Jonah’s Alliance: Origins, GenCon, and European Round-Ups

Jonah’s Alliance: Origins, GenCon, and European Round-Ups

Patience, love. We will all have a role to play in the events to come. You will bring death. And from death, there comes a new beginning.”-Jonah Essex

We’ve already got quite the plans with our destination events in Denver, Austin, and Tombstone this year . But for players attending the usual gaming mega-conventions of Origins and GenCon, and/or European events, we bring the one and only, Jonah Essex to the fore.

This summer, players will make choices about Jonah’s story as we reveal what other plans he was cookin’ up back in Gomorra and his travels after. We will also find out his whereabouts and who he is with. In addition, we anticipate having Out for Blood legal and available at each of the following round-ups!

Jonah’s Alliance: Players attending our major European Round-Up this year in Edinburgh (date TBD) will make the choice on Jonah and his team’s location, choosing a new location in the Weird West for Doomtown to focus on!

Jonah’s Agenda: Player’s attending Origins from June 12-16, continuing last year’s convention theme of Mystery, will choose what exactly Jonah was planning by answering a series of questions through the main event. We’ve also got several multiplayer and Greenhorn events (learn to play/casual play) scheduled for this convention.

Jonah’s Allies: Player’s attending GenCon from August 1-4 will choose Dudes that are part of Jonah’s team, including the winner assisting in choosing a brand-new character to be part of this posse. Similar to Origins, the additional events will focus on multiplayer and Greenhorns.

The action will continue in the major Doomtown August 2020 Destination Event in Copenhagen, in appreciation of our international players and playtesters. We hope to make this an event that rivals the fun we had in Manchester at the 2018 European Championship and we look forward to joining our collective Doomtown family across the pond.

Updates to Round-Ups: Changes in Rulings for Doomtown

Updates to Round-Ups: Changes in Rulings for Doomtown

Occasionally Pine Box Entertainment, in addition to developing new content, reexamines existing cards and rulings to improve Doomtown’s player experience.

Our most recent changes affected Showboating (ban) and Nicodemus Whateley (maximum 3 control points), as well as rewording Morgan Cattle Company to clarify that it works as one sentence. Since then, we’ve had some updated rulings that we will collate in a new compendium change. These become effective starting at GenghisCon and the first of three Twilight Protocol Series events along with the 2019 Organized Play Round-Ups.

Force Field: There’s been some discussion on how Force Field functions. A scenario can occur in which Force Field matches your opponent’s hand rank, and subsequent cards such as LeMat Revolver further increase your own rank. The following updated wording is consistent with the original design intent of this card. To quote a member of the original design team for Doomtown Base Set:

The design intent was for you not to be able to win that hand. You need to issue errata on the original card to make it so you cannot win the hand. It was designed to cause more attrition, not to create an alternative path to win.”

Repeat Resolution, Pay X Ghost Rock: Raise your draw hand rank by X for this round. Your hand rank cannot exceed your opponent’s hand rank. You may not use any other card’s Cheatin’ Resolutions or Resolution effects.

We feel the above wording brings the card in line with that intent, as well as clarifying resolution and cheatin’ resolutions that affect hand ranks and how they function with Force Field.

Next up, in a change with how items attach, Concealed Weapons now permits booted dudes to attach cards, similar to General Store. Attachment via card effect can be to anyone, anywhere.

The following summarize recent rulings posted on the Pine Box Forums and slated for the upcoming compendium update.

It’s Who You Know: this card explicitly refers to drawing cards in the shootout, and not actual bullet rating for cards like Shotgun. This was reflected in the promo version released in the Abomination Series.

Fetch is now clarified that the cards are not taken out of the hand until the cards enter the discard pile. This was done to make sure everyone knows that taking the card out of the hand does not then change the hand rank; it was questioned whether turning it into a 4-card hand would alter the hand rank.

-Shootouts start after posses are formed for purposes of Five Aces Gambling Hall and Pearly’s Palace (posses are formed before the first shootout action).

-You cannot opt to boot to move if the rules don’t allow it. For instance, in moving from home to Town Square, you cannot choose to boot your dude, as per the rules, the dude does not boot.

