Alderac Entertainment Group (Better known as AEG) have been around for a long time. The American based company was founded in 1993 and is probably best known for it’s card game ‘Legend of the Five Rings’ and the Role-Playing Game based in the same world.
The buzz on the street is that their new product due to hit the shelves in August is going to be a big one. ‘Definitely one to watch’ would be the line to use here. It’s not the first time ‘Doomtown’ has existed as a card game, indeed the original version was set loose upon the world in 1998. The rights for the game have changed a number of times with Wizards of the Coast having a solid crack at it up to 2001 and enjoying good sales before letting the contract lapse. AEG ended up with the rights though, overestimated demand and made an overly large print run which then in turn got damaged in a warehouse making it unsellable.
Fans kept the series alive for a while and lived in hope that AEG would do something with the license, and finally, after some 13 years they have.
The reboot, aptly named ‘Doomtown: Reloaded’ moves away from the earlier booster style setup akin to Magic: The Gathering and now resembles something much more like a Living Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games. That means no card rarity and no boosters. Instead AEG will release small expansions called ‘Saddlebags’ every couple of months. Each Saddlebag will contain 4 of each card (a playset) and 21 different cards. Like the Living Card Games there will also be deluxe expansions from time to time as well.
Something really exciting is that AEG are going to follow in the footsteps of Legend of the Five Rings and actually have the players determine the story as it moves forward. Results from big tournaments, along with decklists and faction preferences will help steer the story as it matures.
It appears come August that we will have the option of either a standard Base Set and a Deluxe Base Set. The Base Set will contain 286 cards, a token punchboard, a town square game board, a learn to play book and a rulebook. No details yet on what’s inside the Deluxe Base Set yet though. I wasn’t able to find any pricing information at this time either, although I would expect it to be around the same price as the FFG offerings.
While the original game featured 10 factions, the reboot is starting with four – Law Dogs, The Sloane Gang, Morgan Cattle Company and The Fourth Ring. There are no further clues or information alluding to whether AEG intend to include further factions or not but no doubt the option will be there in future expansions.
Decks consist of 52 cards, the same as a regular deck of playing cards and each card also has either a Spade, Club, Diamond or Heart icon.
Spades = Dudes and Townsfolk
Diamonds = Property Deeds
Hearts = Goods, Spells and Attachments
Clubs = Action Cards
The game is played in a ‘Town’ with each player taking control of one side of the main ‘Street’. The real fun though is in the ‘Shootouts’, this is where the card suit and value takes another form as players attempt to create the best ‘Poker Hand’ they can in order to win.
I won’t go into much further detail with the rules as a basic tutorial goes through it much more comprehensively on the Doomtown: Reloaded website.
While I’m not personally a huge fan of the ‘Wild West’ theme, well not unless it has space ships as well (a la Firefly), I must admit I’m very interested in playing this game. I’ll definitely be picking up a copy of either the Base Set or the Deluxe Base Set come August and hope to be playing a few games at my Local Gaming Store.
For a lot more information regarding this product, rules explanation and more, head over to the Downtown: Reloaded website here.