Tag Archive | Ticket to Ride

Trains and Tracks

Magic

David++ Jon+

Jon: We built sealed decks. I barely lost the first, easily won the second, and easily lost the third.

No Thanks

L+, Jon, Yitzhak

Ticket to Ride

Assaf+, L, Yitzhak

They liked it, though L said he prefers more strategic games.

Coimbra

David 162, Nadine 149, Jon 116

First play for Jon and David, second for me. Everyone liked it, I think it’s balanced with different paths to victory. David and I traveled more than Jon did. Jon did well with money, but was behind in the tracks. I was low on money and guards the whole game, but ended up ahead in purple and green which I hadn’t realized give higher bonuses; I had fewer voyages than the others, but hit the two level III monastaries. David analyzed more than we did, which Jon complained about, but it paid off. And I think will decrease in future plays. David had the best automatic bonuses from cards, Jon also had some, I only had one the whole game, a 1-coin discount. The two currencies didn’t bother me now that I’m familiar with them.

Jon is too good

Magic

David++, Jon+

Azul

Gili 84, Haim 61, Iris 49

First play for Iris.

Pioneer Days

Jon 68, David 53, Nadine 43

I thought I was losing by more, I have a hard time with this game, feels too chaotic. I lost 2 points for buying a wagon that I didn’t need. Jon had 6 people, David 2, me 1. Jon did very well with the calculations and planning.

Ticket to Ride

Haim 149, Iris 121, Gili 67

First play for Iris. Gili missed a route at the end by one turn, which cost her 24 points.

Puerto Rico

Buildings Shipping Bonus
Jon 25 22 15 62, David 20 33 4 57, Gili 21 25 8 54, Nadine 21 30 51, Haim15 25 6 46

I had a good start, getting tobacco, factory and harbor, but I didn’t have a quarry and made a few mistakes. Somehow I was not able to get a big building even though I had enough money by then, but I bought last so they were out, and wharf was also gone. I’m better at planning ahead in 3-player games. Jon had factory and guild hall, and produced all 5 goods. David had harbor and wharf which let him catch up after being behind. Gili did well to come in third, behind Jon and David who are too good and experienced, they were the number 1 and 2 players worldwide on a specialized PR site that has since crashed.

Jon complains and wins by a mile

Helen hosted the group, with a Chanukah celebration, and invited other friends who played Dixit, Master Mind, Ticket to Ride and Bananagrams, most taught by Jon, who also taught Castles of Burgundy.

Scythe

Jon 80, Nadine 55, Aaron 50

Jons first play. He complained a lot, but part of his issues relate to being new to the game. Scythe seems designed to play when you are familiar with the game and know all the faction’s mech powers, for example. Aaron and I like the game, despite minor issues. I like that the game is positive, trying different factions, and the choices and planning, even if I feel I’ll always get things done too slowly to win. Jon said there’s too much going on, similar to his complaint about Clans of Caledonia, which I also like.

Jon spent time thinking, which paid off. He was yellow, Aaron red, me blue. We didn’t follow the rules with the bonus cards, we chose based on the actual rewards, which is how Lorenzo plays it. Aaron reached the middle early from his power, and had the extra action card the whole game, but Jon kicked him off at the end.

It was different than the first time I played at Kinneretcon, we all used the neighborly circles, which mainly gave all of us the same bonus. I got all my mechs out, and finished upgrading, but didn’t attack. I was attacked twice and lost spaces due to it. We were all high in military, Jon and I reached the end. I received a lot of extra military that I couldn’t use because I was at the top. I just missed reaching the second level in hearts, I needed one more turn. Jon had over 8 cards, which was one of his missions, he fulfilled the other one; Aaron and I also fulfilled ours.

Jon’s report:

VISUALS: The print on everything is too small and too light. I could not read anything without my glasses, and I didn’t have my glasses.

VISUALS: Player boards are fine when you need to track your own progress only. They are a terrible idea when you have to track everyone else’s progress because you need to take into account everyone else’s powers before you can take your turn. And see above. They could have made a central board where everyone’s abilities are clearly visible.

