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Ticket to Ride: Europe» Forums » General

Subject: Am I playing this wrong? rss

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Oskar van Velden
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When we (my wife and me) got this game (a year ago) we really had fun with it. Played it a couple of times together. And after that we played it with a couple of other people (mostly with a total of 4 players).

But after a while I got a little bored with it... it felt like there is no interaction between the players. Everybody just picked their cards/trains... hoping nobody would take the colors you need and/or build trains in the parts you needed. But there was not much interaction or strategy involved.

And now my question... I've been watching some top 10-games videos recently and Ticket to Ride has been mentioned a lot. Now I'm wondering if I've been playing this game wrong.
What I usually did was just picking the cards/trains I needed for the routes and hoping nobody would get in my way.
And now I'm starting to think that maybe part of the appeal is just placing trains in the middle of the (obvious) routes of the other players... just to screw with their routes.
Is that part of the game and what I've been missing? Or are there other things why people enjoy this game so much?
 
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Greg Darcy
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It is probably the most open of the TtR maps. And the stations mitigate the blocking factor even further.

However, I am surprised you are not getting in each other's way playing at 4p. I mostly play 2p, and while it is rare, blockages happen even then.

One thing you could try for not too much money is to get the Europa 1912 expansion. Play the "Big Cities" set of tickets from that. I guarantee you will find it a much tighter game.

But also keep in mind that this is classed as a gateway game for a reason. It is a very approachable game. But this also means that it is somewhat light on strategy decisions. If you want a more strategic version of TtR, I would suggest either theUK Pennsylvania or the Heart of Africa expansions.

Or move on to another mare strategic game if that is your preference. Viticulture Essential Edition is only a small step up in complexity but a big step up in strategy. Yokohama is another, but it will seem quite daunting when you first set it up.
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Oskar van Velden
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Don't get me wrong, sometimes blocking does happen, especially when playing with 4 players. But mostly it was not intentionally. It was just because someone else also needed that route - in my memory, we had only once incident where a player (me) would build a track just to screw some other player over. But it almost felt like not in the right spirit of the game. Also when someone would block someone else, we often felt sorry and tried to explain we also needed that piece of the track.

And I guess that's my biggest question/issue: I'm not sure with what spirit the game is intended. It almost feels not competitive or something. We always feel the need to excuse ourselves if we are in each others ways ^^

Since this is the only TtR game I played I'm not sure if the stations is unique for Europe? Because often when someone did block my route (not on purpose ^^) I would just fix that with a station. I was able to just make all my routes work with the 3 stations I had.

I wasn't aware of that it's classed as a gateway game. It was recommended to us by someone and we liked it. I'll take a look at the expansions you recommended. Not sure if I'm looking for a total strategic game, but slightly more depth/competition would be nice ^^
 
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Robert Clevidence
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Every one the the TtR games (except USA) has the basic route-building mechanism plus something else. Europe has the train stations. The UK/Pennsylvania (it's a double-sided board), for example, has, iirc, technologies for one side and stocks for the other.
 
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Mark P
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Ticket to ride Nordic Countries may be a better fit if it's just you and your wife. It's a 2-3 player map and is tighter and has some different rules. There's more running into each other with it than Europe or USA at 2 players. We got bored with Europe and USA maps because of what you experienced. While TtR is pretty light for us now, if we play just the 2 of us it's always Nordic countries.
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Greg Darcy
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Generally when people are recommending one of the TtR family, they suggest USA for a (intentional) blocking game and Europe for a more friendly game, but it is much more like multiplayer solitaire. I very much prefer the Europe version as we don't like to deliberately block each other. Incidental blocking is fine though. If you want to try this meaner game, simply take the stations off the board completely.

UK is a much tighter game than Europe. I imagine that it would be a mad scramble at 4p. I have only played it at 2p and it can be tough even then. Also the technologies open up a lot of possible strategies. Penn is a little more open, but it is still tighter than Europe, and the stocks open up an interesting meta game. Another to consider is Nederland. It looks like it would be a good tight game at 4p, but I haven't played it yet. It is on my shelf of shame.

And yes. Stations are unique to Europe. One of the technologies in UK is "Right of Way" which does a similar thing, but that's it.

Rob
In addition to Stations, Europe included tunnels (from Switzerland and Nordic) and ferries (from Nordic and Asia) if I have the timelines correct.
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Chris Schumann
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T2R and T2R Europe will both be tightest with 3 players because all 3 will vie for the single routes - double routes cannot be used until you get up to 4 players.

Still, the stations are there to help get around blocking, but they do not count when counting trains in your longest route.
 
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Greg Darcy
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TheShib wrote:
Ticket to ride Nordic Countries may be a better fit if it's just you and your wife. It's a 2-3 player map and is tighter and has some different rules. There's more running into each other with it than Europe or USA at 2 players. We got bored with Europe and USA maps because of what you experienced. While TtR is pretty light for us now, if we play just the 2 of us it's always Nordic countries.


