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Go to the Doomtown: Reloaded - Base Set page
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Saddle up and ride into the dangerous world of Gomorrah, where you’ll face up against treacherous factions, discover mysterious characters and magic, and have the chance to claim fame and rule over the Wild West! Doomtown: Reloaded by Alderac Entertainment Group is a Western themed deck-building strategy card game that provides a unique experience for players with its terminology, use of poker hands, and resource management mechanics. The world of Gomorrah is filled with unique characters, spells, and locations, all supporting the ever-immersive western style. Although the game may seem daunting at first with its array of western terms and complex phases, Doomtown: Reloaded offers exciting strategic mechanics that will challenge players and ultimately result in very satisfying victories.

A large part of the learning curve can be attributed to the western themes terminology that is found throughout the entirety of the gameplay experience. Learning and memorizing these terms can take time, but make much more sense after a few playthroughs. A few notable terms are Boot (tapping a card), Dudes (characters), and Deeds (controllable points). Furthermore, the use of Poker terminology is used in specific phases and card suits are often referred to as well. Because of this learning curve it is recommended to follow the tutorial that the game comes with. The tutorial has two pre-built decks that walk players through one turn of the game, along with two play mats that provide card positioning and player tips.

For a player to win in Doomtown: Reloaded, they must have more control points (controlled Deeds) than opponent’s Influence (Dudes) at the conclusion of the Sundown Phase. This is achieved with the use of several tactics that players will learn and become more effective with as they become accustomed to the game mechanics. Players must build their own deck and balance between different card types and suits to maximize their chances to win in different phases. On top of this, players must learn to manage their resources with the in-game currency, also known as Ghost Rocks.

There are four phases in Doomtown: Reloaded. The first phase is known as the Gamblin’ Phase, which decides the player who goes first. The Gamblin’ Phase is based on a lowball Poker hand. The player with the lowest hand rank wins and gets to take their turn first. The second phase is known as the Upkeep Phase. This is the time when players collect currency (Ghost Rocks) and pay wages (or upkeep) to their Dudes (characters). The most interactive phase is the High Noon Phase, where players can make a variety of decisions. Players can initiate Actin’ (use a card action), Call Out (challenge an opponent’s dude to a shootout), Move (move a dude to a new location), Shop (play a card from your hand), and Trade (swap goods cards with Dudes in same location). Although complex, this phase is where the majority of player strategy is presented, allowing players to make strategic decisions and planning for future turns. The last phase is the Sundown Phase and its purpose is to check to see if any player has won. If not, then the game goes into the next day and the phases reset, beginning at the Gamblin’ Phase again. Each of these phases introduces players to unique interactions and encounters, and although complex at first-glance, they become much more intuitive after playing several turns.

Doomtown: Reloaded is a very thought-provoking strategy card game that will push players to plan and build their decks wisely. The large amount of risk involved with each and every action really adds a sense of tension throughout the High Noon Phase and introduces players to cautious planning and execution. To begin Doomtown: Reloaded, I highly recommend the use of the tutorial which walks players through one day (each phase) of gameplay. This provides a basis for understanding terminology and details within each phase. Some of the terms could have been left out and more generic wording and phrasing would have sufficed (ie. The use of “Boot” instead of the more common term of “Tap”), but following the theme of the game world seemed more important to the developers. Because of the steep learning curve, this game is recommended for people who are experienced in deck building card games and perhaps not casual players since it will take several playthroughs to get the hang of the game mechanics. This learning curve though is what makes Doomtown: Reloaded such a rewarding gameplay experience; the opportunity to build your own deck, improve it over time, and claim territory in the wild west of Gomorrah.

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