Do Dudes Deserve to be Influential?

In all honesty, Rico probably deserved it.

That said, I am curious about whether errata could be used additively (than just subtractively), and would like to share a list of dudes who, for no additional cost, “deserve to be influential” or rather be errata’d into having 1 Influence:

Andrew Burton
Butch Deuces
Ebenezer Springfield
Genesee “Gina” Tailfeathers
Howard Aswell

Errata aside, I used the database to research the difference in cost between Influence and Control Points. What I found is that, minus Rico, there are exactly 11 non-token dudes who have 1+ Influence and 0 Upkeep for less than 4 Cost - and none of which who have 2 Cost!

Conversely, the number of Deeds that have 1+ Control Points for less than 4 Cost clocks in at 34 - with two-thirds of those (21 exactly) having only 2 or less Cost!

So here are my questions: What is the design reason for printing three times as many Deeds as Dudes with similar Cost to Control/Influence ratios? And is this design trajectory going to continue?

Ebeneezer has it rough. Every other 4 cost dude without influence is a stud (or often effectively a stud), and a strong ability/trait connected to them. I don’t think his ability is all that strong, especially since it only affects dudes without bounty on them. I’m not counting Fred Aims because his trait. Junior is the only one higher than cost 4 who is zero influence and not a stud, and even though his tutoring ability is very strong, his cost makes him nearly unplayed.

Butch seems like it was meant to be a good option instead of Travis for EW, but his increase in cost, and showing your hand to your opponent is a major drawback.

Andrew feels fine in the right deck, being a 2 bullet deputy is great with Faster on the Draw, being blessed he can get the influence from Crusaders. He serves a vital roll in Judge decks. Taking away Rico’s influence was to take an influence away from blitz decks. They are not going to want to give an influence to judge blitz decks.

Gina could use a boost. her guile always seemed to me like she holds a bit of influence.

Howard is hilariously bad in every deck except one. No idea how to fix other than giving MCC a new grifter.

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I feel like we need more dudes at the baseline of 3 cost = 1 inf/ a cool ability/ a skilled dude. As it stands, almost all of these dudes are limited to MCC, Sloane, and the Circus.

Correction: You only show 1 card from your (new) hand if you’re planning to take it.

We had some cards to work better with Howard Aswell in SB13-15, but alas…Personally I still started Howard in deed-light Mad Scientist decks.


Ebenezer is the resident “just a filler” dude. Giving him a bonus would be really nice.

As for the others…
Butch and Burton always seemed like good faction grifters. Give a little card advantage, have decent keywords, and make sure you start off on the right foot (either looking at a potential lowball hand, or giving 1 bounty).
I love Gina. She is more expensive than Travis, but while he avoids garbage hands, she makes good play hands better.
Now Howard… This guy has gotten better as more improvements have been released. Maybe a new legend (Hellstromme) will make mad scientists better in a round-about way. If not, his problem isn’t influence (MCC has that covered) but rather that he requires a very specific deck, and Maggie/Wagner Memorial usually take up the “Build around me” spot in starting posses (at least for me).


Ebeneezer with 1 influence would have been playable and given blessed a cheap starting skilled dude with influence, although I’m opposed to cluttering the game with errata to boosts cards (would rather use sparing errata on overpowered cards/negative play experiences).

Butch - as he has a skill it makes sense that he costs +1 over Travis for a similar effect. I think some people get lost in all his text and get concerned about having to reveal their whole hand with him! This isn’t the case, as noted above.

Rico going down to zero influence has a knock-on effect: I’m generally opposed to having lots of 3GR 1inf drifters (Clementine is cool and thematic, but I don’t want to see everyone starting 4 influence from drifters) as it will eventually dilute down each faction’s flavour if they play lots of drifters (and if we screw up balancing on a 3GR 1 influence drifter they’ll often permanently replace in-faction options). As a dude with these characteristics has left the environment I’m more open to seeing another cheap drifter with influence.

Playtest is keeping an eye on cheap deeds that have CP and their influence on slide’s power. Design are conscious of this issue too. Wider card pool helps everyone start more influence now and Blood Moon Rising had a strong anti-slide home (Regulators). Will monitor tournament reports too to see how slide does.