Tse-Che-Nako’s Weaving: The control point lasts until the end of turn. This will be noted in a rulebook update to clarify that non-permanent CP and bullets are lost at Sundown (after Victory is checked).

-Cards such as Epidemic Laboratory and the upcoming Office of Ancestral Affairs refer to the Leader booting. Per the rulebook on jobs initiated by deeds and outfits (except Desolation Row, which specifies booting the card, not the Leader).

-Reacts are not ‘Plays’ for the purposes, for instance, of the Johnny Brocklehurst ability.

Soul Blast still costs 1: there was a printing error with the promo released in ‘There Comes A Reckoning.’ Feel free to use them in the Twilight is Upon Us events, where they will cost Zero for that alternate format.

We hope this helps new and old players with a better understanding of Doomtown and we look forward to the next major round-up at GenghisCon and introduce more players to the Weird West!

Wearing Your Sunday Best: Limiting Gomorra’s Finest to One Attire

Wearing Your Sunday Best: Limiting Gomorra’s Finest to One Attire

Greetings again cowfolks! The time has come for another major rules change to Doomtown: Reloaded. Pine Box Entertainment has periodically discussed limiting Attires to one per dude. This idea first came up with respect to Fancy New Hat, as it seemed silly that one character could wear four of them. While there are now attires that appear of different types, we still found it best to finally move forward with this change. It also keeps Attires in line with the restrictions on Weapons and Horses, e.g. one per dude.

Why make this change now?

Implementing this change by July 30 ensures that the changes will be in effect for all DT:R events at Gencon 51. Also, PBE hopes that a proactive ruling will help prevent negative play experiences resulting from attires affecting several newly released cards. With Kickstarter shipments beginning next week and possibly leading to fulfillment delivery before August, we want to do everything we can to reel in new players to join us at events, not deter them from playing. Here are a couple interactions that concerned us:

  1. Friends in High Places/Puppet Decks. You may have noticed in the compendium we also further clarified the definition of ‘Plays,’ which are defined as your Noon actions of Actin’, Callin’ Out,  Movin’, Shoppin’, and Tradin’. This does not include Reacts. Using Johnny Brocklehurst to increase your Huckster’s influence, who may also happen to be wearing several Attires for Influence bonus and have the Puppet spell, could create an instance where reacting with Friends in High Places to avoid a call out could be unavoidable to your opponent. While these ‘janky’ style decks can sometimes be fun and we don’t want to completely deter creativity, we wanted to make it slightly more difficult to initiate this combo.
  2. Decimator Array/Force Field/Hand Rank Manipulation Decks: What is arguably one of the ‘top tier’ decks in the current meta features a combination of cards that allow a player to increase hand ranks through a variety of cards, mostly gadgets. With the Decimator Array functioning as an Attire, this rule prevents stacking for multiple reactions of the ability on one Dude, somewhat limiting the feasibility of this strategy.

We hope you find these changes reasonable and geared towards making Doomtown a healthier experience in the organized play environment. I look forward to the variety of events we have planned for Indianapolis and announcing our future endeavors for 2019.

World Championship Weekend 2018 Recap

World Championship Weekend 2018 Recap

After a long journey across the pond, it’s time to do some tale tellin’ and share our experience with the community on what it was like, what we learned, and what we could have done differently.

The Setup

The idea to have this event in Manchester started during last GenCon. I talked with Scott Wisely and Heidi Cook, our partners in hosting our major Doomtown events, about what we could so as something special for the UK player base. Their support for this game has been amazing and we wanted to show our appreciation by presenting them with the World Championship for 2018. There were two options: host it at the UK Games Expo in June, or in Manchester at FanBoy Three during what they call the holiday bank weekend. By foregoing having it at the expo, we were able to have our own mini-convention, with more affordable hotel options right near the Manchester Piccadilly station. To truly make the change to Tombstone, we wondered if it would be possible to pull off a day of Deadlands roleplaying sessions, where players would represent both new and old characters in Doomtown. As the next Doomtown set, Too Tough to Die, ended up completed before Worlds started, we were able to use printouts of card images from this set as props for the roleplaying experience, which would subsequently contribute to influencing the fiction being written to coincide with this set. This developed into also including a guest appearance by Deadlands adventure writer Owen Lean for an additional afternoon RPG session, guest fantasy artist Ralph Horsley as a vendor, and a Friday night social gathering.

