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Great Western Trail Board Game
|Price:||$85.59 & FREE Shipping|
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- 2 to 4 players ages 12+
- Plays in 75 to 150 minutes
- Designed by Alexander pfister
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In great western trail, you are rival cattlemen in 19th century America, herding cattle from Texas to Kansas city in a circular trail. Your cattle are then shipped by train, earning you money and victory points. Hire capable staff, such as cowboys to improve your herd, craftsmen to build your cattle posts, or engineers for the railroad line. Upon each arrival at the destination station, have your most valuable cattle in tow. The winner is the player who manages their herd best and exhibits good timing in mastering opportunities and pitfalls on the great western trail. Designer Alexander pfister (Mombasa) has created an extraordinary gamers game, full of exciting decisions and with enough strategies to merit countless plays.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||11.62 x 3.38 x 11.62 in||11.6 x 2.8 x 11.6 in||4 x 11.81 x 14.57 in||6.3 x 2.8 x 9 in||12.3 x 4.6 x 8.8 in||2.5 x 9 x 11.5 in|
|Item Weight||2.2 lbs||4 lbs||7 lbs||1.25 lbs||7 lbs||4 lbs|
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But there is a third game released in 2016 that in my opinion is right up there with those two games, one that is slowly but surely getting more and more attention and praise, as sure as a wagon of jerseys makes its way to Kansas City. It is this game, Great Western Trail. Some are willing to go as far to report that THIS was the true best game of 2016. I am not ready to make that claim myself, but every play of this game finds me loving it more and more. I absolutely adore this game.
In this game you and your opponents start as modest 19th century cattle farmers with a card deck of cows of mostly dubious quality. And like any cowboy would, you march these cows through the great western trail - although I would prefer to call it the loony winding highway, because the trail itself winds and twists and takes a very indirect path to Kansas City, where you sell your cows cows either directly to Kansas City, or a number of cities further West (with San Francisco being the final link in the chain).
The money you get for your herd depends on how many unique cows you have in your four-card hand (your hand starts limited at four, but can be expanded later through completing sales to far-off cities), and also how much you've invested in rail (represented by a cute little train marker that you push down a line to make shipping cows less costly to far-down cities, giving yourself more cattle profits).
As you get more money through various means, you are able to lay down your own personal buildings on the trail that only you may use. However some of these buildings can charge your opponents for merely for passing by. You can fix up the trail by removing hazards, giving yourself different paths to avoid paying opponents (as well as getting yourself victory points and making the trail look fabulous).
And that's basically a very broad stroke portrait of the game explained with a few mechanics. There is waaay more to this game, but it is difficult to explain all of the game in depth without reciting the entire rulebook page by page, but trust me, there is more to it than I lead on. The theme is really well done even if it does get a little abstractly applied here and there, but the essence of this game is a very inventive and shrewdly balanced point salad - a game where points can be scored in many different varied ways. And the real brilliance of this game is the replay value brought about by the many paths to victory that exist.
Because, those cows I was talking about earlier? You can potentially win by only having four cows in your deck. Or you can win with a big deck and a full line of highly valuable Texas Longhorns. Hell, you can win with just the cows you start with, with no more added. I have seen all of this happen. It really depends on how much you're focused on scoring in other areas of the game. And also how little your opponents attempt to hinder your plans. There are so many strategies that work in this game. There are a lot of moving parts and different actions and paths available, but none of them are at all superfluous, and all of it is cohesive. Properly and ruthlessly pursued, you can win focused in any area. You are only limited by your own skill and decision-making.
It is a game that is higher weight than the other games frequently mentioned as the best of 2016. But the great (there's that word again) quality about that is that even though this game is weightier than Scythe, turns in this game frequently go by quicker than they do in Scythe. And Scythe has pretty quick turns. That is a little achievement all its own.
It takes some big old western horse nuts to put the word "great" right in the title of your game. It lives up to its self-proclaimed greatness, and more. Recommended to all who love tabletop games. A KC masterpiece.
This is a well designed game with excellent mechanics. There are so many ways to win that it may never grow predictable. It definitely will get a lot of play in our group.
Be aware, because of all the options it takes awhile to play the first few games, but learning it is actually enjoyable. Just remember even the old cowboys needed to earn their spurs before they became true wranglers.
This is must buy for gameboarders!