In the late 1840s, thousands of pioneers headed West to seek new opportunities and riches. Many of these brave souls traveled by wagon over the Sierra Nevada mountain range into what would soon become the Golden State of California. In the game of Sierra West, you become an expedition leader who must guide a party of these rough-and-ready pioneers onward—using a balance of strategy and tactics on each turn.
During setup, the players choose a mountain variant deck to build a mountain of overlapping cards above the main board. Each variant comes with special cards and parts that are combined with the game's basic components. This mixture adds strong thematic content, alternate paths to victory, and interesting twists on the core mechanics.
The first included mountain variant decks are titled:
49er Gold Rush Apple Hill Bandits & Badges Boats & Banjos
Playing the Game:
At the start of each turn you'll draw three cards and arrange them into your custom-cut player board—exposing and concealing a selection of the action icons shown on them. This process will allow you to create unique paths (action sequences) for your pioneer figures to follow (from left to right). Common actions include: exploring the mountain, deck building, gaining resources, and increasing your scoring potential. Additional actions are brought into the game by the mountain variant decks—such as gold mining, fishing, and busting outlaws—to name a few. As you complete your pioneers' movements, you'll have access to the worker placement spaces on your cards and board, where you can trade in resources for scoring tokens, or manipulate your deck, etc.
As the game continues—and the mountain is explored—new and exciting things are discovered: Each piece of the mountain is either an action card (that can be gained to improve your deck), or a special card that is added to a face-up row below the main board (extending a variant-themed feature—as in a gold mine, orchard, or river). This row brings new opportunities and challenges to all of the players—upping the ante till the final round!
Sierra West can be set up and played in under an hour, often leaving people with the desire to immediately play it again with one of the other mountain variant decks.
You'll find a novel take on action programming, worker placement, and deck building in this highly thematic Euro-game!
—description from the publisher