Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ticket to Ride

Apparently my "Art of Disappearing" post was spot on. I put the poem up and then promptly disappear. I blinked and missed the week. Or completely ignored it. Today I took ten minutes away from my book and realized that it's been almost a week since I last posted anything. Which is a bit amazing because I've kept gathering topics on little post-its all week.

But the first thing I have to tell you about is the game that Jeff and I have been addicted to all week. Last Saturday I wasn't feeling great (due to stupidity on my part) and spent most of the day lounging around the house. I napped, I watched TV, and I annoyed Jeff (so not a terrible day ;-) ) After spending most of the day indoors Jeff wanted to know if I would go out with him to the games store. We had a gift card that was apparently burning a hole in his pocket. That sounded great to me.

We browsed the shelves of strategy games like kids in a candy store. I haven't played a ton of the strategy games but I've enjoyed every one I've gotten the chance to play (okay mostly...Primordial Soup just wasn't my thing). It came down to a choice between Shadows Over Camelot (thanks Keith) or Ticket to Ride (thanks Vicky). The only reason we went with Ticket to Ride is that it allowed for two player games. Jeff and I brought the game home, cracked it open and after reading up, played our first game. Then played another. And another. The next night we broke it out again for a couple more games. Last night we took it over to my parent's house to teach them. To say that we're addicted is a bit of an understatement.

Ticket to Ride is a train strategy game. At the beginning of the game you draw routes across the US and Canada that you are supposed to try to complete (New York to El Paso, Montreal to Vancouver, Duluth to Houston, etc). Each of those routes is made up of smaller city connections like Chicago to Omaha or El Paso to Phoenix.  To collect a route you need to save the appropriate number and color of train cards and then when you have enough you lay your own colored train cars down to claim the route. Routes between cities can be anywhere from a single car to six cars. For each train car you put down you get points and for each route you complete you get points. And in the end the longest continuous route gets points.

While not as strategic as Agricola or as difficult to win as Pandemic, this game is addictive. With 30 something long routes and numerous ways to make the connections you are constantly planning. Jeff and I enjoyed the game with just two but having four made it a bit more challenging. You can play as aggressive or as defensive as you like. But in the end you come away planning how you could have done things better or marveling at a route that came together at the last minute. My coworker Vicky mentioned it as a fun game. It'd go farther. I'd say it's my current favorite game.


Josh said...

Bring it north next time you come up!

Cat B said...

Sounds like a plan. I love games nights.