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Hi everyone. I am a pleased owner of Ticket To Ride: Europe and it's 1912 expansion, and it is a special game for me, since I get to bring my wife to play it from time to time.

As you know, Europe is a quite wide open map and, with the adition of stations, allows players to "do their thing" to a degree, not worrying too much about being blocked if not playing competitively, even if blocks always happen during a game. My gaming group enjoys that dynamic.

After quite a number of plays, however, some of us are starting to get bored of the Europe board, and I thought to get some other maps. I told my wife about the existence of these "map collections" and her response was very positive.

I have chosen India&Switzerland because it adds more visual variety than two variants of Asia, and we can have Switzerland for small numbers of people and India for when we all get together. I am not interested in team asia at all.

I'm not really worried about Switzerland, since we will have a different dynamic due to being a map for occasional play, when there are just two of us. But I've heard and read about India being very cutthroat too. I fear my gaming group would like a more relaxed experience for 4 players, India being too "hardcore" for them.

My question is: Has anyone tried India with the Stations from Europe? if so, with wich specific rules changes?(do routes claimed via stations count for mandalas in your games? and if so, can you only use that route for mandalas more than once?) Does the addition of these make the game more relaxed and less cutthroat?

Have you any other suggestion to adapt that map to my gaming group? I might be worrying way too much and maybe my group would like a change of pace from time to time, but I would like to know of any ideas you might have to make it feel more like the Europe map.

Thanks a lot.
 
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Derek Thompson
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Stations are a good natural suggestion to make it a bit less cutthroat. I would say that station routes can still count for the Mandala bonus, otherwise the Stations aren't really worth it - the tickets are paltry and it's really the Mandala bonus that gets you points so amending a four-to-eight point ticket with a Station isn't really worth adding the Stations in the first place.
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hormigon wrote:
Hi everyone. I am a pleased owner of Ticket To Ride: Europe and it's 1912 expansion, and it is a special game for me, since I get to bring my wife to play it from time to time.

As you know, Europe is a quite wide open map and, with the adition of stations, allows players to "do their thing" to a degree, not worrying too much about being blocked if not playing competitively, even if blocks always happen during a game. My gaming group enjoys that dynamic.

After quite a number of plays, however, some of us are starting to get bored of the Europe board, and I thought to get some other maps. I told my wife about the existence of these "map collections" and her response was very positive.

I have chosen India&Switzerland because it adds more visual variety than two variants of Asia, and we can have Switzerland for small numbers of people and India for when we all get together. I am not interested in team asia at all.

I'm not really worried about Switzerland, since we will have a different dynamic due to being a map for occasional play, when there are just two of us. But I've heard and read about India being a very cutthroat too. I fear my gaming group would like a more relaxed experience for 4 players, India being too "hardcore" for them.

My question is: Has anyone tried India with the Stations from Europe? if so, with wich specific rules changes?(do routes claimed via stations count for mandalas in your games? and if so, can you only use that route for mandalas more than once?) Does the addition of these make the game more relaxed and less cutthroat?

Have you any other suggestion to adapt that map to my gaming group? I might be worrying way too much and maybe my group would like a change of pace from time to time, but I would like to know of any ideas you might have to make it feel more like the Europe map.

Thanks a lot.


Train stations didn't go towards LR in Europes, so I'm inclined to say they shouldn't count for Mandalas either.
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Ian Vincent
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India gets described as cut-throat because it's more common for two players to want the same route than on either the original or European map. This may sound like it will lead to a lot of failed tickets and grumpy faces but a lot of hard work went into making sure that isn't the case. In particular, the number of routes per city is much higher than in Europe and each city with more than three tickets (a big city in 1910 speak) has six or seven ways in.

A few people have suggested the map is too tight with three players and prefer to play with the double routes available. The only other congestion complaints I've seen are from people who tried it with five (not recommended). I don't recall any complaints about four player being too tight.
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DTee wrote:
India gets described as cut-throat because it's more common for two players to want the same route than on either the original or European map. This may sound like it will lead to a lot of failed tickets and grumpy faces but a lot of hard work went into making sure that isn't the case. In particular, the number of routes per city is much higher than in Europe and each city with more than three tickets (a big city in 1910 speak) has six or seven ways in.

A few people have suggested the map is too tight with three players and prefer to play with the double routes available. The only other congestion complaints I've seen are from people who tried it with five (not recommended). I don't recall any complaints about four player being too tight.
I've done one 4p game where our case was special b/c everyone got overzealous and kept all 4 Dticks, so in a scramble to complete them, the competition was fiercer. Granted, 3 of us finished all of our starting tickets, with one player missing 2. None of us drew any additional Dticks though.
 
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Ian Vincent
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Longino: Your group might prefer an opening of draw 3 tickets keep 2+.

Keeping 4 out of 4 is rarely the correct play and can turn the game into an uphill struggle (as Ackmondual's group found out). The downside of draw 3 is that it can feel a bit limiting. The approach I take is to stick with draw 4 but to encourage new players to discard at least one of their starting tickets.
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I am really pleased to have received feedback from the author of the map himself. Thank you very much, Ian, I am enjoying your map A LOT!




As all of you can imagine, I finally went on and purchased India & Swizerland, then managed to get my current gaming group the India map a try. This group is composed mostly by non-gaming friends of my wife, my wife and I. I showed them Ticket To Ride: Europe, and they loved it. One of my wife's friends even asks me to play everyday they come to visit us.

