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Subject: I need the straight dope: Maerklin or Europe ? rss

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I have [finally] played TtR and think it is just OK. However my wife and I have a borrowed copy we've been using to introduce Eurogames to non-gamers.

The aforementioned borrowed copy is on the way out. I am thinking about trading for one of the versions of TtR. I have a lot of others titles I already use for the non-gamer crowd: For Sale, Around the World in 80 Days, Big City, Gulo Gulo, etc. That said:

1) Should I even get any of these? I have no space and plenty of games.

2) If so, which is better and why? My primary purpose if for non-gamers. Will the complexity of TtR: Europe or Maerklin pose a challenge to non-gamers? Or would these add enough interest to keep me from falling asleep?



[Side note: my GeekBuddies would usually provie a quick answer but of the 15 that have rated both, they are split 7-7-1! Dan, Kim, Dave, Jon, Scott, Larry and Nate prefer TtR: Europe. Doug, Dave, Gary, Ray, Jim, Al, and Josh prefer TtR: Maerklin, and I trust these guys slightly more because they are skeptics like me].

 
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Rod Spade
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Europe and Maerklin are both better games, but the original is superior for non-gamers.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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If you're just buying for yourself, and not as a gateway game, all you need is Maerklin. That's the straight dope.
 
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Honestly, if your intent is for it to be an introduction to euros and mostly for non-gamers, I would stick with the original. Europe adds a few new ideas, but other than the stations, nothing worthwhile IMO. Maerklin is better than Europe. The passengers adds another scoring option to the game, but it's not something for those unfamiliar with euros. I'd pick up the original. Plus, when 1910 comes out, you'll be able to expand the game.
 
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If you find the base TtR "just OK," then maybe Maerklin is for you. I find it takes a short, simple game and complicates it with unnecessary rules and bits, but some people prefer the added challenge and strategy of all that.

For me, TtR: Europe is the better version of the system, because it's tighter and more challenging than the base game without going too far astray from the idea of the game, but not as fiddly and complicated as Maerklin.

If it helps you determine what the heck I'm going on about, I didn't like Carcassonne: The City for the same reasons.
 
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I've played all three in the series several times, and am happy with only owning Ticket to Ride Europe.

The original is the simplest and therefore will make the best impression with absolute non-gamers. However, it has relatively serious balance issues that will come to the fore with repeated plays and/or analytical players. Europe is not really that much more complicated, but it has a more balanced map and the much needed addition of stations. The most fiddly/complex rule in Europe is tunnels, which are special routes that may cost more to build (or not) depending on a random card draw. But you can always wait until the second game to introduce that rule. The game though is much more balanced than the original and thus will have a higher replay value.

Marklin is not EXTREMELY complex but it IS substantially more complex than the first two, and therefore I'm not sure that you would want it for new players. Moreover, I find myself thinking of Marklin as taking too long for what it is, and thus overall inferior to Europe which has a ruleset that corresponds to the shallowness of the game.

If you open the door of consideration to games outside the TtR series that are accessible to newbies but have lasting replayability, I would recommend Reiner Knizia's Samurai, which is great with 2 or 3 players and good albeit more chaotic with 4. Or Through the Desert which works with 4 and 5 well and scales down pretty decently too. But these two games are tile-lying games which is something altogether different from Ticket to Ride which is a set-collection game.
 
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I think each Ticket To Ride game has its strengths. I own all three.

Ticket To Ride is the all-time great gateway game. Easy to explain and easy to play.

T2R:Europe kicks it up a notch. The added features make the game a little more complicated. I wouldn't introduce a completely new or reluctant gamer to gaming using Europe. A great game for T2R fans who want something a little different.

T2R:Marklin Edition. More "fiddily" than the other T2R games. Passengers make the game more complex. Gamers will like the new features. Because of the Passengers, I would not introduce new or reluctant gamers to gaming with Marklin.
 
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The original Ticket to Ride (even though that wasn't one of your options) is the best if the sole purpose is for non-gamers. TtR: Marklin is the best game of the three overall, and would likely be the one you'd enjoy most. TtR: Europe is not worth getting for either audience (non-gamers or you). So you basically have to ask yourself if these "non-gamers" you're playing with could handle the added bit of complexity in Marklin or not. It's not a confusing game, but it's got a couple more rules to teach/remember than the original. You should probably just skim the rules to Marklin to see if it seems non-gamery enough for your non-gamer crowd, and if not then go with the original. It's a bit of a step up from your other non-gamer games like For Sale and Gulo Gulo, but should be doable, and would likely keep you more engaged during the game.
 
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I have both TtR:E & TtR:M. I haven't missed TtR, and I find that TtR:E just isn't THAT much more complicated than basic TtR to warrant labelling E as being not as good of a gateway game as TtR. TtR:E is still pretty darned simple.

Maerklin starts crossing the line a bit, though, as dropping in a bit more complexity. It seems like you already have some gateway games, and perhaps Maerklin wouldn't be too fiddly for your gaming crowd.

I THINK I would probably recommend just going straight to Maerklin for your tastes, just to offer a wee bit of variety in complexity (without being authentically "complex" at all).

