Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
Apart from our usual lessons, the four year 9s I have for boardgames often come by on Wednesday lunchtimes for more boardgaming. I tend to participate in those games rather than supervise them, partly to give the students the experience of playing someone who's played these games a lot more than them (thus showing them how skill takes a part), but mostly because it's just fun playing boardgames!
I had three of my students playing with me this game of TTR:Europe (the fourth was held up with a family commitment). My initial tickets were Brest-Petrograd, Warszawa-Smolensk, Kyiv-Sochi and Barcelona-Bruxelles. I discarded only the last, giving me three tickets to complete.
I then forgot about the ticket I'd discarded and immediately took the Bruxelles-Amsterdam link. I have no idea why I did - I certainly didn't need it! It did give one of my students (S) a couple of moments pause, however, as he needed links around that place.
G was the quickest out of the blocks, though, using all of her train cards in making link after link, connecting Spain to the heart of Europe. She'd draw a few cards, then use them all taking a couple more links. In no time, she'd sped to the front.
S was playing very slowly indeed, collecting up a great hand of cards. B was quicker, and kept taking locomotive cards; soon enough the reason was clear: he was connecting all the ferry routes around Greece and Italy.
I started taking my routes: Kyiv-Sochi was the first completed, then Warszawa-Smolensk. I was dreadfully worried that the Brest-Petrograd would give me trouble, but, amazingly, everyone else stayed out of my way and I was the first to build on the Paris-Frankfurt-Berlin-Warszawa links.
S finally started going, and began connecting the north with the south, and gained many points thereby; his masterplan revealed when he connected Petrograd-Stockholm and shot to the lead.
I finally connected up Petrograd myself, and had my three tickets. I drew three more, and was delighted to find Berlin-Moskva, which I'd already completed. A couple more ticket draws netted me Bruxelles-Danzig (two 2-long connections and it was complete) and Brest-Marseille.
That last gave me problems. The game was reaching its close and I needed to collect 4 trains of the same colour. I was dreadfully worried that S. was going to connect up a 3-route and end the game. As it happened, he managed to completely forget that he had a couple of wilds in his hand and I had a couple more turns in which I collected the final cards I needed, and ended the game by claiming Paris-Marseille.
In the final scoring, S and G had both made the longest route of 35 trains, but G had only completed one ticket of her three: thankfully, it was her 21-pointer (Stockholm-Cadiz), but the other tickets were nowhere near where she was building and weren't even started. S completed his three tickets, whilst B the ferryman had completed his four tickets. S had used only the one station; no-one else had needed to.
62 points from my final tickets, 12 points from stations, plus the points from the actual game gave me the win with a score of 137. S was only ten points behind me - if he'd ended the game when he should have, the 14 point swing would have given him the game. B was a couple of points behind S, and G... was last.
They all enjoyed it though. In our next regular class, we'll resume our examination of Race for the Galaxy.
I was dreadfully worried
- This is what makes TtR a great game for me - the angst of wondering whether you will finish or not. I played a game of Nordic Countries a while ago and I decided to try as many tickets as I could. If anyone had blocked me anywhere I would have lost up to half my points. I only had four or five extra trains available for detours. Fortunately the other players were too busy to take notice.