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Subject: TTR: Europe alternative? rss

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Mark Crane
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Disclaimer: this is a dumb question, and I am being irrational, but...


I was going to order TTR: Europe for me and my wife to play. She doesn't want anything to heavy, and I have heard great things about it, and think it will work well with some of the non-gaming couples we associate with. Also, it has some depth to it, and I can play it with my nine and six year old.

Is there a better game that fulfills those criteria? My regional (two day shipping) vendor of choice is out of it, I am impatient, but also cheap and don't want to spend 40 bucks for it at the mall because I'm also going to get Lost Cities with the same order.

Thank you for your suggestions!
 
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Billy McBoatface
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If they're out of TTR:E, then just get original TTR instead. It should be just as good for you. Some say that TTR:E has less luck or a bit more depth, but for family gaming I think luck is fine, and none of the TTR games are terribly deep, so if it's depth that you want then you need something completely different anyway!

I personally enjoy both TTR and TTR:E equally. They're a little bit different, but both just as fun.
 
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Mark Crane
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Thanks, I was curious about the interchangeability of TTR and TTR:Europe. A Dog's Life looks like something I would hate, but my kids would love, and the rater comments indicate that it is a great game with the fixes you mentioned. Hmm....
 
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Mark Crane
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Kobra1 wrote:
craniac wrote:
Thanks, I was curious about the interchangeability of TTR and TTR:Europe. A Dog's Life looks like something I would hate, but my kids would love, and the rater comments indicate that it is a great game with the fixes you mentioned. Hmm....


Lets put it this way, Dog's Life has about 3 times more strategy than TTR. It is a pure action-point movement system, and each dog has different strengths and weaknesses. Tons more conflict and interaction than TTR, but fun conflict that people enjoy.

Whereas I found TTR to just be pretty processional.. Draw good routes, or you are at a disadvantage. Draw cards, place trains, draw more cards. Then towards the end draw draw draw and pray for your cards. Not much conflict, not much interaction.


I'm slowly being persuaded...how many times have you played it? Does it hold up well over multiple playings?
 
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Marena Tiano
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I think TTR:E is a better family game because it is harder to lock out a destination from other players. TTR can be frustrating becuz some destinations are very limited or alternate pathways require lots of resources. The use of stations creates a friendlier game.

Other good family train games are Union Pacific and Transamerica.

Powergrid may also be appropriate depending on family ages.
 
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David Turner
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I would say TTR is slightly more of a family game then TTRE

 
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Gary Heidenreich
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I guess I'm on the other side of the fence. I have both TtR and TtR:E and we play TtR on a regular basis (my most played game of the past year and a half), whereas we play Europe only as a change of pace. My opinion is I don't find that the additions of Europe add that much.

Side note...I loaned out my TtR:E and Lost Cities to a couple I know. They really enjoyed Lost Cities and they have played TtR:E. Not sure of the verdict of that one is.
 
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Dwsparks
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To suggest an alternative to TTRE, have you looked at Alhambra?

My wife and I have been enjoying Alhambra quite a bit recently. It's somewhat odd in that during a two-player game, you play against an imaginary third player named Matt, but I think that actually helps to distribute the animosity. It's easy to hate Matt!

I should note that Alhambra won SDJ in 2003, plays 2-6, and retails for $13.59 from ThoughtHammer.

So I think it's perfect, except for the complete absence of trains.
 
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Juuso Mattila
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I'll second Alhambra. Especially for 2-4 players.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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For a family game, one question is how much do your kids like trains?

If they love them, great, TTR/TTRE are fine ideas. I'll confess to still liking TransAmerica, so that might be worth considering as well.

Two games in the TTR sphere that are under-rated are Amazonas and Around the World in 80 Days.

I've never played A Dog's Life, but if your kids love dogs, go with it. Theme means so much more than mechanics, not just to kids, but also to most adults.
 
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David Turner
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juuzzom wrote:
I'll second Alhambra. Especially for 2-4 players.


3rd to recommend
 
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Mark Crane
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I think the Doggie game might actually win it, not because I don't like the other suggestions, but my wife has been iffy on Hunters/Gatherers, so I don't want to introduce her to anything with tiles just yet. Added bonus: My five year old daughter (ok, 4.8) got all kinds of doggie themed stuff for Christmas, and she is the most neglected child in terms of game playing, at least until I teach her heroscape and battleball

We all like Daytona 500, and the action points seem slightly reminiscent of the cards in that game. One advantage of TTR:E is that we have some friends from Germany, and my wife lived in Germany for a while. That same couple has a dog, though, so...
 
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Mark Crane
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Oh, and also--who mentioned power grid? Gaaaaak! That game is a brain burner, at least for me. I'd love to own a copy, but can't think of anyone I could play it with on a regular basis.
 
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Robert Zurfluh
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OK, time to throw in my 2 cents.

If you are looking for a game that you are going to play with your wife most of the time....stay away from TtR. It's just ok with 2 players. Not a whole lot of interaction. If you think you're going to play it with your kids and your wife...go ahead it will be fine as a 4-player game. Also, you can adjust the rules for your kids....like draw 3 cards instead of 2.

Other games for the "family" include a lot of other DoW titles, like Queen's Necklace (your 6-year old can play...just explain the cards to him...he'll remember...has a little bit of math in it), or Mystery of the Abbey (I dig that a lot...I hate clue, but that game is actually a lot of fun). Have not played Pirate's Cove enough to make up my mind. It will hit the table this weekend.

