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Subject: Transcontinental: the Long Way rss

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Martha Hollister
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It was very strange that I had never played Ticket to Ride until last week. I have played Ticket to Ride Europe, but I never played the original.

The rules are extremely straightforward. You draw colored train cards from the deck or from the ones on the table and attempt to build routes. Routes are colored and they have to match the color of the cards being played in order to build. You also need the number of cards that corresponds to the length of each route in order to build. There are also wild cards that can be played as any color. Each player is also dealt two tickets which show a route that the player must complete. More tickets can be drawn during the game if the player wants. Each ticket completed is worth a certain number of points, but a player loses those points if they don't complete the ticket by the end of the game. Players also earn points for trains played. The game ends when one player has two or fewer trains left. After that, everyone gets one last turn.

The players in this game were: Roslyn (the yellow trains), Anthony (the green trains), Clay (the blue trains), Dan (the black trains), and myself (the red trains)

The first two tickets I had to fill were Portland to Los Angeles, and San Francisco to Phoenix. I was really excited about getting these, because I could use the rail from Portland to L.A. and easily continue it to reach Phoenix.

For my first few turns, I didn’t build anything, I just collected the cards that I would need to complete my tickets.

Roslyn built on her first few turns. She went from Atlanta to Raleigh, Raleigh to Washington, and then Washington to New York.

Clay built on one of his first two turns, going from St. Louis to Little Rock. After that, he just collected cards.

Anthony built from Kansas City to St. Louis, and then from Kansas City to Oklahoma City.

Dan seemed to be following my approach and didn’t build for the first few turns.

Once I started building, I shot ahead in points.

I built from Portland to San Francisco, then from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and then from L.A. to Phoenix. I successfully completed my two tickets in three turns.

On my next turn I drew two more tickets. They were from L.A. to New Orleans and Vancouver to Montreal.

I decided to take the long way to Montreal, since by the time I would have completed my trains to New Orleans, I would have made it across the country and could just go north to Montreal. This plan is probably what cost me the game in the end.

Roslyn continued building up the east coast, and then randomly built a rail from Seattle to Calgary. I couldn’t tell if she had a plan or not. It was her first time playing, so I assumed that she was just trying to build on her tickets wherever she could.

Clay built all the way from Calgary to Phoenix on his next three turns.

Anthony just collected cards for his next few turns, following what Dan and I had previously done.

Dan then started building his trains from Houston to New York.

Here is our board about three quarters of the way through the game.



I was four trains away from completing my path from Vancouver to Montreal when Roslyn reached the end of her trains.

All I could do on my last turn was to build from Portland to Seattle.



I ended up with 91 points. I completed three tickets, but lost quite a few points for not completing Vancouver to Montreal. I did end up having the longest train and earned some bonus points for that.

However, Roslyn completed all four of her tickets and earned 94 points.



I think I enjoyed this version more than Europe. It seems more streamlined to me. After playing this, I feel as though Europe just added some new mechanics when they weren’t really needed. I look forward to playing this again.
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Jacob Hall
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It may appear that way, but without the 1910 or 1912 expansion (I forget which one is for America) you'll find that there is a single route that will net you the most points. Europe doesn't have that "solved" problem like normal TtR.
 
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Mighty Jack
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Yah, if you plan to keep playing America definitely get the 1910 expansion. It does a few things: most important you get a BUNCH of new routes to play with. You also get a full set of full sized cards. The new routes can be broken down into several game types for the amount of players you have. Big Cities lets you play a tighter game with fewer players.
 
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David Martin
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I can't recommend that USA 1910 and Europa 1912 expansions highly enough. The variance in all the new routes can be a breath of fresh air once the base game starts to become preditable due to folks always wanting to build the same basic coast-to-coast route in USA, or it being obvious in Europe which "long ticket" someone kept.
 
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