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Subject: Encore! A 4th Ring Deck. rss

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Anders Kernel
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Hi all,

So this is my 4th Ring deck. It builds on some very nice mechanics that I do not believe has been discussed very much and has no less than 4(!) Avie Cline in it. It is not quite as tight as it will be when I get my clammy hands on the New Town, New Rules - but I'll leave that to your imagination and creativity on how to use new cards in conjunction with the existing deck. Let me say there will be changed at least 4 cards in the deck...

Ideas...

Well, this deck builds on several ideas that I like in Doomtown. First of all, hence the decks name, it builds on cycling cards. Yes - it is part of the plan to put down spells or dudes on the table and then get some of these back into the deck again. Since it is a cost of both Mongwau the Mighty, Hex Slingin' and Magical Distraction why not let it work for our benefit?

Secondly - we need movement (spells), a way reduce the opponents influence and bullets (spells) and maybe to put some hurting on our opponent or trick the hucksters out of the way before they get too hurt (spells). With the opportunity for and possibility of that many effects from spells we need to reliably 'pull it off'. So we need some high values or gifted spellslingers.
Shooting straight. What - isnt this a movement control deck? Well, yes and no. It has movement and control in it, but the whole cycling aspect actually builds to a good way to degenerate your deck (here meant as the cards you have in deck and discard pile and thus ultimately draw hand) into containing the values you choose. That means that we will get better at shooting the longer we do this - but as it is we can actually start off quite adequate as well, so why not?

Lastly we have to consider draw structure. First of all - Deadmans Hand doesnt work so well. The huge reliance on pulling for spells does not lend well to aces and eights. Then we have a straight flush - which is definitely a great structure for some - but it doesn't really combine with the cycling of cards (spells) and you need a lot of bullets to pull it off normally. So we are left with choosing a few values and going from there. Not a bad thing though... Let's have a look:

Spells is one of the deciding factors and there are 2 spells right now that are especially good for this deck, namely Blood Curse and Shadow Walk. That gives us 10s and Queens. However, looking at the queens I am not happy about the actions there and besides losing a blood curse from the table don't seem like a good idea as well. The 10s though has a lot to offer: Unprepared and Extortion are both good actions in my book and for dudes: Avie Cline.

There are a few things that is interesting about Avie and that should be considered when playing 4th Ring (and especially this deck). Price, stats, traits, upkeep and deck interaction. Avie is cheap. I can play her turn 1 if I need to and I can often in mid or late game drop Avie as well as another card. Her 0 bullet is by no way impressive - 0 stud would have increased her value, but 2 influence lets her be played late in a day and go out and exert control. Avie is a huckster and a harrowed. The harrowed power lets her soak some more when taking casualties (remember to maybe use this with Arnold) and the huckster part lets her use hexes - which is a huge part of this here operation. Her upkeep is the most challenging thing about her - but not uncoverable and if we need her around another round then it's cool. The deck interaction is of course the most important part of her function.

First of all she is value 10. That fits the glove so to say but she is also high enough value to not be too afraid of shotgun or other value related opposing cards. Her upkeep, though high gives us another incentive for letting Avie go - and this is not a bad thing when we are drawing for 10s as it is. Her low cost is one of her best assets though. When you start a round and your hucksters start the day committed somewhere (non-home) then you are at a penalty movement wise - which can only be negated by Shadow Walk or playing a dude. Combine all of these things (influence, traits and cost) and you have a very competent dude to throw into the fray during the game.

Now, for the second value, besides the 10s I chose Jacks. No Hexes in them Jacks - I know, but both dudes (Kevin and Tyx) and actions (Hex Slingin' and This is A Hold Up) are great, and the deeds as well (Jacksons Strike and Undertaker).

So without further babbling, I present: Encore!

I think that Arnold, Micah and Mongwau are a great starting posse for this deck.

The rest looks like this:

Aces:

2 X Soul Blast

3:

Ace in the Hole.

6:

Bobo

8:

Rumors
Steven Wiles
The Ghostly Gun
Pats Perch

9:

2 X Cheatin' Varmint
2 X Magical Distraction
Morgan Research Institute

10:

4 X Avie Cline
3 X Shadow Walk
Doyle's Hoyle
2 X Unprepared
2 X Extortion
2 X Carters Bounties
2 X The Union Casino

Jacks:

3 X Hex Slingin'
This is a Holdup
2 X Tyxarglenak
2 X Kevin Wainwright
Jacksons Strike
Undertaker

Queens:

4 X Blood Curse
Pharmacy

Kings:

Ivor Hawley
2 X Raising Hell
Telegraph Office
Railroad Station

Beware to put the right spells on the right spellslingers and to track Bobo and the low value spells when you play. If you can follow those simple rules - it should be safe to play with the circus!
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mplain
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First, I'd like to complement you on your ability to do an extensive analysis, or as we say it here: "putting all the books on their respective shelves".

