UnclEvl's Protection Racket
Inspiration or 'Money with Menaces'
This card combo is all centred around:
Extortion - Noon: Target a deed that you currently control but do not own.
You maintain control of this deed until another player, as a Noon action, pays you
ghost rock equal to the amount of Influence that you had at that location when you
played this card. At that point, control of the deed is determined normally.
Decks often include:
Hostile Takeover - Target a non-Strike Deed you
control. Boot one of your Dudes at the Deed to become the owner of the Deed until it
leaves play. If the Deed leaves play, ownership immediately returns to its original owner.
Claim Jump - Target a Strike you control. Boot one of your Dudes at the Strike to become
the owner of the Strike until it leaves play. If the Strike leaves play, ownership
immediately returns to its original owner',
to take permanent control of another players deeds to steal the Control Points.
But their action can still be countered by having more dudes at the deed anyway, or even by
playing 'Claim Jump' or 'Hostile Takeover' back.
Using 'Extortion' coupled with a high and mobile
influence is actually much better, since players cannot even take control of the
deed unless the hand over the cash first; which they cannot do if the cost is high enough.
For most Outfits it won't give you the income from the deed
like seizing control and ownership of it will, but thats about the only drawback.
Admittedly, this card is one of those that is now pretty hard to get a hold of,
being as it is a Rare from the very first release of Doomtown. I've always thought
that it had enormous potential for its ability on its own, being highly useful for taking
control of a deed that can last even were you able to move the controlling dudes away from the
deed. Of course it does have some drawbacks, in that only if you can get enough
dudes with enough influence to a deed before playing it is your extorted Control
likely to last more than a few turns before someone scuppers your racket by paying up.
Initial Development or 'Upping the Ante'
Of course, cards that raise a dudes Influence, such as: 'New Hat', 'Blood Money',
'Three-Piece Suit' or 'Penny Farthing' to name a few of the most commonly used, go hand
in hand with 'Extortion', but you are still unlikely to be able to generate the kind
of Influence to raise serious cash or cause problems.
But there is a card that can seriously jack up dude's Influence at a deed:
Vermin Problem - Noon: Boot your Outfit card. Target a Deed. Every Maze
Rat at the Deed gains a +1 Bullet bonus and +1 Influence for each other Maze Rat at
the Deed. Such a bonus goes away if its Dude leaves the Deed, and all such bonuses
go away after Nightfall. The Influence increase does not count toward your total
Influence during Nightfall. Ace this card.
Ok, so you have to play Maze Rats in order to also gain this ability, but seeing as
most Maze Rat decks rely on alot of dudes and getting out there to cause trouble,
'Extortion' and 'Vermin Problem' seem right at home. Now, suppose you manage to get
only 3 of your Maze Rat dudes to a deed you'd like to retain control of. Play 'Vermin Problem'
' and every Maze Rat dude gains +2 Influence, so if you play 'Extortion' now,
even if they all started off as zero Influence dudes you will have 6 Influence there
for purposes of your protection racket. Thats not major, but not too bad.
But as the releases for Doomtown have gone on, the deal has got better. With the
new Maze Rat Home:
Landed Rats- Each Deed you control that is owned by another player
and worth at least 1 Control Point is worth +1 Control Points.
During the Upkeep Phase, you can collect Production for Deeds
you control but do not own, since when you play 'Extortion' you get to take Control of
the deed but the other player still Owns it, you get an extra Control point and as long
as no one buys off the 'Extortion' you can collect the deeds production each round as
The release of the Pine Box Edition also gives you the rather boring but useful:
Dragon's Tooth - Can only be attached to a Maze Rat Dude. This Dude gains +1
Bullet bonus and a +1 Influence bonus for every other Maze Rat Dude in this location.
A nice bonus boost to the influence for a Maze Rat dude- with Vermin Problem thats +3
for all but one of your Rats in situ.
