I finally had the opportunity to play Western Legends by Kolossal Games recently and can honestly say it is some of the most fun I have had with a game this year.
This game is, what is referred to as, a ‘sandbox’ game; a game in which minimal character limitations are placed on the gamer, allowing you to roam and take actions where, how and when you want within the physical constraints of the game.
The base game provides you with a small area of the American ‘Old West’ for you to roam, containing a couple of towns, some ranches, a few mines and bandit hideouts. Each player takes on the role of a historical figure from the wild west (each with their own set of optional objectives), including Billy the Kid, Doc Holiday, Annie Oakley and Wyatt Earp and off you go on your adventure.
You have numerous actions you can take on your turn from capturing outlaws to rustling cattle and robbing the bank, or you can relax, play poker and take in a cabaret show at one of the local saloons; you can even challenge another player to a duel. All this to gain movement on the outlaw track, marshall track, money and/or Legendary Points.
The game also uses a well-designed deck of playing cards to resolve a number of actions, as well as providing actions and responses/interrupts throughout the game by not only being a standard deck of poker cards but each card has text on it that may be used.
With the variety of characters, the mix of co-operative gameplay as well as competitive, the option of playing an outlaw, a marshall and even swapping between the two, this game has fantastic replay value.
The game is for 2-6 players (with a 3rd NPC player for the 2-player game). Although I imagine that a full contingent of 6 players may be a little daunting for some with the fear of a lot of downtime between turns, however with the amount of player interaction I very much feel this is a game where the more players the better applies; and would certainly make pursuing the life of an outlaw much more difficult.
With an expansion due at the end of the year, ‘Ante Up’, even more depth by the addition of another town, a gambler track and the option to play Faro as a gambling action, a train which can be used to travel (or rob), events cards and additional characters (and objectives).
If I’d had the opportunity to play this game last year, I can say it would have been at the top of my list; and I expect I will be hard pressed to find a game to beat it this year. Although part of me feels it would be a shame if I don’t.
Please let me know your views and experience of Western Legends and if you have a favourite character to play.
Find this game at one of these many retailers.