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Ticket to Ride» Forums » General

Subject: Alternative to the scoring track rss

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Matt
United States
Avon
Indiana
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I may be in the minority, but I find scoring tracks to be a big turn-off unless they contribute significantly to the strategy of the game. For some games (Tikal comes to mind), being aware of your score relative to opponents can be crucial to decision making. But I do not find this to be the case in Ticket to Ride, since the route points are not made known until the end of the game, and can easily account for more than half of the total points scored. (If you think that the scoring track plays a significant role in decision-making during a game of Ticket to Ride, I'd be very interested in your opinion.)

My biggest argument against scoring tracks, particularly in gateway games, is that they detract from the non-gamer's experience in two ways: 1) constantly interrupting the game to do mental math, and 2) broadcasting to everyone who is losing, and by how much. This can really sour a game for someone who isn't already enamored with the boardgaming experience.

I think this could be remedied fairly easily by awarding route tokens every time someone buys a route, with distinct tokens for 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-car routes. At the end of the game, before ticket scores and bonuses are counted, the route tokens could be easily counted and multiplied to determine the map score. I believe this would even be faster than recounting the board (which we end up doing almost every game anyway). And the biggest benefit is that competition between players remains focused on the map, not the score.

Thoughts? Does anyone currently use an alternative to the scoring track?
 
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Jeffrey McBeth
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Rochester
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If you don't like the scoring track here, just don't use it. In Ticket to Ride, you can easily total the score after the fact by looking at the map rather than doing it incrementally.
 
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Scott Russell
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Clarkston
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We usually recount the track scoring for each player before adding the tickets. I disagree slightly that knowing the score for tracklaying is worthless information.

FWIW, I like the idea of handing out tokens for routes, that would give the players the information that I think one gets from seeing the score on the scoring track at the appropriate level of granularity.
 
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Myke Madsen
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Salt Lake City
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Handing out the tokens doesn't really prevent anyone from knowing anyone else's score, it just makes it more difficult to calculate. For your purposes, that may be good enough.

Other than that, I like the idea. If I were making the tokens I would put the route length AND how many points it's worth on it. Then you don't really need the conversion chart.
 
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Tiziano Contorno
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Rome
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We never use the score track, we just do all the math at the end of the game. You always have the "feeling" of other players score and final scoring has its suspense factor also...
 
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Matthew Webster
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I like games where part of the final score is known and part is unknown because it adds to the tension. Canal Mania and Carcassonne are other good examples. In Ticket to Ride scoring as you go also saves time at the end. Given that it is highly likely a new player will not win, something that should not be a surprise to them, a lengthy procedure at the end can appear to be rubbing there noses in it while the score track prepares them for the (almost) inevitable.

Why not abandon scoring the routes altogether and just add and subtract destination tickets at the end (plus the longest route perhaps)? Experienced players know you win by building fives and sixes so this approach also acts as a handicap. The new players still need to complete their destinations or they will loose the points but they don't need to worry about doing so "inefficiently" which many find counterintuitive.
 
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Steve Marano
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Funny how people can come to such widely differing opinions about a game. As a newcomer to TTR, I was about to start a new thread here that suggested PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE of Matt Moberly's position. I personally much prefer games where you know the ongoing scores of all participants at all times. I find that it not only adds a great deal of tension to the game, but really helps in tactical endgame planning. I find that games that don't do this - Ticket to Ride included - introduce an element of randomness to the scoring, encourage 'solitaire' play, and often result in frustration for the newcomer when the good score they thought they had is 'eliminated' in a flash during the final tally.

I've only played four games of Ticket to Ride with my family, but already my wife, son and daughter have all expressed frustration with the game because of the uncertainty of not knowing their scores relative to the others. Now you can argue that we're just not experienced enough with the game to be able to 'sense' the completed routes of players and to keep a mental estimate of how everyone is doing. But isn't that precisely the kind of mental gymnastics that you DON'T want to force on the newcomer? Maybe my family is in the minority on this, but we don't find the 'tension' of not knowing the exact score to be rewarding. In fact, my family will never become experienced with TTR without a house-rule change in the scoring. They'll simply stop playing.
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Brandon B
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New York
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I love the idea of giving tokens. I don't mind the scoring track so much but it does detract from the game a bit, it's often wrong to a small degreen(forcing the re-scoring of all the trains at the end) and it's easy to screw up by nudging it or misplacing it.

I'm trying to think of what tokens you could use. the first thing that came to mind was poker chips, though finding them with 1-6 denominations would be touch. Cards would work but then you gotta find enough cards.
 
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Sight Reader
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I just got annoyed that, at least in the original, the track ended at 80 rather than 100.
 
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