Other Essentials or 'A Load of Old Pony'
Of course, one of the biggest drawbacks with the 'Extortion' play is that you have
to get all your dudes to the relevant deed before playing it. As usual, this can leave
lone or isolated dudes vulnerable to being picked off before you can get the mass of them
together. But there are several cards to help with this:
Captain Sim Yut-San - Immediately after you move Captain Sim, move any of your
other Maze Rats from the Location Sim started his move to his present location.
This does not boot the other dudes,
has one of the best abilities for combating this, allowing you to move all your Maze
Rat dudes in one go, and leaving them unbooted.
Maze Runner - All strikes are considered adjacent for this dude. Noon: Boot the
Maze Runner to move this dude and up to four of your other dudes from one strike
from the 6th DT release set can also be a useful card for moving a little gang of extortionists
Strikes in the Maze, as you can get the whole lot there in one go. Since the 'Maze
Runner' is booted for the movement it also leaves the dudes free unbooted so
so they can call people out once they arrive or even move again themselves
in the same round.
If your dream-team's made up
of the likes of 'Captain Sim Yut-San' (Inf 3), 'Chin Wei-Lun' (Inf 2), 'Po-Yu' (Inf 3)
or 'Po-Yu' exp. 1 or 2 (Inf 3), 'Sun Shu-Jen' (Inf 2), and 'Chao Li' (Inf 2), then you
are talking a very respectable overall Influence of 12 before even considering
'Vermin Problem' or 'Dragon's Tooth'.
If an opponent keeps having to
spend that sort of money to buy you off then its going to hurt.
But it gets better than that. With the Revelations expansion set we got:
Magic Bus - Horse. Boot the Magic Bus to move this Dude and any of your other
Dudes at this Dude's location to the shootout's location. They join your posse.
Now admittedly this is a gadget with quite a hefty difficulty rating (7), but with the
DUO final release, who's this riding into town but none other than:
Professor Crowe - Boot Professor Crowe to target a Mad Scientist at this location. Until after Nightfall,
the target’s Mad Scientist skill is increased by Professor Crowe’s Mad Scientist skill,
and his little pal:
Yung Kim - Yung Kim gains a +3 bonus to his Mad Scientist skill
while creating a Gadget Horse.
So now you've no problem building the 'Magic Bus',
if you want it, but of course these two are really here to build:
Kang's Pride - Horse. Can only be put into play by a Maze Rats player.
Noon: Boot Kang's Pride to move this Dude and any number of your other Dudes
at this location to another location.
These also don't have the drawback
of the 'Maze Runner' as their movement is not limited to strikes.
Now you've got all the mobility you need to send those high influence extortionists all round town.
Having both the 'Magic Bus' and 'Kang's Pride' equipped on 2 dudes in
the same posse (can't have them both on the same dude due to the one horse per dude limit) means you
can even pop out, do the business and be back home for tea and crumpets before another player can
get their big shooters into play. What's more, since they are 'horses':
Fresh Horses -
Unboot all Horse cards in one location. Any actions on the cards that have been used this
turn can be used an extra time,
is another way of getting to use their abilities again.
The 'horse' strategy can be backed up further by sticking a few other 'natural' horses
in the deck, of courses to be used with 'Fresh Horses', although far and away the most
useful horse associated Action is:
Here Comes The Cavalry - Target any of your Dudes with Horses attached. All of the
Dudes move to the shootout's location and join your posse,
ideal for ambushing the unwary with all your dudes or just for the threat of
being able to get dudes into shootouts. Once a player knows you have a copy or 2 of this in
your deck it is always there as a threat when you move a single dude anywhere. Even if the dudes or
their horses are booted you can still send them to a shootout with this card, and better still
it works very nicely with 'Fresh Horses' since after the shootout you will have all your
horses in one location and so can revitalise them all. Watch out though,
as it can be easily blocked by:
No Funny Stuff - No Reactions except Cheatin' cards can be played until after this shootout.
No more Shootout actions can be played during this shootout.
