Frontier Justice Set Review

My review! Posted up on my page since there’s no main site at the moment.


Funtime Freddy got me thinking about the intent of Grifters. There seems to be two kinds of them, those than you use when your starting hand is not good enough (Travis) and those that you use always (Gina). If Funtime Freddy didn’t ace himself (but wasn’t a stud huckster to offset it), he would belong to the second type. As he is now, you never know if you’re going to use him or not. If you have some spells in your starting hand, you might want to leave him on the board for his stats. But if you have a weak start, you might as well ace him to get some strong spell, to get the outfit ability going. Decisions, decisions… Overall, I think it is good design.

Andrew Burton, on the other hand, belongs to the second cathegory - you’ll almost always use his ability, unless you have a hand that lets you utilize him to even greater effect (Shield of Faith + Faster on the Draw + Kidnappin’).

Howard Aswell is the odd bird here, he’s the only gifter that doesn’t let you use his ability unless you meet a certain condition. He’s really weird, allowing you to get an Improvement when you have no deeds in hand - why the heck would you ever need that?? I tested him in my Gadgetorium deck and used his ability in some games to get a Ranch, but honestly I’d appreciate it more if he could fetch me a gadget - with the outfit ability and William Specks I can live the first few turns without deeds, but if I have nothing to invent I’ll soon be laggin’ behind. Overall I think he’s more fit for a deck that has several support gadgets that it can live without, rather than for a science-focused build. Also, I keep thinking there might be some weird deck with few deeds but lots of Recruitment Drives and Hired Guns…


I’m surprised you give such a low grade to Rope and Ride. To me it seems like one of the most interesting cards in the pack. I remember when Double Dealin’ was released, lots of people tried to figure out if It’s Who You Know is any good. I think Rope and Ride is much stronger, and I expect it to be worth dropping 1-2 Suns, to mess with the opponent’s head if nothing else. If you face several studs, this card would help you remove one without facing the others. I’m excited about it.

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Thx Jon for the review! I agree with most of your thoughts on the cards.

So for the consistency of the thread and trying to gather the discussion here is:

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of:

Frontier Justice

This is a few first thoughts of the cards of Frontier Justice. The Good cards are cards I think are useful right out of the box, the Bad can be useful or might be a bit meh while the Ugly are cards that are situational at best. This is a Quick & Dirty review without playtesting the cards, so it is based on my opinion which probably will change when I have tried them out, or when I have been persuaded by others opinions.

The Good:
Funtime Freddy - I think… Let’s see if it’s too expensive.
Benny McGill - A Sloane Hex deck should be based on him. He gives the Sloane Hexers a great way to call out people.
Louis Pateur - Very expensive, but wauw for that ability!
Gomorrah Jail - Donuts and coffee :smile:
Legal Instruments - Really interesting and a 4 is never bad …
Fancy New Hat - This is going to be meta defining.
Flight of the Lepus - We just got This’ll Hurt and here comes a perhaps even better cheatin’ card. Wow.

The Bad:
Shield of Faith - Hmmm … Is this a way to create a new type of Powerhouse decks? I like it.
Andrew and Howard - Compared with the Fixer and Funtime Freddy is the only second-rate. Disappointing when compared to those two. However, they can be useful.
Elmore - Expensive but may be part of a LD deck running 5’s?
Marion - are there to tell us that there will be another melee weapon soon … And then maybe he’ll be used?
Byrne - Eh… Should I build a deck for him? Might be useful in an MCC Gadget deck?
S & G Security - It looks good, but only works on deeds besides itself and on itself… Potentially good and it’s a deed for 2 GR.
Diable en Boite - Looks like ‘fun’ but do you really want an ace in your deck for fun? It might see some combination with abominations getting aced and/or a DMH OoN deck.
Confession - May be used to build an Arsenal deck. May be used to counter Sloane. Like the new possibilities.
Winchester - You have to boot the dude. It’s a really high cost and sometimes you wont be able to. Ok - so its potentially extremely cool - but you have to boot the dude…
Incubation - Very interesting card, specifically for Value decks (4R control and Soulblast etc.) and together with Blood Curse and Rumors it can really tear people down in influence … Unless they buy a hat. Situational really good card.
Rope and Ride - Hehehe. But you have to call out for it to work.

The Ugly:
The Flying Popescu - You pay 4 to get a huckster 0 - with an ability that is situational. I dont think I would start with them and I can only see them being useful if you go for value 8. DMH anyone?
Recursive Motion Machine - A personal disappointment. It works with QUATERMAN, but has the same value as the HWG, the only gadget weapons you can run with Q-man if you run value 3. If it had been a 7 it would have been fine. Sigh! If we have to use it for something we can make money by inventing it, and as the cost is 0 it is easy to get out of your draw structure…

Well, a fistful of good cards - a lot of fillers and cards to improve existing decks and a few duds makes this saddlebag not my first choice if you are starting from scratch, however the specific use of for example New Fancy Hat or Funtime Freddy makes it something you would like in the long run to play competitively or for specific decks. I like that we have these ‘filler’ saddlebags as it seems this one isnt absolutely necessary to acquire which gives a little leeway for new players getting into the game.

What do you think?

