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Subject: TtR for four, or "Why are they both taking so many cards???" rss

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Ryan Fitzpatrick
United States
Terryville
Connecticut
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In what is fast becoming routine, my wife and I visited with friends of our last night (brothers Mike and Mark) and, once dinner was done, out came Ticket to Ride.

Last time we played, through dumb luck alone I prevailed. My initial 3 route cards were all attainable, with one of them being a coast-to-coast route. Subsequent route cards, for the most part, just worked out for me, and I wound up winning the globetrotter card with 7 routes completed and several 5 and 6 train routes, easily giving me the win.

Last night, I would have no such luck. cry

We went through the first 3 or 4 turns where everyone only drew cards. After those first turns, Tracy and I both began working on our routes, while Mark and Mike both kept collecting cards. Tracy wondered out loud what they were doing, and I began to get worried. I figured that one of us had to hurry up and run out of trains before Mark or Mike could spend all those cards in their hands.

Well, it turned into too little, too late. I had spent about half of my trains when Mark and Mike began blocking in every remaining 6-train route they could find. Tracy was only narrowly behind me in train use. The problem we both faced, at that point, was that 80-90% of the deck was in Mark and Mike's hands, leaving us very little chance to pull the cards we needed to complete routes.

As luck would have it, Mark was first to play cards (between himself and his brother, at least) and was therefore able to get more of the longer routes. He was even able to draw new route cards twice, with luck similar to mine from last week. In the end, he won the globetrotter card, which turned out to be completely unnecessary as he had already beaten Mike by 30 or 40 points, and Tracy by over 80! I brought up the rear this week, but was within 10 points of She Who Must be Obeyed.

All in all, it was a typically fun game of TtR. I'll need to do some thinking and some research into tactics to combat card hording. I wonder how differently it might turn out if all 4 of us used that same tactic. Alternately, I wonder if I had joined Mark and Mike in that tactic, would Tracy have had a better opportunity to go out before the three of us could ammass sufficient 5- and 6-of-a-kind card sets...
 
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Andy Schuster
United States
Orange
California
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Yeah you gotta be careful there, you can't really "run of out trains" in a rush because you have to draw cards for every train you want to play. That's 40-something train cards, and the turns to play them, so it's hard to 'block' the "ignore your route cards and just draw to make sets of 6's" strategy.

On top of that, the player going for 6's will need LESS turns of building trains to burn through the same number of trains!

The only trouble I know of that such a strategy has to face is, when there's more than one player playing that way!! ... and as you observed, whoever starts playing first will come out ahead there!

Let me know if you figure something out!
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Cheryl Dunning

Arizona
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You should have seen one or two of our 5 player games...Card hoarding galore
 
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