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Doomtown: Reloaded» Forums » Rules

Subject: Bluffing rss

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Simon Stampfer
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Did a quick search and couldn't see that anyone had posted something about this yet... Apologies if this sort of thing is already up.

Where is the strong bluffing element in the game? I've not played yet but just read the rules. There is a weak bluffing element but I thought it could be improved on.

I envisioned something like this:

Defender can bluff attacker into running away before reveal if they do something like choose not to swap any cards out (along with smug facial expressions). An attacker who didn't pull as well as they thought they would could then be given the option of legging it straight away instead of risking following through with a weak attack. They would count as losing the fight, with some sort of penalty.

The defender does not have the option to run away before reveal, they just have to grin and bear it.

As I said, I've not played yet, this is just my thoughts after reading the rules. What do you think? Be gentle I will probably play test tomorrow to see if it causes any problems.
 
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B C Z
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These may not be bluffing, but they certainly give the opponent pause...

Playing "Bad Company" on one of your dudes when it looks like your opponent is starting to move in on your stuff.

Playing "Prayer" or "Concealed Weapons" on a dude and then moving them over to your opponent's high value deed.

These types of plays aren't really 'bluffing'... they're more of an active threat that may or may not have some nasty action cards still in hand to back them up.
 
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Simon Stampfer
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I don't know enough about the game to comment on these individual card plays - I'm guessing this is what a lot of the game revolves around: playing a key card at the ideal time.

With the bluffing aspect, I was just trying to carry on the poker theme.

Hoping to give it a go in the next few hours so I'll make a post about how it goes.

I am thinking for a penalty if the attacker bottles it and calls off the attack something like 1 automatic casualty, plus all dudes booted back to home. Effectively they would only run away if they expect their losses to be significantly higher thank this due to a poor draw on their part, coupled with a very confident seeming defender.

Of course, the reverse situation can happen too. If an attacker draws badly and thinks about abandoning the attack, but then the defender bluffs them into thinking they also drew badly, then the attacker decides to go ahead and press forward with the attack... Only to find that the defender is packing a tasty draw hand along with some decent shoot out cards... The attacker ends up taking 4 casualties and wishing he'd run for the hills before getting in too deep and just taken the 1 casualty penalty for abandoning the attack.
 
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Neil Kimball
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When I first learned Doomtown I was also thrown off that the fights were poker based mechanically, but it didn't really feel like poker because there was no bluffing.

I've come to realize it's fine. Probably the closest thing to it is deciding who will go into a shootout. The dudes are almost like poker chips at this point. You call out my dude. Now I can "fold" and run away if I'm too chicken/know it will end badly, or I can commit a few dudes (calling his bid), or I can go all in with all my available dudes. While it isn't the real back and forth of bidding and bluffing in poker, it still has some of the feel.

All this is to say, your house rule sounds interesting, but this is a well designed game and I'd think it's probably a little unnecessary. But certainly let us know how it goes!
 
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Richard Dickson
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You can do some bluffing with your supply of ghost rock. Having some left over might make your opponent think you're saving it to play an action. Hey, I just made one of your dudes wanted, and I have 2 ghost rock sitting here. Am I holding Bounty Hunters ready to go after your wanted dude? Or do I have It's Not What You Know... waiting for you to show a cheating hand in a shootout?
 
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Davido
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You win lowball. You move in a weenie dude to contest their deed.
Opponent has to think about:

1) Sun in Yer Eyes - turns their dude into a draw
2) Unprepared- boots, -1 bullets, 'railroad dude' is now useless
3) Stakes just rose, brings in more firepower
a) Pintos/Roans/Mech Horses, etc. are obvious and on the table
4) just a bluff
a) you use expendable dudes or influence such as Travis or Steven
 
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Davido
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Always pack some cheatin' punishment, especially action cards. Even if you only have a couple, seeing a "bottom dealin'" go by in lowball, puts the seed of doubt in your opponent's mind 'does he have another' e.g. make a cheatin' hand a risk. Better yet, punish that risk. Coachwhip out their best dude, pay 2 GR to What You Know and YOU win.

Cheatin' isn't as nasty as in Classic, but if you NEVER punish cheatin' and they NEVER see a Cheatin' card/effect, they'll just go to town on you.

I liken Cheatin' to 'showing some leg' - e.g. it gets their attention, and keeps 'em on/off guard.
 
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Simon Stampfer
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Cheers for the feedback and advice - I actually do see now why it wouldn't be a great rule (didn't try it today after all) as it would really only work if the draw came before all the nasty shoot out actions that a defender can throw at you, otherwise the attacker gets to use up all the defenders cards on a feint, cancel the attack taking one casualty, then go back in with another posse.

I am suitably humbled

Would still love too find a way to insert a more poker-y betting / bluffing mechanic in there though, maybe in the first phase, to determine the winner, you could bet 1-3 to try and bluff your opponents to fold. I'll shut up now, probably another crappy idea from me

Cheers again everyone.
 
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Kenn Mikos
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What's confusing here, I think, is that in this game the bluffing isn't tied to the poker mechanic, though of course someone unfamiliar with Doomtown would think it would be.

In Doomtown, bluffing is part of a lot of game decisions:

- My opponent just sent a wimpy dude to take over my deed. He should be easy to chase off... Unless he's holding shootout actions. Or maybe he just wanted my dude stuck at a deed. Or maybe he's really bluffing and is hoping I won't take the bait...

- I just attempted to call out your big stud with a 0- influence, low bullet dude. Does my deck really shoot that well? Do I have shootout plays that will win me the shootout? Am I counting on losing so I can throw Takin' Ya With Me? Or... am I hoping you'll think that so you take your tough guy home?

- My opponent just played a 2-control deed. Is he about to start a control rush, or does he just want me to tie up manpower there?

There are so many opportunities to bluff in Doomtown that when you're playing, you don't even realize that none of them have to do with poker...

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