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Store:  Strategy Games
Series:  Kosmos Spiel für Viele
Theme:  Cowboy / Western
Format:  Board Games


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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-40 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Description

Businessmen take advantage of the Gold Rush to cut shady deals while appearing to be honorable citizens. (So what's new?) Each player begins by bidding with debt certificates for the services of the adventurers in town who have varying abilities in the arts of gold digging, colt drawing, shooting, cheating at cards. The debt certificates are deposited in one of the six banks. The top fate card is turned up and announces the sort of abilities in demand, e.g. gold digging or shooting. Card play follows. The game ends when one player has three bankruptcy tokens or when there have been so many shootouts that the undertaker notifies the cavalry, or when a player has reached the end of the Honors points scale.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 3 - 4

  • Time: 30 - 40 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 610 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 2 reviews

Very nice little game
October 31, 2001

I was surprised by how nice and clever this game was. It's an obvious distant cousin to Teuber's classic, [page scan/se=0144/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Adel Verpflichtet, but the meat of this one is in the bidding. Instead of bidding straight cash, you bid IOUs, which will then come due (or possibly not!) at some semi-random point in the future. So the game is about keeping yourself properly leveraged and skirting the edge of bankruptcy (or even going bankrupt when necessary). The 'payday' mechanism for calling in IOUs is very nice, tense, and exciting, as the die is rolled to see who is going to have to pay up.

This is a real gem which comes highly recommended. It's light-ish, significantly lighter than Adel Verpflichtet, I think, but has some nice strategy. It's easy to learn and teach, a lot of fun, just the right length, and even thematic! The only proviso is that it seems to work mainly with 4; I've played once with 3, and the balance seemed a bit off. Stick with 4 players, and you'll be in good shape.

Cute abstraction of the Old West
July 04, 2001

The idea of a game where your goal is to accumulate gold from digging, win poker games in the saloon, and have a few showdowns out in the street is appealing to me. It covers many of the myths of that period. Add in characters rated in each of the three areas, and you've got some flavor.

But that's where the flavor ends. Each type of contest (gold digging, poker, and gunfights) are abstract activities. Each player reveals one character from their stable, and the highest-rated one (in the particular area being fought) gets a reward. In all but the gold-chase, the lowest-rated character's owner incurs a penalty. These rewards and penalties are usually manifested in movement around the board.

First to the end wins. Of course, there's some money management involved (gold is precious) and you have to pay your 'hired guns' with something (in this case IOUs). At various points in the game, the bank gets greedy and starts calling in lots of IOUs (via dice rolls, so it's pretty random) which must be paid out in gold.

All in all, it's a nice bidding/money-management game with a theme of the Old West, but very little actual flavor in that regard. I'll buy it, but it won't be a top-shelf game.

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