Crossed the pond to learn how to REALLY play Doomtown. Ended up carrying off a bunch of swag back home. I suppose I was a quick student! ;-)
I was 3-2 for the day, all well within time, which was enough to place 6th (and Top Dog for the day!)
R1: Regulators (win). Fairly standard horse shenanigans. Running Espuelas rather than Pedros, my opponent ended up having to take real casualties when I kept his hand rank low with suppressing fire (Sun in Yer Eyes + Faster on the Draw), while I soaked the first round Calling The Cavalry bump with a high hand and sidekicks.
R2: Base Sloan Hucksters (loss). Though my opponent's Makaio Kaleo, Esq. funneled most of my bounties onto Maria Kingsford, a B & B Attorneys and some maneuvering enabled me to stick Barton Everest with bounty.
My opponent was deed-flooded, and if I recall correctly did not attach a single spell all game. Meanwhile, with my 2nd Bank Of Gomorra on the table, I was makin' money, playin' dudes, buildin' up my hand of shootout actions, and waitin' for the inevitable Ol' Fashioned Hangin'.
While I cannot recall (or have chosen to forget) the precise details of how this turned from a strong board position into an utter debacle, I do recall my opponent wisely moseyin' into town square to pick a fight before things became too overwhelmin' after I'd sent Tommy Harden and Henry Moran to deprive Lawrence Blackwood of his Stoker's Sabre. I called out the varmints, with a couple copies of Sun in Yer Eyes in hand. Unfortunately, the sun was mighty bright that day: my opponent also had a couple copies in hand, so we were each fighting sans stud support.
Both my opponent and I were still waking up with this match, as in the crucial shoot-out we each forgot to apply hand-rank modifiers: Barton Everest @ +1, Inner Struggle at -1. We evened each-other out for the crucial first two hands, however, by which point it was all over but the cryin'.
Biggest mistake of the tournament: staying in a fight I didn't need to win, with a deck that was looser than my opponent and no cheating resolutions in hand. I could have accepted 1 round of loss, and I should have retreated after acing Philip Swinford to lick my wounds, give up my deed income for the next turn, and refill on shootout actions.
R3: Den of Thieves (win). A deck that throws down bounty onto its own people? A deck that cheats repeatedly when I draw into inner struggle two turns in a row?! My opponent put up a good fight, but the meta-gods were kind. I accidentally revealed the wrong starting posse (discovered whilst revealing my posse and my lowball when Phil Swinford appeared in my draw hand). Apparently, Constance wanted more time on the pitch! Since it was a legal starting posse, however, all I suffered was a bit of embarrassment.
R4: Full Moon Brotherhood (loss). Ooof. My opponent and I had played friendlies during the week leading up to the big day, so I was aware of its influence-reducing potential. I tried running with the Constance Daughtry start again. It didn't matter, as my deck refused to co-operate in combating the foe: as I recall, I did not see a single additional dude during the game.
Though I suppose it could have been a coincidence of draw timing, I am more inclined to credit my savvy opponent with waiting to throw down his Blood Curses until after I had already pitched my Muggings over consecutive rounds in a search for a dude.
I'm still torn on whether this was the wrong call or not from a hypothetical perspective. I probably underestimated the value of acing a lone Blood Curse as soon as it hit the table. On the other hand, one copy of any of my 2+ inf dudes would have made up for x2 Blood Curses in the short term, and would have done more to stabilize the board and protect my deeds... .
R5: 108 Slide (win). Probably my favorite match of the tournament: a close run thing on both sides, I think. This time, my deck dispensed dudes appropriately, and I was able to keep my influence in line with his control points. While I worried a little about adding CP of my own, I did play out a 2nd Bank Of Gomorra and another deed (The Gomorra Gazette?) to keep the money flowing.
The tide turned when I drew The Brute and Shelby Hunt in the same turn. While they didn't contribute influence to the fight, they were safe bruisers who could hold town square and the next turn formed the backbone (+Tommy) of the Brute Squad that Hung my opponent's Randall.
