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Subject: Strange Cow Choices rss

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Cort Jensen
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Helena
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Love the game, but one quibble the choice of cattle breeds seems strange (Full disclosure...I live in MT and work for the Department of Agriculture)...Many of the breeds seem to be varieties that were and are more common in Europe (and many are dairy cows) as opposed to the breeds of the American West. Any idea why these breeds were chosen?
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Ashley Watson
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
Naturally, the game was designed by an European.
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Jay M
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
Silent Geek wrote:
Naturally, the game was designed by an European.


Almost every thematic choice seems designed to troll. The cities, the compass directions, even the appearance of the "engineer."
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Geoff Speare
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tee hee, that tickles!!!
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
CortOLaw wrote:
Love the game, but one quibble the choice of cattle breeds seems strange (Full disclosure...I live in MT and work for the Department of Agriculture)...Many of the breeds seem to be varieties that were and are more common in Europe (and many are dairy cows) as opposed to the breeds of the American West. Any idea why these breeds were chosen?


It's all a load of bull.
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Doug Stewart
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
It all comes down to European misunderstandings and cliches for American things, particularly regarding cowboys and the West in general. I can't find the thread now, but I recall Alexander Pfister saying that at least the cities USED to be correct -- he had the final destination as NYC instead of SF, but his German publisher said "Its 'Great WESTERN Trail', so the cities should be to the West, right?" and ended up changing them after Pfister finalized the designs.

My wife, a native Texan whose ancestors worked the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail, is so bothered by the wrong cities that she refuses to play the game with me at all.
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Steve Schlepphorst
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
I think the city choice was to have cities that could sensibly all be on a single rail, instead of the (more complex) track arrangement that East-coast cities would require.
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Dan Mansfield
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
I never noticed that the breeds weren't typical American cattle breeds. Nor did I notice that the cities aren't laid out accurately.

I just enjoyed playing the game for what it is . . . a fun, well-designed game.
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Jay M
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
The game is awesome. There, I've said it.
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Lorry Moller
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
zamoose wrote:
I recall Alexander Pfister saying that at least the cities USED to be correct -- he had the final destination as NYC instead of SF, but his German publisher said "Its 'Great WESTERN Trail', so the cities should be to the West, right?" and ended up changing them after Pfister finalized the designs.


Here is Pfister's quote, although it's for cities included rather than breeds:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/24600010#24600010
 
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Barry Miller
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices

Race Bannon wrote:
Almost every thematic choice seems designed to troll.

What does this even mean?



 
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MURRUMBEENA
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
In other news, be very careful if using the GWT board as a navigation aid when traveling across the USA...
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Jared
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
It’s a bit of a shame as it’s also a chance educate and instead it’s misinformation and stereotyped cliche.

In the age of information, there’s very little risk in being honest about your theme.
 
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Andreas Resch
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Re: Starnge Cow Choices
Hey guys,

I'm Andreas, the guy who illustrated the game and is responsible for the selection of the cattle breeds.

Overall I'm a rather pedantic and nit-picky character, that includes researching for games as well. The uneasiness about the typo in the thread title is a proof for that . But there are a lot of things that have to be considered when producing a game. While I spend quite a time on research and I really enjoy it, I can only go to a limited depth when doing so. It just takes a lot of time and at a certain point, I have to assume, that it works well enough. I'm always aware that there will be players out there, who are better informed but I hope, that it will be enough to transmit the theme well enough for the average player. Often the prototypes are very loose on facts and the illustrator takes the job of the research as well.

For the specific case of the cattle breeds here, I had to find some breeds that are easily distinguishable, both visually and by name. That was the most important problem to solve. They also should somehow match the card colors if possible.
The fact that I'm European does not matter at all here. I'm don't know the breed names of the cattle that walks around our meadows here. I knew some of the breed names, but could not tell if they are common to just Europe or the US. For the research I collected several breed charts, both in English and in German and I tried to pick the breeds from the English panels. But in the end some of them might have been picked from the German ones as well just because they were the best fit. It seems, as if many breeds that are also common in the US today are originated in Europe and that's why many of them have German or Europe-related names.

Sorry, if the research I did spoils the theme for some of you, but I did as much as I could manage considering the time that I had. After that it's up to the publisher to eventually decide if a background check would make sense.