Captain Sim Yut-San mounted on a (contentious):
Horse. Reaction: Use immediately before you perform a Noon action. Boot the Stallion to
move this Dude to any location in play. You may not use this action if this Dude is booted,
can be a deadly combo, allowing you to move Sim and then all the Maze Rat dudes with him as a reaction
and then play
'Vermin Problem' or 'Extortion' immediately before anyone can react. Since neither
'Extortion' or 'Vermin Problem' makes the dudes involved wanted, then even things like:
Sherrifs Watching - Reaction: Play immediately before one or more Dudes begin an
action that could make them Wanted, or start a job that will take effect at another player's
private location. The action is cancelled without effect),
a fairly standard card alot of players use to prevent unwanted actions, cannot protect
And the nice thing about 'horses' is there are a huge range of 'horse' cards to cater for any
values and range of abilities you may require including:
'Magic Bus and Magic Bus V. 2.0 (Death Bus),'
With so many horse cards to choose from a shootout strategy immediately offers itself in the form
of Straight Flushes in Hearts, filling in any gaps with other Goods, Spells or Event cards.
Options or 'Moving in Mob-Handed'
If you've maxed out on the Horse front then you may want to equip a few:
Spurs - No Dude may attach more than one Spurs. This Dude gains +1 Influence while at an
in-town location. Noon: Unboot a non-Gadget Horse attached to this Dude. You may take
each action on the Horse an extra time this turn, if you already took it this turn,
since this gives you not only the ability to use the horse again in a turn, but also gives
an influence boost at in town deeds for 'Extortion' purposes.
There are a several useful horse specific Deeds:
The Alright Corral - Any non-Gadget Horse you put into play has its ghost
rock cost reduced by 3,
Circle K Ranch - You can bring non-Gadget cards with the Horse trait into play for
2 less ghost rock,
Are both useful for reducing the cost of getting them nags into play. Unless you are playing a
strict Boot Hill Extended format then you can in fact include both of these deeds in your deck,
which means you are going to be able to bring most non-gadget horses into play for nowt GR.
Nolan's Smithy - Get one non-Gadget horse from your discard
pile and put it in your Play hand,
is an extremely useful card for getting all your dudes equipped with the right non-gadget horses
just when you need it and:
Hundred Yearling Ranch - When you bring a
Dude into play, you may immediately attach a non-Gadget horse from your Play hand to
that Dude, paying all costs as normal.
Can also be useful.
The Horse Doctor - The Slaughterhouse gains +1 Production while The Horse
Doctor is in play. Controller Reaction: Boot The Horse Doctor when a non-Gadget card with
the Horse trait is aced. Put the Horse into its owner's hand instead of into Boot Hill.
Another useful card, especially if you are up against harrowed dudes and a deck with
'Tastes Like Chicken' (see below).
Rustlers - Starting with the Winner and going clockwise, each player may discard one
of their Horses in play to gain 5 ghost rock,
can be very useful, not only as a way of generating cash (especially if you are using
the 'Alright Corral' and/or 'Circle K Ranch' to bring your horses into play cheap),
but also as a way to cycle cards through your deck - an ability not to be underestimated if
it matters which cards and in what numbers are in your play hand and available for draw hands
(such as when trying to pull straight flushes).
So now you've got your mobile band of extortionists, what other cards are best going to
back up your play?
Caught in the Crossfire - Target one of your Dudes in your posse. The Dude gains a +1
Bullet bonus until the end of the shootout for every Dude by which your posse outnumbers the
has to be one of the most useful. Since you are going to be aiming to move all your dudes from
one deed to the next you will doubtlessly out-number your opponents dudes during many shootouts, and
this card helps you capitalise on that big time.
We've Got Ya Surrounded - If you have more than twice as many dudes in your posse than
the opposing posse, all of the dudes in your posse are studs until the end of this Shootout,
is another card that favours the large posse and can be extremely useful for turning those
low level Draw dudes into a Stud bonus.
