Great Western Trail, or ‘GWT’ to its fans, is a tried-and-tested modern classic of a game. Designer Alexander Pfister is now regarded as one of the industry’s top minds when it comes to creating marvellous Euro-style titles. This is a second edition of Great Western Trail, published by Plan B and eggertspiele.
The core of Great Western Trail passes over from v1.0 to 2.0 – you’re still playing as rival cattle ranchers. You move along the trail itself (which is a bit like a giant rondel), selecting which action to take. You’re juggling hand management, deck-building, set collection and your finances. You want to have a hand of unique cattle cards by the time you reach the trail’s end (Kansas City).
There, you ship your cattle off down the train line for profit and potential end-game points. You’ll need to hire cowboys to bring in the cow cards. You’ll need builders so you can construct handy buildings along the trail. And you’ll want engineers so you can chug your train along the track for bonuses and upgrades.
What’s new in Great Western Trail 2.0, then? This isn’t a mere art refresh. (Although, that’s always welcome! The hazards, for one, are no longer Native American teepees, but Caucasian bandits.) The game now has much-coveted dual-layered player boards, so the discs and cubes don’t slide about as much. There’s also a new solo mode, as well as new private buildings for each player. There’s also a mini-expansion with maturing Simmental cows. You buy these as calves, but if you have one in your hand when you reach Kansas you swap it out for a value-two Simmental (and later on a value-3, if you do it again).
And even more great news? This second edition of Great Western Trail is set to be the first of a new trilogy of games! If that doesn’t make you go yeeeee-haww! then nothing will…