I always wanted to make a deck with a lot of dudes because that means more fun. My first attempt was in Old Timer also starting Johnny Ringo and Desolation Row as a home. It looked fine, but lacked economy because Desolation Row worked only if the job was successful and it did not have enough deeds.
For this deck, I decided to go slightly less on dudes, put more deeds in and even season it with magic (I love me some Nightmare Realm). Also, thanks to the Deadwood Miner's Alliance ability, I could earn GR, bounty and still run home. Another thing that is really good is flexibility of the starting posse. In case I knew I would be going against a deck with heavy rank modification, I could just put Virginia Ann Earp in there and swap Ringo for another affordable stud (usually Silas Aims (Exp.1)). The same with Frank Stillwell.
My plan to go against shooty decks was to wait to win lowball (which I mostly did against shooty decks), go out earning GR, bounty, get my economy going and put out some dudes without hurting my draw structure much. This requires patience which proved to be really difficult for me.
Against a build up decks, I tried to control the town square and ramp up enough CPs to force the opponent out early, or at that time have a horde of dudes so I could prevail in the attrition war.
Round 1 - Win vs Andrew Davidson playing Deadwood Miner's Alliance
Game started really bad with my hand full of dudes (even after using the grifter) with only Miranda Clarke costing 3 and others 4 or more. Therefore I shopped for her and just camped on the Town Square. The bad luck continued as I drew another dudes, but thankfully won the lowball again and was able to afford Big Nose Kate who helped me recycle my hand some more.
There was a first shootout that day, and I started to think my luck had finally turned, only to find my Straight Flush against legal 5oaK.
Fortunately, my opponent did not have any shootout punishment so I was able to continue with Nightmare Realm slowly eating bullets from his Reggie Mallard. In the end, opposing posse fled and from there also thanks to being able to finally draw some deeds, I have slowly overtaken the town.
Round 2 - Win vs none playing Encroaching Darkness
In this match my hand was quite the opposite with just one dude (The Brute) in hand, Comin' Up Roses, Belligerence and a couple of deeds. My opponent found his shooter in The Brute with some sharp Claws, so the first shootout followed shortly after.
Thanks to Ringo doing his stuff, I drew into Straight Flush vs 4oaK. Nice one casualty, but as usual I got greedy and instead of running, I decided to stay. That was because I still had Comin' Up Roses in hand and The Brute if it would go south. Which of course happened. I was able to do just a cheatin' flush with help of the Comin' Up Roses vs 4oaK which was punished by Bedazzle to give me those 4 casualties for which I used my Brute. I have run, but thanks to winning another lowball and finding some deeds I was able to finally build up and stretch my opponent.
Later, my biggest worry was the clawed Brute parked on Town Square preventing me from enjoying the town. My great teacher Willa Mae MacGowan (Exp.1) helped with that as I called out Rosenbaum's Golem in my home using Johnny, Willa and Wilby forcing the Brute to boot to join. So even though the shootout ended up terribly, Willa saved Johnny who had free town to walk in. To rub some salt into my opponent's wounds, I put another Willa into play immediately after the shootout.
Round 3 - Timed Win vs TybarSunsong playing Smith & Robards Trade Show
I have already played 2 practice matches against Tybar and knew that it will be tough, especially if I do not get going right from the start. My starting hand looked very good so I did not even need to use a grifter (2 deeds, 2 hexes and Belligerence). Thanks to winning lowball, I was able to put both hexes out and Charlie's Place.
Next round, another deeds and I was starting to feel confident. Which is when it started to go slightly wrong as I got too cocky, booted my hexed up Maria Kingsford on town square and left Johnny Ringo in Charlie's Place vulnerable for the gadgeteers to start chanting a Curse of Failure. I defended thinking I will try one round and ditch Johnny, but then decided to just go all in. It resulted with discarded Rob Wilby, Jack McCall and dead Johnny. Trade off was just Rob Wilby on the opposite side. My luck was that with opposition booted home, and my economy running, I drew Pancho Castillo who saved the day.
Even though I had another bad shootout and had to ace Rosaleen Byrne, I was able to hang on, put another deeds out (at the end I put out all but 2) and wait for some big dudes to come. Which they of course took their sweet time coming. In this situation, Willa Mae MacGowan (Exp.1) came to help. I had 2 of them in my hand, so I went on a hunt with her and Pancho. This was successful as the first shootout resulted in discarding opponent's Seamus O'Toole, and second when I finally found some good dudes (Virginia Ann Earp and Baker Andrews), it was used to lure all remaining opponent dudes to my deed. That left poor Diego Linares alone in Hunter Protections, who was subsequently slaughtered by my outlaws. During this shootout time was called, but even if not, I believe the game would have ended that round.
Round 4 - Loss vs Agent006 - Serpentine Syndicate
I felt confident in this matchup once I saw the starting posse consisting of just 4 dudes with a total 3 influence. But my confidence quickly vanished after I made one tactical mistake, and 2 other of the stupid variety.
First tactical mistake was that I let myself drag into a shootout on the first day without being ready. So even though my opponent's play hand was bad as it was clogged with shootout actions, by dragging myself into the shootout I let him get rid of them and on top of that I lost 2 dudes. I was able to somehow reinforce, and once I felt confident, I went into another shootout. Wrong choice again. Even though I was able to match hand ranks, my opponent used It's Not What You Know..., and when I finally drew into SF and my opponent just FH, they again had an answer with You Had ONE Job!. Afterwards, I started to make mistakes which resulted in a very bad misplay with Frank Stillwell.
At that time, I had a good position and booted Frank to occupy the opponent's deed. He was called out and ran home. I forgot that reactions are just one per turn, unbooted Frank with Belligerence and sent him again to a different deed. He was of course called out and you can imagine my surprise when the react prompt did not appear.
