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Great Western Trail» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First 2 players game rss

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Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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My friend went at home this evening to play GWT for 2 players.

This was my first play and it was his 3rd plays.

The game took about 2 hours.

He follow a cowboys strategy : buying and improving his herd, going quickly along the journey from Texas to Kansas City. At the start of the game, he was in trouble with moving his train so he had to pay extra dollars to put discs on cities.

As a result, he was almost always short of cash. But as he managed to discard through his deck, he was pretty safe on money although he had to pay for the cities beyond Albuquerque.

He manage to deliver all the cities from Colorado Spring to San Francisco, built 3 buildings but scored 38 VP for herd.

I follow a engineers strategy : moving my train the faster i can in order to place discs on stations after the bend. My trip from Texas to Kansas City was decently slow. I never bought some cow and built 4 buildings because of my objectives.

I think i fall short because i wasn't able to fill of the stations after the bend : it is hard around money and since you don't have a valuable herd, you must earn your money elsewhere. Teepees are a great source of money. Ribbon track too.

Mistakes i made :
- to grab a San Francisco objective
- to upgrade twice on stations (once with an engineer) but that said, the bonus tiles with permanent ribbons are great too

Final score : 130-81 (my friend won)





His player board :


My player board :


Thoughts
The gameplay is smooth, very straightforward.
Turns are quick and the pace increase the race effect of the game.

The game delivers a great amount of fun through combos, herd culling/discarding, journeying from Texas to Kansas City.

I felt the tension when my opponent started to speed up the game : it is dying to see the turn marker sliding down inexorably while you know your are short on timing.

Once you are in one way, it seems to be hard to fight against the other players : for example, i should have slow him down by laying down buildings but i wasn't developed on workers and i have spend my money to put discs on stations. Sure, i built some cheap buildings along the way but he manage to develop his extanded movement ability.

It was the same for him : he couldn't manage to catch up on the rail.

The game certainely entice you to specialize yourself and i enjoy that (it is rewarding when you manage to achieve your goal and it makes you want to play again if you fail).

I don't know yet if a balanced/middle/diversified strategy could win or be competitive but it should be very risky to follow.

This game is really great and i am looking forward to dig it in the future.

EDIT : replacing culling by discarding
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David Larkin
England
Brighton
Sussex
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You say your opponent manage to cull his deck, but he still has the actions that allow you to do it covered on his player board?
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Dylan Bradshaw
United States
North Scituate
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Any Impressions on how you think the game changes or is better a different player counts?

Is the scoring too meticulous?

Is the game tight with two? Does it speed up because less buildings are being put out and therefore it's easier to travel between destinations got shorter routes? Seems like this would make the game faster.
 
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Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
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Zark wrote:
You say your opponent manage to cull his deck, but he still has the actions that allow you to do it covered on his player board?

Sorry. English is not my native language. I should have wrote "discard".
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John Bradshaw
United Kingdom
Newcastle Upon Tyne
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dylanbradshaw wrote:
Any Impressions on how you think the game changes or is better a different player counts?

Is the scoring too meticulous?

Is the game tight with two? Does it speed up because less buildings are being put out and therefore it's easier to travel between destinations got shorter routes? Seems like this would make the game faster.


I've played this as 2 and 4 player, and it scales beautifully. Equally engaging and exciting at both counts.

Not sure what you mean by the "meticulous" scoring question. There are many ways to earn points, and because they are all earned at game end, it's very difficult to evaluate your relative position as the finishing line approaches. I quite like this, you can always feel as though you're in with a chance!

The game doesn't necessarily speed up with 2. Your playing piece, the cowboy meeple, moves more spaces at the higher player counts, to account for the probability of more buildings to move over.

Nice session report, great game.
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Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
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dylanbradshaw wrote:
Any Impressions on how you think the game changes or is better a different player counts?

At this point, i can see that there should be more fight around station master tiles (there is always the same number at any player count). Perhaps that the biggest difference is on the number of buildings laid out by the players. It can delay the journey and increase the cost.
The job market is variable with the number of players.

dylanbradshaw wrote:
Is the scoring too meticulous?

Meticulous like Point salad ? If so, yes but this isn't a big issue since, from my big experience of the game ( ), we were very specialized and focused on one source of VP.

I think that it is good for the interplay variability because the more scoring items, the more different strategies to discover.

dylanbradshaw wrote:
Is the game tight with two? Does it speed up because less buildings are being put out and therefore it's easier to travel between destinations got shorter routes? Seems like this would make the game faster.

I didn't find the game especially tight with two. Again, we were very specialized and as a result, focused on maximizing our strategy. We were never annoyed by each other buildings.

That said, perhaps you should grab objectives aimed by your opponent. After all, you can keep them in your deck until the end without any malus.

On the other hand, i really felt the increasing tension as my opponent speed up the game. It was agonizing and delightful.
 
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Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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I find it weird that you can't use the local action of other player's buildings.

Sure, it allows you to make more auxiliary actions since neutral buildings are certainely mostly used for their local actions.

Thoughts ?
 
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Robert
Germany
Bocholt
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Placing your own buildings has two benefits:
1) give yourself more opportunities for helpful actions on your way to KC
2) hinder opponents by slowing them down and (for some buildings) taking their money

Benefit 1 is the really important one, so negating it by allowing other players the same benefit would make placement of buildings a losing strategy.

I can imagine a variant where other players can use one of the two actions of an opponent's building, but have to pay for it - e.g. "twice the number of workers required" or some such.
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Phil Hendrickson
United States
Seward
Nebraska
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Thank you for the great session report! I have played GWT four times now; tonight will be the fifth. I have been trying different strategies, and have only won once. The difficulty I see with GWT is that the cowboy/herd strategy is easier to use to get a good score, and hard to do better with a train or building strategy.

With then cowboy/herd strategy, a player will likely score well (30+) in BOTH deliveries and herd points. The train strategy only leads to big points in stations. The building strategy only leads to big points in buildings - and maybe not even 30 points. So, to make wither of those strategies pay off, the player really needs to find a secondary strategy to also build up good points. I think it can be done, and I want to keep trying to do it. But the herd strategy is definitely easier to do well.

However, the game is super fun to play even when I lose. I am very happy to have this game.
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David Larkin
England
Brighton
Sussex
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fdubois wrote:
Zark wrote:
You say your opponent manage to cull his deck, but he still has the actions that allow you to do it covered on his player board?

Sorry. English is not my native language. I should have wrote "discard".


No problem a minor point in an otherwise good review
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David Spalinski
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Thanks for the great session report!
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Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
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Thanks. You're welcome.

I have played another game against the same opponent but with the random neutral buildings setup and we have found that this change the game a lot both in term of 1) possibilities and 2) score.

Really, it deserves a digging treatment.
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