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Ticket to Ride» Forums » Variants

Subject: Allowing players to trade cards rss

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Richard DiPippo
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Newmarket
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I haven't tried this idea myself, but it occurred to me that giving players the option to trade cards amongst themselves might be a good addition to this game. It would cut down on the frustration of spending many turns drawing for the one card you need. Also, in my experience, this game can get a little dull if all the players just take turns drawing cards over and over (which happens frequently in my experience).

I don't think it would unbalance the game, but in the event that it did, trading could be made an action, like drawing, placing trains, or drawing tickets. So if a player traded, their turn would be over.

It might shorten the game, but I think that spending fewer turns drawing for cards would be mitigated by the time it took to negotiate trades. Also, it is true that the face up cards might seem to negate the need for trading, but in nearly every game of TtR I've played, there are multiple times that I get stuck repeatedly drawing looking for a certain color train card. Also, I think it would increase player interaction.
 
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Tim Rogers
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Kamloops
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I think trading cards would make Ticket to Ride quite a bit less interesting, and not necessarily make it any shorter. Also, it introduces new politics to a game that doesn't need politic'ing. If you've ever played Settlers, one of the most frustrating and time consuming aspects is the trading phase. It is necessary in that game, but doesn't help make it any shorter, and likewise I don't think it would shorten Ticket to Ride. Having to talk to each player and see what deals you can manufacture would take time. Also, this introduces the same politics as in Settlers. You won't trade with the front-runner, allowing everyone else to catch up. This means superior strategy no longer wins every game. It comes down to who wants to be friends with who that particular session. I'm curious to hear how it turns out, but predict that with my gaming group only disaster could come of it.
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Ken
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Crystal Lake
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I think allowing trades would inject a great deal into that game that you really don't want there. Just the "kingmaker" effect could grow to be a huge problem. You'd also significantly dilute the ability of a player to build towards a 5 or 6 train build by allowing a competitor to never take a card of the same color, but trade away enough to make the build

I also don't see that the card dynamics are at all an issue. Does it get a bit annoying when there just isn't any bloody green coming up when you really need it? Yeah, but that's also one of the few sources of tension in the game. It also requires you to always be on the lookout for re-routing options that eliminate the need to stick to a single color collection scheme.

Perhaps that's what's really at issue - are you locking in to a single route without considering alternatives? I'm not saying you are, but I've seen it happen in games where if a player had picked up 6-8 cards and used smaller lines, they'd complete their route. Instead, they waited for their 5-6 length route. Connecting the routes more quickly may be the better path, although I'll be happy to admit that sometimes you'll be forced to use one route and only one route.
 
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Wally Jones
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I have to agree the two above me.
 
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Yesterday, I introduced four people to TTR. Let's call them Aaron, Betty, Charlie and Debbie. All four of them were board game newbies: Aaron and Debbie have played a bit of Carcassone before and liked it, Betty has played a bit of Carcassone before but prefers games like Pictionary or Cranium, and Charlie had never played a board game before AFAIK.

Charlie won, with Aaron and me less than five points behind. Everybody liked the game.

Aaron, Betty and Charlie said that they would have liked to have some trading in the game. They have never played Catan or anything similar before. However, they felt they needed some trading "to get rid of all the cards you do not need and get that colour you have been expecting for ages".

In any case, this was our first game. We will see what future games bring... and I think I will introduce them to Catan as well. :-)
 
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Dylan Melton
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Here's an idea that might make trading cards interesting to those who are against it...

- Making trading cards take up a turn, as a fourth turn option.

- Allow cards to be traded but do NOT require the traders to be truthful about which cards they are trading! For example, I want to trade for two orange trains, and find a suitor who needs two pink trains. Sure, I say. We each take two cards and pass them to each other. I sigh in relief -- the two cards I have received were orange. My trading partner grumbles in agony -- the cards I passed him were blue. :)

This, I believe sets up the option of trading along with all the pitfalls of it. The possibility of lying will discourage trading enough to keep it from being a major part of the game. But the option will still be there. Politics, yeah you'll have some minor stuff. But you'll have to consider whether or not lying to a person will cause repurcussions for you.



 
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R Postlewaite
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I'm still not sure how much trading cards would add to gameplay, but this would be a balanced way to add it:

1 - Trading replaces drawing for the player who initiates the trade.
2 - Trades are for equal numbers of cards, i.e. 2 for 2, 3 for 3, etc.
3 - Card sets traded must be of a single color
4 - Card set colors are not identified before or after the trade

So, before drawing cards, a player may solicit a trade by saying they'll trade 'n' number of cards. Only the number of cards to be traded can be specified, not the color. If more than one other player wants to trade, the current player can choose which player to trade with. If no other player has 'n' cards they're willing or able to trade, the other players may counter-offer another number. If the current player accepts a trade his turn ends, otherwise he may draw as per the normal rules.

This allows trades but minimizes the politics of trading, since neither party knows for sure what is being traded. Also, players do not reveal what color they're trying to collect, altho each party to a trade knows something of what the other is now holding, which could affect future trading.
 
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Carl Brousseau
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rrpostlewaite wrote:
Also, players do not reveal what color they're trying to collect, altho each party to a trade knows something of what the other is now holding, which could affect future trading.


I agree with the first sentence of your post -- still not sure what it'd add to gameplay. That said, I like your solution better than straight up "will you give me 3 whites for 3 blues", but I'd rather have people try and use the depots/warehouses variant contained in the Europa 1912 expansion. There's strategy into placing the depots and claming routes that lead to them, and there's a penalty for focusing on it too much (people with most depots remaining at the end gets a bonus).

As far as the bold part of your sentence goes (emphasis mine), I don't know if that's true. If the rationale for trading is finally getting the 2 greens needed for El Paso-Houston, it's likely pretty clear to everyone that it's what you're trying to collect. At any rate, everyone knows there's a chance that you're looking for those cards, and will give you anything but those. So by trading with your method you will ALMOST NEVER receive something useful, and will ALMOST NEVER give something useful, unless somebody has set up a bluff on the board, which is costly.
 
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