I have NO IDEA.
I asked my partner for a Wild West stereotype to build a deck around, and her suggestion was 'the elegant blackhat'. I feel like I stretched that theme quite substantially here, taking mostly 'it's gonna be Outlaws, and it's gonna have some high-value dudes'.
Anyway, this started out as a pretty straightforward 3/4/Q shootout deck, and ended up an odd pseudo-toolbox. I was very keen to use Curly Bill Brocius after having him used against me to lethal effect at Euros back in June, and Morgan Lash was on-value, on-theme and works nicely with Desolation Row.
Bowie Knives with Marion and Kate wrote itself, and that put Serendipitous Arrival on-value to try to cheat in a big fat stud. After that, I just packed the deck full of dudes, imagining that I could keep vomiting bullet catchers out in order to keep my money engine alive and running.
Throw in a couple of waaaay-too-niche and only moderately strong combos. Things like Buford or Jimmy in their Sunday Best to camp out-of-town casinos. Warpainted Kate/Marion toting a Shotgun, and occasionally raising the stakes of any attempted ambushes. Surprise mobility after joining a shootout to jump a deed. The sort of thing that looks great on paper but doesn't really work.
To my enormous surprise, it kinda did work. And there was exactly one reason why.
Big Nose Kate is so unbelievably good.
She beefs up whoever's running Desolation Row that turn, improving not only the odds of getting the job done, but also the ghost rock haul at the end. She throws around Bowie Knives and Shotguns with the best of them. She has zero upkeep, fitting her nicely into a starting posse (if you're happy to rely on your outfit for early money). But above everything else, she cycles the cards which are useless to you at that moment: Jokers, pricey dudes and deeds, spare cheatin' punishment, deeds with too much control for comfort when you're on the back foot... Kate keeps it moving, making sure you have what you want when you want it. I am a huge Big Nose Konvert.
This was a very fun game (as is a safe bet with Russell), packed full of decisions on both sides made on the basis of excitement rather than strategy. Between Milt and Desolation Row, I managed to make stacks of ghost rock - enough to hire (and retain) Curly Bill the hard way. A few shootouts went my way (notably Russell was forced to pick between his influence and a loaded-up Valeria Batten, deciding eventually to lose his big gun), and I had enough control to win.
I got pretty lucky in this one, and was apparently able to draw whatever I wanted. That included a Shotgun on turn 1. Given Ste's starting posse full of low values, Kate was able to give Milt enough cover to make stax on stax with Desolation Row. Ste's big blowout came after a narrowly-missed Dead Man's Hand - most of his dudes headed out of town to kidnap Jimmy "The Saint" from Ste's own Gomorra Gaming Commission. Kate managed to track them there, busting in to save Jimmy's hide and clear out enough influence to win.
Sidenote: Ste and I had enough time for a friendly match afterwards, and it turns out (are you sitting down?) Agent Provocateur triggers Mausoleum when it does its big reveal/disappearing act. I had absolutely no idea that this interaction happens, but it's basically a thematically-puzzling control point when you need it. I suspect this interaction was noticed in testing (since AP specifies that it triggers after victory is checked), and perhaps it's common knowledge amongst players, but it certainly took me by surprise.
Dave, as ever, threw out a creative, entertaining and shockingly effective deck. Many Claws were sprouted, many Hydro-Punchers hydro-punched, and Sgt. Elijah Clay himself decided to make an appearance. My second wind came when Curly Bill arrived serendipitously in the middle of a fierce gunfight to protect the gang's interests. Encouraged by Bill's hands-on approach and impressed by just how much bounty Milt had racked up, Morgan Lash waived her usual fee and turned up for a mere two ghost rock. Dave took all this in stride, choking off my income and blockading off all the control he'd established on his side of town. Morgan sidled off not long after. Dave was comfortably in the driver's seat when time was called, and another couple of turns would probably have cinched it in his favour.
It turns out that the onward march of time was the best card in my deck - other players had chalked up timed wins, so I ended up ahead on points at the end of the event. A huge thanks to Dave for another excellent York event, for running a free-to-play event, and for some special treats all the way from Tombstone. Truly the Marshal of our hearts, not just Tombstone.
|Nov 17, 2019 Findegil|
|Nov 18, 2019 Espatier|