Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Showing posts with label Ticket to Ride. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ticket to Ride. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PrezCon 2014 Part 1: Thursday

A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed four days at my favorite gaming convention, PrezCon.  There were several hitches this year, a few things that didn't go right, but nevertheless I had a great time.  The next several posts will share some highlights.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spring game photos

I've been gaming, and photographing, but not posting so much over the last month, so I thought I'd do a little catch-up with a sampling of the things my wife and I have been playing.

Pinot grigio, Anchor Steam, and Traders of Carthage
Traders of Carthage
I've mentioned this obscure favorite a few times and actually posted about this game, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to include my photographic effort to incorporate the juxtaposition of the drinks, the game, and my lovely opponent across the table.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Romance on the train: Love Letter and Ticket to Ride

Sunday afternoon, Kathy and I played Love Letter (designer Seiji Kanai, artists Andrew Hepworth and Jeffrey Himmelman, publisher Alderac Entertainment Group) for the first time.  This microgame poses some neat little logic challenges and opportunities for second-guessing, although in our first play, we didn't find it quite as "brain-bending" as Citadels, our favorite hidden-role game for getting inside each others' heads.  As it happens, we played two rules incorrectly.  First, in the two-player game, we failed to turn three cards face up at the start of each round to reduce the size of the playing deck and gain early insight into which cards were already out of play.  Second, we thought (incorrectly) that the Guard could target another Guard in an attempt to eliminate an opponent.  Since there are five Guards in the deck (as opposed to one or two of any other character), that made the Guard extraordinarily powerful in our game.  I've written before about my propensity for getting the rules wrong the first time I play a game, but fortunately, we still had fun, and the game was over in less than half an hour.  LL is a quick little diversion that I expect will get more play - and that I hope will become more intricate in the tactics and counter-tactics of anticipating each others' cards.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Multi-player games for two players

Ryan Metzler recently posted a top-ten video of his favorite multi-player games for two players - that is, games made for two or more players but that are his favorites as two-player games.  His video is both quick and informative, and I bumped up a number of games on my wishlist as a result.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pay attention when you discard

A couple of weeks ago at PrezCon, I played in two heats of Ticket to Ride (designer Alan R. Moon, publisher Days of Wonder), and it was in the first of these that I came face to face with my own absent-mindedness. 

As those familiar with the game know, each player starts with three tickets, each of which identifies two cities to connect by rail for points.  Longer routes in general are harder to connect but are worth more points, and having multiple tickets with overlapping connections make it relatively easy to compile a substantial score.  Of the three tickets at the start of the game, each player must keep at least two.  The disadvantage of keeping too many tickets is that uncompleted routes lose points at the end of the game, so it is prudent to keep no more routes than one is reasonably confident of finishing.

In my first heat, the three tickets I drew were all north-south routes with virtually no opportunity for overlap.  One was to connect Vancouver and Phoenix in the west, another Sault-Sainte-Marie and Houston in central Canada-U.S., and the third New York and Miami along the eastern seaboard.  So these routes had nothing in common, and clearly the logical thing to do was to discard one and strive to complete the other two.  After some thought, I decided to keep the eastern and central routes.  I discarded the third card, laid down the two tickets that I kept, and proceeded for the first half of the game to try to complete the two routes I'd decided to keep.

In a five-player game of TtR, there can be quite a lot of overlap among the competing players for key routes, and it became necessary for me to assemble a pretty convoluted network to get Sault-Sainte-Marie, Houston, New York, and Miami all connected.  I glanced at my tickets to double-check that I'd connected the right cities, and was horrified to discover that I still had Vancouver-Phoenix in my hand.  I had discarded New York - Miami without realizing it.

There was no hope at this point of making the Vancouver-Phoenix route; my opponents had by this time completely locked up the western U.S.  So the rest of the game involved scrambling for more tickets that I could reasonably complete by making extensions of my existing route in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada, in the hope of accumulating more points.  I was actually rather successful, but I couldn't quite make up for the eleven points that I lost from having held on to Vancouver-Phoenix.  In fact, I came in second, only ten points behind the winner.  A most frustrating lesson in paying attention to one's cards.