N.B. Erik Samson is proxying for "Thunder Boy" Nabbe.
I took this deck to fifth place out of twenty-four during swiss at the IQ Games Huddersfield Sheriff event on 08/10/16, falling victim in the top eight quarter finals to Jimi’s 108 Legendary Holster deck.
The new Law Dogs dudes in Blood Moon Rising have given the faction a real boost and we’ve finally got some more decent starting posse options. I’d decided I wanted to play Law Dogs for the Sheriff event, but hadn’t had a chance to play around with the new cards until the night before. I was toying with an idea for a Blessed Crusaders deck but having not played with Miracles for a while I decided I’d go with a more straightforward Deputy/Bounty build for the day so quickly put this together after an evening of testing other ideas. Having played similar decks in the past I figured I’d have a pretty good idea how it’d all fit together when I sat down to play it.
The tricks in this deck aren’t anything new. Bounty Hunters, bullet reduction, Point Blank and Coachwhip have all been core Law Dogs tools since the base set. Faith and Fear brought Faster on the Draw which supports the strategy brilliantly with its bullet manipulation and making a Deputy into a stud. Blood Moon Rising and the last saddlebag cycle have given us more playable Deputies so Faster on the Draw has seen a massive jump in usefulness for the Dogs.
I went with Roans over Winchesters as a way to get unbooted Deputies into fights for Point Blank purposes, and Pedro is useful as a 0-cost Sidekick. The horses were also a meta consideration – I was expecting to see a few decks running Calling the Cavalry, Ridden Down and Run ‘em Down so having horses of my own to equip to my key dudes seemed like a good idea. The sole LeMat Revolver was to get a good cheatin’ resolution that could stay in play, as the deck is light on actual cheatin’ resolution actions. While I figured I’d get away with it as most people would see Law Dogs and try their best to stay legal assuming I’d gone heavy on the anti-cheatin’ side of things, you need to be able to back up the bluff occasionally. The Doomsday Supply was there to grab a useful goods for when I really needed one. I really wanted to use it to equip a Shotgun to a Bounty Hunter for a surprise attack, but unfortunately I never got an opportunity.
The main cards I wanted to include but either forgot at the time of building (it was one a.m.!) or couldn’t find space for were Faithful Hound (more anti-horse and also anti-Holster) and Too Much Attention. Tens are another good value for a Deputy deck. Swapping out the threes and bringing in the likes of Deborah West, Gang Yi, Jael’s Guile, Carter’s Bounties, Gomorra Jail, Unprepared and Too Much Attention would be another way to go with such a deck, giving it more control options but costlier dudes and no Suns.
Here’s what I remember of how the day went:
Game 1 Vs Vince’s Gateway to Beyond
My first game of the day saw me paired against Vince. We’d last played in the final of the European Marshal event and he was once again playing Eagle Wardens, though using their new home rather than Beyond the Veil. This wasn’t going to be fortress, so I suspected a chess deck of some sort that made use of the new totem; Tse-Che-Nako’s Weaving. It didn’t take long for me to see that I was correct. Though I don’t recall all of the details, this game was heavy on the chess as I lured his stud dudes away from the likes of Mazatl and Jake Smiley so I could score some easy Bounty Hunter kills. Vince retaliated with some Mariel Lewis-led Kidnappin’s on my two-influence dudes. Moving unbooted to out-of-town deeds thanks to having Notary Public and Flint’s Amusements helped me contend with Vince’s Spirit Trails. Towards the end of the game Vince went in heavy on a Kidnappin’ which left me free to grab control of some deeds with my last few moves. Time was called and we compared influence and control points. While I had the most control, the Wardens’ high influence won the day as Vince edged the tiebreaker by a single point.
Game 2 Vs Amit’s Eagle Wardens DMH
My opening hand was a strong one, including two Bounty Hunters and a Faster on the Draw. Amit had Richard Faulkner to make Zachary Deloria a three stud but he was the only shootout threat, and I knew from using Rico that he didn’t have any nasty surprises waiting for me in his hand. I put a bounty on Zachary and then after Amit had moved his dudes into the town square in preparation for using his home I sent in the Bounty Hunter with backup including Hattie. Hattie’s ability took away Zachary’s bullets and after hands were drawn the Wardens’ bodyguard fell casualty to the Dogs then the rest retreated home. Next turn no new stud dude appeared so another Bounty Hunter successfully went after Richard. I’d got lucky and drawn another Bounty Hunter that turn too, so the relentless assault continued the next turn and Amit unfortunately didn’t see any dudes to replace his casualties. With two control points in possession of the Law Dogs the game was over.
