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Subject: USA or Europe? rss

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Will M
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I've read a number of threads discussing which is best - TTR original (USA) or Europe.

Personally I prefer the USA map and the relative simplicity (no tunnels or ferries) as I have two young daughters (aged 8 and 4) plus my wife is a non-gamer who likes to play relatively straightforward games, so I think USA might be more suited to us.

Having said all this, is there any reason why Europe would be better for us? (Or should I just go for USA?)
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Greg Darcy
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I personally prefer Europe, so I am biassed.
But,
Europe will be more familiar to your girls. And where the names are a little odd it can lead to a mini history/language lesson.

The stations also remove some of the cutthroat element of the game.

You can always house rule that tunnels and ferries are just normal routes. Maybe add them in later as they get more experienced to change the game up a little. Let them know you are playing a simplified version at the start and they will probably want to play the "grown ups" version sooner than you think.

I am pretty sure basic USA still comes with the tiny cards. That may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your circumstances. But if you want the playing card sized ones, you will need to spring for 10th Anniversary or 1910 off the bat.
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MAURICIO FLORES
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My first ticket to ride game was Europe and I still like it more than USA. I usually don't use the stations.

The are basically the same. It all depends how familiar you are with USA geography Or Europe geography.

Either way you should buy the 1910 Or 1912 expansions.
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Matthew Roskam
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We find the European map to be more forgiving, due to less choke points, the more spread out routes, and of course the train stations that can connect to routes already cut off. So for larger groups, we find Europe less frustrating. The extra rules aren't that bad to learn.
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BLIND PEW
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Play what suits you. I find the USA boring but it would be good for starters. That was a good idea to move to Europe and simplify it - I'm all for changing the rules to suit yourselves. We introduced "burn 5" whereby you can exchange any 5 cards in your hand for 5 new ones as a turn - it also helps to get unwanted cards back into circulation.

Once you've moved away from the basic game you could try Nederland or Africa.
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Will M
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Cheers for the opinions guys. I'm still undecided but am erring towards USA because of its simplicity for my young girls. (Plus I still think the map is much prettier! )

Down the line I may add the expansions or go for Europe if the game is a massive hit with us.
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Tomello Visello
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I originally selected USA for the comfort of map familiarity for casual players among family and friends but shortly became disenchanted with the point influence of the cross-country routes. For me personally, I now shun USA while favoring Europe and Nordic.

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Tim Earl
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As others have said, Europe is more forgiving. I don't like the lifeline which the stations provide, so Europe is one of the few maps I don't own.

USA is still my favorite for new players and family, as long as there are at least 4 players. I'm not a fan of 3-player USA, with no double routes. If you consistently have 3 players, then Nordic Countries is better.

As players learn more and want a deeper experience, I recommend UK/Pennsylvania, and Asia for the team play.
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Gilbert Quinonez
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USA is best if you're playing with non-gamers or casual gamers. While I do go to a lot of local board game groups, I also play a lot of games with family and friends who aren't as into games as I am. A map with fewer rules (and that they're more familiar with in real life) is an easier sell with the non/casual gamers.

I've found it's difficult for non-gamers to understand stations and tunnels. Also harder to find cities on the Europe map that aren't well-known cities (especially in the native, non-English language).

If I were playing with people more into games, would always choose Europe (or one of the expansions like Switzerland or Pennsylvania).

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Peter BOSCO'S
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I think the original is better. Since the European map has fewer long routes the winning strategy is to pick the two lowest cost tickets, ignore them, and concentrate on taking every long route you can for enough points to get a winning score. Very anti-thematic and more cutthroat. Europe also has more luck (Will I draw the locamotive I need for that route?) involved.
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cheng wrote:


USA is still my favorite for new players and family, as long as there are at least 4 players. I'm not a fan of 3-player USA, with no double routes. If you consistently have 3 players, then Nordic Countries is better.


You can ignore the double route rule - we always have
 
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Tim Earl
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jeremylaurie wrote:
cheng wrote:


USA is still my favorite for new players and family, as long as there are at least 4 players. I'm not a fan of 3-player USA, with no double routes. If you consistently have 3 players, then Nordic Countries is better.


