From the creative mind of Hervé Lemaître, players will enjoy a highly narrative and interactive experience, choosing a life of crime as a Wanted character or justice as a Marshal. Western Legends features historical characters from the American old west brought to life with the beautiful illustration work by Roland MacDonald.
In Western Legends, players can rob the bank as Billy the Kid, evade the sheriff as “Doc” Holliday, or rustle cattle as Calamity Jane. In the end, the objective is to go down in history as the most legendary figure of the time.
Over the course of the game, players will need to react to random events, complete jobs and objectives, and equip themselves to survive. Purchase a mount, weapons, and other items necessary to get through the troubled times in one piece. Mine for gold, wrangle cattle or hold up other players. You can do it all in the open sandbox environment laid in front of you!
Your actions determine where you fall in the eyes of the law.
Players will enjoy having multiple paths to victory and a diverse set of characters and options to choose from, ensuring that no two games will ever be the same. Additionally, the game features incredible miniatures, custom sculpted by Pure Arts Studios. While there is plenty of content in Western Legends, players will find rules and gameplay to be simple and straightforward.
Whether you choose the path of a wandering gunfighter, a small-town sheriff, or a successful lawman planning to retire, only one player will emerge as Legendary!
MSRP: $75.00Lowest: $55.00
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Alternate title: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Actually Celebrate My Birthday
tl;dr - I loved both of these games. I played Western Legends with my friends who all loved it, and Concordia with my wife, who liked it.
As the alternate title suggests, my birthday was this weekend. In the past I have not wanted to make a big deal about this, because I don't like drawing attention to myself. My wife has helped me learn that it's okay to be celebrated once in a while, and I don't always need to deflect. I love her.
Anyway, I decided that I wanted to finally have a real game night, so on Friday I invited some friends over to play my most recent acquisition, which was generously sent to me as my prize for the BGA giveaway.
I set up the game, taught the rules, and everyone chose their characters and miniatures. We had a slightly slow start, having not played before and not being 100% on all the rules, but after a round or two, it was pretty smooth sailing. I went Wanted almost immediately and had a blast. My highlights would be robbing my friend of half of his gold nuggets he'd mined for, and successfully executing a bank heist.
As previously mentioned, my friends all loved it. The winning strategy in this game (I came in 4th), was a combination of mining for gold and fighting bandits. In the post-game discussion, some people said they'd like to try going Wanted next time, since only I and one other guy were ever Wanted. Plus, that would create a little more risk in mining for gold if there were more people willing to rob each other.
My friends were so vocal about how much they enjoyed it that I'm seriously considering backing the next Kickstarter to get all of the expansions, and I would probably even be able to get them to chip in a few bucks toward it.
"Battery" style review:
(++) Art - the art is very attractive and thematic
(+/-) Components - the cards are of middling quality. The miniatures are pretty cool. The board is good (the art on it is awesome). The dice for prospecting look and feel very cheap. The chipboard "General Store" is pretty flimsy. The wooden cubes and discs are...wooden cubes and discs.
(-) Box Insert - it's basically "the trench"
(+) Rulebook - the rulebook was pretty clear. There were a couple of instances in which I referenced an FAQ when it wasn't clear in the rulebook.
(+++) Gameplay - SO MUCH FUN
(++) Immersion - I felt like a cowboy.
(+++) "My Friends Like It" factor - My friends REALLY like it
I played this with my wife the next morning. I purchased this one as part of the BGA fundraiser for the Black Lives Matter movement, but hadn't played it until this weekend. Setting up for the first game took a bit of time, since I had to follow the step by step guide, having not played before. After that, teaching the rules to my wife was pretty easy. The rules of this game are impressively simple, which was something that's been noted in every review of it I've read or watched.
When we got started, neither of us had a handle on the strategy, obviously, but (speaking for myself) figuring out what to do on the next couple of turns was not difficult. "Analysis Paralysis" was minimal. With the turns being so simple, and the actions being so straight-forward, there was almost no down-time. I take a turn, she takes a turn, just back and forth. I ended up winning by a decent margin, but I'll attribute that to having absorbed the game through videos and reviews before ever having played it. I think after another play or two, this will be one of my favorites to play with my wife. Where it will rank on her list is TBD.
