Key Points to Hosting Effective Doomtown Demos
This is a walkthrough tutorial that helps you learn or demo Doomtown. It is designed to accompany the decks found at:
A full narrative script and ‘behind the scenes’ annotation is also found at this site.
An effective demo BRIEFLY introduces a new player to a game. Demos should last no more than 20-30 minutes. What follows is a sequence of key points for introducing Doomtown.
Preparation: set out boards/mats and separate control point and influence tokens, along with the different ghost rock denominations. Pull outfit card, starting gang, and each faction’s starting hand. Set the starting influences diagonal from each other in the left center of the play space.
Law Dogs starting gang: Law Dogs Outfit, Clementine Lepp, Philip Swinford, Tommy Harden, Erik Samson, and Willa Mae McGowan.
Start with 4 GR, 2 income, 4 Influence.
Set the following cards aside to form your starting hand: Yan Li’s Tailoring, Winchester Model 1873, Sun in Your Eyes, Faster on the Draw, and It’s Not What You Know.
The Sloane Gang starting gang: Allie Hensman, Clementine Lepp, Lawrence Blackwood, Barton Everest, Jacqueline Isham.
Start with 3 GR, 2 Income, 3 Influence.
Set the following cards aside to form your starting hand: Charlie’s Place, Cattle Market, LeMat Revolver, Bad Company, and Samantha “Sammy” Cook.
YOU are doing a demo for a NP [New Player].
Introduce yourself, and briefly describe the theme of the game.
a. Law Dogs [you] and The Sloane Gang [NP] are 2 of 6 factions.
b. Two days [turns] in Gomorra
i) day 1 – phases of a turn and possible actions
ii) day 2 – Shootouts and resolving conflict
Examine decks – notice they are ‘stacked’ on certain values, Aces (low) to Kings (high) plus 2 Jokers
a. card attributes – 4 Suits/card types b. red poker chips (influence) vs. blue poker chips (control points)
c. bullets – silver/stud/add cards vs. brass/draw/redraw cards d. costs
Winning the Game
a. Control Points vs. Influence
i) how to gain/lose each
Setup/starting the game
[Demo – fixed starting gangs and opening hands]
a. Cost of starting gang and calculate initial GR and Influence
b. Faction symbols vs. Drifters
c. Clementine Lepp – BOTH decks/starters – unique IN play for THAT deck.
d. Brief description of Outfit abilities and goals/themes and bullets/influence/upkeep dudes
e. Acknowledge normally deal opening hand
Turn represents one day in Doomtown. Each turn has four phases: Gambling, Upkeep, High Noon, and Sundown.
i) explain principle of Lowball
ii) how lowball ‘balances’ the game for ‘fair’ vs. ‘cheatin’ decks iii) gain clues about draw structure and key cards
a. Income - Outfit GR (and later, other deeds you own AND control)
b. subtract upkeep [Barton and Erik]
a. Noon Plays – Shoppin’, Movin’, Actin’, Callin’ Out, Passin’, and Tradin’ [not covered]
b. Scripted plays: [assumes NP wins Lowball on Turn 1, You win Lowball on Turn 2]
YOU direct the NP actions [scripted plays]
NP: Shoppin’ → Charlie’s Place [pay 3GR, gain 2 income, +1 CP, ability]
YOU: Shoppin’ → Yan Li’s Tailoring [pay 3GR, gain 2 income, +1 CP, ability]
NP: Movin’ → Clementine Lepp → Charlie’s Place
[describe ‘free moves’ vs. regular/booted moves]
Traits – Clementine +1 Influence for being in Saloon (TSG → 4 Inf)
YOU: Actin’ – Boot Yan Li’s to use Noon ABILITY – place influence chip on Philip Swinford
(LD → 5 Inf)
NP: Movin’ → Allie Hensman → town square (‘free move’)
YOU: Boot LD outfit + Clementine Lepp → Bounty (1 GR coin) on Barton Everest
NP: Movin’ → Jacqueline Isham → town square
NP: Actin’ → Allie Hensman → Ability → Boot to gain +1 Control Point (TSG → 2 CP)
NP: Actin’ → Boot The Sloane Gang outfit + Jacqueline Isham (remain in TS through Sundown)
YOU: Passin’ → Both YOU and NP (High Noon phase ends)
YOU: Sundown. Check for victory. LD have 5 influence to TSG 2 control points for TSG. TSG has 4 influence to LD 1 control point. Game continues. Jacqueline Isham takes the ghost rock. Noon effects expire. Remove Clementine’s Influence gained via Yan Li’s Tailoring ability. NP discards Samantha “Sammy” Cooke and draws two cards to get back up to five cards. You do not discard, and draw one card to bet back up to five as well. Unboot/straighten all cards.
