While in the Laundry Room, if any player makes an unsuccessful attack, that
player cannot play a block from his hand during his next turn.
Laundry Room is essentially the opposite of Lighthouse (CotW #40). The former
keeps your opponent from blocking from their hand: the latter from playing a
dodge from their hand _or_ an Exertion. As such, points of comparison between
the two are inevitable.
Game-mechanics questions first. The "unblockable" quality of Laundry Room is
in fact, not a truly "unblockable" condition. As has been ruled in many
cases, the inability to play a block from your hand does not mean that attack
is "unblockable." An unblockable attack is an attack that has been modified
so as to be block-proof.
Laundry Room does _not_ do this. Rather, you are limited in how you can play
a block. So Alertness/Block is useless.
Nor does Laundry Room require that you Exert for a defense, unlike Taunt, the
second attack of an Extra Shot, Feint/Edge, etc. So Bait and Switch won't
help you either.
When do you determine if you can play blocks from your hand? You check during
your defense phase. If Laundry Room is in play _and_ you missed at least one
attack last turn, you cannot play a block from your hand.
If Laundry Room was in play last turn and you missed an attack, but Laundry
Room is no longer in play, then you may play a block normally. No Location
has an effect if it is no longer in play. If Laundry Room modified your
opponent's attack(s) on her turn, then it would be relevant. However, it does
not do that.
If Laundry Room was _not_ in play last turn and you missed an attack, but you
yourself put Laundry Room into play on your turn, you _can_ block. The
Laundry Room had to "see" you miss your attack, so that it could prevent you
from playing a block this turn. So you have to be in the Laundry Room both
when you miss at least one attack, _and_ when it comes to your defense phase,
for you to be affected by it.
So that's how Laundry Room works. This understanding is key to putting it to
use for you, and prevent it from backfiring.
First of all, keep in mind that unlike Light House, you _can_ play a block.
You just can't play it from your hand. You can still Exert for a defense. If
you're Kastagir, this is probably a good idea if you're playing a defensive
deck. New cards like Memories and Kane's Divination also help to minimize
Laundry Room can be used in conjunction with anti-dodge cards as well. Put a
Laundry Room out, wait for your opponent to attack and you to successfully
defend. Then play Challenge/SE.
Alan notes below that Laundry Room lets anyone make an unblockable/undodgeable
Head Shot. True, but it's a bit more conditional than Connor's Master's Block
tactic. First, you have to have your opponent attack. Secondly, you have to
make sure they miss at least one attack. Third, you have to already have the
Laundry Room in play. And then you have to have the Head Shot, Lunge, and
Upper attack in your hand.
Even then, they have several "outs" that someone facing Connor's Master's
Block/Head Shot/Lunge does not. They can play their own Location and then
block. They can play Reconnaissance and block normally. They can use a
Location-remover like Get Away From It All.
Also, they can still play a block from an Exertion. Since they can play a
block or a dodge from the Exertion, their chances of successfully defending
are a bit better. The only downside is that they can't play Alertness/Block
against the Laundry Room-assisted attack.
Reconnaissance is a useful tool for bypassing the Laundry Room. As long as
you are only worried about avoiding your own Laundry Room, Master's Sanctuary
(CotW #60) may be useful. If your opponent is also using Laundry Room, put
down your own again ASAP.
So who should use Laundry Room? Anybody who plans on making multiple attacks,
for starters. Mix with Flashing Blade (if you need it: Battle Rage,
Bloodlust, and Berserk types, and Annie Devlin, don't need it) and you have a
potent series of attacks indeed.
This includes the Kurgan, Slan, anyone with the "standard" Battle Rage, and of
course, Annie Devlin. Amanda, who doesn't typically block a lot anyway, may
wish to use Laundry Room as well. She'll probably want to have a Recon or two
at hand when her opponent Lunge/Power Blows, though, so she can use that
High-dodge characters like Duncan, Fasil, possibly Nakano and Connor, and even
Generics, may also wish to rely on the relatively high number of dodges they
have, and use Laundry Room.
If you tend to use Lunge, then Laundry Room is potentially good for you
anyway. Power Blow types (Slan and the Kurgan for sure, Kern, Kalas, Connor
and Duncan to a lesser degree) can all benefit from it.
As noted below, Kalas can put together a fairly formidable combination if he
can get his opponent to trigger Laundry Room, then play a Lunged attack and
use his version of Intimidate. They can only block or dodge from an Exertion,
and they can't Exert! Mix with The Prize/Extra Attack or Master Race and the
results can be fairly formidable.
A thing to watch for is if you are a "low-dodge" Immortal: a Persona with
Back Away as their only dodge. Because of this, you have a lesser chance of
dodging, and are stuck trying to block. Recon and Master's Sanctuary can help
here. Still, Kane and Corda and Reno in particular can have trouble here.
So overall, Steve gives Laundry Room a _7_. It's a powerful card, but
Locations are still relatively easy to deal with. It's also of very little
use against a non-combat deck. It can actively deter an aggressive opponent
from attacking, but it can also backfire. Use with caution.
What Our Other Raters Say:
Jeff - Possibly more useful than Lighthouse, this Location really sparks when
added to Lunge (becomes a Special-less Taunt; add Kalas' Intimidate for more
fun). Fun location I expect to see make some creative decks, but not likely
to be a power card given the popularity of passive decks.
Hank - The block version of Lighthouse, and just as fun. Works great with
Lunge decks, or with Amanda or Fasil or another dodge-heavy Persona.
Alan - An excellent Location for attack decks that adds yet another way to
make an unblockable/undodgeable attack. Combine with Lunge and, and now
anyone can make an unblockable/undodgeable Head Shot, only defendable from an
Jim - A very nasty Location. Great when combined with Master's Sanctuary
(though rather amusing). A wonderful location for dodge-intensive types like
Amanda, Fasil, and Duncan. Also good for Personas who can make multiple
attacks, especially if they can make the attacks Hidden.
Wayne - Abstain
Prodipto - Abstain
Allen - Laundry Room is a very fun and nasty Location. Unsuccessful attacks
happen a lot in Highlander, and when they do you should back them up with a
Challenge/SE in the Laundry Room. Recon, Master's Sanctuary, Snake Bar, and
Carl are also worth taking a look at in this Location. You don't want to see
what happens when the Kurgan Bloodlusts after you've failed to hit him with an
Bruce - This is a very effective Location when used with cards that restrict
dodging. It has many of the same advantages and drawbacks as Lighthouse. It
has no effect on non-Attack decks and frequently comes back to haunt combat
decks that attempt to utilize it.