There were a lot of surprising things about the day I went to see the Doomtown tournament on January 31st, 2015. I was surprised at how nice the day was, considering that it was the end of January in the northern hemisphere. I was surprised at how much one fog bank can freeze you when not properly equipped for it. And I was surprised about pretty much everything about Doomtown: Reloaded.
|Please meet Xiong Cheng. That's hard to pronounce, so we call her "Wendy."|
The town that is apparently doomed in this case is called Gomorra. Players take different actions to recruit dudes, form a posse, call out opponents, and initiate shootouts in the town square, all in the search for "ghost-rock," a coveted material found in Gomorra. One player wins when they have more control than the other player has influence.
The games resolves a lot of the conflict by drawing poker hands. Each card has a rank and suit in the corner in addition to its other abilities, but since the decks are constructed by the players, you could have a several of the same card in the deck, meaning that standard poker probabilities don't apply here. Also, there are mechanics for cheating, which can trigger other abilities, but it's all within the rules, not like the other kind of cheating I wrote about here. Be careful before you pack your deck full of aces, because some conflicts are resolved with "low-ball" rules, also known as golf scoring, where the worst hand is the winner.
I spoke to Sky, who was kind enough to take time in between rounds to talk about the event she organized. She plays in the South Bay area normally, but brought this event up to Heretic Games to build the community. The event was 6 players, with one game per round, and a certain amount of confusion about the tournament ranking software used. She thoroughly enjoys the game now, but did express some remorse for the way that her favorite faction was done away with in the previous edition of the game. Like Legend of the Five Rings, Doomtown changed the background story line based on tournament outcomes. I have heard that this device was popular with just about every L5R player I have ever known. AEG could do the same thing with Doomtown and expansions, but with the expandable format, people might not like the way that cards cease to be useful. Eventually, I think that this format might wind up with block events, where you can only play with some of the expansions and not all of them, but Doomtown is far from there.
|The Doomtown Deluxe box. Malcom Reynolds initiative tracker not included.|
Seth Oakley is an educator and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who lives in Daly City, CA. He loves costuming, analog gaming and role playing games. He got this job in a bar after making poor life choices and has to work through 87 more articles before Mike will give him his soul back. If you want Seth to cover an event in particular, leave a comment to let him know.
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