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Josef S
United States
Holland
Michigan
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"Hi, Josef, could you recommend a family board game that has the feeling of a prison shank fight?"

"That's an oddly specific question, Jeff Stevens, but yes, I can!"

(Side note - when meeting someone new, I always assume their name is Jeff Stevens, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Someday I'll meet a Jeff Stevens and BLOW THEIR MIND!)

Ticket to Ride is an amazing Euro game where the players collect sets of cards and use them to connect cities via railroads, traveling around the US and completing bonus tickets for specific routes.

Ticket to Ride: Europe is an amazing Euro game where the players collect sets of cards and use them to connect cities via railroads, traveling around Europe and completing bonus tickets for specific routes.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic countries is a bar brawl confined to phone booth.

The Basics - In TTR:NC, each player collects train cards of 8 different colors or wilds (Used exclusively for very specific route types, such as ferries over water or tunnels under mountains). Following "Destination Tickets" drawn at the beginning, of which you draw 5 and must keep 2, you set out to efficiently connect cities to get points by completing jumps from Point A to Point B and completing set cards, earning the points listed. Each turn, you can take one of three actions:

1. Draw colored cards from the deck or from five exposed cards to build sets.

2. Complete a route by connection two cities by playing coordinated sets of cards.

3. Draw Destination Tickets (draw 3, keep at least 1) to vie for more bonus points.

Play continues in a circles as each player does their chosen action. When a player is down to 2 or less trains, the final round commences with each player (including the one who activated the end game) taking a last turn. Add points gained by routes to bonus points for completed destination cards (non-completed cards are worth minus listed value). Most points win.

So peaceful. So relaxing. I'm talking about chamomile tea. Nordic Countries is rage fuel. Why? Strap in.

This map is TIGHT. It's designed for only three players (Regular TTR is designed for 5), and it shows. Cities in the center of the map have many roads in, but the hinterlands are riddled with bottlenecks and cutoffs - miss a single path to a city, and you're sunk. Tough luck.

Wilds can ONLY be used on very certain paths. Think you could use a wild anywhere? Not here. A regular red path needs reds. If you aren't the only one collecting reds, you're going to be seeing red.

Point values on cards vary wildly. Many are short, worth only a few points, so a whiff won't ruin your game. Draw a few big numbers in the mid to late game that you are locked out of, and the game can turn in an instant.

Hard roads? Few options? Danger at every turn? One thing left to say - go buy this game!

Actually, finish this review, properly log off your computer, and then go buy this game.

TTR:NC is the perfect blend of risk vs reward. This is the very definition of "Go big or go home". Each card must be chosen very carefully, and the decision to take Destination Tickets is harrowing every time. Route planning is critical, but keeping options open for the inevitable time when an opponent blocks your way ("If you take Helsinki, I'm never looking at you again!") demands strategic thought.

Regular Ticket to Ride should be on everyone's game shelf.

Directly under it should be Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries.

Thanks for reading, Jeff!
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Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
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I disagree with this review. Specifically
Quote:
Regular Ticket to Ride should be on everyone's game shelf.

If you had said Europe I would have agreed with all of it.

BTW We played our first game of Switzerland last night. It's up there with Nordic. So tight. And all those tunnels!
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Josef S
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GregDarcy wrote:
I disagree with this review. Specifically
Quote:
Regular Ticket to Ride should be on everyone's game shelf.

If you had said Europe I would have agreed with all of it.

BTW We played our first game of Switzerland last night. It's up there with Nordic. So tight. And all those tunnels!


Personally, I agree with you, as Europe is my favorite map. All three should be in anyone's collection if they are even a moderate board gaming hobbyist. Even non-hobbyists can enjoy TTR:USA. Europe is just a tad......for lack of a better term, fussier. For anyone who comes to this site, won't be a problem. For those whose board gaming experience ends at Battleship or Monopoly, some of the mechanics on Europe (specifically stations and tunnels) might be bothersome.

This isn't saying they aren't easy to learn. They would just take a tad bit more time to explain to absolute novices. Regular TTR I can teach in 5 minutes, tops. Europe takes just a tad longer. Once someone gets regular TTR down, though, they can learn the extra mechanics of Europe in 2-3 minutes.

Simply my reasoning. Still, TTR or TTR: Europe are games I always recommend when anyone asks where to start in this hobby - like a "First $100" kind of thing.

Thanks for reading!
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