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Doomtown: Reloaded» Forums » Strategy

Subject: How To Build A Deck rss

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Eric Jome
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Introduction

Doomtown, more than most games, puts a lot on a player to consider and fulfill in building a deck. It must be exactly 52 cards, 54 with two optional Jokers. All cards are at least dual use, forming Poker hands for resolution and having effects in play. You've got to form a strategy for winning, manage an economy, handle tactical movement, and control the interplay of the dual use cards.

So, to help out players who find this tricky or confusing, I'll offer here some guidelines and tips on how to build a solid deck. We'll be talking about fundamentals and basics. One of the fun advanced subjects that mastery of these elements will hopefully inspire is breaking these recommendations, striking out on your own for new approaches and ideas. But to take those steps, let's walk before we run.

How do you plan to win?

We could just throw a pile of things together and hope for the best, but before we just trust to luck, maybe we should reflect on the general idea. We should have a plan for winning. To win, we'll need to have more Control than they have Influence. So, we should think about how we'll earn Control. And how we'll reduce their Influence. And conversely how we'll avoid them getting too much Control or reducing our Influence. Detailed thoughts on strategy are beyond this article, but roughly speaking;

Get more control by...
* ... playing more Deeds.
* ... taking Control of opposing Deeds.
* ... special actions on cards, like The Sloane Gang outfit or Establishin' Who's in Charge.

Reduce their Influence by...
* ... causing them casualties in shootouts, as in Kidnappin' or calling out.
* ... outmaneuvering them by having more movement or controlling their moves, as in Horses or Pistol Whip.
* ... special actions on cards, like Rumors or Blood Curse.

When you've settled on an approach to winning you want to try, you'll likely begin by having a handful of cards that suggest themselves. Those cards are your starting point. Try to keep your inspirational list or strategy focused to the main half dozen or so cards you've identified at the start.

Select an outfit

Choose an outfit that suits your starting point. If some of the cards you've got are dudes, that'll help. Otherwise, look for dudes belonging to that faction and see if they'll be the best compliment. Or just pick the one you find most appealing!

Select a starting posse

You're given a pile of ghost rock to select your starting posse. Here are the guidelines for doing so, in order of priority;

* About 4 influence in total (more is better than less)
* no more than 1 upkeep
* 2 to 4 rock remaining - enough to afford a deed and contribute to a growing economy
* At least 3 dudes
* Whatever you need to suit your strategy

What suits your strategy? Well, if you're planning to shootout, you'll want a stud dude, perhaps two. Going to control the board and movement? Movement abilities, Horse helpers, or just plain more dudes. Planning on key cards like Gadgets or Spells? A skilled dude. Playing will help you find the best and right set. The guidelines put you on good footing with an eye to avoiding an early loss (by having Influence) and growing your position in play (by having a balanced economy).

Fill out your values

It's likely as you picked your first few key cards that some of them had similar values. That is, maybe you liked Kidnappin' and you thought that, since it makes a shootout likely, maybe an Auto-Revolver would help. And hey, James Ghetty is a Mad Scientist and a useful dude in a shootout. And these cards are all Sevens!

If you have a lot of Sevens in your deck, when you draw to form a Poker hand, you're more likely to hit Three of a Kind and Four of a Kind, better hand ranks. If you had another value with several copies in it, you'd hit Full House too, another good hand.

So, find a couple of values like this among cards you've identified as useful. Fill out those values by including more cards with the same value! Use either more copies of the same card or others at that value. Liked those Sevens in the example? Blake Ranch and Pinto look good at Seven too!

Filling out a couple of values will form the main consistency of your deck, helping draw hands and, if you need them, pulls too. You'll want to avoid putting them all in play though! That would reduce your consistency. You'd like the option to put them in play, so having useful cards in this value structure is good, but we'll be looking next at the remainder of open spaces for your main "in play" game.

Fill out the deck to 52

Suppose you have 4 starting dudes and two main values with 3 cards in each suit. That's 28 cards done - two value sets of 12 and 4 more. You need 52, so you've got to select 24 more. Here, you'll want to avoid your core values and instead put in cards useful in play. Particularly, you might start off adding a handful of dudes to keep your Influence up and deeds to help your economy and grow your control. Pick the best 6 or so of each you can find. 12 of your 24 slots filled already! In fact, if you went to the allowed 4 of each suit in your main values, you'd be at 48 cards already.

Whether you've got 12 or 4 slots left or something in between, just throw in some useful Actions and Goods at this point to top it off. One trick you can try is finding those in the same value you found some of the additional dudes or deeds. Say you're mostly in Sevens and Jacks, but you added Lane Healey and the Circle M Ranch in Eights in this last step. Why not a couple more Eights? Say, Flame-Thrower and Reserves? This way, if you saw a pair of Eights in a draw hand, you'd know not to break it up. And you aren't any more likely to be caught Cheatin!

Conclusion

Building a solid starting posse, packing a couple values, and filling it out with useful stuff is a great way to get started building a Doomtown deck. You can play around with this beginning technique as you become more experienced. Will you try a different draw structure? Perhaps based on Flush and Straight Flush? What about other types of starting posses? You wouldn't have to pay upkeep on your dudes if a few died in a hail of initial gunfire, eh? Life is cheap in the old West. But whatever new direction you take it, this should be a solid foundation on which to build.

Good luck!
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Eric Jome
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Back in the old game, I had some articles you might find useful too.

A Beginner's Guide To Deckbuilding
Doomtown Deck Structures
Choosing Starting Posses

Info is perhaps a little dated, but you might glean some insights from it.
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Mike Bosch
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Thanks for these articles. I'm ramping up toward the release in hopes that I hit the ground running.

Hope you continue these helpful tutorials.
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Carl Enns
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If you pick one gang, can you add dudes from another gang in your deck ??
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Konstantinos Thoukydidis
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syliconslycer wrote:
If you pick one gang, can you add dudes from another gang in your deck ??


yes, but you pay 1 extra upkeep per influence on them.
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Bobby F.
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Whatever you do will be insignificent. But it is very important that you do it.
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DbZer0 wrote:
syliconslycer wrote:
If you pick one gang, can you add dudes from another gang in your deck ??


yes, but you pay 1 extra upkeep per influence on them.


And they cannot be in your starting dudes.
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