Rio Grande games shipped me a few titles. Among them was Broadhorns: Early Trade on the Mississippi (the other was Beta Colony). i had not heard of it, and i’m willing to bet neither have you. Join me, then, on a blind box dive into Broadhorns!

(click to view transcript)

HI! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and Rio Grande Games was kind enough to send along a copy of Broadhorns for me to unbox and play and describe to you! Unlike my OTHER unboxing videos, where i know SO much about the game, i know literally zero about this game, except maybe what the box tells me: it takes place on a river (?) and i’m reminded of – you know, there have been a few other games that take place on rivers. There’s THE River, from Days of Wonder. There are other games that take place on the Mississippi. i gather – i’m guessing – from the back of the box that this is possibly a pick-up-and-deliver kinda thing along the river, and i know that it’s called Broadhorns because that is what they called the boats on the river, because they’re shaped the same as cattle horns, and i THINK i know that because i read the back of the box! So journey with me to unbox this one and find out what’s inside! (humming indistinctly) Very recently, i’ve been playing Great Western Trail, and i really wonder how similar this game is to that game, because in that game, you had a path that you had to go down with your cards full of goods to trade – in that case, cows – and you would go down the trail multiple times in the game to deliver your cows and maximize your points. i really wonder if you can make a game about going down a river so that you only go down the river once, and if that’s interesting? i dunno if that’s the case with this one. (box goes shhhhhhhBRRRRRUPPPP) Ohhh! i thought Box Fart-O-Meter was gonna be a zero. i put that at maybe a 3? i’ll give it a 4? Alright! Check it out! Off the top, the board – let’s see how big it is. Let’s see how much table space it takes up. Quite a bit! Oh my goodness. Where am i gonna put everything? So much table space, i can’t even get the entire thing in the shot, so i’m going to do a cheap man’s pan. (Singing airily) i dunno – no, that’s not really Mississippi music. (imitating a banjo reel) Ah – something like that. (laughs) i’ve hit my monitor. i can’t go left any further. There are numbered spaces along the river. It’s a matte finish on the board, i can tell you that much, so it’s not super-glossy and high-shine. And i think – oh, i wonder if you’re actually supposed to put it in portrait mode, not landscape? That’s surprises me – yes! Cuz everything’s printed this way. i dunno how YOU feel about it, but certain games bum me out a little bit in the way that they are oriented so that one person gets a good view of the board, and everybody else around the board is kinda hosed, because they have to look at it sideways and upside down. Great Western Trail is like that. This looks like it’s a similar thing. i dunno – it depends on how well you read sideways, i suppose? Look: they tried to – they tried to defer to people sitting on the side by printing the logo sideways, and then everything else right-side up. Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Chicksaw… Chickasaw Bluffs. Those are real places! Neato. Neato. And it looks like – you know – in the empty spots – i’ve played board games before. i got this – there are empty spaces to put cards in. We’ve all learned something today. Okay! Well, let’s find out what those cards are about. Or tiles, even? Looks like we have – next up in the box, a bunch of punch board. And these are an arrow… arrow-y sort of shape – that match the locations on the board, the shape. So i wonder if it’s the kind of thing where the existing spots off the top of the game are okay, but they kind of stink, and then you build or place these ones, and they give you better perks or rewards? That’s usually how this kind of thing goes. So two sheets of punch board. The rulebook, which i’m always very interested in… neat. You get to punch out your little broadhorn boats and put them together, and they’re little standees. That’s kind of fun. The rulebook is text-heavy. There ARE some pictures – there ARE some examples – that’s usually what i look for now, in a rulebook. They’ll explain the rule, and as long as they have a nice example of what they’re talking about, you can usually muddle through it. This looks a little scant on examples, but maybe it doesn’t read (need) it? You know, i won’t know until i actually read the rulebook. Oh – look! Examples are in italics. Maybe not with pictures, but… Hard to say. More things to punch. Mm-hmm. These, i’m guessing – yeah – because they’re differently coloured – these look like your player boards, where you store all the different things that you can collect. And i wonder if the arrows mean that – i’m reminded of, you know, maybe Viticulture, where you have your grapes and your wine, and every round, they advance and they age and they get better and more valuable? But! If i were to hazard a guess, this is interesting: at the end of THESE arrows, look: everything starts out white, which we know (groans) is a good colour (laughs uncomfortably) and black is a bad colour. But it looks like they start out fresh and they go towards rot, i’m guessing, cuz there’s a little bug at the end of these, so maybe your goods sour as you get down the river further and further? And locusts and flies take over? Kind of the opposite of Viticulture – aging your things to sell them for more money? Ah – here are some punch board standee… everybody’s gotta play a crusty old white dude in this game. Fine. It’s historical? i dunno. And then, this one is more of the same – more player boards. There seem to be a lot of player boards, though. i didn’t even check the number of players that this game can accommodate. Let’s take a look. Interesting. 