YOU: Second turn will set up a Callin’ Out action that leads to a shootout. Shootout two ways: 1) straight up pure firepower, 2) mitigating the lethality via tricks and stratagems.
b. Lowball [narrative assumes that YOU/LD wins lowball and gains Ante]
YOU: LD wins Ante. Both +5 ghost rock from our Deeds and Outfit.
Both have 1 upkeep. Both net +4 Ghost Rock.
YOU: Actin’ → Boot Yan Li’s → Philip Swinford (+1 Influence, LD 5 total Inf)
NP: Shoppin’ → LeMat Revolver → Barton Everest [pay 2GR, +1 bullets]
YOU: Actin’ → Boot Law Dogs outfit + Philip Swinford → Allie Hensman +1 Bounty
NP: Movin’ → Barton Everest → Charlie’s Place
YOU: Shoppin’ → Winchester Model 1873 → Tommy Harden [pay 1GR, +1 bullets)
NP: Actin’ → Boot Charlie’s Place → ability → Barton Everest [total of +5 stud bullets]
NP: Actin’ → Bad Company → Barton Everest +3 bullets [+8 stud bullets total]
YOU: Movin’ → Tommy Harden → Town Square
NP: Actin’ → Boot Allie Hensman → +1 Control Point [+2 CP on Allie, TSG 3 CP]
YOU: Callin’ Out → Tommy Harden does a Callin’ Out action on Allie Hensman
11a. FIRST SHOOTOUT – straight up bullets
YOU: Form posses. Dude who initiated the callout is the Leader (Tommy). Dude being called out is the Mark (Allie). Leader forms their posse first, followed by the Mark. Dudes at the location do not have to move, and can join even if already booted. Dudes at adjacent locations can boot to join the posse, but cannot join if already booted. Willa Mae McGowan (1 draw) and Erik Samson (2 draw) boot to join Tommy’s posse.
NP: Jacqueline Isham joins [becomes +2 stud]. Barton Everest boots and joins.
YOU: Starting with the WINNER, play SHOOTOUT abilities until both consecutively pass.
[play this straight up without actions and both you and NP pass]
YOU: Leader declares their shooter, then the Mark.
[usually most stud bullets. Tommy Harden 2 stud / 2 draw vs. Barton Everest 9 stud/1 draw]
[LD → legal FH, TSG nudge towards Cheatin’ 5oK → DMH]
[Tommy’s trait gives LD +2 hand rank, so TSG should win by 2 ranks etc.]
YOU: Send Allie home to safety (still booted). Everyone else remains.
[RESET and redo shootout – same dudes, but now use shootout actions per below]
11b. SECOND SHOOTOUT – LD actions/nerfs
YOU: Posses remain as they were
[Barton starts w/ +9 total stud bullets w/1 Draw, Tommy +2 total stud bullets, backed up by 2 draw]
YOU: Sun in Yer Eyes → Barton → now DRAW with 6 bullets
NP: play a shootout action if available or Pass
YOU: Faster on the Draw → Tommy [+3 stud] → Jacqueline [becomes 0 Stud]
NP: Shootout action or Pass (assume Pass)
YOU: Boot Winchester + Tommy [+4 stud, or nerf a SIYE]
YOU: Declare Shooters: Tommy [4S/1D] vs. Barton [7D/1S]
[LD → legal FH/4oK] vs. [assume Cheatin’ FH or legal 3oK/2P]
[Do Philip and Tommy if Cheatin’]
Legal FH to Cheatin’ FH [LD 7, TSG 7 → Tommy 9 Barton 8 → LD 2GR to play INWYK LD 9, TSG 4 etc.] 5 casualties etc. [can play IKWYK to lower legal hand by 1 rank to ‘break tie’ etc.] or Legal FH to Legal 2P or 3K rank 7 to rank 3 or 4 → lots of casualties
***Wrap up demo here - they should have seen all of the phases of a turn and noon plays (not Tradin’)
→ Still interested and you have time? NOW you can play a game and go over more tips n tricks. [give 'em the option to ‘seed with the deed’ or play straight up].
PRACTICE THIS SOLO and with an experienced friend/opponent.
If you can do this smoothly, you will have an effective 20-30 minute demo that shows off the core mechanics and plays of Doomtown.
Some topics to consider for longer or subsequent demos:
• Movin’ to out of town deeds or to an opponent’s deed
• Changes to control and production/income via deed takeover
• Experienced dudes and non-unique dudes
• Deck Construction
• Spells and Gadgets (requires other decks/cards)