Arriving to Town

While our appearance certainly wasn’t required, my wife and I wanted to make the trip to be part of this special event. Upon arrival, Scott and Heidi brought us over from the airport station to Fan Boy Three, where we took an impromptu video explaining that there would be four RPG sessions on Saturday, and that the outcome of these events would continue over into Doomtown the next day. We got to check out the new messenger bags for sale featuring the No Turning Back promo art and open a pack of There Comes A Reckoning, arriving air mail to ensure the World Championship would be proxy free. Apparently, the tiresome journey was obvious in the video, so we took some time to rest before going to what became my favorite restaurant in the city, Bundobust, an Indian street food and craft beer bar.

The next day we visited some local establishments and awaited the arrival of Doomtown players from across the globe. As someone who works more on the game now than able to play it, it was great staying up late to get in some tough games with Zachary Seldon from California and Anders Kernel and Benni Ulbrink from Denmark, running through the gauntlet of decks I brought and talking about the game after returning from a visit to Cloudwater, a great local brewery in Manchester.

Friday the RPG gamemasters (called Marshals in Deadlands) gathered to make sure our outlines had all been fleshed out and we knew what was in store for players the next day. In addition, we wanted to make sure we could explain how the epic showdowns were going to unfold in Doomtown, as 8 characters were going to perish: one from each faction through to Top 8, with increased voting in Top 4 and the Finals to result in two additional character deaths. My wife and I then joined Canadian and fellow pond skipper Max Way and his partner for dinner in town.

That evening, the Danes assisted in hosting a Gadget Social Event at Port Street Barrel House, a variant of Doomtown in which each player had at least 12 gadgets in his/her deck and only dudes with gadgets could control deeds. As the Law Dogs would clearly be ‘outscienced’ by Morgan, I gave it a go anyway by bringing a low-mid value Arsenal deck, which focused on an end game of piling up The Fabulous Mister Miss with gadgets and then invade my opponent’s home using the Arsenal call out ability to drop influence if they refused. I went with Hydro Punchers and Mechanical Horses on off suit, as they were the only other gadgets I could find that would guarantee I could make the invent pull on. I played three games against Karl Wash from the UK, with the home invasion tactic proving successful in our third game. Sadly the Law Dogs lost out 4 to 12 against Morgan overall, and Zachary took home the gadget tin prize. Players attending received some signed new Avie Cline Jokers and during every game in which ‘A Slight Modification’ was played, each player in that game would receive that promo card, newly released for Worlds. I then played another grudge match against Marshal Robert Campbell, mistakenly choosing the wrong casualties in a final shootout that resulted in Hellstromme control points giving him the game. Robert suggested I retire early for the big day tomorrow, and I heeded this wisdom to further prepare for the RPG.

30 Shots in 30 Seconds

The four games were set between October 24-26, 1881, ending on that fateful day at 2:30pm, when the Street Fight between the Earps and Clantons & McLaurys took place. But nothing is the same in Deadlands history folks, so we wanted to put on a twist on what would occur, with Wendy & Lucy meeting Virgil Earp and following through on the events that occur in Stone & A Hard Place. We had four tables and had some worry they would not be filled, but as it turned out we had a couple extra players, as everyone present wanted to participate, even though we had offered a Doomtown side event. Peter Hart from tea@Hart in Hartepool brought a Doomtown cake to help celebrate. I hosted the Law Dogs/Morgan players, Russell Smith the Soane Gang, Robert Campbell the Fourth Ring, and David Hogg the 108/Eagle Wardens.

