Introducing Ticket to Ride
Players: Alex, Roy, Randy, Mark, and Tim
I'd gotten Ticket to Ride as a birthday gift from my lovely wife and had played it half a dozen times with my family, so I had hoped that we would get up to speed pretty quickly with my gaming group.
The first game that we played was very tentative which is normal. I had been piling up cards in my hand and in a couple of turns exploded from last place into a comfortable first. Some light-bulbs went on and Roy and Randy were in especially good positions to leverage the larger sections of track. Alex had already been buying some bigger stuff and was in good shape. Roy and Randy started nabbing destination cards and adjusted their RRs accordingly. When the dust cleared Roy had secured his first victory. I'd been blocked out of Little Rock and it cost me by a narrow margin.
The second game began without any of the tentative plays. I had some ugly destination cards and was forced to split into N/S West Coast run and a N/S East Coast run. Randy was boiling from East to West, Mark was tied-up on the East Coast, and both Roy and Alex were consuming the Mid-West. I knew that I was going to have to have some additional destinations and started holding on to every yellow card that I could get as it would improve my chances of getting into a number of destinations while lowering the odds of someone else taking the rail lines that I was hoping to use. As it developed, I needed 10 yellow to complete my roads and I used it all up, ending up with 5 completed destinations and no duds. Everyone else was doing the same thing and it got ugly coming scoring time. Alex zoomed way out in the lead until he discovered that he'd missed a 20 point run by accidentally linking to wrong city - that was a 40 point swing and he could have easily had had 124 points! Instead he was at 84. I rolled in with around 112 and was momentarily in the lead until we scored Randy. He completed a lot of destination cards! When we finished adding it all up, Randy had 138 or 139 points! What a drubbing! I am still somewhat shocked by that score...
I am not sure what everyone's feelings were about the game. Roy did mention that he didn't think that it would replace Rail Baron. This one might be too light on strategy for our group, but I suspect that it will still get played with some frequency. I do have Age of Steam coming, so perhaps that will be the Rail Baron killer - or not .