One thing I noticed is that the map we played (Hellas), even though it was the one rated as the best of the ones we have for two players, was not very tight. After a few more plays, I might consider buying a map that's much tighter for 2 players.
"Battery" style review:
(+) Art - the boards are attractive in their colors, but nothing to write home about, in my opinion. The card art is bland.
(+/-) Components - again, the cards are of middling quality. The chipboard stuff is all fine. The box is flimsy, and the boards actually feel a bit fragile, so I'll definitely be extra careful when setting up and putting away.
(-) Box Insert - again, it's basically "the trench"
(++) Rulebook - very clear and concise
(++) Gameplay - very smooth, quick turns. "Satisfying" is a word I'd use to describe my first play. Just a really nice game. I can't wait to play again, and I'd love to try it at 3 or 4 players.
(+) "My Wife Likes It" factor - for now I'll leave this at one (+), since I'm not totally sure how MUCH she likes it. She definitely said she like it, though.
To make a long story short, I was blessed by an amazing birthday weekend full of friends, and played some awesome games to boot. I am thankful and do not want to take this all for granted.
First, let me preface by saying that 2 of the 3 games I'd keep from the post that asked are Viticulture & Clans of Caledonia. So this post isn't to say that I'm all about combat driven games. Since you know, combat in Viticulture (unless you came up with some kind of Mafia Variant) would be really weird.
However, one thing that I really enjoy is maximizing (within reason) player interaction. One of the reasons I've totally steered clear of Wingspan is that all the reviews I've read and seen has said that the player interaction is 0. I really dislike games that are basically multiplayer solitaire. One of the reasons I love Western Legends so much is that even if you aren't playing you can jump in on a poker game, or take on the roll of the NPC, so you are always involved and always interacting with people at the table.
This all lead me to a post on another website about increasing the incentive to combat in Scythe. First, let me say I love Scythe. But it takes place in worn torn Eastern Europa. While I love the Cold War aspect I also realize that combat is limited and this leads to fewer player interactions as a group plays more together. (No one will attack before I do because they know I'm just waiting to swoop in and steal the work they've done). So I was excited to see a way to incentivize combat and make it more frequent. (Again this is rooted in a desire for player interaction). It makes sense to me that Combat would be more frequent in a game that has a "war like" theme.
It got me thinking about Tapestry. A game that I've watched quite a few reviews and play throughs (I love SM games!) . However, I've noticed infrequent player interaction in most of the play throughs, which bums me out. One thing I love about Video Game Civ games. The ability to fight. Plus, they have a whole track for Military, which to me seems very unmilitaristic. Not having had a chance to play yet I've already been trying to formulate some house rules to make Conquering/Military more significant. Make it something that isn't just another action, but something with consequences depending on the results. Some things that have crossed my mind involve the winner of the combat (thinking of Trap cards) have a choice in which of the military die the initiator gets to take. (IE, if you lose because of a trap, the trapper picks which of the die results you get.) . I'm trying to think of more, again keeping in mind it's all about encouraging player interaction
Who has played? What do you think? Has anyone considered some Military house rules? Has anyone tried them?
This is one is going to be a little bit nit picky and it certainly isn't meant to say these games aren't great by themselves, but I like to think of tweaks sometimes just for the fun of it.
#Viticulture: Essential Edition - Small one here but I don't love the glossy cards, I like a bit of a matte/rough finish.
#Western Legends - I've said before I actually think I'd like this game with meeples. Smaller box, smaller board, and I just love the simplicity of Meeples (which a lot of you know)
#Scythe - I know it's not the stated direction of the game, but I'd love more combat. Still one of my top games, and I do enjoy the Cold War aspect. But sometimes with a lot of experienced players it's all Cold War all the time.
Does anyone else have something they'd like to change in their favorite games?
For me Aesthetics is a huge part of gaming, and there is something that is so satifying when a game gets it just right. For me the following are my top games that really bring everything together.
5. #Star Wars Imperial Assault - One of the few games that I actually prefer minis for, the changing landscape and the character cards add a lot of Star Wars theme to the table. I love the ability and weapons cards as well. We also usually have a lot of fun playing Star Wars soundtracks while we play.
