Unexpected use of cards

:yum::thinking: I would love to hear other times you or other Devs were surprised by a card use, or a deck utilizing a card you hadn’t considered.

Also, I have to agree about Law goes underground, and it’s used for both maneuvering and aggression. My review posted on it on dtdb.co explains it more throughly. I’ve used it to force my opponent to use their cheating resolutions up to no affect before launching a followup Bountyhunter + Steven Whiles.


I found this an interesting topic so I moved it into its own thread. lemme think of some cards/scenarios I didn’t personally anticipate. I’ll let @BeastEG put forth his own

  1. I did not expect fortress decks. I don’t remember this tactic being brought up in playtest and we were kinda focused on Kung-Fu a lot back then. I mostly expected people to spread out totems more and use them to better control locations. I did not expect to see a Nicodemus build out of them
  2. I was caught by surprise that 108 landslide ended up so good. I blame it on trying to juggle too many balls with IO,UF and trying to make sure the two new factions won’t fall flat, that I kinda missed that pespective. I’ve always been very valiant to prevent slides from being too dominating, but I slipped at that point.

And on the opposite side

  1. Given the PT reactions to it, I expected to see much more attempts to abuse Fool’s Gold. Some people were jumping up and down until the last minute that the card was completely OP :wink:

That’s what I can think of right now. Do post your own cases of unexpected uses of cards and I’ll let you know if I saw it coming :slight_smile:


I was on PT most of the time and was our 16x3 specialist tester to make sure it never got too powerful, so my recollection of my thoughts of a lot of cards is pretty hazy (since my first concern was whether it let me run rough shot over people in shootouts). I can remember some times I was woefully wrong about some cards after I joined DT in terms of effectiveness though.

  1. I really thought Moving Forward was going to be a coaster in the same vein as Auction. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see it sneak it’s way into a wide variety of decks.

  2. I didn’t think Highbinder Hotel was going to fuel LH Hit & Run to the extent it did when we first introduced it. I thought it was going to be more geared towards movement and landslide, but it ended up fueling LH in a lot of ways when combined with 108 WD. Probably my fault since like all my decks started with Hiding in the Shadows x4 and Unprepared x4 back in those days when we first drafted up the card :stuck_out_tongue:

  3. I thought Henry Moran was going to be very poorly received, but he ended up being an integral part of a lot of decks. Granted, it was for his 2 bullets for 1 GR more than anything else, but whatever makes the players happy! Especially since a lot of us were pretty down on him for quite some time.

  4. I think I underestimated how efficient Bowie Knife ended up being. A lot of decks tended to play weapons around me so a lot of times Bowie Knife never kicked off. After seeing how efficient is has been in a lot metas, we definitely should have given it more thought (or at least a higher cost)


Given the PT reactions to it, I expected to see much more attempts to abuse Fool’s Gold. Some people were jumping up and down until the last minute that the card was completely OP ← In it’s original incarnation, and what it was up until very near the end of PT, it WAS dramatically OP. The final version was under powered, but my opposition to it after the nerf was, and still is, that lowball is a fundamental balancing mechanic. Messing with it, and allowing the better structured deck to also be the deck that gains money in lowball inverts that mechanic and is not fun.

My opposition was not (at the end) “this card is too powerfull”, it was “This card makes me not want to play doomtown anymore”.

Fair enough, but I wasn’t talking about you specifically :smirk: But other than that, I disagree as much now as I did then. A lot of things mess with the “fundamental balancing mechanics” of the game. From bullet reduction, to hand-rank manipulation, to any number of effects that decks utilize to skew the balance in their favour. :wink:

PS: You made me check. The card was in its final iteration for about a month before PT ended :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: But then again, I maaay have been exagerrating a bit about how much opposition to the card there was :grimacing:

hah, I couldn’t remember the specific timing, and those forums got nuked so I couldn’t check :). Either way, We can (and probably will) agree to disagree on messing with fundamental balancing mechanics.

I have to ask about Showboating. Was it realized that it would create an entire new deck type? Was there awareness with certain spells having extremely low difficulty when targeting your own dudes?

So my memory is a bit spotty on this so I’m not certain I’m right, but I think we didn’t consider it as a deck archetype.

What is the use being referenced by db0 in the OP? Something regarding Allie and Amazing Grace? Not sure I understand…

You use Amazing Grace, walk your dude to the Town Square, ignore the first call out (due to amazing grace’s effect), then call out Allie non-exp which is booted.

You see, the problem with getting to Allie is that she usually has her Sloane buddies which will call-out anyone trying to reach her, keeping her out of danger. So even if you have a shotgun or soul blast equipped, you can’t take care of her, because she won’t join the defending posse. She won’t even join a job against her if there’s any chance she might be killed via shootout actions.

