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Great Western Trail» Forums » General

Subject: Great Western Trail vs Mombasa rss

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Armen
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It seems like both GWT and Mombasa are the two new hot games by Alexander Pfister just wondering what folks thought of these two games and how they might compare and contrast?

Also, if I could only get one, which one would you recommend?

Any thoughts are appreciated!
 
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Jeremy Avery
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KingOfKabob wrote:
It seems like both GWT and Mombasa are the two new hot games by Alexander Pfister just wondering what folks thought of these two games and how they might compare and contrast?

Also, if I could only get one, which one would you recommend?

Any thoughts are appreciated!


Good news: They are both highly rated and highly ranked games.

More good news: They are nothing like each other mechanically, so buying both will have no overlap (unlike, say, Uwe Rosenberg's games which tend to borrow a number of elements from other games he designs).

More good news: Mombasa is still at a fantastic price point because it's not published by one of the high-MSRP companies.

Bad news: Great Western Trail is hard to find in stock right now.

More bad news: Some people find the setting of Mombasa to be depressing or offensive, since one could argue that the game is essentially about white people walking into Africa and stripping it of all its wealth. The game frames the subject as Europeans trading with Africans though, and doesn't delve into slave trade. Your mileage may vary.


I think both are fantastic, top-tier euros, if you like heavier euros that blend a lot of mechanics but don't feel point-salad (everything is worth "3 VPs"). The routes to points in both games require different approaches and play style.

I prefer the theme, gameplay, art, and VP options of Great Western Trail. It's probably best at 2-3p. Mombasa is probably the better strategy game, and probably plays best 3-4p.
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Paul Luxton
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I agree with the following
familygaming wrote:
...Great Western Trail. It's probably best at 2-3p. Mombasa is probably the better strategy game, and probably plays best 3-4p.
You'll find that a majority will prefer GWT, I find myself in a minority of thinking that Mombasa is the better game.

Not bothering with the whole "offensive" nonsense.
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Sergio Perez
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powlo wrote:
I agree with the following
familygaming wrote:
...Great Western Trail. It's probably best at 2-3p. Mombasa is probably the better strategy game, and probably plays best 3-4p.
You'll find that a majority will prefer GWT, I find myself in a minority of thinking that Mombasa is the better game.

Not bothering with the whole "offensive" nonsense.


It's true that GWT arrived to greater fanfare, but I'm not certain that most people who have actually played both would agree that GWT is the better of the two. I really enjoy both, but I think Mombasa is a significantly better game overall. Again, I think GWT is a great game, looks like my #2 or #3 game of the year pick for 2016. It's not bad by any means; Mombasa is just that good!

I agree with what was pointed out previously as well. They are so mechanically different that it is absolutely worth having both great games in any collection.
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Darrell Goodridge
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I'm in the GWT is better camp. My Mombasa actually got traded, then I reacquired it, because I did like 90% of the game. I still haven't gotten a chance to fully explore all 3 paths in GWT, so I'm not convinced there IS a part to dislike there.

I would also echo the others in saying there's no sense of repetition between them. The Uwe comment is spot on.
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Tahsin Shamma
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Another Mombasa is narrowly better vote. I LOVE both, but if you forced me at gunpoint to lose one game, it would be GWT.

GWT is NOT A BAD GAME! We're talking about BMW vs Mercedes here.
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Phil Hendrickson
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I agree with all of the comments above. I love both games, and both are worth having.

I will say that (here in the American Midwest) it is easier to get GWT to the table. It just looks more attractive to play, both in art and theme.

Mombasa is more of a traditional (excellent) euro, where the theme does very little to build up the game experience. Actions are fairly abstracted. GWT feels more thematic, even though some obvious thematic inaccuracies have been pointed out. The game still gives a richer thematic experience.

Also, for new or inexperienced gamers, GWT is going to be easier to learn. The theme helps the mechanisms make sense. But for average gamers who have played a few medium-weight games, both games play well and offer much to explore.
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Joel Oakley
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veector wrote:
Another Mombasa is narrowly better vote. I LOVE both, but if you forced me at gunpoint to lose one game, it would GWT.