Ok so based on the comments above, all sound, perhaps I went overboard with suggesting that all those lovely in-faction Grifters be gifted 1-Influence on top of their already useful (or in the future useful?) abilities and stats. Though I still think Ebenezer and Gina ought to become 1-Influence dudes…

I did some more “research” and discovered the 3:1 ratio holds for 2-Chip cards too.

For dudes, the cardbase clocks in at 4 dudes who have 2-Influence for 0 Upkeep (Arnold McCadish, Irving Patterson, Lydia Bear-Hands, and Randall).

For deeds, there are 12 deeds worth 2 Control Points (as deeds, except in Classic, never have Upkeep).

So I am curious. What do people think of 2-Influence 0-Upkeep dudes? Are they appropriate for the game? For certain factions only? Only in small numbers? Should there be more?


They are appropriate in very low quantities, and without strong abilities.

Irving is perfect. He is in the big influence faction, and has a moderate ability that puts him in harms way to use it.

Randal is terrible. He is in a faction that has swarms of low upkeep/high influence dudes, and has an AMAZING ability that doesn’t require him to be in harms way at all.

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I put Randal in harm’s way all the time (mostly as I need to move around my dudes to do Kung Fu).

I can see why he’s awful in a slide deck though.

I’d put Randal, personally, at the top end of what a 2 influence dude with 0 upkeep can do.

Awful meaning: overpowered? I think the issue with him is that he doesn’t need to be put in harms way to get the +1 hand size, and +1 hand size is a HUGE bonus.

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I did a little more research in two different areas. One on the number of dudes whose contribution to the board is solely numerical (no abilities, keywords, or traits) but includes Influence, the other on the number of Upkeep-less Influential Studs by Outfit.

There are five dudes in DTR whose card text is purely flavor:

Clint Ramsey (5/1 for 2s1)
Olivia Jenks (3/1 for 2d2)
Pancho Castillo (5/2 for 3s2)
Richard Faulkner (6/0 for 0d3)
Steven Wiles (1/6 for 3s3) - but who should arguably have the Transient keyword…

And here are the UIS’s by Outfit (from most to least):

4th Ring:
Micah Ryse (5 cost)
Micah Ryse exp1 (7 cost)
Richard Slavin (6 cost)
Valeria Batten (4 cost)

Sister Mary Gideon (6 cost)
Tommy Harden (5 cost)

108 Bandits:
Carleton “Min” Rutherford (6 cost)
Shi Long Peng (5 cost)

Eagle Wardens:
Francisco Rosales (5 cost)
Smiling Frog (6 cost)

Nicholas Kramer (5 cost)

Angela Paine (7 cost)


So here are my questions. Do you like dudes with only quote-text? Should there be more? Do you like Upkeep-less Influential Studs? Should there be more? What about new dudes who meet both qualifications?

Another way to address the viable starting posse challenge (roughly: 5 dudes, 4+ influence, 3+ cash, <2 upkeep, 1+ studs) that I noticed in the latter sets (starting with IOUF) was the introduction of 1-cost starting dudes. So I did a little more research.

Half of the fourteen 1-cost dudes in the card base I consider to be “starters” by virtue of having 0 upkeep:

Benjamin Washington
Christine Perfect
Darragh Meng
Henry Moran
Luke, the Errand Boy
Willa Mae MacGowan
Xiaodan Li

Notice the spread: two Drifters, two Righteous Bandits, one Fourth Ring, one Morgan, and one Sloane - noticeably leaving out both Law Dogs and Eagle Wardens.

What’s neat about these dudes is that because they only cost 1 ghost rock, in a starting posse they “make room” in the budget for more expensive dudes (with influence, stud, skills, abilities) as a way to put together a viable starting posse.

So the question: would you like to see more 1-cost 0-upkeep dudes? If so, just to fill out the “missing” outfits? Another Drifter dude?

As there are two 1GR drifters I have a slight preference for using dude slots in upcoming expansions on dudes that cost more than 1GR, as everyone can freely splash Willa Mae MacGowan if they want a bullet catcher.