You can ignore the double route rule - we always have


True, but then it's way too open. Better to use a map designed for 3, like Nordic.
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cheng wrote:
jeremylaurie wrote:
cheng wrote:


USA is still my favorite for new players and family, as long as there are at least 4 players. I'm not a fan of 3-player USA, with no double routes. If you consistently have 3 players, then Nordic Countries is better.


You can ignore the double route rule - we always have


True, but then it's way too open. Better to use a map designed for 3, like Nordic.

That won't work here - we have all the expansions and most of the fan expansions - in these often there aren't double routes but more ways of getting there which is better really.
It's what you like isn't it.
 
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Guy
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argentetbury wrote:
Cheers for the opinions guys. I'm still undecided but am erring towards USA because of its simplicity for my young girls. (Plus I still think the map is much prettier! )

Down the line I may add the expansions or go for Europe if the game is a massive hit with us.


I'd go for Nordics, purely because it is the prettiest and feels Christmassy. As someone said, ignore the ferries and tunnels until they are ready. I dont think these rules make it very hard though
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A P
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Whilst you can just ignore the extra rules in Europe, and I often do this when introducing complete non-gamer newbies to the game, I get the niggling feeling when doing so that the game was designed and balanced with them in place; for example the 8-train route in Europe is somewhat more attractive if you just play it as a blank route than if you play it as a tunnel (as was intended). There are only 3 routes in Europe longer than 4 trains, and all of them are either ferries or tunnels, which is calculated to offset the big points you get from them. So whilst you can ignore them, I do rather feel that if you are going to do this all the time you should just buy the original version instead. The extra rules aren't very complicated, I would say that if your kids can grasp the basic game unadorned they will probably be able to grasp ferries, stations and tunnels easily enough.

One other angle that hasn't been covered - if you think there's a decent chance you might ultimately want both, then I would recommend buying the original USA version first. The reason for this is that, in the UK at least, replacement/spare boards are MUCH easier to find for the Europe version, probably because it's far more common here and stocked in "non gamer" stores etc.

If you have the original, all you need to play Europe is a replacement board and set of tickets (easily obtained from DoW or by buying the 1912 expansion). It's much harder to do this the other way round (buying Europe and then getting a USA board), because the USA boards are rarer here.

Of course, you could just buy both sets, but then you end up with a lot of redundant components (2x sets of the same 5 different train colours, and 2x Train Decks) and paying full price for the lot; if you're going to do that you should probably just buy one of the expansion boards instead for £15 or so less than a full TTR set.
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Greg Darcy
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I don't think anyone was suggesting "Get Europe but ignore tunnels and ferries completely". I know I wasn't. The suggestion was to get Europe and ignore them for the first few plays, while acknowledging they are the normal way to play.

As it happens I have done two relevant things since my last post on this thread.
1. I have now played TtR Original.
I can confirm I prefer Europe. It was not a blocking game, but what I found most frustrating was the fact that the score track ended at 80. That made scores higher than that tricky. It is just not as easy as when the change is at 100.

2. I "played" Europe with a 6 and 4 year old for their first game.
I didn't play as such, but mentored the 6 year old. Their mother mentored the 4 year old. There was no real strategy played. At the beginning it was "I have a red card. Ooh I can build a route here" Even though it had no bearing on any ticket held. Stations were important in the game with both sides building several. We played tunnels as normal routes to the end, but while we started by ignoring ferry routes as well, by the end of the game, the 6 year old was already aware of the need for locomotives for and was playing that way. She was also beginning to ask questions about the tunnels. I am pretty sure if we had played another game, the 6 year old would have been quite comfortable with the correct rules. she really liked the game and was asking if they could buy it. Luckily for her mother, the store was closing by then and the till had closed. They were touring and had dropped into FLGS to while away a wet afternoon. It was a great success.
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Tim Earl
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GregDarcy wrote:
what I found most frustrating was the fact that the score track ended at 80. That made scores higher than that tricky. It is just not as easy as when the change is at 100.


I believe that was only true for the first printing. Later editions go to 100 like the other versions.
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Hi Will. Not sure if you're still reading this thread but..... my wife and I started with USA via the ios app and we borrowed Europe physical copy and played 2 games last night. She's not a big gamer either and while the station and tunnel routes were a little out there on paper we both totally understood them after one game amd using these mechanics.

I was undecided anout which to buy but i'll likely opt for Europe. As otjers have said its got less choke points and stations really help if someone blocks you which can be incredibly frustrating so its more forgiving for little ones who may get upset if their tickets are thwarted.