But you can't go wrong with TtTE either, which represents an excellent compromise.

TtT is just too simple for my gaming group when we can handle the additional rules of TtTE with no sweat whatsoever. Maerklin isn't that much more sophisticated.

-TF
 
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Phil Oates
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I've been considering the very same issue myself recently. If it helps, some other BGGers have mentioned that it is possible to play Marklin with the original TtR rules, which could help you introduce the game to non-gamers before stepping up to the full version.

In the end I decided not to buy any of the titles. I've played both TtR and TtRE and am not that fussed about either, and a few people were of the opinion that Marklin is 'still a Ticket to Ride game'.

 
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If it means anything I think that Europe makes a passable game intollerable.

 
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TtR Europe is a great game for the occassional gamer. Maerklin is a little more of a gamer's game.
 
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Get Through the Desert and pass on all of them. You'll never get bored.
 
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I play TTR:Marklin with non-gamers all the time. The addition of the passenger element doesn't throw non-gamers off, and there is the cuteness factor of the little passengers which really wins over the women non-gamers. Go for Marklin.

 
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Eric Knauer
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thumbsup for Marklin.
 
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thdizzy wrote:


I play TTR:Marklin with non-gamers all the time. The addition of the passenger element doesn't throw non-gamers off, and there is the cuteness factor of the little passengers which really wins over the women non-gamers. Go for Marklin.



same happens here.
marklin all the way for us.

I find the europe additions make the game worse than the original.
stations: why have even less conflict than there already is?
tunnels: it's not really about risk after all, everyone just makes sure they have another one of the color they need, then go for a tunnel. might as well just lengthen the said tracks by 1.

on the other hand:
passengers: adds a pick and deliver aspect that really adds to the game.
plus the missions are better ss seperated in long and short ones.
map of germany throws us off a bit, although its perfectly playable and functional, I'd rather see some more familiar places (europe!).
 
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Well, although I prefer Europe over Maerklin, I prefer the original over both of them, especially for playing with non-gamers. I'd say that the complexity of either Europe or Maerklin will probably scare away at least some non-gamers. Neither of them are nearly as good purely introductory games as the original. I'd say get the original, or nothing at all.
 
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Quote:
1) Should I even get any of these? I have no space and plenty of games.


No. Since you found TtR merely "OK", there is no point in spending money on TtR:E or TtR:M. Both games are just minor variations on the main theme. If you didn't care for the core system, the minor changes in the sequels will not improve the game for you.

--Chris

FWIW - I find Europe to be by far the weakest of the three games. The tunnels add even more luck to the game, which it does not need, and the stations take away an interesting aspect of the original (and TtR:M): blocking your opponents.
 
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Just out of curiosity: is it possible to use the components of Maerklin and not use the rules for passengers for the first 'learning' game?
 
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I'll throw in a vote for Europe.
 
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eryn roston
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thdizzy wrote:


I play TTR:Marklin with non-gamers all the time. The addition of the passenger element doesn't throw non-gamers off, and there is the cuteness factor of the little passengers which really wins over the women non-gamers. Go for Marklin.



Me too. Marklin is my favorite game to bring out for non-gamers. It recieves almost universal enthusiasm. I can't speak to the other two since I dont have them, but I really like Marklin and I can't imagine playing without the passengers -- even with beginers.

Another thing to consider though is that I only play with adults. it might be more difficult for young kids...but I doubt it.
 
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dr glaze et al wrote:
Just out of curiosity: is it possible to use the components of Maerklin and not use the rules for passengers for the first 'learning' game?


I THINK so. But I've only played the game once, and my memory is a bit hazy.
 
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Greg Paul
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Verkisto wrote:
dr glaze et al wrote:
Just out of curiosity: is it possible to use the components of Maerklin and not use the rules for passengers for the first 'learning' game?


I THINK so. But I've only played the game once, and my memory is a bit hazy.


It's certainly possible to play that way but I suspect it could imbalance the game a bit.

The highest scoring tile cities (esp Berlin) have different track characteristics in their neighborhood. Not different routes/rules but rather I think the route colors and lengths were chosen in some areas with consideration to higher scoring token cities nearby.

No harm in trying of course.
 
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eryn roston
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You can totally play Marklin without the passengers/merchandise. But some of the other posters are correct I think, in assuming this would knock the game out of balance. For a learning game it's probably not a big deal but I would consider giving everyone a small supply of trains and only using the short-route stack to make the game go quicker so you can start a real game ASAP.

The main problem with playing Marklin without the passengers is that the area on western side of the map is filled with high-point value merchandise, and short-grey routes, that I think are designed to foster heated competition amonst lots of players (you cant just let one or two people monoplize those routes since they would get HUGE pay-offs from passengers).

Meanwhile there are higher scoring routes over by berlin but the passenger routes are less lucrative.

-E
 
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Barry Figgins
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I'm not a fan of Europe. Ferry routes and tunnels seem too random and fiddly, and the mess of 1-3 train routes that make up most of the map doesn't work well for me. I haven't tried Marklin, but mostly it's USA all the way for me.
 
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