Game 3 Vs Scott’s Morgan Regulators Horse Control
I managed to take Irving out early on with a Bounty Hunter and spent some time trying to play around Buckin’ Billy Ballard. I got a couple of my horses in to play. Once Billy’s horse ended up booted I made a push for the town square, as I had Faster on the Draw and Point Blank in my hand. Scott sent all his dudes into the fight. They all had horses, so I could sense a Calling the Cavalry was coming, but I had two of my own horses in the fight so I wasn’t too concerned as I didn’t think Scott had any other shootout actions while I had a hand full of them. Faster on the Draw and Sun in Yer Eyes did their thing. Thanks to the rank bonuses from Calling the Cavalry the shootout was still a draw, but I ended up acing a dude with Point Blank then losing Pedro to casualties, which meant I’d come out of it far better than Scott had, and there were enough control points in play for me to claim a victory. Constance moved in to the town square but was booted by a Run ‘em Down, though Scott opted not to start another fight. I moved Rico over to one of his deeds then used him to place a bounty, unbooting Constance who was then free to claim another deed for the win.
Game 4 Vs Andrew’s Den of Thieves
Having played against an earlier version of the deck and reading about its exploits in winning the Exeter Deputy event, I prepared for aggro by swapping Constance for Wendy. We both used Rico and I saw he had a Kidnappin’, while he saw I had Sun in Yer Eyes, LeMat Revolver and Coachwhip. I gave Wendy the LeMat, and Andrew decided to try the Kidnappin’ anyway, targeting Wendy. Wendy booted Travis out of the fight, Hattie lowered Milt’s bullets and Barton got the Sun in his Eyes, so I was feeling confident of my chances even though I’d only managed to get a legal Full House. Andrew revealed a legal four-of-a-kind so I decided to discard Wendy and run home. This set a precedent for the rest of the game, as every shootout that happened I’d strip Andrew’s dudes of their bullets yet he’d still manage to match or beat my legal full Houses and four-of-a-kinds and the Coachwhip! stayed in my hand. There was a point where I thought I’d got him when most of his dudes were booted at home. I took his Mayor’s Office then lowered his Rico’s influence when he moved in to the town square to come and take it back. Just when he thought he was out of options he realised he hadn’t used Makaio that turn and moved a bounty to Milt, generating the ghost rock needed to get Ulysses Marks in to play. I had plenty of ghost rock but ended up drawing nothing but shootout actions for a couple of turns. A late Bounty Hunter attack failed again to take out Milt, and Andrew played more deeds than I could contest to seal his victory.
Game 5 Vs Graham’s Abram’s Crusaders Polo Team
Graham was running a modified version of George’s polo team deck that just missed out on the top cut at the European Marshal. He started playing horses, and I also had a couple which made him suspect I was playing a similar strategy. He got one of my dudes with an early Rope & Ride, but I can’t remember how that shootout went - I’m afraid the finer details of this game have got lost in my memory. Over several turns I managed to gain the advantage and sustain pressure through Bounty Hunters. Bullet reduction saw me through the shootouts and eventually I reduced his influence below my control points.
This left me with sixteen points which put me in fifth place in the standings. What may come as a surprise is that I wasn’t even the top Law Dog – Robert (Harlath) had taken a deck using a similar strategy to second. That goes to show that the Dogs are able to compete for the top spots, it’s just a pity it’s happening at the end of the game’s official life span. The event was large enough to warrant a top eight cut, so I had at least one more game to go.
Quarter Final Vs Jimi’s 108 Worldly Desires Holster
I can’t remember too much of the early game for this one – hopefully Jimi’s report will be more informative! I took out Jim Hexter early on, and managed to Point Blank one of Jimi’s dudes (it might even have been Hexter who fell victim to this), but Jimi had plenty of influence so the game wasn’t over. Daomei Wang hit play and grabbed a Legendary Holster from the Doomsday Supply. I spent some time trying to manoeuvre around the Holster, and I had a plan whereby if I could force Jimi into a shootout where he’d need to move Daomei in with The Stakes Just Rose, I’d be able to reduce his bullets before he could use the holster. Unfortunately I made a mistake reading the board and started a shootout when Daomei was at an adjacent deed and not at home where I thought he was. Jimi was kind enough to let me take back the call-out, but I’d messed up my best opportunity to deal with the Holster as there was another location I’d have moved to had I realised where Daomei actually was. Things didn’t get any better for me from then on as my hand began to fill up with deeds it was too risky to play and enough control points were on the board that I couldn’t just wait out a couple of turns by hiding at home without losing. I did get another shot at Daomei and the Holster and succeeded with the Bullet reduction trick but my shootout hand failed me and I lost some crucial influence. Without any new dudes to replace my losses and Jimi having more mobile influence it didn’t take long for him to clinch the win.
Overall I'm very happy with how the day went and that one of my favourite decktypes has once again become a viable tournament contender. Hopefully we'll see a few more Law Dogs players dusting off their tin stars and leading the Deputies to success before the Sheriff season is over.
|Oct 14, 2016 CaptainGertcha|
|Oct 14, 2016 DoomDog|
|Oct 14, 2016 CaptainGertcha|
|Oct 14, 2016 Harlath|