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Subject: I hate games with fake low down-time rss

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david funch
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Having never played any Ticket to Ride game, yet hearing constant praise of the games, my anticipation for playing it was very high. When I finally did get a chance to play it (the Europe edition) I got very bored and very dissapointed very quickly.

It really urks me when I don't really get to do anything on my turn, let alone multiple turns in a row. "Ok, my highest priority is claiming this section of track before anyone else. But if I can get the cards for this smaller section 1st, go for that . Draw cards. Draw cards. Draw cards. Lay track. I'm bored." I make a decesion of what to do and sit back through multiple turns while I mechanicaly go through the motions.

Ticket to Ride has low downtime, which is fine, but that low downtime is artifically created by limiting a players options to just one action. To do anything with tangible results requires multiple actions, but you can only perform one action per a turn. See the problem?

Shadows over Camalot suffers the same symptoms and I hate that game for exactly the same reasons. I'd much rather play a game with higher downtime if I'm actually acomplishing something every turn.

 
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Sean McCarthy
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I pretty much agree. TtR especially is one of the most boring games I've played.
 
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Shin Yoo
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You do have a certain point here, but then again it's not like you can always execute your planned moves mechanically. The board changes constantly, often to the effect of destroying your planned moves. You need to adjust your plan. The thrill of TtR comes from the combination of the randomness of cards and the threats from other players.

I understand that a turn of Ticket to Ride is not the heaviest one, but labeling the whole thing as "mechanical" sounds a bit of overkill to me. You probably should look elsewhere for a meatier turn.
 
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David Turner
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It's all about playing quickly. We take about 5 minutes at the beginning to get a plan, and then when we draw tickets we may take a minute or two.

There is very little down time
 
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Sean McCarthy
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In fact, I agree that it's not mechanical. You have to re-evaluate every single turn, even though you're only doing very small pieces of things. That's waht makes it so maddening for me; it's as if the turn order was specifically designed to make drawing cards and building routes take as long as is humanly possible.
 
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Ava Jarvis
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Either play very quickly or chat during the game downtime. It's a relaxed tactical kind of game, not really a meaty strategic kind of game. The nature of the game is a rummy with some geography so you can make other people's lives harder.

Rummy played slowly with little socializing is also the same kind of boring, so play quickly or play with chatting.

TtR is probably not your thing at all.
 
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J C Lawrence
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pothocket wrote:
Having never played any Ticket to Ride game, yet hearing constant praise of the games, my anticipation for playing it was very high. When I finally did get a chance to play it (the Europe edition) I got very bored and very dissapointed very quickly.


Get thee to an Age of Steam game.
 
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Poochie D
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Pothocket, your post pretty much summed up the reasons why I don't like these games. I'm turned off by Days of Wonder in general because of Ticket and Shadows. Pretty pieces, shallow gameplay.
 
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Geo
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hacksword wrote:
Pothocket, your post pretty much summed up the reasons why I don't like these games. I'm turned off by Days of Wonder in general because of Ticket and Shadows. Pretty pieces, shallow gameplay.


Games to try: Byzantium, Age of Steam
 
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Poochie D
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GeoMan wrote:
hacksword wrote:
Pothocket, your post pretty much summed up the reasons why I don't like these games. I'm turned off by Days of Wonder in general because of Ticket and Shadows. Pretty pieces, shallow gameplay.


Games to try: Byzantium, Age of Steam


I've actually played Age of Steam once and liked it. It's closer to what I want in a "train game".
 
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Bjorn Rosenfors
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pothocket wrote:
Ticket to Ride has low downtime, which is fine, but that low downtime is artifically created by limiting a players options to just one action. To do anything with tangible results requires multiple actions, but you can only perform one action per a turn. See the problem?


Can't you say the same thing about Puerto Rico?
 
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david funch
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Quote:
Can't you say the same thing about Puerto Rico?


No, not at all. The genius of PR is that you get one action per a turn, plus an action on everyone else's turn and they yeild immediate tangible results. It reduces downtime to a mininum while constantly giving the player a feeling of accomplishment and progress.

Let's say you want to produce coffee. Sure you could simply say that it's just a series of single actions done one at a time to achieve that goal, but let's break it down.

Well first you need the settler phase to get the plantation and then the builder phase to buy a coffee roaster and than the mayor phase to get things working and finally the craftsman phase to produce the coffee.

Every step yeilds it's own small rewards that directly manifest themselfs into your playing area. Plus, most of those single actions will be done on other player's turns. All and all, it eliminates the feeling that you're just mechanically going through the motions untill your goal is achieved.
 
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Alex Sorbello
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TtR is not a gamers game!
also notice it's not a top game in our ranks...
I also hate the game for these reasons...
there are a lot of other better train games out there...
good hunting
Cheers
Lexen
 
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J Jacy
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Here's my thoughts on why this game doesn't seem meaty enough for you, and it's only based on what you've written, so maybe it doesn't apply.

By your account, you wouldn't need to pay attention to every other players' turn.

