Full Moon Brotherhood Frustrations

Hi all,

After playing against this home, and watching my wife play against it, I’m struggling to see how it isn’t unbalanced, or just flat out unfun to play against.

Card for reference: Full Moon Brotherhood · DoomtownDB

The issue I have with it:

It does a lot, and all of it is unconditional. Being able to strip traits, movement tech, and call out refusal seems really strong, compared to most homes.

In addition, I’ve noticed it basically shuts down the 4th Ring abominations deck type.

Watching someone play that in casual with Karl (Karl Odett · DoomtownDB) as their main source of influence basically auto-lose on the first turn is awful.

Is there something I’m missing about this card that doesn’t make it so bad?

If it let you choose to either boot the dude, hand over ghost rock, or something else rather than take the trait hit, I could see it, but as it is, I just don’t feel like it’s anywhere near fun to play against.

It’s an annoying ability, but not always a useful one. I think the thing I like least about it is that I feel it hurts the weirder and more fun decks more than it does the usual stuff you’ll see at tournaments. The existence of this home has knocked several of my decks out of consideration when it comes to competitive play.


The fact that it knocks out several fun and weird decks is my least-favorite part about it.

But honestly, it’s useful in almost any scenario.

You don’t have to leave home to use it (or boot anyone), so there’s almost no time it can’t be used (save if none of your dudes are adjacent to an opponent’s).

There’s no ‘risk’ to using it. You don’t have to be in town square, or outside of home (like several other homes).

The fact that you shut down a potentially key dude, hobble their movement, and get a bonus from them leaving play just seems like a lot for a home ability that’s always on.

I’m just trying to think of a home that was that good/constantly useful that hasn’t been errata-ed yet.

Though I can see your point about Karl and the Oddity gang retreating to their doom, my problem with this home “turning off” Jake Smiley is the fact that the game heavily relies on him to round out viable starting posses - especially the more “experimental” a deck gets.

Because many starting posses struggle with being viable, there is a tendency to “lean” on him to get that 4th point of starting Influence and/or save those last two Ghost Rock for opening hand cards (like a deed).

If instead Jake Smiley’s role in the game was to allow the option for decks to start 6 Influence to endure to the mid-game - rather than 4 to merely survive the early game - I think this home would have less of an impact on people’s decision to play or bench certain decks competitively and even casually.

So until the pools of available dudes shift the role Jake Smiley plays in starting posse construction, I expect this home to create disturbances.

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I agree.

Honestly, I would hope this gets errata at some point.

Full Moon Brotherhood is indeed pretty tough for some decks, and as noted it is often tougher on weirder decks. :frowning:

It is tough to play around too - it’s not too tough for people to get a dude adjacent to your Karl Odett/Jake Smiley and hard to safely hide these dudes.

For casual play there’s not much to do beyond adjusting your starting posse or not playing certain decks against opponents using this home.

For tournament play:

  • If you’ve got an alternative dude you could start, swap them in instead. Even if they’ve got slightly lower effective influence than Jake Smiley/Karl Odett you’ll come out ahead on a net basis. I appreciate not every deck has this option, but it is worth building in a substitute starting posse.
  • Just play through the pain - in larger tournament you can often take an automatic loss and still progress. Be bold - you might not face Full Moon Brotherhood. After all, it is only one home (in four) from six different factions, and less popular than many other homes in that faction. I only ever played in one L5R Kotei and wasn’t part of any active meta, so I rocked up at a 65 person Kotei (Sheffield) with a Crane Dueling deck (post errata to the Crane Stronghold). The conventional wisdom was that this deck had an auto-loss against dishonour so nobody played it. Even my hour or so of testing online & theory craft had confirmed this. I think I was third after Swiss and was the top Crane player, having not played a single match against dishonour. Lots of the Crane players wanted to play dueling but took the safer option of a conventional military deck that had done well in lots of Koteis that year. Sometimes you roll the dice and get lucky. :slight_smile:

Not an ideal answer, but hopefully helps.

Would restoring the traits before victory is checked fix this? Do you think the benefit of errata is worth it relative to the complication from introducing further errata (I don’t have a firm view on this element yet)?


I think FMB is fine without an errata… at least for now.
Sure it shuts down some of the more “out there” decks, but those decks have always had a problem when someone takes out their influence mule. Honestly FMB will stop being a problem for those decks as more and more cheap influence starts to be released and players can stop relying on Jake Smiley/Karl Odett so much.

One interesting defense for FMB comes from how it can only choose adjacent dudes and not dudes at the same location. Out of Town locations (and Maza Gang Hideout) are perfect spots to keep your key dudes at. Maybe if a Core Out of Town deed is ever released we will see it used as a defensive outpost for dudes like Karl (although Core OoT deeds is a different design nightmare to deal with… maybe make it 4th Ring exclusive).
Until we get new cards, running a copy of Ol’ Howard and Gomorra Gaming Commission as a “In case of FMB” might be the best way to go.


Sadly, for Oddities (the deck my wife plays), there’s not really a good Abomination for this. Karl was supposed to be that.

I think that would definitely help, as it would prevent the most glaring problem (in my opinion) for this deck.

I still think it’s a home that does more, safer, than other homes do right now, and I would love to see data on its use.

