My Top 3
Collin from @colcakes196
It’s time! I was asked for my top three games, and I knew what games I was going to talk about right away!
Number 3: Circle the Wagons
This is the first and only game I have looked at and immediately thought “I need this.” It was an instinctive reaction when I saw the Kickstarter video for it. The whole game is 18 cards, and the gameplay lasts, at most, 15 minutes. With those constraints, though, so much depth and replay value are crammed into this game.
Each card has different terrains and icons on one side and a scoring objective on the other. You use three cards as scoring in each game, and the rest of the cards are randomly distributed in a circle around them. The order of the cards in the circle matters for your decisions. So, you could play this game every day for the rest of your life and literally never play the same game twice!
The thought that goes into each turn is so satisfying (and sometimes agonizing) too. You could choose the next card in the line, or you could skip ahead, but is it worth giving all of the cards you skip to your opponent? Also, each card you take ends up being incorporated into your boomtown. They can be placed rightside up, upside down, and even overlay parts of existing cards to match up different terrain types and meet the different scoring objectives. Like I said, there’s a lot of game in this small package, and I love it!
Number 2: Western Legends
This one is a little easier to sum up why I love it. This game always produces great stories in each play. It’s an open world game where you’re playing to be the most legendary person in the old west. You can do almost anything you could think of from old west times. Mine for gold, wrangle cattle, settle the frontier, play poker, arrest bandits, or even become wanted yourself! This game gives me a totally epic experience, and leaves plenty of time for other games too!
Number 1: Carson City
This is the game I point people to that want an awesome western feeling, but also want a highly strategic experience. I love how this game works. It’s only four rounds, but there is so much to each of those rounds.
You start off by picking roles. There are plenty of games out there that give you a special ability to use during the game. This game gives seven options in each game. You could pick the Sheriff in round one, choose the Mercenary in round two, then any number of other western archetypes in rounds three and four!
Once the roles are chosen, you take turns placing cowboys on spaces to perform actions. You could place a cowboy to buy a building, such as a mine, ranch, or saloon. You could stake a claim to a parcel of land. You could also get money or points in different ways. Another player could place a cowboy on the same space, though. This means you would have to duel for which player gets to take the action! The winner of the duel gets to take the action, but the loser gets their cowboy back to use in the next round. So it’s not totally awful to lose a fight!
Once the actions are done, you can only carry over a certain amount of money to the next round. Remember that super awesome role you chose? Well that role might not let you keep very much money. There’s so many things to consider with everything you do in this game, but it all fits together in one great package!
My top three games all happen to be western games. I have plenty of other themes on my shelves, but my heart is taken by the romanticized history of the west. Now, I love western theming, but that doesn’t mean all western themed games are good for me. The ones that stay in my collection have great gameplay and great looks to go with it! I’m happy to discuss western games with anyone that asks. Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite (western) game?