VISUALS: For no apparent reason, the sequence of actions is different for each player board (I don’t mind different powers and costs, but why different arrangements?). Makes it even harder to figure out what is going on.

VISUALS: The abilities of the pieces are explained underneath the pieces, so you have to keep lifting up the pieces to see what they do.

PLAY: The encounter events are an RPG mechanic spliced into a strategy game and I thoroughly hate them. Either you randomly pick a result and then find out it was worthless or killed your next several rounds, or you simply memorize all of the encounters which defeats the point. I’m okay with this mechanic in a different game, not in a resource-driven strategy game.

PLAY: The special bonus points at the end for buildings is simply one mechanic too far.

PLAY: I generally don’t like the mechanic where you have to decide whether to end the game immediately, because it is arbitrary for the other players who suddenly don’t get another turn. Sometimes it works okay, if the rest of the game works okay.

PLAY: The end game calculation is simply massive and massive amounts of calculation, something that the rulebook actually acknowledges. It is very poorly designed. The rulesbook’s suggestion is to dock players points if they spend too much time thinking on their turn, which is funny, but they should simply have fixed the mechanics of the game so that that doesn’t happen.

PLAY: I simply don’t like direct confrontation games, and this game has combat. We didn’t engage in much, and perhaps many people don’t, but if you lose a series of combats and territories, you just lost the game and there is little that you can do. On the other hand, that’s why I won, which is that no one kicked me out of my territories.

PLAY: I don’t know if all of the powers are balanced.

RULES: It may be difficult to explain the rules, especially considering the rulebook.

As for what is good, the main mechanics and action selection work okay. The actions are balanced and make sense. I like the missions and the options for getting victory awards. If people don’t gang up on a player (like combat games tend to allow), it may be okay.

Castles of Burgundy

Nadine F 1st, Haim 2nd, Noam last

First play for all, they liked the game, especially Nadine F after she decided that Scythe was too complicated.

Kinneretcon November 2018

A nice group of us attended the fourth Kinneretcon this year – Jon, Saarya, Tal, Robby, Gili, Eszter, Binyamin, Lorenzo, Haim, Nadine, Nadine F, Helen

Helen is a new gamer, she liked getting to learn new games, including Azul, Ticket to Ride and Pioneer Days.

Gili
In The Year of the Dragon, Stone Age, Kingsburg, Alchemists, Horizons, Luxor, Azul, Bears and Bees.

I liked Horizons, and it might be better with more players as Jon said. I also liked Luxor, a race game with hand management.

Jon

Key Flow: card game version of Keyflower. Not bad, but I miss the auction from Keyflower.

Unstable Unicorns: Very cute but godawful game.

Horizons: ho hum game of colonizing planets. Might be better with 3-4 players.

Pioneer Days: very good Euro from TMG with replayability.

Ex Libris: nice game of tile arranging with powers. Not punishing enough and might not be well-balanced, but correctable I think.

Lorenzo

Railroad Ink: nice short game for (in theory) an arbitrary number of players. No interaction between players, everyone should do the best with the same game options.

Blood Maison: investigative card game. Not the best luck/fun ratio imo.

Titan Race: racing game with dice drafting. Very direct interactions. Actually fun, especially for younger players.

Azul: nice as always

Ex Libris: design and mechanics are nice. However, too many moving options make the game less elegant. The huge number of combination of strategies and possibilities made me concerned about balance. Looking to try it again.

Scythe: I love this game.

Pioneer Days: very nice game. I thought I was doing well, but at the end I had not understood the game at all :).

Who Goes There?: the game that impressed me the most. It’s a survival co-op with the possibility that one player becomes “the enemy” in the middle of the game. Only negative is that you only know if the Bads or the Goods win at the end of the game. Still a great late night game.

Imaginarium: the pictures are great, but the game mechanic (card drafting, card combination and action selection) could be better.

Nadine

Ex Libris: An interesting game. Jon’s Trash Golem power was unbalanced, even though he didn’t win with it. I didn’t realize what was important for scoring, Lorenzo did and won. From a thread on bgg.com: I think that for the most part the balance is sufficient that you won’t see one character dominate every time out. That being said there are two that I felt were too strong and needed to be adjusted: the Bookworm and the Trash Golem. 

