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Subject: Ticket move after basic move: worth enforcing? rss

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L Cinn
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You can only use your ticket during your move action *after* you made your basic move (Tickets second). At times this feels pretty counter-intuitive and arbitrary, like how when you have a boat ticket, you can traverse a rail road -> sea track, but not a sea -> rail road track.

As far as I can see, besides sometimes sort of randomly not making your travel plans work out, the rule has two important effects:

1. It makes travel over uncharted tracks harder, because you have to start on an area connected to the uncharted track to be able to travel over it. You can't speedboat to the coast of Africa and then hike through the wilderness to the heart of Africa.

2. You can not use a ticket you buy in a city to traverse one of the connected train/sea tracks on your next travel action, you can only use it on your second path, if it's of the relevant types. So unless you moved somewhere else in the meantime, you probably won't use a train ticket you get in Arkham to travel with a train from Arkham.

Point 1 is clearly intended and important, because it makes uncharted routes harder to traverse, creating extra structure in the game board. If I were to house rule the tickets second rule, I'd do it in a way that preserves this dynamic (more on that below).

Point 2 I have some more difficulty seeing as intended/important to the game. Thematically I guess you could say that hopping on the train in Arkham is just a basic move, and that the prepare for travel action actually signifies telegraphing/writing/calling ahead and reserving a seat on another train in another city. But that doesn't fit with the fact that you can only get a ticket if the city has the correct track. Actually, the entire fact that you can not easily use the ticket to travel from that city while you can only get the ticket if the city has a correct path seems odd. Gameplay-wise it mostly makes cities with only one type of ticketable path a bit harder to leave, which might be intended.

The apparent oddness of point 2 and the tickets second rule leading to annoying/counter-intuitive restrictions does make me think of house ruling it, but I am not entirely sure if I have fully grasped the effects of the rule. So I am going to suggest a possible house rule, but I'm very interested on your thoughts on my analyses of the tickets second rule, and if I have missed some consequences of changing it, like perhaps it being easier/harder to get certain tickets, which might direct the flow of the investigators a certain way? (I have no idea, didn't look into it).

Suggested house rule:
1. Tickets anytime: you can use a ticket at any point during your travel action to move over a matching track, in addition to your basic move.
2. Uncharted first: you can only traverse an uncharted path as the very first path you traverse during your move action.

The trade-off here is an extra rule with regards to uncharted paths, but it's fairly thematic and sort of falls in place nicely with there being no tickets for uncharted paths. To compensate the tickets anytime rule seems simpler (especially during gameplay) than tickets second.
 
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Major Havok
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We're a group that actually played the travel rules wrong and in a highly restrictive manner for quite a few games. And we had a REALLY hard time winning. We've been following the travel rules correctly for about 15 games.

We're trying to jump around the globe, so we like the "troublesome" restrictions. I guess my only feedback is that isn't this going to make the game easier to win with more flexible travel rules?

So far we've found zero reason for any house rules, but to each his own.
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L Cinn
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Yeah, it's a bit more flexible, so it's going to be a little bit easier. But I do have the feeling that the situations in which the original rule would be more difficult aren't thematic or intuitive at all, nor very important to the game functioning properly.

If you're worried about reducing the difficulty, another option would be to just forbid using tickets at all when travelling over uncharted tracks.

But I'm not actually set on using a house rule here either, I'm just toying with the idea, and not because the original rule is broken or wrong, but because it just annoys me at times, and not in the way a horrible mythos card or terrible roll annoy me So I'm looking for a way to take that away without significantly changing the rest of the game.
 
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For reference, the rules say: "After moving, the investigator may spend any number of travel tickets to move one additional space per ticket spent."

I agree with the OP. While I won't use house rules to make the game easier, if it is indeed intended that you cannot use tickets before moving one space, thematically it seems nonsensical and counter intuitive.

If I am:
- In a city space with a train ticket
- Need to move two spaces away, with only the first path being RR tracks

Thematically, it wouldn't make sense for me to ignore using my ticket and instead stroll next to the train tracks (that I could be riding) all while the world is ending.
 
