Doomtown Card Game

UnclEvl's Backroom Pocket Dimension

Inspiration or 'Colonel Baiting'

Backroom by Lissanne Lake
This all came about from a chance conversation over brandy and cigars with the Colonel one evening, after a few rubbers of our favorite card game, Doomtown. The Colonel, having taken quite the thrashing as ever, was blaming his woefully inadequate Doomtown aptitude on the rather poor cards in the latest expansion release. During this lament, he seized upon 'The Back Room' as an example of yet another coaster from the set. As is the tradition around here, I chose to disagree with the Colonel, more on general principle than anything else, but it got me to thinking and I had a gut feeling that despite the general attitude, 'The Back Room' probably had some hidden potential in there somewhere.

It was whilst re-reading the card text for the umpteenth time that I hit upon it. The card text reads:

"When the 'The Back Room' enters play place it behind an in town deed you own. The Back Room is adjacent only to the deed to which it is attached unless adjacency is granted by a card effect.
Dudes can only move into The Back Room from an adjacent location."

'The Back Room' has a use as a hideaway for characters, if they can protect the deed to which it is adjacent. At first my thoughts were along the lines of what deeds could be used that could easily be protected to which 'The Back Room' could be attached. But then I hit on a much better idea. If I were to get rid of the deed to which 'The Back Room' was attached after it had been brought into play, then effectively 'The Back Room' wouldn't be adjacent to anything and so nobody could go there. It would effectively exist in a dimension of its own, 'The Back Room' to nothing. If I could then get my dudes in there, what a cosy little safe haven this would be. 'The Back Room' without adjacency means no-one can move there and it becomes very difficult to target the location, or any dudes there, with either jobs or spells. Say goodbye to 'Massacre at High Noon', 'Kidnap', 'Phantom Fingers' and all that other complete pain in the arse stuff.

I then set about finding cards that would fit into a combo to allow me to do this, and what you have here is what I have come up with.

Initial Development or 'Total Isolation'

The main thing is to end up with Back Room, on its own with no card in front of it to which it is adjacent. There are a few ways to achieve this:

Sweetrock, Gomorra Ltd. Rail Line - All deeds you put into play have their GR cost reduced by 2. All your deeds enter play booted. Noon: Target and ace an unbooted deed you own and control. Gain ghost rock equal to the deed's printed cost.
Couldn't be simpler. With this card you can slap down 'The Back Room' on any card you like and then use the home ability to get rid of the deed that it is behind.
Drawbacks are chiefly that you have to play this Outfit. Thats not so bad in itself, and its quite easy to build a decent turtling Sweetrock deck that spawns out high influence dudes and deeds in such profusion that other players simply can't keep up. I done built just such a deck that will be posted in due course by way of example. Because it is a combo dependent on a Home action it does mean you will always be able to do it though, and not having to wait for another card to empower the combo before playing 'The Back Room'.
The other concern is that you have to control the deed to which Back Room is attached, so if'n a fellah is wise to yer plan, he could stop you doing it by seizing Control of that crucial Deed.

Saloon's On Fire - Target one of your Saloons. That Saloon catches fire; ace it. Permanently raise by 1 the Control Points of each other Saloon in play. Ace this card.
You can use this card if you plan on using a few saloons in your deck to try and ace one that has 'The Back Room' behind it, but its a bit hit or miss really and not recommended.

Steam-Powered Crane - Gadget Difficulty: 8. Horse. Reaction: Boot the Crane immediately before you put an in-town Deed into play. You may place the Deed between any two adjacent in-town locations you control.
This is a much sweeter deal. You can use this card to over-ride the restriction for bringing 'The Back Room' into play, since it is an in-town deed. It does mean that you have to have at least one other in-town deed in play you Control (your Home can be the other location between which 'Back Room' can be squeezed).
Gadget 8 makes it a fairly difficult Gadget to get into play, though not insurmountable, and it does mean you can use it in any deck that can get the 'Steam Powered Crane' into play.

But in all honesty, what makes a better outfit for an easy turtling win than the original 'Collegium' Outfit, which goes hand in hand with the 'The Back Room/Steam Powered Crane' combo. You can then generate an almost perfect safe haven within which to sequester those Mad Scientists and churn out Gadgets for a win. With:

Investment Machine - Gadget Difficulty: 4. Pay 6 ghost rock to gain 9 ghost rock,
you don't even have to worry about other deeds for the Ghost Rock necessary to generate the Gadgets. Too easy!