Herbaceous: I taught this to a few people as a filler, it’s a nice quick game, and pretty.

Scythe: My first play, I really liked the game. And did better than I expected to, partly because one of my missions was to get $20, which helped towards the scoring which is based on money. The 4 of us who were new had close scores, Lorenzo had twice as many points. It looks like a fighting and area control game, but there are other strategies with building and resource management.

Reef: A very simple game, which I managed to not do well at. It doesn’t seem as nice for kids as Takenoko.

Puerto Rico: I taught it to the one player who hadn’t played, and answered rules questions for the other two. I didn’t remember that Construction Hut is of no use when you take Settler yourself, the other players took early buildings that our group doesn’t take, such as Construction Hut, Hospice and Hacienda. Of course, the player with 3 Quarries won.

Lanterns: A nice game, but the score seemed related to turn order rather than quality of play. It’s tactical, the first player had 44 points, next one 43, and last one, me, 42. The scoring chips decrease as you go, so the first player advantage makes sense. Very pretty, quick and fun.

Firenze: After I decided to play, I realized that I had played before and hadn’t like it. I didn’t like it any better this time. Experience helps, but there is a lot of luck, which can be mitigated somewhat but not interesting to me.

Dinosaur Island: I taught this to Haim and another player. I didn’t remember the setup details well so it took a while. After we started the other player said that it’s not so complicated. Haim kept saying he had no idea what was going on, but he won. I shortened the game by one Objective card, and didn’t use the Hooligans.

Tichu: Various partners and partial games, always fun. Jon and Saarya played against me partnering Tal and Robby, we were winning after a few rounds when we stopped for dinner. Jon and I wanted to play against Roee and Zoya, who were taking turns with their 7-month-old, and then had to leave to get their other kids. Jon and I played against Zoya and Saarya, then Roee and Zoya, but only a few hands. Playing against Saarya, at the end of a GT I had called I played 2 fives and lost, my other card was a king, and I knew all the aces were out, but forgot right then.

New Players

Parade

Jon 10, Haim 19, Amir 23, Nadine 23

Ticket to Ride

Gili 171, Tzvi 140, Amir 86

Taught by Gili.

Puerto Rico

B S B T Nadine 14 39 9 60, Haim 24 23 11 57, Jon 21 23 12 56

We were all surprised that I won, and that Jon came in last – we all thought Jon was winning, especially during the first half of the game. Jon and Haim had factories early, before their coffee buildings. I had a tobacco monopoly once I finally got it, and took the 6 ship for it. I kept producing which gave Jon and Haim tons of money, Haim had 17 even after getting a big building, Jon had about 13. I focused on producing and shipping because I had no money; I took Customs House after Jon took Guild Hall, he also had Fortress, Haim had the other two. When Haim bought a Large Warehouse mid-game, Jon said it wasn’t worth it in a 3-player game, and we let Haim switch. During the game he tossed at least 5 goods that he would have kept with LW. Jon tossed a few more goods than I did, we didn’t have warehouses. So Haim might have won with LW. Jon had Harbor. Jon thinks we may have made mistakes with my shipping points, I don’t think so but it’s frustrating not to be sure – Jon usually has a good sense of what’s going on in games, better than I do. Haim keeps requesting to play this so he can improve, he did very well and we may stop giving him corn to start.

Nefarious

Jon+, Haim, Allegra

Twists: Double card effects, Can’t take the same two actions in a row. First play for Allegra, who seemed to catch the spirit of the game when she enjoyed causing the other two to each lose 6 dollars. Jon got to 20 with an invention that gave points for his other inventions.

Notre Dame

Nadine 49, Gili 42, Zvi 39

Zvi’s first play. Gili and I were competing, she didn’t get cards she needed at one point.

Crokinole x 2

Haim, Jon, Allegra

Aug 02, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Nadine, Gili, Yael, Yocheved

Yocheved is my neighbor, whom Nadine met and dragged to the group. Despite my warnings, Gili and Nadine plied her with two complicated games, which overwhelmed her somewhat. We will see if she ever comes back.

