Edit: DTDB ate my hamster/deck title: "Horses are the bass & Hexes are the treble". There, justice is done.
Firstly, thanks to Scott and Heidi for hosting such a fun and well attended tournament. Generous prize support (store credit, great playmats and alt art cards from pinebox) and held in a great venue with lots of air, natural light and space. Plus they found a way to play Warren G & Nate Dogg's "Regulate" during the final. ;)
Marked as 2016 Marshall as we don't have a 2017 option, sorry (edit - now updated to the right marking!)! Used both the single l and double ll spelling in places to irritate both sides. ;)
Everyone played in a fun but competitive spirit, it was great to see the spirit of the recent Pinebox article on the player environment come through so clearly. Very well attended (27 players), but mercifully I was spared the presence of the high quality Danish players, Dan Knight, several Edinburgh stalwarts and many others that often put me in my place. However it was still an intimidating field with both of 2016's Marshall finalists present and numerous sheriff/deputy winners and tournament veterans.
Thanks to the Edinburgh Doomtown regulars, particularly Steph, Dave, Mark, Steve and Stu for many brutal matches to help knock various decks I've made in to shape. Steve, Dave and I got up ludicrously early to get a 6am train, but it was great that all three of us made the top 8.
I had a perfectly vanilla and competent 3/6/7 Morgan Regulators deck that I impulsively changed the night before the tournament, swapping out the 3s for Ks and adding Theo Whateley-Boyer, Point Blank and Sight Beyond Sight. The move to spells meant sacrificing 2x Coachwhip! to go all in on It's Not What You Know..., which proved a blessing. I though that if I saw other horse decks they would have lots of studs thanks to their home and Calling The Cavalry so my Sun in Yer Eyes would be less useful than normal, plus their dudes would naturally be higher value so I'd be better off with Point Blank to thin out their horse riders.
The Morgan Regulators home is excellent - it provides a movement/unbooting ability, helps against slide/Spirit Fortress, starts with 19GR and gives you extra studs, making it much easier to get Point Blank off reliably. Point Blank is easier to get off as your opponent will often Hydro-Puncher or Unprepared Theo and you've generally got lots of studs thanks to Jarrett Blake, Calling The Cavalry and your outfit.
Maggie Harris, a stacked deck and Henry Moran is a familiar way to get lots of horses quickly. Irving Patterson can run the job alongside Maggie to generate more ghost rock (even without any horses in your discard pile!), then you can attach a horse to one of them to unboot whichever of the two you need that turn.
Sight Beyond Sight is brutal, I often try to wait a few actions to boot it unless I'm trying to get rid of problem cards like Blood Curse. With a smaller opposing hand once my opponent has played their deeds I've got a better chance of checking for cheatin' punishment or strong actions that I can ace. Cheatin' to victory was a recurring theme in shootouts.
Tweaks I should try to test:
This deck is hilariously vulnerable to Bounty Hunter/Point Blank, as my opponent can force Irving in to a fight and force me to ace him or Theo (I normally choose Theo to save influence). You can replace Henry Moran with Willa Mae MacGowan to mitigate this but that dramatically lowers the number of horses in your discard pile.
As ever, sorry if I got anybody's name/outfit/match details wrong, see previous remark about waking up early and I idiotically didn't take notes...
All the games finished before time except the semi-final.
R1 - Tom's Full Moon Brotherhood deck
My Doomtown career came full circle, as Tom and I played in my first big tournament (Edinburgh's 2015 sheriff).
I had three horses by T2 thanks to Maggie Harris and I launched a Run 'Em Down! on Jake Smiley, taking out him, Tyxarglenak and The Brute with a brutal combination of Point Blank, Calling The Cavalry and It's Not What You Know....
Then we had a few entertaining turns of detente and build up as we took turns to hire a Bobo to discourage the other from starting a fight.
Eventually the free hand ranks from Calling The Cavalry were too much and the brave survivors perished, although Tom had the satisfaction of turning off Theo Whateley-Boyer with a well played Unprepared.
R2 Chris - Morgan Cattle Company
One of the guys from the new Newcastle meta and a very considerate opponent who pointed out when I'd overcharged myself for Lillian Morgan (Exp.1) by 1GR. A true mensch.
I struggled to play my Calling The Cavalry in this game due to my opponent's excellent use of An Accidental Reunion and Siege Of The Orphanage to turn off my headlines. Chris drew a straight flush in a key shootout and suffered a sickening blow as Theo upgraded my four of a kind to a five of a kind with a stored joker. A cheap way to beat a straight flush from a well constructed deck.
Lillian helped polish off the game by finishing off stragglers with more Run 'Em Down!.
R3 Steve Wallace - Desolation Row
A fellow Edinburgh player using high value hexes, I think he tied with Max for 6th and his report is here: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2396/6th-place-epitaph-desolation-row.
