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Western Legends

Western Legends Board Game

Game Information

MSRP $
75.00
Year Published
Kolossal Games

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?


Editor reviews

2 reviews

(Updated: January 31, 2019)
Rating 
 
4.0
(Updated: April 20, 2019)
Rating 
 
4.0

User reviews

2 reviews

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Rating 
 
3.8
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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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ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #304241 15 Nov 2019 17:32
Two people showed up to game group with brand new copies of Western Legends last night. The only reason there weren't more copies was because it hasn't finished shipping yet so not everyone had gotten their copy yet. It felt like the old days when a hot game released and everyone had it and everyone played it. It was also really great to sit down and just play a game without having to go through a rules explanation, because everyone already knew the rules, except for a few things from the expansions.

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.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #304242 15 Nov 2019 17:34
The good news is that by reputation this game is better with more players and fewer copies, right?
southernman's Avatar
southernman replied the topic: #304253 16 Nov 2019 07:21
I've just received the Ante Up expansion but haven't had an opportunity to get the game out since then. It's a great fun game but has one issue - with 4+ players if just the one player takes the Outlaw role then they will not win, it is so easy for the other players (and the Sheriff as Story cards start firing off) to take them out of the game, and waiting until on the second row of the outlaw track so that they lose all their progress mid-way through the game is usually when it happens.
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.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #304254 16 Nov 2019 10:53
I agree. I seems much more difficult for an outlaw to win. The robbing the train adds another opportunity for outlaws for big points, like robbing the bank, which was much needed and helps. But I still think it is easier to win as a marshal.
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #304255 16 Nov 2019 11:26
Haven't played, so take this FWIW, but this sounds a lot like the concerns about Merchants and Marauders, where it's far easier to win as a merchant than it is to take the risks as a pirate, given that the rewards are sometimes questionable and the downside is being knocked out of the game and having to start over. Similar?
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #304257 16 Nov 2019 12:27
@Jackwraith

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.
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #304264 16 Nov 2019 15:37
I'm super looking forward to playing my copy now that I passed the entrance exam of assembling the General Store. Hopefully tonight. Might do a review down the road if I feel I can add anything to what It Came From The Tabletop said.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #304266 16 Nov 2019 16:16
We absolutely need a writer review of Western Legends.
southernman's Avatar
southernman replied the topic: #304268 16 Nov 2019 16:45

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.
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #304269 16 Nov 2019 17:33
Totally agree that Western themes have been covered sparingly, if at all. Strangely, that was what first inspired me to look at the Tiny Epic line. I saw "Tiny Epic Western" and I was all: "Ooooo!" It has theme, but it's kind of an abstract (as you might expect from a game that small), so it doesn't really push all the buttons, as much as I like it. I was hoping that Western Legends would do that, too. I'm not in the market for anything at the moment (all I do is trade), but I'm hoping someone around here managed to snag themselves a copy.

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?
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #304291 17 Nov 2019 13:16
Played it 4 player last night. All new players and everyone absolutely loved it. I was Billy the Kid and broke out to an early lead after robbing the bank but Wyatt Earp rode into town and arrested me before I could make my escape. I swore off my life of crime and he headed across the map to apprehend some desperados... and I promptly robbed the bank again. Annie Oakley had her Mule loaded with nuggets and headed toward town. I planned to ambush her but things went awry and I robbed the fourth player instead and netted a whopping ten bucks. WYATT threw an epic party gaining 5 LP to trigger the end game and I thought he had the win but Annie passed him in final scoring, as did I only to have us both lose to 4th player who had stocked up on upgraded items with end game LP. Lots of talk of " I should have .." post game. We played with most of the first game suggested rules, so plenty to add later in regards to personal goals, etc...
southernman's Avatar
southernman replied the topic: #304296 17 Nov 2019 14:26

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 ?
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #304302 17 Nov 2019 16:50
Yes! That's it. Thanks, southernman. I've never played, but somewhat recall feelings on it being rather mixed here.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #304313 18 Nov 2019 09:24
Disappointed in the quality control issues but yes, this is becoming a common occurrence with Kolossal.

Still, excited to try Ante Up here.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #304317 18 Nov 2019 09:45
My copy has finally shipped. Yeehaw!
southernman's Avatar
southernman replied the topic: #304331 18 Nov 2019 15:13

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 :pinch: :ohmy: :huh:
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #304334 18 Nov 2019 16:28
Yeah, the new player aids were confusing. I thought it was just because I was used to the old ones.