Notre Dame

Nadine 70, Gili 50, Yocheved 45

First play for Yocheved. She said that it’s “a strategy game” so she would have to play a few times to get the strategy.

Suburbia

Jon 122, Haim 92, Yael 65

Second play for Yael and Haim. Despite some early confusion in my strategy, I kind of knew I was winning by mid-game (so long as I was ahead in a few goals, which I was). So I regret taking away one of the goals that Yael was trying for which was, in effect, running up the score. Haim played many greens and did okay, but I don’t think it’s a viable strategy.

Five Tribes

Yocheved 151, Gili 138, Nadine 138

First play for Yocheved, who said the same thing after this game that she said after Notre Dame. Nadine writes: Yocheved had 9 yellows and the djinn that gives extra points for them, and 3 camels. Gili had 2. They both had cards. I didn’t. I used the djinn which let me buy empty tiles, so I lost. Gili took blue a few times for a lot. Yocheved played for herself without advice.

Ticket to Ride

Jon 156, Yael 151, Haim 95

First play for Haim. This time I was severely blocked in early game and was frustrated. Despite this, I finally sneaked a path to the city I needed, by which time I was spread over a lot of the board. I got lucky picking a few more routes, which gave me just enough points to win. We were all kind of crowded on the East coast.

Kramim Con

Gili drove me, Eszter and her son Binyamin to the kibbutz Friday morning. We were able to get our rooms, and other people showed up to start playing. Gili did a great job organizing the con, she has relatives on the kibbutz, located near Beer Sheva, easier to get to than the Kinneret.

Mombasa

Gili and I joined Roi and someone else to play this. I had played with Roi and Eszter at Kinneretcon, first play for Gili and the other player, Roi is experienced and won again by around 80 points. I came in second again, but Gili was close. I did a bit better than last time, but still missed a lot. You need to make all the right moves, and many of them are competitive. I made a lot of travel moves at the end to help red, where I was ahead, but it didn’t net that much. Roi made it to the end or close to the end of two tracks. I didn’t do bookkeeping at all, and sold several cards for money without buying enough, so second to last round I only played three cards instead of the four I finally managed to qualify for on the jewel track. We all liked the game.

R-Eco

I played with Eszter and Binyamin right before Shabbat. Eszter liked the game but had never played, which amazed me, and Gili when she heard.

I also played with another group, including the guy who asked me to bring the game because he wanted to try it. They all liked it as a good strategic filler.

Dominion

We picked a set from the list in the original game, but then modified it, replacing cards we didn’t like. We all went through tons of cards, with Market and Village. Three players; I did well but lost by one point, 37 to 36.

Sushi Go

Eszter and I played a series of light games with others. I had heard of Sushi Go and how popular it is, and wanted to try it. This was the Sushi Go Party! expansion, which includes the base game, very nice art and components. It took us a while to get the correct cards. It’s a light drafting game with simple scoring. Seems too light as a game.

Kingdomino

Eszter also played. The only game of this type, tile placement, that I like. It’s quick with a small area, and very simple but still fun. I even won.

Panic Lab  

Eszter also played. A pretty party game too complicated for me.

Happy Salmon  

Eszter had wanted people to play this, it’s good for a group. It’s fun and fast, you try to get rid of your deck of cards by finding another player with the same card, you need to perform the card action to eliminate both your cards. Actions are fist bumping, high five, switch places and arm pats.

Fruit Mix

A set collection and memory game. Eszter also played, Binyamin won.

Secret Hitler

I didn’t want to play this because of the name and the deception mechanic, but agreed to play because Eszter really wanted to even thought it’s hard to believe she has a game with that name. Roi didn’t want to play either but joined to try it out. Others including Binyamin were also playing. There are two teams, Liberals and Fascists. The Fascists know who they are and who Hitler is, but Hitler doesn’t know who is on his team. If the Hitler player is voted in as Chancellor the Fascists win, which they did, partly because Eszter was one and is experienced at the game.

