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Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries» Forums » General

Subject: Nordic Counties or Europe? rss

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Jesse Carrasco
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I posted this in the TTR Europe board but I wanted to post it here as well to make sure I get a lot of input.

Hi all. I'm hoping you can all weigh in and help me make a decision on whether I should purchase Europe or Nordic Countries. Here's the story. My parents have recently moved to TX for a few months to take care of my grandmother who is suffering from cancer. They were going back and forth last year and tried to take some games with them to play with other family in the area. However, the rest of the family are all very old and don't enjoy games so my parents were a little bored while there. Right before they left this last time I met up with them for the weekend and took my brand new TTR: USA to try it out and see if they'd like it. Well, they did. A lot! They were really into the game (my mom even started standing towards the end of the game because it became a little tense). Since my mom is a travel agent and loves traveling the world I mentioned that there were other editions and expansions to the game and she got very excited. I'm going to be flying out to visit them in a few weeks and, at first I thought I would take my copy of the game so we could play it, however now I'm thinking about buying them their own copy so they can keep it out there with them to have something to play. So here's my question for all of you. Knowing I need to get them a base game I can only get USA, Europe or Nordic Countries. Since I already own USA I thought it would be a little redundant to purchase that one again I'm focusing on the other two. Originally, I thought about Nordic Countries since it's specifically designed for 2-3 players. However, if I got them Europe then more people in the family could play as well (I just don't know how likely that would be over there). Which do you think would be better, assuming that it would just be 2 players? Does one play better than the other at 2 players? Are there differences between the two? Thanks in advance for your help!
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Christophe Laurent
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TTR Nordic countries is designed for 2 to 3 players so if you are looking for 2 player version of TTR this is the one to get.
The other option for 2 player games is Switzerland. However, this comes only as an expansion and you need a bass game in order to play it.

The only disadvantage of TTR Nordic countries is that if you plan on using it later on as a base game to play expansion you will not be able to play them with more than 3 players (most of them being playable up to 5 or 6 players).
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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While Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is a great game and possibly one of the best TTR maps, I'd suggest getting the Europe map instead.

Ticket to Ride: Europe is scalable up to five players and is a great game for any number. Plus it has one great advantage over Nordic Countries; the Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912 expansion that can really expand the maps replayability.
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Jamie Collins
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I have both and recommend Europe with the Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912 expansion because we prefer playing Big Train when there's just two players. Nordic is very nice to have, especially around Christmas, but feel like a luxury.
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Mike Collins
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hpbruin wrote:
Originally, I thought about Nordic Countries since it's specifically designed for 2-3 players. However, if I got them Europe then more people in the family could play as well (I just don't know how likely that would be over there). Which do you think would be better, assuming that it would just be 2 players? Does one play better than the other at 2 players? Are there differences between the two? Thanks in advance for your help!


It's really going to come down to how likely it is that they'll have the chance to play with 4 or 5. Europe does have some tweaks for playing with fewer players, but I've played it 2p a few times, and I'd always choose Nordic over Europe. With 2 players, Europe feels very "spacious" - you're very unlikely to be interacting, and you're more or less playing multiplayer solitaire. The only challenge to being able to complete your route is going to be how quickly you get the cards you need, and how lucky you are in getting tickets that overlap.

Nordic, on the other hand, is much more competitive with two players - you're almost certainly going to be competing for similar routes, and it's an altogether more tense and interactive experiences.

So, for 2p, go with Nordic every time.

So the real question is - are they really going to get much value out of the 4/5p capacity of TTR:Europe?

Edit: And I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's illness. I hope everything goes as well as it possibly can for her and your family.
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Mike Collins
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crian wrote:
(most of them being playable up to 5 or 6 players).


Nitpick: the only version of TTR that's playable with 6 is the Team Asia game, and that's a very different experience from "standard" TTR.
 
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Rio Malaschitz
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I have both games. Nordic Countries is for two or three players far better game than Europe.
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Jesse Carrasco
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I decided to go with Europe because I know that eventually other members of the family would want to play as well so I wanted a set that could accommodate everyone. However, when I asked my mom which version she wanted she said Europe. I think I will take both (US and Europe) and play them. That way she can see how Europe plays and then make the final decision at that point. I'll take whichever one she doesn't want. I am seriously considering purchasing Nordic Counties for myself (and will probably end up getting the rest of the map expansions as well). Thanks for the help everyone!
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Ben Wand
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I agree: with a game this good, no need to decide, just buy both lol.
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Alessandro Merolli
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I agree, just buy both of them. I just did
 
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Jesse Carrasco
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I ended up buying both of them. In fact, I now own every single map for Ticket to Ride. They're all too good to not have.
 
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David Martin
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hpbruin wrote:
I ended up buying both of them. In fact, I now own every single map for Ticket to Ride. They're all too good to not have.


I finally acquired the last two that I was missing - Nederland and Nordic - within the last month or so, and I heartily agree with your statement. A few versions have odd rule changes that might annoy purists who favor TTR USA or Europe, but I enjoy the variation and the way the new maps force me to change up my usual strategies.

While I enjoy the challenge that Nordic Countries presents to me as someone relatively new to the map, I can honestly say that it is by far the most frustrating map to play on due to how devastating the consequences are if you get blocked or you are short on a color that you desperately need late in the game. The "no wilds on regular routes" rule can mess me up in Switzerland from time to time, but I can usually get around that by not taking gambles on tickets that would require long non-tunnel connections too late in the game. In Nordic, tickets that seem like they would be easy and quick to complete can hold me up for a large chunk of the game if I'm anything but extremely conservative about the chances I'm willing to take. That can make drawing new tickets more discouraging than in other games. And I normally LOVE to draw lots of tickets, so this was a real shock to my system.

I'm slowly learning that your best recourse when blocked in Nordic Countries is to block right back. this seems especially cruel when the other person didn't even mean to block you, but often it's the most efficient way to make up for lost points. Use the congestion caused by your opponent to your advantage and create a Mutually Assured Destruction sort of scenario where you're both at an impasse, then pray the fallout from lost tickets on their side is at least as bad as it is on yours. This of course won't win you a lot of friends, unless your friends prefer a much more confrontational gaming style. On most TTR maps, a missed ticket usually only happens as the result of a really risky gamble taken late in the game, or a flurry of activity in a tight section of the board where players normally aren't competing for space (like if everyone chooses tickets to Vegas or Boston in the 1910 expansion of USA), or some other one-in-a-million stroke of terrible luck. In Nordic, you can expect it to be par for the course and you have to learn not to take missed tickets so personally. Play it enough times, and you begin to learn the art of damage control.

A lot of this makes it sound like I don't appreciate Nordic Countries. I actually do enjoy it. I appreciate these added challenges when I'm discussing the game after the fact, but during the actual game, I'll admit to having been on the brink of rage-quitting a few times. Still, it would be boring if it didn't present some sort of a new challenge to a seasoned player.

Bottom line: If you or anyone in your gaming group has a short temper, it'd probably be better to go with TTR USA, where most unintended blocks can easily be worked around and drawing new tickets generally isn't as risky, or TTR Europe, where the train stations make the game a lot "friendlier".
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