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Subject: Ticket to Ride, which one should I buy? rss

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Aaron Natera
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I'm going on a very long road trip spanning 11 days with 19 other people who are all non-gamers. I'd like to bring something to play besides "Scrabble" and "Monopoly", but I think my CCG's or Federation Commander is not going to fit the bill here. I've been looking over Ticket to Ride, and TTR:Europe. Which one would be better? I have not played either, but I want something simple, playable by a group, but with enough depth that I'll want to bring it out again after this trip is over. I like the sound of Europe's adding stations and tunnels, but will the added complexity tip it over that nebulous edge where people who are accustom to "Sorry!" will get glassy-eyed and head over to where they’re playing Cribbage? But is the original TOO simple so that after this is over I’ll just want to put it up on e-bay? Any thoughts? Thanks for your help!
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Murray Lewis
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Vanilla TTR I find is very easy to teach to newbies, but I don't think it will scratch the depth-itch in the same way that TTR:E will.

What I'd advise you to do is buy TTR to teach to and play with your friends and then, if you find it too light for your own tastes, trade it in for TTR:E once you get back.
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Jeff Hall
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I own TTR USA and think its great. Its not too simple and I have played Europe and see where the tunnel could make it confusing. But with the 1910 expansion I fill my needs are meet. You could also then get the Switzerland expansion which is great for 2-3 players.

Jeff
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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My first question was how many folks will be playing?

The base game is expandable by the USA 1910 expansion, and you can use the bits for the Switzerland 2-3 player version.

It gives you the most flexibility. Does anyone know if the base game still has the smaller cards? If it does, be sure to get the expansion with the replacement cards with the larger deck.
 
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Murray Lewis
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The base game still has small cards in the UK at least.
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S P
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I would pick up TTR: Europe. It has a few more things going on but you could always choose to disregard those extra things (tunnels, etc) and play it in the same manner as TTR: USA. Unless you modify your game board, you cannot do the same thing with TTR: USA.

Even with the few extra things to learn in Europe, it is still a very simple game to teach and play. Everyone I know that has played them both would rather play TTR: Europe over TTR: USA.
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I would go with TTR. With non-gamers, it's plenty for them to learn and absorb. 1910 is worth it for the larger cards, plus it gives you options (most tickets vs. longest route, for example).
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Brad N
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Here's a vote for TtR with the 1910 expansion (for the larger cards and more destinations).

TtR:Europe doesn't add much complexity but in my experience, for new players, not having to explain those nuances is easier. And, while I like TtR:Europe a lot, I don't like it any more than TtR with 1910.

This is a little thing, but if you are playing with Americans, I find they prefer to play on the United States map because it is more familiar.
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Ticket to Ride: Europe by far. It's a more forgiving game in some respects (due to the stations) and has that tiny bit of luck (tunnels) to it that make it just that edge more appealing to me.

It's also been a hit with everyone I've played it with, more so than classic TTR or any of the others (CH, Nordic, Marklin).
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Val Ruza
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Ticket to Ride Europe (TTR:E) "fixes" the following flaws people found in the original Ticket to Ride (TTR):

1/ Randomness of obtaining longer routes,
2/ Blocking of destinations, and
3/ Small cards.

In TTR each player randomly receives 3 destination cards, and must keep 2. It is very possible that one player can get 3 long routes and another all short routes, thereby making one player more likely to win the game than the other. In TTR:E there are two decks of routes one long route deck and a short route deck. Each player will receive 1 long route, in this way lessening the draw advantage.

Since there are a limited number of rail lines into a destination it is possible for a player to be blocked out a destination by the other players, and in this way making it impossible to complete a route. TTR:E allows for a station to be placed, allowing the blocked player to complete the route, but losing some points in the final scoring.

In TTR:E Days of Wonder has included larger cards.

I own and have played both games, and truthfully I like them both but for different reasons. I do not really think of the 3 "flaws" of TTR to be flaws. TTR is a much more adversarial game and there is a level of collusion, and politicking that is not as present in TTR:E due to the station rules. It is still there, but it is not cutthroat as a TTR game since if you do get block you can always deploy a station.

The randomness of the card draws in TTR also requires a player to change up their strategy, and they do not know how they will play until the first hand of routes is dealt. If you do not have longer routes, you need to actively seek out those who do and attempt to block them, so that they do not complete their long high scoring routes, while at the same time completing your own.

I see the card size complaint, but the smaller cards in TTR have never bothered me, mind you I did pick up the 1910 expansion which provides you with the larger cards as well. I am a completist.

If you know that that people who are going on your trip with are competitive and enjoy an adversarial game go for TTR, if they are a more cooperative group or if they would feel uncomfortable in a cutthroat environment go for TTR:E. In the end it is a win win decision, they are both great games!
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Bradley Burcar
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My vote goes with the base TTR plus the 1910 expansion as well. I am really not a fan of the TTR:Europe game as I feel like it destroys the important core element of blocking and the tension that goes along with deciding when to claim a route or wait and reveal parts of your plan. It may be more "forgiving," but to me this is not what TTR is all about.

