Thanks to Scott and Heidi for organising and to Pinebox for keeping Doomtown strong.
Everyone was in great spirits, high quality matches (bar my play mistakes) played in a good spirit.
Based on discussion with other playtesters/design, we decided it would be good to test how Shan Fan Showdown! did, and I thought Town Square blitz was a good way to test this as it leaves few decisions to make (albeit see below for me missing a Point Blank chance!). A bit weaker v Slide due to no forced callouts, but Fancy New Hat helps keep you in the game while you build your own CP to pressure Slide. I think we could build a computer programme that plays Sloane Town Square blitz, but it is still a useful testing tool if you're preparing for a tournament - a number of these games ended on T2/T3, particularly if I got some early cheap.
Together with the previewed Virginia Ann Earp I hope Shan Fan Showdown! gives people a tool against hand rank manipulation. However, against Calling The Cavalry I still feel the horse deck has an advantage as it can fetch horses with Maggie Harris while you don't have a starting dude that fetches melee weapons (nor should you, necessarily. Maggie is pretty strong!).
After playing different flavours of Sloane Town Square blitz at 2017 and 2018 Worlds I'm satisfied this is still a viable deck type so I'm looking forward to trying something different.
G1 - Amit's 108 Drunken Masters - I blitz for CP rapidly and Amit gets very unlucky with a failed Kung-fu pull, giving me the win.
G2 - Neil's Morgan Regulators - The testing matches last night prompted me to put in a 3rd Coachwhip, which proved a huge benefit in this match as Neil and I both kept cheatin'. - Shan Fan Showdown was also helpful against opposing Outgunned and Force Field. - A very tight fought match as Neil's dudes had huge bullet bonuses making them hard to Point Blank, as Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton turns off my Rapier.
G3 - Max Way's Law Dogs - I defend an early old fashioned hangin', leaving out Allie Hensman (my only wanted Dude) so I can Sun in Yer Eyes Tommy Harden. This helps me inflict enough early casualties for a rapid control point blitz victory.
G4 - David Avery's Morgan Regulators - Manage to blitz for CP before my opponent sees Calling The Cavalry or I get Shan Fan Showdown!, and then prevail in Shootouts (thanks to Cheatin' punishment on my side or cheatin' actions? Can't remember).
G5 - Stephen's Law Dogs - I win an initial skirmish, discarding an opposing dude and seizing Town Square so I can grind out CP. - However, the tables rapidly turn as Stephen gets a legendary holster out and then mauls me in a shootout, acing Barton and inflicting four further casualties. - I somehow sleaze out a victory while Stephen's dudes are booted out at my home, thanks to Allie Booting in town square for a CP, hiring Ramiro Mendoza and using Notary Public and a Public deed to move a booted Clementine Lepp to an opposing deed. - As we figured out later, Stephen would have likely won the game (at least forcing another turn, with him in a much stronger position) had he just sent one dude to mug my Ramiro Mendoza, as I only had Allie Hensman and Mendoza unbooted, but lacked the ghost rock to pay Mendoza's fee! This would have let him sit on one of my deeds and/or stopped Allie getting CP in the Town Square. Inevitable this kind of thing comes up late in exhausting Swiss matches.
Quarter-final - Mark's Fourth Ring - I blitz for CP, aided by some lucky low-ball wins to get CP before Leonardo "Leon" Cavallo boots Allie. I was also lucky Mark wasn't packing Lost to the Plague, which he often features in his decks and he noted was a likely change! - Despite my good fortune, I almost throw away a win - I force an advantageous shootout but get carried away and start it before being able to swap my weapons to allow me two unbooted studs (one via Shan Fan) to point blank with. First shootout round against opposing draws is tied (Mark knew he was close to the end of his deck for both shootout rounds so had a good idea of what he needed), but then in round two Jake Smiley gets cheatin' 4 oak, so I turn tail and run rather than risk my precious CP and influence. If only I'd been able to use both Point Blanks! - This gives me enough CP to win, but Mark could likely win if his Circle M Ranch draws him a dude to go kill my Jake Smiley with, who is booted and vulnerable controlling an opposing deed. Mercifully he draws a deed - the card after was Jia Mein (Exp.1)! - A slightly unfair result, as I got very lucky with lowball and Mark won our testing matches 2-1 (comfortably!) the previous evening.
Semi-final - Dave's 108 Righteous Bandits - I rush the Town Square for CP early, but retreat from an early skirmish after losing a hired bullet catcher (El Grajo?) to a Dead Man's hand. I should perhaps had stayed, as I'd knocked Dave down to 6 cards plus a lot of draw so he'd be unlikely to repeat the trick and had used one of his jokers to do it. I was nervous as I only had Jacqueline left to catch bullets. Idiotically, I forget to Point Blank - I'll try to blame fatigue rather than being bad at Doomtown! - Later I mount an ill advised defence of a kidnapping of Allie Hensman by Steven Wiles. I don't have any cheatin' punishment or shootout actions and end up staying in too long and losing hard. I should perhaps just have fought one round and discarded Allie. Clearly I'd used up my good luck/brain power in earlier matches. - A fine deck to be beaten by, well done to Dave and his eventual conqueror in the final, Max. :)
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