Steve Jones
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We have played the 3-player version of ttR-UK in our group six times now, and in five of the games, the player who built the Southampton-New York link won the game. Is this the experience of others? We feel that the existance of this route and its 40 points unbalances the game. Not only does the player building it get a massive points boost, he is likely to end the game before any of the other players can "catch up".

Thinking about what has happened in these games, I have some queries about some of the rules common to ttR:

1. Are locos truly wild? i.e. can you use a loco as a wild card to represent any colour (this makes it easier to build S-NY)?

2. Does it take your whole turn to take a loco card that is showing openly?

Given the importance of locos for obtaining technologies, I am wondering whether the common rule of ttR where locos are truly wild applies. If it didn't, this would make building S-NY much harder. Also, making locos usable only for ferries and technologies would enable the rule in some ttRs of allowing locos to be taken openly without penalty. Comments anyone?

Also, a "rules lawyer" question occured to me over-night: building the S-NY link needs no technologies; therefore, does this mean that if you have at least one technology, you cannot build the S-NY link? If this was the case, it would make the decision of whether to go for S-NY at the start a tighter one. Comments?

If the S-NY link does unbalance the game, would the following fix solve it: make locos non-wild on the S-NY link only? This would mean that one would need three locos and seven same-colour cards to build it, and this would be a lot harder to achieve.




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Lars Wagner Hansen
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SveaRike wrote:
1. Are locos truly wild? i.e. can you use a loco as a wild card to represent any colour (this makes it easier to build S-NY)?
Yes, unless specified differently, like in the Nordic Countries and Switzerland where they can only be used for tunnels and ferries.

Quote:
2. Does it take your whole turn to take a loco card that is showing openly?
Yes, unless specified differently, Again in the Nordic Countries and Switzerland you can take two Cards, even if it includes locomotives.
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Martin Broom
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Played twice 4p and the person who built the Southampton New York route came second both times. The person who won just built a lot more routes and had more tickets.
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Chris Warr
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I played 3-player twice, and our experience was like yours - race for the 40 points then the rest of the game was irrelevant as that decided the winner.
We discussed the possibility of requiring the longer routes & ferry technologies before you can take the route.
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Frank QB
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poptasticboy wrote:
I played 3-player twice, and our experience was like yours - race for the 40 points then the rest of the game was irrelevant as that decided the winner.
We discussed the possibility of requiring the longer routes & ferry technologies before you can take the route.


In playing the game 2p twice, the player that built SH-NY crushed the other. I think the game is balanced for 4p, but the frequency of wild cards makes it unbalanced at 2p and 3p. Too easy to do by just drawing cards. Easier still with boosters and/or water tenders too.
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Eric Amick
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SveaRike wrote:

Also, a "rules lawyer" question occured to me over-night: building the S-NY link needs no technologies; therefore, does this mean that if you have at least one technology, you cannot build the S-NY link? If this was the case, it would make the decision of whether to go for S-NY at the start a tighter one. Comments?



That is the most, shall we say, creative interpretation of a rule I've ever seen. If you acquire Mechanical Stoker, do you think you can no longer claim one- and two-space routes?
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Frank QB
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ericamick2 wrote:
SveaRike wrote:

Also, a "rules lawyer" question occured to me over-night: building the S-NY link needs no technologies; therefore, does this mean that if you have at least one technology, you cannot build the S-NY link? If this was the case, it would make the decision of whether to go for S-NY at the start a tighter one. Comments?



That is the most, shall we say, creative interpretation of a rule I've ever seen. If you acquire Mechanical Stoker, do you think you can no longer claim one- and two-space routes?


That would certainly make it interesting though!
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SveaRike wrote:
Also, a "rules lawyer" question occured to me over-night: building the S-NY link needs no technologies; therefore, does this mean that if you have at least one technology, you cannot build the S-NY link? If this was the case, it would make the decision of whether to go for S-NY at the start a tighter one. Comments?
rule does not state what "S-NY needs no technologies", it states: "The Southampton - New York route is a special route
that can be claimed at any time and without any Technology.". so it can be claimed with or without technology.
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Tom
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I have now played a 2P and a 3P and in both games, the player who took SH-NY won handily. Earlier in the thread, it was mentioned that it may be balanced for the 4P game. I am wondering if perhaps dialing the reward back - maybe 10 points per player? So in a 2P game it would be worth 20, 3P worth 30, and so on. In our games, the SH-NY player would still have won, but maybe by 5 points instead of 25.

I am wondering if it has to do with board crowding. That is, in a 2P or 3P game, if a player takes the time to complete the SH-NY route, the board is still fairly open to complete other routes and tickets. In a 4P game, perhaps the time taken to complete SH-NY means that when that player comes back to the rest of the board, it would be a lot harder to get anything done, and completing tickets would be more difficult because the other players have locked up the best routes. Just a thought anyway. I am looking forward to trying 4P to find out.
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Robert Ahearne
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So, OK, perhaps our experience is an outlier, but....

We played the UK expansion for the first time last night. This was a 4-player family game. We had all played the original Ticket to Ride several times (but not that many). This was our first time playing the UK expansion.

We found the board attractive but a little busy, and we did not notice the "40 points" assigned to the New York route. At least, 3 of us didn't. My 18-year-old son, who was seated right in front of that part of the board -- he noticed.

But because of the 3 locomotive cost, he wrote it off. At first.

I got a good route synergy, and things came together for me. My son played lackadaisically, spending most of his time trying to guess other people's routes and block them, mostly unsuccessfully. (He did, however, complete his three routes, which were a big one and two minor ones.)

I was cruising to what would have been, in the final scoring, a >10 point victory, except this happened:

My son was holding a locomotive and two other cards. On his turn he did a double blind draw -- and drew two locomotives. He looked at the three locomotives in his hand, and looked at the New York line, and thought, I just have to draw cars for three turns, and on the fourth I'll get 41 points (due to Boiler Lagging). Which is what he did.

We were all stunned, of course. We tried to then block his routes (would have succeeded, but my daughter dropped the ball). He won by 13 points.

Isn't this unbalanced? A player plays poorly but gets a lucky draw and wammo! he wins?

Looking at it another way: I started the game with 3 locomotives. Had I noticed the New York line, I would have did what my son did: draw cards 3 turns, then take the line, gaining 40 points when everyone else would be in the 5-10 point range. Wouldn't that lead be tough to overcome?

The next time we play, any of us that start with two or more locomotives will probably spend the first N turns doing double-blind draws to try to take the NY line. I know people say it balances out in the 4-player game, but it seems to distort the gameplay. We're expecting to houserule it at some point. The simplest idea we have is just to drop it altogether.


EDIT: Missed the most obvious thing. The 7 non-locomotive cards must match in color. That certainly makes claiming the route harder.
 
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Andy Burgess
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Cambridge
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You're aware that to claim a "grey" route, all the cards you play have to be the same colour (or locomotives), right? You can't just draw blind for three turns and expect to claim the New York line - that would be insanely lucky.
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Robert Ahearne
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D'oh!

OK, it's incredible we let him pull that off.... of course they do. I don't know why we missed something so obvious. I think the route was so odd, we forgot to treat it normally...
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