For use with Solo mode in Weird West Edition and will be linked to the WWE resource page
Guide to Automaton Decks:
The Automaton is intended to create a solo play experience that feels close to a regular game of Doomtown, played facing a human opponent. An important part of the game is the wide range of possible decks. To maintain this variety, the Automaton has been built to use a regular deck, not only to randomize its behavior through pulls, but to actually use for dudes, deeds and all the other stuff you normally find in a good game of Doomtown.
To further support the number of different decks solo players can face, the Automaton has been created to play most cards (relatively) sensibly. However, there are certain cards that are either too complicated for the regular Automaton program to use, or just don’t offer any benefit to a non-human player. These cards are included on the Card Exceptions list. It currently includes the relevant cards from the WWE - more will be added in time.
On the Exceptions list, cards are divided into three categories of complexity:
Not Recommended (X)
These categories are based on how many extra considerations are needed when the Automaton uses a card. Any card not on the list can be played by the Automaton following the normal rules.
Some cards are listed in more than one category - those leave players a choice as to how much extra complexity they want in their game. The complexity of a solo game can also be reduced by swapping out cards in a deck for others that are easier for the Automaton to use. As an example of how to do this, I’ll go through the Official Starter Deck Lists, offering suggestions on how to adjust them for use with the Gunfighter Automaton.
This guide assumes the use of one Base set. Adding another one, or using cards from expansions, gives more ways to tweak the complexity of a deck.
Note: When listing the number of complex cards in a deck, it’s the number of different cards, not how many cards are included in the deck in total.
Law Dogs Starter Deck (M 1, H 1)
The easiest starter deck to adjust for solo is the Law Dogs deck. With only one moderate complexity card (Quickdraw Handgun) and one high one (This’ll hurt in the Mornin’), using it as is should be manageable.
If you want a deck with no modified card rules, some replacements are needed. The simplest solution is replacing Quickdraw Handgun with Ragged Mule and This’ll Hurt in the Mornin’ with Ridden Down. This conserves draw structure, but while they both work with a Horse theme, they do not synergize with the rest of the deck. Additionally, this leaves the deck with no Cheatin’ Resolutions.
So, a few extra changes can be made, in order to attain a more cohesive deck:
Replace 2 Winchester Model 1873, 2 Point Blank and 2 Fancy New Hat with 2 Roan, 2 Calling the Cavalry and 2 Jael’s Guile. This means the deck becomes more focussed on horses, and it gets a bit of Cheatin’ Resolution back.
Ridden Down isn’t easy for the Automaton to use well though, so it might be better to replace them with another Action. In particular, having Cheatin’ Resolutions on clubs is good for the Automaton, since it means players can be surprised by one, even if they don’t see any in play or in the Automaton hand. So, replace Ridden Down with Coachwhip! The draw structure has now changed from 15/14/10 to 15/12/12, which is still reasonably good.
Outlaws Starter Deck (M 2, H 3)
For the Outlaws, both outfits in WWE are high complexity, so at least one card with special considerations will be in play when facing them.
For the remaining cards, Ike Clanton could be replaced with Walter Jameson - this would save a ghost rock, but given the already low Influence of the starting gang, it might be better to stick with Ike, and just ignore his ability.
Replacing the two Belligerence with two Ambush and the Faithful Hound with another Mustang leaves the draw structure pretty much the same.
Replacing the Pinned Down is trickier - there’s no other useful 7 of clubs that isn’t complex in WWE. If you have two base sets, you could double down with a full playset of Kidnappin’s, but with just one set, it is recommended that you replace it with some other action that is useful in shootouts, like Sun in Yer Eyes.
This deck doesn’t quite avoid cards with exceptions, but it’s still easier to run than the Official Starter Deck:
Entrepreneurs Starter Deck (M 1, H 5)
The Gunslinger Automaton is not ideally suited for running a Gadget deck - it lacks any sort of Tradin’ option, which is often used to move Gadgets from Mad Scientists to more appropriate dudes. However, since the number of Gadgets in this deck is limited, it should still work out. And Maggie Harris might be able to help get Yagn’s on a non-Mad Scientist dude.
For a version with fewer card exceptions, the following changes are suggested:
Replace Jarrett Blake with Angela Payne, E.B Farnum with POST-A-TRON and the California Tax Office with another Huntsmen’s Society.
See-Through Spectacles is replaced by Winchester Model 1873
For the Actions, replace Technological Exhibition with Faster on the Draw and It’s Not What You Know with Thirst for Blood (if you want to retain the same draw structure) or Ricochet (if you want to have more than one Cheatin’ Resolution).
