No clubs, no jokers, no draw structure - just swim in ghost rock, and Asyncoil away your problems!
This is loosely based on my 2018 worlds deck that abused Decimator Array + pre-errata Force Field to always be 1-3 hand ranks above the opponent ( https://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2664/decimating-with-8s-straights-worlds-18-top-4 ). I also played this in the Deadwood Marshal event, which technically went undefeated, but I dropped out before the finals to ensure a new Marshal would be named.
If I'd been in super try-hard mode for this event, I had been considering just running a more classic gadget slide deck with a similar starting posse plus x4 currency presses, more deeds with control points, and influence (both in dudes and gadgets). However, that didn't seem super fun especially for the last Marshal event with this card pool, so I chose to go all in on Asyncoil Gun.
I would keep a quasi-slide aspect to be able to fuel force field, as I needed to be able to actually survive a shootout (I didn't want the main tactic to be hit and run with Personal Ornithopter, as that is also particularly unfun to play against, and probably not as reliable anyway). So essentially its:
1) Build up economy and gadgets first half of the game
2) Go out and take over the town
Build up economy using a combination of out of town deeds plus Arnold Stewart to find them, the home, William Specks, Disgenuine Currency Press, Decimator Array, and Doomsday Supply to find them. The economy right out the gate is pretty crazy - with zero draw structure to win most lowballs, its basically a +7 income home from the start (+3 home, +1 home ability, +2 specks, +1 lowball). There are an amazing 24 cards that Specks can use his ability on, so he's all but guaranteed every turn. And Arnold gets to pick from 6 different out of town deeds. His ability is so good it cannot be understated - both for getting those out of town deeds in hand, or clearing the way to draw one at the end of the turn, or filling up the discard with good options for Doomsday Supply. One game I had zero income from deeds the whole game, but still had 22 ghost rock by day 5 or 6, and a pile of gadgets at home... the economy is crazy!
When ready go out to town to asycoil dudes up to a value K, and force field to win the attrition game. With a pile of cash and a flyin' zombie ("Dead" Billy Jones + force field + ornithopter), you cannot lose shootouts unless you are caught Unprepared (and hopefully the flyin zombie can also read minds).
Asyncoil can easily gun down dudes up to value 4-6 without effort (plenty of dudes have 2 or more bullets). But add in one or more of the following and you can easily gun down dudes at value 9 or higher, up to a King:
Stone Idol - which can be found with Doomsday
I had several games where I was threatening value 9-K, which really makes an opponent double think any shootouts. But going into this I assumed my all-in on Asyncoil would make this a little too cheeky and not good enough, as I was making many card-choice sacrifices to pump up the Asyncoils power. Luckily, however, due to not having to pick a single card with draw structure in mind, I was still packing a ton of power in other gadgets, dudes, and deeds. Also, it turns out Asyncoil was a crucial tool against both early aggression and the dreaded Allie Hensman, so maybe it wasn't such a cheeky choice after all.
Pros: One of the strongest sheer-inevitability end game setups of just about any deck I can think of.
Cons: Weak to early aggression, or decks that start with built in clocks like Allie Hensman, The Arsenal, The Sloane Gang, Protection Racket, and to a lesser/slower degree Desolation Row. Also games go longer with this deck, and if you don't come out swinging early enough you'll risk going to time. I had 2 games in swiss go to time, which I could have avoided if I'd come out a little earlier. The games going to time in the top 8 and top 4 matches were almost inevitable since they were Morgan Gadget matchups where we'd both have a stupid amount of influence and few forced callouts, which is just a recipe for going to time.
No Jokers: this was a tough call, but I think it was the right one. I did a ton of pratice draws via dtdb, playing out a couple of turns, and it was frustrating how often I'd either draw a joker in my play hand (this deck plays out most/all of its hand most turns, so the odds are higher), or I'd see a joker in Arnolds 5 cards. My rationale is that I'm basically twice as likely to see a joker in my play hand/arnold-5-cards, as I am to see it in lowball. My structure is bad enough I don't even care to see jokers in lowball, and by the time I get into shootouts I generally don't care what the shootout hand is.
Gencon Marshal Rounds:
Round 1: RogueDakotan w/ Protection Racket
Two worst fears right from the start - Protection Racket (very bad for me) and starting Allie Hensman (super bad for me!). Luckily I got an early asyncoil and was able to sacrifice willa mae to gun down a booted-in-the-town-square allie before she got problematic. This bought me enough time to snowball, careful not to play a third deed until I could defend myself.
Round 2: JRbookman - Property is Theft
Up to this point the only game I'd outright lost (over the 2 events I played with this deck plus casual games) was during a casual game with Lapp, in which he played a version of the infamous explosive slide/quasi-slide version of this deck (maybe originally by Jayjester?). I think in that game I was able to make it to turn 2 before the amount of deeds on both sides quickly exceeded my influence, and not being able to fight yet, it was game over.
