A deck I had an idea for last week whilst planning on working on something else entirely, of course! Because that's how this stuff often goes with me. Anyway, it'll be to the surprise of precisely no one reading this that the idea mostly centred around having a crack at a mystical gadgets deck, and trying to figure out a way of working that one out. I wasn't expecting much with it, but pushed along to a final at a six player Servitor tournament and the main thing was that I had fun piloting it. One thing I can't tell you is whether it fully did what I set out to with it. I mean, it's mostly building some slightly different gadgets and having fun in the town square, but there's a certain flexibility about it. I'm certainly not thinking this would be the deck's final form, were I to play it again, but hopefully I will play it again, even if not at for tournaments. Not fully sure what I'd change, but I'll quickly run through my games with it so far and be curious about feedback.
Game 1 - Dave Woof. This was a 108 Drunken Masters deck but I was 90% certain, knowing the player, that I'd be up against landslide. And how! Clearly, when I'd decided what I wanted this deck to do, that was one thing I hadn't factored in. This turned out to be a big problem for me. Whereas with my FMB deck from the other week, I'd have been perfectly happy dealing with some of the things I had to face here, I had a much harder time trying to pick fights with dudes who barely left home, and I left Agent Provocateur unchanged for one round too many in this game. Without enough mobile influence, the writing was on the wall at the end of that Sundown, my options gone. I certainly didn't lose heart though; I knew this was a completely unique experience (turns out I was wrong, but I'll get to that) and that maybe the next game I'd get to see this thing properly in action.
The answer on that was, 'maybe'. Amit, a regular sparring partner of mine, came at me with a cool The 108 Righteous Bandits Kung Fu deck. I got lucky in that I saw an Epidemic Laboratory really quickly, which meant I could use Valeria to build a Devil's Six Gun whilst running jobs with Dr. Dawn Edwards whenever I thought I could reasonably get away with it. And had a little deed squatting going on at his end. I had The Grey Man tooled up with an Asyncoil Gun, which I was honestly mostly keeping on to provide him with a handy bullet bonus, but the finisher in that game ended up being using the Oddities home to boot Amit's last mobile influence in the town square after a shootout went my way previous to this. I had neglected to remember Darius Hellstromme on the previous day, denying myself a control point, but that happened to be the one instance I got an opportunity to use it all day. Them's the breaks, I guess.
Game 3 saw me up against Andrew D's Morgan Regulators, and I could tell from the starting Wagner Memorial Ranch that I'd be facing gadgets myself. I was happy to take on Hellstromme's penalties and get in my opponent's face a bit, whereby Ambrose Douglas, just minding his business in the town square, got called out but saw off an aggressive and Regulated out of Charlie's Place Travis Moone with the help of a Faster on the Draw. The big stud gone, I saw an opportunity to go for the coup de grace and dropped an Election Day Slaughter. Though I had the bullet penalty to contend with, I fancied my chances against a couple of draws and my gambit paid off. With no dudes to contest, Dr. Dawn Edwards was free to wander to deeds as she pleased and the day was won.
Those two wins were enough to earn me a spot in the final. I knew it would be a rematch from the first game once I knew I was in as that monstrous deck of David's won both other games too. So I had a think about what I could have done with the starting posse. I made a call I probably wouldn't have gone with had I been able to do it all again, but I thought it was pretty urgent to start with a decent run of influence and have some way of sorting out his dudes. I went with Avie Cline (Exp.1) in the hope that I could figure out a 'House of Horrors' at some early stage, but he had the answer to that one too. On much later reflection I could have done something about Clementine Lepp holing up in the Buffalo Emporium, but that would have taken time and getting the idea at the time. A more immediate play error was removing the Decimator Array laden Roderick Byre from his The R&D Ranch to keep strangling his economy a little longer (and more importantly sustain my own), but I got terrified at the prospect of a 2 influence swing at that point given my own far higher odds of pulling a club. I compounded this by ditching my own copy in my hand in favour of a The Whateley Estate for reasons aforementioned. Too expensive, of course, but probably safe from being squatted on all things considered. We'll never know. Though I hung in for several rounds, it all got to a breaking point and I couldn't raise enough to get Ivor Hawley (Exp.1) out of my hand, try as I might. A last ditch Election Day Slaughter went against me as I could only manage a couple of pairs on my opponent's flush of...well, diamonds of course and no cheating res to swing it my way, and that was game over.
I definitely want another crack with this deck at some stage, but I will make some revisions to see about answering some questions I had. I'll mull over it as need be, but shall enjoy running this out again some time! I'm less decided over Hellstromme, but ways of swinging control points are a useful factor. It's just weighing it up that's the thing.