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LCinn wrote:
If you're worried about reducing the difficulty, another option would be to just forbid using tickets at all when travelling over uncharted tracks.


Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but there are no uncharted "tracks". There are only RR tracks, ship routes, and uncharted paths that tickets are not usable on anyway. This house rule is already the norm if I understand you correctly.
 
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Scott Forster
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Go to your local train station and try to book a multi-city air travel plan and you'll see how intuitive it is to need the proper station to plan a long trip.
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forster925 wrote:
Go to your local train station and try to book a multi-city air travel plan and you'll see how intuitive it is to need the proper station to plan a long trip.


Buying a train ticket in 1926, I imagine, was much simpler than planning a "multi-city air travel plan" in present day.
 
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marcusnc
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I think it makes complete thematic sense that by buying a ticket in a city, you should use it first and, then, spend your action on the second move. Why would you buy a ship ticket in London, swim across the sea to Rome and not be able to use the ticket to travel to Istanbul? I never thought about that before but now that the cat is out of the bag, I won't be able to play the old way anymore.
 
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Keith Dennard
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neonsurfboard wrote:
forster925 wrote:
Go to your local train station and try to book a multi-city air travel plan and you'll see how intuitive it is to need the proper station to plan a long trip.


Buying a train ticket in 1926, I imagine, was much simpler than planning a "multi-city air travel plan" in present day.


I'd argue that it was probably much harder to arrange a long distance trip in the 1920's than it is today. No internet, fewer options for travel, significantly longer travel times. etc. I think the travel rules are pretty thematic in reflecting the difficulties of global travel as it was nearly a century ago.
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Major Havok
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For me personally, these thematic arguments are the weakest sort of arguments. But then everyone is after something different from their gaming.
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Akden wrote:
I'd argue that it was probably much harder to arrange a long distance trip in the 1920's than it is today. No internet, fewer options for travel, significantly longer travel times. etc. I think the travel rules are pretty thematic in reflecting the difficulties of global travel as it was nearly a century ago.


If were talking specifically about the boardgame where a ticket literally takes you from one location to another that is directly connected to it, than I would say no, buying one ticket to the next stop would not be as difficult.

If were talking about planning a multi-stop trip that spans continents that isn't really relevant to the game (as the most tickets you can have is two), than yes I see your point.

Anyway the conversation seems to have been derailed a bit, forgive the pun.
 
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Jon Ben
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For those that want a thematic justification of the rules as printed, how about this. The first movement does not need a ticket because you have been in that location for a bit and have made some local contacts who will assist you in travelling on the first leg of your journey. This is why you can travel on uncharted paths as a first move, you need someone with local knowledge of those paths to assist you. Further movement must be done with commercial tickets and routes since you have just arrived in those locations and haven't had time to establish travel plans with local contacts.

If this doesn't suit you, I'm sure you can think of something else.
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Scott Forster
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neonsurfboard wrote:
forster925 wrote:
Go to your local train station and try to book a multi-city air travel plan and you'll see how intuitive it is to need the proper station to plan a long trip.


Buying a train ticket in 1926, I imagine, was much simpler than planning a "multi-city air travel plan" in present day.


Buying one is easy, sure. Then coordinating it with the train schedule of a city halfway across the continent? That requires some more work so you don't end up wasting a day (or three) in a town waiting for the next train going where you're going. Or did you think that there were only four train routes in all of North America because that's what's on the game board?

The arguments that one is strolling across a continent or swimming across the ocean are silly and show that people aren't thinking about what the "Prepare Travel" action is actually doing.
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forster925 wrote:
Or did you think that there were only four train routes in all of North America because that's what's on the game board?


Scott

I apologize if I offended you in some way, but there is no reason to be snide. I won't post further in this topic, sorry for troubling you.
 
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Deathworks
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Hello!

Actually, I think that the restriction of buying tickets only if the appropriate station is in the city makes perfect sense. And I agree that preparing for a journey takes time, so the ticket represents extra preparation to make a longer journey. Therefore, I am fine with the rules as they are, basically.

