(Deck name attributed to a quote by jordan caldwell)
Took this list to an unlikely first at the Denver GenghisCon, Twilight Protocol Series Act 1: The Agency badge event. As always, Pinebox put on some great events, and despite having a dozen or so people attend, it was a great time. Add in lots of after hours fooding and Doomtowning, and you have a recipe for a wonderfully memorable few days.
My intent, as you can see, was to use a bunch of new goodies from Too Tough to Die and make what I think is finally a viable Law Dogs gadgets build, thanks mostly to Dr. Erik Yaple and Quincy Washburne. The Electrostatic Pump Gun was also very fun, and much better than I thought it would be before I first played with it. I was surpised how often I could shut down a 1 or 0 stud, and at the very least it took a 2 or 3 stud down a bullet, which is still good. Combined with Pinned Down and Pistol Whip, my opponents almost never had more than a 1-bullet stud to pick as a shooter.
That plays very favorably into Tommy Harden, who loves to see opponents studs taken down so they are either forced to cheat or reveal a bad hand. I would say that normally only 3 cheatin res in a deck is not enough, but with Tommy it was plenty - in fact there was a time or two I tossed a This'll Hurt into the discard at the end of the round because 2 was too many in my hand.
The Arsenal, however, is the real hero (and fun-maker) in the deck. While I was very happy to have the Judge Harry Somerset (Exp.1) in play a couple of times, the deck really doesn't need any forced callouts because of this home. Between Stewart Davidson, Dr. Erik Yaple (who doesn't need to be in the posse!) and the Culpability Scientizer (more easily found in a pinch if need be, via Doomsday Supply), I was never lacking in bounty on opponents dudes. There were several times I'd pay between 1-3 GR to make an influence dude wanted, but this deck doesn't often have a particularly long game. Economy isn't a big concern, especially considering a zero upkeep starting posse. In fact, I had more than one game where I didn't play a single deed, and one of those games I played the Judge turn 2. It usually only takes a turn or two before you can begin breaking down doors and force calling people out!
Other than the previously underused home (from what I've seen), most everything else is straight forward. Lots of synergy between cards like bullet reduction + Tommy, Pinned Down + Forcefield, Forcefield + Pedro, and several 1-2 GR cheap dudes to add some firepower (or canon fodder) to the aggro and also sacrifice to the shootout hands that are almost always either tied, or down/up by 1. Nobody wants to cheat against Tommy, and I do my best to never cheat with this deck (15/14/14 is nicely ideal for keeping legal hands), so that most often means legal full houses and occasional legal 4oaK's.
One thing I would most certainly change: taking out Henry Moran, and either putting in Travis Moone or perhaps Willa Mae. This deck cheats a decent amount in lowball, so constantly having my bullet catcher booted at home was not helpful at all (and also a 2 bullet dude who turns into a 6 stud with a couple of Hydro Punchers!). Starting with 1 GR isn't terrible with no upkeep on dudes, but if you want to start with 2 then I'd suggest putting in Willa Mae.
Fun, aggressive deck that I think helps make the case that LD Mad Science is definitely a worthy choice for any level event!
Event Write Up (there was a lot of Doomtown in 2 days time, and some of it has blended together... apologies for any mistakes)
Round 1 vs Stephen with original Law Dogs w/ Blessed (Tolarios and Padre)
I played Stephen 3 times over the 2 tournaments, and none of those games were easy. This one didn't start out great for me, as I think my first couple of home invasions/aggressions were fended off, so I was on my back foot for the first half of the game. I think eventually my aggression started taking out dudes, and as time in the round approached, I think he was down to only 1 dude left. After a noon action for him to take my deed, and my noon action to place down a CP deed, time was called and I was barely ahead by a single point. Very close and well played game by Stephen, and one I wished we had another 10-15 minutes to play out.
I'd face Stephen again later in the top 4, but I think in both games his Intercession (more than once) caused my previously booted dude to become unbooted and able to use pistol whip, which was very devastating for him. I've played a ton of LD Blessed, occasionally with Intercession, but I had never seen the "down side" of Intercession help an opponent. This was an unlucky case for Stephen where it was a rather big boon to me, but most of the time you're just unbooting a random draw dude and giving them 2 useless bullets. He was running Point Blank, however, so it also helped him nail at least one of my dudes with it.
Overall tough first game, and a gracious opponent - I was glad to put a face to the name as a fellow OCTGN/Discord-er.
Round 2 vs Zach (aka Jordan Caldwell) with Protection Racket + Raven
This one wasn't very close - mostly me desperately hanging onto a thread the entire game while Zach started (and continued) with great economy and a constant influx of dudes and deeds on the board. The only starting red card in my hand was a Pearlys Palace, which is unfortunate in multiple ways: costs a lot, and is the only non-private deed in the deck, and no gadgets in hand to help defend it from the Raven-Racketeering squatters! I think the nail in my coffin was when I was trying to fight off a lone Travis Moone from my deed, and Zach managed a legal 4 of a kind. I have no doubts I would have lost either way, as I was clearly out-chessed and gunned down, but I think that was the final straw in my downfall.
Well played by Zach, who I think I hadn't played officially in any event (despite being in many together) up until the day before in Fridays Twilight is Upon Us event, where the game was called at time with me barely ahead. Suffice to say that he was a very difficult opponent to face, and equally gracious and fun to play against! If you're ever looking for after-hours Doomtown, this is the man to call out.
