Originally published at: http://gomorragazette.com/2016/07/07/a-grand-entrance-a-set-review-by-the-gomorra-gazette-round-table/
For the Grand Entrance, the Gomorra Gazette refines its roundtable coverage of Doomtown: Reloaded’s ongoing expansions. Each reviewer takes the lead for one suit along with rating each card. The other reviewers provide relevant support or occasional dissent. Each card also has an aggregate rating that shows the cumulative rating provided by the review panel.
[NOTE: as of 7/7/2016, the DTDB has NOT been updated to include these new cards from A Grand Entrance - those card links will work properly once DTDB is updated. Meanwhile, see what our reviewers have to say about the new set.]
El Armadillo De Hierro – This guy seems expensive until you can make him a stud, then he's excellent in a very specific kung fu deck. Besides that deck, I don’t see him popping up in many other places. 2 (11)
Doomdog: This Mexican wrestler joins the eclectic cast of 108 dudes, and he's a kung fu beast. You want to set up Tao combos to get the most out of him, as he's quite a costly dude to hire and keep around. For the price you get a dude with an effective value of 13 so he'll succeed pretty much every technique pull you need to make.
Jim Hexter –I feel that 108 struggles for studs somewhat, and this guy gives them just what they need. His studdage comes with the added benefit of sopping up excess money. Simply the threat of him becoming a stud 3 will be enough to deter most opponents from calling him out. 4 (14)
Doomdog: With more options arriving on the higher values, there's greater potential for a wider variety of Bandits decks. With him sharing a value with Rapier, and both 108 Blessed being tens and so on value with Jael's Guile, a Bandits-based Sword of the Spirit deck is now a legitimate option.
Nufenix: Immediate synergy for me is either The Stakes Just Rose or Pearl-Handed Revolver to get more use out of his bullet rating.
The Mixer – More influence sans upkeep for Eagle Wardens. His ability can be far more annoying than people expect as a posse with an untouchable stud often nullifies key cards that your opponent has. Anyone who's used hiding in the shadows (or had it used against them) can attest to this. 4 (16)
Jedilanni: With the ability, your Voltron remains a Voltron.
Hupirika Sue – Lay down a Spirit Trail and defend your out of town deeds, since with her around you can teleport over and have words with whoever just took your deed. Outside of that, I can’t see her being used too much. Still overall, Sue is a solid character. 3 (12)
Jedilanni: On top of that you get a bullet bonus. What isn't to like.
The Harvester – This guy’s cost, upkeep, and especially his restrictive trait puts me off starting him as it feels very eggs in a basket. I can see including him as a one of in an abominations deck, since he's soul cageable from the majority of hands. I can see people trying to start him with Karl Odett and a Pag or the Brute, but not sure how successful that would be. 2 (12)
Jedilanni: Using Summoning, Raising Hell, Parish, or Ivor xp shenanigans makes him a really interesting option.
Lucy Clover xp – Well, Lucy got quite the upgrade. Law dogs do not struggle to throw bounties around, and thus stand ready to sic Lucy upon those scofflaws. I expect to see her in quite a few decks. She warrants consideration as a starter, since she really dislikes people kidnappin' her friends. Also, her value increase means that she won’t get shotgunned as easy as before. 3 (13)
Doomdog: What's this? We finally have a Deputy who's on value with Faster on the Draw? Tell me more... Lucinda "Lucy" Clover's penchant for charging straight at dangerous situations guns blazing and somehow surviving has seen her gain quite a bit of story time and her experienced card reflects her tendency for getting all riled up in the presence of criminals and ne'er-do-wells. … As with other experienced dudes hiring her outright costs a pretty penny, but her original incarnation only costs two to play, is easily startable and … is able to spend a few turns setting up bounties to take advantage of when you level her up.
Buckin’ Billy Ballard – Simply put, this guy goes in Stables. He gives them card draw and a paralysis mark effect while being bigger for having said horse. If you run horses in a Morgan deck, you also run this dude. If not, then he's just OK. 4 (17)
NuFenix: My Horse preference would be Personal Ornithopter, so that he can join fights from anywhere, as having a 2 stud able to fly in when needed can frustrate your opponents to no end.
Antoine Peterson – This is exactly what those bounty heavy Sloane decks wanted. How many times have you needed a kidnapping but not had one? Well this guy gets it for you or any other job you have sitting amongst your discards. Check ‘em off: stud, gives bounties (Hello, Des Row), plus unbooting a dude fits so well with the downside of jobs (going home booted even if winning can cost you a lot in the long run). He gives you a surprise element of looking all booted out, then playing him, getting a kidnapping, unbooting a big stud and going to kick someone your opponent overextended with. He's amazing if you run kidnapping in any deck, and of course best in Sloane. Otherwise, he's unnecessary, but how many Sloane decks don’t run kidnappings? 5 (20)
Doomdog: With this guy and Elliott Smithson in your deck you could have the same posse running two jobs a turn, and chances are if the first one went off without a hitch the second will too which can advance your position massively. As a Transient dude he comes with high upkeep so won't be sticking around for the next turn, which makes him a great extra body to run on the job he just grabbed or for sending to sit on a deed to deny your opponent some income before he leaves play. This also means he's a good dude to run out-of-faction. There are two jobs on value: A Coach Comes to Town and Meet the New Boss. While not the most popular jobs, they both have strong effects so maybe with Antoine joining the gang they'll get another look-in.
