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Ticket to Ride: Märklin» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A lesson in attention to detail rss

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Christopher Onstad
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So, the wife is off to her committee meeting, and it’s just me and the bug hanging out. We have loaned The Ladybug Game to a friend , so we were kind of stuck. We started off making dice towers, because what better father/daughter activity is there? (okay several) Then it got to be dinner time, and I suggested “Let’s play Runebound after you get dinner started.” Her response was, “I was thinking about suggesting a game, but Runebound is SOOO boring.” (she is 15.) So I asked her if she was serious. (cause I have already taken 2 hours worth of tv time.) She responded affirmatively, and suggested Ticket to Ride Märklin edition. I was suspicious. She had had a good day,and even told me abou t it. Now, to be sure, we have a good close relationship and she is a good kid. But I can tell when she is just trying to be nice to me. So I ask if she’s is certain, cause I don’t mind if she watches television. She is enthusiastic. So she starts figuring out what’s for dinner, while I dig out and set up the game. (she makes pepperoni Calzones in a debut effort, and did an excellent job. I am impressed.)

So fist thing I notice in setting up is all the things I don’t like about this game. Which happen to be setting it up and taking it down. (fortunately I can make Malika (Bug sorry) feel bad about reading recipes during set up, so she will volunteer to put it away, which is the more difficult part.) So I try to grab the little passenger value tokens, and figure there aren’t that many, I can pinch them. Those are slick little buggers. I spill the yellow 1 tokens in the box, on the floorand who knows where-all. I gather them up and set them out, and find one missing. I am hoping it is mixed in with other tokens. So I place all the rest. (none other missing) and am still short one. I flip the couch cushion, roust the dog, move bags of trains, and well eventually find it, but it took a good 2 minutes at least. (okay not that long, but frustrating when you want to play something.)

Next I peruse the rules to make sure I have set everything up correctly. I notice it says that we should have 45 train tokens for each player. I have black, and only have 44. This seems curious. Am I missing a piece? How could that be? Anyway When bug picks her color purple (I always play black, cause I can tell the color. My wife and daughter always pick purple (if both are playing my wife generally wins) cause it is both their favorites.) I ask her to count her trains. She comes up with 44. Now I am confused. So we count everything else. The white, yellow, and red all come up with 45. So somehow we are missing 1 train each from purple and black. (fortunately there are spares.) I guess it makes sense since they are the most commonly played colors, but it is still a little bit disappointing.

So finally we start the game. Now my style is to play around making long tracks, and use the passengers mercilessly. My daughters style is to go for long encompassing tracks, then draw more destinations. Knowing the difference, I decided to throw her off a bit when we drew destinations by drawing 3 long and 1 short. (generally I draw 3 short and 1 long.) She drew two of each. I got very lucky in my draw. All of my destination tickets were in a basic line. From Rostock to Osterreich. So I kept all four cards. Bug discarded 1 short line. ( I figured she would keep all the long ones. She is predictable.) So we start playing. Bug drawing cards, trying to get long sets. Me setting up my routes in my mind, trying to figure out my necessary sets. Most of my line is generic. But I have a few specific tracks I need, a 4 orange, a 3 black, a 5 black, or blue, or yellow. So, I am drawing, but with a purpose. Bug tends to draw straight from the deck. If she needs a specific color, she will draw from the face up cards, but she will never draw a wild, wild +4, or passenger from the face up cards. I don’t understand it, but she does well, so I guess I don’t have to. I was plucking all the wilds I could, and sorting my cards with a purpose. Finally I was first on the board. I laid a 5 black down to get out of Osterreich. And, I place my passenger in Osterreich so he could hit as many cities as possible. Bug came out later from the Nederlands. And it was on. I was completely focused on making my connection (since my cards lined up perfectly.) and was only half paying attention to what Bug was doing. Mostly she was coming straight down the middle. And since I had köln to nürnburg, I went round the outside. We both finished our main lines around the same time, and both had around 13 trains left. Bug immediately drew more destination tickets, and I started working on my passenger routes. She had nicely bisected my loop so that I only needed 4 passenger tickets to take advantage of her line and loop my route again. I had passengers on both ends, and one in Nederlands, waiting to be connected.

