Bantam West: Honest & Precise Review

Bantam West

A Frontier Full of Possibilities: Introduction to Bantam West

Bantam West by Bantam Planet invites players to immerse themselves in a richly detailed wild frontier, offering a sandbox experience for 1-4 players. In this game, players take on various roles, from a resourceful merchant to a cunning gunslinger, each with unique pathways to victory. The game’s open-ended nature allows for extensive player interaction and strategic planning, setting the stage for a thrilling adventure in the untamed west.

Diverse Roles and Strategic Depth

One of the most engaging aspects of Bantam West is the depth of character roles and the strategic possibilities they offer. Whether you’re playing as an agile thief or a powerful merchant, the game challenges you to leverage your character’s strengths and weaknesses effectively. The variety in gameplay, coupled with the choice-rich environment, ensures that each playthrough offers a new and exciting experience.

Innovative Mechanics and Quality Components

Bantam West stands out with its original game mechanics and high-quality components. The game’s materials, such as the mats, add a tangible sense of quality to the overall experience. The mechanics are not only unique but also well thought out, providing a balance between strategy and player interaction. However, the solo mode seems to require further refinement to match the richness of the multiplayer experience.

Thematic Integration and Artistic Brilliance

The game’s thematic integration is a significant achievement. The stunning artwork and well-designed components immerse players in the frontier setting. The combat system, while straightforward, incorporates strategic deck-building elements, adding depth to player encounters. The art serves not just as decoration but as an integral part of the game’s storytelling, enhancing the overall experience.

Learning Curve and Rulebook Clarity

A notable challenge in Bantam West is its complexity. The introductory scenario, while helpful, may feel a bit lacking due to the exclusion of several game mechanics. The rulebook, although comprehensive, could benefit from clearer explanations, particularly for new players. These issues, however, do not detract significantly from the game’s enjoyment once players become familiar with its nuances.

Zero balance, zero playtesting

When the game is just fantastic in all its concepts, ideas, and mechanics, the lack of balance here kills the whole experience. Reaching VP points (you need 10 in the medium advanced scenario) can take just a few turns if you’re lucky with the private goals drawn at the beginning of the game. But even without them, scoring here is just too easy. It breaks my heart to see the whole potential here, but in its current state, the game feels broken.


In summary, Bantam West by Bantam Planet is an immersive and strategically rich game that offers a unique take on the sandbox genre. Its combination of diverse character roles, innovative mechanics, stunning artwork, and thematic depth makes it a standout title in the board game world. While the game has a learning curve and the rulebook could be more user-friendly, these are minor setbacks in what is otherwise an exceptional gaming experience. Unfortunately, non existing balance, whre you can win game in 3 rounds without lifting the finger, destroys the game’s fundaments. Shame, because you can feel love and passion behind the project, but what was missing is defintely playtesting. – David

Scratches: 3.0/10.0

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