Puerto Rico

I taught this to a new player, one of the other players had played a few times. Then a fifth player joined us, my LHO, he said he usually plays 3 player, sometimes with 4. I wasn’t sure of some details, like colonist and VP counts for 5, and number of goods which as it turned out we were missing a corn. The rules weren’t in the box, so LHO looked up the information online, not restrained by Shabbat. I was first player, started with Setter corn, got 4 corns pretty early, and the boats seemed OK so I took a harbor first. With no trade goods or quarries, it took me a long time to get a Wharf, which I barely needed. One time I missed production due to 7 on the corn boat, and it had taken a long time to get enough colonists. My LHO had a coffee monopoly, I had coffee but didn’t build the building. He traded and built a lot, he ended the game with three large buildings, one unmanned. He said I’d win, I of course said he would, and I was right. He had 7 shipping points, I had 29, but no buildings or bonuses. He had 40, I had 37.

Saturday

Takenoto

We wanted a short light game, I played this last time, very cute. Eszter also played. I triggered the end game which lets the other players have one more turn. I had 28 points, I told Zoya that if she got 5 points she’d beat me. She managed to play a 5 point card, so we thought she won. But then someone pointed out that the end game card I received gave me an additional 2 points, so I won.

I played again later with Gili, we modified the rules a bit, but the kids are game players and liked it with the ganan and hapanda.

Voyages of Marco Polo

I played this at bgg.con, and taught it to people including Roi at Kinneretcon, but got a travel rule wrong because I never travel in the game. Gili and I have been playing online with David, and Gili wanted to play on the actual board to understand the game better, she said it helped. Yovel also played, his first time. I usually just do contracts, which doesn’t work against good players who travel and also do contracts. I had the character who doesn’t need to pay to place on top of previous players, Gili picked first and took the one who starts in Beijing, Yuval could jump from one oasis to another, and Roi had two travelers. I went third so had more money to compensate, and didn’t have to pay for placement. I had money, so I started by traveling instead of doing contracts. The second travel location bonus was an additional travel step which facilitated travel. So I got to the small city which had the three points per round bonus first round. I traveled a bit more and got good bonuses and placement options, including the dice for gold, which Yovel also had, but only used last round. I also did contracts, which were easier for me because of my character. Somehow I got far ahead, and ended up winning. For the first time I got points from my travel bonus cards, I had 3 cities, the other was close but too hard to get to. I had around 80 points, Gili and Roi around 50. Roi said he liked the game less this time, Gili said it helped her a lot with how it works. We all agreed that my character was much stronger than the others in the game, and possibly all of them.

Corto

I was waiting for this to be set up. During set up I started Gili and her niece and nephew on Takenodo, but didn’t finish explaining it because the Carto explanation started. As soon as I understood the main mechanic which sounded abstract and spatial, I left to play Takenoto with Gili and the kids.

Hawaii

Roi wanted a new game, so I taught this to him, Zoya and Yovel. After one round Shabbat was out, and even though people had planned on staying and playing afterwards, everyone ended up leaving. I haven’t played Hawaii in long time, Gili likes it borrowed it. We play sometimes on Yucata.

Eszter played real Ra, Isle of Skye and Blood Rage which she likes and won, and Terraforming Mars. She was ahead the whole game, and had a lot of money to buy cards, but no cards that would help her turned up. Someone else said there’s no control in the early rounds.

Binyamin played Isle of Skye, Cash ‘n’ Guns, Carto, Opera, Nadlan B’Katan (For Sale), Brick Party.

Gili played Ticket to Ride and Settlers with her relatives, Cash ‘n’ Guns, Nadlan B’Katan (For Sale).

The game Above and Below looks interesting, about growing plants, but you can also build buildings underground. In Brick Party pairs compete to build with actual Legos based on an image on a card. One partner builds without seeing the picture, the other gives the instructions. The image is just the outside shape without showing the bricks, I don’t think I could build from that, much less direct someone else.

We were helping a group playing Five Tribes, I discovered they had played completely wrong, they were only using tile actions if they put a camel on it. The guy who had told them didn’t want to believe me, he said that’s how he’s always played.