinkrad · 230
Preston can't play Contraband. It's illicit. — MrGoldbee · 1146
Man, that combo with eat lead is legit; i hadn't thought of that. — SGPrometheus · 593
That "Eat Lead!" combo should not work either, ammo spent for that event is NOT part of the ability's cost to trigger the BAR. — toastsushi · 62
I thought so to @toastsushi but now I'm not sure, as Eat lead says "additional" which might mean it actually becomes part of the cost. But I could see it go either way. — Nenananas · 193
I don't think the Eat Lead combo works because EL says that play it after you activate the fight ability on a firearm. This means you need to have spent the 1-5 bullets on BAR to have activated it. Thus you can only play EL after you've spent the BAR ammo. — jdk5143 · 96
Hmm, I'm not so sure now either. I thought Eat Lead had some language like, "as an additional cost to activate that ability..." which would definitely make it part of the ability's cost (and therefore the BAR would care about it, no matter when it was spent), but I guess it doesn't. Blah. So close. — SGPrometheus · 593
The ammo Eat Lead makes you spend doesn't count, but not because of the timing instruction, it's because it's not a cost (let alone a cost for the fight ability), it's (part of) an effect. — Thatwasademo · 41
@MrGoldbee Thanks for checking my mistake. I asked the player and he told that he played Sefina and play with Versatile. I edit the review. — elkeinkrad · 230
I agree that the ruling with Eat Lead is not clear. Nevertheless, Eat lead (0) is still good with BAR, because 1 ammo is not precious for BAR and you can avoid auto-fail. — elkeinkrad · 230

Disclaimer: I haven't run any detailed math here and haven't searched all the cards for some uber combos. I just made my thoughts regarding this card, the reviews and my personal game experience so far.

If I were able to give this card a revamp I would change two things to make it (in my view) a compatible big gun beside the others.
I would increase the cost to 6 and change the text to something like this:

Uses (8 ammo.)
Spend 1 ammo: Fight. you get +1 for this attack. This attack deals +1 damage. As an additional cost you may spend up to three additional ammo. You get +1 and deal +1 damage for each additional ammo.

with this, the overall performance would be much closer to the other guns and you have essentially two fire modi:

  1. single fire: for 4 XP you get 8x 2 damage at +1 for 6 ress. This is a 25% discount over the .45 Automatic (my "gold standard" for weapons). This discount comes with all the drawbacks of a big gun: requires two hands at once, one big target for asset hating treacheries.
  2. burst fire: here comes the flexibility (and the justification for XP)! Gain action compression by spending the exact amount of bullets you need for your enemy. Lose a portion of your discount.

Let's see how this compares to the other big guns in our arsenal

  1. Shotgun: spending 4 ammo gives you 2 shots at +4 for 5 dmage. Same burst potential, more reliable damage, less synergy with extra ammo cards. I think the "new BAR" has the advantage here.
  2. Lightning Gun: spending 2 ammo gives 4 shots at +3 for 3 damage. So one action more than the lighting gun, at a lesser to hit chance. Again harder to reload. I think both weapons are roughly on par, depending on the campaign and player needs.
  3. Flamethrower: spending 3 ammo gives 2 shots at +4 for 4 damage and leaving you with to ammo left. Between this two it comes down to flexibility vs. burst. Both weapons are capable of doing max 16 damage, but single shot "new BAR" needs double the amount of actions. Again I think both cover different terrain and would see both their use in game.

Right now, I am no big fan of a big gun guardian. But with the flexibility of the "new" BAR? Yes, could see me using it as a mid campaign upgrade!

PS: I could think of a third "automatic fire" mode with a second action option which could look something like this:
Exhaust M1918 BAR and spend 5 ammo: Fight. You get +2 for this attack. If this attack is successful, instead of its standard damage, you may assign up to 4 damage among enemies engaged with you (any additional damage adds to this total). Enemies damaged by this attack will not attack during the enemy phase.
So you have some suppression mechanic at the cost of damage. I don't know how such a mechanic would balance but flavor wise I think this would be a cool addition.

SgtWinter · 2
My group has used Big Gun guardians as our benchmark Fighters since Dunwhich as they’re no joke. It’s true that most of the good MBAR reload cards are in Rogue, not Guardian, but it is quite reloadable, and Custom Ammunition puts in most of the work to make it feel the way you seem to want it to feel. Your upgrade of +1 cost for +2-8 damage is pretty powerful, even without combo cards. As far as your comparisons, this blows Shotgun out of the water; +4 and you need to succeed by 0 instead of +3 need to succeed by 5. Not particularly surprising as Shotgun was their first attempt at a BBG (big blue gun), and it takes a lot of support to really get value out of it. The Lightning Gun’s +5 is incredible overkill for accuracy for almost anyone who can use it (until recently), dropping to a +3 is negligible and leaves the new MBAR clocking in at +33% boom for -1 xp. Reaching the opposite end of the spectrum, sure. Even the bolstered MBAR seems a bit intimidated by the Flamethrower, but the Flamethrower is nuts. Most guardians were already engaging their enemies and few were actually running Bandolier - the one relevant card it interferes with. It’s undercosted and overtuned - especially coming out in the same cycle as Venturer. Bring the MBAR up to its sheer power while still being a level 4 Card is... — Death by Chocolate · 978
Oh, and when you account for the card and action costs to play them, it’s at least a 50% discount over the .45 Automatic. — Death by Chocolate · 978
True, the one saved action over 2x .45 Auto I have totally overlooked. But your main critizism seems to be the low "cost" of 4xp. I have no complaints ramping this up :) Maybe I will try a custom ammo MBAR Leo for the next campaign. — SgtWinter · 2
Well, yes. Any card can exist in the game at the right xp cost. For the modified MBAR, I’d suggest 6. — Death by Chocolate · 978
I think you're overthinking it. Just keep the BAR exactly the same and give it 2 or 3 more rounds of ammo if you think its underpowered. — suika · 8154
I don't know if 2 or 3 more rounds would really cut it for me. My problem with the BAR is its sheer lack of total damage. You start with 8 rounds wich is 8 damage. Thats less than ANY other guardian firearm (mabye aside from shotgun if you draw unlucky). With my party our main problem most of the time is not take as few actions possible to kill the monster but have enough firepower out to kill everything that comes. And sadly, this doesn't get better with card combos. Extra Ammo & Contraband both work better with lightning gun or flamethrower in terms of total dmg potential. Sure, at the end of a campaign it is more crucial to pump as much of dmg in the shortest time possible into a great old one, and splatter a "mini boss" into pieces in two actions feels great. But grabbing your empty weapon with both hands beeing unable to support your cluer with his nasty spawn ruins this pretty quickly. — SgtWinter · 2
correction, it is less than or equal to the total damage of the firearms. Also the Winshester has the potential to do less. — SgtWinter · 2
Bumping it up to 10 ammo will put already it on par or better with every gun besides the Flamethrower. And part of the balancing factor of the BAR is how difficult it is to reload with the usual tools, which also gives Zoey and Leo something different to do with this gun with Contraband, Act of Desperation/Well Maintained, and Swift Reload. Making it easier to reload compromises the identity of the BAR. — wheelgroup · 1