Great Western Trail board game

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 Reviews

  • 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.
  • Kind of a collective engine/deck building euro where everyone is tinkering inside the same chassis. Initially felt a bit too long and convoluted for what it offered, but with repeated plays I'm starting to like it more.
  • Love the variable set up, fast turns, slight interaction, mix of mechanics, and western theme. One of my favorite games.
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User Activity Feed

Major bummer for me that the wife hated #Great Western Trail. She felt like the game was comprised of fiddly little systems that didn't cohere together well. I completely disagreed. Had to sell it though, as it was getting no table time. I recommend it although the theme doesn't quite make sense mechanically imo.

I love the theme of #Great Western Trail but I don't know that I'd play it much if I had it.  I'd definitely play with someone else though.

I have been wanting #Great Western Trail also, just hoping the price drops a bit or I find a cheaper used copy.

I've really enjoyed my two plays of #Alma Mater and it has me thinking of snatching up #Lorenzo il Magnifico but I've really been loving #Maracaibo and instead of being glad I skipped over #Great Western Trail to grab it it just makes me want to go grab GWT as well.

Just a fun lighthearted dexterity game haha. I completely forgot about #Great Western Trail. Used to be on my wishlist for a long time until I finally took it off

Unfortunately i also have never played any western themed games but #Western Legends #Great Western Trail and #Flick Em Up! are all on my board game bucket list. 

GWT in particular speaks to the worker placement economy nerd in me. 

Not quite as action packed as last week but still got some good gaming in!

  • #Great Western Trail with #Great Western Trail: Rails to the North (solo variant physical):  Still going through my games that are soloable. This week I felt like the great western trail variant as I got my rails to the north expansion.  I had quite a bit of fun vs two “bots”. It felt like the real thing as well so a fun evening overall. 
  • #Ride the Rails (TTS, multiplayer):  First time playing this. It was fun!  It was a simple form of train game with “stocks” of a sort. Quick to play as well. 
  • #Irish Gauge (TTS, multiplayer):  Double header with ride the rails for a train evening. It was over faster than I expected. Between the two I think I liked Irish gauge a bit more but they both had their charms. 
  • #Imperial 2030 (TTS multiplayer): I have had the physical copy of this game for ages.  I kept trying to get a full table to play it but finally I just decided to go with 3 players. Oh man do I like this game!  Timing when to take a country over so you can get that sweet taxation loot.  Figuring out when and how badly to hit another country knowing that if you overdo it someone is likely to buy you out. So many little things like knowing the other players and figuring out how you are going to get more out of the situation than they are. Just a ton of fun!  Can’t wait to try it in the real world with more players!

Love Pfister's work – easily one of my favorite designers, if not my favorite. #Great Western Trail has been my #1 game for a long time, but have also enjoyed #Maracaibo, #Broom Service#Blackout: Hong Kong, #Mombasa, #Expedition to Newdale… needless to say, I'm very excited about this announcement! 🙂

I have only played #Great Western Trail out of these, but it is one of my favourites, will for sure be reading more into this one.

I really like the buildings in #Great Western Trail, I think they do a great job of capturing the expansion west and slowly ramp up the game as more and more buildings are added: that the road gets both more litttered with opportunity ut similarly harder to navigate wisely is a lot of fun. In fact, so many of the mechanical elements feel very on theme in that game, one of the reasons I love it so much.


I am currently torn on the thinking for this. I feel like in the past you all have bee doing the "hotness" givaways. What just came out, what are people wanting, but right now there seems to be a lull in releases? At least from what I can tell. I feel like the giveaways have cattered to a mid-level gamer, so to maybe expand your reach you could look into a lighter game ( #Wavelength , #Catacombs 3rd Edition ) or some heavier games ( #Barrage , #Great Western Trail , #Brass: Birmingham). These are obviously just some ideas but I am looking at the overarching goal of the giveaways!

Love both #Great Western Trail and #Oh My Goods! glad you have a good time with them. I do occaisionally mull getting the expansion for GWT, although I don't think I've played the base game enough to need it yet. 

#Great Western Trail has a really enjoyable player board. As you get to unlock somethign every time you do a 'lap' but if you do laps slower you get more benefits, so there is a real feeling of trying to balance the two.