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Winchester is a good card, I think, as 1) it’s a +1 bullet for only 1 gr when you give it to a stud (I am sometimes reluctant to spend 2 gr for a Quickdraw Handgun, but 1 gr is not a problem), and 2) it turns your cheap draw dudes into studs - you don’t really care if Andrew Burton gets booted, you were not going to use him to contest deeds anyway. I only wish that Perry’s ability had a difficulty of 8, that way we’d be able to play Faster and Winchester to turn them lil’ deputies into studs and unboot them afterwards… =__=

The Flying Popescus are definitely not a bad (or ugly) card. They are not good enough to be a part of your starting posse, true, but they provide cheap mobile influence that keeps you from losing and allows you to contest deeds. Cheap dudes with no upkeep are very rare at higher values, and cheap backup hucksters are even rarer (it’s either Avie with her 2 upkeep or a 7+ upfront cost). Furthermore, The Popescus are on value with the most common and powerful Clown card, Paralysis Mark. So yes, they are not a good starter, but they are a perfect filler.

Louis Pasteur’s ability is great, sure, but his cost says “you better build around me to make me worth it”, and I haven’t seen anyone having success with it yet. So I’m not yet ready to call him a certainly good card. You know, Sheriff Dave is also scary, but…

Benny McGill - I see a problem with this guy, that is his lack of influence. Sloane decks already tend to be low on that, and especially Sloane huckster decks. Need to figure out a starting posse that would include him and still be balanced enough. I don’t think I’ll want to take him over Masha, so that means José will have to go into the deck, and then I’m not sure if it’s going to be Desolation Row or the basic outfit…


Yes, it’s stronger than It’s Who You Know, but it’s still extremely situational and requires a lot of set up to work.

I cant seem to post card opinions on DTDB… so I’m going to post a few here if’n you don’t mind.

The Popescus are a strange pair. They sit at a good value to main deck them, but their bullets and influence are low for a mid game play. They do remedy these shortcomings on their own with the trait, but with a skill rating of zero you have to be careful what hexes go on them. For their cost however they make a decent secondary starting dude.

Their shootout ability at present time is very niche and difficult to make good use out of. What few mystical good there are most require mad science or Valeria, and most of the relevant ones run the risk of taking spots for hexes.


Frontier Justice is a good set. I’d expect to see almost all of the new cards appear in one deck or another, with the exception of perhaps Diable et Boite which I think is just a really poor card.

My only really negative comment about the set is that despite the plethora of solid cards, it seems disappointing after the excitement of the Pinebox. I won’t really be building any new or interesting decks around the cards in FJ. Rather I might try to shuffle a few cards in-and-out based on what’s now available.

I’d also agree with those above that both Rope & Ride and the Winchester are very well designed cards and are quite strong.

The Diable en Boite IMHO is a strange card. It fills no niche and the one deck I can think to use it in (A Fourth Ring Legendary Holster) doesn’t really need it or can run things that might actually work better. You don’t want to run it in gadget decks because of the low value (and the QUARTERMAN takes that slot already), and its low difficulty seems to say to me that it wants splashed into another deck, but there seem to be no viable “win for losing” strategies at the moment.

It is objectively a bad card but I’m hoping that something will come from it otherwise it feels like a waste of a sweet card name.

It will have to be something incredibly narrow and specific to work in conjunction with this particular card, otherwise because it is an objectively bad card other options will still be remain better.

At the heart of the matter is that the ability of the card is just not worth including an Ace-value card in a skill-based deck really.

Something that might make it better are more dudes able to “invent” mystical goods using variant stats?
I know I’m just grasping at straws but I like to imagine that since this isn’t a CCG that I’m getting the best bang for my buck. There should not be unplayable/skill testing cards when you can’t draft.

It is just so disappointing to see something so cool be basically impossible to use even in a casual deck.

While that is more of a design intent from an LCG/ECG perspective, that’s really hard to achieve. Some cards just inevitably will be better than other cards. With that assumption at least one card always has to be “the worst”, so to speak.

Combine it with Hot Lead Flyin and Takin’ ya With me and you have 12 card there that say “lose to win” on them.

It can very easily slot into a deck designed around this concept.

We just need more high value, low cost, no upkeep dudes to get a decent hit from Hot Lead (although it’s still good even if it only inflicts 1 casualty)

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To me “The Worst” is different than “Unplayable”

No card is unplayable. No, not even auction.

Limited in use maybe, but not entirely unplayable

Agreed. Diable et Boite is not unplayable either, it’s just not good.

I would like to see at least something making it more playable than it currently is. Future printings may change it’s worth into seeing play but as of right now, it is as close to unplayable as a card can get.

Maybe an ability that lets mystical goods start attached to starting dudes?

Though I’m going to drop it at this point, as most everything useful has been said :smiley:

How about other cards?

I really like Incubation! It’s value is in the sweet spot, and it can seriously punish decks that dont want to get into shootouts or run away. I’m mixing it with paralysis mark but I really would like to throw it into a blessed deck and the Lord Provides.

“Oh Gawd Puhleeze Smite The Nonbuhleevurs with a pestilence!”

Not a great combination but it seems fun.

It’s another tool in the Influence-debuffing-and-control toolbox, but I think it is a generally weaker tool than existing cards. Rumors and Blood Curse are better, but Incubation doesn’t compete with them directly either.

Which is what makes Fancy New Hat such a good card. Its a good tool against those strategies, and gives you a bonus.

You may use ghost rock on this card to pay for abilities on Gadgets at this location.

Am I reading it wrong in some way? To me you can use it pay for abilities on any gadget you control at its location equipped to the dude or not. This includes Ballot Counter, Flame Thrower, Force Field, Mechanical Horse, Plasma Drill, Telepathy Helm, and even Teleportation Device.

It is reasonable to run one or two QUARTERMEN in a gadget deck if you have room. They don’t interfere with draws often if you do not run many of them.

A good casual card to me, nothing to set the world on fire.

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