4. #Western Legends - I love the Wild West as a theme and on the table this game doesn't dissapoint. The board it great and the poker cards (which drive most of the game), are top notch qaulity. While the General Story is a bit flimsy you don't touch it too much so it does still look really cool with the theme. I also love seeing a lot of players and NPC's on the board.
3. #Viticulture: Essential Edition - I love the art and meeples (especially the rooster) in this game. It looks so great on the table and makes me feel like I've escaped to Italy for a couple of hours. It also caused my gaming group to have a wine night when playing (and I never drink wine.).
2. #Clans of Caledonia - Such a solid game on the table. The components feel and look so nice, and the simplistic map looks great (esepecially when it starts filling up with pieces). The market board with the glass tokens looks so nice, the export board looks so nice, the player board are awesome, the clan pieces are perfect, and the player aids are small, simple, and high quality. Really everything is the game is great.
1. #Root - Duh! I'm sure anyone here who has seen me post is not surprised to see this at 1. The art fits the theme so well. The cards feel so nice to hold and play with. The boards are awesome, especially when the fill up with those awesome screen printed minis. The player boards are top quality. I really feel like I'm diving into the Root Woodland when I play this game.
What about you?
My group tends to play euros and well balanced low luck games.
But sometimes you just need to involve yourself in a story. Maybe you are a cowboy in the wild west, a space marine commander, Jack Burton, or stalking anomalies in the Zone. It's fun to chuck a few dice, and see where fate takes you. The big moments, huge rolls, cheers of victory, and groans of defeat are a ton of fun and win or lose you will have a good time and a story to tell.
My criteria are that you play a specific protagonist in the game, there is a luck factor, and the game has a strong theme that weaves a "story" for your character.
Here are my top 6 thematic dice chucking games:
- #Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl: This one for me is carried a long way by its theme. I love the STALKER video game series, the Roadside Picnic book, and the entire genre built around it. The game play is really good solo and I think it will be even better multiplayer. The game rules are not perfect and if the theme wasn't so strong for me this might be down the list a bit more. The game creators are currently producing a lot of variant and additional rules to spice it up a bit which is super exciting because it's already a good game and headed towards great!
- #DOOM: The Board Game: A great game. I've painted all the miniatures and read the help guides. It suffers a bit from uneven scenario desiign which has the Invader player really having to play well for most scenarios to be even. However, the theme is amazing and I can't think of too many other games that have had the table cheering or groaning as the game is won or lost on the last roll or card pull more than this one!
- #Big Trouble in Little China: The Game – Deluxe Edition: Another game where the game is good but for me the theme makes iit great. The rulebook could have been a bit better with this game but after a couple of plays you'll have it down. The two stage gameplay is interesting and if you like the movie then you will love this game. Plays well solo or as a co-op too.
- #Mansions of Madness: Second Edition: I love Cthulu but I tend to find most of the FFG cthulu themed games don't do it for me. I've tried most of them before getting Mansions of Madness second hand. This one really hit home for me! I love the scenario exploration, the app adding to the atmosphere, and the tiles being guilt up as you go. The pressure that builds up as you desperately try to stop whatever the old gods are up to while the dice may hurt or help you is great. Highly recommended.
- #Western Legends: While this game doesn't have as much dice chucking as the other games it has luck with the cards you draw along with the poker games that are played during combat or actual poker. So I decided to include it anyway. I haven't personally played or seen a game that allows you to tell your own story in the wild west like this one does. Definitely recommend it!
- #Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game: I was going ot make this a top 5 but realized I couldn't exclude Fortune and Glory. Based on the old serials this game has your character exploring the world fighting off nazis and racing against each other trying to grab the most treasure and end the game with the most fortune and glory! We've had a ton of great moments with this game and it deserves to be mentioned!
[Concordia, Western Legends]
[Wingspan, Viticulture: Essential Edition, Clans of Caledonia, Western Legends, Tapestry, Scythe]
[Viticulture: Essential Edition, Clans of Caledonia, Western Legends, Scythe]
[Viticulture: Essential Edition, Clans of Caledonia, Western Legends, Root, Star Wars Imperial Assault]
[DOOM: The Board Game, Western Legends, Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game, Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl, Bi...]