This week was a more regular amount of games:

  • #Le Havre - Complete Edition (Played on TTS multiplayer): This is the one I picked when I won the giveaway.  Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to play my physical copy other than solo but TTS has it so we gave it a shot.  I think this is is one of those games that requires one full play through to get the flow of the game with the buildings.  You need to see how it works end to end to know what building to get etc. We played the long game (aka regular game I think?) and it was quite long.  3 hours in fact.  I think I should have started us off with the short game for game 1 because it seemed to drag a bit at points.  I really enjoyed the game and I think this is one that gets better the more you play it.
  • #Great Western Trail (TTS Multiplayer) along with #Great Western Trail: Rails to the North: We wanted to give it another whirl with the expansion as we played it with the base game last week.  I wasn't sold on the expansion as it seemed to add more to the game that didn't need more but after our play I decided to pick it up for my physical copy.  It doesn't add too much more to the game rules but does add some good strategy and ways for the different play styles to achieve their goals.  I found it gave more options to boost up the path you have chosen and quite enjoyed it.
  • #Oh My Goods (TTS Multiplayer): My first game of this.  It is a cool little tableau building card game!  Bit of push your luck, interesting strategy and tactics.  Definitely need another run at it but I can recommend it as worth a try!

What's the player interaction like on#Great Western Trail?  I love the western theme and this game has always been slightly on my radar.

Got a decent amount of gaming in this week:

  • #Fort (Tabletop Simulator, multiplayer)  It took us a lot longer to finish it than any of us expected but it was a fun little twist on a deck builder.  Definitely if you like deck builders and want something a bit different this is a good one to play.  I think I'd want further plays before I could nail down exactly how I feel about it.  Part of me says, it's fine but not spectacular but another part says it warrants another look to see if it gets deeper.
  • #Great Western Trail (Tabletop Simulator, multiplayer) Been dying to get this to the table again.  (I own it physically.) Definitely enjoyed it and I already want more plays because I can feel there is some real mastery to be had in this game.
  • #Space Base (Tabletop Simulator, multiplayer) Played this once at the first SHUX with Matt and enjoyed it but it didn't blow me away.  I think I had a bit more fun on the second go around and it clicked a bit better.  My original play was a prototype and I think they might have refined it nicely since then because it did seem to flow better.  

Just the three this week but still a ton of fun!

I soloed #On Mars after buying it, mostly to help me learn the rules. I like the built-in variety of "difficulty levels" you can attempt as you get better at the game. Needless to say, since it was my first play I did not defeat Lacerda (the Bot's name) on the easiest difficulty level. Having said that…

Did I have fun? Would I recommend it solo? Will I solo it again? YES.

(#On Mars is really giving #Great Western Trail a run for its money as my favorite game of all time.)

#13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of our favourite 2P games, it plays pretty quickly but has a great amount of bluffing and decision making in that short space of time.

I remember you enjoyed #Champions of Midgard? I would recommend #Great Western Trail or #Architects of the West Kingdom as somewhat similar but distinct games that might be up your alley.

For me its been #Great Western Trail. I have had it for almost two years now. I have the game all sleeved and the box organized. However, I just can't get through the rulebook for some reason. Every time I try, I get bored about half way through. It is super strange because more often than not, I would rather read a rulebook than watch a learn to play video. However, I think this one is going to require a video for me to learn it. I really would like to try it. 

On the other hand, I don't really have the right group to play it with. My friends that I play with near where I live are MUCH more casual gamers. And the group that likes heavier stuff I only see maybe 2-3 times per year and this doesn't really appeal to them theme-wise. Even if I learn the rules, this one might sit for a lot longer. 

I have a general rule about deck builders, I want deck building to be a mechanic, not the entirety of the game. I can clarify here. I am looking at a game like #Dominion: Second Edition where all you are doing is buying cards from the market and building your deck. To me this is a bit of a snoozer, you just are waiting for your turn and hoping you get all of the cards you just bought into your hand so you can have a monster turn and have everyone wait for you to combo everything. I like a deck builder to have theme and to impact a board or a situation. The games that I feel do this well are #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, #Great Western Trail, #Aeon's End: The New Age. You build your deck for a purpose, and to impact the board state rather than just having a sweet deck. 


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