2-4 players, yet there are definitely, if i’m counting properly – yes. Definitely more than four of what i thought were player boards, so maybe you own multiple boats in this game? It’s not just one single ship? Ah – maybe THAT’S how they handle the go-down-the-river-once-and-that’s-it? Maybe because you’re – you know – you’ve got multiple cargo boats going down the river? i just don’t know! What else do we get? We get a nice cloth bag. This is nice, because the top is hemmed. i had a game recently where it wasn’t, and then the more you played, the more it frayed, and looked like it belonged to a… scarecrow… witch. Tokens. Ah, look! i don’t have any games that have wooden barrels as tokens. Perhaps you do? And i have very few – i’m trying to THINK of how many games i have that have pink components in them…? That’s very interesting. What colours do we have? It’s always interesting to try to figure out what is player colour and what is – you know – game/resource colour, so let’s see if i can sort it out. These four discs are gonna be the player colours. So you can be crusty old white guy purple, crusty old white guy green, crusty old white guy yellow, or crusty old white guy grey, which seems the most fitting, i think. And then these little boat tokens in the four different player colours. Alright! And finally, perhaps… (sounds of components rolling around) Those barrels roll! You’re gonna wanna put those on their ends, or else they’re gonna be everywhere. Like they are now. The cards! Thank you very much, Rio Grande, for providing a rip strip on your cards so we can open them easily. If i were to estimate, i would say there are about… fifty thousand cards in this deck? What do they look like? Okay, so there’s the back of the cards. There’s the front of the cards. And it looks like we’ve got different types of cards in here, so i’m gonna flip this… those are the same… oh – interesting. This looks like a player guide. These are blank. More player guide-looking things, and then this looks like the main deck right here. These look like cards governing the movement, these are cards that maybe add money to the stuff you’re selling… i’m pretty sure i guessed that bug right, and that does mean “rotting food.” So this means – oh, maybe you’re trading in your garbage for points? Red means… apples? Pink… oh, look at that! Pink is ham! Who knew? White is wwwwheat. That’s unexpected. i think that’s right? Oh – beige. Oh, okay. That makes more sense. So there’s this beige icon, and i think THAT’S what matches wheat. Again, i’m just guessing. And brown is… beef jerky. i have no idea what that’s a picture of. (laughs) Leather? It seems to be all food, so i don’t know… what… what ARE those? What is th… Count Chocula? i have no idea what that’s supposed to depict. i will find out. Yeah – hold on. i’ll take a quick sojourn into the instruction booklet and tell you. Furs. Brown means furs. Okay, fine. And then yellow is some kind of hooch. Grey, i think, is passengers, it looks like? Right, cuz you gotta take passengers down the river. That’s cool. They’re all – they look nice. They’re fairly well-illustrated. i complain a lot about the – oh, cool! Look: Mark Twain is a potential passenger. He’s got The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. i assume that’s him? Look a bit young. i dunno how old he was when he wrote that? Or maybe he’s just a DUDE reading it, who’s got a Mark Twain moustache? i. Don’t. Know. Is this supposed to be Lincoln? i dunno what’s going on. i complain a lot about human drawings in board games, because i find they’re not all that well done, but these guys… they look fine. They look fine to me. Great! i won’t know what any of this means until i play it, which is exactly what i’m gonna do. i’ll play it, possibly do a How to Play video or a Find the Fun video to tell you what i think about Broadhorns! In the meantime, thanks so much for watching! Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff.

Get Your Own Copy of Broadhorns: Early Trade on the Mississippi 

Perhaps surprisingly, Broadhorns isn’t the only hobbyist board game based on the Mississippi flatboat trade. Are you a collector of Mississippi flatboat trading board games? Then you can’t leave Broadhorns out of the party! Use the Amazon link below to shop for your own copy, and i’ll receive a small commission.

Broadhorns: Early Trade on the Mississippi
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Broadhorns: Early Trade on the Mississippi

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