That's what I was fearing in this matchup, so I knew I should keep my control points to a bare minimum while I bought time to build up. However, I made a big mistake that I always try to preach to others, in that I failed "The Hard Read". While I was able to buy myself the time I needed to build up, I didn't realize how poor his draw structure was, and spent too long building up. Had I come out shooting a bit earlier I could have had enough time to take over the town, but as it was I was too late and by the time I started bullying the town, time quickly approached and I needed one more day to unboot and take over some deeds. I booted out in town square for a shootout, trying to get in a position to take over the town before time was called, but he was able to just barely (and masterfully) sneak in the win before time.
Round 3: Ironcache w/ Full Moon Brotherhood
I was very happy to see abominations instead of a hexy control/slide build, as that probably meant he'd have a hard time sitting on all my deeds. I just needed to build up the deeds, get money, then come out swinging. Also got an early asyncoil or two, which was able to target multiple aboms, so his options were limited from the start (and Asyncoils are so much worse for abominations than shotgun!). I ended up snowballing after he was spread out, and as time was approaching I was able to asycoil his Skinwalker (thanks to Christines help). I wasn't quite able to grab enough deeds to seal a win before time, so it ended up a win at time for me.
Round 4: Sauronsbeagle w/ Protection Racket
Another bad Protection Racket matchup! I was very glad to not see allie in the starting posse, although I did get an early couple of asyncoils. I put down 2 in town deeds turn 1, and didn't play a third deed for a very long time. He sat on those 2 deeds to wisely deny any income the whole game up until the final day. I discarded a couple deeds along the way, but eventually had about 4 in my hand when I felt I was ready to fight.
Of note: it was roughly day 5 or 6, I had 3 dudes with printed upkeep (2 starting in play), zero income from deeds the entire game, and I was sitting on 22 GR!!! Doomsdays to find early decimator arrays, home, specks, and a couple currency presses later in the game (one from a doomsday), and winning lowball all piled together to really excel my economy. He had a huge pile of money too from turn 1 (his home was essentially a +7 income from day 1).
When I was ready to fight, with 3-4 deeds in hand (2 with CPs), a Max Baine, and a pile of cash, I came out swinging at the TS (after chasing away any dudes there who were asyncoil-able). I had Jen with Force Field, Asycoil, decimator, and telepathy helmet, prof roe with a decimator, and willa mae with an asyncoil. The shootout went 2 rounds, I lost both decimators and he lost a dude. I still had willa and he only had inf dudes to lose, so he ran. He did not realize how many control points I had in hand, and I was able to play out enough to seal the win while he was all booted at home.
P.S. I didn't take good enough notes, but I remember Magnum Rounds being a huge pain, and really screwed up my plans once. I don't remember if willa was used to save the day, or maybe I was able to use Decimator to make a full house or flush, but either way it was almost very very bad!
Round 5: Ledgerman The Arsenal w/ hellstromme
One of 3 truly awful homes to face for my deck (original sloane, and protection racket the other 2, or really anything that starts Allie). Luckily more than one of his starting dudes were within Asycoil range, so I would need to find one of those ASAP! This would also be tricky, because I wouldn't be able to just invent to my hearts content - I would need to be very careful to keep my mad scientists unbooted, as a booted dude with bounty on it was as good as dead in this matchup.
When he grifts with Dr. JT Goodenough, I let him keep the Devil's Six Gun (over Hydro-Puncher), to try and buy myself some time from the hit to his economy. As expected, day 1 Stewart Davidson and another dude with the 6 gun (Philip Swinford maybe?) stroll into my home, ready to start a fight. I did have a doomsday supply in my opening hand, but no Asyncoil in my discard. I forget which gadget I started with (either a currency press or a force field), but whichever it was, I gave it to Arnold right away to use to build up my discard to dig for an Asyncoil, and luck went my way! His Davidson was booted at my home, having used his ability to put a bounty on my Arnold, so I invented the Asyncoil, gave it to willa, and then called out Davidson. Willa went down in a hail of gunfire, of course, but not before she took out the bounty-generating Davidson - this was huge, and unless I had a really bad run of luck, was almost sure to take off any pressure and let this deck do what it does.
Even though I still had a mad scientist with bounty, it became a stalemate as he didn't want his dudes Asycoiled (I had 2 early on) and I didn't want to fight for fear of Shan Fan Showdown - the only card in the game to stop my force fields that I could not play around. Once I got Telepathy Helmet, however, all bets were off. Seeing a single Shan Fan meant I could simply keep getting into shootouts with a single dude (preferably a MS + decimator), so he'd either have to trade a dude, or use his Shan Fan to kill mine. We decided to play until the end of the day once time was nearly up, and we got into 3-4 different shootouts. The first couple he didn't use his Shan Fan, and we traded 1 casualty each time (force fields), but the 3rd time he used it, and I was still able to luck into a full house with the help of my decimator so we still traded. From that point on, my ornithoptered, force fielded, telepathy helmeted, asyncoiled dead billy ensured literally every fight from then on was mine, and I could chase all his dudes off my deeds and secure the win (at time).
Top 8: Gadgetorium mirror match w/ TheHuffDaBeast
We chose to play a best 2 of 3 timed matches, because why not play more Doomtown? Both played similarly, with both of us building up a pile of scary gadgets until we eventually smashed heads together in a big shootout, followed by some chess and last minute shootouts. Both games unfortunately went to time, and in both games, at one point, I felt I was almost certainly going to lose.
