John "Aces" Radcliffe

Earlier this month, I was curious as to how exactly this card works.

John Aces Radcliffe:
After each shootout play (including passing), if you have more cards in your hand than each other player (individually), John becomes a stud. If not, John becomes a draw.

I asked my questions on the AEG Rules forum, but deliberation takes time. In the meantime, I wanted to bring these questions to the community. How do you see this card working, and how have you used it in play so far?

Does John have to be in the shootout for his trait to trigger?

Since his text is a trait, I am thinking that he does not.
If this is true, then that means the game checks John’s studly-ness in each shootout after each shootout play.

Let’s consider the following situation:

I’m in a shootout with John in my posse and I have 5 cards, my opponent has 3.
I’m the Winner and I pass my shootout play, the game checks John’s trait and John becomes a stud.
My opponent passes, the game checks John’s trait and John becomes/remains a stud.
Fast forward to resolution, the opponent’s posse is aced and the shootout ends and John remains in play.

Does John now remain a stud until he becomes a draw from his trait triggering in a future shootout?
If yes, is this true even if the shootout occurs after the next Sundown phase?

Effects of Noon actions last until the end of Sundown, and effects of Shootout actions last until the end of the Shootout.
How long do the effects of traits last?
Does he only remain a stud for the duration of the shootout? Why or why not?

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Excelent question.
A note first, I am not answering in any offical copacity, I have absolutly no position or affiliation with the rules team, just a doomtown player and how I would play it.

It is a trait.

Traits appear below the keywords, and appear in plain text. Traits are game effects that are always on while the card is in play (e.g., “Lane gets +2 bullets while he has a Horse.”). The card’s controller cannot choose to ignore or “switch off” a trait.

You can’t ignore any time a trait would have an affect on the game, so even if he isn’t in the shootout, he can still flip from draw to stud, and back and forth. This stays until after the next shootout play. I don’t see any cards that this would have any affect on what so ever, but it might come up in the future if a shootout action, or noon action targeted a stud.

TL-DR; Yes, he might flip back and forth between stud/draw while outside of a shootout, and remain a draw, or stud, until another shootout action is finished. I don’t see this currently having an effect, but it will if there is ever a card targeting a stud as a noon action, or shootout action.
*Edited. I found 1 instance. Peace maker says this dude can’t be changed to a draw. John “Aces” Radcliffe can change to a stud outside of shootout, than stay a stud while he has the peacemaker.

If he could equip it, sure. Alas, it’s a weapon,

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ha ha ha, oh man, I thought I found something awesome. Oh well.

Under the current rules framework, I believe his trait should trigger whether he’s in the shootout or not, and once it triggers he should remain a stud until the end of the day. An apparent oversight in templating. But, absolutely irrelevant at present, as there are no cards that check for studliness outside of shootout.

Peacemaker also says:

So even if he could equip it, it still wouldn’t work.

Currently yes, as a trait, the way he is templated he flips back and forth outside of a shootout and would stay that way until the end of noon or another shootout action is played. However there are currently no interactions that check studliness at Noon.

This dude cannot be changed to a draw, and cannot have their bullets lowered by another player’s Shootout ability.

I read it as "This dude [cannot be changed to a draw], and [cannot have their bullets lowered by another player’s Shootout ability]. Otherwise why would they put a comma in there?

Even without the superfluous comma, I’d still interpret them as separate effects.

To express the whole thing as one effect, both verb phrases should be under one ‘cannot’, such as: “Another player’s Shootout ability cannot change this dude to a draw or lower his bullets.”

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Ok so Traits end at the end of Sundown?
I can see now why it is irrelevant anyways - the only time it matters if a dude is a stud is if they are in a shootout, at which point it will be determined if John is a draw or a stud before bullets fly.

Now, if a card effect comes around such as “Target a Stud Dude in play” or the like, then yes, having to keep track of the trait will probably matter.


Just thought I’d add that I did encounter a situation where this mattered. On OCTGN the other day, I was in a shootout with a huckster with Mirror Mirror against the opponent’s John.

The issue was, as this was the first shootout of the game, John was not a stud yet and I had first shootout action. Hence if I passed and then my opponent passed, I would not be able to stud my huckster using Mirror Mirror, but John would be a stud in the shootout (opponent had more cards than me).

I can foresee this specific case being an example of the importance as to whether John remains a stud after shootouts, as it may allow/deny me the ability to turn Jose Morales from a 5 draw into a 5 stud :).


I suggest introducing the following new rule to the “Card Text” and/or “Slingin’ Lead” sections of the rulebook:

Traits on dudes and their attached cards only trigger during shootouts if that dude is in a posse.

“Trigger” should be defined as making a one-time effect, as opposed to a static effect. This distinction already exists in the game: both Jake Smiley and The Sloane Gang outfit say “during Sundown”, but they are handled differently by the game mechanics, as stated in the FAQ in the section that clarifies the sequence of the Sundown phase:

  • Effects that apply continuously during Sundown start (e.g. Jake Smiley)
  • Check for victory conditions (game possibly ends)
  • Effects that require a check or game state change during Sundown are resolved (e.g. The Sloane Gang outfit)

This wording would prevent Philip Swinford, Drew Beauman, John “Aces” Radcliffe, and Auto-Revolver from triggering unless that dude is involved in the shootout, while not interfering with other traits like Marcia Ridge.

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Phil! D:
I think the law dog dudes are supposed to be ticked of if they smell injustice anywhere in town. At least Phil.

It just doesn’t make much sense. I imagine that, like in some computer games, once a shootout starts, the camera zooms in on the location of the shootout, and time freezes for the rest of the town. Nothing happens outside of the screen, unless something would bring a new participant into the gunfight, or save someone who ate a bullet (they still leave the scene though).

In this context, restrictions on shootout and resolution plays only originating from - and affecting - cards in a posse actually make sense. This is the way I explain it to new players: imagine that the camera zooms in and everything outside of the shootout freezes. This image is shattered by cards like Phil, Drew, and Auto-Revolver.

Phil would still be very strong even if his trait didn’t trigger in shootouts he isn’t involved in, I’m not afraid about any decrease in his playability.

As to Law Dogs sniffing injustice, Phil and Drew sure have a better sense of smell than Lucy and Tommy :slight_smile:

I always imagined Phil to be the young innocent officer, that, after a shootout(round) happened, starts running around riling everyone up over how “Those miscreants used tricks and cheats to win!”, falling into hectic activity because “Injustice!”, thus drawing new cards.

I fully agree about Auto-Revolver and similar stuff, though, using items outside of the shootout feels wrong.

I think thematically it would make more sense for Lucy to issue warrants even when outside of the shootout. Actually, mechanically too. I’d rather send a 1-infl dude into the fight and keep a 2-infl girl safe at home.

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