I couldn't make up my mind on what I wanted to play at this event (nothing new there), so I took a look at the cards in Out For Blood for inspiration. Seeing Doc Holliday, two homes that supported gadgets, and a bunch of new Sidekick stuff, I figured I'd try and play the shiny new toys meta and bring a few counters to decks making use of those cards. I decided Phantom Fingers, Unprepared and the new Scattergun would do the job. These three cards decided which values I was looking at, so started to see what else I could do with the deck. Phantom Fingers required at least one Huckster, and amongst the spellslingers on the values I'd chosen was one Jonah Essex, the dude the event was all about. How could I not include him?
That set the faction. Though I don't play Outlaws very often, Frank Stillwell is one of my favourite cards and I wanted to start with him. Without enough hexes to best make use of Jonah's Alliance I really had two choices to take full advantage of the shenanigans he allows for, and Protection Racket won out over Desolation Row. Maria Kingsford joined the posse as my huckster, and Barton Everest as the muscle. I had a flexi-spot that could be filled with either Antheia Pansofia or Virginia Ann Earp depending on whether I thought my opponent would be running hand rank manipulation, and Willa Mae MacGowan to catch bullets and save me from shootouts gone horribly wrong. My values had a decent selection of dudes to support general Doomtown action with huckster backup. Looking through the deeds I saw there were a lot of Saloons and Casinos so I prioritised them for theme, leading to the deck name. I went with Scoop Hounds on 10s mostly because having Sidekicks is always useful, and added a couple of off-value Cheatin' Res hearts for some on-table options and a couple of Kidnappin's because they're always useful to have in a deck that can shoot.
I thought the deck was fine but I didn't think it would match up to the more competitive builds I was expecting from the Edinburgh players. Jonah's problem has always been that he's too pricey to start, so I decided my challenge for the day was to get him into play so he was present at his event.
I ended up with two wins at time and two losses, though importantly Jonah Essex showed up in three of those games. He was absent for the last one, where I only remember seeing him in my opening lowball hand. Cheatin' Resolutions proved to be his bane, twice getting caught in desperate solo shootouts but falling first to a Ricochet and later a Coachwhip!.
I swapped Virginia into the starting posse for me first game vs Adam/hehasmoments as he has a history of running decks that take advantage of Putting The Pieces Together alongside various other hand rank modifiers, but today he had a more standard shooty hex deck so she wasn't as helpful. I should have swapped Virginia into my starting posse in my last game vs Dave/Neramoor as I knew he was likely to be running things like Force Field, LeMat Revolver and Calling The Cavalry, but I completely forgot to do it before we had revealed starting posses. While my Phantom Fingers and Unprepareds managed to control some of his attachments (notably keeping Decimator Arrays booted out), Virginia would have been great to have on the turn he revealed a two pair then used two LeMat Resolutions to jump up to hand rank 11 as that was the tipping point in the match. My meta guess and counters proved useful but ultimately didn't help as much as I'd hoped due to either not seeing the cards or forgetting about them!
If I was to play this deck again, I'd definitely drop Pat's Perch and Jackson's Strike. I usually have them at the top of my list of off-value cards as they're great for helping with economy, but I found I was able to use Protection Racket's ability often and Frank Stillwell removed a lot of the risk assciated with it, so I didn't need the out-of-town deeds. I'd definitely add in a Curse of Failure, and maybe even swap a Ricochet for a second copy. An extra avenue of aggression and dude removal/blanking would definitely have helped, and maybe have enabled those wins to occur before time was called. In my game against Andrew D I was wishing for a Kidnappin' when he left his Barton isolated for a couple of turns early on. Against Stephen B I succeeded in taking out his Hamshanks with an early Kidnappin' but then his dudes with influence mostly stayed out of harm's way while he sent a swarm of cheap dudes out to fight and harass. There were also times in the other two games where having those jobs could have swung things in my favour.
I found the deck threw out cheatin' hands more often than I liked. While some of that was undoubtedly down to bad luck on the shuffle, perhaps tweaking the clubs down to three max. per value and adding in some cheap, useful, off-value cards would help with that.
|Jul 01, 2019 Harlath|
|Jul 02, 2019 Neramoor|