Here is our list of the 10 best Western board games. While game mechanics can vary dramatically within a category, Western is one of those specific categories that feels reigned in and a genre that gives you exactly what you think it would. You are going to have gunslingers, exploration and building a new frontier. This means deck building, combat, engine building, a little bit of poker and so much more. Congrats to the best that spans from the brand new to classics that are over 10 years old.
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#10 | Tiny Epic Western
The Tiny Epic game series is a great series of games that are area control meets worker placement. Out of all of them, Western is about the fifth most popular after Galaxy, Quest, Zombies and Kingdoms. Each has their own flare and Tny Epic Western is no different.
The game is poker meets worker placement and is played in a series of rounds. Each round, poker cards are dealt between the locations, which are laid out in a circle. Players place posse members on these location cards, which will both give an action and count as a bid for the location’s valuable resources. Players also get a poker card of their own which uses the two adjacent cards from a location to form a three-card hand. For 1 – 4 players, game run about 30 – 45 minutes.
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#09 | Dice Town
Dice Town makes the list of the best western board games because it is a great poker-style game set in the theme of a gunslinger saloon and burgeoning western town. You and each other player get a cup with five poker dice and eight dollars.
Each turn, a player will put together a poker hand and depending on the roll, take control of various key places in Dice Town that will allow him to perform the corresponding action of the location. Then things happen like the player with the most K’s becomes the new sheriff; he decides who wins in any ties, but the sheriff can be influenced with nuggets, cards, or money. For 2 – 5 players, games are about 45 minutes.
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#08 | Gold West
Gold West makes the list of the best Western board games because it really puts you in control and expanding into the West during the gold rush in such a satisfying way.
In Gold West, you compete to build your mining empires while vying over the precious metals of the frontier. The game is a brilliant balance of resource management and territory control. You must plan your building strategies while carefully managing the right mix of resources production at the most opportune times. A mix of many great mechanics in this Western great. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 45 – 60.
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#07 | Homesteaders
Homesteaders makes the list of the best Western board games because it brings fun economic and growth mechanics into the Western theme. There was so much growth, exploration and hope in that gold rush time, and this game captures it. A great worker placement choice.
Homesteaders is an auction and resource management game in which you bid on the opportunity to build certain types of buildings, then spend resource cubes to build one of several buildings of that type. There are ten rounds of this. You score for their buildings, bonuses and points earned throughout the game from selling resource cubes. The player who builds the best combination of buildings and best manages the nine different resources in the game will score the most points and claim victory. For 2 – 4 players, games run 90 minutes.
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#06 | BANG! The Dice Game
Bang the Dice Game makes the list of the best Western Board Games because it is a true boiled down to an eternal battle between the law and the outlaws. This is a simple yet robust, edge of your seat, player elimination, press your luck, dice combat game.
At the start of the game, players each take a role card that secretly places them on a team: the Sheriff and deputies, outlaws, and renegades. The Sheriff and deputies need to kill the outlaws, the outlaws win by killing the Sheriff, and the renegades want to be the last players alive in the game. This is done with a dice roll of some not so normal dice. For 3 – 8 players, games are a quick 15 minutes.
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#05 | Carson City
Carson City makes the list of the best Western board games because it has many great strategic mechancis, but also has you playing different characters for advantages. It really submerges you in the Western theme while also having great gameplay mechanics.
Carson City is a strategic game played in four rounds, and in each one of them, the players choose a character from the seven available that gives certain advantages. After selecting characters, your cowboys are placed on action track locations that allow you to construct buildings, houses, or roads; claim ground; earn money; or score victory points. When more than one player is on the same location, get ready, it is time for a duel! For 2 – 5 players, games run about 90 minutes.
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#04 | Colt Express
Colt Express makes the list of the best Western board games because it won a Spiel des Jahres (most prestigious board game of the year award). It also happens to nail the necessary theme elements. On the 11th of July, 1899 at 10 a.m., the Union Pacific Express has left Folsom, New Mexico, with 47 passengers on board. After a few minutes, gunfire and hurrying footsteps on the roof can be heard. Heavily armed bandits have come to rob honest citizens of their wallets and jewels.
In Colt Express, you play a bandit robbing a train at the same time as other bandits, and your goal is to become the richest outlaw of the Old West. The game consists of five rounds, and each round has two phases: Schemin and Stealin. Move along the train and get into what you need to get into in this hand management and memory board game. For 2 – 6 players, games run 30 – 40 minutes.
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#03 | Western Legends
Western Legends makes the list of the best Western board games because historic characters from the American Wild West face-off and write new legends across the face of history! Gather your gun, your mount, and your grit as you forge your path into the history books.
Western Legends is an open-world sandbox tabletop adventure where you assume the roles of historical figures of the era, earning their legendary status in a variety of ways: gamble, drive cattle, prospect for gold, rob the bank, fight bandits, pursue stories, become an outlaw, keep the peace. The possibilities are darn near endless. For 2 – 6 players, games last about 60 – 90 minutes.
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#02 | Lewis & Clark
On November 30, 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from Napoleon. U.S. President Thomas Jefferson decided to send two explorers – Meriwether Lewis and William Clark – to discover this huge terra incognita. A fantastic board game has captured this historic journey and that is why Lewis & Clark makes the list of the best Western Board Games.
Lewis & Clark is a board game in which each player manages an expedition intended to cross the North American continent. Your goal is to be the first to reach the Pacific. You have your own crew that will be padded by the Native Americans and the trappers met along the way. You have to cleverly manage your characters and the resources you find. For 1 – 5 players, games last about 2 hours.
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#01 | Great Western Trail
The top spot on the list of the best Western board games goes to a fantastic game that opens a giant American West world in the form of a heavy engine builder. Great Western Trail is a huge game with elements of deck building, hand management, set collection and strategic movement.
You are a rancher and constantly herd your cattle from Texas to Kansas City, where you send them off by train. Each time you arrive in KC, you want to have your most valuable cattle in tow. However, the trail not only requires that you keep your herd in good shape, but also that you wisely use the various buildings along the trail and hire the right staff such as herders or craftsman. For 2 – 4 players, games last 75 – 120 minutes.