The Week of the Reckoning is a series of articles focused on the four Servitors who serve as the first Legend cards for Doomtown: Reloaded. These articles are written by play test team members and are meant to be a guide to the strategies the Servitors add to the game.
by Richard Carter
For those that choose to side with Raven, you are taking the side of War. Not a battle, but all in, no prisoners taken, War. Raven’s efforts weakened the barrier to The Hunting Grounds, created the Great Maze, and took the life of another Servitor. He is an instrument of destruction without parallel.
In Doomtown: Reloaded, the Legend of Raven wants you to stake your claim upon all of Gomorra and dare your opponent to knock you off the top of the mountain. The combination of traits and abilities of this Legend direct you to build an impressive gang of shooters and squat on your opponent’s deeds – a game strategy that can stymie even the best laid plan.
Raven’s Trait – “If you are the leader, your posse has a -2 stud penalty if it has less bullets than the opposing posse” – in order to be most effective in a shootout, needs to either maximize your bullets or minimize the opposition’s. One of the things that I missed on my first reading and evaluation of this Servitor is the use of “leader,” so that penalty does not kick in when defending against the aggression of the other side. The other piece states, “You have an extra control point during Sundown if you control equal or more in-town deeds that you do not own compared to each other player.” This does require that your opponent either marshal their resources to only have as many deeds as they can defend (limiting their economy, and thus a boon to you), or they need to put out more than you can cover (the dreaded deedslide). Simply put, the traits point you towards in-town domination as your path to victory.
The Action: “Choose an in-town deed. Your shooter has +2 bullets during shootouts there. The next time you win a shootout there, or if you control it during Sundown and do not own it, give your dude there a permanent +1 bullets if they do not already have a permanent bullet bonus.” This can allow you to designate a location where you can neutralize the bullet penalty from the trait. Or you can choose a place where you want to scare the opponent away. If you can secure the fight or the deed control, then you get an extra bullet to aid in maintaining your bullet dominance (and this is the only source of permanent bullet bonus in D:TR).
When it comes to building a Raven deck, you should focus on either increasing bullets for your side or bullet reduction for the other. The headlines A Fight They’ll Never Forget and Nightmare at Noon can create massive swings in bullet counts, depending on the size of the posse. Faster on the Draw yields a net 3-bullet swing. If you are already pushing for the dominating bullet count, Outgunned seems like an obvious choice. Alternatively, you can focus on simply outnumbering your opponent with targeted jobs against isolated dudes, or using send home effects to reduce the other posse. Or, if you are feeling really sneaky, construct your deck to heavily dominate their deeds and make them call you out (negating the penalty).
Is it worth all the trouble to have to keep close watch over bullets and lose two starting ghost rock, just for one conditional control point and a few extra bullets? It all depends on what you do with them. Those extra bullets of course mean extra cards seen in a shootout, but can also improve the range of targets for Shotguns and Point Blanks, protect your posse from Takin’ Ya With Me, or bring down another dude with Make ‘em Sweat.
In the end, all factions can use the gifts of the Raven to assert dominance. Some factions may have an easier, or more obvious route, but everyone can use an extra control point and some more bullets.