This Tiny Epic Western Review dives into what some are calling one of the best in Gamelyn Games “Tiny Epic” series. Do I agree? Or is everyone just bluffing.
Important Note: All photos in this post are of the Deluxe edition of Tiny Epic Western. Componants may not be the same in the non-deluxe package.
You and your posse saunter into town, heading up to the saloon, just as you are about to walk in the doors swing back open wildly. A line of cowboys shove their way onto the porch, spurs jangling loudly on the wooden deck.
Then out steps a beast of a man. The sun glares off the giant star fastened to his barreled chest. Everyone’s hands instinctively hover over their holsters… one move away from a deadly end that you can only imagine must be like the bitter account of the OK Corral.
Then the Sheriff speaks. “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.”
Ok… that was corny. Let’s get into the game.
What is Tiny Epic Western?
Tiny Epic Western is a worker placement game with a couple of fantastic “old west” twists.
Throughout the game each player has the simple goal of trying to have the most points at the end of the game. Points are earned by buying buildings; acquiring and advancing industry; and by achieving the status of being “wanted” at the end of the game.
Seems simple enough, but it’s the dusty old towne saloon flavor that designers hope turn the experience from Tiny to Epic.
One aspect that makes it stand out from the crowd is the Duel. Unlike many worker placement games where a worker placed will block anyone else from occupying the same position, in Tiny Epic Western, a player is allowed to challenge another players posse member to a duel!
Duels are won or lost on a throw of the dice with a few chances for modifying the roll – so like a good draw at high noon, there is some skill, as well as the plain old luck of the draw…. or roll.
The element of Tiny Epic Western that brings in some of the toughest choices, though, is the three card Poker Mechanic.
At the end of each round players vie for various pots by pitting their hand of cards against the hand of other players, or the dealer. Without going to deep into the rules, players each have 1 card in hand that are added to two face up cards on the table to make a hand. Just like Texas Hold’em, the other player uses those same two cards added to the card in their hand. And of course, the best hand wins.
It’s these elements that make this game really feel like you’ve gone into an old west saloon, sat down at the table, and are playing a hand of cards with the local outlaw.
Tiny Epic Western Game Specs:
Price Range: $20 -30 You can buy it HERE.
Style: Worker Placement/Resource Management – Some player to player interaction
Estimated Game time: 30-45 Minutes
Geek Level: Beginner to Intermediate
What I Liked About Tiny Epic Western
- The Poker Mechanic: I really believe that this is the best part in the game! Having resources and important scoring decisions each round rest on 3 card Poker hands just feels right for the old west theme. It adds a little intrigue to decision making throughout the game.
- The Game Mat: The game mat Is Not Included in the base game! However, if you think this is a game that you are going to enjoy, I really recommend the investment in the mat. For me, it just makes the game experience that much better… although slightly less tiny.
- Modification Abilities: One thing about actual Poker is that you are stuck with the hand that you are dealt. Not so in Tiny Epic Western! Would you have a flush with a different suit? You have the option to modify it! Need a 2 instead of a 3 for a straight? You can add or subtract a number from your card! It will take one of your workers to do it, and you might have to duel someone else for the ability, but the option is there.
- Unique Asymmetric Roles: Tiny Epic Western comes with a LOT of roles. Like the factions in Tiny Epic Kingdoms, each of these role cards gives you a unique special ability that you are going to get to use throughout the game. Maximize the special abilities to your advantage and exploit your strength over your opponents weakness. In the games I’ve played, players who have maximized their roles, often come out on top.
What I Did Not Like About Tiny Epic Western
- Single Path to Victory: It’s possible that I’m getting a touch spoiled, so understand that this opinion is framed by someone who is getting to play more than his fair share of games. I felt like since the only way to score points in this game was by buildings, it really “forces your hand” in what your strategy needs to be in order to win. I feel like an Epic game should almost always have multiple paths to victory.
- Complicated Gun Battles: In general I don’t like dice deciding the fate of my strategy, so I appreciate that the designers added a mechanic in which you could modify your rolls. The system, however, felt overly complicated. You need to remember that if you are defending you are sacrificing law to re-roll, vs force if you are the attacker. But you can also reveal your card to add to your value. Then after you make your modifications, your opponent can do the same. It’s almost like watching a gun battle in slow motion. Or the gun chambers got jammed after the draw.
What I Really Think of Tiny Epic Western
I like this game. It really has fun elements to it that make it a good filler plus game. I say filler plus because it’s not something that you’re going to be done with in 15 minutes, but it’s not going to take 2 hours either.
The theme is what’s going to keep this game in my collection. I love the western look, feel, and play of the game. I’m not much of a “cards” player but this game takes 3 card poker where it has never gone before, and I enjoy it.
More About Tiny Epic Western from Around the Web
- Want to find out all the rules? Check out the Watch it Played Tutorial (Video)
- Find out more about Tiny Epic Western with an interview of the designer (Text)
- The Official Gamelyn Games Website
Just One More Thing:
Before you go challenging someone to a duel… I highly suggest you watch this gun safety video put out by the Mayberry Police Department.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this Tiny Epic Western review are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That aside, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.