Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

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afhands Nov 30, 2012 @ 5:09pm
Is there a forum setup to learn strategies to increase your score? I have tried a few different ways to win the games but am no successful. Any suggestions? Mostly I play Switzerland, Europe, and Asia. Too frsutrating to plays USA (any version).
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zyzz Dec 1, 2012 @ 4:55pm 
Interesting, I find the US map the easiest. For easy games, I do the US map with four players -- fewer and it's easy to get cut off (since the rules for 2-3 mean only one player can put down trains on a double-wide track), more and it gets a little crowded. I almost always pick at least 2 of the 3 starting routes, choosing the two with endpoint cities closest to each other. If all three are going in roughly the same direction I'll take all 3. Right now I'm playing a game and my starting routes were Duluth-El Paso, Chicago-Santa Fe, and Portland-Nashville, so I'm doing all three. Once I've got my routes I like to scan for the easiest way to build them -- uncolored tracks are good, as are double-wide tracks and areas with lots of easy detours. There will probably be some bottlenecks you have to build through -- long colored tracks are tough because you can waste a lot of time trying to get the trains, and short/uncolored single-wide tracks are bad because it's very easy to have them taken out from under you. So from the beginning keep in mind what colors of trains you need to save for long tracks, and try to build those easy-to-snipe tracks early. Also, watch what the other players are doing! If someone has built out to both end-cities of one of the tracks you want, they are probably going to take your track next.

If/when you've built your initial routes, look at how many trains everyone has left, what you've got in your hand, how extensive your rail network is, and how crowded the rest of the board is. Looking at this will tell you whether to draw more routes. If people are at 20+ trains, you almost surely want more routes, but you might also take routes if you're already in a lot of cities or you have great cards, since that'll make it a lot easier to complete them. I often get 1-2 routes worth of free points by drawing routes I've already completed, or only need to lay down 1-2 small sections of track for.

Also, it helps to play against the NPCs if you just want a relaxing game where you don't have to think too much. Humans are much smarter and more unpredictable. ;D
Brinkman Dec 9, 2012 @ 4:18pm 
I also find the US map to be the easiest. A lot of double routes and alternative paths. Europe is extremely hard with 3 or 5 players. I find myself using 1-2 stations in the crowded games.

I found the best way to get a higher score is the hoard cards and claim the long routes. For example in one of my highest scoring games I only took 2 ticket cards and planned my whole route around the longest connections. Ended up getting the longest route card and I was in the 180s.

Strategy changes every game based on how early people are claiming routes and how the cards fall. 1 route can be the deciphering point in having the highest scoring game or the lowest scoring game.
cazaron Dec 18, 2012 @ 12:04pm 
For what it's worth, I play a majority of USA, though Europe and Switzerland I enjoy almost as much. Asia's very different, I haven't learned the strategy for it yet.

The general idea of TTR is that you build the best routes for your tickets.
By that, what I mean is, if you know what tickets you don't have, and notice that your opponents don't have them either, build (in your track) ways to get those tickets later in the game. For example: I'm trying to finish LA-NY and Seattle-NY. Now, i could go up to Toronto and across to Seattle, but this isn't the most useful way to do it. Claim Seattle-Portland, then build down, go across the middle, through Denver, Kansas City, up to Chicago, then Pittsburgh... Oh, hello, Denver-Pittsburgh is completed even though you don't have it? Draw tickets when you've finished your first ones.

You need to know what tickets there are in the game.

You will find, that if you play your trains in a way that they (initially) complete your first tickets, but later happen to fall into place as other routes, points will fall into your lap.

I will note, this does involve you taking routes you may not need in order to 'just in case'.
For example here, Nashville-Atlanta. Take it, so if you get a ticket down to Miami, you can get there easier. 20 free points by taking this one route you won't need, when LA-Miami comes up for you.

One of my key comments though: Don't waste time with tickets that aren't worth finishing. Too often people will hold on to say, Kansas City-Houston (5) and spend 10 or so trains finishing it. For a 5 point increase, it just isn't worth it. Take the 5 point hit, and pick up new tickets. Chances are, you'll be able to finish one worth far more.

If not, it's a game of chance and strategy anyway, such is life, if you lose too many points, concede defeat, move on to the next game.

You will not, I repeat, will not, win every game, and you're a fool if you think you will.

It's an amazing game, a perfect blend of chance and planning.
afhands Dec 18, 2012 @ 4:54pm 
Thanks, DAC, that's the best advice I've received.
cazaron Dec 24, 2012 @ 12:51am 
Glad I could help!
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Date Posted: Nov 30, 2012 @ 5:09pm
Posts: 5