Yes Nordic is great 2p, but Oskar mentioned playing up to 4p. so I didn't mention it. It also has the awesome purple trains and is our most played variant. Still UK is almost as good at 2p, has more strategic options, and is cheaper because it is an expansion, so that would still be my recommendation in this case.
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Max DuBoff
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Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland is my recommendation for 2P since India is pleasingly tight for 2P and even better with 4P and Switzerland is specifically for 2-3P.
 
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Greg Darcy
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MD1616 wrote:
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland is my recommendation for 2P since India is pleasingly tight for 2P and even better with 4P and Switzerland is specifically for 2-3P.


Yes India is pleasingly tight for 2p, and works up to 4p. but Switzerland IMO is the most flawed of the TtR maps to date. It is luck fest. Whoever gets a Country <> Country ticket on the first draw will be the winner if the opponent does not get one too. It can be a lot of fun, but it is by no means strategic. Nordic, and for that matter, UK, is much better 2p.
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Tom
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Whizkid wrote:
double routes cannot be used until you get up to 4 players.


I am highlighting this rule in case it was missed in your 2P games.

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Bill Cook
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A *lot* of people play TtR with either a spoken or unspoken assumption that you don't intentionally block other players. These folks have fun building train routes and completing tickets.

Other people play TrR as a very mean game where the whole point is to mess with other players. You have to build your routes while not giving away what route you are trying to play, lest you be blocked.

Playing with my family... we are nasty people. We probably spend more time screwing each other over than actually trying to win. But looking at the community that plays on the official app, there are a lot more carebares than cutthroates.

Because of the stations, the Europe map is one of the hardest to play cutthroat. But it's also a map with a number of choke points. You can't totally screw somebody over, but you can make their life difficult.
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Max DuBoff
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GregDarcy wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland is my recommendation for 2P since India is pleasingly tight for 2P and even better with 4P and Switzerland is specifically for 2-3P.


Yes India is pleasingly tight for 2p, and works up to 4p. but Switzerland IMO is the most flawed of the TtR maps to date. It is luck fest. Whoever gets a Country <> Country ticket on the first draw will be the winner if the opponent does not get one too. It can be a lot of fun, but it is by no means strategic. Nordic, and for that matter, UK, is much better 2p.

This probably isn't the place to debate about it, but I don't think the initial ticket draw matters too much because it's possible to make a lot of tickets. I don't think it's one of the best TtR maps, but I think it's quite solid and provides some variety.
 
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Oskar van Velden
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TomAquin wrote:
Whizkid wrote:
double routes cannot be used until you get up to 4 players.


I am highlighting this rule in case it was missed in your 2P games.



Thanks, not sure we used this rule in our 2P games. Guess we did, but it's been months since we played TtR. But thanks for the reminder.

EMBison wrote:
A *lot* of people play TtR with either a spoken or unspoken assumption that you don't intentionally block other players. These folks have fun building train routes and completing tickets.
...


Yeah, I start to see that it's a game where your mindset is the driving force and not the rules of the game. What I mean is that if your (own) intent is just to have a semi-relaxing time building the tracks, that will be the game you'll play.

I think that I kinda miss the insentive to block other people and anything... there is not much (from the rules) that forces players to be competitive. But that's maybe what I start to miss, it feels like there is no point. Not that it's not fun, but there lacks some kind of goal (besides just scoring points). The same issue I kinda start to have with Carcassonne and such. Maybe I'm growing as a player ^^
 
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Tim Earl
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Have you tried the app? Playing against other players or AI might reveal some different strategies or play styles that haven't occurred to you yet. It's a fantastic app, so I recommend it regardless.

One thing about blocking in online games: I never knew there were people who get really upset about it until I started playing online. I'd see some games with "no block" in the title, so I avoided those, but I joined another that said "fair" not knowing that's a euphemism for no blocking. The first time I blocked someone (which was intentional but also a route I knew I would need), they started yelling at me in all caps in the chat window. (NO FAIR!!!!!) That was my first hint that there were people opposed to blocking.
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Andy Leber
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cheng wrote:
Have you tried the app? Playing against other players or AI might reveal some different strategies or play styles that haven't occurred to you yet. It's a fantastic app, so I recommend it regardless.

One thing about blocking in online games: I never knew there were people who get really upset about it until I started playing online. I'd see some games with "no block" in the title, so I avoided those, but I joined another that said "fair" not knowing that's a euphemism for no blocking. The first time I blocked someone (which was intentional but also a route I knew I would need), they started yelling at me in all caps in the chat window. (NO FAIR!!!!!) That was my first hint that there were people opposed to blocking.


Wow, that's weird. I don't play online so I'm not familiar with that. Playing with some friends and family, we do have a bit of an understanding to not play completely "dirty", and try not to take spite routes, but if you do need the route, it's totally fair game.

But even this "friendly" variant we have adopted... I realize it's just us, and I'd never expect that to carry over to playing with strangers. It's not like it's some underhanded loophole to the rules or something.
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