Great Western Trail board game
Great Western Trail board game

Great Western Trail

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Overall Rank: #27 | Trending Rank: #21

This ain't your average, everyday Euro game! Welcome to the Great Western Trail, where players take on the role of cattle drivers attempting to wrangle their herd to market. The trail will be tough, and countless hazards await you. Can you make it to the end of your journey and turn a tidy profit? Find out in Great Western Trail!

Simple Mechanics, Complex Decisions
Turns in Great Western Trail are broken into three simple phases that will carry you through the entire game. These simple phases belie a web of deep and complex decisions players will face as they make their way down the trail. The mechanics are simple, but mastering the trail is where the fun lies.

Make Your Move!
A turn starts by moving your cattleman down the trail. The number of spaces a player is allowed to move is dictated by their player board, and there are hazards a plenty all along the trail. Wherever you end up, the next phase is ...

Take Action!
When a player ends their movement, they perform the action listed on the space they ended on. Depending on where you land, you will have different options available to you. Neutral locations or buildings you own will allow you to perform a special action specific to that location or a single auxiliary action. On locations owned by other players, hazard tiles, or teepee tiles, your only option is to use an auxiliary action. Last, there's Kansas City!

Kansas City or Bust!
Landing on Kansas City sets off a series of subphases that must be resolved in order: Three Foresight phases, the Income Phase, and the Delivery Phase. The Foresight subphases give players a choice between two tiles to add to the board (hazard, teepee, or worker). These tiles will affect future trips down the trail, so choose wisely. Earn income from your journey down the trail by revealing and discarding your hand. Finally, choose a city to deliver your cattle to. This leg of your journey is over. Now it's time to do it all again!

Draw up to your hand limit and your turn is over! Time to start planning your next move and figure out the choices you'll face in the coming turns.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Just a bit outside my ideal complexity and playtime, but very cool. Want to play more, as I expect to appreciate it more with familiarity.
  • A very good game of multi-player solitaire that could be just as good (if not better) if Herr Pfister had slimmed the mechanics considerably, or included some useful player aids (a need for which the game is crying out). Looks nice, but there is not even a hint of theme in this one: those users who say it's well-themed would apparently find Chess well-themed!
  • Man vs Meeple review!
  • My wife and I love this game. Components are great, the game play is fantastic and we both really enjoy how intense it is up until the very end. I think this one gets overlooked by many people for some reason but it is one of our favorites.
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I have not personally played #Maracaibo but I watched a playthrough and have listened to some podcasts on it. It is very similar to #Great Western Trail in the sense that you move your dude a certain amount of spots and do the thing on the spot. There is also a trail similar to the train track in GWT, but the big difference is there is a story element to the game that can change the set up each game and make it a much more variable game! Obviously a lot of other components to the game but that is a good starting point!

It's a combination of a rondel and a tile laying game! 

On the left side you have players going around in circles getting tiles to expand on the town that you're building. They give various instant or long term benefits. On the rondel (the rectangular "track"), the player who's furthest behind always goes first. This is where the fun decision making of a rondel game comes--do you go for a super valuable tile you see way down the track and leave the other tiles for your opponents? or go for something that's close so that you can potentially take multiple turns? there's a tile that would be nice to have, but should you risk another player getting to it first? Another twist for Glen More though is that you don't want to take too many tiles because you get penalized if you're expanding your town too much without being able to manage it properly. Lastly, as you expand your town, you have workers on the tiles that you need to move around that will dictate where you can add additional tiles to and how you will trigger getting resources. Hope any of that makes sense lol

In terms of the rondel and the decision making of how far you want to go down the track, it's similar to games like #Great Western Trail, #PARKS, and #Tokaido

Great idea. The list for me is:

1. #Too Many Bones this one looked too intimidating when it was set up on the table so she noped out, but she's warming ot the idea of giving it a try

2. #Great Western Trail "it's a jumbled up mess of random elements"... still bitter to this day about that take!

3. #Irish Gauge "it's too hard to get back into the game when you're losing" definitely truth to that, it's meaner than it looks 

4. #Arctic Scavengers: Base Game + HQ + Recon "its so bleak"

5. #Chronicles of Crime "it devolves into random scanning after a while" I agree with this as well. #Detective: A Modern Crime Game is my #1 crime mystery game by an incredibly long way. I think it dunks on consulting detective and while I respect chronicle's design, the app's not for me.


One of my favorit Mechanics.  I will acknowledge right away that I am not a fan of #Dominion: Second Edition.  I've played twice and it's kinda of just blah for me.  I prefer my deck builders to have a board and something else going on rather than a "pure" deckbulder.  Maybe had I started with Dominion instead of #Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure my opinion might be different.

My favorite deckbuilders

  1. The entire Clank Family.  I've listed previously that I own #Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure and two of its expansions.  I've played #Clank! In! Space! and that's a really great game as well.  One of my gaming groups had just started #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated before Covid and we haven't gotten back to that yet.  Maybe in November. 
  2. The Legendary family: I own #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game but have heard really great things about #Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game as it really depends on what theme you like more.  I did pick the #Legendary Marvel Deckbuilding Game: World War Hulk Expansion and enjoy playing with that as well, how can you not like playing with  more Hulks!!
  3. #The Quest for El Dorado is a really nice small deckbulider/race game.  My plays of that have been really fun and the feeling of looking at the board and figuring out what your deck needs to get through to the end is an enjoyable challange.
  4. #Aeon's End is really really good and currently on my wish list, though I'd probably put #Aeon's End: Legacy higher on the list. 
  5. #Thunderstone Quest is an different type of dungeon crawl than Clank! but still enjoyable.  So many expansions available with this one.  This and Aeon's End are very similar to Dominion so if are looking to branch out these are good options.
  6. #The Taverns of Tiefenthal is another fun deck builder that I've enjoyed my plays of
  7. The Centry Spice Road family.  Not my favorite game from the ones listed here but is a very enjoyable deck builder especially when you can get a nice little engine going. 
  8. #Great Western Trail has a minor deck building aspect that greatly influences how successful each of your trips to Kansas City is.  The number of times i've cursed when drawing new cows into my hand
  9. #Orléans is a bag builder vs a deck builder but gives you so many of the same feelings and angst that its worth including here.  Really enjoy.
  10. #Star Realms / #Hero Realms - only played on the app but its easy and each game gives you interesting choices on how to build your deck

Wish list includes:

  1. Aeon's End,
  2. Great Western Trail
  3. Orlean's

If looking for an exhaustive list of deck bulders here is a good link: list-deck-building-games