Week of the Reckoning: The Hunting Grounds

Week of the Reckoning: The Hunting Grounds

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.

Week of the Reckoning: Praise the Lord and Pass the Salt

Week of the Reckoning: Praise the Lord and Pass the Salt

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 Landon Sommer

Grimme is the spellcasting Legend. He covers all of the spellcasting options in Doomtown: Reloaded, having different effects for each of the skills. Keep an eye out as his trait increases spell costs EACH copy in play, not just your copies. Since most decks tend to center around four copies each of a few specific spells, this could put a real damper on your strategy. So, you’ll need a few ways to make up for that. General Store comes in handy for keeping those costs down.

Grimme has two abilities that you’ll have to balance between for the best use. His first ability that attaches a revealed spell will likely come in handy early game when your dudes don’t have many spells. You’ll find yourself casting some easy spells like Forget just to possibly get another spell. You still have to pay the costs, including the increase from Grimme’s trait. Plus the spell comes into play booted.

Once you have those spells, or enough dudes to risk a few booted at home, use Grimme to search the top five cards instead. This makes a solid way of bringing spells into play. Remember. the dude needs to boot to look for a spell and might not even find one, or find one that you already have multiple copies of in play. The easiest way to ensure that doesn’t happen is building a deck with two or less of each spell. Father Tolarios helps dig for specific miracles.

Miracles: Blessed often take advantage of their spells without booting them and discarding them for reduced casualties. Blessed have a few options to cycle their spells in and out of play, keeping your total number in play low to avoid Grimme’s negatives. Sentinel, from the upcoming set, gives you a nice option to discard for a control point and cycle back in when Grimme helps you find another.

Since spells like Consecration and Sword of the Spirit don’t need to boot to be used, they remain useful when they come into play with Grimme. They can also be discarded to action cards like Martyr’s Cry or Magical Distraction without needing to unboot.  

 

Hexes: Hucksters might get the best deal from Grimme right now, as so many of their spells pass each other’s pulls and the skill levels are consistently high. Hucksters are also the likely reason that using Grimme’s react brings the spell into play booted. Except for Summoning, all Hexes need to boot to use their abilities. Hex Slingin’ easily makes up for a booted spell. Even if without immediate use, it it can discard for the 2 hand ranks you need to stay alive.

Spirits: Shamans currently get the least out of Grimme. He still increases the cost of all your spells by the number on the table already, but does nothing to help you easily get totems into play. Also you can’t even trigger Grimme’s react off successfully casting a totem. You’ll have to stick to non-totem spirits in order to take advantage of Grimme.