Friday, 14 March 2014

TICKET TO RIDE EXPANSION MAP GAMES

Have been playing a lot of the Ticket to ride expansion map board games lately, especially the Switzerland and India maps, as well as the Heart of Africa map and Asia maps ... really enjoy them with the Switzerland map easily being my favorite. Have yet to buy the Nordic Countries map and Nederlands map but will no doubt buy them some day

So a quick Review of Ticket To Ride - Switzerland

The Swiss map is designed specifically designed for 2 or 3 players so as you would expect it is rather a cut throat and busy map with 3 players involved, with everyone fighting over the best single routes. Being a small country with mountainous terrain there is a vast amount of tunnels involved, and as such the rules state that the wild locomotive cards can only be used on tunnel routes and not on the normal routes - this makes it a fair bit more challenging. In 3 Player games, players can use both tracks of the double-routes. In 2 Player games, once one of the tracks of a double-route is taken, the other one is no longer available (makes for a fun game).

Also on the Swiss board map, some of the routes no longer link cities to cities, but connect cities to Switzerland's neighboring countries instead. These countries being France, Italy, Germany and Austria. There are also destination tickets that connect countries to countries. The tickets give you a choice of four countries to connect to with lower points for close ones and higher points for countries ones further apart.

City to Country Destination Tickets with your choice of destination points indicated
Country to Country Destination Tickets
If you are familiar with the original Europe map you will note they have 1 long destination ticket and a number of short destinations - In the Swiss map these replaced by the city to country tickets. At the start of the game, each player is dealt 5 Destination Tickets of which he must keep at least 2. During the game, if a player wishes to draw additional Destination tickets he draws 3 new Tickets, of which he must keep one of them. So make sure you have enough playing pieces before you commit to your choice - this has made me loose a many game before now. As in the original Ticket to Ride game, the player with the longest continuous path of routes at the end of the game receives a bonus of 10 points.

The Swiss Map - very busy around Zug, Zurich and Bern areas.
The countries are on the edges
Tunnel routes galore !

Very busy route to Italy .. all of them tunnels
Andrew and I have played numerous times and with 2 players it is still been very competitive with the double routes only counting as single ones. Also have played a lot of times with 3 players lately, makes for a very interesting game I can tell you, all trying to get those vital single connections early on, before the other players steal them them all.



Now a quick review of Ticket To Ride - India

The map of India is designed specifically for 2 to 4 players. In 4 Player games only, players can use both tracks of the double-routes. In 2 and 3 Player games, once one of the tracks of a double-route is taken, the other one is no longer available.

This map is an exciting one as you have to get as many destination tickets completed as you can but also you get bonus's for making a loop or circuit of that destination - i.e. you connect Manmad to Raitam
(score normally) but if you also connected these places via a different route - say through Ahamdabab you gain an end of game bonus as well, try to do this as many times as you can and the bonus points can mount up, giving you the edge in the game. Of course this makes it all very busy.
Also quite a few Ferry destinations on this map- ferries must have a locomotive (wild card) used when completing the route, and with all of them being rather long grey routes they can be hotly contested over. Grey cards mean any set of the same colour card - in case your wondering.


The India Map - very busy in the middle sections
get the little red one between Manmad and Kwanda ... such a vital route

Also a 10 point Indian Express bonus is awarded to the player who have the Longest Continuous Path on the board. As described above, each player may also earn Grand Tour of India bonuses. Any Ticket whose 2 Destination Cities are linked via at least 2 distinct continuous paths of its owner's plastic trains qualifies for a Grand Tour bonus. These 2 paths may intersect, but cannot share trains. The size of a player's bonus varies depending on the number of his qualifying Tickets, as per the Mandala (“Circle” in Sanskrit) bonus table shown on the Map. A player’s first and second qualifying Tickets are worth +5 points each, with the next three worth +10 each. with the most a player can receive for his Grand Tour tickets is 40 points.

The Mandalay Table showing the bonus points given for
each circuit (or loop) you can create for your destinations
 Have played this map about the same number of times as the Swiss one, as the India map is Andy's favorite map, as it can be very busy when you start creating your multiple loops of tickets. We have yet to try it with 4 players but with 3 and for that matter 2 players it is a very good addition of the Ticket to Ride maps.

It gets very busy in this section - India is a cut throat exciting game, if playing 4 player mode
the single destinations are crucial early on.


Next time I will give a review of the Africa and Asia maps - very good game editions

Has anyone played the Nordic and Nederland expansion maps perhaps? - be good to hear if they are are any good in comparision

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