Anarchists Starter Deck (M 3, H 3, X1)
This deck includes a card that is not recommended for the Gunfighter Automaton: Polite Inquiries. If you don’t mind using the other complex cards, you can just replace it with Establishin’ Who’s in Charge. However, if you want a less complex solution, more changes will be needed. The distribution of the cards that need to be replaced means it’s hard to keep the current draw structure - 15 Aces, 13 Twos and a chance of a Straight Flush. Since replacements are needed for a total of seven Aces (including all the Goods) and 3 Twos (all three of them Deeds) it’s easier to move to different values - there simply aren’t enough options for replacements with just one Weird West Edition core set.
So, aiming for a draw structure close to the original, the following changes give us 14 Threes, 14 Fours, and still a chance of a Straight Flush:
Remove Joker’s Smile, Pony Express, Baijiu Jar, Pair of Six-Shooters, Allie Hensman, Daomei Wang and Polite Inquiries.
Add one each of Brute, Rattler Young’un, Clanton Ranch, Dead Dog Tavern, B & B Attorneys - and 2 Tusks
Remove New Town Hall, 2nd Bank of Gomorra, Pagliacchio, 1 Peacemaker.
Add Lawrence Blackwood, Ramiro Mendoza, Hustings, The Orphanage, Yan Li’s Tailoring, 2 Bowie Knife, 2 Shotgun.
Remove one Faithful Hound
Add 2 Hiding in the Shadows
First Peoples Starter Deck (M 3, H 3)
Although there are relatively few complex cards in this deck, the ones that are there really matter to the draw structure. All three 10 of Clubs in WWE have special rules attached, so to make a non-complex version of this deck really requires a move away from tens. The other three affected cards are all Jacks, and Smiling Frog is hard to replace with the limited cardpool, so upping the number of Jacks to cover for the missing Tens won’t work either.
Instead, the deck gets a major overhaul. For the Jacks, replace Smiling Frog, Meet the New Boss and Tax Office with another Clint, another Huntsmen, two Flight of the Lepus and a Hellstromme Plant.
As for Tens, ditch them all except for the two Spirit Trails.
Instead, add some Eights:
Two El Anomino and one Francisco Rosales
Two Ridden Down
Two Ragged Mules
One Circle M, one The Gomorra Gazette and one Pat’s Perch
This means Jacks stay at 11, and Eights replace Tens as the secondary value with 12 cards (not counting Enapay who is a starting dude).
Fearmongers Starter Deck (M 4, H 6, X 1)
With 11 unique cards with special rules, adding up to a total of 17 cards in the deck, there would be practically nothing left of this deck if substitutions were to be made for them all. The values used in this deck just happen to have a bunch of cards that don’t integrate easily with the Gunfighter Archetype. But the Archetype is also not built for decks that rely heavily on spells, so instead of offering a heavily modified version of this deck, we’ll make an alternative Fearmonger deck - an Abomination deck out of Encroaching Darkness.
Looking for values with Abominations, Twos, Fours, Sixes and Eights have some. However, Twos have only one deed without additional rules, and the actions on Eights are either complex or not too interesting in an Automaton deck. Alan Campbell and a couple of Pagliaccios could be useful though. And Fours and Sixes have enough interesting cards across the suits that we can find 13 and 16 respectively, for two decent shooting values. We’ll also want Soul Cage (strong in general for the theme) and Hawley’s Rose (can at least give Landon Grimes an extra option for who to add to shootouts), to go with the Abomination theme. Adding those Mystical Goods, combined with the limits on available cards imposed by both sticking to Weird West Edition cards and avoiding cards that are complex for the Automaton, leads us to Nines with Sylvester Heath as the third value. 13 of those, plus a few off-value cards.
Solo Mode Exception Lists (To Be Updated on WWE Page)
This list includes various adjustments to how the Gunslinger Automaton uses specific cards. Cards are sorted into the following categories, based on how much extra complexity they add when used in an Automaton deck.
M: Moderate Complexity - typically a simple instruction, with no decision points.
H: High Complexity - a more complex instruction, involving evaluation of the game state.
X: Not Recommended - for some reason, this card is of little use for the Automaton.
Outfits: 4 (1 M, 2H, 1X)
House of Many Faiths:
Moderate: Do not shuffle cards from hand or discard into the deck.
