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Hi all,

Now, I realize this question has been asked innumerable times, but I'm hoping for an answer that accommodates my specific needs, and which takes into account the existence of all the current maps available such as India and the Asian maps.

I need to buy Ticket to Ride so that I have something to bring out, to get more people hooked into my hobby of choice. I also want it because I think I'll personally enjoy it. However, I've read countless reviews and can't decided if I should buy TTR USA w/ 1910, OR TTR Europe w/ 1912.

My requirements:

A game that plays well with 2-3 players, but I hope to use it more in group settings, so 3-5 players is a slightly bigger priority.

I want a game that is approachable by my gaming-lite friends, but which is "deep" enough that me and my more gamer-heavy friends won't get bored. I'm not necessarily put off by the fact that Europe is "more complicated". It's not too much for my target audience (I don't think).

I am slightly more attracted to the continent of Europe, having lived there many years. Although American, I have traveled little here, so USA is also "exotic" in it's own way. So the "geography" of the board should NOT factor into your recommendation.

I have a financial budget, so I'm limiting myself to a base game and one expansion. More importantly, I have a time budget and will not be playing this nearly as much as most of you. So it's important to me that I get the game that best fits the long-term situation. I don't have the luxury to buy one game and then after playing it 5 times, realize that I *really* should have bought the other one.


My assumptions (note the word "assumptions):

I *should* buy either base game with it's associated expansion. USA is not very good without 1910, and while Europe is more balanced, it is MUCH better with 1912.

USA is more approachable, but therefore might be too simplistic for long term play.

Europe is more of a "gamer's" game, but the tunnels add an element of luck that I'm not against, but I worry that it might be too "lucky".

USA is more interactive (no stations or whatever they're called) and therefore can be a more tense game, even if it's not as "complicated".

USA is noticeably better with 2-3 players. Both games are equally good with 3-5 players. (really not sure about this one, but I've seen it mentioned)

Perhaps I should buy a base game with a different expansion. USA with 1912 (though that seems like a bad idea because USA without 1910 is unbalanced). Or Europe/USA with India, or Europe/USA with Asia.


Basically what I'm looking for is a couple individuals (or more) who have been playing these games for a long time. They have exposure to USA, and Europe and other versions and knowledge of the newer expansions. They have played with a mix of gamer-lite people as well as more hardcore gamers.

What game would you buy if you had to do it all over again? What would be the best expansion to go with that game? What am I missing or getting wrong in my above assumptions. And please take into account my requirements. What game makes the most sense if I was to get a second expansion in the future?

Thank you one and all for reading this long post, and suffering a TTR newbie. Again, I'm reluctant to bring up this often discussed topic (and yes I have read the relevant threads on this forum), so I appreciate your patience and your time. Last of all, thank you for any input you can give me!

p.s. I plan to repost this thread in the TTR Europe board as well. Mods, if this is a no-no, I apologize and obviously move/delete these posts as you see fit.
 
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Marc P
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I've been playing TtR in its various incarnations for several years, with many different types of gamers. TtR Europe is far and away the better version, since you have a larger variety of viable strategies. You can go with just long routes, or hope to sop up a bunch of shorter tickets in western Europe, or some mix of the two. The tunnels add a much needed dose of risk (I mean, you are drawing cards to complete routes...it's kind of deterministic and trite at some point without risk), and the ferries make the locomotives more dear. The stations make it possible to recover from some terrible luck early in the game, but come with an appropriate penalty.

You don't even need the 1912 expansion, but it's nice because it comes with even more route combinations. On the other hand, the USA map is just...boring without the 1910 expansion. And even then...meh.

Europe plays well at all scales, though if you were mostly playing 2-3 players, you should consider the Nordic Countries as an alternative to picking up the 1912 expansion.

