J. Alex Kevern
Tasty Minstrel Games
|Suggested Age||12 and up|
In Gold West, players compete as prospectors building their mining empires while vying over the precious metals of the frontier. In a delicate balance of resource management and area control, players must plan their building strategies while carefully managing their supply tracks to refine the right resources at the most opportune times. Stay a step ahead of the competition and you could lead the West into the Golden Age.
The goal of Gold West is to accumulate the most victory points through clever management of your growing mining empire. There are five resources in the game: the metals Copper, Silver, and Gold are used to acquire victory points in a variety of ways, while Timber and Stone are building materials used to build camps and settlements on the board to collect more resources and influence the landscape.
Each hex contains either two or three resources. Gold generally earns players the most points, with silver and copper yielding slightly less. In addition, each terrain type scores points for the player with the most influence therein at the end of the game. Copper terrains are the most valuable, with Silver, Gold, and Forest Terrains earning slightly fewer points.
When gaining new metals and materials, players place them in their "supply track", a mancala-style track in which you will manage your resources. You get points to further back in the track you place them, as this creates a more refined product, but it will take longer to get these resources to the front of the supply track where they can be used. Shipping, investments, and Boomtown offices often reward players who fulfill them earlier, so it's a careful balance of risk and reward.