Have fun,
Andreas
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Cort Jensen
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The artwork is top notch and it likely matters to a handful of folks at best what breeds the cows are. The historical mixed breeds, shorthorns, and Hereford (in latter years) likely would not have visually popped. I enjoy the look of the Highland cow and love saying the word Ayrshire (all day everyday). And they are all cow breeds at the time and could have been on an old west cattle drive . Now don't get me started about the pumpkin meeples in the Montana game (because if there is one thing Montana was known for it is pumpkins )
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Jay M
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bgm1961 wrote:

Race Bannon wrote:
Almost every thematic choice seems designed to troll.

What does this even mean?





Meaning it almost seems like it was designed to drive crazy anybody looking for "authentic" Western touches, or authentic cattle drives, or period-specific looks. From the cities, the compass directions, the cows, to the appearance of the "engineers." Almost nothing is "correct" from an American realism perspective.
 
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Jay M
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Gonzaga wrote:
Hey guys,

I'm Andreas, the guy who illustrated the game and is responsible for the selection of the cattle breeds.

Overall I'm a rather pedantic and nit-picky character, that includes researching for games as well. The uneasiness about the typo in the thread title is a proof for that . But there are a lot of things that have to be considered when producing a game. While I spend quite a time on research and I really enjoy it, I can only go to a limited depth when doing so. It just takes a lot of time and at a certain point, I have to assume, that it works well enough. I'm always aware that there will be players out there, who are better informed but I hope, that it will be enough to transmit the theme well enough for the average player. Often the prototypes are very loose on facts and the illustrator takes the job of the research as well.

For the specific case of the cattle breeds here, I had to find some breeds that are easily distinguishable, both visually and by name. That was the most important problem to solve. They also should somehow match the card colors if possible.
The fact that I'm European does not matter at all here. I'm don't know the breed names of the cattle that walks around our meadows here. I knew some of the breed names, but could not tell if they are common to just Europe or the US. For the research I collected several breed charts, both in English and in German and I tried to pick the breeds from the English panels. But in the end some of them might have been picked from the German ones as well just because they were the best fit. It seems, as if many breeds that are also common in the US today are originated in Europe and that's why many of them have German or Europe-related names.

Sorry, if the research I did spoils the theme for some of you, but I did as much as I could manage considering the time that I had. After that it's up to the publisher to eventually decide if a background check would make sense.

Have fun,
Andreas


It's my favorite game and I don't know anything about cows. The production values and overall visual design look great to me.
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Jonathan Challis
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I honestly couldn't care?

We can ship to the red/orange/yellow cities with breeds A/B/C for all I care. The mechanics work really well, and it's an engaging, fun game, with good components and art. More than that, I never ask from any game.
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James Clarke
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Whilst I love the illustrations, I can sympathise with the American cattle purists. I feel much the same way watching Dick van Dyke play a cockney chimney sweep in Mary Poppins.
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alan beaumont
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Great Western Derail
Highland Cow wrote:
Whilst I love the illustrations, I can sympathise with the American cattle purists. I feel much the same way watching Dick van Dyke play a cockney chimney sweep in Mary Poppins.
Compared with most modern Hollywood treatments of the relative British/US contributions to victory in WWII, Mary Poppins is an 'A' class documentary about child care and class structure in Edwardian England, Dick Van Dyke included.
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Doug Stewart
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To be fair to Dick van Dyke, if I recall correctly, his Cockney dialect coach was from Ireland for some bizarre reason.
 
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James Clarke
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The cows of Great Western Trail are like the Dick van Dyke of Mary Poppins. No authenticity, but they perform brilliantly.
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Barry Miller
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Highland Cow wrote:
I can sympathise with the American cattle purists.

Watch out, we're all over the place!

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Barry Miller
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zamoose wrote:
To be fair to Dick van Dyke, if I recall correctly, his Cockney dialect coach was from Ireland for some bizarre reason.

Well that's because everyone knows Ireland is the same as England, isn't it? After all, both are in the UK, right?

Now where's that sarcastic emoji?...
this?:
this?: whistle

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John Correll
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I don't know much about cattle, but I do live near the Chisholm Trail in SW Oklahoma and I know that they sent mostly long horns to Kansas. They don't require as much grass and can handle the distance better. I was actually looking for the King Ranch on the map, but realized it is an euro game and that's fine.

I figured if you didn't have the cards done the way they are, it would change the game all together. What would you use on the cards? Plains Indian tribes, Fort Belknap, Fort Griffin, Mr. Doan's general store, Red River fording, Canadian River fording, Red Rock canyon, Little Sahara, Rolling thunder storms? Nah.. it's a light hearted game and works just fine. Gets people together for good fun times.
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