New Faction, and the return of Fear mechanics!

I think DTR balances complexity vs genericity well, leaning well towards the former. Prospective players never fail to mention that they “love the theme” and I tend to think of this as the “easy” entry point. The mechanics is the first hill to climb, followed by the strategy, across all modes of play (piloting, construction, meta).

That said, I think it’d be truly hard to compare apples to apples. Classic had rarity, compounding the complexity considerations with card scarcity. Reloaded sits in a time where there are really great card games competing for hobby-time, and as a result, may not draw as wide an audience out of sheer glut. If Classic were an LCG, or if Reloaded were released 20 years ago, we might be able to make a more fair comparison.

To me, I think DTR retains exactly enough complexity to retain it’s best characteristics, while also demonstrating broad enough appeal to not completely alienate all but the most “dedicated” players. The fact that all the “hidden work” playtest does to put a fine point on the work design does is attested to when you look at the comparatively broad spread (across factions, outfits, playstyles) of results from various types of organized and casual play (at least, those who report…).

As such, and double as a fan for complexity, this leaves the soil ripe for Alternate Formats for the hands of those who crave “more” - and their merry-go-lucky playgroups - such that the game can be enjoyed by an even broader spectrum of players. I think the Reloaded team - AEG to Pinebox - have done a great job cultivating that soil.

That all said, do I smell another Alternate Format perhaps called “Harrowed Dominion” brewing? If so, if I were to throw out some ideas, a primary one would be some way for a dude without the keyword already who is killed to somehow obtain it as a result of some effect generated by the format itself. That way, I could use a deck I have already built, not just a deck that happens to utilize the keyword, and participate in the primary fun of the format. This could be accomplished in multiple ways.


Ps. I tease the former Classic players with the phrase “Shootouts are Safe” as a way to use humor to highlight some of the key differences between Classic and DTR. And I think that’s actually pretty funny…


New Alternate Format:

Shallow Grave
This format works best in multi-player. There are three changes. First, the Harrowed keyword has additional text (called Dominion). Second, each location has it’s own Boot Hill (called Shallow Grave). Third, there is a Lowball mechanic that may “randomly” return an aced dude from a Boot Hill (called Hell’s Fury).

Dudes who have, or who later obtain, the Harrowed keyword, have the following additional text:
“This dude cannot refuse callouts. The first time each turn this dude is chosen or affected by an Actin’ play (movin, tradin’, callin’ out, or shoppin’), after that play is resolved, pull. If the pull is red, the Winner gains control of the dude until the end of that player’s next noon action. If the pull is black, boot this dude, and they immediately call out an opposing dude with the highest grit in this or an adjacent location (moving if necessary, and choosing in the case of a tie). This callout cannot be refused.”

Shallow Grave
Each time a dude is aced from play, place their card underneath the location they were aced at. For dudes aced in the town square, just flip those cards over and keep a “gravestone” marker above the pile. Dudes placed under a location are considered out of play and in Boot Hill whenever the game checks for their location, normally.

Hell’s Fury
Before drawing Lowball hands, starting with the Winner and going clockwise, players may ante an additional ghost rock. Resolve Lowball normally. If the new Winner was a player who anted an additional ghost rock, they must return the pot to the bank and pull. The dude in any Boot Hill with a value closest to the pull returns to play (under their owner’s control) at the location they were aced at, permanently gains the Harrowed keyword, and has their upkeep reduced to zero during this upkeep phase. If there are more than one legal targets, the new Winner may choose from among them.

Comments or suggestions?


I’m not sure I like the winner getting control, I dont win lowball a lot. Lol

Really fun and interesting discussions. I want more time to indulge myself!


In the last week the three games I’ve played have been Doomtown:Reloaded, Gloomhaven and Arkham Horror LCG so it seems like we’ve got a pretty big overlap.

I think Doomtown is deep and interesting enough that further complexity would risk sacrificing the pool of interested players, as much as I miss the flavour of Fear levels I think it was a worthwhile sacrifice. Similar can be said for card memory and global uniqueness, which while cool could cause balance issues and for many players aren’t worth the added complexity. @jordan_caldwell does a good job on laying out Doomtown’s attempt to hit the right point here - even if retaining some of these elements would drive Doomtown to a 9.8 to a 9.9 for me (or tweak it down to a 9.7 for things I don’t miss!) it would drop the enthusiasm from other players from a 7 or 8 to a 4 or 5.

The above all said, I’m glad these things were being championed and debated even if you didn’t come out on top and thank you for your hard work in bringing the game back. :thumbsup:

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Nobody wins lowball in DTR because there are no real consequences for cheating!

This is a first draft so alternative suggestions are totally welcome…

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