Thursday, February 17, 2011

Character Guide: Jesse Jones

Jesse Jones

Edit (3/29/12):: Added Dodge City info.

Character Name: Jesse Jones.

Inspired by: Jesse James, American outlaw, leader of the James-Younger Gang, bank robber, murderer, and train robber.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Neutral.

Ability: "During phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the deck, or randomly from the hand of any other player. Then he draws the second card from the deck."

Activation: During his drawing phase -- first card.

Cards enhanced by Jesse Jones' ability: Panic!, Cat Balou, attack cards.

Cards more effective when played against Jesse Jones: Jail.

Ideal Roles for Jesse Jones: Good for all.

Characters Jesse Jones counters well: Pedro Ramirez, Calamity Janet, El Gringo, Bart Cassidy, Black Jack, Kit Carlson, and Sid Ketchum.

2-player value: Excellent, you can steal fire power and defensive cards from your opponent. However, your opponent can cleverly store up useless Beer in his hand, weakening your steal ability to some extent.

General Strategy for Jesse Jones: Jesse Jones' ability really makes him a thorn in the side of his opponents: Jesse Jones can steal stashed away Beer, Missed!, Cat Balous, and Panics. The flip side of this is that many other players will hate Jesse Jones and often attack him first (whether they perceive a threat or not). Thus, be selective when using Jesse Jones' ability at the beginning of the game; you don't want to reveal your role too soon or make unnecessary enemies (if Jesse Jones uses his ability on the Sheriff too early as an Outlaw it can be really hard for his team mates to be prepared). Early on, I recommend stealing from characters who cannot reach Jesse Jones, and often the further away the better. Even if they intensely hate him for it, chances are they will not be able to retaliate against Jesse Jones. Once he decides to use his ability to really hurt others instead of annoy them, he should remember to use his ability in conjunction with vicious card combos (Indians!-BANG!, Duel-BANG!, Duel-Indians!-BANG!). When he steals from them, Jesse Jones will hopefully remove the card that could protect against his other cards. Adjust what cards that Jesse Jones would play against them according to the card that he stole from them. If you are Jesse Jones' ally, it is a good idea to target the characters whom he steals cards from, as they will likely have less defenses. If you are being defensive as Jesse Jones, then thug cards from players that are attacking you in hopes of depleting their ammo.

Playing against Jesse Jones: Since Jesse Jones' ability activates during his drawing phase, Jails are more effective against him. As with El Gringo, sometimes (although very rarely) it can be a good idea to deplete your cards before Jesse Jones' turn. If Jesse Jones is against you, he will no longer get to draw any cards from you on his turn. The problem is that you are now wide open for attacks, so weigh out the pros and cons well. If Jesse Jones has targetted you, be careful which cards you stash in your hand. You usually need at least both a BANG! and a Missed! in your hand for purely defensive purposes (fend off BANG!, Indians!), but other cards are not as necessary. When Jesse Jones is in play, don't store up those Cat Balou, Panic!, Indians!, Gatling or even Volcanic like you used to. Play those blue cards, as he can't steal cards from in front of you; only from your hand. If he is stealing from you, Beers can be very risky to keep in your hand too (although they are a pleasure to keep in your hand if you are stuck with Jesse Jones in a two-player standoff; he steals a beer and they don't do him any good). I recommend trying to keep your hand with BANG! and Missed by your discard phase. That way if Jesse Jones steals from you, you still have some defensive measures in place.

Pay very close attention to the cards that Jesse Jones is stealing from you and see if they are played/discarded. If they are not, you can begin to get a good idea of what cards are in Jesse Jones' hand, and from there, you can deduce the cards that you need to play to defeat him. If you have an intelligent ally that is getting stolen from, try to repeat the actions that he is using against Jesse Jones, as he will likely be employing this strategy (unless he is just trying to stay alive, which is often also the case!).

Dodge City cards enhanced by Jesse Jones' ability: Can Can, Conestoga, Brawl, Rag Time, the new attack cards.

Dodge City Characters that Jesse Jones Counters Well: Doc Holyday (Depletes his capacity to convert 2 cards to a BANG!), Tequila Joe (Nabbing his stored up Beer can seriously hurt him), Bill Noface (He somewhat neutralizes his card benefit), to some extent Apache Kid (Hurts his ability to store up non-diamonds that could hurt him), Elena Fuente (He removes 1 card she can use as a Missed! before attacking her), to some extent Molly Stark (By removing cards she can play out of turn from her hand, he keeps her from getting a card benefit), and to some extent Pat Brennan (Pulling cards from his hand puts pressure on him not to use his ability to steal a card in play).

General Strategy Adjustments for Jesse Jones: There are not many strategy adjustments for Jesse Jones in Dodge City. The same general rules apply: think about how using your ability could reveal your role, use the card you steal from a player to determine what action you could take against him that could cause maximal damage, and chain your ability with other steal or discard cards to severely weaken a player. As for the latter, Dodge City does provide you with both more Panic!/Cat Balou and new cards such as Brawl, Rag Time, Can Can, and Conestoga, so use those to your advantage.

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