Arnold Stewart - a Bad Medicine preview

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by Alex Wirges

I was sitting in the Gazette offices when an old prospector ambled in. At first, I thought it was McDroste, but this dude was clean-shaven and didn’t smell half as bad. Still…

“Alex, spoiler time for Saddlebag 9. You have a deadline, so get to writing already,” said Orange in his best Jolly Jonah imitation.

I stared at the card and read an re-read the ability. And had an idea; a wild, crazy, way outside the box idea. Discarding five cards at a pop, made Arnold seem like an every-turn Shifu Speaks for a Kung Fu deck. I brewed up a deck list and slotted in a quartet of Arnolds into a 108 Worldly Desires deck. The only gadgets were auto-revolvers which added more power to the deck’s draw based shooters. In theory, it seemed really strong, in actuality, it was a clunky mess that failed techniques and blew up gadgets. “Perhaps, I’ve lost my touch.” I pondered and I tweaked it some more. Something still didn’t click. Perhaps, it was just luck, perhaps it was just me, but it wasn’t working. I’d get obliterated for dawdling too long, and the synergy I was attempting to force just wasn’t working. The article I’d planned to write was a dud. So I stepped back and thought about Arnold a bit.

I found that this card warranted more than a strategic discussion. This card’s design seems to foreshadow a shift in Design focus for the DTR team, and I have yet to decide whether it is a good or a bad thing. I am convinced, however, is that it’s an extremely interesting shift. When Doomtown: Reloaded hit store shelves, out of town deeds were few and far between. And they stayed that way. As the game moved through this arc, and now as we approach the end of it, there is no scarcity of out of town deeds. Beyond that, there are now out of town deeds with control points. The conflict appears to extend past Gomorra’s city limits and into the surrounding hills. Why is this important?

Arnold represents a significant shift in design philosophy. Dudes and Deeds has always been a strong archetype, played well out of MCC. Out of town control points have always been powerful in the archetype, and we’ve seen the deck use gadgets as well. Arnold is the card that marries the two together in an elegant manner. Reloaded has bits and pieces of it’s predecessor’s personality and most of the DNA. To me, Arnold feels like a relic unearthed and brought forward in time. If Reloaded featured as many strikes as classic, most folks would declare this card as broken.

Jury remains still out on how good Arnold really is, or even whether he is actually any good at all. I do suggest, however, that this is a Very Important Card. I believe the card heralds in a new era for Doomtown: Reloaded. Out of town deeds are becoming more important – and cards like Arnold are going to place a larger focus on them. This effect is going to ripple throughout the meta game. Movement tricks and feints will become even more important than they already are, while shootouts will become more sporadic and spread out.

Arnold may be lookin’ to strike it rich in the Maze, but he’s going to bring a lot of trouble with him. And no doubt he will find himself staring down the barrel of a gun or two, hopefully before he ever finds his Mother Lode.




As things currently are, being able to search for your out of town production deeds to get your economy moving is useful. Add in the extra benefit of Lula’s Exploit for gadget decks and Morgan Mining Company synergy and this fits nicely with what we’ve currently got. Having the ability on a dude who’s decent without it just makes it all the sweeter.

If there is a move towards out-of-town locations, then targeted removal actions and movement effects will become even more important than they currently are. It’ll be interesting to see how things progress moving forward.


Thanks for the preview write-up!

I think the designers have been (rightly) cautious on printing out of town deeds with controls points. At the moment, the R&D Ranch is the only one. At a roughly equivalent point in the original game (by number of cards released) there were 9 out of town deeds worth a total of 14 control points!

As an early design diary mentioned, making the in-town deeds efficient at GR production and worth control points helps encourage interaction and movement, two of the best parts of Doomtown.


seems like pure speculation, but we have seen quite a few cards that can deal with out of town deeds. Arsenal, 108 bandits and stables have built in tools to chase down out of town dudes, law dogs have bounty hunters, wardens have Spirit trail, hucksters have shadow walk, and there have always been kidnapping/ambush. I think we are ready for out of town to increase, if aeg is carefull about it.

As for what I think of this dude himself, I can’t wait to put him in my techno slide deck. Fairly cheap 1 influence and 0 upkeep, can invent currency press, then grab a oot deed, than play it cheap with William Specks. Yes, thank you.