Another year of our annual Doomtown gathering at Gencon, Indianapolis is in the books. Last year I wrote an article following the Marshal event. I noted it would be the last Doomtown article I would write for the Gazette under AEG’s auspices. I hoped at the time that Doomtown: Reloaded would continue. Sure enough, Pine Box Entertainment and Pinnacle Entertainment Group will launch DT:R’s expansion There Comes A Reckoning via Kickstarter on September 5. Last year I wrote about my experience as a player, while this year I’d like to take you all behind the scenes of my role of Tournament Organizer.
Earlier this year, PBE submitted events for Doomtown, as PEG had tasked us with not only creating new product for Doomtown: Reloaded, but also with maintaining Organized Play. From previous experience, we knew that players disliked having to ‘grind in’ to play in the main event. We also wanted to do something different from the AEG’s Marshal event. This resulted in advising GenCon 50 of the changing of the guard and that PBE would like to host the 2017 World Championship for Doomtown: Reloaded. Before the championships, we gave players a chance to try out TCaR’s Servitors via the Evil Is A Choice Event with each player receiving a full-bleed version of their chosen Servitor. As the Gomorra Community Council hosted some community events last year, we wanted to keep in that tradition of bringing players together to have the option to get to know each other and flip some cardboard ‘after hours’.
Pre-planning resulted in a rather hectic Wednesday. Besides Trade Day, Alex Wirges and I ran around Indy gathering up supplies. Then we hosted our first official Meet and Greet at Kilroy’s where we set up our Servitor Challenge Booth sign. Early arriving Doomies included: Zac Seldon, our GenCon 2016 Runner-Up; Robert Campbell, our 2017 European Champion; and Scott Wisely, my Grudge Match challenge opponent. Phillip Sullivan, a local who won the Indianapolis Epitaph Event and who I had talked with about revitalizing community interest, brought his family. He and his father also attended both the Servitors and Championship events. As more Doomies poured in, Alex and I started handing out a new series of promos: Meet PBE. At GenCon, and in future events, players can receive a full-bleed promo specific to PBE team members. For myself, I have Clementine Lepp (with an A marked in the appropriate spot for a respelling), an Alexis Mirges Scoop Hound for Alex, and Arnold Stewart for meeting David Orange, who headed up our demos. Don’t worry folks, we intend to have these on us at future in person events (next being PAX: Unplugged in Philadelphia starting November 16). Scott Wisely’s Law Dogs called me out, as Scott indicated last year he’s beaten every US and UK Marshal and we never got our match in. I broke out an updated version of my old Oddities deck (https://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2484/grudge-match-gencon-2017-community-event), with Tyx and Valeria taking down Thunder Boy and his crew.
Following this event we went over to the Hyatt for a community gathering featuring a 5 player Bicycle game in our annual Bike Rally Event. There we enjoyed some homebrew by Joseph Mencarini, who brought us Tyxarglenak (dry cider), Welcome to Tombstone (British pub ale), and Ace in the Hole (IPA). Jevon Heath was the last to be knocked out in the event, and received a Deadlands print entitled ’A Friendly Game.’ We gave out some bottlecap token prototypes, continuing to do so throughout the convention. Based on the response, we will continue making them for future kits.
The PBE crew took Thursday off, but Jason Schulte hosted “Partners for a Day” an official Doomtown team event. Friday morning, the amazing Scott Wisely and Heidi Cook led our team in organizing an amazing first official tournament as we hosted the “Evil Is A Choice.” Heidi and Scott ran the event with British efficiency and aplomb. After the gunfire and spells had settled, James Meredith emerged victorious with Ezekiah Grimme guiding the Fourth Ring (https://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2472/i-chose-evil-1st-place-gencon-2017-evil-is-a-choice). James thus earned the right to Name A Card of a future Legend, choosing Tombstone’s Doc Holliday!
Throughout the day we enjoyed meeting everyone that came up to our HQ table to talk about Doomtown. While our event tables were in a section further back in Hall C, our main HQ table occupied a strategic location in by a concession stand and in front of the pathway where all the convention foot traffic came through. Hundreds of people came up to us to talk about Doomtown; whether they were excited about the continuation, didn’t know that Doomtown lives on, or just wanted to thank us for continuing their beloved game. It was truly amazing to see the genuine excitement people had.
Saturday my wife Christine cosplayed Avie Cline, handing out promotional flyers for the September 5th Kickstarter, meeting even more passerbys that wanted to talk about Doomtown. Alex Wirges represented PBE at the Pinnacle Entertainment Group Seminar to inform Savage Worlds fans that Doomtown will become an integral part of the Deadlands experience and announce additional cards as stretch goals. David Orange continued with demos, while the PBE Rules Team and I headed up the main World Championship event. Richard Carter, long time player and champion in the Classic Doomtown, emerged victorious with the 108 Righteous Bandits over DeVon Green’s Desolation Row. Both decklists can be found at dtdb.com.
We learned quite a bit being on the other side of the tables this year. Armed with that knowledge, PBE plans on hosting even more successful events. Starting with PAX Unplugged this November, we will provide decks for convention attendees that want to jump in and play. We will also videotape games to present to the community for commentary. We truly hope all the Doomies we’ve gotten to meet so far will join us, as we will also be hosting a community event November 16th to kick things off and provide an exclusive promo card for the convention.
Lastly, I want to thank each and every amazing member of this community. The positive vibe from all of you has been outmatched in all my years of playing card games. Not only were you a pleasure to run events for, you offered to bring us refreshments, engaged passerbys, and made everyone feel welcome. We could not ask for a better group of players 🙂 Last, and most certainly not least, a special shoutout to Mark Wootton, the developer responsible for bringing Doomtown Reloaded back to life for AEG, who brought us original DT:R art proofs to award as prizes.