My opponent threw down a Steven Wiles and paid to keep him in play for a turn as we played the chess game, but I had enough deeds on lockdown and a stronger shoot-out hand to pull off the win.
Ultimately, this game I think justified my switch from x2 Prescott Utter to x1 and x1 The Brute. The Brute was capable of defending my own deeds from the depredations of the opponent (by threatening callouts), protected against terrible disaster if a shootout went awry, and was able to be thrown into posses leaving precious influence free to sit on deeds.
Deck Design Comments: Before the tournament, I had been equivocating between The Orphanage and The Gomorra Gazette. I'm still torn between these options. The instant gratification (and ghost-rock) of the Gazette helps fuel a smooth play-through of that turn's hand, but the Orphanage is a little cheaper to get into play, and hitting its boost twice (either one deed x2 or 2 deeds x1) feels like more than enough juice to take the deck out of worrying about money. It also makes the 2 CP deeds less of a liability, especially on Hangin' turns. The 8 value Gazette is a nice surprise in Lowball, less so in a shootout hand or the rare Holster pull.
The goods in the deck are a meta-call (intended to help deal with pesky horses and other troublesome varmints.) If they weren't so gosh darn pricey, I'd be tempted to swap out the Tusks for Faithful Hounds, and exchange the Blueticks for Peacemakers. This would also seem like a better utilization of the deck's low draw values. But, I like the occasional movement flexibility that the Blueticks can provide and I like the draw from the Tusks... and I like the fact both are cheaper goods.
Going down to x3 Coachwhip!s was the right call: thank you! (You know who you are... ;-)). Shiny Things was the right call for a replacement, if I do say so myself. While I never pulled off the "Cunning Distraction" - wait until opponent moves out of position - "Surprise!" combo, it was a nice little control* element that cycled out of my hand easily and helped keep my opponent from messing with my deeds early on.
The Legendary Holster didn't see play in any of the tournament games, though it was killer in a casual game that morning. This deck ultimately stems from my very early Clyde Owens/LH deck, so I can't say this isn't a LH deck... but it is very situational (to draw, to decide to play, for its use to matter significantly more than a Pistol Whip would have). I like the fact that it is in the deck, however, as it does provide a resounding answer to some problems (like Tyxarglenak. And Tyxarglenak (Exp.1). And Tyxarglenak's more annoying 108-branded Cousin, Hamshanks. And Mario Crane. And anyone with a Peacemaker. "We could kill everybody!" "I'm strangely comfortable with that.").
Segway aside, if one were to remove the Holster from the deck, then I might be tempted to swap the Inner Struggles for other good shootout actions (probably Unprepareds, though I could see two Pinned Downs working well, especially in consort with Ol' Fashioned Hangin'). It really depends how much cheating goes on in your meta, I think.
Thanks again to Scott and Heidi for the excellent marshaling, judging, tabulating, and herding, thanks to Pinebox for the top shelf tournament support, and thanks to IQ Games for hosting in an expansive venue and for the store credit extra prize support!
It was a great tournament: a friendly and competitive crowd turned up to socialize and sling cards! My opponents (and others whom I didn't have the pleasure of competing against in Swiss) were kind enough to play casual matches with me as we waited for rounds to finish, as well as before and after the Swiss rounds.
The post-tournament hang-out was also good fun. While I'm not normally a fan of loudish music or smokey environs, the company and conversation was first class (and the Tacos were good, too)!
I'm lookin' forward to seein' some o' you varmints at GenCon, and eagerly anticipate playin' more Doomtown with the British Brigade (and a certain American transient ;-)) whenever I next get the chance to cross the pond.
*To follow up on the discussion at the pub, I see control as something that removes choices from the opponent, or otherwise exercises "control" over what would normally be the opponent's choice. Booting their dude. Moving their dude. Excluding an opponent's dude from a shootout. Forcing the opponent to choose a particular dude as a casualty/forcing the opponent to not pick a dude as a shooter. Etc.
|Jul 02, 2017 Harlath|