Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Ticket to Ride: Märklin» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The new Ticket: First play, early thoughts rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Intoduction

Ticket to Ride is one of my top ten games and although I knew the new Marklin Edition was on its way, I did not know it was coming out so soon, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a demo copy at the game night that I go to every month. I was simply looking over all the games on the table and there it was, a nice black box Ticket to Ride - Märklin Edition. We had already set up Power Grid (first time playing for me), so the new Ticket would have to wait about two and a half hours.

Then after Power Grid and a quick game of Pitch Car, we broke it open and all being Ticket veterans, began to set up the game. First off let me say a few things. Although I believe this is the final version, things may change from now to release and we read through the instructions extremely fast so that we could get to playing, so some details might be missing, however we are pretty sure we had all the rules down. This is not going to be a full review, since I only played once and it was a game of five. My initial impressions will follow as well as how the game varies from its predecessors. Finally, I will not go into the details of how Ticket to Ride is played, so you must know how to play the older versions to understand this session.

Differences

This is not just a new map. Like Ticket Europe, there are a lot of new things, even more so then Europe actually. Many of the elements from Europe were removes. There are no tunnels, no wild cards on the map, no eight long connection and no houses. The only element kept from Europe is the division of long and short destinations.

The first thing you notice is how nice the pieces are. It is the best looking board and has some nice little improvements in the pieces. The score markers can now stack one on the other and the cards have remained in the larger format, but now each have a different train on them. The map goes from top to bottom this time (stretches vertically) and the connections range from 1 to 7 (the seven connection is worth 18 points). The wild cards are now just a rainbow of colors, which is very nice, but when you play with some color blind friends, they find it hard to differentiate them; luckily the little icons on the corners were left in place.

Right on the board you can see some alterations. There are now connections that can be made to neighboring countries, but since there is more then one connection to each country, if you have a destination that requires a connection there, you can use any of the tracks that lead there. Also, the tracks leading to these countries are all dead ends, so you can no longer continue your route from them. Another difference that can be seen right on the board is the single connections of three, meaning that three different people can use this track, as oppose to the maximum of two in both earlier versions.

The longest road also no longer applies, the ten bonus points goes to the person who has completed the most destination tickets, long or short. As always, you start with 4 train cards and four tickets. This time however, the choice is yours. You can draw four tickets of any combination you wish, you simply have to declare it at the start. You can also draw in any combination as you play, so you can collect more then one long ticket. When looking at the board, it can be seen that all the long connections, the 7s, are on the right side, which we though was a little odd at first. There are also some new cards to go along with the trains. The “Marklin” cards, which I will get into later, and the 4+ wild cards. The latter, which can be draw like a normal train, is a wild card that can be used in a connection of 4 or more. So they are worth taking, yet there are many short connections, so during our game, people did pass on them several times.

The biggest difference in the game is the passengers and the Marklin cards. At the beginning of the game points are placed onto each colored circle (or city). Depending on the color, there can be only one point token or many. If there are many, they are stacked one on top of the other, with the largest number on top (they range from 2 to 8 points). Each player starts with three passengers, which they can place on any city when they claim a route. The passengers stay on this location until a player decides to move them and once moved, they are removed form the game. Upon movement, they go through your routes and pick up the top point token from every city they pass including the last one, but excluding the starting city. Since the point tokens are limited and the larger ones are on top, it is beneficial to do this early, however, if you only take your passenger through two cities you will only acquire the points from those two. If you wait till you trains connect through many cities, you will get more points, yet you take the chance that someone else will get them before you. These points do not remain on the board very long, but cause the game to last longer since moving a player counts as a turn, making it take longer to get rid of your trains.

The Marklin cards give a player the ability to move his passenger through another players track, thereby giving him the point token, if any, on that city. You may use more then one at a time if you have them, so you can steal a lot of points. Again, these cards are drawn just like regular trains and if three are visible in the open five cards; all five cards are removed and replaced with new ones.

How it plays

So how does it play you ask? Well, I must say that we played as five, which is not my ideal amount for any ticket game. Also, we all love Ticket to Ride, so there may be some bias, but I will point out the good and the bad. The lack of longest train removes the need to connect all your cities in one continuous track, letting you pick up tickets at opposite sides. However, a long track is useful for collecting more passenger points in one shot, so you must balance the two. Since there are Marklin and 4+ Wild Cards mixed into the train deck, it takes longer to complete the game. Drawing a Marklin card after you have used all your passengers is a bummer.

The regular strategy of only taking two tickets does not really apply since the person with the most completed tickets now gets the ten point swing. It seems at first that you must, like in older editions, make a continuous route to connect your cities, while trying to get as many points with your passengers. Many cities only have one point token on them, so the first one there is the only one who will get points form that city. However, the larger point tokens are on the cities with several tokens on them. For example, the city of Marklin has 8, 7, 6, and 5 (if I remember correctly). So the first passenger to go through it gets the 8 points, while the second gets 7 and so on. These are huge, since this is also where the routes of 7 are located, making that the strong side. But to counter that, these connections are only available to one person for the most part, while the left side of the board is more accessible and harder to be blocked on.

Conclusion

The final score in our game was something like 180, 173, 140, 115 and 90, quite the variance from one player to another. I think we would all play a little different next time, but it is a high scoring game. Many of the passenger jumps gave players 15-25 points and with 4 routes of 7, that’s a lot of points.

My final decision is still pending. I did not love it, but I can see the potential and the strategy is definitely different from the last two versions. I found the North American edition to be somewhat similar to Europe, so the learning curve was almost non existent. But this version is quite different.

If anyone else has played it, I would love to hear your thoughts.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Rollings
United Kingdom
Peterborough
Cambs
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Houses?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, I guess houses is the wrong word, I meant Train Stations. The ones you have in the Europe edition.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.