Saved by Grace:
Not Recommended: This Outfit is not recommended for the Gunfighter Automaton, since searching for and cycling cards is of little value to it.
The Sloane Gang:
High: Use a dude without CP if possible, then select dude as for gaining a bonus. For effect, gain the Control Point if possible.
Deadwood Miner’s Alliance:
High: Use a dude with less than 4 bounty, then select dude as for gaining a bonus.
Dudes: 8 (2 M, 6 H)
High: If there are multiple actions that could be discarded, select Cheatin’ Resolutions, then Resolutions, then Shootout abilities.
High: To select the dude that leaves the shootout, select a draw dude, then highest Influence, then lowest bullets.
High: For the cost reduction, boot dudes at home, then stud dudes, then dudes at a location with Automaton stud dudes. Do not boot other dudes, and do not boot dudes that would bring the cost reduction above 10.
Ursula, the Worm Queen:
High: Select the hex with the highest difficulty. For hexes with varying difficulty, consider them to have the highest difficulty they could currently have (e.g. for Paralysis Mark, treat it as if the difficulty was the highest value among opposing dudes). If several dudes have the hex to be selected, select a booted copy, then select the dude with the lowest Huckster rating for giving up the Hex, then as for a dude receiving a penalty.
Moderate: Discard Hearts if possible
Moderate: Unboot the Totem with the highest difficulty
High: Select a deed where the ability would give control to the Automaton, then a deed with the most opposing Influence, then the deed with the most Automaton bullets.
When moving dudes, if there is a Rowdy deed, use bullets instead of influence to determine which dude moves there.
Moderate: Ignore his ability
High: While Nicodemus is in play, the ability he grants is used before the effects listed under Effect Priorities, and when selecting dudes to use the ability, select them as if they were leaving play.
Deed: 5 (1 M, 4H)
The Joker’s Smile:
Moderate: If both abilities can be used, select the one that recovers a joker from Boot Hill.
2nd Bank of Gomorra:
High: If there is ghost rock on this, take the ghost rock if the deed is owned by an opponent, or has 4 or more ghost rock. Otherwise, place ghost rock.
Moderate: If there is ghost rock on the deed, take it, otherwise add ghost rock.
New Town Hall:
High: Add a control point if the deed is owned by the Automaton, or if the Automaton currently has more control points than the opponent’s influence.
Otherwise, remove control points.
Walters Creek Distillery:
High: Select a deed which is both a Saloon and a Casino, then a deed which does not have abilities that require booting, then a Casino. If a card is drawn due to this ability, do not discard down to hand size after this play.
California Tax Office:
High: If there are eligible dudes with upkeep higher than their player’s stash, target one of those, following the rules for opposing dudes leaving play.
Otherwise, target the dude with the highest upkeep.
Goods: 9 (7M, 2H)
High: When discarding cards, retain Actions with the following abilities: Cheatin’ Resolutions, then Shootout, then Resolutions. Do not discard down to hand size after this play.
Pair of Six-Shooters:
Moderate: Only use this if it can result in a legal hand with a higher rank than the current one or it can make a cheating hand into a legal hand of the same rank.
Moderate: Always discard the opposing goods.
Moderate: Do not use the ability.
High: For each of these in play, the Automaton may treat a non-heart card as a heart, or a heart card as a different value when attempting to make a straight flush in hearts.
Moderate: Only use this if it would result in a higher hand rank for the Automaton.
Moderate: During Noon, use the ability that lets the dude move to the type of location that would be selected by the current pull. Only pay to move with any given Mechanical Horse once per day.
Moderate: Only use the ability to send the dude home booted if there are no other Shootout abilities that can be used and no studs in the Automaton posse
Moderate: Choose the Abomination with the highest cost, then one from Boot Hill
Spells: 7 (3M, 3H, 1X)
High: During lowball: Take a card of the non-clubs suit of which the Automaton has the fewest in play, then the one with the highest cost, then as for a shootout.
During a Shootout: Take an action with a resolution ability, then a shootout ability, then as for lowball.
Put the card in the left-most position in the Automaton’s hand.
High: Move a booted dude if possible.
Move the dude to: the Automaton’s home, then a deed not owned by the Automaton, then a location with no non-Automaton dudes nearby, then a location with an Automaton dude.
Moderate: Do not discard it for an extra Shootout play
Sight Beyond Sight:
Not Recommended: The Automaton has no use for knowledge of the player’s hand.
Get Behind Me, Satan!
Moderate: Do not attach to a dude with 0 Blessed.
