Review Detail

Western Legends Board Game
Board Games 518
Tear the Balloon to Pieces
(Updated: August 01, 2019)
Rating 
 
3.5
Kickstarter underbake rating: Golden-brown sold separately.

tl;dr — Played as an RPG/storytelling game it's a hoot; played as a game game it's pretty thin gruel.

This game requires a bunch of stuff that doesn't come in the box—you're gonna need as many people as you can muster, and those people need to be mean-spirited, funny as hell, and deeply steeped in the 19th Century mindset:

"We rode for days to see the man put up the hot-air balloon. When we got there he said he would not put it up; he said to come back tomorrow and perhaps he would put it up then. So we knocked him down and tore the balloon to pieces."

(Actual 19th Century quote.)

Also, everybody needs to play quick 'n light—the minute you have one min-maxing AP nerd in the mix the game grinds to a halt. Just run around doin' 19th Century shit for the most outrageous story possible. (Note: Shopping is not outrageous. And "grinding for LPs" is pretty much the exact opposite of rootin'-tootin'.)

And while somebody should really do a set of character cards from HBO's Deadwood, let's be honest: I'm gonna play that way regardless.

"Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair, or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back."

See also:

The Ballad of Buster Skruggs
Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West
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