However, the ticket rules do rub me wrongly on another count - once you have bought a ticket, you can use it at any time on any appropriate route - so you buy a ship ticket in Tokyo in round 1 and use it to reach London from the Continent in round 7 - that is something I find rather hard to interpret (^_^;;

Yours,
Deathworks
 
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It seems simple to me (Though I just played my first solo game...). After you move, you can spend tickets to move extra spaces as long as those tickets match routes you traveled/will travel. If your travels entail using a train and a boat, you can spend the tickets regardless of the order they were traveled (otherwise is silly both rules wise and thematically, but then I haven't read much Lovecraft - were there moments where ushers would ask "have you traveled some already today?" and send you walking if you hadn't?).
 
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Gregory Yeager
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The "prepare" rules and the restrictions for using tickets are definitely an abstract balancing mechanic. The op's suggested fix does not fix the abstraction since a boat ticket purchased in San Francisco might easily be used to sail from Africa to Europe several turns later. Since this house-rule doesn't make preparation less abstract and potentially affects balance, I wont be using it, but it doesn't seem terrible.
 
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Why is it assumed that if you don't use a ticket you are walking? To my mind, a normal Travel action to move along a rail path is like catching a local train, whereas extending it by use of a train ticket is like catching the Orient Express. Likewise, a normal Travel action along a sea path is like working your passage on a tramp steamer or fishing boat, whereas extending it by use of a ship ticket is like catching the Lusitania passenger liner (or a sister ship rather than the one sunk in 1915!)

I haven't got the game yet (still looking for the best price) but I don't think this needs house ruling.
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L Cinn
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coldpheasant wrote:
The "prepare" rules and the restrictions for using tickets are definitely an abstract balancing mechanic. The op's suggested fix does not fix the abstraction since a boat ticket purchased in San Francisco might easily be used to sail from Africa to Europe several turns later. Since this house-rule doesn't make preparation less abstract and potentially affects balance, I wont be using it, but it doesn't seem terrible.


Actually, I never intended to make it less abstract, I just intended to streamline it.

I appreciate the thoughts in this thread on how to thematically interpret travel tickets. Though that wasn't directly what I was looking for (the only reason I looked at thematic interpretation in the first place is because the rule seemed strange from a technical point of view), it actually did lead me to the conclusion that my problem with the travel tickets rules as is actually arose because I was *not* thinking about what they thematically represent. The rules are actually quite clever, in a way, and I think I won't be using a tweak here after all.

First of all, I studied the board some more, and that entire `won't use the ticket on the connected path' thing is a bit of a non-issue, regardless of thematic interpretation. Most cities are actually connected to double paths of the same type, so that problem doesn't actually exist in practice most of the time.

That made me ask myself why I had the feeling to run into the restriction so often when playing, because it actually shouldn't come up that much when travelling soon after preparing. And the answer was that I actually wasn't thinking thematically about the prepare action at all.

Because what does the prepare travel action represent? It represents arranging a long distance trip, more involved than jumping on the next train or boat. If it weren't abstracted, that would mean tickets for specific paths, some bought for specific turns, etc. Obviously this would not be very practical, so they abstracted it. But the thing is, they didn't go all the way, which would take the form of just being able to stock up on movement points to spend later. Instead they went half-way, keeping a system of path and ticket types, and that apparently strange tickets-second rule.

But it's not strange! Not when you start from the thematic idea of preparing for travel, because it pushes you to buy a ticket for a specific purpose (`I want to go there and then there and then be able to get back again') if you want to guarantee things to go smoothly. It's actually the situations in which you just happen to have the correct ticket on hand that are strange. Those are a side effect of needing to do at least some abstraction and the game saying `you got lucky, punk, there just happened to be a train departing just when you arrived' (or you could overbook or something, or you'll just have to pretend you knew you were going there all along, whatever).

It's only when you start out thinking about the tickets as a full abstraction (just a way to store up movement points), like I did, that you'll run into the tickets-second restriction often. And it seemed strange to me, because in itself the rule is not clearly thematic. But it actually forces you to play *as if* the travel situation isn't so abstracted, making the final experience more thematic. Quite clever!

