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Spurs: A Tale in the Old West» Forums » General

Subject: Anyone else put off by the weird-scale main board? rss

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Peter Karis
Finland
Helsinki
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Now, I haven't played the game, but what really confuses me is the main board, which appears to depict just a tiny stretch of road, maybe some 100-200 meters in length, with some rocks and bushes on either side, but which is apparently supposed to depict an area more like the size of a state.

I mean, if it was a more abstract game I suppose it wouldn't be that much of an issue, but since this is a heavily theme-driven game, I just can't get over the fact that the scale of the map seems totally off and absurd. Maybe it´s just me?
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Rick Vinyard
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Las Cruces
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MacKaris wrote:
Now, I haven't played the game, but what really confuses me is the main board, which appears to depict just a tiny stretch of road, maybe some 100-200 meters in length, with some rocks and bushes on either side, but which is apparently supposed to depict an area more like the size of a state.

I mean, if it was a more abstract game I suppose it wouldn't be that much of an issue, but since this is a heavily theme-driven game, I just can't get over the fact that the scale of the map seems totally off and absurd. Maybe it´s just me?


Those aren't rocks and roads, they're mountain ranges, deserts, grasslands and forests.

Don't feel bad though. I'm sure conversations like this happened for real.

Pioneer wife to husband: I know you said those were just some rocks on the map, but I heard someone say those are the Sierra Nevadas. And, I know you said that road was only like 100 meters long, but that guy in the wagon called it the Mojave desert and called the middle of the road Death Valley? Why was he worried about having enough water to cross the road?

Husband: Ok, maybe it's like 200 meters. Silly westerners. They come up with grand names for everything, even naming the middle of the road Death Valley. Look at the map, it's just a little wagon wheel rut. And do you see them carrying their water everywhere? It's like they can't even cross the road without it. We'll be fine, and we'll get something to drink on the other side of the road.
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Barry Miller
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Saint Charles
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Yeah, that isn't a road, that you're thinking is.

Also, there are three towns placed around the edge of the board. So I wouldn't say "it's supposed to depict an the size of a state". Where did you get that from, anyway?

Do you have the game, or are only looking at a picture? If you have the game then perhaps playing it would answer your question.

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Peter Karis
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Yeah obviously I kind of gathered what they are supposed to be, but the problem - for me - is in how they appear to be.

Looking at the pictures of the main board of Spurs, I just can't imagine that it is a map of mountain ranges and woodlands, as it definitely looks more like a map of a simple crossroads. I'm not saying I'd prefer a photo-realistic map pulled straight out of Google Earth or something, I'm saying the artist made a pretty lousy job creating a map that's supposed to depicts mountain ranges and such. There are tons of games out there where the artist has done a proper job depicting a map of such scale, but Spurs sadly isn't one of them...
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Peter Karis
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bgm1961 wrote:

Yeah, that isn't a road, that you're thinking is.

Also, there are three towns placed around the edge of the board. So I wouldn't say "it's supposed to depict an the size of a state". Where did you get that from, anyway?

Do you have the game, or are only looking at a picture? If you have the game then perhaps playing it would answer your question.



I assumed it would be roughly the size of a state, given that you can have wild animals, mountain ranges, cattle herds, outlaws, lawmen, bandits and gold mines on the map all at the same time. If it was much smaller, the setting just wouldn't be very plausible, would it?

I don't own the game, I've only seen the back of the box and pictures of the board here on BGG. When I looked at the back of the box, I actually thought the board depicts a stretch of road and not mountains and deserts. It was only after watching a video review that I realised it is in fact supposed to be a map of a much wider area. Are you saying the scale looks better on the actual board?
 
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Rick Vinyard
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MacKaris wrote:
I assumed it would be roughly the size of a state, given that you can have wild animals, mountain ranges, cattle herds, outlaws, lawmen, bandits and gold mines on the map all at the same time. If it was much smaller, the setting just wouldn't be very plausible, would it?

The U.S. states are akin to Finland's regions, and the western states are pretty large. For example, the state of New Mexico is 315,000 sq. km. Uusimaa region is 9,500 sq. km.

States are typically divided into counties. Lincoln county, New Mexico is 12,500 sq. km., and is famous for the outlaw Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County Range War involving many sheep and cattle ranchers.

In addition to wild animals like bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, etc. there were gold rushes like those at White Oaks. There was a pony express line from White Oaks to Lincoln.

Within the county there were complete railroad systems including the El Paso & North Eastern (EP&NE) railway initially planned by J.P. Morgan, and numerous mountain ranges like the Capitans (Smokey Bear) and Sacramentos.

Lincoln county contains the Carrizozo Malpais (badlands of black volcanic desert), grasslands for ranching, the Lincoln National Forest, and even includes a ski run, Ski Apache operated by the Native American Mescalero Apache tribe. Some of the more famous members of the Mescalero tribe include Geronimo, Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio, although they spent most of their time southwest of Lincoln county.

Fort Stanton is also there and played a role in the Civil War. The Fort was home to Kit Carson, Black Jack Pershing, and Buffalo Soldiers.

TLDR; Yup, it's possible to have all that plus black lava badlands, desert, snowy mountains, coal mines, Native American tribal homelands, railroads, cavalry forts, legendary frontiersmen, Buffalo soldiers and the pony express... and that's just 1 of New Mexico's 33 counties.
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Barry Miller
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Yeah, what Rick said. I didn't notice that you're from Finland. Some of the counties in our western states are bigger than our smallest state (Rhode Island)! The U.S. states in the northeast part of the country are much, much smaller than the western states.

Anyway, if you get a chance to play the game, you won't even notice any issue whatsoever with scale! The game presents itself much differently on the board, in real life, than it may look from an image.

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Mike Clarke
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The board is an abstracted landscape used as a vehicle for delivering encounters in a variety of settings: prairie, town, mountain, forest, badlands and provides strategic movement decisions for cowboys with a variety of horsemanship skills.

The map. although a little clip-artish, fills its gameplay function extremely well. The game itself is a decent little sandbox Red-Dead-Redemption-style roam-around western of which there are exactly none. So it fills a welcome niche if you like westerns.
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