NuFenix: Even if you don't see J's being used in a Sloane deck, if you see jobs being used, expect him to be an off-value in it.
Denise Brancini – I would run Denise if I need another Jack dude and I run jokers (so I know she could gain stud bullets). Even sans jokers, she serves as cheap backup stud and quick bullet sop. 3 (12)
NuFenix: I can't get behind a dude where I don't fully control their stats. If seen early game she has no bullets, so will be a backup stud in a shootout, which for 1 ghost rock and no upkeep is great. But once jokers start to be used then watching her upkeep climb in exchange for extra bullets makes her less appealing, and refusing to pay her only to give your opponents their jokers back (and into their decks, not even discard pile), just makes her too costly. I do like the Carrie vibe I get from looking at her however.
Long Strides Ranch – Another nod to Jon Longstride, I like that dude. Fives are already a strong value for Morgan horses with Mustangs, Pistol Whips, Jen, and a couple of influence bombs; so they'll love this deed. This being a ranch that helps you get horses into play means it's a good include if you're looking to set up a discount for Exp. Lillian Morgan, and is another deed that Morgan's smattering of ranch support could use. With access to multiple discounts for horses, a Stables deck will soon have this producing three ghost rock. Outside of horse decks, this card could serve as an out-of-town economy deed. Sloane Gang or Desolation Row decks usually run fives, so they can use another on-value deed with production sans control. 4 (15)
Jedilanni: It slots into Gadget decks, even with being a five I will risk that all day.
NuFenix: I'm a big fan of out of town deeds, and ones which do something beyond production is even better. … In a non-horse deck, it now means you can run four different deeds on 5 without costing more then 3, which can make the deck more reliable when it comes to playing out your deeds.
The Gomorra Gazette – Finally we get another eight value deed with a control point! The Gazette reports on all the action that goes down in Gomorra. The frequent shootouts most certainly will keep Alexis Mirges and company busy. The Law Dogs in particular will like this deed, as eight is a strong value for them. The ‘Dogs are all about placing bounties and taking advantage of them, so it has good synergy with some of their tricks. Anyone who expects to defend their Private deeds against ornery trespassers will get a good return on this deed. With Kidnappin' being the go-to spot removal card for most people, there's another common occurrence that will sell newspapers. Against Den of Thieves or Desolation Row, the Gazette will soon pay for itself if left alone. 3 (14)
Jhandy: It shares a value with Bounty Hunter and The Evidence. It’s going to be in plenty of decks that use bounty.
“Open Wound” - Landslide players will certainly enjoy playing a 2/1/1 Non-Unique deed, as will anybody running Kings on value. It gives you one to four cheap deeds to fill out your draw structure instead of having to rely on risky four cost, two control options that might not help your deck. Moving to adjacent locations is a great ability. Not only can you move between your other Wounds and along your street, but also to any Wounds your opponent has in play too. Let's not forget it can also move you back in to the town square or to the safety of your home if adjacent. Set up a network of Spirit Trails for even more options. You could have a few silly turns of cat-and-mouse with this (and then escape via A Secret Tunnel). Even better, have Doris Powell go spelunking in Ivor's zombie cave network and rack up the control points. It's a movement ability, so of course consider using it with Morgan Stables. While "Open Wound" isn't as flexible as the Railroad Station, it's still a very good deed and can easily be run alongside the Station for plenty of movement potential. 5 (19)
NuFenix: Moving back to town square or your home (if adjacent) without booting can be liberating. Crawling out of an Open Wound lets you continue traipsing around town.
Doomsday Supply – Do you hate seeing a card you need end up your lowball or shootout hand and then discarded? I know I do. Well thanks to the Doomsday Supply, it becomes more bearable for goods you're using. So long as the goods doesn't cost less than 2 ghost rock, you haven't lost anything by playing this. At the same time you have the flexibility to give the goods to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Suprise Shotgun to the face in a shootout! 4 (15)
Jhandy: Also note that it doesn’t say "Non-Gadget" good so you could get a surprised force field for example. I also think this may let you get around bio charged neutralisers clogging your hand as you could use this to immediately attach it to someone other than a scientist while still booting the scientist for the cost etc. Recursion is good in any game.
Bacillus Pasteuria – Just no. Unless the designers expected conditions to be more powerful than anyone has used so far, it seems to be an answer to a problem noone is having. It can unboot dudes, but for the price and deck space I doubt I'll ever use it. 1 (5)
The Blighted – 4R abominations almost, if not always, use Soul Cage to get their dudes back from being casualties or to be the casualty. 108 doesn’t have enough abominations. So, who will use this? Yes it can get itself out of the discard pile from your opponent not paying upkeep on one of their dudes, the result of a Kidnappin', being aced to a Shotgun, and many other tricks. Maybe some incredibly janky deck where Eagle Wardens give a Hawley's Rose to Rhonda Sageblossom and Three-Eyed Hawk is there, so they are played to Hawk from play handand and to Rhonda from discard pile, and then Rhonda discards them in a shootout so that Hawk plays them on herself later for free, but it's still involving many moving parts to be a real deck, though please contact me if this madness causes you to try it. 1 (6)
Jedilanni: They keep coming back for a ghost rock and a dead body. I see a deck doing some work with this sidekick.
