Ten Reasons To Love Doomtown: Reloaded October 06 2015

By Redditor /u/mysticpickle - Edited by Games of Berkeley
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Doomtown: Reloaded is about to hit its 1-year anniversary and it still blows my mind that some folks have not yet experienced this mind-blowingly amazing game. If you haven’t given it a spin yet here are 10 reasons you might want to get in on the action!

#10: No more pay-to-win!

Doomtown: Reloaded is an ECG (Expandable Card Game) made by AEG. Like other games in its category, instead of hunting down the cards you need from random booster packs, you can buy a full playset of all the new cards from a single expansion that is released roughly every 6 weeks.

This kind of model puts to bed the often pay-to-win situations found in many collectible card games. Everyone who plays Doomtown: Reloaded is going to be on an equal footing in terms of access to the best cards! Only your skill and cunning while preparing and playing the game will determine how well you do!

#9: Sheer Physical Value

As a board/card gamer, I love stuff. The only thing I love more than stuff is A LOT of really high quality stuff for an awesome value and Doomtown provides it in spades! Every card in Doomtown is printed on a linen-finish card stock which helps preserve the physical card during play and makes shuffling an absolute dream.

The Doomtown Core Set comes with a whopping 284 Cards and you also get and you get a metric ton of cardboard tokens and two player boards to boot! One core set is more than enough to make 4 standalone starting decks without swapping cards in between and still have a TON of cards left over to customize with!

Each saddlebag expansion gives you 84 cards which far more than any other similar game out there. If you enjoy the pleasures of sheer physical value, Doomtown has you covered!

#8: Fantastic Company Support

With any game that’s even remotely competitive, it’s really nice to have the company making the game support the scene by producing Tournament only exclusive prizes. AEG is fantastic in its support of competitive Doomtown: Reloaded with amazing tournament kits containing beautiful playmats, promo cards, and the highly coveted Deputy/Sheriff Badges among other goodies!


On AEG’s official forums, they have a dedicated rules team that is lightning quick to answer any questions about the game. Anytime I’ve posted a rules question on the forum, they’ve responded in less than 1 day. That kind of quick response time shows me the company that makes the game really cares that the folks who play their game are having a good time.

On top of that, they also fully support the creation of Fan-made resources like dtdb.co and The Gomorra Gazette that have become indispensable as grounds for discussion and sharing of ideas about the game!

Yep. The Promo joker is cooler by far!

#7: Deck Building Possibilities

If you love the deck building aspect of card games almost as much as playing the game itself, Doomtown is going be your jam, no question. There’s just SO much you can consider when making a deck!

A typical Doomtown deck consists of 52 cards + up to 2 jokers. You are limited to including 4 cards that share a number and suite. For instance you can only have 4 copies of any Eight of Spades card and 4 copies of any Eight of Diamonds card in a deck. This leads all sorts of interesting decisions as you can’t put 4 copies of each of your favorite cards if they happen to share both a number and suit!

I love you both very much. Why do you have to share the same slot?!

Combat in Doomtown is also done using a poker hand rank system (ie A Full House beats a Three-of-a Kind, more on this later) so it may behoove you to include as many copies of a particular number so you’re more likely to draw those high Four-of-a-Kind hands that will help you win a shootout. But at the start of each turn, the winner of initiative and a small cash pot is determined by the lowest hand rank so you’re not likely to win that if your deck is stacked to draw high poker hand ranks (4x8 of Spades+4x8 of Diamonds+4x8 of Clubs+ 4x8 of Hearts).

Not only do you have to consider if a card is worthwhile to include for its actual ability, you also have to consider if the card number + suite is going help you win fights or initiative! There’s just so much crunchy deck building goodness to think about!


#6: A Dynamic Story

As expansions are released, the story line of game slowly unfolds. Not only are you pumped to use all the new cards in your decks, you get to see the evolving fate of all your favorite characters. Take for example the first story arc involving the town’s Mayoral election. Two candidates appear then are assassinated two packs later by the notorious Sloane Gang!

Two enter, none leave!

Participants at large events like the Marshall Tournament held at GenCon this year also helped determine the continuing fate of some of the characters. I’ll be sticking with the game to see how the story turns out as much as for the awesome gameplay!

#5: A Good Start

One defining game play feature that make Doomtown unique is that you get to pick your starting gang! This is huge as it lets you consistently define what your opening strategy is going to be! Based on your starting money you can take up to Five dudes (characters) from you deck and put them into play before the game even begins.