Other Essentials or 'Holin' Up'

But what you really need to make this the perfect turtling combo is a few other cards.
For one thing, once you have got the 'The Back Room' into play with no adjacency, you will need some way to get your own dudes in there!

A Secret Tunnel - Target two Deeds you own. A secret tunnel exists between those two Deeds. The Deeds are adjacent whenever you wish for the rest of the game.
Not bad, cos as long as you got another deed you can move to you can use 'A Secret Tunnel' to grant adjacency from that deed to 'The Back Room' and you can then move there. Of course, the drawback is that you have to get your dudes safely out to that other deed before they can get to the sanctuary of 'The Back Room'. Careful choice of deeds can make this easier, try:

Prospectus' Secret Workshop - Private. Players other than the owner must discard a card from their Play hand to move a Dude to the Workshop. Controller Noon: Target a Mad Scientist at this location. His or her Mad Scientist skill is increased by +2 until after Nightfall.
Secret Lab - Private. You must boot one of your Mad Scientists to bring the Secret Lab into play. Non-Mad-Scientist Dudes cannot move to the Secret Lab except by card effect. All Mad Scientists have a +1 Mad Scientist bonus while at the Secret Lab.
is even better.


Corporate Headquarters - You may bring Dudes into play at this Deed. When a card or game effect sends one of your Dudes home, you may move them to this Deed instead.
is the real must-have winner for this combo. Once you get this improvement onto the isolated 'The Back Room' you're laughing. You can now bring all new dudes into play directly at 'The Back Room' and other dudes can move there simply by being sent home.

Choking Gas -Gadget Difficulty: 4. Ace the Choking Gas. All Dudes at this location with a value less than the pull must boot and go home,
can be very useful for this, you can even use it at your home, but it will only work on lower value dudes unless you can pull very high.

Locust Swarm -Noon Miracle 7: If this Miracle succeeds, all Dudes at this location except this Blessed go home without booting,
is a much better bet. Only needing a 7 target from a pull, and sending all dudes except the Blessed home, you can use it at your home to get all dudes their into 'The Back Room' with a 'Corporate Headquarters' improvement. Its also a great back-up plan once in an isolated 'The Back Room' in case anyone does get through, since you can send everyone home, which means your dudes will stay at 'The Back Room'. One for 'Meredith Singleton' experienced - Blessed 1.

Options or 'Nailing up the Doors'

Some of the other improvements are also useful, such as:

Bulletproof Glass - Unique.You must control a Mad Scientist to bring Bulletproof Glass into play. Your Dudes at this location cannot be called out without a card effect.
Offers a useful back-up.

Iron Gate - Dudes must boot to move to this location.
Handy for a bit of leeway just in case an enemy dude does get in and is spoilin' fer some trouble.

Runnin' Water - Runnin' Water's Deed has the ability "Controller Noon: Boot this Deed. Unboot a Dude at this location.
Being able to unboot a Mad Scientist so you can create another Gadget can't be a bad thing. Or use on:

Gunther Hapworth - Boot Gunther at any location and pay 1 Ghost Rock. Give him a +3 Bullet Stud bonus until the end of next turn that is in effect whenever he is at a location you control),
to make sure he stays up around the 6 Stud mark, or even 12 Stud! [Boot Gunther for a 3 Stud. Use Running Water to unboot him, then boot him again for a 6 stud. This bullet bonus will last through until nightfall of the following turn, during which you repeat the process for another +6 bullet bonus]. That'll put off any player itchin' for a showdown {and makes:

Shootin' from the Hip - Play this card immediately before Draw hands are compared in a shootout if you have an unbooted Stud in the shootout. Boot your Stud. If able, your opponent must immediately ace a Dude in his or he posse with a Bullet rating less than your Studís Bullet rating,
is a dead cert, if you want to start getting feisty yerself (-'Doc'}.

Sprinkler System - You must boot a Mad Scientist to put this card into play. Owner Reaction: Play immediately before this Deed is aced. Ace this Improvement instead of this Deed.
A little bit of insurance in case the unthinkable happens.

Fifth Bowl by Robert Humble
"What This Town Needs Is . . ." - Noon: Get any Deed or Improvement from your deck or discard pile, show it to your opponents, and add it to your hand. Shuffle your deck if you look through it for the Deed.
Very useful to make sure you can get 'The Back Room' and any other Deed or Improvement just when you need it.

Fifth Bowl - Noon Miracle 7: If this Blessed is at a Deed, boot this Blessed. If this Miracle succeeds, no non-Blessed Dudes can move to the Deed until after Nightfall.
Another fairly easy Miracle for 'Meredith Singleton' experienced, giving a very good belt-and-braces security to your Back Room hidey-hole.

