Originally published at: http://gomorragazette.com/2016/05/26/the-curtain-rises-a-gomorra-gazette-review/
by David Orange
The Curtain Rises includes seven dudes; one for each faction, plus a drifter. Each dude works best with one of their outfits’ homes or subthemes. Hence their ratings reflect the synergy or what they bring to that particular archetype.
Caitlin McCue (108)
She doesn’t hire cheap, but influence without upkeep is always welcome. I find the bounty reduction a bit ‘meh’, as only one faction capitalizes on aggressively cashing in bounties. The 108 have plenty of bullet fodder and cheap meat shields, so I don’t see bounty accumulation or having wanted dudes hunted down and aced/discarded as a concern. Bandit-slide doesn’t care about deed types, and overall, Caitlin has to juggle pieces to make her second ability work. Of the seven government deeds, five have low enough values to play in a Kung Fu of which Hustings and Town Hall are also public. So now you’ve got her parked at a government deed, she can buff the production of any of the fifteen public deeds. Any of these are fine for Slide builds, while about half of them work well enough to support Fu builds. She really appears out of place in 108, and I don’t see her as starting support for Fu builds. 2 in Bandit-Slide/1 in other 108 builds.
Bethany Shiile (EW)
For a seamstress, Bethany packs a lot of versatility. Note that the buffs accrue in addition to any conditional modifiers bestowed by any particular attire, making Bethany well-suited to support Fortress builds or possibly shooter decks. In a spell deck, the attires compete with or displace spirits/totems. 4/5
Tyxarglenak (experienced) (4R)
The little demon grows up fast. He certainly packs a wallop that combos well with Point Blank and other shootout shenanigans, but costs some serious rock to play and maintain. Recursion (via Soul Cage and Ivor xp) may be Tyx’s best role, but I’m not otherwise getting over that initial costs hurdle. Put a rose on him and he can certainly defend/bully deeds like no one’s business. Definitely worth a one of in most Oddities builds. 3/5
Dr. Dayl Burnett (LD)
Removing a bounty appears counter-intuitive, but certainly keeps those who want to accrue bounties (cough, Sloane, cough cough, Fred and Miranda, etc.) in check. Avoiding the booting cost of inventing is huge, and the difficulty reduction brings some high value toys within reach of otherwise low-pulling decks. Flamethrowers, Neutralizers, and Yagn’s certainly augment the good Doctor’s already formidable bullets. I see him supporting Arsenal builds. 3.5/5
Maggie Harris (MCC)
Well, Horse Wranglin’ just got rendered obsolete. Wait, nobody ever played HW in the first place? Morgan Stables can certainly dig a gal who can find a hoss anywhere she goes. And she doubles down on the Stable’s home trait? Pretty much an auto-starter in Horsey/Stable decks. 5/5
Emilia Vivirias (TSG)
Sloane Hucksters have always had a penchant for those super-risky, super-dangerous low value hexes. Emilia’s Huckster buffs makes those Soul Blasts, Ace in the Holes, and Corporeal Twists become even more lethal. I still see Sloane Magiks working best out of the original outfit. If you employ Miss Vivirias’ talents, I believe you pretty much have to start her and build around her. That said, I think she’ll prove a formidable adversary to Sloane’s many enemies in Gomorra. 3.5/5
“Professor” Duncan (drifter)
This saddlebag’s drifter du jour is a… Shaman? I don’t see non-Eagle Warden factions all of a sudden riding that Spirit train. The nutty Professor is expensive for the two influence that he otherwise provides. Warden decks can do better in-faction. Meh. 1/5
by Joe Oberbeck
The Highbinder Hotel
This deed has a nice get out of jail ability, so what’s not to like. The Hotel has moderate cost, but a solid production. The Ace value supports a DMH structure, while the ability lets you do your shenanigans. If things go south, you can just escape home.
2nd Bank of Gomorra
This deed has the useful, but risky ability to stack ghost rock and then distribute it into your stash. To use either of the abilities, you have to boot the deed which is restrictive but needed. This also means that it takes at least one turn before you reap the dividends. If you plan on stacking more than 2 GR, you better have some spare lead to defend it in you're your opponent(s) try claim jumping it.
High Stakes Haven
Doomtown: Reloaded has plenty of deeds with dual keywords, but most of them have been along the lines of Casino and Saloon. Casino plus Strike is a new one, and this deed not only has an ability, but a control point as well. The ability wards off Cheatin’ opponents (cough, Sloane, cough). The caveat is if you have this in play, you may not want to cheat either.
Goods n Actions
This gadget has generated some buzz since the earlier preview. Is this the card to kick-start Law Dog Mad Science? It's easy to invent, so you can run threes for strong Shootout actions. When calling out dudes, it ensures that you get the chance to use those actions first. Combined with The Arsenal, you get two opportunities to call out a wanted dude, so yellow-bellies hiding at home are no longer safe while there's a price on their head. The low value could cause problems if you're running other gadgets in the deck. New dude Dr. Dayl Burnett helps out there, and if it's weapons you're after Zoe Halbrook with a few Deputy friends still has a decent chance of success. Everything you need to use it comes in the box, so to speak, so it's useful for any gadget deck looking for a way to start fights. 3/5
Fans of horse-themed decks have been crying out for an 8-value horse since the base set, since Jon Longstride and Lane Healey work best with a ride. While this isn't quite the answer, it does provide some nice support for horse decks. Influence and a movement ability are both great things to have, and can decide the outcome of games. Morgan Stables benefits from another ability that triggers the home's React. Any horse, including the oft-neglected Roan can now card cycle via the Stables’ home ability. Heck, you can even spur your Clown Carriage or Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton into action. Eagle Wardens are the other faction with some horse tech. The value means that Spirit decks can generally make pulls, plus no-one takes advantage of extra influence like the Wardens. It's also an attire, fitting (see what I did there?) another Wardens sub-theme. The only downside is that sans horses, it doesn't really do anything. 4/5
Rites of the Smoking Mirror
I felt that this got a negative reception when it was previewed. Right now, the most popular Mystical goods are Legendary Holster and Soul Cage, which unfortunately compete for space with this card. Both its abilities are useful, but the deck I'd play it in isn't immediately obvious. The Fourth Ring has the most strength at Queens. They also have a Mystical goods sub-theme, but besides the Holster and the Cage, it also competes with Blood Curse, one of the best cards in the game. It can still see play as a 1-of alongside Holsters and Soul Cages.
