Originally published at: http://gomorragazette.com/2016/05/04/the-actions-of-ghost-town-a-gomorra-gazette-roundtable-review-plus-a-joker/
Requiem for a Good Boy
Nu_Fenix. Further reinforcing this pack's love of sidekicks, I first wanted to combine this with An Accidental Reunion. Aggressively cheat, then either they don't and lose to a large rank difference, or they do and take casualties from An Accidental Reunion and maybe the rank difference on top. Meanwhile, you use your sidekick(s) to take the casualties from An Accidental Reunion. Then send the dude they intend to soak the casualties home instead, making it more likely someone important dies. The only on-value sidekicks are Bluetick and Crafty Hare, meaning Lawdogs and Eagle Wardens would be best for trying this combo.
Doomdog. 2/5. Some interesting sidekick support that could help you get that little bit more out of your Blueticks and Crafty Hares. Useful for an Eagle Wardens sidekick deck or for Law Dogs running Bluetick, the main problem for me is that it competes with Bottom Dealin'.
Chefonk. 3/5. On value with Bluetick, one of the better sidekicks, and the not-so-great Crafty Hare. So there already is built in synergy when playing 2s. The effect itself is kind of conditional. On the other hand, you probably aggressively seek out shootouts when playing the sidekick theme so you might use this card more often than you think. When it triggers, it does a lot for you. Covering one additional casualty, unbooting your dude, and sending the opposing dude home booted are things that come in handy and might turn the tide in a crucial shootout. With this card being so conditional, I doubt that you should run more than 2 copies. Nice addition, but by no means necessary.
Jhandy27. 3/5. I equate this card somewhat with Turtle's Guard as another way of casualty reduction without losing board presence. I would love to see a deck mixing Accidental Reunion and this with sidekicks etc. for a "No I am not going to die!" deck, but could see it being a slow starter.
Fool Me Once...
Nu_Fenix. I dislike Cheatin' Resolutions that have no impact on the board. Acing or booting a dude with Coachwhip, preventing casualties with Consecration or Fetch, or moving dudes with Flight of the Lepus, has an impact. Giving me more cards won't help me if I lose a shootout, whilst lowball is too erratic to guarantee triggering it each turn. I won't be fooled by this card...
Doomdog. 4/5. The Cheatin' Resolution that keeps on giving. This one seems like it's best played during Lowball, and the earlier you get it attached the better, especially if your opponent's deck is a cheating-prone stacked shooter. As I've already mentioned, getting more cards is rarely a bad thing. Running several of these seems a bit like overkill though.
Chefonk. 3/5. While this does not have an immediate impact on the game, the cards you draw might. I know it’s a reach, but you could draw the Hex Slingin' or Outgunned you need right now. Three more cards in hand will almost certainly make a difference, if not in this then maybe in the next shootout. It just keeps on giving you more cards with each subsequent Cheatin’ hand, so you can receive a pretty huge card advantage if you manage to play it early in the game.
Jhandy27. 2/5. I'm not a big fan of this for a few reasons. I don't really like "passive" cheating resolutions where they don't have some direct effect on your opponent as it doesn't discourage them from cheating. My train of thought goes "Aha! you cheated! I'll draw a/3 card(s)..." They respond with, "OK, but you still owe 5 casualties". It also clashes with Sun In Yer Eyes and Stakes Just Rose, both of which are far too useful to turn down in most scenarios.
Nu_Fenix. Similar to Epidemic Laboratory, marking your home can be great at the start of the game. The further you get into the game, however, the riskier it gets. Like I said about Francisco Rosales, how many dudes you send into the job makes all the difference. I like that it only discards from your opponent using a Cheatin' Resolution against you, and not simply from your illegal hand. If they haven't got one to use, or wish to save it for later, you keep this card. Unfortunately, it's hard to justify using this card when Pistol Whip and Hiding in Shadows exist.
Doomdog. 1/5. If you can get this in place early on it'll provide a nice boost to your economy. Stacked shooters won't find it sticking around too long as they often cheat in lowball. For slide it's a dead card unless they get it in their opening hand, so it isn't really worth the deck slot for them.
