By David “Neramoor” Avery
In Doomtown, the Morgan Cattle company represent the classic cowboy entrepreneur spirit which won the West. Their dudes tend to cost more than other factions, but have a higher influence to compensate. Morgan also packs mid-range bullets that can shoot out of the box. Add a few horses, guns, or gadgets and they become dangerous indeed. Below I discuss three of MCC’s themes and provide links to some example decks.
Morgan has two horse-based outfits in Morgan Stables and Morgan Regulators. Regulators provides more versatility, but with the right deck the extra action from Stables can win games. The key card in the current meta for Horse decks is Calling the cavalry. It is one of the only cards in the game to give you an almost unlimited hand rank boost. If you can get four horses into a shootout you can turn a full house into dead man’s hand. As long as your hand stays legal there is a limited amount your opponent can do about it. You need to be careful with Calling the Cavalry, as it’s a headline so there can only be one played per shootout. Make sure you play it as your first action to lock your opponent out. Ride ’em down gives you strong dude removal with the extra utility that you can use it boot out key dudes and without the downsides of Kidnappin’ with which it shares a value.
The horses themselves give you strong movement effects. Guide Horse lets you exert pressure on your opponent’s deeds or home without needing to boot to get back to town square. Mustang‘s simple effect is one of the strongest movement effects in the game, and a stud with a pinto is a real threat to your opponent. A harrowed dude like “Dead” Billy Jones or Mario Crane and a cavalry escort lets you cover two casualties without losing a dude (one for the sidekick and one for sending the harrowed dude home booted). Whichever horse you need, Maggie Harris can get them from your discard pile with almost no risk. Irving Patterson can join Maggie and gains the ghost rock even if no one opposes the job.
Perhaps the biggest threat of a horse deck is the ability to prevent your opponent from out manoeuvring you. Jarrett Blake with a shotgun or a legendary holster can force your opponent to play conservatively and stay out of shootouts. NuFenix used this concept well at the Manchester epitaph winning the swiss part of the event:
Gadgets come in many flavors and Morgan utilises all of them. Weapons get a big boost in There Comes a Reckoning with the arrival of Darius Hellstromme, Prof Roe, and the Devils Six Gun. Right now, however, the gadget meta revolves around Yagn’s Mechanical Skeletons and Hydropunchers.
Using regulators, a mad scientist can invent a mechanical skeleton and unboot, move to town square, and become a stud with the outfit. Since a mechanical skeleton makes you a gadget dude, attach a hydro puncher as a second weapon and suddenly your demure 2 draw mad scientist becomes a fearsome 6 stud. With either Margaret Hagerty or Recursive Motion Machine, you can offset or reduce your upkeep to pay for more horses.
Other tricks with gadget horses include Doris Powell on a mechanical horse or using personal ornithopter with Dead Billy Jones to cover your casualties. Force Field can raise your hand rank to parity with your opponent before using Outgunned or It’s Not What You Know to push you over the top.
This is my RoboRegulators deck which placed second at the 2017 European championship. It can punch out most control or spell decks, including sprit fortress. It struggles against out and out shooters, particularly conventional horse decks.
Morgan Cattle Company Dudes and Deed Slide
“Deed Slide” decks attempt to win by playing an overwhelming number of deeds to out strip their opponent’s influence. These decks have been powerhouses since Classic and all the way through Reloaded, but are somewhat controversial as they try not to interact with their opponent. On the other hand, If they didn’t exist, no one would play back up shooters with influence, and abominations with high bullets and no influence would rule.
Simply put, this deck and most slide decks focus on speed and economy. The Morgan Cattle Company allows you to play deeds cheaply, giving you more ghost rock to play more deeds and so on. As you accumulate deeds, you will need more influence to stop your opponent from using your deeds against you. But once your opponent has moved one of their dudes onto a deed, they are now poorly positioned as they will need to boot to move anywhere else. As the game progresses, you should out economy your opponent and start spreading out their dudes while you get more deeds and more control points.
You should avoid shootout and contesting jobs, as your deck will not be stacked as your opponent’s. This can work to your advantage as they won’t be able to cycle shootout cards. Meanwhile, you play out your hand every turn, as card draw is essential to maintain tempo with slide decks.
Early on you need to be careful how you use your outfit ability, as it leaves your dude booted. Thus they end up vulnerable at most in-town deeds. Maza Gang Hideout helps protect your booted dude. You can get around the booting risk by using movement effects such as Mechanical Horse, Mustang, or Make the Smart Choice to get your dude out of trouble. Early kidnappings can also dent your starting posse, but if you can tough it out for three to four turns you should cruise to victory.
JayJester recently used the following deck in the OCTGN league. The advantage of this deck over a non-gadget build is the extra card draw from Disgenuine Currency Press gets the deck moving early: https://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2242/doomsday-currency-slide-v2