I’m experiencing a problem that many new players seem to have. So far, I’ve only been using the pre-constructed starter decks from the core set. All my games seem to boil down to a large shootout in the first 1-3 turns of the game, which decides the winner. I don’t want this to happen, but it always does. Typically, Player A marches Ramiro into the town square and waits for a fight. Player B is afraid of Ramiro and turtles up a bit a home. If Player B plays a deed, Ramiro sits on top of it and waits for a fight. Player B is stifled for ghost rock, can’t build up, and eventually a large desperate fight occurs in the town square or deed, which Ramiro usually wins since is a 3-stud.
Shootout actions like unprepared, sun in your eyes and pistol whips go a long way. Don’t undervalue the action cards. The can mean the difference in winning and losing.
Movement and board state mechanics have the stpeepest learning curve in the game. Don’t get discouraged, as there are many ways to manipulate it in the expanded game. And the more you play the game the more it’ll come to you. Especially once you get past the starter decks as they are not created equal. (Not for a lack of trying though.)
If you’re playing Law Dogs against Ramiro, consider starting Wendy Cheng as she can kick him out of the town square. The action card Pistol Whip does the same job. As Ramiro needs to be paid every time he joins a posse, you could try waiting until your opponent’s ghost rock is low before starting a fight. Sending a dude in solo to fight Ramiro then escaping with Make the Smart Choice, followed up by sending in a Bounty Hunter to force a call out would get rid of two ghost rock, which might even be enough to force a discard.
A Shotgun on a two bullet dude will make short work of Ramiro, and the action Sun in Yer Eyes will make him into a one-draw, which is far less threatening. Both Law Dogs and The Sloane Gang can make good use of these tricks.
Morgan Cattle Company could take advantage of horses to draw Ramiro out of position. The Fourth Ring can do the same with Shadow Walks until they get the Soul Blast hex, and then Ramiro will have to be careful getting into a fight with your hucksters. Both of these approaches will help you get used to the movement and positioning aspect of the game (commonly referred to as the chess game).
The tactics above work on other Voltron/Railroad dudes (e.g. dudes with lots of scary stuff attached or insanely high bullet levels). Some examples are Jack O’Hara (armed with Legendary Holster and Shotgun, puts on some War Paint, stops by Charlie’s Place for some liquid courage), etc. Other tactic - send in a couple of expendable weenies and see if the Ramiro posse plays a Cheatin’ Hand, Hit ‘em with a Bottom Dealin’, Quickdraw Handgun, or stay legal and bite Ramiro with a Coachwhip.
Thanks for all the advice. Seems like I should maybe move away from the pre-constructed starter decks at this point, as a lot of the answers for the Ramiro rush I am facing seem to be outside cards.
Yes, experiment! The pre constructed decks are meant to be a launchpad.
There are many good options to deal with Ramiro. The most widely useful will be strong action cards like Sun in Yer Eyes, Pinned Down, or Unprepared. Other things to consider would be Ramiro’s weaknesses - low value and shootout cost trait. As other folks mentioned above, these weaknesses can be exploited through any number of cards or strategies.