Quite so on the lack of substitute Abomination influence leading to Abomination decks having influence problems against Full Moon Brotherhood. In that case your best bet is to be playing Oddities of Nature and rush the Town Square for Influence. Makes you vulnerable to an early shootout - you can’t safely flee as you’ll lose all your Town Square dependent influence. :frowning:

Thanks for laying out your concerns. I’ll try to test the home a bit when a gap appears in the playtesting schedule and I’ll keep an eye out for the home in tournament reports (not just for any tournament victories, but individual matches where it dumps out Abominations/Jake Smiley decks that don’t have a back-up starting character). I couldn’t find many successful tournament decks that used Full Moon Brotherhood but:

  • This might be a result of the home being released at the end of the AEG era and a lack of tournaments for it to participate it.
  • Even if the home isn’t an environment warping menace that wins every tournament it can still be a negative play experience, as you’ve clearly laid out. Indeed, it presents a very tough match-up for the abomination deck that design were encouraging.
  • I found one successful tournament deck (it was only a four person event but they played round robin, so that’s three matches to earn the badge) using this home: Snow White and the Seven Devils - Berkeley Sheriff · DoomtownDB

I always assumed that part of the intent of Full Moon Brotherhood was to shutdown Jake Smiley unfortunately I think any change which was made to stop it shutting down Oddett is likely to cut across that.

Its not great but most decks have bad match ups. Body snatchers get completely shutdown by the beyond the veil box. Horse decks struggle against any deck starting Sammy cooke. Kung Fu decks die against 4r value reduction.

If oddett is your main influence I would worry about him being kidnapped, hung, forced quarantined. Maybe look at if your deck can get influence in other ways, Grey men in fancy hats that sort of thing.

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I have faced FMB several times online. It is, at worst very good. As noted, dudes must be adjacent, which I have used to keep a trait active at home while camping the town square.

Another strat is to make it hard for your opponent to choose who to target by having multiple targets. My gadgeting landslide deck is very hard hit by this (FMB is so good against MCC), but I usually managed by making them have several dudes they wanted to target.

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Yeah, my Gadget Horse deck is solid against it because I have multiple targets that I can force it to handle…after the first turn or two.

It doesn’t help that I’ve seen people run Ambrose Douglas · DoomtownDB (Ambrose) with this home, cutting down two dudes.

I had too. I just honestly think this goes too far. I’d rather it be something of a choice. Your opponent either pays you ghost rock, lets you draw cards, or turns off their dude’s trait.

I honestly prefer it be ghost rock or turn off the trait, because it lets skilled players force their opponents into difficult choices.

Agreed, but all of those require opponents to actually get certain cards…and those aren’t constant threats.

I will agree that all decks have issues, but this one feels pretty nasty. I’ve seen people work around most of the others, even with bad matchups.

FWIW - for better or worse, FMB was supposed to get some nice toys in SB13-15, along with comparable shinies for other outfits.

In general, the PB closes one arc and sets up the next. In this case, we saw the resolution of the Ivor/Pestilence arc, and the rise of Mario Crane = Sloane and introducing FMB. That’s a lot going on right there. SB13-15 were supposed to flesh out those storylines as well as providing support cards.

During the AEG run, cards got tested in 3 SB/PB suites - but released one at a time. This meant a leap-frogging of outfit power/tiers as cards gradually entered the pool. With AEG’s cancellation, the game ended as others have noted - Crane/Sloane ascendant and the emerging power of FMB.

FWIW - PBE’s upcoming release Tales from the Epitaph addresses some, but not all issues with the DTR legacy cards/outfits. We do listen to the feedback posted on these forums. If we get an opportunity to create more DTR product, we will continue to design/test/produce cards that will hopefully improve the overall DTR experience.


By the way, thanks all for the replies.

I’m happy to know that we weren’t the only ones to see the potential issues here. I’m looking forward to new cards!

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I don’t view it as so much of a problem. You don’t get the card draw or the GR unless you knock out the targeted dude. Compare that with the new LD home or the new Sloane home. Especially the latter.

Any deck that relies specifically on a certain dude’s card text is always going to be vulnerable to something. It’s harder to make money off this home than it is for most others. I personally find Protection Racket to be the most powerful of the new homes.


Talking to another friend who plays Doomtown, I had another view of why I don’t like this home.

It’s way too safe to use. None of your dudes have to be outside of home to use it (and since Town Square is a place most decks want to put a dude or three, someone will almost always be adjacent to your home).

The only other homes that don’t have any real risk to the user are 108 Worldly Desires (which got a nerf), Abram’s Crusaders (a much weaker ability, requiring dudes to have other cards to do anything else with), Gateway to Beyond, 108 Righteous Bandits (as it can pull a dude out of risk), and The Sanitorium.

Everything else requires you to either boot a dude (thus taking them out of movement consideration without other cards) or move them somewhere outside of the safety of home (typically town square), or it’s Gadgetorium, which is still one of my least favorite homes.

I’m curious as to if anyone else evaluates ‘risk’ as a factor in home abilities too, or if it’s just me.

Same as others, I don’t find this home to be overpowered. Yes, it does shot down certain cards, which, might be game in the end, but I find it quite easy to dodge the rest of the ability. Compared to fx Justice which can be as devastating.
I remember ppl being quite happy about it countering Jake when it was released. I think calling for an errata is overdoing it. I’ve played more games with Brotherhood where it wasn’t really a factor then where I felt it won me the game.
It would be much more interesting to help Karl and his clowns if this is a major problem. As I see it Aboms could use some tournament help anyways :wink:

There will always be cards that counter other strategies. Rock-scissor-paper.