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Ticket to Ride: The Dice Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: A Custom Variant that Improves the Expansion? rss

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Bryan Jensen
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A Custom, Improved Dice Expansion?



Here's a rundown on my customized Ticket To Ride Dice Expansion that, after several plays now, appears to improve upon the official version. Any comments are appreciated.

The Gear
(5) blank white dice that each have 1 single track, 1 double track, one locomotive, one train station, 2 blank sides
(3) blank black dice that each have 2 tunnels, balance left blank.
poker chips (6 per player "bank" in 2 different denominations)

The Play
Basic rules are the same as the official T2R Dice Expansion. The addition of blank sides on the dice makes it harder to claim larger routes in a single turn without planning one's token use. Planning one's token allocation becomes more important and tokens become more consistently used in order to claim the largest routes.

Extra Roll
A player, on their turn, may elect to pay 3 tokens for a chance to roll any die/dice for a third time.

Optional Hobo ("Bindlestiff") Rule
Hobos steal a route instead of playing for an unclaimed route. When a player, following the dice rolling rules, rolls five matching dice they may choose to steal any claimed route of up to 5 cars in length. The previous owner will get their cars returned to them although they will not lose the score they originally earned by claiming that route. Follow these guidelines:
5 single tracks - may steal any one claimed single route of up to five cars in length.
5 double tracks - may steal any one claimed double route of up to five cars in length.
5 locomotives - may steal any one claimed single or double route of up to five cars in length.
5 train stations - may randomly steal (sight unseen) any one destination card from an opponent. It may be kept or discarded permanently out of the game. This may not be used in addition to drawing new tickets from the available deck. European board: A player may steal a destination card OR, a player may remove one opponent's train station and place a station of their own in its place.
5 blank dice - may randomly steal any one claimed single or double route. While this is the easiest of the matching sets to roll, the risk in going for five matching blanks is that if one fails, one may be left with a very poor "hand" from which to play for that turn. Token draw is usually the only desirable option.

Special Allowances for Switzerland and Nordic maps
Because of the game's stipulation that Wilds/Locomotives can only be used for Tunnel and Ferry routes, and due to the odds of this variant being more restrictive, each player may acquire up to four tokens. Note that even with this extra token allowance, the maximum of one type of token a player can acquire is three. And, if a player begins their turn with four tokens, they cannot acquire more that turn even if they spend some of them.

Pros or Cons
1. This requires someone enjoy fashioning their own dice. However, one can make dice as simple or creative as one desires.
2. This introduces tighter odds, introducing more positive tension back into play, even though potentially negative tension of easier, willful blocking has not been eliminated. Players must remain more flexible in completing routes like in standard card play.
3. It embraces even more "Yahtzee" luck/gambling flavor of the dice mechanism when using the Hobo rule, although it offers a stealing mechanism currently unavailable in the Ticket to Ride franchise.
4. Games played with this variant tend to go about on par with length (or only marginally faster) compared to standard games, so the official Dice Expansion hasn't been sped up. The goal was to improve what I perceive the fundamental flaw of the official expansion which is that it is too easy to complete routes and more tactically flat.
 
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skrebs
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quixotequest wrote:
(3) blank black dice that each have 2 tunnels, balance left blank.


I was watching Tom V's video review of the game and saw that the black dice have two tunnels/symbols. I'm absolutely and categorically not a statistician, but aren't the odds of needing to add extra dice for these routes much higher than when playing with the cards?

I doubt I'll purchase this expansion, but it does seem like an interesting variant for a more "party-like" crowd.

Thanks for sharing!
 
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Tom Chappelear
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This looks interesting. I am fashioning a mockup myself, and can't wait to try both versions.

I will wait until I play, but I have long been a fan of push-your-luck dice games, from 5000 to Pickonimo to Can't Stop. Would a push-your-luck variant of TTR work? Briefly, I'm imagining using twice the dice with half the symbols, and if you roll all blanks, you lose your turn. (Or something...)

I have a copy of Knizia's book Dice Games Properly Explained; I need to look it over again...
 
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Bryan Jensen
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skrebs wrote:
I was watching Tom V's video review of the game and saw that the black dice have two tunnels/symbols. I'm absolutely and categorically not a statistician, but aren't the odds of needing to add extra dice for these routes much higher than when playing with the cards?

I doubt I'll purchase this expansion, but it does seem like an interesting variant for a more "party-like" crowd.

Thanks for sharing!


First, you're welcome!

Calculating binomials for dice is much easier (for me) than calculating one's odds drawing from a variably depleting deck.

The official tunnel dice have these odds:
70% chance of paying one or more extra "tracks"
26% chance of paying two or more extra
4% chance of paying three extra

In play this definitely seems to ding you more often than with the usual cards.

I also made a set of tunnel dice that have only one out of 6.
Odds are:
42% chance of paying one or more extra "tracks"
7.5% chance of paying two or more extra
.5% chance of paying three extra

Getting hit by at least one feels like a better comparison to the card deck, but getting hit by two or more feels much lower odds than the card deck.




 
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Randall Bart
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quixotequest wrote:
1. This requires someone enjoy fashioning their own dice. However, one can make dice as simple or creative as one desires.


Sand off two faces of the official expansion dice.
 
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Jason Webster
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So how has this variant held up over the years?? better than the official one?
 
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