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Subject: Two games with my father rss

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Merric Blackman
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When we were younger, my father used to play Chess with me. Mostly, he'd win. Although I enjoyed Chess, it has never, ever been the hobby that it was for my father. He picked up an early computer chess game in 1983, and spent many a long bath playing against it. In recent years he hasn't been playing Chess much, instead amusing himself with his language studies. He speaks German, Italian, French, Spanish and Chinese in addition to his native English. I've never sought to emulate him in that way.

Meanwhile, I've mainly amused myself with D&D (a lifelong obsession), Magic: the Gathering, and most recently, one or two boardgames. Mostly, not with my father.

At the recent MilSims sale, I finally picked up the original Ticket to Ride (I've had TTR:Europe for some time), and on Saturday night, I was extremely surprised - and very happy - when my father agreed to play Ticket to Ride with me when I asked.

My stepmother declined my invitation, so my father and I set up the board on the dining table, and I explained the rules. I've only played the original game a couple of times before, although I have played a lot of TTR:Europe. One amusing sidepoint: I'd also bought the 1910 USA expansion, so we used the cards from that. I've not yet used the cards from the original game!

The first game was very much a learning experience for my father. Although he completed most of his tickets, he used lesser value routes, and still had a lot of unused trains left when I ended the game. Meanwhile, I was completing Seattle-New York with the aid of a lot of 6-long routes. The victory was not in doubt; even with the aid of his tickets and without mine yet counted, he could only match my raw score.

The next game was a lot better. He quickly worked out the tactic of blocking me as I attempted to find a path from Pittsburgh to Oklahoma City, and also, with his first two placements of the game, unwittingly blocked my path from Pittsburgh to Sault St Marie. I'd had a nice little plan when I kept my original three tickets, and the routes I now had to take were getting... odd.

We both took a couple of new tickets as the game progressed - my father noticing too late that the last he took was uncompletable as he didn't have enough trains left! However, he could end the game with myself still having a few trains unplayed, so he did so, making one of my tickets uncompleted.

Tallying up the score, he was way in front... until it was revealed he'd not finished his 20-point route. He just needed the Calgary-Vancouver link, which he could have played, but his attention had wandered at the wrong moment. If he had played it, he would have won by over 30 points.

It was great to play with him; and he's left open the option of playing again in the near future. I described the Europe version to him, and it's likely we'll use that from now on - the Stations make it a much better game, in my opinion. (I also like the board more).

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Ronster Zero
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Too bad you did not get your step-mother to play. I find this game a little more fun with 3 or 4 as it opens up both sets of lines between cities that have them.

 
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Merric Blackman
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IIRC, 3 players doesn't open up the second line; you need 4 or 5 to do that. I rather enjoy the increased competition of more players. Perhaps next time (or if we use the Europe map, which is likely to be of more interest to her).

Cheers,
Merric
 
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Ronster Zero
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Ah, my memory is now what it used to be, but we always play with 4 or 5, as there are five of us in the family.

Thanks for the session report, as always, I look forward to more.
 
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Merric Blackman
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Thanks!

More session reports are coming... I plan to play 20 hours or so of boardgames this weekend with my friends, so there should be something out of that.

Solo sessions of Arkham Horror and/or ASL may appear during the week as well.

Cheers,
Merric
 
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