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Subject: Taking locomotives in a 2 player game... rss

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Is it just me or is this move terribly inefficient???
 
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Billy McBoatface
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It's terribly inefficient. In all player counts.

Generally you do this only in two cases:
1) You think you are competing for a crucial link with another player, and the one locomotive will let you grab it next turn.
2) The one locomotive will let you trigger the end game on your next move.
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Peter Schott
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Depends - if you're drawing card after card after card you can't use, taking that one locomotive might be just what you need to finish that last route and not eat 20+ points. (Of course, that's invariably followed by flipping locomotives into the spaces of the cards you just took.)

Disclaimer: I'm not a profession TtR player, nor do I pretend to be one. I just enjoy the game and will admit to taking wild cards as needed.
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There are times where it may be a good idea, for example you need 1 card of the appropriate colour to complete a link that you think the other player is going to grab off you if you don't. Wait for the correct colour or grab a locomotive and the link next turn?

As a general rule it is not efficient, but there are time when it is worth it.
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paschott wrote:
Depends - if you're drawing card after card after card you can't use, taking that one locomotive might be just what you need to finish that last route and not eat 20+ points. (Of course, that's invariably followed by flipping locomotives into the spaces of the cards you just took.)

Disclaimer: I'm not a profession TtR player, nor do I pretend to be one. I just enjoy the game and will admit to taking wild cards as needed.
I've seen cases where people drew 8 cards and STILL didn't get what they wanted. That's 3 extra turns wasted there.

If the other player is drawing the same colors you're gunning for, taking a loco may be the way to go, since there are fewer in the deck given the demand from 2 different players.


Also, if you play expansions, sometimes they're outright required. For example, in TtR Europe, you need them to claim the Ferry routes.
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David Martin
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I've lost games because I was too stingy to take a locomotive and then couldn't find one on the next several draws, but was too proud to just give up my strategy of drawing blind and hoping to have surplus cards when all was said and done... the old "sunk cost fallacy" rears its ugly head yet again!

As mentioned upthread, taking a loco can be a good move if you're in a hurry and think someone else might be looking to claim a crucial route that you need. The folks I tend to play with know my usual strategy well enough to know that when I take one, it's a bit of a "tell" that I'm getting desperate. So if they want something I also seem to want, they'll act quickly as a result.

In Europe and Legendary Asia I'm more likely to take them if I need to build ferry routes. However, early in the game, unless I see colors I definitely need a lot of, I'll blind draw a lot hoping to get the locos that way (figuring most of the colors I need will probably show up in the meantime and I'll have a lot of surplus to work with after completing my initial set of tickets), and only take them face-up if several turns of blind drawing don't provide enough of them.

And of course in Switzerland, I grab as many locos as I can, since you're allowed to take 2 per turn in that version. Unless I'm solely working on non-tunnel routes (in which case Murphy's Law will kick in and I'll end up blind drawing a ton of locos that I can't use).
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