Chefonk. 3/5. Paying 1 GR for an additional income of 2 seems like a pretty good deal. You have to run the job first which means losing tempo by booting at least on of your dudes for this. On the other hand, you probably won't face too much opposition while playing this. The major drawback is that this has to be discarded as soon as a cheating resolution is played against you. It is possible that you will gain nothing from this if you cheat during the next lowball. Most cheating punishment aims for winning shootouts, so you probably can manage to keep the income boost around for quite some time. I like non-traditional ways of developing an economy. I can see including one or two copies as an off-value, but it is nothing you should rely on.
Jhandy27. 4/5. I can see this being very strong for decks that run on 5s such as Sloane, since early production is always a good thing. Allowing your opponent to use a cheating resolution to get rid of it is a nice drawback to balance the card. This will definitely still see play, since buying more dudes means that you can have more fights. Has to fight Pistol whip, but I can see it winning sometimes.
Nu_Fenix. This provides an interesting answer to the problem of discarding your techniques when you haven't got one to start a combo in a shootout. Additional reduction seems great, but without seeing it in action I wonder how much of a difference it will actually make.
Doomdog. 3/5. I've still not put much effort into the Zhu Bajie Tao as I much prefer Jade Rabbit if I'm going for Kung Fu. This looks like a nice support card for it, increasing the chances of obtaining a technique to start a combo. It also boosts the effectiveness of the Shotgun or Legendary Holster combos. Its value will be a problem for some of the low/mid value Kung Fu dudes, but with Carlton "Min" Rutherford joining the dudes at 7, Bai Yang Chen at 9, and He Fang at 10 you've got a few options for starters who don't have to worry about it.
Chefonk. 3/5. It replaces itself with a kung fu action from the Zhu Bajie Tao from your discard pile in addition to even more reduction. The Zhu Bajie is most efficient when trying to ace dudes with shotguns, so this really helps targeting some of those higher value dudes. Unfortunately, this is not the issue the Zhu Bajie Tao has to deal with. It depends on too many factors to reliably work. Sure, this helps in negating some of them, but overall this is just a nice little boost. The card itself is nice, but the tactic that it supports is not the easiest to set up. Sadly, it competes with Faster on the Draw, doing the same if not more without the hassle of having to play the right kung fu cards first.
Jhandy27. 3/5. So this is meant to replace Hot Lead Flyin' in my kung fu deck? Maybe. I can see it being useful in a shotgun Zhu Bajie deck to try bring down those pesky 6 value plus dudes that can be out of reach of your shotguns. I can see this being used, but not sure about replacing HLF as that card can be too strong to pass up sometimes.
Nu_Fenix. Yay for more recursion, but boo for another job. If the job succeeds, reducing the cost and difficulty by 5 is immense. At least with this job, you decide where in town you want the job to happen. Your home is a likely location, as opposed to most other jobs that occur in the town square. I do like the idea of marking Maza Gang Hideout, so that anyone in the town square can't get involved without a card effect.
Doomdog. 4/5. This carries some risk. It really helps out Law Dog gadget decks that sometimes have trouble inventin' with low-skilled dudes that nevertheless tend to do well in shootouts. Morgan can make good use of it to get some control points once they've got a weapon or two to back up the job. I could even see an Oddities gadget decks using this to make Clown Carriages!
Chefonk. 4/5. Gadgets finally receive needed boosts such as this card to make them competitive. The lowered difficulty is nice, but nothing you should rely on. The decreased cost and being able to play any gadget from your discard pile are huge though. Play this early on while marking your home and this job probably will not be contested. If you draw it mid to late game and you feel like you can take the fight to town square you can cash in a control point. A bit low value for some mad scientist checks, but this Marty and/or a few mad scientist 2 compensate for this. Although you probably are not able to play gadgets with difficulty 9 like Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton or Personal Ornithopter when choosing 6s as your main value, this card is good enough to be included off-value in existing gadget decks even if this means risking some skill checks. Just like Disgenuine Currency Press, which sees a lot of play, you will most certainly find room to host that Technological Exhibition. Really, this is a nicely designed card that I am looking forward to using.
Jhandy27. 4/5. This is another reason why gadgets will become a competitive archetype. It has recursion. I personally wouldn't rely on the difficulty reduction, but I can see using it to allow an MS0 to invent something you would otherwise have to use your MS1 or 2 for. I would rarely mark the town square with this card as by mid to late game it can lead to over extension or losing valuable dudes. Definitely going to be played though, since access to your discard pile is always strong in every game.