Jhandy: This card achieves nothing and is very much a win more card as you need to get rid of their dude for it to come back. Meh.
Sun-Touched Raven – If this were a noon ability I would score it higher. As an Ace value shootout ability, I feel that it gets in the way of itself. It could be used as an off-value in a higher value spirit deck, but I can't see it being used in the majority of spirit decks going forward. 3 (13)
Doomdog: Francisco Rosales can grab this sidekick from your discard pile and put it into play, removing the risk. Searching the top five cards of your deck for a Shootout action or a Resolution is great, and you can stack the cards such that you know what you're pulling for any other shootout spells you might have that round (or Kung Fu, even!). If any of the cards you see aren't part of your draw structure you can discard them so they won't screw up your shootout hand. All in all, the Raven is one cool bird.
Jhandy: This lets you fix a decent proportion of your shootout hand prior to seeing it. I can definitely see this getting you a 5 of a kind more often than you should be able to. Having multiples of this in a fight can mean that studs become less important to the Eagle Wardens player.
Inner Struggle – The ability to soft punish opponents for cheating is always good when you don't draw a Whip or Lepus. The random discard is icing on the cake. 4 (11)
Jhandy: So I need a legal hand while my opponent cheats for you to actually do anything? There's far better cheating resolutions, though not on Aces which is the only reason this doesn’t get a 1. I'd rather play INWYK for example and give you -4 hand rank.
Serendipitous Arrival – Drop Steven, Bobo, or any ol’ stud into a shootout at will. What isn't to love. Post-shootout, I will choose the discard option most of the time. 5 (18)
NuFenix: I see 3's being a choice of this or The Stakes Just Rose with respect to adding dudes to a shootout. Moving over a dude such as Travis and turning him into a stud is one thing, but a discounted Wendy appearing out of thin air only to send someone home booted is something your opponent will unlikely see coming. The benefit of keeping them and still saving money overall, or discarding them since they've done their job is great. For a better discount use Old Marge's Manor to play Serendipitous Arrival.
Siege of the Orphanage – Gotta save the children. Really situational way to lock opponents down for a shootout and just pound away on them if you know they are running a loose structure. 4 (11)
Doomdog: I think you need to be careful when you play this card. Time it badly and you're fighting at your own deed against a strong opponent and you can't flee. Time it right and you've surprised their Kidnappin' attempt or trapped their weak influence dude and a bullet catcher in a fight they aren't likely to win. As a Headline, if you can play it first it protects your newly-made studs from Nightmare at Noon.
Lighting the Fuse – Either resolution results in a win-win. Putting this card in your deck forces tough decisions on cutting a card like Hiding in the Shadows or Pistol Whip. 5 (13)
Doomdog: This card will likely see some play in an attempt to counter the Spirit and Gadget fortress decks that currently see play. Using it in lowball isn't likely to bother them all that much, as they can just boot dudes into their fortress, but in a shootout this can seriously hurt their game plan by resetting their fort. Against other opponents this could get rid of a high production deed following a cheatin' lowball hand or removing a costly deed with a good ability or control points back to their hand to slow them down.
NuFenix: Outside of lowball, it has the same problem that I have with Inner Struggle, in that it doesn't help me in a shootout. If I'm losing it doesn't keep my dudes alive. Unless we're fighting at the deed where I will bounce.
One Fight as Many - Hard to pull off, but if done right is an auto-win during a game via control or mass shootout. Armadillo and a couple of other dudes forces your opponent to make a fight or flight decision. 4 (12)
Doomdog: One complaint I've heard from people trying to build Kung Fu decks is the lack of a cheap low value card to provoke fights against passive opponents, as Ambush's cost of four is quite off-putting and competes for space with Rabbit's Lunar Leap. While this isn't a low value card, it aces itself after use so won't fail future Fu pulls. Adding four to the difficulty of the pull means that some of the lower value dudes will struggle to succeed with this, so some preparation may be necessary. Nunchucks, Shifu Speaks, Focusing Chi, and Forster Cooke are among the cards that can help your chances.
Jhandy: So this is meant to be Kung Fu's way of springing alot of CP in a turn. I generally see this in a legendary holster type deck of A,2,3 to maximize how many dudes can come back with CPs. There are currently 5 dudes who can pass this check assuming a 3 is pulled; 6 including Armadillo. I can see it maybe shocking some people in casual games, but would I build a deck on it? Probably not, although it would be funny to start the 5 dudes who can pass it and try a full on rush with it.
NuFenix: With this could we see people running Kung Fu decks with no deeds or no deeds with control points on them? Use this along with Allie Hensman and the only way you can lose control points is from your dudes leaving play.
Every other card cracks double digits with an average ≥ 2.75