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Doomtown: Reloaded» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Doomtown: Reloaded - Not what it seems rss

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Scott Mohnkern
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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I had the opportunity the other day to acquire a copy of Doomtown reloaded.

I'll tell you when I first got it, I was pretty resistant. Whether you call it an ECG or LCG, I typically have resisted these types of games. I think arguably the only copies of these types of games I have are Smash Up and Red Dragon Inn, which are very different from Doomtown: Reloaded..

In addition I'm pretty resistant to games that come off as primarily being about a "take that" mechanic.

However

as I began to play this game, I was really pleasantly surprised.

About the game

Doomtown Reloaded is a Weird Wild West game where player's play factions in the town of Gammora in an attempt to control the town with influence. The mechanics for play are pretty complex, and cards are multi purpose, as they are both used as resource cards (Dudes, actions, buildings, etc.) and resolution cards through a series of poker like mechanics.

The Cards
These are the only real components to the game. Yes there are scoring chits and influence chits, but they are unimpressive (and don't need to be).

However I love the artwork on the cads, and there are several expansions that have similar artwork. In addition each expansion is themed towards a specific event in the town.

The Mechanics
The Mechanics for this game are pretty convoluted, particularly if you haven't played games like Magic: The Gathering, or similar one on one combat oriented games. Fortunately, in addition to a rule book, the game can be learned through a "step through" of an example 2 player game. Stepping through this demo is invaluable. It took me quite a while before I began to feel comfortable with the mechanics of this game.

The Theme
This game and its theme are very very tightly intertwined, and I really like that. The characters (called dudes) and their powers directly related to the character in a meaningful way. The buildings are the same way.

The Play
Normally when one thinks of Wild West games, we think of it as a grandiose shoot out, and certainly this game lends itself to that same view. However this game plays its best when it's played more like a game of chess, where the players are maneuvering characters into buildings to score influence.

Unfortunately, with new players, the tendency is to simply turn it into a shoot em out game. Which works, but leads to fairly complex game play without much benefit.

Ultimately, I really like Doomtown: Reloaded. Its got a lot of replayability, is well themed, and with the right players, can lead to some pretty complex interaction.
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Stephen Jacobsen
United States
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mohnkern wrote:

Normally when one thinks of Wild West games, we think of it as a grandiose shoot out, and certainly this game lends itself to that same view. However this game plays its best when it's played more like a game of chess, where the players are maneuvering characters into buildings to score influence.

Unfortunately, with new players, the tendency is to simply turn it into a shoot em out game. Which works, but leads to fairly complex game play without much benefit.


This has been the common complaint/observation, but if you look towards Western movies, there's generally only 1-4 big shootouts in a 2hr film. Most of the movies have more plotting, chasing, character development, etc than actual shootouts. In this light, I feel the game captures the theme well. Shootouts are expensive, lives are expensive. Only get into them when necessary.

I guess many find or expect the shootout to be the most exciting part. Indeed, in this game, they are quite fun and tense, but the real reward and meat is found in the plotting/scheming/positioning.
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Scott Mohnkern
United States
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SJacobsen159 wrote:
mohnkern wrote:

Normally when one thinks of Wild West games, we think of it as a grandiose shoot out, and certainly this game lends itself to that same view. However this game plays its best when it's played more like a game of chess, where the players are maneuvering characters into buildings to score influence.

Unfortunately, with new players, the tendency is to simply turn it into a shoot em out game. Which works, but leads to fairly complex game play without much benefit.


This has been the common complaint/observation, but if you look towards Western movies, there's generally only 1-4 big shootouts in a 2hr film. Most of the movies have more plotting, chasing, character development, etc than actual shootouts. In this light, I feel the game captures the theme well. Shootouts are expensive, lives are expensive. Only get into them when necessary.

I guess many find or expect the shootout to be the most exciting part. Indeed, in this game, they are quite fun and tense, but the real reward and meat is found in the plotting/scheming/positioning.


I completely agree, from a cinematic and historical perspective the shootouts were fast, and the back development took the majority of the time.

As an example, the gunfight at the OK corral in Tombstone, AZ is thought to of lasted a minute or two at most.

I think when it comes to gaming and the old west genre, there seems to be a lot of focus on the final shootout, and less on the scheming beforehand. (Take Shoot em up as an example, a fun game, but all about the gunfighting), so Doomtown: Reloaded is an exception to this.
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