peregrine nicholls
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I am a massive TTR fan. I own USA, Europe, Switzerland, 1910 & 1912 and have enjoyed playing friends copies of Marklin and Asia. Being an Englishman I have been mega excited about the UK, I was ready to pay about £100 to get map & cards made for the fan version of the UK. So when UK was announced on it went to my Amazon Wish List and it duly arrived for my birthday early last week.

I played UK with my family last Friday night and while we enjoyed the concept of the technologies there was lots of frustration with the whole game revolving around waiting for loco cards, but I put this down to a first play. Today, I took the UK to game club and played with my son and two new players. Again the whole game revolved around waiting for loco cards, with one player spending his first 15 turns drawing blind from the deck and only getting one loco!

In my opinion this game is broken, as it is a strategy game that is too heavily luck dependant. Look at the balance:

One player gets good luck and picks up an above average quantity of locos allowing him to buy various technologies and make steady progress. The other player gets really bad luck and gets no locos.

What is player 2 to do? His only choice to build only in England, (which may not be possible given the random nature of the 5 starting tickets), or to use groups of 4 as substitutes for locos. But for each group of 4 used this way the player in effect loses 2 full turns, which if done repeatedly pushes the player so far back in game terms as to end up in an untenable position.

This to me is not the spirit of TTR, it is a game where planning and skill should be able to overcome luck; luck should be a minor element not the major one in the game. My gaming friends and I were discussing it after we had played and decided to “house” rule from here on in, where a pair of cards could be substituted for a loco when buying technology and also to experiment with reducing the 4-to-1 to 3-to-1, as I do not wish to give up on my “home” version of TTR.

I am so disappointed as this has been one of my most eagerly awaited games for years; hopefully our house rules will make it playable as a proper TTR game and not one that depends on luck.
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Derek Thompson
United States
Marion
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We didn't like UK either. However, I encourage you to play Pennsylvania - it is VERY good.
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Clyde W
United States
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(Haven't played but...)

Are you playing with enough locos? Maybe add more if there isn't enough? What is wrong with drawing two off the top over and over again til you get one?
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Arlen Troup
United States
Goshen (S.E. edge of Elkhart)
Indiana
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The rules say "Any 4 cards can be used as a locomotive." Did you miss that rule?
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steven smolders
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Heist-op-den-Berg
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Our score on that map were pretty close 83 96 102 We had more difference in regural TTR or other maps.

I believe TTR alway's have luck involved it the game no matter what map you play.

I wouldn't say this map or mechanics are unbalanced.

But we only have played this map once.
 
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Martin G
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Arlen76 wrote:
The rules say "Any 4 cards can be used as a locomotive." Did you miss that rule?


He said "or to use groups of 4 as substitutes for locos. But for each group of 4 used this way the player in effect loses 2 full turns, which if done repeatedly pushes the player so far back in game terms as to end up in an untenable position."

Did you miss that part of his post?
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Laszlo Molnar
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Budapest
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As far as I understand they lose 2 full turns and possibly some less-needed cards while the other player also loses 1 full turn (gaining the locomotive is never free) so it does not sound that terrible to me. What's more, it always happens in TtR that I am looking for a certain color and my opponent gets them or that my opponent draws loco cards from the face-down deck while I don't, so I just don't feel how this breaks the game that much. Still I need to play the game to know; until then I can't really tell if I agree or not.
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Sven F.
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qwertymartin wrote:
Arlen76 wrote:
The rules say "Any 4 cards can be used as a locomotive." Did you miss that rule?


He said "or to use groups of 4 as substitutes for locos. But for each group of 4 used this way the player in effect loses 2 full turns, which if done repeatedly pushes the player so far back in game terms as to end up in an untenable position."

Did you miss that part of his post?


I think Arlen76 interprets "groups of 4" as if the OP has misunderstood the rule, thinking only four identical cards can be used for a locomotive.
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peregrine nicholls
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The special train card that comes with UK has extra locos - just not enough!
 
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Rob Gaines
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The 5 starting cards should include a loco. Are you adding a loco to your starting hand?

I like the option of turning 4 cards into a loco, I'm even tempted to try it on the other maps. This aspect helps to reduce the luck a little.
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David Martin
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rojoga wrote:
I like the option of turning 4 cards into a loco, I'm even tempted to try it on the other maps. This aspect helps to reduce the luck a little.


It's similar to the 3 cards = loco when building a ferry route in Nordic Countries (or 4 cards = 1 of whatever color you need) when building that long 9-train route). There's at least some precedent for it.