I think you should be paying attention because important details that directly relate to your own strategy do come up.

Namely, 1) where did everyone else lay their tracks when they did? And more importantly is this forming some kind of pattern? -If so, you'll know where someone else is trying to go, and giving you the advantage of blocking someone else's route or not.

2) What tickets did the other players pick up on their turn? I'm not a huge card counter, but if you do, this will help you a lot, and will help you in not only figuring out where their routes are, but also on which cards of your own you should choose.

Depending on the number of players, the above 2 points may make your game seem less mechanical, and make it feel more "press your luck" or even more "interactive".

Just some thoughts. I think TTR is a decent game, but different games for different tastes. Maybe what you were reading about just set your expectations too high?

-jjacy1
 
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Seth Jaffee
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pothocket wrote:
It really urks me when I don't really get to do anything on my turn... I make a decesion of what to do and sit back through multiple turns while I mechanicaly go through the motions...

Ticket to Ride has low downtime, which is fine, but that low downtime is artifically created by limiting a players options to just one action. To do anything with tangible results requires multiple actions, but you can only perform one action per a turn.

Well, you could solve this by playing the game and taking three actions per turn instead of just 1. Then you'd probably be bale to do whatever you wanted in one turn, rather than having to wait, right? Hell, why don't you just take turns until your whole plan is complete and then watch other players go?

Your premise is flawed because it refers to a long term strategic decision as if it were a tactical descision. You can't say "I want to complete this route this turn" when you don't have the cards for it, and then complain that you didn't get to both draw a bunch of cards AND complete the route - just like you can't say "I want to complete this ticket this turn" when it takes 3 routes to do it.

The whole idea is that you make some long term strategic decision, and then you make a tactical decision each turn as to how to go about bringing your strategy to fruition. Based on other players actions you might have to detour from your plan, or abandon it alltogether.

Quote:
See the problem?
That's not a problem. That's what makes the game decent, as opposed to multiplayer solitaire.

It appears to me from your complaint that you'd rather just play solitaire. That's fine, although I don't personally see the point in it.
 
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J C Lawrence
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sedjtroll wrote:
It appears to me from your complaint that you'd rather just play solitaire. That's fine, although I don't personally see the point in it.


It is rare that a decision is TtR is anything but trivial. Sure, it happens, just not often. Other games have much higher percentages of difficult and interesting decisions, decisions which have significant impact on your game state and the game state of all the other players. Some games even manage to deliver this for nearly every phase of every round of the entire game.

Of course those games also aren't usually called "gateway games". One makes trade offs.
 
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david funch
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My premise isn't flawed. I never suggested "fixing" the game by taking more than one action per a turn, you did. I was simply stating why this type of game play is boring to me.

And come on, every turn is a tactical decision? I think you might be giving the game a little too much credit here.
 
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Richard Hutnik
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clearclaw wrote:
pothocket wrote:
Having never played any Ticket to Ride game, yet hearing constant praise of the games, my anticipation for playing it was very high. When I finally did get a chance to play it (the Europe edition) I got very bored and very dissapointed very quickly.


Get thee to an Age of Steam game.


Age of Steam definitely is rock solid. Railroad Tycoon is based off it, and could arguably be considered part of the series, the way the 18XX and crayon rail games are similar. Railroad Tycoon looks like it is just the east coast of the USA, which I believe is different from Age of Steam in this regard, which has the whole of the USA I believe.

For a light intro non-gamers game rail game, I particularly like TransAmerica. Ok, it is a tad more dry that Ticket, but the rules are cleaner, and it can be taught real fast, and has enough to it, in my opinion.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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sedjtroll wrote:
It appears to me from your complaint that you'd rather just play solitaire. That's fine, although I don't personally see the point in it.


I'd say that is the second biggest problem with Ticket to Ride. It in practice plays like a solitaire game. If there were actual profit in blocking that may be one thing, but it is just draw, draw, draw, play the route you need to get connected. If someone blocks you it is happenstance.

If players had to mark what cities they needed to get to and had the ability to trade back tickets (the penalty being that you lose the turn to do it and the network you've built for that card becomes potentially less valuable) that might be a more interactive and worthwhile game.
 
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J C Lawrence
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docreason wrote:
Age of Steam definitely is rock solid. Railroad Tycoon is based off it, and could arguably be considered part of the series, the way the 18XX and crayon rail games are similar.


You are obviously grossly unfamiliar with most of the games you mention.

18XX and the crayon rails systems are in no way similar to each other outside of the fact that they involve money and are themed against running trains. In fact it would be quite easy to argue that the 18XX aren't in fact train games, but are instead finance/stock games with a light pasteing of trains as a theme and a convenient deterministic way to inject an interesting business case.

Quote:
Railroad Tycoon looks like it is just the east coast of the USA, which I believe is different from Age of Steam in this regard, which has the whole of the USA I believe.


RT runs from the east coast well out through the mid-west (past Chicago). AoS' default map is a small section of the Great Lakes area. Other AoS maps cover other regions, like Ireland, South of England, Korea, etc.

 
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