Best of luck
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Matt Leach
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Marc has pretty much answered it. TTR Europe is he way to go. 1812 expansion is unnecessary/pointless. Might be better off buying the India/Switzerland map/ticket set, which will add variety for not much more cash. And Switzerland is by far the best for a 2/3 player game. Very tight and tactical.
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Jeff Kayati
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An echo comment

Buy TtR: Europe
Skip 1912 if you're on a budget
Get the India/Switzerland expansion for 2-3 players

My thoughts have been ninja'd! ninja
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Citizen Andrew
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jkayati wrote:
An echo comment

Buy TtR: Europe
Skip 1912 if you're on a budget
Get the India/Switzerland expansion for 2-3 players

My thoughts have been ninja'd! ninja


I agree, Europe + India/Switzerland (Plays 2-4) or Asia (Plays 2-6)
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Mark Judd
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I agree that TtR:Europe is the way to go. But unlike other responses, I would recommend picking up the 1912 expansion too. It adds a completely new feature with warehouses/depots in case you find yourself occasionally getting bored with the standard game and I feel that the extra tickets add a lot too. It's pretty easy to get to the point where you can guess which big tickets your opponents kept based on what routes they are taking when playing vanilla Europe, but much more difficult with the extra tickets. The extra tickets also allow for various ways to play the game (i.e. Big Cities, 1912, Mega-Europe, etc.).
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Everyone,

Thanks so much for your responses! This is EXACTLY what I'm looking for!

There seems to be a pretty good consensus here. So, right now, the plan is Europe w/ either India or Asia. This will depend on how Europe goes with my gaming/non-gaming friends. So the expansion will wait until I've played the base game.

However, I won't be ordering until at least next week. So any more thoughts or recommendations will continue to be greatly appreciated!
 
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Beaveman wrote:
I agree that TtR:Europe is the way to go. But unlike other responses, I would recommend picking up the 1912 expansion too. It adds a completely new feature with warehouses/depots in case you find yourself occasionally getting bored with the standard game and I feel that the extra tickets add a lot too. It's pretty easy to get to the point where you can guess which big tickets your opponents kept based on what routes they are taking when playing vanilla Europe, but much more difficult with the extra tickets. The extra tickets also allow for various ways to play the game (i.e. Big Cities, 1912, Mega-Europe, etc.).


Thanks for the slightly opposing view re 1912. I think what I'll do is get the base game. Then, depending on how that goes and what seems most interesting, I'll either get 1912 or India, or Asia.
 
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Greg Cornell
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I bought and played original TTR for many years and it hit the table quite frequently. I picked up the 1910 expansion on the advice of a friend, but I never found the smaller cards to be a problem. The bigger cards are nicer to use now that I have them, but I could have "suffered" with the smaller cards without complaint. The addition of the different types of route cards really balance the runaway destination ticket lead

I picked up TTR:E after more than 3 years of having TTR and I enjoy that game as well. It's a slightly more complicated version and a great upgrade to a great game.

I have also purchased the 1912 expansion and the India/Switzerland expansion. I enjoy them all. All of them different, all of them great games.

Do I like one over the other? No.
Do we still play original TTR? Yes. My wife requests it quite a lot. It would still be my go-to-game for board game newbies, too.

Would I do it differently if I could go back in time? No.
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Wouter van Helvoort
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So many people, so many opinions...

Misterboy wrote:

I *should* buy either base game with it's associated expansion. USA is not very good without 1910, and while Europe is more balanced, it is MUCH better with 1912.


I completely disagree with this. USA is very good without 1910. It is even better with it. I worded my view on Europe in a review on the Europe forums (Summary: you will have fun with Europe. Nevertheless, I would recommend USA over Europe, because I think it's more fun):
review
The replies there should be very informative for your buying-decision, if you just ignore the rants on semantics.

Mind you, I have never played Europe with 1912, so I cannot comment on that.
 
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craig kelley
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Misterboy wrote:
Everyone,

Thanks so much for your responses! This is EXACTLY what I'm looking for!

There seems to be a pretty good consensus here. So, right now, the plan is Europe w/ either India or Asia. This will depend on how Europe goes with my gaming/non-gaming friends. So the expansion will wait until I've played the base game.

However, I won't be ordering until at least next week. So any more thoughts or recommendations will continue to be greatly appreciated!


I know its probably too late, but I guess I differ in that I prefer USA over Eurpoe because I feel that Europe (w/o expansion) is more limiting (ie. one strategy tends to be very effective in winning). In all the games I have played, the winner tends to be the one player who does the majority of the following:

1. Get the 8 track
2. Get one of the 6 tracks
3. Keep and complete the large 20+ pt ticket from initial draw
4. Get Longest track
You could almost ignore the other destinations if you can do all of the above. Because of this I can't play Euro as much because I feel any deviation from this strategy is silly if I actually want to win.