The game to play with your wife is Lost Cities. My wife likes card games with some hand management, so she loves it. She is not too fond of Carcassonne - so I think Alhambra is out for her. But these are excellent games that work well with 2 players.

Something light that plays quickly and scales well for 2-4 is Ingenious.

 
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Mark Crane
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Kobra1 wrote:
Lets put it this way Mark.. If after a couple of plays you don't like A Dog's Life, i'll buy your copy.. I need another copy of it at some point for the gaming group - which I suspect will wear their copy out at some point.


hahaha! Crap. I didn't read this until after I sent my order out. I ended up ordering Lost Cities and four Icehouse stashes. Now I'll find out for sure if Icehouse is as cool as it looks, or the mind-controlling hippy cult that I've been warned of!

I'm taking you up on the offer of a repurchase, however, as soon as I can put some more kidney stones up on ebay and generate some more moolah. So what do you do for a day job? Nothing to do with used cars, is it?
 
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nate ben-porat
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craniac wrote:
Disclaimer: this is a dumb question, and I am being irrational, but...


I was going to order TTR: Europe for me and my wife to play. She doesn't want anything to heavy, and I have heard great things about it, and think it will work well with some of the non-gaming couples we associate with. Also, it has some depth to it, and I can play it with my nine and six year old.

Is there a better game that fulfills those criteria? My regional (two day shipping) vendor of choice is out of it, I am impatient, but also cheap and don't want to spend 40 bucks for it at the mall because I'm also going to get Lost Cities with the same order.

Thank you for your suggestions!


TRR is definitly a great game for non gamers. lathough i find europe much less fun then U.S. just a thought...
 
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J. David Koch
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Put me down for another vote for the original TtR over the European version.
Everyone I've introduced to the game loves it.
I know some folks here at BGG don't care for it, but out of my
non-gaming family members that got to play for the first time at Christmas, 3 folks bought their own sets.
May not be the greatest game in the world, but it's just fun.
Simple as that.

McGuit

 
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Justin
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i like ttr better than ttr:e too
 
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Mark Crane
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Fun is good, especially for a gateway game.

Always interesting to see games played and raved about that are engaging, brain burning, complex, but lack any sense of "playfulness" or social interaction.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Can I chip in with the slightly off-topic reply to give an alternative viewpoint to A Dog's Life?

The game is awful. Not just bad, but terrible. You could even call it a dog. OK, so it's not supposed to appeal to gamers like me, but it should only really be rated as "playable" if it's being compared to Monopoly and other games of that ilk. Which are also playable (I just choose not to play them, for obvious reasons). I'm no great fan of TTR, but TTR is a whole lot more interesting to me than Dog's Life.

And of the two, I'd pick TTR over TTR:E. Although I wonder if TransAmerica/TransEuropa might not suit the OP's stated aims better.
 
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I notice all those recommending TTR over TTR:E are from the US. surprise

It's quite clear that TTR:Europe is the better family game. Less cut-throat yet with more detailed decision making. A much more satisfying experience, with no angry folks to calm down afterwards.
 
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mudhoney wrote:
I notice all those recommending TTR over TTR:E are from the US.

It's quite clear that TTR:Europe is the better family game. Less cut-throat yet with more detailed decision making. A much more satisfying experience, with no angry folks to calm down afterwards.

Honestly, I find the card flip from the tunnel routes to be vexing. I know you can plan around it, but how many cards do you need to be safe? 1 has been my normal plan, but sometimes 2 or 3 cards get flipped up. I'd rather be beaten by other players (blocking my routes) than by the game (cards getting flipped up.) So saying that TTR:Europe is a better family game is just an opinion.
 
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David Seddon
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I think maybe Der Untergang von Pompeji would suit you. It's now out in English and is a superb game. Lots of fun - hugely fun theme, a lot more depth than some give it credit for. Nice game.

Family games - I've been meaning to do a list on something similar as I haven't done one in a while. I think that you need theme, fun, good components, some depth (but not weight), replayability - and maybe an x factor of "stick the boot in on your Dad/Mum" (cos it's the only time you can do that).

With that in mind, and assuming your family are not young children but over 7 or 8, these are my top picks:

Pompeji (wonderful!!!!)
Around the World in 80 days
TtR
Survive
Niagara
Cairo
Mississippi Queen


Carabande
Land Unter
Cloud 9
Montgolfierre
Clans

work as shorter games.

For younger kids that would change very much...and please note that many of these games are really adult games that lend well for growing families. I am not of the opinion that the term "family game" is in any way a put down. Such a notion is ridiculous. That said, most of the above are as good on a games night with adults as they are with a family.

 
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Ron Pfeiffer
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I like TTR-Europe better for a few reasons;

IMO I think that the added use for WILDCARDS makes for a better game.

The at-risk routes where one might need a card or two more to guarentee success adds a little doubt and a bit of luck factor to the play.

The use of the stations allows one to sometimes speed up the completion of routes and so save trains for further routes that one might not have sufficinet trains to complete otherwise.

It also is a pretty good geography lesson.

I'm not saying that regular TTR is a bad game. It is not but in my opinion the pressure from TTRE makes it a slightly better game.

In a way I do wish that there were more LONG RUNS available in the game but in actuality the limited number of LONG RUNS adds to the game because after you have played a few times you can pretty much figure out which long run an opponent has in his hand. It makes for a very interesting time trying to hide which LONG RUN you have in your hand while an opponent tries to block the completion of the route.
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