Lynch Mob – A Deadlands: Doomtown Classic Artwork Review

Originally published at:

by David Orange

Lynch Mob, illustrated by Dan Frazier, continues a retrospective of removal mechanics. As a ‘kill card, the card effect aces/removes of one of the opponent’s wanted dudes. Of course, this requires ways of making dudes wanted. Other than the obvious Breakin’ n Enterin’ private property, Deadlands: Doomtown has roughly a dozen cards that impose a wanted state upon some poor sap. Warrant and Guilt by Association are the typical actions, and Confession is a go-to Miracle for wanted-tech decks. What these ‘make wanted’ cards have in common with Lynch Mob is ‘risk-free hate’ – e.g. the player does not have to engage their opponent by actually putting dudes in harm’s way. That’s right, just turtle at home, boot, and Ker-Ching! one less über-stud gunslinger or influential dude to worry about. While Control Points win games, the complement to gaining control is removing influence-which Lynch Mob does with a vengeance, thank you very much. Play enough weenies, and even the mighty Black Jack himself can sport a hemp necktie.

Lynch Mobs have formed ever since Doomtown’s inception, as the card made its debut as a rare from the initial episode 1&2 set. Eights are a great value for Doomtown, and the clubs are part of the dreaded Dead Man’s Hand. For LawDog decks, Lynch Mob’s kill efficiency more than holds its own against Killer Eights such as Kidnappin’ and can often replace the dreaded Jackelope Stampede or Start Again (wanted decks often run Redhanded and/or Flight of Angels). As one might expect, Lynch Mobs are most often whipped into frenzy by the various flavors of LawDogs who know how to pin crimes real and imagined upon their opponents. Here are some decks that feature Lynch Mob:

Rich Carter’s four on the floor Championship deck

David Orange’s Double Barreled Champions of Justice
(current version starts Reverend Simon McPherson and techs more Wanted hatin’ Miracles than the Confession listed here)


The best card game art not only tells a story, but also immerses the player into the narrative. Just as we saw with Burnt Offerin’, the perspective is ‘front and center and looking through the scene’. In this case, we first navigate through a see of upraised sharp tools and weapons. The unseen player thus controls the mob, mirroring the playing of the card for its ability and in-game effect. Whereas Burnt Offerin’ had a straight-ahead perspective, Lynch Mob starts low to the ground and sweeps upwards. The diagonal left to right sweep of the background suggests the subject’s pendulum swing. Even though the artwork shows only the very last section of rope, the upward viewpoint makes clear that the hapless victim is strung up from an overhanging branch or beam. The victim is himself a macabre inside joke, the artist as a (dare I say well-hung?) hanged man. Visible on the artwork, is a monogrammed “DF” on the shirt pocket. Yet we feel no sympathy for our victim. As Lillian Gish quoted her early director and mentor D.W. Griffith, ‘Shoot from above for an angel; shoot from below for a devil.’