I played my first passenger, starting in Robeck, and being a kind father sticking to my line straight down to Osterreich. For 39 (I believe something like that) points. Which rocketed me past my child. And put me in somewhere around 89 points. The Bug looked discouraged. But then she drew more destination tickets, and I knew I had a fight on my hands. I decided it was time for some demoralization. So I Sent my Ostereich passenger round my loop, then down her mid-map trunk, to my loop and back round again. I only got 30 points that time, but it rocketed me past the start line, and since I was more than 60 points ahead hopefully disrupted my daughters confidence. After that, I was pretty much spent. I had no cards left in my hand. She had made all her connections, but was low on cards. We started drawing again. She took a “gamble” on a short route. Cause apparently it was not already made, and she would have to try to collect cards before I ran out of trains.

At this point I decided to be “mean daddy”. I had all my connections, and could have drawn more destinations tickets. But I thought it would be more fun to hit her in the pride. There were 2 things obvious to me. First off, for the first time since we purchased the game, nobody had tried to get to Berlin. Every other game, Bug has made that connection whether she needed it, or not, just for the points. So I figure if I can get a Berlin connection, it will demoralize her, and give me huge points for a 7 connection. But, also I notice she is worrying about the southlands. So maybe I can get in her way down there. Unfortunately split attention didn’t work. I never got the Berlin connection, and While I took up space down south. I missed the key connection she needed. Still, I did congest enough for a good 12 point run with my final passenger before we counted points.

And this is where attention to detail really hits home. I had been so happy about my initial four cards, and being able to get them all on the same loop. But I hadn’t looked enough at my cards. While they all ran into Osterreich, I came out of Osterreich in Münchin. And my destination ticket was Regensburg. Still, it wound up me being at 164 points. And my little girl was way back at around 90 points. So I was feeling way Overconfident. Then she started counteing up her tickets. She had like 6 long completed, 2 horts, and nothing not completed. When all her destinations were counted, she came out at 163 points. (1 point short of me) Oh man the expression on her face was great. And she exclaimed a "No way". And being the fair play, nice father I am, I told her to wait a moment, and reached into the box and handed her the 10 point token for the most routes completed. Which pushed her over the edge.

So I have once again lost at Ticket to Ride (have not won yet, despite what my family thinks.) But it was a very fun game with some tense moments. The struggle between destinations and passengers ramains because if I had actually gone to the correct city, and not lost 16 points (32 point? Cause if I hadn't gone bakc I would have gone forward) I would have beat her. Either way both of us are happy enough that we will play again, and that is the mort important part. We had fun, and next time I will pay closer attention to the cities I need to connect.

edited: Added the last section that somehow I lost. (sorry about that.)
 
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Steven Packard
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I enjoyed your session report, even though it seems to be unfinished right at the end of the story.

I'm not sure, but it sounds to me as if you might be playing incorrectly with 2 related aspects of the game. I don't believe that you're allowed to have a passenger in a country area -- only in German cities. (If I understood you correctly, you had a passenger in Nederlands.)

Also, it sounds as if you had at least one route going to a country and back out again. Your routes can begin or end in a country, but those stations represent any of several stations within that country, and as such don't count as being the middle part of a longer route from point A to point B.

I made both of those errors the first time I played, and later found out that I was wrong.
 
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Christopher Onstad
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Donald
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Thank you very much for your comment. I added the part that somehow I didn't paste last night. Sorry about that.

Also, thank you for the note about the passengers. Somehow we must have overlooked that in the rules. I will have to re-check, and share them so that we are all on the same page.

The going in and out of a country must have been the way I was phrasing things. I only had one connection to the nethrlands, and one to Osterreich. I just had the wrong one to Osterreich. Thank you though, I think the first time we played we did make that mistake. But after watching either the days of wonder video, or boardgames with scott, we realized that mistake.
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Chris Shaffer
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Why doesn't she pick up Wild+4 cards? They don't count as a double card when you pick them up.
 
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