Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Deadlands: Doomtown» Forums » Strategy

Subject: A Beginner's Guide to Deckbuilding rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Introduction

Building a deck in Doomtown can be a daunting task for a new player. Doomtown has a wealth of strategies, complexities, and subtleties beyond almost every other card game; this is what makes it so much fun to play! With a little help, however, a method for making a deck can be easy.

Understanding The Issues

Every card in Doomtown is useful in two ways. First, it has its abilities when used "in play". Whether a Deed or a Dude, a Goods or an Action, most cards do something when played on the table or from your hand. Second, every card has a suit and value just like a regular playing card. The suit and value are used for pulls, lowball, and shootouts.

Some cards have just the right suit and value, but all the wrong abilities. Others are just the opposite. It's important to strike a balance between these two extremes.

Two Methods

There are two basic approaches to finding the balance. These two are called "Pick A Value" and "Pick A Suit". These methods can result in very different decks and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

"Pick A Value"

"Pick A Value" is pretty easy; look over your cards and find a few cards that you want to use. Several cards should have the same value, such as Ace or Jack, even if they arent the same suit.

For example, if we are building a Law Dogs, Hunter's Office deck, its easy to see that Five has a lot to offer. There are good Dudes at Five, like Reverend Simon Macpherson and Deputy Milo Powell, the action Warrant will make people Wanted so you can use the outfit ability, and Shotguns are good weapons you can buy cheaply.

Most of the time, more than one value will hold a few useful cards. This is good, because you will probably want more than just a single value in your deck. Using only a single value means that as you put those cards in play, the deck performs poorly in shooting. Try to pick two or three good values for the deck you are making.

When you have settled on a few values, include either two, three, or four cards of each suit in that value. This results in a block of cards of the same value in different suits; in shootouts you will likely see a Full House or Four of a Kind and you avoid Cheatin! as much as you can by using different suits.

For example, suppose you had chosen Five as one of your values. Include 3 Five of Clubs, 3 Five of Hearts, 3 Five of Spades, and 3 Five of Diamonds. In the earlier example, we had some good Spades, Clubs, and Hearts. Fill out those suits with a few generally useful cards and add some Diamonds that will provide control points and income, like the T & Q Cattle Ranch.

The "Pick A Value" method is easy and consistent. It does well for pulls, since you can count on frequently drawing the two or three values you chose. The primary drawback here is Cheatin!; the more cards of each suit you use in the chosen values, the more you will be caught Cheatin! Also, lowball hands will tend to run high meaning you will lose your ante and go second most turns.

"Pick A Suit"

One of the best hands you can get in a shootout in Doomtown is a Straight Flush. It has a very high rank and is inherently not a Cheatin! hand. This is the goal of the other method, "Pick A Suit". Here you look for a group of cards you would like to use that all have the same suit and occur in a order.

For example, suppose you decided you liked the Actions Ambush and Kidnapping. These are Five of Clubs and Eight of Clubs, respectively. You notice that Pistol Whip is a Six of Clubs and Attitude is a Seven of Clubs; both are great for shootouts. This is starting to look like a straight in Clubs.

Once you have a suit in mind, you decide whether you will use a run of 5, 6, or 7 different values and include 2, 3, or 4 of each value. Remember, if these are cards you are planning to put into play, you will break up the Straight Flush, so using Clubs is often best. A longer run of cards will make getting your hand easier, but you want to include more cards in the middle of the range if you can. Fill out your deck with useful cards in the other suits; make sure most of them are easy to play by having low costs.

The "Pick A Suit" method is trickier than the "Pick A Value" method and usually involves playing several cards before trying to draw the Straight Flush; a higher bullet rating and stud Dudes will help get you there as well. This method will often cheat less than a "Pick A Value" deck and win lowball more, but it takes time before it can shoot as well.

Conclusion

When you are comfortable with these two styles, you can begin to work on hybrids that combine them, alter them, or discover your own style. Often, decks that try to win using the abilities of cards in play care less about deck structure, but it is still a good idea to have some form to help survive those inevitable shootouts.
9 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Overton
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks a lot for this guide. It has given me a direction now along with the other guides you posted.

Much Appreciated,
Darrell
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy Compton
United States
Boiling Springs
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another excellent article! Two Thumbs up!!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roy Lai
Australia
flag msg tools
Nice article! Thanks!

Sorry, just have a stupid question...
Is splashing other factions not allowed in this game?
I can't seem to find it anywhere in the rule book although it does say "The deck must have exactly one outfit card" which I'm taking to be the answer to my question?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seamus O'Toole
Ireland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
RiceBucket wrote:
Nice article! Thanks!

Sorry, just have a stupid question...
Is splashing other factions not allowed in this game?
I can't seem to find it anywhere in the rule book although it does say "The deck must have exactly one outfit card" which I'm taking to be the answer to my question?

You can splash dudes from other factions, but you can't start with them in play and during the upkeep phase you have to pay additional upkeep for them based on their influence.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.