It hit the table last night and we tried a 3-player game. The rulebook wasn’t the easiest read, but we got the majority of the rules figured out and started to play.
The game feels like a combination of Settlers of Catan and Kingsburg, and perhaps a bit of Dice Town. Given I like all three of these games, that’s not a bad thing.
The gameplay happens very quickly once players become familiar with the options that are available each turn. Since your choices are constrained by your die rolls, your choices are not too difficult to evaluate.
My initial reaction is that the game does a lot of things right. The mechanics seem to be well designed, however there are a bunch of exceptions to rules when selecting actions that players need to keep in mind when playing. I would need more plays to fully evaluate this aspect, so I’ll defer elaborating on this until after a couple of plays.
Fun Rating: 7.5/10 – I had a good time playing, it plays fast, and I almost always felt that I had decent options available regardless of the dice results.
Strategy: 6.5/10 – A lighter strategy game where chance can help or hurt a player’s strategy frequently.
Theme: 8/10 – This game has a strong western theme. The mechanics, design, and components all contribute to a well-themed game.
Components: 8/10 – The components seem above average in quality. A minor nit would be that the cards have a shiny\laminated look and feel. My personal preference is towards cards that have a linen look & feel.
Mechanics: 7/10 – Certain rules have exceptions that make trips back to the rulebook happen more often that I would like. After a few plays, I think this score might improve. Overall the mechanics work well with the game.
Keep in mind the above review is based on a single play. I am hoping to get this back to the table soon and I’ll be able to see if my initial thoughts are on target. I would suggest if you are a fan of Kingsburg, Settlers of Catan, and like Western themes this game will probably be a worthy addition to your collection. Stay tuned for updates after more play time.
Update after 2nd Play
Got this one back to the table a few days later with 4 players. My opinion remains almost the same. It’s a good game, that could be great with some streamlining of rules. After the game, there were a lot of ideas thrown around on how to make some minor improvements. If we get this one back to the table soon, I’m considering playing it with some house rules.