Chrono Accelerator - Gadget Difficulty: 8. Noon: Boot this gadget. You may immediately perform 2 additional noon actions before the next player's turn.
Very useful for being able to get both an initial in-town deed and 'The Back Room' into play using the 'Steam Powered Crane' in one turn before anyone can scupper your plans by taking Control of that crucial extra deed.

Electrothermic Entropy Projector - Unique. Weapon. Gadget. Can only be attached to a Collegium Dude. This Dude gains +1 Bullet bonus and a +1 Influence bonus for every other Collegium Dude in this location. When bringing this Gadget into play, it can be attached to Dudes other than Mad Scientists, and does not require a skill check.
Well not strictly essential for this combo and a controversial and boring card as well, but hey, if yer gonna have all them Collegium dudes holed up in one spot, what could be better than this. Put it on 'Gunther Hapworth' and can anyone say like 20 stud. Give him a:

Shotgun - Weapon. Shootout: Target a Dude in the opposing posse whose value is less than or equal to this Dudeís Bullet rating. Ace the target Dude
and you're talking very scary indeed. Especially with a few:

Quick Reload - Reaction: Play this card after you take an action printed on a Goods. You can use the action a second time this turn,
thrown in.

Of course you'll need a:

Weapons Locker - Dudes at this location can have more than one ready Weapon. If Dudes leave this location or the Locker leaves play, each Dude with more than one ready Weapon must choose a single ready Weapon)
or the action card:

Two Hands, Two Guns - Target one of your Dudes in this shootout. That Dude can have two Weapons ready for the duration of this shootout. Choose one unready Weapon, which becomes ready if it can legally be made ready. At the end of the shootout, choose one ready Weapon to keep ready; the other Weapon becomes unready,
to have 2 ready weapons.

Problems or 'Who Invited You?'

Well, like most things in life, the old Back Room Pocket Dimension plan is not quite perfect, and there's a few cards you just gotta watch out for.

The Texas Rangers - Noon: Target a Terror. Boot one of your Dudes in the same or adjacent location to call out the Terror. Reaction: Immediately before one of your Dudes moves or joins a posse, boot this card. The Dude can ignore all movement restrictions, and can join a posse at a non-adjacent location. All movement costs, such as booting, must still be paid.
The original Rangers home. That ability to ignore all movement restrictions can be a right bummer. But at least its not hidden, you know its there, and its only for 1 dude in any 1 round. And that Home has proven pretty pants so not many people play it these days, thank goodness (except the Doc, goldarn it. For some unknown reason, its one o' his favourites).

The Tree - Public. Any Dudes at this location are considered adjacent to all Deeds in town but cannot be called out without a card effect.
This one can put a right crimp in yer style. 'The Back Room' is in town, so it is adjacent to 'The Tree'. Not much you can do about it except maybe:

Lumberyard - Public. Improvements cost 1 less ghost rock for the Lumberyard's controller. Controller Noon: Boot the Lumberyard. Ace a card in play with "The Tree" in the title.)

Looking Glass - Noon Hex 6: Use when this Huckster is at an in-town Deed. If this Hex succeeds, then until after Nightfall your Dudes are considered adjacent to all other in-town Deeds while at that Deed.
Another real bummer that can allow another players' dudes to become adjacent to 'The Back Room'. Not much you can do about it really. Its an odd Hex, so less likely to crop up in non-Hex specific decks, but if you're playing against the Whateleys then beware.

Jordan Caldwell - Caldwell ignores all movement restrictions.
Pretty specific that one. Ok, so it's only 1 dude, but they can bring trouble. Try and kill 'em quick.

Thats about it. If you need a place to hole-up, then you can't really do better than this little combo. Ok, so its limited and got some drawbacks, but just watch the jaws drop when you get it into play and it begins to dawn on other players just what it means.


If you've got a combo concept or deck you think would be useful as an example of how to go about good deck design, then contact us here at Frothers Unite! with the details and we'll see about posting it up.

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Deadlands, the Weird West, ghost rock, Harrowed, the Deadlands logo, the Pinnacle logo, and all other marks, names and characters from Deadlands are ™ and © 1996-1998 by Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc. Card illustrations, images, characters, names, marks, and images original to Doomtown are ™ and © 1998 by Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc. Doomtown is a trademark of Five Rings Publishing Group. Game Design by Alderac Entertainment Group.
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