I used to have a solid gaming group composed mostly by gamers, but due to real life issues, we have been not able to get toghether for nearly two months now. Therefore, although I know a tight map for Ticket To Ride will be very well received by that group of gamers, I was a bit scared of the reaction of muy current gaming group.

In the end, I just went on, and showed them the casual-gamer group the India map. My wife decided to only act as a shuffler and hand us train cards as we asked for them. She enjoys that, and really dislikes confrontation in games, so I consiered it was a wise decision.

We were a total of four players (plus my wife) and I suggested to play by the rules as these were written. 4 tickets, no stations.

We were all used to the relaxed Europe, so wow, this game felt tight! from the very beginning, every turn someone claimed a route, someone else felt their game plan was doomed. I suggested if this game was feeling too tight, we could use stations on our next game, but I wanted to be able to complete a full game as it was intended.

I won that game, as I managed to steal the 8-long ferry against a friend of my wife, who was a pair of cards away from claiming it too. I was able to complete three tickets, and do so in a way that the four cities in two of these routes were connected in a circular line, earning the mandala bonus for these 2 tickets.

I thought it would be very hard to build a mandala, but we managed to build 3 mandalas in total, even with me actively blocking another player(the one with the most "harcore" philosophy, who stealed a vital route from both my wife and his fiancè the last time we played Europe, on the very previous turn in wich both were going to claim it)

All of us thought the game was much more stressfull. Three of us could deal with it, but one of my wife's friends seemed a bit "exhausted" after the experience. After all, accidental blocking had not been kind to her, and she had lost the race for the 8-train-long ferry that I claimed, after being very very close to claiming it for herself. She managed to build some coastal rutes next to it, however. In addition, she would have claimed another 6-long ferry on her last turn... but she did not notice she only had 5 remaining trains. She will never forgive herself for that mistake. While she was the only one with a ticket left uncompleted, she got the longest route bonus, which was a surprise for everyone, and she managed to finish third on the scoring track, way ahead of her boyfriend.

It felt tight and claustrophobic in some way, but we nearly always found a way to circumvent the huge ammount of accidental blocking going on. It was way harder that Europe, but not in a dissapointing way, even for non-gamers, although I would like to avoid playing with them always in such an stressful map.

Therefore, I don't think we will play the India map every time we play ticket to ride. We will alternate between both India and Europe. After all, that was the intention I had when I bought this map collection. The next time we use the India map, I will offer to use stations on that map (Only to complete tickets, not for Mandalas) I am quite sure my wife would like to play with stations, since she felt as stressed as us, and she was only shuffling and handing us cards! but I hope the other players will agree to forget about stations on India if my wife decides to act as our train card shuffler.

In the end, I really LOVED that map, and by playing it, I got to realise how well designed each connection was, and how well thought out the layout was. I was very impressed! And I think my new gaming group enjoyed it too, even if it was almost too tense for some of them. Thanks a lot, Ian!
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Ian Vincent
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Thanks for taking the time to write such detailed and balanced feedback. This is some of the most useful I've received from a design perspective. I hope the wider community will also find this helpful, in deciding whether this expansion is a good choice for their regular gaming groups.
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Cameron McKenzie
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My experience with India is that it is relatively common to mildly block somebody without intent, but on the other hand it is quite difficult to deliberately block effectively because there are often so many ways around without having to claim much longer routes. There are usually multiple short paths to get from one point to another. Playing with 3 might be a little tight though.

Switzerland with 2 can be very competitive, if you play it like that. While there may be multiple ways to get where you are going, the alternative to the shortest route is usually a much longer route, or a route with many more tunnels. Players who deliberately block the convenient routes will force you into low-valued, tunnel-heavy routes that aren't even ticket-efficient.
 
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I've often thought about using stations as an incentive to make more "cutthroat" TTR boards more palatable for new players, but I usually end up realizing that it's easier to just start them off with USA or Europe and go from there if the game sustains their interest.

The tricky thing with stations is that you have to remember what you're using them for; it's never openly declared until the end of the game. So for a new player struggling to complete a ticket not one, but two ways, there's more to remember there, particularly if that station's placement is ambiguous and could apply to either of 2 connections that they wish to use (using one and only one competitor track per station is already a confusing component of Europe's rules for newcomers). It may seem like the stations will cut newbies some slack, but I actually think it might make the game more confusing for them.

Probably the best way to make it easy for a newcomer is to leave the double routes open, even in a 2-player game. Way less competitive, and it allows them to focus more on building, rather than fretting over getting blocked. It's not obvious until you've played India several times that successfully "looping" your tickets means you need to claim an entry and exit point for the cities at both ends of each ticket. In all other TTR games, you can simply "dead-end" at a destination city and suffer no consequences for it. In fact, building a "loop" is a mistake in those games, as it wastes trains getting to somewhere you've already been (unless it's late in the game and it will help with Longest Route or block someone else).

Which is what makes India brilliant, IMO - the entire key to winning the game is to do something that would generally be a bone-headed move in any other TTR game.

(Another thing that would make India a heck of a lot easier is drawing a 1-train connection on the board between Indur and Raipur. You don't know how many times I've wanted to do that! Which is probably exactly why it isn't there...)
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