So you can spend all your money to hire a gang of elite sharpshooters or you can be economical and hire a bunch of civilians so you have lots of money left over to buy deeds in town and goods for your dudes. Your starting hand doesn’t necessarily determine how you play, you do!


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#4: Fantastic Player Community

All the LCG/ECG communities I’ve been involved with have been absolutely stellar and Doomtown is no exception. Folks involved in these type of games are incredibly welcoming of new players because more than anything, they just want MORE people to play these great games with! When bragging rights and few bits of swag are the only thing on the line, even a tournament environment feels like a casual gathering of friends.

The online communities for Doomtown at dtdb.co, The Gomorra Gazette, and BoardGameGeek, and even the /r/Doomtown subreddit are full of players that are enthusiastic about helping newer players get a handle on the game. Anywhere you go someone is going be willing to lend a helping hand and that’s the kind of community I want to be a part of!

#3: Importance of Movement

Unlike many other card games out there when you play a game of Doomtown you aren’t fighting over some abstracted battleground where you send your minions in the general direction of your opponent. You are literally building the locations in Town as the game progresses and the spatial position of your characters on these locations matters just much as how intrinsically strong they are!

You can have one incredibly strong character that will slaughter 4 much weaker characters in a straight up fight. However, that one strong character can only move so far in a given day and he might only be able to move and chase off one of the opposing weaker characters from one location while the other 3 maneuver out his reach and control other locations!

You’ll often see situations where one player will use one of their civilian characters to lure an opponent’s strong gunfighter away from a more important location they want to take over later in the round. The game can feel very chess-like as the two players jockey for control of important locations in town!

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#2: Wild Western Theme

Many of us are entranced by the theme of the Wild West, where laws are thin and the air is thick with hot lead flying! Everything about Doomtown screams classic Western from the gambling and guns art motif, the factions, and especially the steady pace of tension buildup to the cataclysmic final shootout.


In a typical Doomtown card a characters’ strengths are measured in Bullets (how well they fight) and poker chips (how influential they are with the townsfolk). You might have a famous gambler who is very influential with the townsfolk at a location and can rally their support easily but can’t hit the broadside of a barn.

You might also have an obscure bandit who’s a crack shot but can’t convince the townsfolk at a place to support his side because no one knows who he is! But hey, he can sure kill off that famous gambler!

The game’s factions also tie in with theme seamlessly where the Bandit Sloane Gang can win the game by staying in town square and showing everyone in town who’s boss while the Sheriff’s Law Dogs get advantages in shootouts when the they face evil doers that cheat in poker hands or who have bounties on their head!

#1: Poker Combat Mechanics

This is by far my favorite aspect of Doomtown. The outcome of a shootout is determined by who draws the better poker hand with the difference in hand ranks being the number casualties the losing side has to take! As a refresher here they are:

These are all classic poker hands except for the Dead Man’s Hand which is the exact hand held by Wild Bill Hickock when he was shot while playing poker (whoooo theme!)

By default, players will draw the top 5 cards of their decks to make their shootout hands. Based on who is shooting, players may be able to redraw some of those 5 cards or even draw up additional cards based on how good of a shooter the character fighting is.

Example: (left to right) A Bartender (0-brass bullets) who has never held a gun in her life would draw just the top 5 cards of the deck. A bandit (2-brass bullets) who’s a decent shot would draw 5 cards from the top of the deck and can discard and redraw up to 2 of them. The Sheriff (3-silver bullets) can draw 5 cards from the top of the deck PLUS an additional 3 cards and discard down to 5 cards to make his shootout hand!

As you can see the sharper the shooter the more likely you are to draw a strong shootout hand and make the opponent take casualties. Of course it’s not a sure thing but at its heart, gunfighting is risky business and this mechanic captures its spirit perfectly!

So it’s entirely possible for a bartender facing down three ruthless bandits to draw a 5-of-a-Kind hand (rank 10) and the three bandits to only draw a Two Pair (rank 3) which would cause the demise of all three bandits. Is it likely? Not at all! But when it does happen, legends begin in the Wild West!

That wraps my list of reasons but you might find some more of your own as you dive in! Now git out there and start playin’ some Doomtown, unless yer a yella belly varmit! :D


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Reason #11: This review by ShutUpandSitDown



Doomtown: Reloaded Communities

Alderac Entertainment Group Forums

Doomtown Official Facebook Group

Gomorra Gazette

Doomtown Subreddit

Doomtown BoardGameGeek Forums