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Subject: As a Board Gamer - Ticket to Ride - An Overview and Review rss

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Rowdy van Lieshout
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Copied from As a Board Gamer

Designer: Allan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Number of Players:2-5
Playtime:45-60 minutes
Price (approx.): 40 euro

Overview:

Ticket to Ride is a train game, a route building game and it comes in different shapes and sizes, but the basic idea is this: on a map of some country, different routes are illustrated. They have different lengths and different colours. At the start of the game you get some tickets and you choose which routes you want to build. Tell no one, it’s your secret. There is a thick stack of coloured cards and you have to collect certain sets of them. That is because, if you want to built a route with a length of x and a colour y, you have to hand in x cards of colour y. In your turn you grab more coloured cards or you built a route or you take more route tickets. Every route gives you a certain amount of points and the one with the most points wins Ticket to Ride.

Review:

Theme(1x):

There is a train theme, but you can replace it with any other theme that has anything to do with building routes. Although, Ticket to Ride probably would not have been so successful with another theme. People can identify themselves a little better with train routes than camel routes through the desert.

5

Gameplay (6x):

The rules of the base game (USA and Europe) can be summarised on a coaster. There are small, but significant, decisions to be made, there’s that press your luck element and, with the right amount of players, there’s a lot of confrontation. You fight for the routes you need. More experienced player do have the edge over newbie’s, but during the game it doesn’t feel that way. Newbie’s will feel that they have a fair chance to win.

8

Looks (4x):

This game looks amazing. The map and the carriages are very bright and colourful. It looks great when the multicoloured trains serpentine through the landscape.

9

Quality of the game parts (3x):

Days of Wonder is known for its high-quality components. Ticket to Ride is no exception.

9

Fun (10x):

The game looks great when it’s on your table, this is where fun begins. It lures players to the game. The rules are easy, you can jump right in. Already in your first game, you’re making plans in your head. First I’m going to do this, than that. But don’t forget to thwart your opponent, they will bug you too. There are just enough decisions to be made to make the game fun for gamers and non-gamers alike. When the game is done, you want to play again and there are loads of route cards so every game is a new one. This is a great game for the family and a great, maybe the best, gateway game.

9

Final Score
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Hugues Richard
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What matters in life is not the triumph nor the struggle but the triumph by tiebreaker.
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
Yuk, another review depicting how this awful totally broken game is somewhat good. yuk
Person who wins is the one that gets nearer objectives which do not interfere with others, the end.
 
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Sean West
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
Thanks for posting your review.

I wish more reviewers would follow your example to keep the rules description very short and spend the majority of the review on evaluating the game. I find this style much more informative.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
Oninohugo wrote:
Yuk, another review depicting how this awful totally broken game is somewhat good. yuk
Person who wins is the one that gets nearer objectives which do not interfere with others, the end.

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Dan C
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
louper wrote:
Oninohugo wrote:
Yuk, another review depicting how this awful totally broken game is somewhat good. yuk
Person who wins is the one that gets nearer objectives which do not interfere with others, the end.


Snore, another comment from someone who doesn't really understand how this game is played. snore



I would agree with his assessment if you are playing a 2 player game with neither trying to block the other player.

Otherwise, there is much more to it than that.
 
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Citizen Andrew
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
jedimusic wrote:
louper wrote:
Oninohugo wrote:
Yuk, another review depicting how this awful totally broken game is somewhat good. yuk
Person who wins is the one that gets nearer objectives which do not interfere with others, the end.


Snore, another comment from someone who doesn't really understand how this game is played. snore



I would agree with his assessment if you are playing a 2 player game with neither trying to block the other player.

Otherwise, there is much more to it than that.


Poker is such a broken game. Whoever gets the high cards: royal flush, 4 Aces, etc always wins.

I have a way of fixing both TTR and poker. Everyone is dealt their hand of cards/tickets face up. Whoever has the best hand/tickets wins.

You get the same result and you don't have to waste your time playing through those broken games.
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Hugues Richard
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
For me, new classics are like old classics: outdated. Sure it was a step forward from the roll an' move games but the new era is so much richer. T2R is foremost a draw and wait collect set game. If you happen to be dealt objectives in a corner of the map while everyone else are dealt center objectives for example, you can peacefully claim the tracks you want while everyone else fight for the same roads. Then you can either go for the long track, draw new objectives that you'll choose fitting or mess with other players. This game is so brain dead accessible and cash-in popular... just like Danielle Steel's book, Twilight movies and Kraft Dinner.
 
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Hugues Richard
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
louper wrote:
So you're not allowed to block other players?

You're not allowed to watch what cards other players are picking up and intuit what routes they might be likely to claim?

You're only allowed to play on the routes that directly lead to you completing tickets and nowhere else on the map?


I understood the first time, you know. No need to repeat the question 3 times as if trying to imply that you have four choices when playing this "train" game. Agreed you have two: play to your objectives and benefit from it or block someone else fitting everyone but you and the person you blocked - unless blocking just happened while intending to play to your objectives.

First game I witnessed, a newbie won against a seasoned veteran and 3 other players. First place had easy isolated objectives and second place was luckiest with free locomotives (as if she was a magnet or something) and blind cards she wanted anyway. Second game saw more of the same with more futile bashing the leader from 2nd and king making from third to no avail. Third time was the charm and my luckiest with face-down cards draw and objectives: won the pasted game, felt unrewarding and bored myself to death for the last time.