High: Priorities: Place bounty on an opposing dude at this location, then remove bounty from own dude, then place bounty on nearby opposing dude.
Moderate: Discard the cards with the lowest value. Do not draw a card.
Actions: 13 (5 M, 6 H, 2X)
Establishin’ Who’s in Charge:
High: Mark an Automaton deed (do not use it on an opposing deed), then lowest control points, then closest to home.
Not Recommended: The Automaton has no use for extra card cycling.
High: If possible, unboot an unwanted dude, otherwise give the bullet and influence.
High: Mark Town Square. Select highest cost gadget, then a gadget from discard.
Comin’ Up Roses:
Moderate: While this is in hand, may treat one card as another suit when attempting to make a flush or straight flush.
Moderate: Target as if selecting a dude to leave play.
This’ll Hurt in the Mornin’:
High: Select cards so that the opponent’s hand rank becomes as low as possible, then so it remains cheating.
High: Select the card with the highest cost, then as for playing a card not in hand.
Too Much Attention:
Moderate: Boot a dude if possible.
High: Prevent the highest number of abilities and traits, then cause the greatest decrease in bullets.
Meet the New Boss:
Moderate: If successful, ace it for influence.
It’s Not What You Know:
Moderate: Use the Cheatin’ Resolution if possible
No Turning Back:
Not Recommended: The Automaton doesn’t handle the choice of which dude to ace (and whether to ace a dude at all) very well.
High: If used, do not use the Noon Ability, and only use the Resolution ability if the Automaton is about to take two or more casualties, or about to discard a token dude as a casualty.
Link to Solo Mode Lists
Just an FYI, if you create the Outlaws Automaton deck from your base box, you will not be able to build the Law Dogs starter since Sun in Yer Eyes (2x) is required for both. So, I’ll have to open up that 2nd box for those two cards
If ya really want to keep that second box sealed, you could proxy, use a different 3 of clubs, or even go for an older copy of the card. Sun In Yer Eyes was part of the original AEG core box too although the wording was changed. Ya got options!
Yeah…I have an old deck from DriveThru with Sun in Yer Eyes. I thought about mixing the old an new in both decks and consider it the many ways the sun can mess with your vision.
It’s one of the new games where I have all the cards…but never have players. I plan to play against the Automaton and learn a bit before attempting…people.
P.S. I really miss the ‘old’ card stock.
I’m glad that they’ve included a solo mode for the new base set. I’ve actually never gotten to play a real game since my gaming group isn’t so much into this type of game. However, I really wish there was a video on a playthrough with the Automaton to ensure understanding of the processing of the routine.
So, for Automation Pulls, it states "If a Joker is pulled, do the effects for pulling the suits left to right in the chart.
Does this mean, it will do the following actions for, say, a Heart…then repeats them again until the other suits are done?
- Move (if possible)
1a) I perform an action
- Play a card (if possible)
2a) I perform an action
- Use an ability
3a) I perform an action
I believe so but double checking with @zenarchist
Yes, that is correct. Though remember that, if a Shootout starts, the Automaton turn ends after that. You do not go back and complete the rest of the actions.
You probably won’t need more than one Automaton deck at a time.
Though, since you have some old SiYE, you could give those to the Automaton, and just see it as a way of increasing the challenge
To clarify, does the AI perform all four steps for its turn versus the normal trade off of actions.
I’d also appreciate an example of how to handle the Joker pull.
Thank you in advance!
Okay, let’s if I understand correctly:
(1) Move based on the Pull (if criteria is met). Additionally, (2) Play a card from its hand. If no card can be played from its hand, then attempt to (3) Use an ability. If neither (2) or (3) can be performed, (4) Recompense with a ghost rock?
The Joker Pull text states:
“If a Joker is pulled, do the effects for pulling a heart, spade, diamond, and club, in that order then ace the Joker.”
I’m going to assume that means try ALL of the (1) Move options…but just the singular (2)-(4) steps.
Also, to help others…and that I didn’t know until now…there is a solo option for Doomtown Online:
I’m trying to see if it follows the same Automaton rules as listed in the WWE guide. It seems to be…
No, on a joker, the Automaton performs all the effects it would have done if it had pulled a heart, then a spade, then a diamond, and finally a club. It is all considered one pull though, so as mentioned, if a Shootout starts, no further effects happen once it is resolved.
Thank you, sir! I think I have it all figured. For now, at least
How are grifter abilities resolved for the automaton? I wasn´t able to find any information in the rules nor in the forums.
Thanks in advance