With the above trick, you force Allie to join her posse, which means she can’t avoid being at risk.


That’s great! Thanks for the explanation!

I can try to go off memory on this one, so I may be remembering things incorrectly. I remember having discussion about whether it fueled the ability of decks to just sit at home and rack up control points. If I remember though, we weren’t sure if it was too much after testing (I think it was okay in testing results, but we always had some nagging doubts in our heads). That said, we figured it was an interesting enough card that it would give players more options and expand the game further. After all, nothing risked, nothing ventured.

If I remember correctly, we figured it was going to be tough to win consistently and before time was called since the chances you’d be pulling off more than 1 per turn in the early game seemed limited since you can only pull it off so much. That said, it appears we should never underestimate the community’s ingenuity in finding ways to “break” cards and use them in unexpected ways.

There is also the fact that the deck is checked, heavily, by early aggression. Kidnapping, or other kill jobs to pick off the control points as you get them, rather than letting the accumulate, does a really strong job at holding a showboating deck back. Especially since it can’t shoot as well until later in the game.

I have experienced this, yes. You can either build Showboating into a deck that is shootout capable, which is much slower, or you can go all in with deck trimming and drawing, tons of spells, and cheap influence skilled dudes.

Showboating decks really do have major counters. I would argue that like with landslide you need to have those answers now.

I was just curious if Showboating decks were expected. Maybe I’m the only one playing it though.

To be honest, the current meta is… almost non-existent. While it’s been announced to relaunch, a lot of players moved on. Hopefully the relaunch can grab them back, but for the time being the meta will be very, very, slow.

1 Like

I can’t speak for previous playtest cycles, but I (and others) have integrated Showboating decks in to testing for the current cycle. :slight_smile:

@nocto took a showboatin deck to the T4 in York (18 player event) last year, they’re definitely part of the UK scene at least.

The deck she ran has a bit of job/forced callout protection built in via 3x Crafty Hare.


I absolutely love how the game has come along and where it is now - very balanced, and TONS of various “top tier” strategies. Very well designed, but I agree with Jayjester, and I think that Showboating was probably the worst mistake that has ever been printed.

There is really no other card in the game that literally allows you to stay at your home 100% of the game and win. Slide has to spread out deeds, and Fortress has to at least hold up somewhere outside of their home if they want Nicodemus to do his thing. Showboating doesn’t require any of that, and I can’t see any situation in which the card is only a cool way to get an extra control point here or there. It is begging to be broken, and I’ve seen how bad it can be, both from a deck I made and Jayjesters many versions.

The ‘just pack target removals’ argument doesn’t sit well with me either. At least with slide and fortress, you could conceivably win without spot removal (even if spot removal was quite helpful). Not the case with showboating. I don’t like that decks exist now that absolutely FORCE targeted removal, or else you’re screwed. And not just one or two in your deck, either, if you hope to have a chance. Just my last game with Jayjester playing a showboating deck I had one Kidnappin in there, but didn’t happen to draw it and just watched as I could do nothing but sit helplessly and lose.

It’s the worst kind of card/deck to play against. It’s not fun to play as, either, as you just sit there casting spells that often have little purpose other than digging for those J of clubs.

I think it’s surprising that these sorts of decks weren’t expected, but coming from a team who designed such pure awesome (and knowing how complex the whole process is) I very much forgive them… but I wouldn’t be sad if it was errata’d out of existence/usefulness :slight_smile:


I’ll be honest, without spot removal I cannot see a conceivable way to beat a well piloted slide deck.

Ever since slide entered the scene, “play kidnapping or lose” has been a function of the top tier. Yes, some decks could cheat that, with a variation on kidnapping (ambush, forced quarantine, etc.), but targeted removal became vital to any shooting based strategy.

I haven’t seen it directly in action, but showboating as a deck type is pretty similar to spirit fortress, it is just able to do it from home as well [which may or may not be a problem, sure].

Another way to increase the probability of winning against a well-piloted slide deck is to outpace it. There is an article called “Slippery when Wet” floating around here that gives pretty solid advice…

I would suspect, but haven’t verified by playing yet, that a similar strategy could be taken with Showboating - they do after all have to purchase their hearts cards, play their hand to cycle, and make their pulls, all the while staying at home and trying to somehow set down enough Influence to keep themselves in the game.

If Showboating becomes a problem, it could easily be changed into something where you have to either be not at home or an opposing dude must be at the location - cause it ain’t really Showboating if nobody sees you doing it.