Maybe I overate KoT 'cause it may be the best at what it does but as you might say, a simple repetitive shallow game like KoT offers more tactical choices than a simple repetitive shallow game like TTR... in 15 minutes instead of 60. And just to make sure, I do appreciate light tacticals like Jaipur, Takenoko or Small World but I just don't feel nor understand the love for Ticket to Ride.

 
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Citizen Andrew
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Re: (Modern) Classics: Ticket to Ride
Oninohugo wrote:
louper wrote:
So you're not allowed to block other players?

You're not allowed to watch what cards other players are picking up and intuit what routes they might be likely to claim?

You're only allowed to play on the routes that directly lead to you completing tickets and nowhere else on the map?


I understood the first time, you know. No need to repeat the question 3 times as if trying to imply that you have four choices when playing this "train" game. Agreed you have two: play to your objectives and benefit from it or block someone else fitting everyone but you and the person you blocked - unless blocking just happened while intending to play to your objectives.


No, missed it. You don't just play to your objective (ticket) you can ignore the tickets and go for the long tracks for points and efficiency

Oninohugo wrote:

First game I witnessed, a newbie won against a seasoned veteran and 3 other players. First place had easy isolated objectives and second place was luckiest with free locomotives (as if she was a magnet or something) and blind cards she wanted anyway. Second game saw more of the same with more futile bashing the leader from 2nd and king making from third to no avail. Third time was the charm and my luckiest with face-down cards draw and objectives: won the pasted game, felt unrewarding and bored myself to death for the last time.

Maybe I overate KoT 'cause it may be the best at what it does but as you might say, a simple repetitive shallow game like KoT offers more tactical choices than a simple repetitive shallow game like TTR... in 15 minutes instead of 60. And just to make sure, I do appreciate light tacticals like Jaipur, Takenoko or Small World but I just don't feel nor understand the love for Ticket to Ride.



I don't agree that a more seasoned player should win every time against a less experienced one.

It isn't this way with games and it isn't this way with sports.

I don't play ultra competitively as I like playing TTR to relax, or to see how high a score I can get, how many tickets I can complete etc... yet I have a greater than 70% win rate in my gaming group. Considering that out of 23 recorded games with an average of 2.8 players per game statistically I should only have a 35% win rate.

Well I guess it is time to go to Vegas and play some roulette or black jack as I am sure to win. Just look how lucky my card draws in TTR are. I am sure to break the bank.

You don't need to like TTR and I am not here to convince you or anyone who doesn't otherwise. In fact I have my own criticisms of it. I prefer to play on the India map, but I find most of your criticism comical.

People draw good cards in games sometimes.

People can get 4 aces in poker, an amazing hand in tichu, spades, cribbage, etc.

When playing any game with a random card draw, it isn't what you get. It's what you do with what you get. You play your hand the best you can with what you have. If you are just hoping for good cards more often than not you are going to lose. You need to be making backup plan in case somebody takes that route before you, or if you don't get that card that you want.

You are missing a large part of the game if you think the winner is determined by who gets the 17 point ticket. There are other ways to score.

Be efficient as possible. Take the 6 track segments (often a better way to get a high score than completing tickets) and finish the game before the others can complete their routes. Now the player with the "lucky" 17 point ticket finishes the game with -17 points rather than +17. They have 10 less trains on the board than you so you are probably going to get the +10 for longest route and you scored and you got an extra 6 track (+15) and 4 track (+7) with those 10 trains.

You have to decide if you play card sets as you collect them (ensuring you get that track) or keep a giant hand of cards (You may have 3 Greens and 5 Blues but 3 Greens may come up sooner than 1 Blue) and go for a blitz laying track down 4 or 5 turns in a row.

If you are playing TTR original there are a ton of choke points on the map (often taken on the first move) that give you a lot of options on the map while making it difficult for others to complete routes.


That said...

I do agree that the ticket deck in TTR USA is not my favourite. The ticket deck is relatively small (30 tickets) and the big tickets aren't separated from the small. It is more likely that someone will get two big tickets (Vancouver to Montreal + Seattle to NY) and often favour stacking a east west route (which means you should make it super difficult for anyone trying to complete tickets that way)

That is one of the reasons I prefer to play India, as it has 58 tickets and a more even distribution.

I have been dominated often enough in online TTR USA (very competitive play) to know that drawing great tickets won't win you a game though.

If however, you are beginner players and haven't begun to scratch the surface of the game I can see how it might seem like this is all it comes down to.


Anyways, peoples likes in games are subjective. Different games, suit different people, but your reduction of TTR strategy into luck of the ticket draw followed by luck of the locomotive draw merely illustrates that you didn't enjoy the game enough to be bothered to delve into the game and learn the strategies and ask thoughtfully explore how you might become a better player.

P.S.

I find that there are WAY too many glowing reviews of games on the geek and too many are overly simplistic in there analysis ie: It's new and shiny + nice components + fun theme = must buy. I love reading negative reviews and think we would could do with many more of them on the geek but I can understand why we don't have them. If we don't like a game we are unlikely to put enough time into it to give it a good critique. I am at 20+ games of non-vanilla TTR and I am not ready to write a review (which would have some criticisms in it BTW) perhaps in another 20.
 
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