A loss, a bye and two wins saw me take this deck to third place out of seven at Huddersfield's IQ Games on 21/05/16.
The general plan here is to use Ol' Howard to get the California Tax Office at the start of the game, then pick on dudes and load them up with conditions to increase their upkeep. They'll either end up getting discarded by the Taxman or in the next lowball phase, at which point if you've got a Backroom Deals handy you can borrow their services for a turn. The threat of the tax office can prevent people from playing cards they otherwise would as they'd risk losing a dude. I don't know if it was simply that no-one was running Steven Wiles, but I certainly didn't see him all day either.
Phantasm really helps for getting dudes to move where theres a Tummy Twister. Blood Curse is its usual amazing self, and both are handy for when opponents send dudes to sit on your Tax Office as you can either move them somewhere they don't want to be or drain their influence.
Play it carefully. This isn't a shooter, it's a control deck. It'll have problems with focused early aggro, and Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton shuts down a lot of its tricks. It'd probably benefit from a few tweaks. Increasing the Tummy Twisters and Lost to the Plague to four copies each might be worthwhile. I'd consider swapping a Phantasm for a Stone Idol to increase the range of dudes that Lost to the Plague can hit, but most decks will start a couple of dudes that can be hit by it so that's not so important. Phantom Fingers might help with the weakness to Yagn's.
Here's a summary of the games:
Game 1 vs Stephen's Gadgetorium
Stephen opened with a Yagn's on Chuan "Jen" Qi, and I knew that this was going to be a tough game. Jen raced across town ignoring the Tummy Twister on my Tax Office and took it off me. My opening hand was far from helpful, and I don't think I saw a hex until turn 4, and then it was only Forget! This time allowed Stephen to build up has gadgets and get some economy in place. I got a Surveyor's Office out and got a few more conditions in play. Stephen took a couple of turns of paying all his upkeep costs even though it was losing him a ghost rock per turn. With a Secured Stockyard, William Specks and the Gadgetorium he was able to keep things going, and he'd been able to amass quite a stash before the conditions started to bite.
At one point I managed to use Backroom Deals to secure the services of his Eve Henry, who then got into a fight with his dudes in town square, got hit with a Pinned Down and took a one way trip to Boot Hill, but that was about it. By the time I finally got some Phantasms and Blood Curses out there were several Yagn's in play and I couldn't do much to affect the game with them. With the Popescus (and someone else I can't think of) lost to Kidnappin's I decided I'd go for a glorious charge into the town square to try and wrest back some element of control. Luke moved a Bio-Charged Neutraliser to "Dead" Billy Jones. Valeria tried to hit him with her two Blood Curses; the first one failed as I pulled Puppet, the second was Slight Modificationed. Oh well. With the charge falling flat I was out of the game.
Game 2 - Bye
Game 3 vs Kirsty's Beyond the Veil
With Mazatl and lots of Spirit Trails this deck had plenty of mobility. I got a better opening hand this game and actually started with some hexes. Kirsty was playing defensively, setting up spirit-shop in The Joker's Smile to get some influence boosts for Zachary to take advantage of. I got a decent mix of hexes on Valeria and the Popescus, and then started to pick on Joseph Dusty Hill, landing him with a Lost to the Plague and a couple of Tummy Twisters. Kirsty played for a couple of turns just keeping enough rock handy to pay his upkeep. I don't know if that slowed her down and held her back from playing things, but it certainly felt that way to me, and I was able to build a few deeds without any trouble. Eventually she ended up spending one ghost rock too many playing Shane & Graves Security, and Joseph got hit by the tax man. His influence loss was followed up by some Blood Curses and Old Man McDroste heading out of town for a control point, and that was enough for victory.
Normally an event with seven players would have finished here, but we all voted for an extra round so we could play more Doomtown.
Game 4 vs Tom's Law Dogs
Tom didn't seem to have a great opening. My first move was to put Lost to the Plague on Lucy Clover. Tom sent a bounty hunter after Jake Smiley, but I managed to get a full house to his three-of-a-kind. I put a Huntsman's Society and Epidemic Lab into play, and Tom's dudes moved across town to sit on them. A few turns passed which saw me get a few hexes and Tyxarglenak into play, and Wendy got Phantasmed into a Tummy Twister. An attempt by Tyx, Valeria and Ambrose to take control of the town square went awry as Tyx got pistol whipped home leaving Valeria and Ambrose on the receiving end of a five of a kind which saw them both aced. This did however allow me to strip an influence from Jake Smiley with a Deliberate Infection.
Tom was now breaking even on upkeep as he only had his home and a General Store out. He kept on coming at me, and committed heavily to an Ol' Fashioned Hangin' to string up my Jake Smiley. This succeeded, leaving me on just two influence but him mostly booted out. I was able to get a General Store, a second Blood Curse and Puppet in to play that turn. By removing influence from Wendy and Jake with Blood Curse, Puppeting the booted Philip Swinford then running the Epidemic Laboratory job with the Flying Popescus, I was able to get just enough control points for the win.
|May 22, 2016 kirsty|