Second, I personally didn't find anything new in your post, although the beginning was very promising ("very nice mechanics that I do not believe has been discussed very much"). You have described (though quite well) the basics that any The Fourth Ring deck is based upon.

Third, Avie Cline.
In the beginning ("and has no less than 4(!) Avie Cline in it") I thought that you found some special use for her. I see now that this is not the case. You describes her as being a pretty good dude. You said she was cheap. I very much disagree.
Avie is very expensive. 2 upkeep is a lot, and if you don't want to pay that, then 3 up-front cost every other turn is a lot as well. All for just 2 influence. Compare this with Steven Wiles, who is actually cheap, has more influence, and is an expendable 'cruise missile'. Avie, instead of being a 3-stud, has Huckster and Harrowed keywords.
Harrowed makes her stick around. But I don't want her to stick around, she's just too expensive for that! And why would I want her to get into a shootout, if her primary use is extra influence? If she were at least a 2-draw, then I'd be able to use her with Takin' Ya With Me, and her Harrowed ability would actually be relevant. As is, Avie is a dude that I don't want to participate in fights, but I don't want her to stay around either. The most use from her Harrowed ability, it seems to me, is not keeping her on board, but keeping her from getting aced so that I might play her again later. But I don't really want to...
Huckster 0 means that I'd be using my spells on her, and that doesn't really go well with the whole 'don't want to keep her around for long' concept. I won't be using my good spells on her (Blood Curse and Paralyse Mark) because she might fail them, with all the 8s in my 4R deck, but then what is she for? Hex Slingin' fodder carrier (Forget)?
As I see her, she's a backup in case my starting hucksters get shot, I lose my influence and my ability to use spells. I don't really want to get to that state of the game, like, ever. I'd rather have more cards in my deck that prevent this from happening.
So basically Avie's most useful feature is her value of 10. Two backup cards that are good for your shootout structure are fine, but FOUR is excessive. She's not Steven Wiles!

Four, once you get New Town New Rules, consider getting rin of Soul Blast, Ace in the Hole, and Raising Hell. They are useful, but I'm not sure they're worth messing your shootout structure.


P.S. I really didn't want to sound aggressive or condescending or anything. Please don't take it that way. I'm all for a nice healthy discussion
 
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mplain
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Oh, one last thing regarding your decklist.
You have a heavy focus on 10s, with a secondary value of Js, and the rest are just assorted cards.
The Fourth Ring can actually support heavy focus on two or even three different values. That would greatly increase your potential in shootouts, so you won't have to play backup cards like Avie Cline all that often
 
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Anders Kernel
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Hi again,

The thing that hasn't been discussed is the cycling of cards from the table into the deck again. The cost is often seen as 'too' much for some abilities (Micah, Hex Slingin' etc.). In this deck we turn that cost into a strength via building around the 10s. Through the game we devolve our decks and at the end game stage it is important that we sit with the most tuned shooter deck if we hope to shoot the opposition.

Avie Cline is a very good dude in this deck. She combines very well with the high number of hexes that she can utilize via her huckster trait and combine with action cards used in shootouts. Her ability to take 2 casualties for a discard has been very helpful in situations where you loose a shootout. That said - she is not a Steven Wiles and should not be used as such.

New Town, New Rules will change this deck, but not as much as you suggest. Ill keep it to myself how much (I dont know yet as you yourself put it - it IS all about the balance) but the idea is to tighten it up with the new spells from NTNR.

About dropping the shootout hexes - I think this is where we differ deckwise in the 4th Ring department. I dont do shootouts untill I win or am forced to do them (unless there is a blatantly good opporunity to remove influence from my opponent). But this deck devolves exceptionally fast.

Let me put it another way - the cards chosen besides the Jacks and 10s are carefully chosen mainly for their pull value and synergy with the rest of the deck. One of the reasons for the few 8s is also the greater reliability for my o skilled hucksters.

As you yourself put it - this might change dratically with NTNR (those are some mighty fine hexes) - but it is also a question of Huckster skill...

