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Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails» Forums » General

Subject: Any way to mitigate the "luck factor"? rss

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John Van Wagoner
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after seeing several video reviews and reading online posts, i def came away with the impression that luck plays a much larger factor in this game than (a) i would like and (b) any other TTR by a long shot...

enough that i'm def considering cancelling my pre-order...the blind draw and initial ticket distribution come to mind and are mentioned frequently as 'game breakers' (in the sense that a good draw is way too powerful, and a bad draw a killer)...if that's indeed true, can that be fixed? maybe a small 3 card display when choosing/drawing cards? maybe the orig TTR format for the initial Destination card selection?

any thoughts? thanks...
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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John_VW wrote:
...the blind draw and initial ticket distribution come to mind


I see no blind draw in the rules:

When you draw travel cards you get to draw 2 cards from 2 open cards and 2 blind piles. No blind drawing unless you choose to.

At the beginning of the game you get 5 destination tickets and have to keep at least 3 of those. That's the exact same as most other T2R games and maps.

If you choose to draw new destination tickets you draw 4 and have to keep at least 1.

I fail to how any of that is a blind draw.

Quote:
maybe a small 3 card display when choosing/drawing cards?


It already there. In fact there is 3 train cards and 3 ship cards to choose from, 6 cards total.

Quote:
maybe the orig TTR format for the initial Destination card selection?


like get 5 keep at least 3, which is already in the rules.

If in doubt you could check here:

https://cdn0.daysofwonder.com/tickettoride/en/img/rs_world_r...
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Richie Turner
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I canceled my per-order after I got to try a friends copy that picked it up at GenCon. Not sure if there's a way to fix or mitigate the luck factor but even if you fix that, the game drags on way too long.

Honestly for the price and the fact that it's a DoW/Moon game that should have been heavily play tested, I don't feel I should be spending $70-$80 to try and fix their game.
 
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brian
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Granted, I played only 1 session but I didn't think it was any more luck dependent than the others in the series. Scores were close with the only breakaway being he understood exactly how harbors scored while the rest of misunderstood.

The game is longer but I don't see that as a bad thing. It is an epic TTR game. If I want quick, I'll play the original; or real quick, First Journey.

After my play, I put it on pre-order.
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Jeremy Heilman
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I haven't played yet (although I've played all of the others in the series and have read the rules to this one), so just conjecture here...

1) I don't think the luck in the card draw is a bug so much as a feature... it's part of the series as a whole.

One way to mitigate the possibility that people get lucky with initial cards and block you before you have a chance to play, though, would be to use the stations from TTR Europe, which enable you to use a route that's already occupied at the cost of a turn/cards/points. This is officially supported as an expansion, as I believe the TTR Europe rules say that those stations can be used in other editions. This seems like a good fix that's easy to implement.

2) The major luck factor that needs mitigating would theoretically seem to be the chance of drawing a route card with a location that matches another one of your route cards... This is due to the way that the harbor scoring works, awarding bonus points to players who complete multiple routes in a given city.

In normal TTR drawing extra routes near the end of the game can be a hail mary pass that could let you score tons of points with minimal / no effort (beyond the turn spent taking extra cards). In some maps (e.g. Switzerland) this can really swing the game, whereas in others, depending on the number of trains still waiting to be placed, you might be better off just building routes for points and rushing the end game. Again, it's a bug not a feature of the game design in most cases. Different maps play differently in this regard, by design.

In Rails and Sails, a lucky draw that gets you a route where you already have one gives you a double bonus... Not just the route points but also a significant harbor bonus. That's why it seems like an issue.

Again, I haven't played the game and haven't looked at the route tickets in detail. This could be balanced by making common cities on the route cards rare or by increasing the number of points that you risk by taking on a route...

Assuming the risk is too great, you could either reduce the harbor bonus (which would really eliminate one of this version's selling points) or you could reduce the number of cards that you draw when you draw new tickets from 4 to 3. Since you're required to keep one of your new tickets when you draw them, this will serve two purposes... it will make drawing new tickets a riskier proposition and it will reduce the likelihood of drawing a ticket that matches one that you already have for the harbor bonus.

Ultimately, this is just brainstorming. I assume the game is balanced! I'm just saying that if it feels off, these might be some fixes to try, given the TTR game system.
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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nyfilmfest wrote:
One way to mitigate the possibility that people get lucky with initial cards and block you before you have a chance to play, though, would be to use the stations from TTR Europe, which enable you to use a route that's already occupied at the cost of a turn/cards/points. This is officially supported as an expansion, as I believe the TTR Europe rules say that those stations can be used in other editions. This seems like a good fix that's easy to implement.

Officially it's not supported. I believe you are thinking about the depots from the Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912.

But surely you could just do it, officially supported or not.
 
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Ralf Arnemann
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nyfilmfest wrote:
In Rails and Sails, a lucky draw that gets you a route where you already have one gives you a double bonus... Not just the route points but also a significant harbor bonus. That's why it seems like an issue.

Exactly.

All TtR-variants are prone to luck when drawing routes. If your routes fit nicely (and don't interfere too much with other players objectives) you got a MUCH better chance of winning.
But that's ok, it's a acceptable level of luck and many people enjoy it.

But the harbours enlarge this luck factor considerably.
Building a harbour at least brings 14 points for 4 cards. That's ok considering the 4 cards are a bit special to collect.

But if you got fitting route cards you are not only getting the usual advantages, but the harbour gives additional points breaking any balance left.


We therefore consider to use houserules, that harbours just get the bonus for one city. That's ok, the rest would spoil the game.
 
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