A Piece of the Action
Nu_Fenix. Saving some ghost rock while getting a non-Gadget goods out of the discard pile for the same saving is great. I always worry that I'll either have this or the dude and not both at the same time. All the while trying to decide if I hold the dude back knowing I could get them cheaper with a good, or play them now and not clog my hand. Unfortunately, unless I'm playing a very passive deck, the targeted call out from Kidnapping is hard to pass up.
Doomdog. 4/5. This card helps those high-cost dudes you never play get some table time, while possibly getting them a free goods as well. Morgan and Law Dogs will get lots of use out of this, while the Fourth Ring can use it as another way to get their expensive abomination dudes into play.
Chefonk. 3/5. Cost reduction is always welcome and there are quite a few dudes that really benefit from this, as they are too expensive to play early on otherwise. Many earlier Law Dogs dudes like Clyde Owens, Wylie Jenks, and Gang Yi come to mind. The reduction alone would not be that great, so you also get to attach a goods from your discard pile to your newest crew member. Law Dogs might run this, although with Kidnappin' and maybe Pinned Down! it has some serious competition at the 7 of Clubs slot.
Jhandy27. 4/5. Well this is interesting. So I take an expensive dude and play them for 4 (most cases) while getting a goods out of my bin for free. That's amazing! Encourages playing more of a bigger dudes with bigger guns style of play. The amount of characters/goods you can combo this card with are almost infinite. e.g., use this to play a Wendy reducing by 2, then go get her teeth kickers out of the bin etc.
Nu_Fenix. I dislike this card. For the first ability, I have to pay GR based on your influence, only for you to decide which effect happens. My opponent making the choice of ability, always weakens a card for me. Unless you have bounty based effects such as Bounty Hunter, I would expect most opponents to give the dude a bounty for a potential GR, then booting the dude and giving you one of their GR. For the second ability, it would only happen where you want a dude to have lots of bounty you expect to earn, and then I wonder if you could have done anything else instead.
Doomdog. 5/5. This card really helps out all of the Law Dogs homes, but is particularly good for The Arsenal as a way of setting up bounties. With the original home you can place bounties without booting or increase the bounty on a dude you're about to send a Bounty Hunter after to get a greater reward if you win.
Chefonk. 4/5. Not really keen on abilities that lets the opponent choose its outcome, especially if you have to pay GR in the first place. But if you manage to play this on a good Bounty Hunter target (even if you don't have one in hand) you might trick your opponent into booting their dude which than can be called-out regularly. The first ability has probably too many uses to describe here but I feel like there will be something to get out of it most of the time. Jake Smiley also is a nice target as you don't have to pay and you end up gaining 1 GR or 1 Bounty on Jake, which is nice either way. The second ability fuels your income if you can for certain get to get rid of a wanted dude. The thing I like the most about this card is that you can almost always play it immediately, avoiding clogged hands. With this, 9s are looking more and more attractive to classic Law Dogs decks. Combined with the new Constance Daugherty, Law Dogs got a pretty big boost from this Pine Box.
Jhandy27. 2/5. I'm not sure how to feel about this card. I think this card only works if your opponent thinks you’re going to do something with the bounty. Else they will just let it stack up. Making someone more wanted is the same argument. Do something with it or don't run the card. Would be nice to see a more playable 9 of clubs as it’s struggling for one at the moment.
Plague of Grasshoppers
Nu_Fenix. The idea of free movement is great, but the value puts me off. I'm not sold on it, and don't feel that there is much to say.
Doomdog. 1/5. More 108 movement shenanigans. I suppose you'd put a couple of these in as off-values. But as it's a high value and doesn't fit into the typical Kung Fu straight flush values, I don't see it seeing much play. You could use it to move dudes like Xui Yin Chen or Yunxu Jiang in to support a shootout, mob a vulnerable dude with your Fu dudes, or move a Fu dude or two away from trouble.
Chefonk. 2/5. Always happy to see more kung fu support and more movement options for the Bandits, but this fails to impress because of two reasons. First off, the 9 value means it will miss most kung fu checks as only a few dudes can successfully pull a 9 for their check. Kung fu skill checks are even more vulnerable to fail as the Taos rely on consecutive successes in order to get the most out of it, so a card that threatens to break the Tao combo has to really be worth it. Unfortunately, this leads to the second reason. Movement is good and moving one or more of your dudes is even better, but I don't see why it was necessary to require unbooted dudes. Allowing this to move booted dudes would be really strong but mitigated by the fact that each of them would have to pass their kung fu check (not to mention having the trait in the first place) along with the high value of the card itself. So just being able to move unbooted dudes does not provide the impact that is required to include this card.
