Pioneer Days – which disaster do I cause, which one do I fear the most?


Player count          2-4

Time      45-60

Age        14+

“You have a wagon, a cow, some wood and a drug, some coins in your pocket, and some town folk to help, you’ll get to the town before the storm hits the land..” Sounds like a bad country song? Nah, sound like a beautifully done, very thematic, dice drafting game.


In this one, you’ll try your best, to have as many wagons full of goods, some cows, and some people, who will help you out during your journey. The game takes place during four weeks, at the end of which you’ll arrive at the town. On your journey you’ll pull out dice out of the bag, and everyone will pick one. They can take the money, the good or the person, which the dice represents. The die that hasn’t been picked, goes on a disaster track, which advances it. Once the forth one of the same colour gets left over, the disaster happens. Good thing is, you can prepare for everything. You see the trackers moving, you and the other players decide which one happens when, by picking the dice. Nothing is hidden, the orders are not secret, so you know what to collect. The dice, that you discard advance the disaster tracks, so you know what’s coming.


Each game will be different, as the character sheets, like in Harvest (another great one by Tasty Minstrel Games), you can be a regular pioneer, or chose to play an advanced one, where everyone starts with different resources. The town folk deck and the orders will come up in different configurations, also the dice will advance the disaster in a different way each time you play. I see how this game may become addictive, as since we played it I can’t stop thinking about it.


Well, obviously where there is dice, there is luck. However, you can pay to change the dice face. The cards that come up are random, but they are never bad, however they may be useless, but there is always a thing to do on your turn. You don’t like the dice – change it, you don’t want the person – take the money, you don’t want the money – take the goods. No space to store them? Buy another wagon! There is always an option, and never will you spend your round doing nothing.


The quality of components is astounding, the cardboard is thicker than any other we’ve ever seen, the boards are sturdy, and even the cows seem more detailed. First player marker (horseshoe) and wooden wagons and meeple are also great. Artwork on cards is beautiful, and it all presents on the table pretty well.


Do not buy, if you expect strategy like in Great Western Trail. Buy, if you want something way better , but still in the spirit of The Oregon Trail.



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