if only I had the foresight to take better notes during a tournament, but I am usually too busy playing games and saying or doing something goofy. After the fact I struggle to put together the details, so I will start with a blanket apology on anything I get wrong. Message me or post the truth and I will happily correct my lies.
Leading up to GenCon I had an abundance of deck ideas and completed decks, but in the interests of limited luggage space I chose to only bring one deck for each faction:
Fourth Ring Sanatorium Forced Quarantine (for the Servitor event)
Eagle Wardens "Via Con Tortuga" (Turtle Guard with Taking Ya With Me)
Sloane Protection Racket "Gorman Surprise"
Law Dogs Abram's Crusaders (Deck I won with at Kublacon, with three cards changed)
Morgan Regulators Shooter (nothing particularly inventive)
and .... drumroll
108 Righteous Bandits Slide Shooter Mark 2
my 2016 deck was a 3 value deedslide shooter with designs on dealing with deedslide (only faced that once, but was successful).
This version dropped the jobs and much of the cheating punishment to tighten up on two values and try to push harder on deeds.
Round One - Nicholas Berry, Morgan Regulators
Right off the bat I was worried, as Nicholas built two Yagn's Mechanical Skeletons on the first turn, setting up a solid 4 stud, 3 influence Chuan "Jen" Qi. I had to forego any attempts to control town square at that point. First turn I also ditched an opening Pistol Whip, because of the Yagn's. Not certain if everything came together on turn two or three, but Daomei Wang got into a fight in town square, threw down Five 5's, and then got buried under an Outgunned and some cheating reaction. I booted a Benjamin across town to visit the booted Wagner at his own ranch, dropped Eve Henry, used the home to join Benjamin, and made a right proper memorial ranch with a legal 4 of a kind. With all of his dudes not named Irving Patterson booted in town square I sent Xiodan Li to town to kill some stuff, booted Eve Henry to join the murder blender, pulled another five 5's, and advanced to the next round. Win
Round Two - Eric Boivin, Law Dogs
I don't recall this match nearly as clearly. If I remember right he started Wendy and added a Roan to her early on, which made me keep her always on my radar. He sent out Philip Swinford to limit my production at Blake Ranch. I sent a dude out there and then used the home to get an unbooted dude in place for the callout. Then, with a good cash flow, I was able to get out more deeds than his dudes could cover. Win
Round Three - Greg Melnyk, Law Dogs.
Greg had asked to borrow my Law Dog deck, but in the end he chose to borrow from Zac Seldon, and this beast was a "start the judge" deck. with a pistol whip and cheating card in my opening hand, I defended Longwei Fu. But he had more tricks than I could handle (and my starting hand provided no help for a comeback) - game over action 1. Loss
Round Four - Jevon Heath, Justice in Exile
Admittedly, I had talked some with Jevon earlier and understood the essential nature of how his deck worked. He hit his starting Jail with two Establishing Who's in Charge on the first turn, but he saw no production. By refusing to go into his kill zone (and luckily not cheating on lowball) I was able to limit the danger of Thunder Boy. I controlled town square with disposables and ultimately got enough deeds going that he could not keep up.
Round Five - David Boucher, Eagle Wardens.
I was worried right off the bat, since he was starting Enapay and Mariel Lewis, and I did not want to deal with being pushed out of the fight. either he was not running kidnapping, or didn't find them, and so I was not immediately in trouble. He did get out the obligatory Turtle Guard, and I had to factor that in. Both of us got early deeds and good production going. Clutch end of game play was to walk in to town square looking for trouble, and let him call me out, when he did not boot Mariel Lewis into the fight (from being out positioned with the home earlier) I was able to fight without being knocked home. I got a solid shootout hand, winning by five ranks, and sending all of his town square home. I had the money for Nicodemus Whateley and he had no way to counter. Win.
Round Six - Chase Causey, 108 Righteous Bandits.
Chase has been a friend for years, and not only did I help him with the original idea for this deck, but he also borrowed some of the cards right before the event. He was able to draw multiple Amazing Grace early on, and I was unable to hold the deeds. we both pressed early for control of his Carter's Bounties. I lost some dudes in one shootout and then lost the ability to control my deeds against the power of prayer. Loss
Somehow this pile of deck got to 4-2 and made it into the cut as the #7 seed.
David Hammond, Justice in Exile
I was about as lucky as I could be in this match up. opening hand was four actions and a Deed (Cliff's #4??) (mind you, there are only 8 actions in my entire deck!!) Between Andrew Burton and my cheating lowball, Longwei had 2 bounty, and was subjected to a first action Ol' Fashioned Hanging. I defended with my non-wanted dudes to avoid triggering Thunder Boy. Pistol Whipped Tommy Home and Willa Mae. Won by ranks and Hattie left play, and Thunder Boy ran home. Turn 2 he came at me again in my house with a Bounty Hunter, and this time I had my third pistol Whip for Thunderboy, won the shootout and sent the remainders home packing again. Third Turn a very wanted (Framed) Clementine Lepp read David's mind and booted from his Pat's Perch to a Saloon for protection. I believe there was another fight that turn, but I was able to keep Thunder Boy from becoming a stud (or I had cycled into another pistol Whip). I also think I knocked off one of his influence with a Taking ya with me.