No worries - I didnt take it personally, but I do disagree

Cheerio,
A
 
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David Boeren
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From my experience, Avie is not a dude that you just drop into play whenever you draw her. Rather, I think she excels when you're expecting to get into a fight that turn. You play her for cheap, and if things go badly you can use her to soak up casualties. She is a meat shield for your more important/expensive dudes. If things go well and you don't need her anymore, you can let her go and avoid paying her upkeep.

But no, I would not typically keep her around from turn to turn unless I'm rich, need her influence to keep from losing, or have somehow been having a lot of trouble finding any Dudes in my deck.

She does have a solid role she can fill though and I would not say that she's awful as some people seem to be claiming.
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Rayne Smith
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I agree with dboeren here. I feel that you are underestimating how useful Avie Cline is. I have had a lot of luck with her and her Harrowed ability is a nice backup. So far I haven't really been running on 8s with my 4R deck, though that will probably change once I get my hands on NTNR. My favorite shootout structure so far has been 10, J, K.
 
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mplain
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Could you describe a situation when you expect to get into a shootout and take casualties? When you'd rather have her than Steven Wiles or Bobo?
 
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Henry Clark
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mplain wrote:
Could you describe a situation when you expect to get into a shootout and take casualties? When you'd rather have her than Steven Wiles or Bobo?


Your opponent plays a deed worth 2CP. You send in Avie. He sends someone to take back the deed - either by calling her out or by having 2+ Influence. You move Kevin Wainwright over to her from anywhere without booting and make him a stud - suddenly it's not such a good prospect for your opponent - he can either call you out, letting you use Avie as ablative Armor if it goes wrong or if his dude is weedy, you can call him out and either force him home or get the chance to remove him.

Unless your opponent's deck is much better at shoot outs that yours, he's unlikely to do serious damage to her anyway... It can also be useful to have a Huckster you don't want to keep in play - once a dude has a spell, it's stuck on them until they leave play, which can be bad if they're part of your draw structure...
 
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mplain
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In the situation you discribe, you could substitute both Avie and Kevin with Steven (3 stud, 3 influence, expendable), all for a price of 1 gr. Bobo would work too. Harrowed absorbs 1 casualty, but each stud bullet prevents one casualty from ever happening! More or less. I still can't think of Avie as anything other than poor man's Steven Wiles...

And how often do you actually think "I need to get rid of this spell/goods/dude, it'd serve me better in the deck than on the board"? I mean, yes, there's some statistical benefit, but how often does it actually outweigh losing a dude?
Well, in case of Avie, of course it's worth it! you get your spell back in to the deck AND get +2 gr per turn!
 
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David Boeren
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mplain wrote:
Could you describe a situation when you expect to get into a shootout and take casualties? When you'd rather have her than Steven Wiles or Bobo?


Anytime you get into a shootout you might take casualties. Avie is an insurance policy.

If there is a rule that says when you draw a card you don't want you can search your deck for your chosen card to replace it, then I missed it. There are LOTS of cards that aren't exactly what I need at that moment in time, and they shift depending on the situation. We have to play with our full decks and try to get good use out of whatever we draw. Avie (or any other card) doesn't have to be better than the best card in your deck to merit inclusion, she only has to be better than the worst card and have some sort of useful role to play.
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Henry Clark
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mplain wrote:
In the situation you discribe, you could substitute both Avie and Kevin with Steven (3 stud, 3 influence, expendable), all for a price of 1 gr. Bobo would work too. Harrowed absorbs 1 casualty, but each stud bullet prevents one casualty from ever happening! More or less. I still can't think of Avie as anything other than poor man's Steven Wiles...

And how often do you actually think "I need to get rid of this spell/goods/dude, it'd serve me better in the deck than on the board"? I mean, yes, there's some statistical benefit, but how often does it actually outweigh losing a dude?
Well, in case of Avie, of course it's worth it! you get your spell back in to the deck AND get +2 gr per turn!


If I had Steven, I couldn't have lulled someone in - if someone moves to fight Steven, you can guarantee they have a plan to beat him. If Steven gets aced, cycling him is screwed, and even if you have 4 copies of him in your deck you can't guarantee seeing him every turn...

Besides, at the start of the next turn, I've still got Kevin in play to move about and cause more trouble...
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Anders Kernel
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Any shootout where yoy lose or are reduced in bullets, Id prefer Avie over Steven.

However, I think this discussion is on the wrong premises. Asking to defend Avie by talking about her effectiveness in a shootout is like asking why you would bring Steven Wiles into a deck building on 10s as he is an eight.

The cotext of the deck and the way I play 4th Ring makes her very valuable to this deck, I suggest you try it out and see if it works for you.
 
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