Looking at the current list of available Mystical goods, I notice quite a few Melee Weapons. Soothe doesn't see play due to general lack of effectiveness, perhaps this has a place in a Crusaders deck. Law Dogs often lack cash, so getting Stoker's Sabre or Evanor out for nothing really helps them. Unbooting a dude wielding a Jael's Guile or Tlaloc's Furies, allowing them to go out and fight again certainly sounds cool. I like this card, and the art is awesome, but it's definitely one that'll need some testing to discover where it shines. 2/5
Essence of Armitage
How do you make your big scary monster bigger and scarier? Give ‘em this. Beware, however, since any non-Abominations on your side also lose a bullet. This seems like a good fit for an Oddities deck. Many Abominations lack influence and thus can’t contest deeds, so alternative ways of getting Control points really help them out. It synergizes with several on-value actions, namely Election Day Slaughter, Nightmare at Noon, and Point Blank. Although if you're hoping to gain a control point from it, the action combos might work too well, leaving no opponents left to flee home. Still, if your opponent's dudes all get aced, that's generally a good thing. With Ivor Hawley and the new Tyx on value, you've got some good recipients for this goods right there.
Like most of the hearts in this pack, this one's quite specialized. Outside of an Abominations deck that's looking for a fight, it's not very helpful. 3/5
A new Hex to compete with Soul Blast, and it's got the Melee keyword too. Unfortunately it lacks the Weapon keyword, so that's a janky Abram's Crusaders deck idea out the window. Much like Soul Blast, you're going to want high values in your deck as this has the highest printed difficulty yet. If your huckster can get up close and personal with this, then it's got a wider range of targets it can outright ace than Soul Blast. On top of that, it gets you a discounted or freebie sidekick. Right now sidekicks have few options, even more so when you take the low value ones out of the equation. Scoop Hound is probably your best choice. Perhaps we'll see a sidekick that combos with this in the next couple of packs.
If you're willing to take the risk and include the low values, then Shotguns combo well with this, as do Corporeal Twist, Incubation, Stone Idol, and Experienced Micah Ryse. The Sanatorium is a less risky way of lowering an opponent's value. If your dude has a Control point, then Foreboding Glance can set this up, though Unprepared and Phantom Fingers are likely better cards for that. It loses points compared to Soul Blast as outside of risky combos it doesn't really affect higher value dudes, is harder to set up and doesn't have the odd utility of letting you escape from a shootout that Soul Blast does. While it fits thematically with The Fourth Ring, Sloane's new dude Emilia Vivirias and her potential Huckster skill of 5 could get good use out of this. 3/5
Silver Pheasant's Bounty
The Eagle Wardens are one of those factions that have plenty of two and three cost influential dudes with upkeep but few options without. Increasing deed production offsets the upkeep and lets the Wardens get more dudes into play early on. It's only useful if you can defend it, but defence is an area that the Wardens excel in. Mother Bear's Rage, Red Horse's Tail, and The Pack Awakens all help keep opposing dudes at bay.
Getting more ghost rock is always a good thing, and with the new drifter Shaman in this pack any faction can now take advantage of this economy booster. Could Spirit Slide become a thing? Spirit Fortress can attach a Pheasant to an out-of town economy deed to improve its production, or on the main Fortress deed itself. For the latter, your shamans can use the noon ability to speed the deck up and get the key pieces out faster. It competes with Spirit Dance and requires defending. However, the economic upsides, succeeding at its own pull, and being on a strong value for pretty much every faction make this a great card. 5/5
by Joe Oberbeck
Comin’ Up Roses
Straight flush decks will slot this in for its abilities. As a seven, it sits right in the mid range for SF club builds.
Run Rabbit Run
Ghost Town arrived, contained a similar card that searched for a specific tao. I can see this as a 1 or 2 of in Rabbit Fu builds.
Putting the Pieces Together
Folks who plan on shootouts to decide their games are the most likely candidates to play this card. Decks utilizing all the hand rank manipulators might become the next elephant in the room. This card, along with most hand rank modifers, are the current sleepers.
Someone Else’s Problem
First off, no matter how good this card is, it shares a value with Unprepared, No Funny Stuff, Buried Treasure, and few other current favorites. Heck, it even competes with the just mentioned “Putting the Pieces Together.” While it excludes a major threat from an important shootout, it’s on-value competition means that it seems to always just miss the cut.
Lost to the Plague
Welcome to my favourite Doomtown: Reloaded artwork to date. This is an auto- include in any 4th ring deck running the experienced Jia Mein and other cards that reduce value. It should hit most starting dudes that normally don't have upkeep, making economics important.