Stephen Holder, Morgan Regulators
from the outset I was expecting a rough fight. Stephen was top of swiss for a reason. He grabbed an economic edge and then I was staring at a Nathan Shane with a Roan and a Gambler's Gun. I held off playing deeds from my hand and sent in Benji and Xiodan to see if they could get lucky, I had three actions in hand. This is where I get super lucky. Nathan Shane looks at two cards in my hand, and he hits both my deeds. We tie hand ranks, but I cheat, and he hits me with Inner Struggle and the random discard is my coachwhip. the departing dude takes someone with him, unfortunately it is just Pedro. I am okay to push it another round. Stephen opts for the cheatin' four of a kind over the full house, I hit him with Bottom Dealing and the Gambler's gun takes Nathan Shane off the board and the hand ranks reduce Stephen down to just Irving Patterson, who cannot cover the four control points on the board. Win.
How the heck did I get into the Finals?
Finals - Devon Green, Desolation Row
With some truly inspired (and by that I mean foolish) play on my part, Devon crushed me last year. So would this be my redemption and would it be "fool me twice, shame on me"?
Luckily there is video for these games and I can check it.
Game one I quickly became concerned that Fred Aims was going to be a problem. My deck did not any targeted removal, and I would have no way to push over the influence he would be able to build up. I also screwed up on the first turn. the deed in my opening hand was Pettigrew's Pawnshop - if I had played it turn one and held on for turn two, I would have been able to play JW and equip him with his upgrades for free, essentially costing myself 3 ghost rock (2 goods and the turn two Pettigrew production). I also have to totally own that I screwed up and forgot that Fred was a stud on turn two when he came after me in my home, I pistol whipped Ramiro to limit his stud (and to stick him with the upkeep), but forgot that Bad Company made him a stud. Totally got lucky with the This'll hurt that didn't really hurt, then the legal Four of a Kind that lead to the 8 ghostrock windfall. In the third turn, when I was able to force Devon into a tough decision with the takin' ya with me, either Ramiro, Allie, or ulitmately Aces Radcliffe, then have Xiodan Li still willing to push the fight (and hit a five of a kind to scare Ramiro out of town square). With two influence on Lawrence, Devon could not afford to lose him, and so I was able to pressure him. 18 deeds in the deck, and I could only find two through the first three turns? Pulling the pistol whip to stymie Ramiro's attempted ambush was a great way to not only keep Randall alive, but to waste the cost of the Ambush. and in the final shootout, I was graced that Devon did not Faster on the Draw (he said he had it in hand), as that would have prevented me playing Takin' ya With Me (although I would have found a way to have SOME dude lock him in a fight and play it).
same set up and no change of plans, just draw cards and see what comes of them. Yan Li on the first turn made me think my income would flow, but then Mario Crane showed up and I knew that I would have a hard time cracking his harrowed armor if he kept pulling legal flushes. But, with the purchase of Mario, Ramiro was sidelined without any cash to pay for his bullets. The legal four Queens dispatched Lawrence, leaving Devon with only two influence (Ramiro and Mario, neither of which were in positions to fight for deeds). My winning Lowball Turn two meant that Devon had zero rock to start the turn (Mario, Ramiro, and borrowed lowball), so I could pass with confidence I would eventually get deeds that I would need (and I was holding a Takin' ya with me and a Coachwhip). Devon Sent Mr Radcliffe to rustle up some operating capital, but Benjamin and Xiodan Li got in his way. I only hit a single pair, but the coachwhip removed Aces, and the job failed (score more bounty and no rock for Devon) (and it did look odd to have Devon discard the joker in the shootout, but the hand was cheating either way). Devon then pushed up his control points with Allie, and I sent a newly hired Hiram to remove her as a threat. Upon entering town square, Hiram suffered Mario attempting a kidnapping, but the quick witted barber produced a cheating five of a kind (I tossed my Joker as well, in a sign of symmetry) which wiped out the harrowed and the horse wrangler, winning with 3 control over Ramiro's 1 influence.
In the aftermath, I could see things that I could do better with the deck, a few more disposable fighters would be handy, as I was pretty cavalier with the lives of Benjamin Washington and Xiodan Li (aka Xbox or X in the Box). But as is always the Doomtown problem, what would come out?
I great couple of days meeting new people, playing good games, and I will be honest, it does feel good to win. I have to give all credit to the deck though, it gifted me the right cards in a lot of instances that I shouldn't have had an answer for. And major props to Longwei Fu, without whose guidance my deck would have fallen flat on its face.
Thank you to Davids Lapp and Orange for stepping up after last year and grabbing the reins of Reloaded (and thank you to the rest of the Reloaded team, but it just felt smooth to use the plural Davids). Looking forward to working with you on the Reloaded Return of Carter Richardson, Bounty Hunter about town.
Decklist on DTDB
and a big thank you to Laura Scott, the Bonnie to my Clyde, for her tireless efforts to move my GenCon 2017 from "Unreliable" to "Actually Happening"