I've stumbled back into boardgaming after a long, long time in the videogames wilderness. Pretty much all of this is new to me (the last time I threw a dice was onto a Space Hulk board back in the early 90s), but I'm thrilled that the whole thing is enjoying such a wonderful renaissance. Also, having lots of superb-looking new games with cool bits to discover can't be a bad thing either...
Reading up and listening to podcasts over the past month or so pretty unanimously championed Ticket to Ride as a great gateway game. To be honest I'm going to be more inclined towards skirmish games, because I appreciate that kind of unit-based strategy more, but I also needed something to draw some friends in and test the water - hoping they would not recoil in horror when I propositioned the idea of a regular games night. So I picked up Battlelore, but before bashing people over the head with something like that I bunged Ticket to Ride in the basket as well.
I'd played a 'two player' game by myself the night before to make sure I had the rules straight (I didn't by the way - for the vast majority of it I was under the false impression that the route colours were dependent not only on the card colours, but also on my train colours. As you might imagine this made the game play very slowly, eventually running itself into a tiny loop as I continually shuffled and reused the locomotive cards from the discard deck... A closer look at one of the rule illustrations would have sorted that out)
Finally on top of everything I set out to visit friends last night, game in hand. The first game with three of us was predictably scrappy, getting used to what we were supposed to be doing and ironing out the rules. Stella had planned to join Alex and I for one game then head off to bed, but after winning that first game the thirst for more was on!
The second game was much more crafty. Strategies started to come into play, a bit of route blocking went on, and overall the strategic possibilities of the game started to become apparent. I won this second one thanks to a combination of high-scoring destination tickets and the longest continuous route. It was very close though - no more than 15 points between first and third.
Stella tiredly and very reluctantly left Alex and I for the final game, and with two players the strategy once again changed significantly. While still lighthearted this game really did get very competitive, and it was immense fun. I managed to complete a tortuous roundabout route into Sault St. Marie after being blocked from Toronto, Deluth and Winnipeg. Alex won by 4 points thanks to nabbing the longest continual route.
So, three plays and a win for each player of the night. I had a feeling the game would be fun and go down well but I think all of us were surprised by just how much this previously unknown to us game worked its charms. We're already very much looking forward to our next session.
- Last edited Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:08 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
- Posted Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:06 pm