USA, especially with the expansion, offers a lot more options and strategies, especially since blocking (and route planning) is more prominant.

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Ivan G.
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Short answer: I recommend TRR Europe base game, no expansions. It is a great, very well balanced game.

Misterboy wrote:

A game that plays well with 2-3 players, but I hope to use it more in group settings, so 3-5 players is a slightly bigger priority.


I prefer Europe especially for more than 2 players. The "geometry" of the map is more "complex" and allows for more variations in your strategy.

The problem with 2 players on Europe map: it might be a bit boring if both players are playing not aggressively. It will be harder to avoid direct interaction on the US map.

Misterboy wrote:

I have a financial budget, so I'm limiting myself to a base game and one expansion. More importantly, I have a time budget and will not be playing this nearly as much as most of you. So it's important to me that I get the game that best fits the long-term situation.


I suggest getting the base game only if you are on a tight budget. The base game alone will be able to entertain you for a while especially if you are not planning to play much. And you can always expand when you feel the need to later. Both base game version are very playable even without the expansions.

Misterboy wrote:

USA is more approachable, but therefore might be too simplistic for long term play.


I don't think USA is too simplistic. It has its own beauty in having fewer features than Europe, and it is by no means "simple". The key point is to find good opponents when you master the game so that your creativity is being challenged constantly, then it doesn't get simple.

Misterboy wrote:

Europe is more of a "gamer's" game, but the tunnels add an element of luck that I'm not against, but I worry that it might be too "lucky".


Personally I believe the element of luck in European version is overrated in this forum. The extra "luck" component the tunnels add is much less than already existing luck component (drawing missions or train-cards blindly). I regard tunnels as a feature that balances the "geometry" of those regions of the map. I don't want to go deep in this (complex) topic.

Misterboy wrote:

USA is more interactive (no stations or whatever they're called) and therefore can be a more tense game, even if it's not as "complicated".


I do not completely agree with this point of view. IMHO many underestimate the real cost of using a station and thus believe stations remove the tension. To me using a station is almost equivalent to being completely blocked on the USA map. It is really last resort. On the other hand stations bring a new strategy to the game (there is an approach to start a game by placing a station on your first turn) and that is good too. I regard stations as a balancing feature for a less connected geometry of the European network (and thus necessary).

Misterboy wrote:

USA is noticeably better with 2-3 players. Both games are equally good with 3-5 players. (really not sure about this one, but I've seen it mentioned)

it is a matter of preference. I like Europe better with any number of players. IMHO how interesting the game is depends more on the level of your opponents than the version of the game. I would agree that Europe is more boring when you play against weak players, but then again USA is also boring against weak players.

Misterboy wrote:

Perhaps I should buy a base game with a different expansion. USA with 1912 (though that seems like a bad idea because USA without 1910 is unbalanced). Or Europe/USA with India, or Europe/USA with Asia.


I love the Asia expansion for the team play. Though I'd recommend going with the base game only if you are on a tight budget. This game is complex enough to keep you entertained for a while.

Misterboy wrote:

Basically what I'm looking for is a couple individuals (or more) who have been playing these games for a long time. They have exposure to USA, and Europe and other versions and knowledge of the newer expansions. They have played with a mix of gamer-lite people as well as more hardcore gamers.

I have been playing for several years various versions. I guess I'm lucky to have a group of strong players around me now. When it was not the case, I was trying to make it harder for myself to keep the game interesting (allowing others to block me collectively and not allowing blocking to myself, or giving an extra turn to others ...). So if your level becomes high and you play with beginners, you can still make it challenging for you.

Misterboy wrote:

What game would you buy if you had to do it all over again? What would be the best expansion to go with that game? What am I missing or getting wrong in my above assumptions. And please take into account my requirements. What game makes the most sense if I was to get a second expansion in the future?


In this order:
1. TRR Europe
2. Asia Expansion
3. 1912 Expansion

My experience with TRR series: started with USA (loved it), moved to Europe and loved it too even though I was a bit skeptical initially. Played Switzerland, USA expansion, and Asia (love Asia for the team play and new features).
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Justin
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USA if you prefer zero-sum competition, Europe if you prefer a race.
 
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