Posted on: May 9th, 2005, 9:45pm Attachment:mvc789f.jpg - 82.59 KB (335 views)
Ticket to Ride: Europe Games of Wonder Available: Tactics for around $80.00 AUD, less for discounts if you're a Tactics member or belong to the Gamer's Guild. We bought ours at Games World Karrinyup for $69.95 AUD.
Last year I reviewed Ticket to Ride and was favourably impressed. You can read my review right here and if you haven't played Ticket to Ride at all I suggest you read that review before this one, otherwise it won't make sense to you.
The European map is nice, and at a personal level I'm more comfortable with it, as the US map always is a bit of a trial for me. I have a better chance of finding Sevastapol and Lisbon than I do of Boulder and Denver, apologies to any USians out there!
I've just played a two player game with Rob. First time played, and good fun! One of the differences is that with the routes, everyone is handed a big route and 3 small ones, they get to choose which ones to throw away, and the discards aren't revealed. You have to keep at least 2. This is more balanced than the original, where I've played games where all I get is piddly little routes...at least you get a chance at a biggie. This is something that I think the original game could benefit from introducing.
Another addition is the stations, which you can place to help you complete a route you would not otherwise get. Careful how you use 'em though, because unused ones can help you gain points at the end, but only if other people have been using theirs!
One of the map characteristics that differ from the original is tunnels, where you pay the assigned route price, plus any cards in a matching colour that are flipped from the draw deck in the next three draws. Can be nail biting, and can make or break a game, even in a two player!
For example, I need to drill a tunnel that's marked as two blue. I lay down the two blue cards and announce my intention. The next 3 cards of the deck are flipped, and if any of them are a blue, or a wild rainbow engine, they must be countered for by additional rainbow or blue cards from your hand. If you can't make up the difference, you may take your cards back into your hand and then your turn ends.
The other map feature is ferries, where it's marked on the route how many rainbow engines you need to complete it. So if a route shows five links with two links marked with engines, you'd play three cards of the same colour and two wild rainbow engine cards to complete it, for example.
And that's about it. So now there's an extra thing you can do on your turn: build a station.
The train cards are now normal size, rather to my dissappointment, I've got very small hands, and have some difficulty handling great stacks of cards, but they are very pretty still and are on that linen print card which is very nice. They've also tried to accomodate the colour blind issue that the original had, by putting matching symbols on the rail tracks, that match the corners of the cards. Unfortunately not very distinctively, I had to look twice to make them out, and I don't wear glasses.
But apart from that, our first game played well, scores were Leece 109 (hooray! I have something of a lousy 'track' record at Ticket to Ride, but I do enjoy it a great deal) and Rob 96.
9.0 (the European map and the stations earn it .5 more than it's predecessor) and riding a strong horse that won't buck you off, and is having just as much fun as you, on the Sid and Nancy scale.
--leece Visit my shop to see what I do in the Real World.