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Ticket To Ride: Europe (2005)

i've never played any other variant, but i've heard it stated and Danny and Caylie agree based on the one game we played yesterday that it's an improvement over the original TTR because of the expanded game elements of tunnels, ferries, train stations, and long vs short routes that the original doesn't have.

it's pretty fun, but i speculate that after a while it will suffer from a "once you know all of the route cards" sort of syndrome, meaning that after people get familiar enough with the map and the route cards, the game itself becomes too predictable. Sure, there's strategy in how you get your routes to unfold, but the balance between trying to be stealthy versus loss of opportunity makes it transparent too early i think, so it just turns into a race.

granted, going for independent routes just to earn points helps with that, and i think the game probably plays better with four people as opposed to three because there's a higher likelihood of conflicts, but i think it would be more interesting if, as opposed to having long routes that are picked from a set of 6 cards, a player could make up his own long route and use some sort of system to determine what the point scheme is. That'd be fun for shorter routes too, place a bunch of blanks in the deck.

The other option would be to maybe make the game longer so that it doesn't get to mid and late game so early. In the game i played yesterday, i was the only one that took a turn to draw more destination cards because i finished my routes fairly early i think, but very soon after that it became impractical to try something like that again because Cayle was down to only 6 trains. The potential randomness of the destination draw doesn't net *that* much more points than just building routes of four trains or more, and thus picking up more cards ends up feeling like a waste of a turn that should be used to pick up more resources or build more random routes.

i'm not entire sure though; this is an impression after playing the game a total of 3 times. I definitely like Catan Cities and Knights better. I may like Takenoko better too. But i definitely like this over Dominion, a game which to me has a lot of hype for a game that is merely okay.

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