Devil Bats - Devil Bats cannot attach Goods. If at least twice as many Dudes are
in the Devil Bats' posse than in the opposing posse, your hand is considered two
ranks higher and the worst hand of that rank
is another very useful card for decks favouring large numbers of dudes. 2 ranks for a hand can
be the difference between winning and losing a shootout. However, since 'Devil Bats' are not
'Maze Rats' and cannot attach a horse, you may have problems making them as mobile as your other dudes.
And of course if you are going to be bumping up bullet ratings to extremely high levels, nothing
goes nicer with that than a shotgun effect for which you can use:
Shotgun, Double-Barreled Shotgun or Lemat Pistol - Target a Dude
in the opposing posse whose
value is less than or equal to this Dude’s Bullet rating. Ace the target Dude.
Problems or 'Saucy Mares'
Like most things in life, there are a few things out there that can cause you some problems.
A deck built around 1 or 2 cards is going to be prone to things that can affect those cards.
When you are relying on and action card, such as 'Extortion', then there is nothing worse than:
Move Along - Target another player's Action card that has just resolved.
No further copies of that Action card may be played by any player for the rest of the game.
Reduce your maximum hand size by 1 permanently. Ace this card.
There's not really much you can do about it. Luckily, this card is not seen that often in play,
probably due to the pretty major drawback of reducing the players hand size by 1.
Like most decks that use a fair old number of Goods, there are a few cards that can be a real pain
when you are using the 'horse' option. Some that are a nuisance to all 'Goods' decks are:
Phantom Fingers - Noon Hex 7: If this Hex is successful, take any one goods on a Dude in an
adjacent location and give it to the Huckster if she can hold it. Shootout Hex 8:
If this Hex is successful, take any one weapon attached to opposing Dude and give it to this
Huckster if she can hold it.
Only likely to be a problem if you are facing a Huckster deck. Try to use your mobility
to stay away from the appropriate Huckster so they don't get a chance to have it away with yer
Chainsaw - Gadget Difficulty: 4. Shootout: Ace a Goods in the opposing posse.
This one's only likely to be a problem if you are facing a Mad Scientist deck. Again, either avoid getting
in a shhotout with them, or if you do make sure you kill 'em quick so they only get to use this once.
Sally Daniels - Boot Sally Daniels. Target a Goods at this location that can legally
be attached to her. If the pull is greater than the value of the Dude with the Goods, the
Goods is attached to Sally. Sally can do this even if you do not control the location.
Horse Thief - Boot one of your Dudes. Target a Horse in play.
Your Dude becomes Wanted, the Horse goes to its owner’s discard pile, and you gain an amount
of ghost rock equal to the Horse’s cost.
If you're playing the 'Landed Rats' anyway, then perhaps this isn't so much of a problem, unless of
course you are facing another Maze Rats deck. Keep your decent stuff on high value dudes is the
obvious answer here. On the other hand, she can be quite an asset to your 'Landed Rats' deck, despite
low bullets. If you can get her out there, say on a 'Stallion' perhaps, allowing her to ride out and
use her ability she can be very useful. If you use her unmounted, then she can even be employed doing
a bit of 'rustling' herself to steal horses from other players dudes for your own dudes (remember,
she cannot steal a horse if she already has one attached due to the 'one horse per dude' rule).
Then there are those annoying cards that are specifically tailored to make the mounted posse's
Tastes Like Chicken - Boot any harrowed dude in play to ace any non-gadget horse at the
same or an adjacent location.
Well at least this one can only be played if an opponent has a harrowed dude in play, but otherwise it can
be a right pain as there's not much you can do about it, except use the 'Horse Doctor' to counter.
Thankfully it can only be used on non-gadget horses though.
Horse Thief - Boot one of your Dudes. Target a Horse in play. Your Dude becomes Wanted,
the Horse goes to its owner’s discard pile, and you gain an amount of ghost rock equal to the
This one's not so bad as the horse is only discarded, not aced. But it can be used on gadget horses,
which can be a real pain if you're forced to discard 'Kang's Pride'.
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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characters from Deadlands are ™ and © 1996-1998 by
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™ and © 1998 by Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc.
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