I like the previous comment that recommended the base game plus the Switzerland map as well. That's a relatively inexpensive way to add some diversity to the base game for what will be a long trip with only one euro in tow.
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David C
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The USA, but the 1910 expansion is a MUST-BUY.
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You're trying to do two things:
1) Game for nongamers
2) Game with complexity and depth.

You need to decide which you want.

Because your main requirement seems to be enticing non-gamers to play, I say get the original TTR. If you want a more complex game later, there are better ones than TTR: Europe. The main advantage TTR has is it's simplicity .

You can play TTR online at DaysofWonder.com to check it out. It's not a bad game.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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There are lots of comments and poll results on my Complete Ticket to Ride geeklist.

B>
 
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Dann May
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Ticket to Ride: Europe in my book, though it is really
a personal taste thing.

The "extra complexity" over the US TTR is actually very minimal.
It's there, but in the scheme of things, its nothing too scary.

The tunnels aren't really confusing at all after a few times
and add a cheer out loud element to the game that non-gamers and
gamers will enjoy. (They really just involve a simple lucky dip,
and who doesnt love a lucky dip?)

The stations do make the game a lot more forgiving, especially
while learning the game.

I've only played the US map online, but I found it much less
interesting than the European map.

Overall I think Europe has everything the original has and
those added extras to keep the game interesting. It is a bit
trickier to grasp, but I think its worth it. However if simplicity
and ease of learning is the bottomline, then go the original for
sure.

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Colin Kameoka
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I would vote for Europe.
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Garcian Smith
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Like someone has said before, you want a game:

1)For the nongamers
2)For the veterans

The first choice should be given to TtR USA. It's the most simplest game and is played on a familiar board.

When you decide that the game is familiar enough, then you can go ahead and purchase the 1910 expansion to introduce more complexity.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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I would question your assertion about 'familiar'

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Paul Dale
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TtR + 1910 is my best pick by far. If you can't do both, TtR: Europe comes an easy second. Then TtR: Marklin, and finally plain old TtR a very poor last.


- Pauli
 
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Andreas
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May I humbly ask if You plan on bringing other gateway or family games? You mentioned only Monopoly.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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That's true. Some non-TTR gateway games would probably be a good idea too. Something as different as possible for wider appeal.

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Andreas
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I could imagine that Zooloretto will be a big success especially with the younger crowd and women. And Carcassonne rarely fails to impress too.
 
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Xeenu wrote:
I could imagine that Zooloretto will be a big success especially with the younger crowd and women. And Carcassonne rarely fails to impress too.


It would be better to qualify that, "non-gaming wives", for example, because as written, it could be read as a little offensive, whether intended or not. Women gamers like (and enjoy) a variety of games, including long, heavy, and complex ones. I don't want to be lumped under a "light, easy, and colorful" umbrella just because I'm female, and I certainly don't want to be lumped in with easy games for kids.

Carcassonne is a widely popular game, but as mentioned in a recent thread, it is not a sure thing for me or several other women on this site. Doesn't mean Zooloretto and Carcassonne aren't great games, or that they won't work in a given situation, just that we can't be reduced to one-size-fits-all.
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Tim Richter
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I know you didn't mention it specifically, but TTR: Marklin is my favorite. Easy to teach. The only rub I have with it is that sometimes the cities are hard to find on the map (although you can usually do it easily by looking at the route card)
Ciao
Tim
 
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Andreas
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I apologize if I offended anyone it wasnt intended. My last post was short and not long and subtle. Let me put it clear what is my impression - as a male that plays with his mother, female friends and then two families that consist of mother father and sons.

a) Carcassonne is a light game that can be played without much conflict. Can be played cutthroat too but of course that is not nice when doing it with your revered mother! It is visually appealing when You finished a game and have a landscape. To my mind the women gamers and non-gamers like this visual appeal and the pretty landscape, even more so with the nice little inns on the lake at inns and cathedrals or the big city in the count of carcassonne.
b) Zooloretto is a game that is easy to learn and has some strategy. Also there are a lot of expansions to keep the game fresh and give it a bit of a new flavour. It has really nice graphics, which is in my experience a plus with everybody, but especially with female gamers and non-gamers. The theme is family friendly and appeals to women and children in general. That is opposed to war-themed games or conflict-themed games that tend to appeal - if they do, its not my taste - to the male crowd. Its about the cuteness factor which definitely is something for this group and also for families, as no one is left out.

So in conclusion appealing to females and children means that they are both good games AND look good, which is in my book always a plus with this group. Of course does not hurt with men too

 
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