This would let design give the factions more expensive dudes with abilities/traits that fit their particular flavour - the abilities/traits/stats on these dudes can be a bit stronger and interesting as they’re more expensive. That said, cheap dudes can often have a significant and deep impact despite simple rules (Henry Moran, both 108 1GR dudes etc. Luke is interesting and good for the game despite being cheap and simple).

Another drifter dude at 1GR/2GR might be interesting if there are starting options that design want to give all the factions. :slight_smile:

Given what we know of the last few Alderac sets and what I’ve seen of Tales from the Epitaph I have strong confidence in design’s capabilities.


I have confidence in the new team as well - even more than I had with the previous team - especially because of the “fans-turned-designers” narrative the shift seems to represent. And overall I feel the game is incredibly well-balanced - no small feat! - the turnout in Edinburgh (all outfits represented) testifying to that. But that’s not to say that there isn’t yet potential for even more growth. And so, I like to pair my praise with critique, with the short term goal of generating discussion towards the long term goal of realizing more of that potential.

Mostly, this “potential” strikes me whenever I set out to make a new deck - specifically, the search for a “viable starting posse” - defined approximately as “5/4/3/2/1” (5+ dudes, 4+ influence, 3+ starting rock, <2 upkeep, 1+ studs). I run into a few of the same walls every time - one of the most common is the reliance on Jake Smiley to bring a posse’s influence over the 3-point mark, another being budgeting enough starting cash (assuming a loss at lowball) to be able to play more than one card out of my play hand (because: card-cycling is key).

Your mention of 2-cost dudes actually prompted me to do some more research, and here are those numbers.

Half of the twenty-three 2-cost dudes have 0-upkeep. Of those, only three (*but see below) have “virtual influence” - Ambrose Douglas, Jake Smiley, and Shizeng Lu - a trait or ability that affects the board state win condition (sundown influence for the first two, and Lu’s unique “negative control points” trait). This makes them excellent options for inclusion in starting posses.

*(An argument could be made for Maggie Harris who can reliably fetch horses which activate influence traits (Buckin’ Billy Ballard, Chuan “Jen” Qi, J.W. Byrne) - or similarly for The Brute and Pagliaccio when run out of Oddities of Nature… and let’s not forget Allie Hensman and Travis Moone for “ramping control” and “opening options” respectively.)

Of those with upkeep, there are five that I consider to be starter-material - “Lucky” Sky Borne, Dulf Zug, Lucinda “Lucy” Clover, Marcia Ridge, and Rhonda Sageblossom - because they have at least 1 influence at 1-upkeep, plus either another point of influence, a cool ability/trait, and/or other stats/skills.

So my questions: Do you think the game could use more 2-cost (virtual) influential dudes?

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I think we need to be very careful when creating more 1 or 2 cost dudes. If “lose to win” was such a Negative Play Experience as to (effectively) ban cards, and reportedly the reason for lots of people leaving the game, then creating more 1 or 2 cost dudes will only bolster the potential of lose to win decks.

It also helps fuel another deck that some people are frustrated with, that uses 108 WD + Longwei Fu. Super cheap, disposable dudes that effectively have a +2 stud bullet that cannot be taken away.

To answer the question of the topic of this thread, I think more dudes deserve to be influential, yes :slight_smile: Especially if creating more 1 or 2 cost dudes is an alternate option.


Agreed - managing the bullets/values on cheap dudes is important to stop this getting out of hand. :slight_smile:

Concrete proposal here:

New 1-cost or 2-cost dudes created to curtail exploitation by L2W (Lose to Win) could be limited to in-faction, 0-bullet, low-value, but have either a cool ability and/or some drawback that plays into this design goal.

Example cool abilities:

Lawdog - something that manipulates existing bounty or interacts with Government or Deputy keywords (maybe something that counteracts all the Public traits on the 6-value deeds?)

Eagle Warden - something that facilitates interaction with secondary mechanics (Attire, Horses, Influence, Kung Fu, Sidekicks)

Example drawback:

Sloane - cannot be selected as a casualty unless the only dude in a posse

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