After Frank's meaningless death, I decided to go all in with the rest of my dudes (including Johnny Ringo), making my last mistake when forming my draw hand (discarded my strong value for redraw), and instead of Full House ended up with Two Pair.
Round 5 - Win vs Yolda playing Encroaching Darkness
Another Fearmongers, and a second one with abominations. My hand was pretty decent with 2 deeds, Fetch and 2 dudes, so I decided not to use Rosaleen Byrne to have a dude advantage for Jack McCall in case it comes to shooting early. I was able to put one deed out versus my opponent's 2 deeds. Trying not to allow too much income, I moved into opponent's deed with Maria Kingsford and passed the round forgetting to use the outfit. I won another lowball which allowed me to put Frank Stillwell and a deed with CP out. In the meantime my opponent put out another 2 deeds so suddenly there were enough CPs in the open.
At that time, I decided to go for it and try to seal the win this round because I feared what dudes my opponent would be able to hire with that income. After some maneuvers, when I had to boot Johnny to take control of another deed, I was left with only 3 dudes that would be able to fight. But this time my opponent made a mistake of booting his last dude with influence to control back his deed while I still had one unbooted dude with influence to take control of the one CP I needed to win.
Quarterfinals - Win vs GDIAinsley playing Law Dogs
This was the infamous Judge Harry Somerset (Exp.1) deck. For this matchup, I decided to change my starting posse and swap Johnny Ringo who is too expensive for Nicole Sumner who is a nice 3 stud when wanted and less expensive. So if Judge wants to go after Nicole, he would have to make her wanted, which means she becomes 3 stud. My starting hand was solid with 2 cheap dudes (Mourning Mist and The Brute), Epidemic Laboratory, Belligerence and some other dude.
Thanks to winning the lowball, I was able to put into play both cheap dudes. Judge decided to go after Maria Kingsford instead of Nicole so I let her go. Thanks to this, I had time to build a Lab and run the job with Rosaleen Byrne.
Next day was more cautiously played at the start. I lost lowball and did not get any solid dude into hand. My opponent decided to put a bounty on Rosaleen, but I managed to put a deed in play and run a Lab job before the hangin' party started. At this time, I had 3 inf since Nicole was not yet wanted, and there were 4 CPs in play. Because of this, Judge went after Rosaleen only with Rob Wilby and kept Tommy Harden at home and I decided to defend. As expected my dudes were hit by a few shootout actions and I ended up with 2 stud bonus. Shootout lasted 2 rounds and in both I was able to draw into legal FH vs Flush, which meant Judge remained last and decided to run home. After this, Nicole stopped playing hide and seek and used my outfit to become wanted.
The last day, I lost the lowball again and things escalated quickly in Town Square as Judge went after Nicole right away, again deciding to leave Tommy behind but bringing Laura Banks. It looked suspicious, which proved to be true after both Nicole and Brute were Vamoosin' leaving me with just Jack McCall, Mourning Mist, Rob and Rosaleen. I knew I would draw a joker since there were only 2 cards in my deck and I saw just one joker until then, but the Straight Flush really surprised me. So even though my opponent also drew a SF, it hurt them more (their Gunslinger vs my Rob). Both of us decided to stay. Since I had Comin' Up Roses in hand, I knew my best chance would be for the opponent to cheat, which they did. I had legal 3oaK that I was able to change to SF thanks to the Comin' Up Roses. With both Judge and Laura gone, the game was mine.
Semifinals - Win vs deputy_greg playing 108 Gracious Gifts
I knew this deck was a landslide, for which I really wanted to start Frank Stillwell, and since he is more expensive, I had to change Johnny Ringo for Silas Aims (Exp.1). It is 1 influence less which does not look like a good idea, but I knew I will be able to put more influence out and also use Frank to shut down some CP and production.
It was mostly just playing catch and trying to win this before there are too many deeds in play. I thought I had won the turn before the end, but Daomei Wang came to the rescue and the game moved to day 5. Fortunately, I got the Mourning Mist so I used it to boot Ramiro Mendoza, and after some intense chess moving around the deeds, the last man standing was Jack McCall and I needed just one CP to win. I moved Jack into the opponent's deed, gave him a bounty thanks to my outfit and then used Belligerence's first ability to give him influence. This is the only time I used the first Belligerence ability, but it was important.
Final - Loss vs Entrican playing The Spiritual Society
In the final, I knew I would be against a DMH deck that likes to control the Town Square. Since I did not know the starting posse and was afraid of Mariel Lewis, I used my typical starting posse with Johnny Ringo. Looking back, Silas Aims (Exp.1) would probably have been better. Plan was simple. Move out when I win lowball, maybe trade some dudes with the opponent and in the meantime get my economy going.
My plan took a hit right away in the first shootout when my opponent drew 5oaK vs my FH. I had to run, giving the Town Square to my opponent, which he later used to run Meet the New Boss with Marcia Ridge giving her a CP and influence. With her influence boosted further by The Mayor's Office, and Zachary Deloria wielding Rapier, he soon became a really fearsome fellow. Thanks to this, even my Straight Flushes could do nothing against DMHs and my pool of dudes was slowly diminishing.
In the end, I at least used my Willa Mae MacGowan (Exp.1) trick, to boot some of the opponent's dudes in Town Square before sending Johnny away by discarding Willa. At that time I knew I had to gamble and boot all of my dudes across town hoping to stay in the game for another day. But my opponent was not having it and hired El Anónimo to finish the job. Our last hands were FH vs FH, but with me having to discard vital influence, the game was over.
I would like to thank for all the games, I enjoyed this tournament a lot. Also thanks to Pinebox and Doomtown community which is one of the best.