by Chase Causey
I arrived at Kilroy’s a little after 3PM and was able to get in some games with Lapp where I was able to test out my new themey ranch deck on him. It needs a few tweaks to be considered competitive, but I accomplished what I set out to do with the deck and overall I was pretty happy with the results. Rancher’s lariat is no joke y’all! Lapp couldn’t handle the power of the lasso! You can’t use a shotgun if your dude is too busy getting lassoed! After a couple games with my ranch deck I switched to my Amazing Bullies deck and got in a couple games with it as well. The deck bullies very well and can back up its bullying most of the time. I felt pretty good about the deck after getting a couple play test sessions in with it. Lapp, thanks for helping me knock some ring rust off!
I woke up Saturday morning and got into the dealer hall as soon as it opened so I could track down Studio 2’s booth and get Too Tough to Die and Out for Blood as I was missing the the 108 Gracious Gifts home I wanted to play for the tournament along with a few other cards for my decks. I have always used the 108 Righteous Bandits home but chose to go with 108 Gracious Gifts for the tournament because I liked the extra starting ghost rock it provided and the possibility to pitch extra cards during sundown. Now that I’ve played with it I’m still on the fence to which one I like better. You don’t always have the 2 ghost rock to use to unboot your dude so the ability can be unreliable at times. Also, sometimes your opponent is just as broke as you so you aren’t able to pitch extra cards at sundown. That being said there were matches throughout the tournament that i was able to use both to great effectiveness. One game my opponent forgot about me being able to ready and thought I was completely booted out for the turn and I was able to pay 2 to ready and then go and sit on a key control point for the win. In other games where I was searching for specific cards I would pitch 2 cards at sundown to search through the deck to get what I needed quicker. Overall 108 Gracious Gifts is a solid home and a great addition to the Anarchists.
This was an iteration of the deck I’ve played the last couple years to top 8 finishes at previous Gencons. Sadly I don’t get to play Doomtown that often so I wanted to play something that I knew was tried and true. The idea behind the deck when I first created it was I wanted a deck packed full of cheap chuds with multiple bullets that I could easily turn into studs and bully people with. Also, when I originally built the deck I wanted a hard counter to slide decks because they can be a pain to deal with and if you aren’t prepared for them you just lose. But how can a deck with only 4 actual influence deal with slide? Two words: Amazing Grace. Hands down the best miracle in the game. It lets you do something that normally couldn’t be done before, it lets your 0 influence dudes threaten your opponent’s deeds. So, with the deck capable of threatening your opponents deeds and being able to handle itself in a fight I was comfortable piloting it for the main shindig.
***DISCLAIMER: By this point all of my matches are fuzzy so if I get some details mixed up I apologize. Feel free to correct me/rehash our matches.***
Round 1: Morgan Stables played by AJ. I can’t lie, when I first sat down I couldn’t figure out why someone would play Morgan Stables over Morgan Regulators as it seems like the better home. AJ quickly showed me why after he moved Jarrett into the shootout and then immediately shotgunned blasted my poor Randall in the face as he was sitting around the campfire telling stories. I completely forgot about the Morgan Stables react of getting to make another play during a shootout. I had an Unprepared ready but it didn’t matter. After losing Randall I didn’t make the same mistake again and played around the home as best as I could. I remember killing off some of his key dudes early on with some taking ya with me’s and then eventually taking control of enough deeds in play to seal the win. Good hard fought match on both sides. 1-0
Round 2: Smith and Robards Trade Show played by I forget, I apologize. Really the only thing I remember from this match is the first turn. He invented a post-a-tron in his starting posse so i knew we would want to get into fights early and my deck loves to fight. After he went to town square and booted to get his ghost rock I called him out and we got into a fight. He ended up using Luke to put a bio charged neutralizer on post-a-tron mid shootout after I hit him with a sun in yer eyes (I thought he would remain a draw after getting the neutralizer or I would have waited but it was ruled that he would turn back into a stud) so it was a total waste of a sun in yer eyes. Either way the Doomtown gods shined down upon me because after getting longwei’s bonus for being at home and then redrawing two cards I showed a cheatin 5 of a kind. He had to lose a dude and then decided to stay and fight because he thought my hand was a fluke. Since he didn’t punish me for cheatin the first round of the shootout I went all in on the cheatin the second round and threw down another cheatin 5 of a kind. At this point he was forced to either lose Irving Patterson and his 2 influence or the 4 stud post-a-tron. He chose to lose post-a-tron and never really recovered. If I remember correctly I won on control points in the second round. 2-0
Round 3: Fourth Ring played by John. He was playing an oldie but goodie hex slingin fourth ring deck. Amazing Grace shined all throughout the tournament but it shined brightest in both of my matches with John. He was playing blood curses and rumors to reduce people’s influence and then win on control points, but Amazing Grace says no to all that noise and let me stay in the game when normally I wouldn’t be able to. Stevie kept singing those sweet sweet hymns to keep the evil at bay while the rest of my dudes were able to bully deeds and town square. This went on till I remember at one point John went all in with his dudes in town square at a shootout and it didn’t go so well. I won via control points soon after. 3-0