We have a few more turns of maneuvering as Steve hires Pancho Castillo (Exp.1) to give him the influence to stay in the game, but I'm therefore able to sit on his mines to strangle his income and conservatively play out CP for the win after Nickel Night Inn boots Jake Smiley to make my choices easier. The extra regulator movement really helped here.
R4 David Avery - Morgan Regulators
Another Edinburgh player and the eventual runner up, please check out his excellent report here: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2388/roboregulators-2-0-2nd-place-at-european-champions. His decks is gadget horses and a really interesting spin on horse decks - only 2x Calling The Cavalry but Outgunned and the bullets/unbooted shooters to make good use of it.
This was a bizarre game in which I drew 3x It's Not What You Know... in my opening hand - I would have redrawn the hand if I had Travis Moone, but these were the cards that gave me the win. Shows what I know...
Like Chris, Dave made good use of Hydro-Puncher to shut off Theo but that freed up my studs to Point Blank people.
Luckily I was able to still get an economy and some horses going with Maggie Harris and Irving.
R5 - Vince Turner - Beyond the Veil Spirit Fortress
I took Spirit Fortress to the top 4 of last year's Euro Marshal, so I feel I know the deck well. The only problem? Vince took Spirit Fortress to first place at that event and I've lost my previous tournament match to him... His report is available here: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2389/down-with-monte-banks-.
I struggle to get any economy going and can't break through the wall of token dudes despite winning several shootouts, only succeeding in sniping a Black Elk with Point Blank. This is the one match I think I'd have done better with my 3/6/7 deck as I could have grabbed some shotguns to thin out the token dudes. Vince gives an excellent analysis of the issues I faced in his report.
I don't get (m)any deeds out so I fail to hire any dudes and can't do much to stop the will of the people when Nicodemus Whateley turns up at the Maza Gang Hideout. This might have given time for my Outfits ability to shine and forced Vince to start to sacrifice dudes to shootout each turn or risk me capping his influence available at one location. Some of the lack of deeds was my fault in deck construction as I drew The Whateley Estate in my opening hand - perhaps I should have focused more on my economy, but this deed did well in other games.
Semi-final - Dave Hogg, Full Moon Brotherhood
A weak draw structure Fourth Ring Control deck. Nice to see one of these do well. I got lucky with a couple of early low ball wins despite having a much tighter structure, and could stash a joker on Theo too.
Again I think I was able to force dudes to the The Whateley Estate and then horse murder them. I mean, uh, regulate my property...
With Lillian out I can use my home to effectively force a shootout each turn (generally a no/low influence scrub that I kill) and then hunt down a high influence dude with Run 'Em Down! using her ability. Despite me sitting on most of Dave's deeds he keeps squeezing out a dude with influence each turn, but I think I had more control points that Dave's influence at the enforced nightfall when we went to time (8CP to 6 influence I think, even after Nicodemus Whateley was hired).
A fine match, albeit overshadowed by the David Avery/Vince Turner semi. If our match was an eight out of ten on the quality scale, there game was off the charts. Read up on their dramatic match in their reports.
Final - David Avery
After two high quality semis the final was a typical Edinburgh scene murder fest in the Town Square! Dave at least out maneuvered me on T1 so I had to wait a turn to shoot and sit on his deeds instead.
This was the one game where I really struggled to get horses despite a healthy discard pile! My luck had to run out eventually running "only" six...
Well done to Heidi and Scott for playing "Regulate" during the final. :
I think my cheatin' ways or a high legal hand from Dave and his use of It's Not What You Know... cost me a dude or two early, but my starting posse has enough no influence dudes to compensate.
Before a key shootout I had scouted Dave's hand and spotted two dudes out of his three cards. When he played his third card to drop my hand rank by 1 in the first shootout round with It's Not What You Know..., I was then free to cheat later on. Dave understandably felt comfortable gambling on more shootout rounds as I only had a few cards in my deck and three cards in hand but I hadn't played anything despite having lots of ghost rock from Maggie/Irving jobs and lowball. Dave then theorised I must have two jokers in my hand. Brutally I didn't and a succession of a legal five of a kind and a cheatin' five of a kind killed many dudes, despite dave hiring a second wave with Nathan Shane and Margaret Hagerty due to his good economy.
Eventually, Dave was left with just a booted Irving Patterson and I had Run 'Em Down! and It's Not What You Know... in my hand, so he conceded and I sit on one control point on his street for the win, despite only having Cattle Market on my side of the street.
I'm mulling over my story prize and will be picking in the next few days, probably favouring one of Tombstone or Dodge City. Sorry to Lost Angels/Grimme/Famine fans!
|Jul 03, 2017 DoomDog|
|Jul 03, 2017 Harlath|
|Jul 03, 2017 VinceTurner|
|Jul 03, 2017 Harlath|
|Jul 04, 2017 Whizzwang|
|Jul 04, 2017 Harlath|
|Jul 13, 2017 ironcache|
|Jul 13, 2017 Harlath|