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Great Western Trail» Forums » General

Subject: GWT - An unforgiving euro? rss

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Vegard Eliassen Stillerud
Norway
Drammen
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I have now played this game three times, and I must say that I do understand why it is one of the hottest games from this years Essen! Very neat game indeed.

Last night, however, I experienced how unforgiving the game can be. Early in the game (2nd round), I decided to take a chance and spend a green cow to get some money and buy a worker. At the time I had a shipping value of 9, and was 2 up on the purple track (I don't remember what it is called). By mistake I though that the worst that could happen was that I drew a value 1 cow, and spend the two purple point to get a total shipping value of 10 anyway, in order to remove the token that allows me to get a hand limit of 5 cards. What I didn't take into consideration was that I could draw a card I already had, meaning that I would only get a total value of 9.

As a result, I ended up lagging behind for the entire game as the other players had a higher hand limit (I didn't get a similarly good hand before the 5th turn), despite focusing only on cowboys. As a result, I ended up with an all time low score of 39 points xD

My question is, is it possible to bounce back in this game if you end up lagging behind early, or is it indeed as unforgiving as I experiences it to be yesterday? My feeling was that I had already lost by the end of my second turn, making the following 1,5 - 2 hours pretty uninteresting...

Still a sweet game though. Now I want to play it again to get my revenge
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マルコ
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Bornheim
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I'm not sure I understood: you received 1 coin less than you expected, why was that such a big deal? (You know you receive your herd's value in coins no matter where you deliver it to?)
 
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Tilou
France
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The OP couldn't use the 10-spot and so couldn't get rid of a black disc.
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Robert
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tilouboy wrote:
The OP couldn't use the 10-spot and so couldn't get rid of a black disc.
The players around the OP must be way better than us if he finds it devastating when his second delivery doesn't reach 10-city. For the unwashed masses, getting there usually doesn't happen before cycle 3 (and often more), and yet we manage to get more than 40 points.
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Tilou
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DocCool wrote:
tilouboy wrote:
The OP couldn't use the 10-spot and so couldn't get rid of a black disc.
The players around the OP must be way better than us if he finds it devastating when his second delivery doesn't reach 10-city. For the unwashed masses, getting there usually doesn't happen before cycle 3 (and often more), and yet we manage to get more than 40 points.


True. With the starting cows you can only reach 7, so you'd need 3 ribbons. Or a 3-cow which you would have to shuffle in your draw pile. Seems very difficult indeed to pull off a 10 in the second turn.
 
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Karen Knoblaugh
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I've also played it three times now and though I was behind in one of the games, I managed to pull myself out and win. I ended up focusing on buildings, and placing the money-earning ones in optimal spots on the board, which was the difference in me finally being able to buy more cowboys and more expensive cattle. For some reason, I was also the one picking up the most station upgrades which helped in my end-game scoring. So, I think there are things you can focus on to, maybe not win, but not feel so frustrated.
 
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Ben M
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Los Angeles
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Did you consider doing an auxiliary action to discard the duplicate cow? Or were there no opportunities to do so?
 
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Phil Hendrickson
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Seward
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Players make enough iterations up the trail in this game that I think there is opportunity to catch up from being behind. However, it might require a slight adjustment in strategy. Perhaps, if a player cannot afford the cowboys to get better cattle, then push your engine quickly down the track and use a black disc for a higher-valued station upgrade.

The "mighty herd" strategy is the easiest way to score well, especially if other players allow one person to get several Longhorns (purple cow cards with high herd value and many points). But a strategy focused on long train movement or combinations of valuable buildings can score equally well. Train and building strategies take a little more careful planning, though.

 
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Vegard Eliassen Stillerud
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max bredow wrote:
I'm not sure I understood: you received 1 coin less than you expected, why was that such a big deal? (You know you receive your herd's value in coins no matter where you deliver it to?)


No, the one dollar was not the issue at all. The issue is that I didn't get to place the disc that would allow me to increase my hand limit because I could not reach a city with a black background. Because of this, I had to spend lots of actions and time just to get a similarly good hand in order to deliver to the 10 point city later (which didn't happen until turn 4 or 5). During all this time, my opponents could focus on other things and work on their point scoring.
 
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Justus Jonas
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Out of my mind: You cannot sell a Green Cow to buy a worker. You must sell a white cow.. (green cows -> Building).
Might be nitpicking...
 
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Vegard Eliassen Stillerud
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electricday wrote:
Out of my mind: You cannot sell a Green Cow to buy a worker. You must sell a white cow.. (green cows -> Building).
Might be nitpicking...


Yes you are, I probably got the colors them mixed up when I wrote the first post, but we played the game correctly
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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DrumPhil wrote:
Players make enough iterations up the trail in this game that I think there is opportunity to catch up from being behind. However, it might require a slight adjustment in strategy. Perhaps, if a player cannot afford the cowboys to get better cattle, then push your engine quickly down the track and use a black disc for a higher-valued station upgrade.

The "mighty herd" strategy is the easiest way to score well, especially if other players allow one person to get several Longhorns (purple cow cards with high herd value and many points). But a strategy focused on long train movement or combinations of valuable buildings can score equally well. Train and building strategies take a little more careful planning, though.



Would you mind posting a summary of these strategies in the Strategy section? I'm still flailing after six plays.
 
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Fabrice Dubois
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La Garenne Colombes
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FYI, the train strategy is already described.

Also, verandi wrote an interesting (like always) post here :Re: Possible Major Concerns - Cow Draw Luck and Buildings not Very Important??

verandi wrote:

There are several tell tale signs in the video reviewer's comments that he isn't thinking outside the box of one particular strategy among several that are viable (in fairness he wisely admits that he needs more plays to solidify his opinions).

I have won by focusing on one worker type and ignoring the others; three radically different strategies that were all victorious (against good opponents).

Focusing on Cowboys is the most obvious strategy- you get higher value cattle faster and cheaper, focus on the auxiliary action that lets you cull your deck and move through the trail quickly in order to visit Kansas City with those high valued cows as many times as possible. The auxiliary action that lets you draw and discard cards can be very useful in mitigating luck of the draw, and obviously increasing your hand size helps. The best way to hinder this strategy is by placing a lot of buildings on the trail, grinding his movement down.

Focusing on Engineers involves the opposite approach- you want to move slowly along the trail (you don't have high valued cows to deliver!), picking up money here and there and obviously hitting the two neutral buildings that allow you to move your train forward based on # of engineers. I had great success ignoring the early stations and racing to the end of the track, dumping tokens in the 8 and 9 VP stations and then moving backwards to dump in a few more before game end. Goal cards should be easy to fulfill since you'll have a bunch of stations and move slowly so you more consistently pick up tee pees and (funds permitting) hazards.

Focusing on Builders can be very powerful- just look at the abilities on the higher level buildings, they're nuts! A successful builder strategy needs to upgrade to one of those bad ass buildings and leverage its ability ASAP. Builder strategy is the most flexible as it depends on what particular building abilities you are going to focus on. One game I used buildings and the auxiliary action to move up the rails and then killed it with that high level building that lets you move backwards on the rails and claim a destination- I moved a cool 36 spaces backwards to get two tokens in San Fransisco; of course I also had two SF goal cards! Another game I used the high level building that maxes out your ribbons, which allowed me to compete with deliveries without having high level cows.

There are several radically different strategies that can win in GWT; don't get caught up in group think.
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