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Go to the Doomtown: Reloaded - Base Set page
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Doomtown: Reloaded is the rerelease of the classic Deadlands: Doomtown. A CCG with a rich western, sci-fi design aesthetic, Doomtown sets itself apart by offering a deep gameplay experience with its intricacies in deck construction, movement, and poker hand rank resolution. Players fight for control of properties, or deeds, through shootouts between opposing factions and dudes, or characters. If you’re looking for game rich in strategy and can get over the steep learning curve, then you and your posse should have no problem fitting in the fictional western town of Gomorra.

Doomtown is a beautiful game, hands down. The quality of the materials itself constantly gain praise in the circle of gamers. The cards are sturdy, handle well, and definitely outrank materials of more common TCGs like that of Magic: The Gathering. The core package was definitely meant to be purchased once, but enjoyed many times over.
Doomtown is a game of control and resources, which also include the amount of play space required to play the game. Do not be fooled by the short stature of the play boards included in the core package, you will have to commandeer a play space of twice that to play comfortably. The art and graphics of the game in all materials are easily in my top three of “nicest to look at when waiting 20+ minutes for your opponent to finish their turn” games. That estimate is no joke, Doomtown can be a long game. With that in mind, let’s discuss the mechanics that make up Doomtown: Reloaded.

Each player and their outfit, or faction, possess a fifty-two card deck. Composed of seven types of cards from characters to properties. Doomtown is a control based game with players fighting over deeds in hopes of collecting enough control points, denoted by a blue poker chip to outweigh their opponents influence, or the sum of their red poker chip values. Be prepared to keep the rules nearby just to keep track of the numerous numbers and their meanings on the crowded card faces as you will lose track.
Doomtown is a game of turn based card play, with the first phase being an atypical round of five card lowball poker, where players ante and attempt to get the lowest rank. Following is the upkeep phase where characters and properties in play must be paid off to stay in play. The real meat of Doomtown play occur in the “High Noon” phase. Through a number of back and forth “Noon Play” turns, players put characters into play, maneuver them around the board, play event cards, and arm their characters to name just a few actions. This continues until a Shootout occurs, when a player “Calls out” another player and their character at the same physical location.
A Shootout is Doomtown’s main form of combat, with poker hand resolution serving as the main mechanic. This continues back and forth until characters flee or the number of casualties equal the size of the posse, or either band of characters. It’s the shootout phase where the real strategy and action of Doomtown occurs. The variety in the numerous character abilities in Doomtown make for insanely interesting matchups and choices that the player must make. After the shootout, cards are reset and the game winning mechanic is evaluated. Do you have more control than your opponent’s influence? If so, you win this game of Doomtown: Reloaded!

With all the above being said, the game is splendid if you give it time and understanding. There is one thing that makes it impossible for me to recommend Doomtown to anyone but experienced to expert board gamers.
The game is complex and has a terribly high learning curve. From the numerous exception based rules and processes, the “In case you forget” warnings littered around the board, and the sometimes cryptic card faces with numbers, symbols, and confusing flavor text, Doomtown is not an easy game. Casual belongs nowhere near Doomtown as I can only recommend this to experienced and above board gamers accustomed to thumbing through manuals for an extraordinary amount of time their first couple games. AEG attempts to remedy this by supplying two starter decks in a custom order that matches a hand held walkthrough of the game. The tutorial however falls victim to the aesthetic, littered with flavor text and attempts to fit in with the theme that gets in the way of communicating the main mechanics in a clear and concise way.
Doomtown: Reloaded is a game meant for those gamers looking for a complex, deep card game experience with an equally interesting aesthetic and style. A great value for the price also given that the core set includes quite the set of starting cards that allow you to dive into the complexities of Doomtown before asking you to purchase expansion packs to expand your repertoire. The replay value here is high, if you can stand the lengthy introduction.

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