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Subject: Ticket to Ride: USA 1910: my view. rss

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Rob Mortimer
United Kingdom
Leeds
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Ticket To Ride USA 1910: My View

Preamble:
I’m a real fan of the Ticket to Ride series, so buying this expansion was a no-brainer. Although relatively expensive at £11.99, the promise of getting large cards to replace my badly worn smaller versions plus some additional cards and game options, meant that it was a must buy.

Components:
The game comes in a very nice tin. I suspect that this tin might become the subject of some debate, because although looks very nice, I’m sure it adds significantly to the overall cost. The tin doesn’t fit inside the main Ticket to Ride game box either. Perhaps Days of Wonder should have thought about packaging in three cheaper standard card-boxes, bound together in cellophane. These would have fitted in the compartments inside the main game box.

Inside this somewhat controversial tin, there is a rulebook and lots of cards. The rulebook is about ten pages long, but this is because the rules are given in 9 different languages. The cards are standard size. There are replacement train/carriage cards. These have new 1910 artwork on the back, but are otherwise exactly what you would expect. They contain both the colours and symbols to help differentiate different types. The symbols are no use to me because I have the original version of Ticket to Ride, which does not have symbols on the board. However, what is useful is that the new orange cards are very definitely orange, rather than the rather ‘brown’ cards in the original set that didn’t match the orange lines on the board. In addition, there is a new longest train bonus card (now called the ‘Trans America Express’), plus a new bonus card for most tickets completed (‘Globetrotter’). Finally, there are the ticket cards. There are replacements for the 30 standard destination tickets, plus 4 tickets from the Mystery Train Expansion, and 35 new 1910 tickets. A subset of both the standard and 1910 tickets are also ‘Big City’ tickets that give another game variant. The artwork on the tickets is fairly standard, but the designers have done a good job in differentiating the sets. The 1910 tickets have ‘1910’ written in the top right hand corner whereas the standard tickets don’t. Tickets used for the Big City variant have the name of one destination (the ‘Big City’) in red, and have ‘Big City’ written at the right hand side. The tickets from the Mystery Train expansion are marked with a purple logo in the top right hand corner (two are also Big City tickets).

All in all, excellent components, though debate may ensue about that tin!

Gameplay.
This review assumes that the reader knows how to play Ticket to Ride. This expansion allows four different variants on the original USA Ticket to Ride board:

1. Standard game: simply replace the cards from the original set and play as normal.
2. 1910 version: only the 1910 tickets are used, and the Longest Route card is replaced by the Globetrotter bonus for most tickets completed.
3. Big Cities: Only Big Cities tickets are used (Chicago, Dallas, Houston, LA, Miami, New York and Seattle are the designated big cities). 4 tickets are dealt to each player at the start and each player must keep at least 2. If a player chooses to draw tickets during the game, he/she draws 4 and must keep at least 1. Discarded tickets always go back to the bottom of the draw pile. Bonus cards are not mentioned in the rules for this version, so I guess it is up to the players to decide?
4. The Mega Game: All 69 tickets and both bonus cards are used. 5 tickets are dealt to each player at the start and each player must keep at least 3. . If a player chooses to draw tickets during the game, he/she draws 4 and must keep at least 1. Discarded tickets always go back to the bottom of the draw pile.

So What Do I Think?
I like this expansion. Each of the new variants is slightly different to the original game, and has its own individual feel. Each set uses a different group of destinations, and whilst the balance of short (less than 12 vp) and long (12+ vp) routes is very similar for each set, the geographical spread is not.

The basic stats are:
- Standard tickets (plus Mystery train tickets) number 34 in total, with 22 short and 12 long routes. Mean value: 10.7; Std. Dev.: 4.9; Range: 2-20 vp; 7 western routes; 19 central or cross cutting routes; 8 eastern routes.
- 1910 tickets: number 35 in total, with 21 short and 14 long routes. Mean value: 11.2; Std. Dev.: 4.8; Range: 4-21 vp; 4 western routes; 17 central or cross cutting routes; 14 eastern routes.
- Big city tickets: number 35 in total, with 21 short routes and 14 long routes. Mean value: 11.1; Std. Dev.: 4.7; Range: 5-21 vp; 5 western routes; 15 central or cross cutting routes; 15 eastern routes.

Both the 1910 and Big City versions are more eastern US-centric, which makes for a more crowded eastern half of the board. The Big City tickets also all run from/to at least one of the 7 big cities, which means that competition for routes connecting to these few places is fierce. Overall, an excellent addition to Ticket to Ride, and for me an 8 out of 10. I dock one point because I’d have preferred small cardboard boxes and a cheaper price to the tin, and I dock a second point because half of what you get is simply replacement of substandard (ie. too small) original cards.

UPDATE: After numerous plays, this has risen to a 9 out of 10 for me. I particularly like the Big Cities variant, which somehow feels more evenly balanced but more angst ridden that the others. I prefer the longest train bonus to the globetrotter card, which just tends to result in people picking loads of tickets in the hope of getting short 'subset' routes that they have already completed.

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David Seddon
United Kingdom
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Yep. That's my take on this, too. TBH, there was slightly more value inside the box than I was expecting. It is a useful addition to the series for sure, but £12 is a wee bit steep!
 
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Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
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Did they give replacements for the five people cards from the mystery train expansion?
 
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Nick Fisk
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Stoke on Trent
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Mundane wrote:
Did they give replacements for the five people cards from the mystery train expansion?


No .... just the destinations.


N.

 
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Tommy Theys
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Muskego
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One beef about the tin - the plastic insert seems a hair small to contain the cards nicely.

You know that new game smell? This one was overpowering. The ink just reaked up our kitchen and almost made me nauseous.

The first game my wife schooled me 180 - 126. shake
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J B
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Moviebuffs wrote:
Mundane wrote:
Did they give replacements for the five people cards from the mystery train expansion?


No .... just the destinations.


N.


That's a shame. Getting new versions of the people would have been nice for those of us that missed out on the Mystery Train last time around.
 
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