I recorded the first game, here: https://youtu.be/OBKJwzlQIw8
Both games Huff was able to use Moving Forward to grab an Epidemic Lab, which was fantastic against me and really put a clock on the game. The 2nd game in particular, that deed decided the game: as time was approaching we were both jockying to try and take it over, as it was something like 6 CP and that swing would decide the game. Time was called as the final shootout was happening there, so whoever remained with enough influence would have the game, and in the end Huff made a mistake of using his own Carter's Bounties to bring in a dude at my Carters, effectively giving me back control of it so I could bring in Elander Boldman, who helped Asyncoil a 9 value dude (Adelaide Rose I think?), who had been previously safe without Elander. This final shootout simply came down to how many dudes we each had and how much I could afford to force field. In the end he was a dude or two short of my attrition. I think it's likely that game would have been his if he'd used my Carters first, but other than that there were many, many hard decisions made by both of us that could have swung the game either way. I will leave it to Huff to hopefully more fully detail out this 2nd game because both games were nail-bitingly good/close!
Both of these games were probably the slimmest margins of wins of any of mine, and I can see that as Huff gets more experience he will most certainly be joining these top cuts regularly.
Top 4: Tybarsunsong w/ Smith & Robards Trade Show
Another gadget vs gadget match, but at least this time I wouldn't be facing any Unprepared's (while I had a feeling he wouldn't be running any, as perhaps the #1 hater of the card, it's the Marshal event and I couldn't be sure). Although I would quickly see A Slight Modification in the discard - only 1 of 2 cards this deck can't really play around - so I likely wasn't going to be able to count on any Asyncoil silliness this game.
This game played out differently than my other games, in that while I still was able to find enough out of town deeds, I drew very few gadgets into my hand (I think I even failed to invent at least one as well, pulling the only card that would have failed it at the time). I did get a very early Asyncoil (maybe 2?), however, which put us at kind of a standstill as neither of us cared to lose dudes until we built up more.
Weirdly the lack of gadgets on my side actually helped me out quite a bit, as I was able to get the bare minimum to get a flyin zombie online with a stupid amount of money, and with all the hearts in my deck I was able to consistently make flushes when the time came for shootouts. And dear god, were there shootouts - perhaps the most rounds of shootouts in any game I've played... but if not, this was up there. Being able to make flushes saved me a ton of money on force field, and allowed me to attrition like crazy with the flyin zombie to the point where there wasn't really anything he could do.
I believe this game went to time technically, but by the end it was a pretty clear win.
Finals: Entrican w/ The Fourth Ring
Recorded with the fantastic commentary of Doomdog and Tybar, in a single untimed match (I gave Entrican the choice on whether we did that or best of 3 timed)
Deck analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyaGarX3P4Q&list=LL&index=7
I had absolutely no idea what to expect of Entricans deck, and had to assume the worst in that I'd be facing a bunch of Blood Curse, Rumors, and other control-ey cards that could make huge CP and influence swings in his favor. With that in mind, I wasn't going to put out more than a single in town deed with control points until I was swimming in influence. My hope was to find as many out of town deeds as possible, build up influence, and hope he didn't have any early forced call-outs.
Luckily for me that was pretty much what happened, and even though we both had decks that built up lots of scary attachments, my deck is obviously one that if left unchecked can build up to a nigh-invincible setup. Entrican's was shootout ready from the start, and his hexes kept adding power. But unable to find his only forced callout, I had all the time in the world to build up every little piece I needed.
However, as Tybar mentioned, despite having force fields and a telepathy helmet, my position was always very tenuous. This game was very complex, as the number of Unprepared's in his hand, plus an on-board Phantom Fingers and Soul Blast, meant it was possible that I if I lost all 3 force fields, that I could be forced to take up to 9 casualties in a single shootout, likely instantly losing me the game. Telepathy Helmet was very much the MVP in this game, as it not only gave me the crucial info I needed of how many Unprepared's I faced, but always made it so he was at least 1 Unprepared short to take out all my force fields.
In the end I think his only real chance was to hope for at least 3 Unprepareds in hand, and go all-in on a hopefully-devastating shootout. But me knowing what was in his hand, even in that event I could likely just send in a sacrificial dude + the flyin zombie, and run home with dead billy once the first Unprepared hit (which blanks the force field, then allows a future Unprepared to work like normal).
While the matchup was probably in my favor from the start, Entrican certainly didn't make it easy and there were still many tough decisions on both sides. Things can get very complicated when both sides have a million attachments, along with plenty of deeds and options for chess, and this game was no exception! Highly recommend watching the whole thing, even if on x1.25 speed as it was a little long (but not nearly as long as I feared it could have gone!).
Many tough opponents, matchups, and brain-wracking decisions - all makes for a great event (2 events, counting Deadwood!), and I feel bad (despite dropping out of the previous 2 marshal events) for denying a new Marshal, but I ultimately chose this deck to maybe get a Marshal win for gadgets, and was lucky enough to pull it off. Thanks for Pine Box for another great set of events, to the doomtown.online developers, and to my opponents and this eternally great community!