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

Subject: Horse breaking vs. Rounding up Cattle rss

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Brian M
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It seems to us like the difficulty/reward difference between breaking a horse and rounding up cattle is really unbalanced, leading us to wonder if we were playing one of them wrong.

For breaking a horse, you need to make some rolls; with each roll you will usually have at least a 50/50 (often better) chance per die of making a move that is safe. You'll usually have 2 dice, and can easily get 3 - fairly reliable.

For rounding up, you'll usually have only 1/6 of the directions that combine the groups of cows. You don't usually fail if you roll wrong, but even with a few chances it is very hard to actually get enough cows together to score the VP for the card.

So far our experience has been that we've always succeeded at horsebreaking. While you have to deliver the horse as opposed to getting the reward right away, you benefit from boosted move while you have the horse.

For the round-up, we haven't been able to do better than 2 sets of 3 cows, which doesn't give any VP.

Are there rules screws up we might be making? Does anyone else find the round-up more worthwhile than we do?
 
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Nathan James
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My copy of the rules says
Quote:
If you succeed in having all the Cattle ending up with at least two Cattle neighbors, you also get the Fame point(s) reward...

This is possible with two groups of 3.
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Barry Miller
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StormKnight wrote:
For breaking a horse, you need to make some rolls; with each roll you will usually have at least a 50/50 (often better) chance per die of making a move that is safe.

I bolded "usually", because that's the operative word here, isn't it? I've played this game a few times, and while choosing to go for the Horse Breaking Challenge usually results in getting a horse out of it, it's worth considering that the odds of doing so really aren't all that different than any of the Hunting challenges.

Unfortunately, the "usually" part doesn't always work out so well! I have failed the Horse Riding challenge on occasion, or fell on a Thorny bush and opted to end (fail) the challenge instead of taking a red bullet.


StormKnight wrote:
For rounding up, ... it is very hard to actually get enough cows together to score the VP for the card.
...
For the round-up, we haven't been able to do better than 2 sets of 3 cows, which doesn't give any VP.... Does anyone else find the round-up more worthwhile than we do?

I actually find the Cattle Round-Up to be more lucrative than the Horse Breaking. Note that you don't have to form all the Cattle into a single herd, to get reward money! (But you can collect for only one herd. More later).

In your example of two herds of three cows, it's true that you won't receive any Fame Points, but you will earn $15! ($5 per cow that's adjacent to at least two other cows .... assuming in your example, that each of the three cows is adjacent to the other two).

Also remember that you earn the money for only one herd. So for your example, you will earn the reward money for only one of your two herds. Thusly your objective, if you can't group all the cows into a single six-cow herd, is to at least try to group four or five cows together, which is usually possible. (There's that "usually" word again)! Then you would collect $20 or $25 dollars, at least.

Plus, there's the Fame Points award!
To also get the Fame Points indicated on the Challenge Token, you must form all six Cattle into a single herd! (Again, with all six cows adjacent to at least two other cows).

Bottom Line:
- For a Cattle Round-Up, assuming you can form a herd of at least four Cattle, you will earn $20 (the same as most horses).
- If you can form a herd of five Cattle, you'll earn $25
- If you can form a herd of six Cattle (i.e., a "herd"), you will earn $30 plus the Fame Points indicated on the Challenge Token.

That's why I consider the Cattle Round-Up to be a little more lucrative than the Horse Breaking. But hey, if a Horse Breaking challenge is nearby, I'll still do that!

Reference for all the above: Rulebook, page 8

A shameless plug for my Condensed Rules Pamphlet, go here: Spurs Condensed Rules Pamphlet

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Brian M
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NJames wrote:
My copy of the rules says
Quote:
If you succeed in having all the Cattle ending up with at least two Cattle neighbors, you also get the Fame point(s) reward...

This is possible with two groups of 3.


Whoops. Yeah, no rulebook handy. Fame point reward is for all on herd? I can't remember! blush
 
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Brian M
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bgm1961 wrote:

Bottom Line:
- For a Cattle Round-Up, assuming you can form a herd of at least four Cattle, you will earn $20 (the same as most horses).
- If you can form a herd of five Cattle, you'll earn $25
- If you can form a herd of six Cattle (i.e., a "herd"), you will earn $30 plus the Fame Points indicated on the Challenge Token.

That's why I consider the Cattle Round-Up to be a little more lucrative than the Horse Breaking. But hey, if a Horse Breaking challenge is nearby, I'll still do that!

I'd say your bottom line summarizes my problem nicely here; sure you get some money, but unless you get the cattle all in one herd (which seems very hard), you DON'T get the Fame, which is how you actually win the game. And there seem to be a lot of events to boost the money you get from just about every other challenge in the game.
 
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Barry Miller
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StormKnight wrote:
I'd say your bottom line summarizes my problem nicely here; sure you get some money, but unless you get the cattle all in one herd (which seems very hard), you DON'T get the Fame, which is how you actually win the game. And there seem to be a lot of events to boost the money you get from just about every other challenge in the game.

Yeah, that's a good point. But with me, it seems like I'm always hurting for money, so doing a Cattle Round-up (if one is nearby, that is) is usually a sure $20 for me. And I can "launder" that $20 into Fame Points later.

I agree that forming all six cows into a single herd is a challenge, but it's fun trying! A lot of people don't like the Horse Breaking and Cattle Round-Up "mini-games" in that they feel the mini game aspect detracts from the main game and just devolves into a time-consuming "side show". (That was my wrap-up of others' collective sentiments that I've read/heard after the game was published).

Anyway, I think just the opposite as you could probably tell. I do both mini-game challenges whenever I can - mostly for the fun, but also for the money. Though unlike you, I've had maybe more than my fair share of bad luck with the Horse Challenges!

Edit: And one more thing after re-reading this thread... Although my "Bottom Line" started with forming a herd of 4 Cattle, you can end up with two herds of three Cattle each, as in the example you presented in your OP, and still earn money! The only thing is that you'll earn for only one of the herds, which means a $15 reward. I didn't bother to mention this in my "Bottom Line" as I hope I explained it earlier. But am repeating it here just in case.



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