Adam Deverell
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I bought Settlers for my sister Jenny and husband Craig last Christmas and they love it. They are pretty much non-gamers but I heard Craig had played Settlers a couple of times and really liked it, so I bought the game for them. It's proved so popular his brother regularly borrows it. And miracles of miracles, my sister even managed to win (and enjoy) a game - she generally loathes games.

Now it's Christmas again and I was thinking of adding another game to their one-game cupboard.

Ticket to Ride is a safe bet. I've only played it once. It was OK. I generally avoid route marker and train games, although Age of Steam was quite good. TtR was a little simple and repeative. But that's what they're after. Something simple, visual, fast and not too taxing.

However I've heard the TtR sequels are better than the original. Is this true? Anyone recommend a particular title in the series for non-gamers and mixed company (there's usually two guys, two girls).

 
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David Seddon
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Get the first one! They're all nice, but Marklin is a wee bit "gamerish," and Europe is fun, but with USA you can also get here the new tin box. I was surpised by the tin box. I expected it to be way over-priced for what it is, but actually, it's not bad value and it's worth having!
 
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Adam Deverell
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Re: Which Ticket to Ride for sister who's only played Settle
Quote:
but Marklin is a wee bit "gamerish,"


Yeah, I was reading a few comments under the Marklin game, and I think this could be a problem. Too many of their friends wouldn't give it a chance. If it was a little confusing or challenging, they wouldn't come back to it a second time.

Haven't heard much about the tin box version. TtR and its sequels are all AU$70 (US$55) here on-line, so relatively expensive. Don't want to spend anymore than that.
 
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Dan Rosewater
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Re: Which Ticket to Ride for sister who's only played Settle
red_gamster wrote:
Ticket to Ride is a safe bet. ... TtR was a little simple and repeative. But that's what they're after.


With this introduction you should clearly choose T2R Europe.
The routes are somehwat shorter, therefore you need less cards to claim a route which means less repetitive card draws. Non (or seldom) gamers seem to appreciate the stations to ease frustration of a route claimed by another player. The big (or standard size) cards are already included.
 
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David Seddon
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I wouldn't argue against Europe. It's a fine game.

If and when your friends want something a tad more thought-inducing but still fun and light, their next next choices would include:

Through the Desert
Pompeji
Around the World in Eighty Days

There are others, too, but you can't go wrong there.
 
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Fraser
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Re: Which Ticket to Ride for sister who's only played Settle
Adam, I'd say Ticket to Ride: Marklin would be the one for gamers, thus probably not the one for your sister. A bit of a toss up between Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride: Europe. The former has about three rules and the latter has about five.

The original Ticket to Ride has the small size cards whilst Ticket to Ride: Europe has larger cards. I don't what size cards the tin box edition will have, or if it will even make it to Australia or at what AUS$ cost shake
 
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Marshall P.
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I highly recommend the original version.

It is the simplest in terms of rules, the geography is more accessible, and the map is less cluttered. With new players an awful lot of time can be spent scanning the board for unfamiliar cities in the Europe version.

Gamers sometimes have complaints about the ticket balance in the original game. I don’t agree with this critique but either way don’t worry about it. It’s never been an issue with newbie’s I’ve played with.
 
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David Seddon
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Yep - and the new tin box helps with those tickets anyway - you get a whole new set of destinations and some extras that were in the Mystery Train Expansion. And four of the tickets from the orignal are slightly reduced in value - the higher ones.
 
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Werner Bär
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I recommend TtR:Europe.

The stations reduce the penalty for being blocked, which is good for people which don't like heavy confrontation games. TtR:E is usually won by many tickets, TtR:Usa by long routes.

And the map is more familar than the american one for us europeans. For people down under, it's probably the same.
 
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Shaky Ulnas
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First off, I love ticket to ride and think its a great game. However, if your sister's first 'real' game was Settlers, Ticket to Ride might flop. While Settlers is very interactive, an initial game of TtR can be a completely silent, group-solitaire experience. I've found that when people first play it they are concentrating very hard on what routes to connect their cities with, worrying about being blocked, and just trying to figure out what they're doing - in other words, the room is silent. This can be a tension filled game that may be negative to a non-gamer. Settlers has some tension when two or more players are trying to expand in a similar direction, however, you still get rewarded in Settlers from what you have already built, so its not as devastating if you get blocked. In Ticket to Ride, if you get blocked there are no rewards coming in while you begin to map out your alternative route. This can be a real downer.

I'd say try it with them now, well before Christmas, and see how it goes. If it does indeed leave them with a negative experience you may want to go with something like Around the World in 80 days, or even, *gasp*, TransAmerica. EDIT: Or Carcassonne - its popular and CHEAP.

