|The Pacific hub of my cross-country railway.|
Tonight was the first time it featured at my mate Dave's monthly Blokes & Board Games gathering. We usually play three or so different games at each get-together. Except for the "Redshirts" night. Two games were over fairly quickly - one in about five minutes, after only two players had taken a turn - so we decided to play "one more quick game". Which lasted four hours.
Anyway, back to TTR...
Tonight's B&BG run of TTR was the first time I'd played it as a 4-player game. It's a little different to 2-player. In a 2 or 3 player game, routes with 2 colours are either/or and once claimed, are blocked for the other player(s). In a 4 or 5 player game, adjacent tracks between the same cities can be claimed by 2 players. Which makes it slightly more difficult to block your opponents - a perfectly legitimate strategy.
I ended up winning - not by a huge margin, but being the only one who'd played the game before helped.
Ticket To Ride was followed by a game of Settlers Of Catan, in which I didn't do too well - although I built the first "race track" (six roads in a closed loop) on the island. We finished off the evening with a couple rounds of Tsuro, another fun quick game that we've played on other B&BG occasions. I had to work till 5 today, so the others had also played most of a game of Carcassonne before I joined in.
* * *
After I got home, I had another game of TTR with Kara, while the late-night music videos of "rage" played in the background. Guest programmers of tonight's episode were Fredrik and Mikael of Opeth. Which meant a great dose of hair bands (including some heavy on the cheese) as a soundtrack to our late game.
|Soundtrack to the evening: Opeth, Sabbath, Judas Priest, G'n'R, Van Halen, Audioslave, Mastodon, etc.|
|The finished board. Kara 115, Glenn 180.|
My strategy is simple, but often effective.
I kept 2 of my starting Destination Tickets, choosing those that could potentially share tracks to optimise my routes and save on trains. Then once I had my most-valuable-in-points route completed (in this case, Seattle to New York) I drew more routes, and kept the ones that could be easily added on to my East-West line by the shortest possible distances.
Seattle to New York is worth 22 points, and I used 21 trains to link them. Portland to Nashville is worth 17, and only required an additional 3 trains. Of course, the best result is to draw an additional Destination Ticket for two cities already linked by your trains. Free points!
My draw-and-add routine netted six successful routes at the end of the game. Points from tracks laid: 76. Points from successfully completing routes: 104.
Drawing additional Destination Tickets is always risky. You could end up with three impossible choices nowhere near your established tracks... but that's part of the fun.
|LA to Miami. Via Seattle.|