by David Avery
Doomtown: Reloaded starting gangs shape your whole game plan. While the faction leaders can have a big impact, their expense normally renders then unviable for a few turns. Backup dudes may be cheaper, but if they go by in your low ball hand you will need to fall back on your trusted starters. All of DT:R’s factions get some exciting new starters in Too Tough To Die, but if there is one faction more than the others who have been stuck in a starting dude rut it’s the Law Dogs.
In the beginning, Tommy Harden, Philip Swinford, plus three others others formed the prototypical Law Dog starting gang. You saw the occasional experiment with Judge Harry, Sister Mary Gideon, or Wendy Cheng. Nevertheless, it always came back to Tommy and Philip. Then came Blood Moon Rising and suddenly Law Dogs got not one, but three new starters in “Thunder Boy” Nabbe, Hattie Delores, and Father Tolarios. The latter represented an affordable starting blessed 2. Now with 2T2D, Law Dogs get another trio of power starters that shake up the starting gang and open up previously unviable deck types.
For any skilled deck you really need at least two starting skilled dudes with a sufficient skill level to pass your pulls. Starting only one such skilled dude risks a first turn Kidnappin’ before you can get setup and thus making all the hearts in your deck dead cards. In Dr, Erik Yaple and Quincy Washburne, 2T2D introduces two such scientists without upkeep and with influence for a reasonable price. Dr. Erik fuels dudes like Thunder Boy and Hattie without needing to play the Law dogs original home, always a problem for MS decks who are already booting dudes to invent. While there are plenty of good utility gadgets that unboot your dude, none of them are weapons. So whenever your dude wanted a gun with a little extra ghost rock power, one of your mad scientists ended up out for the turn. With Quincy, this is no longer a problem. Quincy also enjoys leading the technological exhibition as he unboots after the job finishes and ready to use his shiny new gun. Things are looking good for the former residents of the Arsenal. What could possibly go wrong?
Quincy slots well into a Hellstromme deck, letting you invent multiple weapons in a turn to help your Law Dogs take the town. This deck takes advantage of 2T2D’s new job, Curse of Failure. This is a good alternative to Kidnappin’, especially for skilled decks which can’t run low values or may want to play shootout actions on 7. This deck uses Hattie, Faster on the Draw, Electrostatic Pump Gun, and Holy Wheel Gun to help keep your opponents bullets down and hopefully push them into cheatin’. If they do, you have Huckleberry, one of 2T2D’s suite of new cheatin’ punishment cards which should hopefully deter routine cheatin’.
The new dudes allow Law Dogs to do a version of the Morgan hand ranks manipulation deck. This deck aims to present a low but legal hand which it raises using LeMat and/or Force Field. After which you can use Decimator Array, Devil’s Six Gun and Coming up Roses to change the suit or value of the hand to make it a straight flush or a full house raised to Dead Man’s Hand. If you give this a try, you need to be aware of the change to the ruling on attire which means you can no longer attach two Decimator Arrays.
The religious side of the Law Dogs got a significant boost in There Comes a Reckoning with three new power miracles to get control points, bullets and punish the unrighteous. In 2T2D they get a second starting priest as Padre Ernesto de Diaz joins Father Tolarios in the defence of the souls of sinners. Ernesto’s big strength is his versatility. He has the same numbers as perennial 4R starter Valeria Batten, plus a trait which combos well with the Law Dogs anti-cheatin’ theme. His trait is a big deterrent to cheating as it triggers in the same window as Philip Swinford and can be used regardless of presence. If your opponent cheats in a shootout, you can see two more cards which should hopefully put them off. In low ball, he can take particular advantage of Consecration which does not boot for its ability. A stud, a card, +2 influence, +2 bullets? Yes please.
Too Tough to Die also includes a pair of Miracles in Exultant Translocation and Retribution. The former gives law dogs more movement actions. Exultant Translocation along with Soothe, Rev. Perry Inbody, and Abram Grothe XP2 gives Law Dog blessed further unboot options to carry on late into the turn. Its low value means that you may need to splash it into a higher value deck and use Father Tolarios to fetch it. Retribution is one of a suite of on table cheating punishment in 2T2D. As it is not a cheatin’ resolution, you can use multiple copies of it and a as well as a cheatin’ resolution. If this does not make your opponent think twice about cheating through the pain, nothing will.
This deck uses card advantage through Ernesto, Philip, and Tolarios to get set up quickly. Then move into town square with Sentinel and Election Day Slaughter. If you don’t get Confession in your starting hand, search for it first turn as it is essential to keeping Father Tolarios running. After that, make cheatin’ punishment and Intercession your top priorities.
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