We tried out Go West at Book Realm last night. This is a Colovini game which I always explain by saying something like "just because I tell you the rules doesn't mean you'll know how to play it". The other players were familiar with Cartagena, so I told them to expect about as much theme as that, i.e. none. Go West delivered on both counts.
I found it very difficult to make any progress. I started with no cards for the East region, so I couldn't figure out how to get region markers on there. I had a few for the second region, so I made a point of moving wagons out of the first region and into the second. Of course, that attracted other people's region markers, and so didn't help for long.
Andrew seemed to know what he was doing, and initiated a scoring round where he turned his advantage in the East region into a points lead. I was able to organise myself enough to initiate a second scoring round where I helped Andrew about as much as myself, but made a break from the other two guys. However after that my dominance in the second region (Great Plains?) crumbled, and I struggled to score anything.
As Justin and Phil and Andrew again scored, Andrew's lead mostly just grew bigger and everyone pulled away from me. Justin did peg him back, but only a little. In the end, Andrew was a runaway leader and I was left wondering what happened.
I think it goes something like this: the East region is going to score several times, so an investment there pays off more than anywhere else. The Great Plains will pay off, but maybe not quite as much as the East. The Mid-West and the West pay off less. An early investment in a region will pay off, but probably only once as more region markers come in and you get pushed off the region track. A late investment is consequently likely to be easier to maintain. That's all I can think of.
I am undecided about this game, which is not really a good thing. I will have to play it a couple more times to see whether it grabs me.
Now the curious question is, we played three games last night and I won the other two. Why wouldn't I write a session report about one of those?