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Ticket to Ride: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Is this game reasonable for 5 or 6 players? rss

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Ron Reaser
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Before I purchase Ticket to Ride: the Card Game for playing with my family, I'd like to ask those of you who are experienced with it... is there anything which fundamentally keeps this game from working for 5 or 6 players?

I almost never have a group smaller than 5 or 6. There are many games we play which are rated for 4 players max but which, with minor tweaks, work for more players. For example, we regularly play Forbidden Island, Love Letter, Mille Bornes, and Suspend with 5 to 6 people, and all of these games are rated for just 4 players max.*

(* For Forbidden Island, we remove some Waters Rise cards to make it playable. Love Letter needs no changes. For Mille Bornes we lower the mile requirement and put a turn limit on how long hazards can last. For Suspend... we just use 2 sets!)

So, can anybody offer any reasons why this game just absolutely could not be tweaked? Or can anybody offer specific suggestions for tweaking it?

Thanks in advance for your help. I don't want to get one of the Ticket to Ride board games due to expense and all the tiny pieces, but I like the concept and the card game seems like it could fit the bill.
 
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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Personally I don't think this game works with any number of players.
 
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Tony Randall
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I'm not sure how you could, without tweaking it out of recognizability.

You already have to go through the deck twice with four players, as the draw pile disappears too quickly to allow you match enough routes (especially the big pointers) easily. So you add in another copy, but that is going to extend the length of the game. (I think it is probably too long for what it is already.)

What is in your down pile after pulling off the tracks (if I'm remember the term correctly) is essentially a memory game. Increase game time because of the increase number of turns and length between your own turn can only add to that headache. Or remove the headache altogether to allow looking through the down piles, but perfect info reduces some of the "did I already have an extra, or do I now need an extra?" tension

A player will often have a hard time putting down cards into their tracks in the first place with more players because of the (essentially) "a color can only appear face up in player's areas once [can mean a co-located group of that same color] on the table". The first few players could put what they want down, or maybe put down a couple they need and another that they don't really need - at least not yet - the latter of which I find common in a 4 player. But the later players on that first go round are going to be stuck unless you blow that rule out of the water. At least until they draw enough cards to use the "I put more down of X than you are still showing" trick. Which means either/both of more of the cards are staying in the hands and (again IIRC) few of them will be back in the discard pile to be shuffled up for the later pass-throughs and even LESS being able to count on getting the number of what you have showing face down off your tracks.

I think I will subscribe the thread - it would be interesting to see if anybody can come up with something viable. But I think the result is going to be a quite different game that happens to use the same components.
 
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Ben Bateson
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I'm a big advocate of this game and most of the people who criticise it seem to have missed the point.

However, I don't think I'd recommend it for more than 4P. It's good with 2-3P and pretty good with 4P, but you will start losing control with more.

I tend to split a table of 6 rather than play something which doesn't work with that many in any case.
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Ron Reaser
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l-hansen wrote:
Personally I don't think this game works with any number of players.

Noted, but disregarded, because I am interested in opinions from people who do enjoy the game and know it intimately enough to provide insight on my particular dilemma.

TDRandall, here's a couple of points of yours I want to address.

1) You mention the size of the deck probably not being big enough for more than four players. That's probably true, and I won't buy two copies of a game unless it's a proven fact that it will work for extra players. So that's probably not an option I'll consider. Reshuffles may be a problem without a second deck, however. It may require doing the 4-player special phased scoring where a full round of tickets is scored, then everything goes back in, then you play again... except maybe doing that twice for a total of three scoring phases. It would be a fairly simple tweak both to describe and to implement.

2) You mention allowing players to look through their on-the-track stacks. While I certainly wouldn't use that variant when playing with a gamer group, more often I'm playing with non-gamers, including a child with ADHD and an older person with a less acute memory, so I could see using that variant in a "family" context. I don't think it would kill the game; I think it would make it substantially easier, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made for certain groups to enjoy it, and I think people can still enjoy completing the tickets and competing with each other.

3) You talk about how players may not play a color that is already played by somebody else (unless they can train-rob them). That I think is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome-- 6 is too few colors to have more than 4 players and still be able to use that rule. I think gimping that rule entirely would really hurt the game, but what about just modifying it to be exactly as it is except that TWO people (instead of ONE) can have a particular color in front of them before it's off-limits without train-robbing? Then each person has an increased chance of being able to play a color while still maintaining the train-robbing mechanic and preserving the competitive player interaction. You may also make it possible to train-rob if you MEET (rather than EXCEED) the number of trains the other person has of that color, meaning you need fewer cards to train-rob and allowing for more frequent color turnover.

TDRandall wrote:
I think I will subscribe the thread - it would be interesting to see if anybody can come up with something viable. But I think the result is going to be a quite different game that happens to use the same components.

It can be tough coming up with just the right variants for a target goal (in this case 5 or 6 players), but I hope to do so, because this game would really appeal to my family group if we can figure it out. For my sake and your curiosity, I hope we come up with something!

ousgg wrote:
I'm a big advocate of this game and most of the people who criticise it seem to have missed the point.

I've noticed that. There are a lot of people who believe they are entitled to declare a game bad when in reality they ought to only declare that it is bad for them. This game would be good for my group of players-- that's admitting that I'm talking about a family of non-gamers, but non-gamers are allowed to play games too!

ousgg wrote:
I tend to split a table of 6 rather than play something which doesn't work with that many in any case.

Unfortunately, in my context that doesn't work, because I generally have to be the rules-moderator and I can't do that for two games at a time, and the kid in our group wouldn't stand for being left out of a game.

I think my post might contain a couple of things to think about: more color stacks before limiting color plays, three-phase scoring with reshuffling, and (optional) look-back in the on-the-track stack. Let's discuss.

EDIT: copious edits for stupid spelling errors.
 
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