The structure of the deck is fifteen threes, fifteen eights and eleven sixes (counting Willa Mae who starts). This makes it consistent enough in shootouts to regularly get a full house or better while packing enough off-value cards that you'll win lowball often enough against other stacked decks.
The starting posse shown is my default. If you use Rico and spot an aggressive hand then you might want to swap Constance out for Wendy as your opponent will likely be making themselves wanted through attacking your home. The combination of Wendy and Hattie can rob an early attack of its stud bullets and expendable bullet-catcher, making all-in jobs a risky proposition. If you're perfectly set up for turn one aggression then Tommy, Thunder Boy or Ramiro could make their way into your starting posse to give it more bite. As I don't have Andrew Burton, starting Judge Harry is unadvised. I didn't vary my start much on the day as I didn't feel the need to after seeing my opponents' hands.
Strategy-wise, I usually spend the first couple of turns setting up bounties and getting a deed and a goods or two in to play, only going on the attack when I've got some actions to back me up. Constance is usually your main bounty generator as she unboots after using the home ability. As an aside, if you hit the mid/late game chess phase you can unboot her by booting for the home ability with someone else, which is always a useful trick to keep in mind. Order of bounties is usually a two-influence dude first (printed influence, not Jake Smiley), as on the first turn having that extra dude booted usually won't hurt you. This is Philip Swinford's job. Next turn place a bounty on their main shooter to allow Hattie to neutralise their bullets. After that start spreading them around, and if you've got everybody wanted then keep adding to your main targets to increase the payout when you take them down. The 'free' bounty Constance provides is an excellent stall move in place of passing, so while you should do it every turn, don't necessarily do it early on.
Timing your Bounty Hunter attacks well and giving them proper support is the other key. If you send the Gunslinger in alone against a full posse at home then his chances of making an impact are lessened. Sending in the likes of Hattie and Thunder Boy to back him up and/or attacking when you've got some shootout actions will increase your chances, but my favourite trick is to leave my deeds open or a dude exposed at an opponent's deed (not one adjacent to home though). When they send their shooter(s) out into the town square is the time to strike at the unprotected influence at home, leaving them with the tough choice of whether to boot back home to help defend. Alternatively they might send a lone dude unsupported to claim one of your deeds - another opportunity to collect some bounty. Bounty Hunter & Point Blank is an old combo but a good one, especially if you've got Faster on the Draw or Sun in Yer Eyes too to lower opposing dudes' bullets to put them in range of the Point Blank.
In support of the bounty strategy, The Gomorra Gazette can really pull its weight and help your economy. If you get this deed early on then as it gets you ghost rock when you increase a dude's bounty I found it really helped address what has been a problem area for the Law Dogs. It might even be worth trying a deck that Ol' Howards it in to play first thing.
The Faithful Hound is the only change from the version I played in Huddersfield, replacing the Doomsday Supply, and honestly I meant to add it to the deck for that event but forgot. He's able to counter Legendary Holsters if you have the lowball win or force them to spend a turn using an action to enter the shootout, and is also capable of chasing away horses, Soul Cages and other problem cards. On top of that, he's a Sidekick so useful for taking a casualty in those all too common tied shootouts. Pedro also does Sidekick duty well and helps against the Horse decks which are popular in the UK at the moment. Hattie usually rides the stubborn mule as she's least at risk from the value drop. The Roan is another horse to counter horses, and moving a stud dude in to a posse unbooted can make the difference if you've got a Point Blank to use or that stud dude is Wendy.
As is customary, now's time for a quick summary of the games:
Game 1 Vs Amy's Blessed Dogs
Amy was using the original home and Father Tolarios to tutor out Miracles, and made good use of the oft-dismissed The Lord Provides to keep recycling Unprepared. This was key as she kept hitting any stud dudes I sent her way with it preventing me from using Point Blank. I think I managed to get rid of some support dudes in shootouts but her main Blessed dudes quickly loaded up on Miracles and were proving impossible to kill. Half my dudes ended up spending most of the game at her home trying to slow the Blessed build-up through Dog's Duster callouts and Bounty Hunters. The game ended up going to time and I had the most influence and control so won, but the resilience of Amy's Blessed dudes has encouraged me to have another go at a Blessed deck.
Game 2 Vs Ceoff's Morgan Regulators
Geoff's take on the Regulators was a bit different to what I'm used to seeing, as he was using Guide Horses. This game was heavy on the chess, and also the first time the Gomorra Gazette really began to shine and I quickly ended up with plenty of ghost rock prompting Geoff to move out and take the deed. I got my horses into play to help counteract Calling the Cavalry, and through clever movement managed to keep Geoff's dudes spread out so I could try picking them off with Bounty Hunters. The amount of bullet reduction and ability to trade sidekicks for dudes in shootout ties eventually wore his dudes down and secured me the win.
Game 3 Vs Andy's Protection Racket Slucksters
Before the tournament Andy had been talking about how good Protection Racket was for landsliding, so I held back from playing deeds early on for fear he would suddenly play two or three of his own and start a slide game while having a bunch of Hucksters with Shadow Walk to outmanoeuvre me. He was making money booting a dude at his own deed to use his home, so I sent some dudes to put a stop to that despite seeing his plan was to Shadow Walk in Dave "Slim" Gorman and make my dudes draws then Shadow Walk with Emilia Vivirias so he had a stud. Luckily for me he pulled one of his two cards that would fail Shadow Walk for Dave and so the shootout went my way removing Lawrence and Travis from the game. Following that Andy began ramping up his Epidemic Laboratory. I can't quite remember how, but I managed to pick off some of his influence and with his dudes all booted at home I was able to take control of his deeds and play one of my own for the win.
Game 4 Vs Adam's 108 Barely Legal Bandits
I wasn't sure what to expect from this at first as you don't often see 108 running Hucksters, but it soon became clear that Adam was using all the different hand rank manipulation cards to back up his loose structure and using hexes to strip opposing bullets - a very cool and original deck. My Faithful Hound threatened his Gambler's Guns so was on the receiving end of Phantom Fingers a couple of times. A couple of early attacks were manipulated in to ties or narrow wins for Adam but my Sidekicks absorbed the losses and I was able to keep the pressure up and eventually gain ground once the Gambler's Guns and Hex Slingin's had all been used up. Mirror, Mirror was proving to be a problem and resulted in me revealing a cheatin' three of a kind to Adam's high card plus which got hit with Bottom Dealin'. Adam's deck then gave me another three of a kind, which was probably the best hand it could manage! That swung a close game in my favour and I was able to win shortly after.
Semi Final - Rematch Vs Adam
This game was a lot faster. Thanks to a couple of fortuitous lowball wins and a first turn Gomorra Gazette combined with Adam's two-influence dudes I had lots of ghost rock early on. Judge Harry hit the table on (I think) turn two and proceeded to whittle away Adam's dudes. As we were setting up Adam mistakenly had Hamshanks among his starters to begin with before switching him out. After the game he commented that things would probably had gone better for him if he'd kept Hamshanks.
Final - Rematch Vs Andy
Another fast game. Over the first two turns I launched three Bounty Hunter attacks on Andy before his hucksters had a chance to load up on hexes. From there all that was needed was a couple of deeds.
|Nov 20, 2016 Harlath|
|Nov 20, 2016 DoomDog|
|Nov 21, 2016 jordan caldwell|
|Nov 22, 2016 DoomDog|
|Nov 22, 2016 jordan caldwell|
|Nov 22, 2016 DoomDog|
|Nov 23, 2016 twoeyedjack|