Had some time to kill while waiting for a couple of the other players in our gaming group to show up, so myself and two friends pulled out Ticket to Ride. I've played a fair bit online, and only once before in person. Their only experience had been watching the Wil Wheaton Tabletop episode.
I pulled three bad tickets at the start, keeping (I want to say) Santa Fe to Chicago and Toronto to ... houston? I would have a tough time finagling both of those into one line, but it was better than losing the points, and I thought might end up giving me a fair shot at the longest train. Player 2 pulled Seattle to Santa Fe and something else. Player three had LA to something on the east coast.
The congestion in the western states led to player two being mostly locked out of his Santa Fe ticket pretty quickly. He ended up having to go down and around to get to it from the south side.
I barely made my full line before someone would have chosen to block me on any of the greys between Denver and Duluth. Once I completed mine, I pulled another set of tickets, and got a clutch Vancouver to Montreal. I got Montreal to Toronto right after, and I was fortunate that the other players were less experienced and didn't take the chance to block the last remaining exit out of Vancouver. Once I got that, it was a simple matter of zig zagging through to make the connection to my existing line. I played the last set I needed on my last turn, as player 2 had gone out just before then.
Despite the two other players being new, the scores were impressively close save for that clutch trans-canadian railway at the end. Player 2 only completed one ticket, but had played so many 5 and 6 sets that his score was more than respectable. Player 3 had the longest train and completed both of her tickets, but they were not terribly high value and most of her connections were two-sets, leading to lackluster points. I was 7 points behind player 2 without that 20 point bonus from the last ticket.
All told, it was exceptionally fun. Both players really enjoyed the strategy involved in deciding how to spend each turn, when to grab the short and long lines, and how to swipe colors from the face up cards. Both said if they'd seen a long transcontinental ticket in the opening hand, they'd have dumped it. But I did explain to them why I favor those tickets.
The game will certainly be played again in that group!