Interestingly aswell, when we used to play the ios USA app, i regularly tried to block my wife but found myself losing often. On our two plays last night i concentrated on my own game / tickets (and longest route bonus towards the end) and won both games. The first ended with us both on same points and the long route bonus won it for me by 10 points. The second i messed up a long route ticket (totally my oen fault as thought i had claimed the 2-route but i hadn't) and then, again due to long route bonus, i won. By one point! The wife was unamused. Think we played one station each on first game and none on the second.
In summary its definately Europe for me but needed to play both to mkae the decision.
 
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Will M
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Talismaniac13 wrote:
Hi Will. Not sure if you're still reading this thread but..... my wife and I started with USA via the ios app and we borrowed Europe physical copy and played 2 games last night. She's not a big gamer either and while the station and tunnel routes were a little out there on paper we both totally understood them after one game amd using these mechanics.

I was undecided anout which to buy but i'll likely opt for Europe. As otjers have said its got less choke points and stations really help if someone blocks you which can be incredibly frustrating so its more forgiving for little ones who may get upset if their tickets are thwarted.

Interestingly aswell, when we used to play the ios USA app, i regularly tried to block my wife but found myself losing often. On our two plays last night i concentrated on my own game / tickets (and longest route bonus towards the end) and won both games. The first ended with us both on same points and the long route bonus won it for me by 10 points. The second i messed up a long route ticket (totally my oen fault as thought i had claimed the 2-route but i hadn't) and then, again due to long route bonus, i won. By one point! The wife was unamused. Think we played one station each on first game and none on the second.
In summary its definately Europe for me but needed to play both to mkae the decision.


Hi M S, yes I'm subscribed to this thread so see all the posts. Thanks for your response. Funnily enough I was convinced I'd posted a while back saying what I ended up doing, but looking back over the thread I clearly hadn't.

I ended up going for USA and really like it. I've played a few times with my eldest daughter and once at my games group (with 100% win record, thanks to my extensive iOS practice!)

I actually had to order it in to my local games store as they only had Europe in stock, and when I took it to my games group none of them had played the (original) USA version, and a few even said they didn't know it existed! I guess seeing as we live in Europe it's probably the best seller.

I'm enjoying the game so much and my eldest daughter and I are trying to convince my wife to play because we know she'll love it. Down the line we may also get Europe for a bit of variation.

I hope your wife has forgiven you M S!
 
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Glad you settled on a version that suits. Played 5 (Five) more games with my wife yesterday and she got a few wins too. I'd like to say I let her win to keep her interested but it was all on her own merit. I'd def recommend Europe if USA gets stale or you fancy a change. The stations make it far less cutthroat and more forgiving. Damn fine series of games whichever iteration is chosen so can't really go wrong.
On a side note I'd also recommemd Codenames (Pictures version if kids don't have as good a vocab as the adults) and King of Tokyo is a fun push-your-luck dice game.
Cheers!
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Will M
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Talismaniac13 wrote:
Glad you settled on a version that suits. Played 5 (Five) more games with my wife yesterday and she got a few wins too. I'd like to say I let her win to keep her interested but it was all on her own merit. I'd def recommend Europe if USA gets stale or you fancy a change. The stations make it far less cutthroat and more forgiving. Damn fine series of games whichever iteration is chosen so can't really go wrong.
On a side note I'd also recommemd Codenames (Pictures version if kids don't have as good a vocab as the adults) and King of Tokyo is a fun push-your-luck dice game.
Cheers!


Im glad your wife has managed a few wins - a game always gets many more plays when one person isn't getting beaten all the time.

Thanks for the recommendations - I've played the original Codenames at my games group numerous times and it's definitely the game that gets us most competitive! Codenames Pictures intrigues me as I haven't seen it yet.

Someone at my group has King of Tokyo and I've yet to try it out, but I'll mention it as I've heard good things about that game elsewhere too
 
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My little ones are about the same age as yours and they can both manage Codenames Pictures. Little one has a harder time but even does ok as Spymaster as well as guesser. And Pictures will be fine with adult players too and arguably has more interpretation than the words version due to the clever design of the pictures. K o Tokyo is very luck based but that's not always a bad thing as its a quick palette cleanser. My youngest plays that too but just hoards the pretty energy cubes. Good luck whatever you play!
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