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Subject: The Other Review - Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries rss

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Just Huck, No,
United States
Sperry
Oklahoma
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***This will be considered an initial review in what I hope will be a series of reviews to track how the game plays with more and more experience.***

The Game - Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries

The Background – My wife and I were introduced to the TtR series by a buddy of mine while we visited him on vacation. He has most of the expansions but I was the first to purchase Nordic and as he couldn’t find a copy I bought him the last copy from our FLGS. My wife and I have only played the Big Game of TtR prior to this so I was looking forward to playing a game created specifically for 2-3 players.


The Bits – Same bits as in the USA version with white, purple and black trains. Good visuals and fun to scoop and spill (continuously) to the annoyance of the wife.

The Rules – The rules are easy to understand and follow. I like the fact that you can play any four cards for a replacement on the 9 train route or any 3 for a locomotive on the ferry routes. It took a bit of time to get used to the fact that the locomotives could only be played on ferry and tunnel routes and you could scoop two off the board, which we normally do if they are available. The tunnels seem to punish you more than the reward but if you are relegated to the west, so be it.

The Play – The games we have played so far have lent themselves to much more conflict than the USA board does with 2 players. Of course (as explained the USA review here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/364651 ) my wife generally does not go for the aggressive blocking strategy nor does she like it when someone (read “me”) plays it against her, but with this map and the nature of where the destinations end up, it can’t be helped.

I’ve only played a handful of games but it seems the strategy is getting the central routes from top to bottom which blocks your opponent and allows you to pick up additional routes and pick them up with minimal extra trains. So far it holds up (as long as you don’t get shut out in the middle) and adds a lot of tension to the central route grabbing.

The Scoring – We score it just like the USA map but no longest train bonus. Quick aside about the no longest train bonus; after playing so many games of TtR:USA using the longest train bonus it was very hard for me to step outside of that and allow my trains to be separate and exist on their own without being connected. I always tend to want to connect them even though it is totally unnecessary sometimes.

The Results - Currently rated a 9.25 in my profile. I like it a bit more than USA because I play mostly 2-player with the wife and this just seems to feel better. (probably doesn’t make much sense but…) It will come out some over Carcassonne (wife favorite) which make’s it a winner here.



Happy Gaming

The Other Huck
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Mike Walsh
Finland
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You should try Switzerland as you mostly play with two.

Also on the Carcassonne point, have you also tried the two player Burg so-called version of that (it has little similarity). When we first got it we played it almost every day and over time my wife and I are about equal. *That* you can play without blocking although the largest win ever made in that game was made by my wife you early on (I'm not sure on purpose or not) blocked four of my guys (out of 5) by clever card placing. (She generally objects to "agrressive play".

ToR Switzerland she doesn't like as much as say Europe because in Switzerland wins often come through blocking !

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Just Huck, No,
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Sperry
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Swiss Map in the next on the (mental) list to buy in the TtR series! We enjoy carc and my wife isn't real big on changing things up and learning new rules. I shall be happy with the way the games are going right now!

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Orion J.N. Winder
United States
Holly Hill
South Carolina
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ALL ACCESS - ALL THE TIME - DON'T EVEN ASK
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Just for what it's worth the Swiss map has gone down a long ways in our play groups (home and local group), as it's become way to predictable after a few sessions of play. Basically to win, it's just becomes a ticket fest and many times we run the game out of tickets. Landside wins become pretty common as the double country routes pay off big but don't really risk much.
We now MUCH prefer Europe, USA, and Nordic (and pretty much in that order) followed a ways back by Marklin (which for many seems just a bit too fiddley for such a simple fast game) and lastly Swiss.

LLL
Orion
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Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
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We like Marklin but hate the extra setup time with stacking the points markers on the board (and bumping them and re-stacking them.) I'm thinking about getting some smallish 6-sided dice (and a small d8) instead of the little circular markers.

Nordic Countries is the only TTR we haven't played yet; It's usually just my wife and I, so I'd love to get it, I'm just reluctant to spend the ~$50 it usually goes for.
 
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