I only warn about this because my sister did not get into TtR at all during her first playing, and now won't play it. Meanwhile I've got her playing Puerto Rico and Princes of Florence. Go figure.
 
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Marshall P.
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Werbaer wrote:

And the map is more familar than the american one for us europeans. For people down under, it's probably the same.


Ha! Good point. You mean not everyone on this site is American?
 
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Phillip Heaton
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Re: Which Ticket to Ride for sister who's only played Settle
TTR and TTR:E are similar enough in complexity that you should probably base your decision on which map would feel more familiar. TTR:E is a bit more complicated, but it is more forgiving of mistakes.

I would second the recommendation for TransAmerica/TransEurope (use the same criteria to determine which to get). It is a much simpler game and my wife loves it. If your sister's group of players doesn't care for Rummy, then you would be well advised to switch to this one.

Outside of train games, I would recomend the abstract game Ingenious; the rules are simple, but there is a fair ammount of depth in the play. I would also recommend Carcassonne - Hunters and Gatherers; it is the highest rate multi-player Carxassonne title and probably the easiest for beginers to get into.

I hope this helps.
 
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Stephen Preischel
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Lysak has some good points. I like the idea of Carcassonne if they'd be more into a "group" game. It's actually in the rules that you can discuss where to play your pieces. Get the original version and see what they think and if they like it you can give them expansions for the next 10 Christmases

I love T2R and, as others have said, the Europe version is more forgiving due to the stations and more workaround routes in general. T2R is also a great choice if you think they'll be ok with less player interaction.

Other interactive, not overly strategic options:
Manila- basically a wagering game but the pieces are pretty neat
For Sale- short (10-15 minutes) but fun and easy
No Thanks- another short, simple game but if played as a series of rounds can take 45 minutes or so.
 
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Walt
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Re: Which Ticket to Ride for sister who's only played Settle
For TtR, Europe is best for non-gamers, since it avoids the frustration of being totally blocked. TransAmerica and TransEuropa are train games that are lighter, faster, and semi-cooperative (or at least appear to be so).

I think the suggestion of Carcassonne is a good one. Like Settlers, it has a random map to aid replayability.

Ra is another good game, though it can have some dead time.
 
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Susan F.
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I'd go with the Europe version. If your sister is easily frustrated by games, she'll get frustrated by having her route cut off fairly regularly - especially on the odd occasion when there's not an obvious Plan B. The stations in TTR:Europe will let her stick with her original plans most of the time and she'll probably have a much more positive experience with the game. In my opinion, this factor outweighs the slight added complexity of tunnels and ferries, and makes TTR:Europe the best game of the series for a family-type group that is only mildly competitive.

On the same note, if you go the Carcassonne route, I'd recommend Hunters and Gatherers to avoid dealing with the field-scoring rules (which can make it difficult for nongamers to place farmers effectively).
 
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Adam Deverell
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Quote:
Around the World in 80 days, or even, *gasp*, TransAmerica. EDIT: Or Carcassonne - its popular and CHEAP.


Quote:
Outside of train games, I would recomend the abstract game Ingenious; the rules are simple, but there is a fair ammount of depth in the play. I would also recommend Carcassonne - Hunters and Gatherers; it is the highest rate multi-player Carxassonne title and probably the easiest for beginers to get into.


Sounds like TtR: Europe is the go. I haven't played it, but I think the fact it is more difficult to block players could be factor in getting them to play. They are competitive though and I don't think "blocking" would be a big problem. The solitaire nature IS a problem. Haven't thought about it before, but Settlers may have proven popular because of the social nature - discussions, trading, arguments about the robber. Perhaps Bohnanza would be a good follow up?

I've played all the other game suggestions, and was seriously considering Carc: H&G. It's one of my favourite games. Again, probably take a few games to get into the tile laying aspect of it, but the game is very straightforward. And you're right, it is VERY good value.

Around the World in 80 Days is also a very good suggestion. Straight forward and you can get into the game immediately. I'd have a question about replayability for this one. I like it, but it grew a little stale after the fifth playing.

Ra is another favourite and worth considering. Auction mechanics can throw some people, but if I play it with them, this could be a winner.

Ingenious is an interesting option. I'm not overly excited by abstracts, but everyone else really liked it. I think Blokus has a more tactical challenge, but Ingenious is perhaps more fun. Not confident my sister would like either, however, as they can be very dry.

The only thing against TtR:E is the price. A lot to pay for a game that they may shrug their shoulders about. I've got about a week to decide.
 
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