The Law Dogs were joined by Elander Boldman and a couple new Morgan Cattle Company characters to venture off at Virgil Earp’s request to locate missing Texas Ranger Hank Ketchum, before then disarming Ike Clanton and joining the Earps in their march towards fate. The heroes found themselves though in another battle, as Janosz Pratt, Hattie DeLore, Warren Graves, and Nathan Shane had been out following up on a warrant for Barton Everest, brought in by a local gang member Larry ‘Seven’s Swift for a major heist at a high stakes game gone wrong. Meanwhile, the Eagle Wardens and 108 were investigating strange rituals in town as they went to confront a fortress belonging to Baron LaCroix, represented in the Fourth Ring session. Player Characters and Non-Player characters formed a list of 24 dudes that would be on the chopping block, as players voted the next day on what would happen during the final confrontations of these sessions. Following these games, Owen Lean ran one of his Deadlands adventures while other players joined in on a 3 round Doomtown side event. I got roped in to joining to even out the numbers, and played my old Oddities, ending 6th place with the only loss to the winner, David Hogg, running Full Moon Brotherhood control. A grand time was had by before the main event. In a venture after to a local pub, I talked with more players, including Outlaw Winner Adam Whitehouse, Paul Wadsworth that hosts the Mob Justice blog, other Davids (Woof and Avery), and several others.

Worlds 2018

The next day I got to meet even more players, including 1999 Doomtown Classic World Champion Andrew Davidson, Marshal Vince Turner, and Andrew Wroe himself, along with members of our playtest teams and various communities in the UK. It was equally great to reunite with players I previously met at GenCon and to get an autograph from the young Erin Knight! We opened packs of There Comes A Reckoning and sent some off to regions hosting Tombstone Series events so that even more tournaments and leagues could be proxy free while players await the Kickstarter shipment. New promos for the event including full bleed alternate art versions of Jael’s Guile, A Slight Modification, Point Blank, and the Morgan Cattle Company outfit. I was looking to see how many players were running ‘Calling the Cavalry,’ as this has been of some concern, but with ‘Shan Fan Showdown’ in the mix and players seeing a couple new cards in Too Tough to Die to counter the card, we wanted to see if action had to be taken. With 10 Morgan players in attendance, I also had my eye on Decimator Array, which is powerful, but gives gadgets a strong boost in the environment they may have needed. As the dust settled and deaths piled up (each player could cast a vote to save someone from his/her own faction or a vote towards the death of a character in the faction he/she opposed), we ended with a well-mixed Top 8 breakdown of different nationalities of players and different decktypes. The list can be found at http://forums.pineboxentertainment.com/t/worlds-results-standings-outfits-servitors-and-deaths/2616/17 and decklists found at http://forums.pineboxentertainment.com/t/doomtown-worlds-the-decklists/2617/10. We also announced the top two regions of Kickstarter backers, London in the UK and Portland in the US, would receive Name A Card events to run at their leisure!

In the end Max Way ended our new Marshal, with good ole fashioned Law Dogs, the only faction to have not previously won a Marshal level event/Championship!

What We Did Right:

1. The RPG Event
Having four RPG Events running simultaneous with one another from 11am-3pm was a daunting task in ensuring the events crossed over with one another but was a successful one. The major feedback we got from the weekend was that people want more of this and we endeavor to try this once again.

2. Pub Social
Scott had informed me that the social events the likes of the ones we host at GenCon are something new to the UK. Bringing everyone out the evening before we officially kicked things off was a great time had by all and if the whole point is to have fun and gather players together, we managed to achieve that.

3. Fast, Furious, Fun
Following our partners at Pinnacle and their Savage Worlds motto, the event was quite a success. People play Doomtown to have fun and take part in a truly amazing community, and with a variety of things to do on a trip across the pond, I believe we managed to make it a memorable experience for all attendees.

What We Did Wrong:

1. Videos
The community has asked for more videos and we failed in attempting to stream the event, something we should have tried to set up and test earlier. Luckily we caught some videos of swiss events, Top 8, and all of the Top 4 and finals, which are currently uploading to the Pine Box YouTube channel.

2. Story
Keeping the story for the RPG sessions and characters listed a secret made folks at home feel distant from the event. The issue with keeping this is a surprise and the backlog of fiction owed we recognize is an issue. As the process for completing story team and meeting these demands have been worked on and the team announced during Worlds, we continued with plans for organized play. For this we apologize to our playerbase, as we understand it may have been hard to connect with these events in not being present to know what occurred. As previous fictions have been submitted for editing, the range of events that occurred at Worlds, as reflected through the fiction, will be presented on our new site dedicated to the Doomtown story, linked here: (INSERT LINK OF NEW SITE)

3. Giving Advance Notice of Events

With players that want to travel across the world, providing notice is key and we could have made the announcement of Worlds earlier. I will let you all know now that our dream is to continue to have US and UK National Events, with a Worlds Destination Event in future years. Currently we are looking into destination events for 2019 and 2020, and will be announced as soon as we can confirm the dates!

We hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did. Cheers to players new and old, future gatherings, and to this amazing gaming community. I hope to see many of you at the coming Origins and GenCon conventions.

Note from Alex – If you do attend one of our big events or host one of our tournament series, we would like to hear your feedback. Contact us, Lapp and I both read the email on a regular basis and we discuss everything that hits our inbox. 

Too Tough To Die: Doomtown’s Journey from Gomorra to Tombstone

Too Tough To Die: Doomtown’s Journey from Gomorra to Tombstone

Doomtown: Reloaded has had a bumpy ride pardners, to say the least. I can’t begin to thank all of you that of stuck with Pine Box Entertainment through DT:R’s relaunch, those that are getting back in the saddle to join us once again, and those greenhorns new to my favorite card game. With the shipment of There Comes A Reckoning now on the horizon for later this summer, I want to talk a bit about Too Tough to Die, the next expansion. I wish to give you something to look forward to by sharing some aspects about our upcoming plans for DT:R’s Art and Story.

Both subjects go hand in hand as we advance the Doomtown: Reloaded storyline to move outside the confines of Gomorra. While There Comes A Reckoning featured a prequel story, Too Tough to Die advances the timeline to October 1881, as Wendy and Lucy arrive in Tombstone in the midst of the epic battle between the Earps and the Cowboys. Along the way, they also encounter the supernatural terrors of Deadlands.

You may recall we featured a storyline event at PAX Unplugged, The Fate of Mario Crane. While this story remains in the works, keep in mind that we’re no longer restricted to the Gomorra sandbox. All set-related fiction now becomes canon within the existing Deadlands universe, requiring us to work closely with Pinnacle Entertainment Group to ensue the story advances for both games. As both storylines move forward, players will continue to make choices at events that will influence the fiction. At the Doomtown: Reloaded World Championship on May 5-6 In Manchester, England, players will have an opportunity to shape the fiction included in Too Tough to Die.

You may be wondering how this all ties together. Well, during the Deadlands roleplaying game sessions on May 5, players will have the opportunity to select existing and new characters appearing in Too Tough to Die. In some cases, the art for the cards for these characters will directly reflect the fiction, and we will unveil related cards throughout the day. Pay attention to our forums and the Doomtown Facebook groups as players reveal these spoilers. As the RPG adventure continues, players will be shown cards featured in Too Tough to Die based on these scenes, whether it in-game events, items they encounter, or characters themselves.

Too Tough to Die not only features this aspect of the story, but the 56 card set also explores previous denizens of Gomorra, as characters such as Kevin Wainwright become Experienced. The set also explores new locations, via Deeds featured in and around Tombstone. In addition, the conflict between the Earps and the Cowboys gets told through several cards. As we continue to flesh out existing mechanical themes in Doomtown, watch for faction specific deeds, such as the Sloane starting deed, Ike’s Place.

Including all these different aspects of Too Tough to Die, this required sourcing artwork from a variety of sources. We began by revisiting black and white pieces from the original Deadlands, updated with color, ala the Deadlands 20th Anniversary core rulebook. We will also feature Doomtown: Reloaded art commissioned, but never released under the AEG era, along with revised cards initially slated for unreleased Saddlebag expansions. As we did with TCaR and our ongoing Organized Play events, we’ll continue to honor the Gomorra of yesteryear with a few returns to Classic Deadlands: Doomtown. Also, we are delighted to mention that a trio of artists from DT:R’s original run have created half a dozen pieces for Too Tough to Die. These pieces will be featured alongside some work from current Deadlands artists as well!

As thrilling as helping develop this new addition for your Doomtown: Reloaded collection was, there is nothing more rewarding than meeting with everyone face to face in celebrating the game’s rebirth. I can’t wait to meet y’all at the World Championship, where you will be the first to use physical cards from There Comes A Reckoning and directly affect the fiction. Player’s actions in the role-playing sessions will carry over into Doomtown, as votes decided in every matchup will determine the fate of the characters involved.