Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tuesday 28th September - Ticket To Ride

Strange one tonight, we was playing at my place and it was Richard’s choice. Last week he indicated that it would probably be Settlers/The Great Wall. I arrived home a tad late because my early train was cancelled. Steve was already waiting on the doorstep and Garry and Richard turned up shortly after. One drawback, Richard had completely forgotten it was his choice and hadn’t brought the game! Doh! I had diligently read the rules during the day and was ready for the off. Ah well! So a quick look at my collection and Richard chose Alan Moon’s Ticket to Ride. A good game, not too heavy or too long. Here again is a quick overview courtesy of the geek:

With elegantly simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in 3 minutes, while providing players with intense strategic and tactical decisions every turn. Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who fulfill Destination Tickets – goal cards that connect distant cities; and to the player who builds the longest continuous route.

“The rules are simple enough to write on a train ticket – each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route or get additional Destination Tickets”, says Ticket to Ride author, Alan R. Moon. “The tension comes from being forced to balance greed – adding more cards to your hand; and fear – losing a critical route to a competitor.”

So the whistle blows and off we go. My initial draw of tickets were pretty easy but the points total was low. So I decided to take some tickets early. Well after a few turns anyway. I got a few routes down and took an early lead. Richard and Steve I think at one stage had half the train deck in their hands. Loads of cards!!! I completed my tickets pretty early and took some tickets, luckily one of them was half complete so I took that one. As opposed to the last game where nobody took any extra tickets at all, everybody in this game took more tickets. As we neared the endgame, Richard had a coast to coast connection and Steve was lagging in last place. But as I say had a handful of cards. Steve came with a late burst and quickly caught up. At the end we decided to turn our tickets over one at a time round the table. Richard came out a pretty easy winner completing 5 tickets. Actually everybody managed to complete their tickets so no negative points. Steve got the longest train for 10 points which pulled him up to second and Garry beat me to third by one point. A good game. The scores are points before tickets, then individual ticket scores.

Final Scores (*denotes starting player)

Richard* 68+17+22+8+9+11 = 135, Steve 59+10(longest train)+20+12+7+8 = 116, Garry 69+11+13+12+8 = 113, Colin 65+16+13+9+9 = 112

Rating (0-10)

Colin 8

There is a new board and a card expansion coming out at Essen in October. Here is a description of the card expansion from the geek:

The Ticket to Ride: Mystery Train Expansion

This adds some cards to the Ticket deck. These additions aren't actual tickets, though. Instead, they are special cards that allow you to get bonus points at the end of the game, with the exception of one card that allows you to, in lieu of a turn, look through the entire deck of tickets and take any card you want.

One card lets you double the value of any ticket that you make (only for cards worth 10 or less), one gives you bonus points for making a cross-country route, one gives you bonus points for a west coast route and one gives you bonus points for connecting to the most cities.

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