GWT is NOT A BAD GAME! We're talking about BMW vs Mercedes here.

Absolutely! I rank both games a perfect 10 (only 2 others in my ratings). I rank Mombasa ever so slightly better than Great Western Trail due to the fact that Mombasa requires more challenging planning. I also really love the alliances that emerge in Mombasa as players invest in the different companies.

On the other hand, if I were going to be playing 2-player only, I would probably pick GWT. Mombasa really is best with 3 or 4 players. As said above, get both!
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Z Oddone
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I'm glad somebody started a thread about this. I just went through this dilemma a week ago! After much research, I absolutely plan on owning both. They do seem like pretty different games. I purchased Mombasa first simply because it is in stock currently. When GWT comes in stock again I will purchase it then.
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Jeremy Avery
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zoddone wrote:
I'm glad somebody started a thread about this. I just went through this dilemma a week ago! After much research, I absolutely plan on owning both. They do seem like pretty different games. I purchased Mombasa first simply because it is in stock currently. When GWT comes in stock again I will purchase it then.


I did the same thing in November: did my research and ordered both. No regrets. For complex euro fans, these games are great.
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Stephen Croft
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veector wrote:
Another Mombasa is narrowly better vote. I LOVE both, but if you forced me at gunpoint to lose one game, it would be GWT.

GWT is NOT A BAD GAME! We're talking about BMW vs Mercedes here.


More like Porsche vs Ferrari
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Geoff Speare
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I prefer Mombasa by a significant margin. I liked it more or less immediately, own it, and wish I could play it more.

GWT did not make a good first impression. The mechanics did not seem as well tied together, and in our game it seemed like the person who got the only available early cowboy jumped way ahead of everyone else. I'm sure I will play it again and may like it more after that. It's certainly not a bad game.

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Mark C
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I'm surprised no one mentioned the luck difference. Been a while since I played Mombasa, but my recollection is that GWT is going to run into some luck of the draw. You can definitely get good draws and bad draws, and the timing of what you get matters. Overall, once you're used to the game, it seems to fade into the background as there are usually ways to deal with your luck, and the truly bad draws are infrequent. But they do still happen. My 3rd game, I had my deck really well set up, only to get a stunningly bad draw heading to my last trip to KC. Unknown to me, all 3 of my 5s were buried at the bottom of my deck, and despite furiously cycling through my deck, I came up empty in the final few turns. Given the acceleration in points and pressure that comes with deliveries, it can be a huge difference to come up empty as you're either sent to a negative delivery, or having to forego a big delivery. It could be 10-20% of the winning score. Having taught a number of players now, I actually caution people going into the game on how the luck is part of the game, and how they'll learn to work with it more as they go. Even then, if the cards are against you, heading into KC can be fickle, and that risk is part of the game.
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sal conz
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Mombasa:

-has a very unique mechanism that involves investing in, and devaluing -companies.
-It is somewhat strategic, but very tactical. You often have to adjust to how others are playing.
-not a point salad game


Great Western Trail:

-route building. although not in the traditional sense, one might say this is an engine builder - because you basically build a route that will make you more and more money every time
-rewards long term planning.
-point salad game
-some have said there is a bit of luck it the deck building. i say phewy. your deck is pretty small compared to traditional deck builder games and there are so many opportunities to cycle through your deck and thin it out on your way to kansas city. some have complained that theoretically you can end up with a hand full of garbage in the last round. that's dumb. maybe if you are an 8-year old and it is your first time playing. but then i would say shame on the game master who taught you the game - for not helping you understand the game better. GWT rewards advanced planning, and it shouldn't take long to see how you can get money and points from your hand and your deck.


Player count comparison:
i would say GWT plays better at 2 players than mombasa. At 3 players it may be a toss up. At 4 players, the edge might go to mombasa.

however, both are excellent games













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