Walking solo along the Great Western Trail....almost

So I gave #Great Western Trail a go using a solo mode found on here. It is an Automa called Brisco and here are my thoughts:

  • Set-up was basically identical to setting up a 2 player version of the game, the only difference was creating a small deck of cards for Brisco to control his actions. In GWT this does take a little while as there are a bunch of tokens to sort but otherwise isn't too bad.
  • The fact that Brisco breaks the majority of the game rules cuts down on admin for him extensively which I think is a really good idea. He just gets things from the board/supply without having to meet requirements or pay for them so you don't have to think about anything; just grab whatever he needs, wince at how many points he already has and get on with your own turn.
  • In the first few turns of a mulitplayer game, often every takes very similar actions for the first couple of rounds: you all want to build and hire workers. However, Brisco is very random in his actions, which I think made the first round kind of fun in that sense, you had no clue what your opponent was going to do.
  • He does a bit of everything, which tends not to be how people play GWR more generally. However, for the purposes of limiting the player from having free-reign to pursue a particular strategy it works well.
  • As GWR only has fairly limited player interaction when played multi-player. There wasn't a significant section of the gameplay that was lost because of playing solo.
  • The fact that you get to choose which tiles go out when Brisco reaches the end of the trail means you can quite easily leave one of the hazaardous routes open for your own advantage, which wouldn't normally happen so easily.

So how did the game go?

I unfortunately didn't get time to finish as it has been a busy weekend but as things stood when I had to pack up Brisco was smashing me. I was playing on 'standard' mode but I was very much behind on points (didn't add them up but it was pretty clear). I had decided to pursue a cow heavy strategy. I got a little unlucky with brisco and the market meaning he stole the best cows from under me but even so I think I was playing too much of a long game and I think he would have finished the game out before I could cash in the big points. 

I think I will probably try to give this another go when/if I get time as it would be nice to see how the end game plays out. Brisco doesn't really get too much more powerful so maybe I could catch up as my engine gets going.

Have any of you tried facing off against Brisco? How did it go?


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3 months ago

I take it the solo mode is an unofficial variant?

3 months ago

Yeah, there are score maximiser solo modes as well, but I thought playing an Automa would be fun to try

Supporter3 months ago

Glad you got a chance to try brisco a bit. I am glad it was, generally speaking, a satisfying experience. Let us know how your next experience goes.

3 months ago

Will do

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