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Subject: Ghost Train Variant rss

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Craig Blumer
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kvenosdel developed a popular variant to improve the 2-player game of TTR, TTR Ghost Train Variant for 2 player USA games

The following has his okay, but is simply an effort to write a more formal rule set for the Ghost Train variant. Any errors or vagueness are my responsibility.

Ghost Train Variant for Ticket to Ride

1. Decide on your level of difficulty (see table below).

2. Set up the game for the players as usual and assign one color of train for each Ghost Train.

3. Determine the Ghost Trains' starting city or cities:
a. If one city, start in Omaha.
b. If two cities draw the next ticket and use both cities.
c. If three cities, use both Omaha and the cities on the next ticket. Draw again if the ticket includes Omaha.

4. For each Ghost Train, select the starting route by drawing a train card:
a. If it's color matches one of the tracks leaving the starting city, place one train on that track.
b. If it does not match any, place one train on the longest gray track leaving the city.
c. When deciding between two gray tracks of equal length, use the route that will most directly head toward another Ghost Train's starting city.
d. If there are no gray routes available and the Ghost Train draws a non-matching card draw a second card. If the second card does not match, the Ghost Train passes and will not take a new route at this time. The Ghost Train will try to start a new route after the next player's turn.
e. If the Ghost Train draws a Wild Card it will pass and not take a new route that turn.

5. Players then begin their play. After each player's turn they will attempt to place one train for each Ghost Train. With the Ghost Train variant, the 4-5 player rules are used; the limit on double routes (the normal 2-3 players rules) is not used.

6. When a Ghost Train reaches a new city, draw a new train card and follow the decision rules for the new city listed in Rule 4. above.
a. If the Ghost Train reaches a city that has no playable route, trace backwards the route of that Ghost Train, city to city, until it reaches a city with an open connection. Resume drawing for that route from there.
b. When the Ghost Train is low on trains, it will not take a track it cannot complete. As in Rule 6.a., trace backwards the route until it finds an available track it can fill. Then, draw cards for that track.
c. When a Ghost Train runs-out of trains, it is no longer used.

7. The Ghost Train does not score points. It exists in order to eat up some track and cause greater competition for available routes.

Levels of Difficulty:
- One Ghost Train placing once a turn -- Starts in Omaha
- One Ghost Train placing twice a turn -- Starts in Omaha
- Two Ghost Train placing once a turn -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities
angry- Two Ghost Train placing twice a turn -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities
devil- Three Ghost Train placing once a turn -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities and Omaha
zombie- Three Ghost Train placing twice a turn! -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities and Omaha

edited to correct errors and grammer
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Steve Tanner
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Craig, big time thanks for cleaning up these rules for better understanding!
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Alfred
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wyldeoak wrote:
devil- Three Ghost Train placing once a turn -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities and Omaha
zombie- Three Ghost Train placing twice a turn! -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities and Omaha
Now you are going to tell me that Omaha isn't featured on any ticket. meeple
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Craig Blumer
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Der Das wrote:
wyldeoak wrote:
devil- Three Ghost Train placing once a turn -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities and Omaha
zombie- Three Ghost Train placing twice a turn! -- after player distribution, draw a ticket and use both cities and Omaha
Now you are going to tell me that Omaha isn't featured on any ticket. meeple


The rule 3.c. says:"If three cities, use both Omaha and the cities on the next ticket. Draw again if the ticket includes Omaha." I added in case there was a ticket with Omaha. But, my quick check tonight I didn't see a ticket with Omaha.

Either way it will work.
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Alfred
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You were still right to add 3c, tickets from Mystery Train (top-right '6') and USA1910 (top-left '8') do have Omaha as a destination.

Mystery Train tickets

USA1910 tickets

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Craig Blumer
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Thanks for checking those, all I have are the original cards.
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Steve Tanner
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Regarding Rule 4a: "If it's color matches one of the tracks leaving the starting city, place one train on that track."

What if there are two routes with the same color leaving the city? I know there's a rule about this regarding gray tracks, but does the same apply to colored routes?
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Kenny VenOsdel
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Don't know why I never read your rewrite until now but you did a great job! Thanks for cleaning it up and I hope it is still fun for people.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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A little bit of inspiration hit me tonight at work and I thought I'd share it. Please comment on whether or not you like the idea.

In order to make the Ghost Train pack a little more punch, and also add a little more purposeful screwage devil, play with the following adjustments:

1. After each turn, rather than playing a train to each Ghost Train, a player may split the total number of trains to be played between any of the Ghost Trains as they see fit following all normal rules for Ghost Train movement and route selection. The newly placed trains must still be placed on the "front" of the train. (e.g. If 3 Ghost Trains are in play they may play 2 trains to one, 1 to the other, and none to the third)

2. When choosing a new route for a Ghost Train, before drawing cards for the route they may instead play a wild card from their hand (maybe a wild card plus any other?) and have the Ghost Train take any route that they please. If they do this no cards from the deck should have been drawn for that train.

That's all! Imagine the decisions. Do I try to divert the train from my area or should I try to clog up the other persons tracks? Is it worth my wild card now to get the train to do what I want? Will I sleep on the couch if I make the Ghost Train take up the last spot to Las Vegas? I like the sound of it!
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Jason Webster
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wyldeoak wrote:
kvenosdel developed a popular variant to improve the 2-player game of TTR, TTR Ghost Train Variant for 2 player USA games



5. Players then begin their play. After each player's turn they will attempt to place one train for each Ghost Train. With the Ghost Train variant, the 4-5 player rules are used; the limit on double routes (the normal 2-3 players rules) is not used.
]


Ok. My question is once a route has been selected for a ghost train ( say a red colored route) does a player draw a card for the ghost train and only add a car to the track if the color matches.

Or do you always place a car after each players turn until it reaches a new city ??
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Kenny VenOsdel
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Once it has started a track you always place a car until it reaches a new city. The drawing mechanism is purely for selecting the routes.
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king pin
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So far I have only played TTR Europe. But I just ordered the anniversary edition and this variant seems very interesting for a 2 player game!

Just a question when a ghost train reach the staring position of the other ghost train (playing with 2 ghost train). Justus describe https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/464794/ttr-ghost-train-vari...that you pick a new ticket and you haw two new destinations! I wonder how you play this:
If still people play this variant

a) Both ghost train start from the new destination and travels towards each other.

b) Ghost train just start from their last destination and travels to the new city (each to a different city)

c) Or any other combination
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L. St
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Love the idea, it's reminescent of the 2-player rules in Nederland.

I don't like the name though, seems more like a virus than a ghost train.
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pedro henrique
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i've been playing this variant in solo player games and really enjoyed. i've only tried with 2 ghost trains until now.

at the start of the game i draw 5 ticket cards.
the ghost trains have their turn first.
after the train, i play with normal rules, but can't draw more tickets.
after my turn, both ghost trains have their turns.
the goal is to complete all tickets objectives.

i may try variants with more or less ghost trains or try with less tickets. as it is, the games i've won have been decided on my last turn and they all were very tense.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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peaga wrote:
i've been playing this variant in solo player games and really enjoyed. i've only tried with 2 ghost trains until now.

at the start of the game i draw 5 ticket cards.
the ghost trains have their turn first.
after the train, i play with normal rules, but can't draw more tickets.
after my turn, both ghost trains have their turns.
the goal is to complete all tickets objectives.

i may try variants with more or less ghost trains or try with less tickets. as it is, the games i've won have been decided on my last turn and they all were very tense.


Nice! Did you mean after all the ghost train cars are played you continue but can't draw new tickets?
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