So, tl;dr: I shouldn't be messing with the movement rules for now, instead I should change my playing style (i.e. the classic story )

Thanks for your input so far!
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joshua stotz
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matthewabair wrote:


So far we've found zero reason for any house rules, but to each his own.



I have to agree with you here. I have played with 2,3, and solo so far and I find the rules difficult( which makes the game more realistic to the Cthulhu mythos) and fun. SO far nothing required a fix IMO.
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Xelto G
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coldpheasant wrote:
The "prepare" rules and the restrictions for using tickets are definitely an abstract balancing mechanic.

And a silly one at that. Our group refused to follow it on general logical rules-- there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use the ticket first, then your unticketed section afterwards.

Our balancing was to limit you to one of each type of ticket (you can have a train and a ship ticket, but not two of one type). And if that's not enough of a challenge for you, you can add in that you can only use one ticket per move action.
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Daryl Wilks
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Xelto wrote:
coldpheasant wrote:
The "prepare" rules and the restrictions for using tickets are definitely an abstract balancing mechanic.

And a silly one at that. Our group refused to follow it on general logical rules-- there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use the ticket first, then your unticketed section afterwards.


Agreed. I usually prefer to play RAW and rarely houserule, but this restriction feels off both thematically and mechanically.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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It's quite important mechanically, especially when it comes to the Expedition locations. Most of them aren't meant to be easy to get to, which is why they have Uncharted routes on the board. If you could travel one of these routes after spending a ticket, then they might as well not bother having those routes on the board at all. Ignoring the 'Travel then tickets' ordering means you might as well consider the Uncharted routes to be Train routes. There would be very little mechanical difference between the two types of routes otherwise.

Ignoring the rule also opens up the world quite a lot. It gives you a lot more choice of where you can move to and drastically reduces the number of turns it will take you to get from A to B in most cases. Optimising movement is one of the most important strategic elements to being successful at this game, and removing the restriction makes it far easier to get where you need to be. It seems wrong to unbalance the scales so far towards the Investigators' side simply because it's difficult to thematically describe the reason for the ticketing mechanic.

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Phil Mawson
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Xelto wrote:
coldpheasant wrote:
The "prepare" rules and the restrictions for using tickets are definitely an abstract balancing mechanic.

And a silly one at that. Our group refused to follow it on general logical rules-- there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use the ticket first, then your unticketed section afterwards.

Our balancing was to limit you to one of each type of ticket (you can have a train and a ship ticket, but not two of one type). And if that's not enough of a challenge for you, you can add in that you can only use one ticket per move action.


I think the hint is in the name of the action, 'prepare'. A short journey takes little preparation, you go and pay (or whatever) for your ticket which moves you one space (which incidently covers quite a distance), a longer journey takes more planning and 'preparation', hence the gaining of extra tickets to indicate this. Long distance/global travel in the 1920's was no simple endevour. There are no commercial passenger airlines, road travel is slow and in many cases only important main roads maybe surfaced in North America and Western Europe (even less so in other parts of the world) and sea travel is limited and irregular (some passenger liners travel between major destinations, eg Liverpool - New York, beyond that some merchant ships may take on some passengers paid or paying). It is never specifically stated how you get the ticket (buy/steal/stowaway/use of contacts/etc). Like the assests it never says you are aquiring them with money, though that is obviously one possible method.

Hmm, not sure if I explained that in the best way, but basically I dont see any holes in the travel mechanic.
 
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Nyogtha wrote:
basically I don't see any holes in the travel mechanic.


I know I am responding to an old thread, but the "hole" in the travel mechanic our group sees is the conflict between the limitation of what travel ticket you can buy and then the order that you can use said ticket.

It makes obvious sense that if you are at a train station, you can buy a train ticket. What doesn't make sense is buying a train ticket at the station, and then traveling away from the train station to then use the train ticket. The obvious mechanic would be to use the train ticket at the train station you bought it for.

If the argument is "preparation" for future travel, then you should be able to prepare for either train or ship, and not be limited to only connecting travel methods. Otherwise, we are back to the obvious mechanic of using the just purchased ticket for that station you just bought it at.
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