Doomtown Card Game

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
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 well. Excellent.

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
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 to another,
from the 6th DT release set can also be a useful card for moving a little gang of extortionists around the 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
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):

Stallion - 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 them here.

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: 'Autogyro,' 'Bi-Plane,' 'The Damacles,' 'Hang Glider,' 'Kang's Pride,' 'Magic Bus and Magic Bus V. 2.0 (Death Bus),' 'Mechanical Horse,' 'Mustang,' 'Pale Horse,' 'Penny Farthing,' 'Pinto,' 'Roan,' 'Rocket Pack,' 'Stallion,' 'Steam-Powered Crane,' 'White Shire,'
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. Very nice.

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?

Here Comes The Cavalry
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 opposing posse
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
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 horses.

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 life hell:

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 Horse’s cost.
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'.


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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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