I'm still new to the UK board, but I think I might need to unlearn my usual strategies of hoarding the colors I know I'll need to build specific routes. With far fewer of the colored routes being as long as they are on other maps, sometimes it's better to spend those cards on technology now and hope I'll draw the color or a random loco again later when I need to build the actual rote, rather than hoping only for a random loco now when I need to buy the technology. You just have to re-evaluate which situation increases your chances of getting the thing that you want.

Having said that, it does slow down the gameplay a hell of a lot. But that might just be our unfamiliarity with the rules and "what's that technology do again"? I wish they'd printed the function of each piece of technology on its card instead of just in the rulebook.
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Sven F.
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murlough23 wrote:
Having said that, it does slow down the gameplay a hell of a lot. But that might just be our unfamiliarity with the rules and "what's that technology do again"? I wish they'd printed the function of each piece of technology on its card instead of just in the rulebook.

Haven't they done that? I mean, in some sort of symbolic fashion. (The complete rules in English on a card would breach the principle of TtR's language independence.)
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David Martin
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Fomalhaut wrote:
Haven't they done that? I mean, in some sort of symbolic fashion. (The complete rules in English on a card would breach the principle of TtR's language independence.)


Excellent point. The symbols will become familiar over time, I'm sure, but for now we keep having to go back to the rulebook to make sure they mean what we think they mean. (When even the phrasing of the rulebook itself is subject to some interpretation, that goes even more for pure symbols.)
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Rich A
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Oh dear! I bought this for my non-gamer parents who love TTR. They have a couple of extra maps but mainly play the Europe version.

I'm now concerned that this UK map might end up being a bit complicated and take away from the simplicity of the base game. That would be a shame as it looks like a fun UK map. We will see I guess.
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Jon van Oorschot
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Rikboy wrote:
Oh dear! I bought this for my non-gamer parents who love TTR. They have a couple of extra maps but mainly play the Europe version.

I'm now concerned that this UK map might end up being a bit complicated and take away from the simplicity of the base game. That would be a shame as it looks like a fun UK map. We will see I guess.


No worries. The Pennsylvania side of the board is pretty straight forward and adds a nice new twist with the shares. Then they can try the UK for something different if they want...
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Rich A
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Jonezy wrote:
Rikboy wrote:
Oh dear! I bought this for my non-gamer parents who love TTR. They have a couple of extra maps but mainly play the Europe version.

I'm now concerned that this UK map might end up being a bit complicated and take away from the simplicity of the base game. That would be a shame as it looks like a fun UK map. We will see I guess.


No worries. The Pennsylvania side of the board is pretty straight forward and adds a nice new twist with the shares. Then they can try the UK for something different if they want...


Well I am pleased to report that my parents love the UK map. They don't find it overly fiddly at all. My mum was actually telling me that she has played the base game so often that it can get repetitive. The UK map refreshes the game for her. I asked her about the added rules and possible complexities, but she felt that if you knew the base game well you are only adding a couple of new rules or concepts to grasp.

So thumbs up from a non gamer Ticket to Ride fan.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
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Wow! I read this thread when it came out and I expected to have the opposite reaction... but I was wrong. Overall, I'm very happy with the expansion, but that's because of the PA map (I expect this to see A LOT of plays in 2016). The UK map wasn't bad exactly, but it fell flat for me. I expected the techs to make the game much more interesting. As it was, it felt blah. Lots of short routes (understandable), decent access to locomotives, techs available to everyone. We played with 2, so maybe it'd be better with 4, but with 2, the chokepoints weren't that bad (and, of course, you can probably afford right-of-way at least once if it's critical). It was fine, but not one I'd be excited to play again.

I wonder if it'd be more interesting if we'd played with fewer techs to where players could get blocked out of certain areas of the map if they didn't grab techs fast enough. :shrug: I'm not sure. It just didn't have the tension of the maps I've come to love.

PA, on the other hand, is extraordinary. It takes all of the normal TtR stuff and adds in shares. Shares have too functions. First, they're points just like tickets and connects. But, they're also point-flippers like Longest Train and Most Tickets. If I get the most shares, not only do I get points, but you lose them. They also put a lot of pressure on people to lay track in multiple regions so they at least get one share of all of the big RRs, which makes for even more weirdness. I have yet to play the 2-player variant but that also sounds great!

All-in-all, one absolute winner and one "myeh" map. On balance, it still gets an "8" rating from me.
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