Round 4: The Arsenal played by Max. Max’s starting posse kind of threw me off a little bit since he had blessed dudes and mad scientists! I wasn’t used to seeing that kind of combination together, however it turned out to be quite powerful. He was running blessed dudes for amazing grace and consecration and mad scientists for hydro punchers, at least that’s what I remember. We spent the first turn or two building up if I’m not mistaken and then we got into a big shootout and I got wrecked. I don’t entirely remember what happened but I know ricochet was definitely involved. I lost a few key dudes early and spent the entire first part of the game on my back foot. It eventually turned around whenever I got some more chuds into play and was able to bleed Max out of cheatin punishment cards one round. I started cheatin my face off in shootouts and was able to start causing some serious casualties on his side of the table. I was eventually able to win the game after getting some of his precious influence off the table and some control points down on my side. 4-0
Round 5: Den of Thieves played by Chris, aka Frotop. At this point, the matches were definitely a blur. All I recall was that Chris won and I had enough time to make a run through the dealer hall. I grabbed a quick dinner, returning as the other fifth round matches were ending. It turns out that both Chris and I made the top 8 cut. 4-1
After the tournament was over some sweet top of faction prizes were given out in the form of little pine box token holders with a picture of one of the factions deceased printed on each of them, as well as a Jonah’s Alliance play mat given out to each player in the top 8. After a little bit of talking amongst the top 8 competitors some decided to play some of their top 8 games Saturday night while the others decided to start first thing Sunday morning. Luckily my side of the bracket decided to start their top 8 games Saturday night.
Top 8: Protection Racket played by I forget, again I apologize. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I sat down because I had never played against a protection racket deck before. I saw outlaws and a bunch of people in his starting posse that worked off of jobs so I just assumed he was planning on shooting me. Boy was I wrong! After the first turn I figured out he was basically playing a slide deck. He called it a job slide if I remember correctly. I think he ended up with some bad hands because he never really seemed to be able to get his deck going. Im sure part of that was because of how aggressive my deck is and how I tried to fight him any chance I could and camped in the town square from turn 1 to make his life a lot harder. After being bullied for a few turns and me dropping an uncomfortable amount of deeds in play he ended up getting forced into a couple shootouts. The shootouts didn’t go well for him and I was able to secure the win and move forward. This match gave me a newfound respect and understanding of Frank Stilwell. He’s a tricksy little bastard and very good for the type of deck he was playing, very fun dude.
Top 4: Morgan Stables played by AJ again. As soon as AJ sat down for a rematch I started getting PTSD from Randall getting shotgun blasted in the face from our first round game. I knew that AJ’s deck was very good and I honestly wasn’t surprised to see him in the top 4. Our first match was really close and could have went either way. This match was no different. It went back and forth FOREVER. I had to wait out 4-5 turns of not getting lowball in a row so I wouldn’t immediately lose characters to a shotgun or legendary holster if we got into a shootout. I really needed the first play so I could unprepared his dude with nasty weapons on. I had a ton of expendable dudes in play at one point and finally started using them to make AJ have to use the holster and shotgun activations so I could finally get in a more favorable shootout that lended me a chance to kill off important dudes on his side of the table. After a key shootout late in the game that involved me finally getting an oppressive Jarrett Blake off the table that had a legendary holster and pedro equipped AJ was left with very little influence and was left hanging on by threads. He eventually conceded as the game had went on forever and he didn’t see a way out of the situation as I still had a board full of dudes and was dropping more control points on the table every turn.
Finals: The Fourth Ring played by John again. Another great rematch from the day before I won’t spoil too much of this one as it’s available to watch on YouTube, but I will say that this one was bloody from the get go. Unfortunately most of the blood early on was from my side of the table. John was able to cause some serious casualties with a double cheatin varmit(paid 5 for one and I was cheatin) and a hex slingin! Not good for the home team… Naturally that shootout put a hurtin on my posse and made me play on my back foot the rest of the game. My deck which likes to bully was getting bullied mercilessly by some circus clowns! The shame was real! Luckily I waited a day or two till I had a great shootout hand and then started the offensive against John. I think all of the earlier shootouts that John was winning started to make him overconfident in his decks ability to shoot with mine and he got into a few shootouts that ended up really bad for this side of the table and I was able to reverse the momentum in my favor. I remember the shootout that ended the game I played enough shootout actions on him to where he was only drawing 5 off the top and it ended up being a cheatin hand and I was able to wipe his team with a Jael’s Guile and shootout casualties to seal the win.
Holy crap! I won Gencon! I totally wasn’t expecting that when I sat down to play on Saturday! Thank you to all of my opponents as you were all awesome people and a ton of fun to play against and thank you to Pinebox for continuing to print a game that just won’t die that I enjoy playing so much! I hope to make it to Tombstone in October but if I don’t I hope to see everyone again next year at Gencon to slap some more leather!