Kickstarter Backer Journal – Western Legends

I definitely try not to romanticize the wild west too much. I mean the toothaches, the tuberculosis, the scary surgical procedures. Yikes! But hey, I can totally appreciate the larger than life characters, the adventures, and having a trusty steed to get me where I’m going.

On Saturday, January 27th 2018 I backed Western Legends on Kickstarter. This was the western sandbox board game I’d been waiting for! I received the game in September. Since then I’ve had a chance to catch several games with friends and I can say I truly enjoy this one.

Pretty sure the typography was at least 40% of the reason I backed this one.

Pretty sure the typography was at least 40% of the reason I backed this one.

I’m not really in the practice of doing game reviews, but I can share a few things I like about this game here:

  1. Poker – The designers employ a very satisfying take on poker to resolve confrontations during the game. Reserve those high cards in hand for use in such conflicts OR play them to gain instant benefits and actions.

  2. Replayability – I dig games that give players ways to customize their experience. Lots to explore here, like shopping for gear and accomplishing story-based achievements which change the direction of the game.

  3. Immersion – Once the game is set up, you cannot help but feel surrounded by the experience. The art, the lore, and the sense of adventure is great.

You can achieve points on the the Marshal Track or the Wanted Track. Do good, or ill. Your choice. Either way Legendary status is possible.

You can achieve points on the the Marshal Track or the Wanted Track. Do good, or ill. Your choice. Either way Legendary status is possible.

Did I mention you can mine for gold in this game? Yup.

Did I mention you can mine for gold in this game? Yup.

There are tons of reviews online for Western Legends by folks who’ve analyzed the game’s many details. For me, I tend to focus on how I “feel” when playing games.

To grow up in Arizona is to grow up somewhere where history happened. There are so many stories of legends who lived and died here. There are stories about unknown legends too. And probably so many mysteries and secrets the desert will never reveal. But playing this game feels like being there, even if for just 60-90 minutes. Without the fear of tuberculosis.

What about you? What game(s) have you been playing lately?

–E

Kickstarter Backer Journal – Orbital Primeval

In the summer of 2016, I started using Kickstarter as a way to learn about independently produced projects that I might want to support. I'd heard about Kickstarter for a while but I guess I was just a bit late to the game! So I'm starting a series of Kickstarter Backer Journal posts that highlight projects I've backed, why I backed them, and what I learned from them.

The first project I supported was Nathan Smith's Orbital Primeval playing cards. The project was a standard deck of cards with standard suits illustrated by hand and with an added game variant. Nathan's been a artist/designer friend of mine for years, so when I learned about his Kickstarter project I knew I'd support it.

Orbital Primeval  playing cards by Nathan Smith

Orbital Primeval playing cards by Nathan Smith

Each card in the deck is illustrated with a character from the Orbital Primeval universe, a dimension of impossible characters with quirky abilities, personalities, and backstories. Players can use the cards to play standard card games (Spades, rummy, etc.) or use the iconography on each card to play a game Nathan designed called Cabal. To me, Cabal resembles a trick-taking game, with high cards contributing to winning hands and points at endgame.

I appreciate how all of Nathan's work has a hand drawn aesthetic. It contributes to a garage-made feel, which if you know Nathan, compliments his DIY-tuned values as an artist. His creations are always imaginative and exude an authenticity I really respect. You can see / keep up with Nathan's work here.

So how about you? What was the first Kickstarter project you backed? Did you learn anything from the experience?

–E