Jhandy27. 1/5. Running a high value in kung fu means the card must be good enough to warrant the risk right? No. This isn't the sort of movement that's going to be very useful and it’s limited to a certain skill type. Don't run this.
Nu_Fenix. Wow, that is a lot of text to take in. To make the most of this, I would look at one aspect of this and focus on it. Want to stop them using spells and goods, use Meet the New Boss. Want to boot dudes, think about high influence dudes and Fancy New Hat. Want to call out dudes at their home (as you would otherwise call them out), use Desolation Row or the core Law Dogs outfit.
Doomdog. 4/5. Could be a useful card for a Desolation Row deck to close a game by going after dudes turtling at home and combining the call out with the added 'Unprepared' ability. Nicodemus and Chief Seven-Eagles could also make good use of this card as a defensive measure, so it could fit into a Spirit Fortress deck or anything making use of those two dudes. You could use Meet the New Boss to make this card effective for a whole bunch of your dudes.
Chefonk. 4/5. Each of the three effects are nice, but the fact that they can be combined all in one noon play is awesome. Having more control points requires a bit of setup as not many dudes can have control points on their own, but if you manage to have at least one booting all attached cards this can win shootouts or even games ala Unprepared. Influence and bounty are easier to obtain and the possibility to boot and than call-out dudes makes this card really useful. Everyone except little Jake Smiley left home to start trouble in the town? Pay him a visit and glance him into his early grave. All possible effects are quite situational but at least one of them will probably be helpful sooner or later. Being a K and 0 GR means that this can be included in almost every deck which can meet some of it's requirements.
Jhandy27. 4/5. Probably the sleeper card in this set in my opinion. I can see this winning a few games the turn it’s played by any of its effects. Boot every gadget a Morgan monster has before he calls your booted Allie. Booting a dude that you don't want to move anywhere else. Or calling someone out because you have a bounty cough Sloane cough. Also note that the effects will happen in order so if they have more Influence and bounty than you, they will boot you before calling you out. Definitely going to be seen in a variety of decks from aggro to control.
Heretic Joker (Red)
Nu_Fenix. After Devil's Joker came out, I expected an opposite that made a hand legal. I didn't expect it to have such a hefty price attached to it. Sure, it doesn't ace itself afterwards, but it reduces your rank by 3! 1 or 2 I could handle, but 3 feels extreme to me. How often do you cheat with a regular Joker? Sorry Heretic Joker, but there is no room for you in any of my decks.
Doomdog. 2/5. Landslide doesn't run jokers, and shooters want high hand ranks. Could be useful in tandem with a Devil's Joker but that's not something you can rely on. A deck that wants to win lowball and win shootouts through actions or resolutions, such as a Legendary Holster deck, could find a space for this, as could one that manipulates hand ranks. A deck using Fiddle Games to boost its income and uses the ghost rock to win through use of Force Fields? One to experiment with...
Chefonk. 2/5. Even if this was intended for shootout heavy decks to stay legal but at the cost of 3 (three!) hand ranks, don't use it that way. You are probably better off not using this Joker at all. Decks that want to win lowball but don't try to shoot are few, and even they should not run this. In Slide decks you are going to win lowball most of the time anyway, while not getting aced after use means that will almost certainly pop up sooner or later when refilling your hand at sundown instead of that crucial Pistol Whip. I just don't see much use for it. I tried it in my 108 Slide, but literally every time it came up - even during lowball - it did nothing and any other card in the deck would have been more useful. Too bad, as the idea of multiple versions of Jokers to choose from is great, but the next one definitely has to be better.
Jhandy27. 1/5. Guessed something was coming out like this to mirror Devils Joker but that mirror is distorted and wavy. This, in my opinion, isn't even comparable to the Devils Joker in terms of power simply due to the drop of 3 ranks which is possibly unnecessary compared to a normal joker. If I get a hand consisting of 3 different suit,s but same values and a heretic joker, I would wish I had run a normal joker. There are very few scenarios when a normal joker isn't enough to make your hand legal so I feel that the 3 rank loss is too much. At least with a Devils Joker, it will always improve upon what a normal joker would've given you with the added risk of being cheating. I'm never going to use this joker.
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Goods n Spells