Western Legends is an open-world sandbox tabletop adventure for 2-6 players set in the American Wild West. Players assume the roles of historical figures of the era, earning their legendary status in a variety of ways: gamble, drive cattle, prospect for gold, rob the bank, fight bandits, pursue stories, become an outlaw, keep the peace. The possibilities are darn near endless. How will you write your name on the face of history?
- Board Games
- Western Legends
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."
The Ballad of Buster Skruggs
Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West
The Kickstarter Cow Chips are really nice, and now I am regretting not buying them. The mat seems like it got printed using an earlier version of the board, but Kolassal is claiming the change of the icons on the mat were intential, but I think that's bullshit.
So a great thematic game but disappointing that the Outlaw mechanic only works if you all agree the starting role mix beforehand.
Oh, and the quality control on Ante Up is very poor - the rulebook was printed with a very early version of the rules and has many ommissions, most of the tokens in the KSer Wild Bunch box are badly punched meaning you can easily tell them from the Ante Up ones (they all have different text on the backs), and there are dark red tokens with black text that has resulted in some of them being unreadable.
Apparently this isn't that uncommon for Kollossal and may be due to them having so many KSers running concurrently that their people resources are stretched.
It is very similar to Merchants and Marauders. Playing the straight pick up & deliver game (cattle or gold) as a Marshal, is a pretty easy path with few threats or risk. Checking someone's progress on this path requires that one of the Outlaw players robs them. Whereas the Outlaw players always have the threat of the Sheriff (like the Pirates always have the threat of running into the navy patrols in M&M), which can knock them completely off the Wanted Track (the primary way they rack up points each turn) and result in losing half their wealth.
The new expansions seem to be trying to correct this a bit, adding more ways for Outlaws to get points.
ubarose wrote: ... Whereas the Outlaw players always have the threat of the Sheriff (like the Pirates always have the threat of running into the navy patrols in M&M), which can knock them completely off the Wanted Track (the primary way they rack up points each turn) and result in losing half their wealth..
It's not just the Sheriff, if you're the only Outlaw then it means that most if not all of the others have Marshall points so they take you out as well. The new board may (hopefully) give the Outlaw player a bit more space so not all the Marshalls are within movement points (normal and bonus) of him/her at the same time.
I remember a few years ago (possibly quite a few years ago) there was a discussion here at the site on what themes hadn't been covered in boardgames very well or at all and the Cowboy/Western theme was pretty near the top. Well this game does a damn good job of producing a great boardgame covering various themes/activities of the wild west, and the 'sandbox' format gives you a lot of freedom/choice to try any of them. My only comment is that eurogamers can get a bit lost and look for an optimum play or end up playing multi-player solitaire.
Wasn't there a game in the last few years that was kind of a Western/horror/steampunk fusion thing? Not Cthulhian horror, but approaching those boundaries. Kind of like Malifaux, but in the Old West?
Jackwraith wrote: ... Wasn't there a game in the last few years that was kind of a Western/horror/steampunk fusion thing? Not Cthulhian horror, but approaching those boundaries. Kind of like Malifaux, but in the Old West?
Shadows of Brimstone ?
charlest wrote: Disappointed in the quality control issues but yes, this is becoming a common occurrence with Kolossal.
Still, excited to try Ante Up here.
Should check the 'error' threads on BGG listing the problems, using the new player aid will make your game a bit confusing
Anyone still playing this? Any advice for getting started 2p/3p? I want the sproglings to have a fun time so I’m happy to play sub-optimal in order to drive the experience for them, so I’m keen to know what sort of pitfalls or trends to look out for (eg robbing them if they go hard on ranching)
Apparently the expansions make it more balanced for lower player counts?
I's say, the first time out, just have fun and poke around the world and don't mess with each other too much.
That said, I think it's worth keeping around. It's a good while-away-the-afternoon game.
The other two small expansions, you can look through and decide if you want to add them into your first game or not. They add a little bit of rules overhead, but not much, and the story cards are fun. But you may want to play the first game without the extras just to get familiar with stuff.
Although I recommended that you not mess with each other too much in your first game, and give yourselves a chance to explore all the different things you can do, you will discover that this game is really all about messing with each other. When you are playing for reals, you are going to be robbing each other, arresting each other, setting the sheriff on each other... Ante Up adds a second board, which then spreads you out and makes it more difficult to mess with each other, and allow someone to run away with game due to being able to carry on their business unmolested over on another board. On the other hand, Ante Up adds the train which make it more feasible to win as an outlaw.
It's a sandbox, so you really have to kind of pick and choose what you want to use and not use, depending upon the way you play and what kind of game you want. And some of that is dependent upon player count.