by Rich Carter, Lead Designer – Doomtown
Doomtown, the customizable card game set in the Weird West Deadlands universe, features players assembling a gang of dudes to represent a faction, and attempt to gain control of the town. The game features a combination of board game like movement, economic development, and poker as the underlying combat mechanic. Unfortunately, the most complicated (and arguably most important) part of the game happens before the game even starts – deckbuilding. This continues to deter new players from taking up the game.
More players is just simply better for any game. As such, we here at Pine Box Entertainment want to make it easier to at least get a taste for the game, confident that the quality of the experience will leave new players eager for more. We have partnered with DriveThruCards to make playable decks available for order (one for each faction), with additional “flex packs” for each to introduce a degree of customization to our prospective new players.
“So Rich, what is in these decks?”
We came up with several deck-building parameters for these decks, so that they should be approximately evenly matched against one another. We then turned the actual deck designs over to the fanatic volunteers of our playtest team. Each deck is built on a 15-13-11 value structure (fifteen cards of one value, thirteen of another, and eleven of a third) to give a good default for shootouts. Each deck also features about 10 cards scattered across each of the four suits to demonstrate the interplay of dudes, deeds, actions, and attachments. Starting posses should not have more than one upkeep while leaving each player with 2-4 ghost rock in their stash. The goal is to start five dudes, four influence, a stud, and a bullet catcher (1 cost dude to absorb first early incidental casualty). To promote variety, each deck was not to have more than 2 copies of any particular card, and have 3-5 Cheatin’ Resolutions to highlight that mechanic. Finally, each faction deck was assigned two values to feature (as their 15 and 13 values), again to spark variety in deck design and a broader spectrum of cards for players acquiring all six decks.
As an added bonus to both our loyal fans and completionists, we used as many promo versions of cards as we could get away with, as well as cards from the Pine Box era (There Comes a Reckoning and Too Tough To Die). Finally, for the rest of the cards, we went in and made new flavor text, that reflect ongoing storyline results.
These decks, and their strategies can be found here.