Round 3 vs Joe with Oddities Abominations
I played Joe and this deck (tweaked some) the day before, and knew it would be a tough, but fun opponent - I knew I was getting into a constant onslaught of abominations coming back from the grave. He has an interesting start of Ol Howard to fetch Undertaker, and in our previous days game he earned a whopping 18 (or so) GR from that deed, so the recursion was certainly to be feared. I think the somewhat-weak draw structure was about the only thing that lead me to slowly whittle down his dudes until he had none left. Unfortunately for me I had 2 deeds on the table, both with zero control points, so he lasted a few turns with no dudes on the table (and only a 0 CP Undertaker on his side).
I jokingly said "by the time I get a CP deed, you'll get Ivor and we'll start all over". It was funny, and that's exactly what happened! The day I drew a CP deed, he played Ivor and we started all over. Somehow I whittled them down again shortly before time was called, and that was game, but it was certainly hard fought.
Round 4 vs Ryan with 108 Drunken PTPT/Slide
Starting posse definitely smelled of slide, with the only stud being an Agent Provocateur, and the opening lowball hand didn't tell me much other than either he had a loose structure or got several off-values in that hand. It wasn't long before a Putting The Pieces Together hit his side of the table, and I instantly knew what I was playing against and how best to fight it. I would need to invade his home and start force-calling out dudes ASAP before too many deeds and/or PTPT's hit the table.
Luckily I drew enough gadgets to make that happen, and Stewarts ability, while costing me some GR, allowed me to keep the pressure on and eventually whittle down his dudes (I think I also got the Judge out this game, which did not bode well for him). We had a lot of shootouts, most of them close in hand ranks, so it was a tough battle and I was surprised how long he was able to last with such constant pressure. When things go right my deck forces unappealing choices to opponents, and Ryan played it as well as the situation allowed.
I didn't expect to make top 4 with a win at time and a loss, but managed to make it. The 4 of us agreed to best of 1 game, not timed.
Top 4 vs Stephen I considered dropping from this to let someone else have a chance at the badge, but I remembered how I didn't feel good about winning because of an opponent who dropped, so I stuck around to make sure whoever got the badge had a well-deserved fight. I don't know if Stephen, or later David Winner, believed me when I said I was cheering for them, but I most definitely was - I just didn't want to make it a hollow victory!
For most of this game I had zero deeds, but at least got plenty of gadgets (including Currency Press via Doomsday's to very impact-fully progress my purchase of gadgets and dudes). Thanks to a Currency Press, the Judge made his way onto my side turn 2, and it was just a constant onslaught of pinned downs, pistol whips, and his studs (Tolarios and Padre) turning to draws from my Pump Guns. I was lucky enough to draw (or search up via Doomsday) everything I needed to keep the pressure on, and while he fought off at least a couple of Judge jobs, it was too much for Stephen to keep up with. I also seemed to draw an unusual amount of legal 4oaK's, so there was no chance for him to gain the solid casualties he needed via any cheatin punishment (a common theme in my games).
Finals vs David Winner with original Eagle Wardens + Shamans
This game was recorded, so I'm sure it'll pop up at some point in the future. Until then, my hazy memory will have to suffice. I had a couple of drinks prior to this game in an attempt to slow my wits and give David an edge, but that man apparently had a similar idea (for different reasons, I'm sure), so unfortunately we were on even footing there! -Always remember to drink and Doomtown responsibly-
From day 1 David dominated the town square, and did some massive hand-cycling via his home, and played out a few deeds (first one was out of town, and with him starting Mariel Lewis I wasn't about to contest) and some dudes as well (but none of the early dudes had influence - important for Mariel). Meanwhile I played a Pats Perch, and sat at home waiting to play out some more gadgets so I could have a chance when the TS fight eventually came. I drew into a somehwat early Hattie DeLorre(who is in the deck primarily to start in place of Stewart vs super aggro decks), and along with having a Pedro on Tommy and some other gadgets, I finally felt confident facing him in the town square. I saw his discard and absolutely knew that at least one Unprepared was coming my way, and while I was correct (it was, in fact, 2 - one to shut down Tommy and his donkey, and the other to shut down my force field), I terribly miscalculated total influences: I counted we both had 6 on the board, but I forgot about Enapay's +2 noon influence, so after Tommy was unprepared, he was sent home.
I can't remember if it was that fight, or the next day's fight in the TS, but at one point he ended up using Willa Mae to save his Pinned Down John "Aces" Radcliffe. Some folks, speaking after the game, thought that was a mistake, as our hands were tied and his use of Willa stopped me from taking a casualty, but I'm not so sure it was a bad idea. Aces was his best stud shooter, and against my deck that lowers bullets, pistol whips studs, and turns smaller studs to draws, you need absolutely every stud you can in order to not cheat and get hit by Tommy + This'll Hurt. There was a later round where he only managed a two pair, where Willa would have been nice, so in hindsight it was potentially not the right call, but at the time it was debatable. I also don't think the loss of one of my bullet catchers would have made much of a difference, but either way that was the fight where I took over the TS and held it until the end. That also allowed me to take over his Carter's Bounties, so his Mariel was effectively neutralized at that point as I assaulted the First Peoples from inside their home until there were no more.
David was the last, and certainly not least, of gracious, competitive, and fun to play against opponents - the kind you'll see few places other than gatherings of Doomtown players.
We followed the event with Doomtown-ing until late in the evening where both Zach and David Lapp pummeled my deck into oblivion (well, I think Lapp and I were 1 and 1), and that concluded a fun 4 of days of Denver, mountains, and Doomtown. I'll be watching the Austin event from afar, curious to see the next batch of decks, and I'll see ya'll in Tombstone in October!
|Feb 26, 2019 aussiescum|
|Feb 26, 2019 Prodigy|