Saturday, 4 December 2010

boardgaming in photos

21 Nov 2010. Recently Michelle and I embarked on a mini-mission to play all the Ticket to Ride games in our collection. We played Ticket to Ride (USA) using the Big Cities expansion, TTR Europe, TTR Switzerland, TTR Nordic Countries and TTR Marklin (Germany). This one was TTR Marklin. I (white) focused on the western side of the map where there were more VP chips that my passengers could collect, but the routes were shorter and thus scored less points. Michelle (red) focused on the eastern side of the map with longer (and higher-scoring) routes. I used a passenger card to steal one of "Michelle's" chips in Berlin, but that was not enough to beat her. Also she ended the game quickly and I still had one passenger that I had not used for collecting chips.

My younger daughter Chen Rui (3.5 years old) arranged these. It looked like a fortress to me but she insisted it was a train. These pieces are actually purple but they look more blue here.

Passengers are unique to TTR Marklin.

We had not played Saint Petersburg for a long time. It was good to revisit it. I was definitely rusty, managing my cashflow rather poorly. I did not plan ahead well enough, and often ran short of money when I needed it, e.g. in the craftsmen phase when I needed to buy more craftsmen. Michelle bought a victory point-generating building early, which gave her an early lead. I managed to catch up by mid game by getting lots of buildings myself, but in the end I lost to her by 2pts because of (I think) the accumulated effects of my small mistakes throughout the game.

Saint Petersburg was quite well received when it came out in 2004, but if released today I suspect will not be as well received, because it very much embodies the typical Eurogame, where you build an economic engine and then use that engine to generate victory points. Theme is quite thin and the game can feel quite mechanical and mathematical. Nevertheless I still like the game. Enough interesting decisions and overall it has a quick pace.

Mykerinos, one of the earlier games from publisher Ystari, which we had not played for quite a while. It has a bit of area majority to win tiles. In this photo the majority is evaluated for every pair of tiles. When you win majority, you can either claim one of the tiles, or you can reserve a room at the museum. If you choose a tile, it comes with special powers and it will also be worth points. The tricky part is the value of the tile depends on which rooms you reserve at the museum. So there's a dilemma between grabbing tiles and racing to book the museum rooms that will help you the most.

The museum.

Innovation. I had so many coin symbols, and because of that, Translation (blue card) let me claim the World Achievement.

Ticket to Ride (USA) using the Big Cities expansion (in the 1910 expansion pack). Big Cities is good for 2-player games, because the tickets always include one of the main cities, so usually they force the players to compete to connect to the same cities. In this game I mostly worked in the north and Michelle the south, but still we had to compete at some cities.

I (green) needed to reach Nashville, and Michelle (red) needed to reach Atlanta. She placed the train to reach Atlanta before I could place mine to get to Nashville. Thankfully I was able to get to Nashville later by using the 3-black route.

Card back of the 1910 expansion. I like the artwork.

27 Nov 2010. At the Gates of Loyang. It's nice to bring out once in a while. It certainly looks good. The game is a little solitairish and puzzle-like. It's mostly about being efficient in generating enough supply (vegetables), capturing enough demand (customers), and matching them (planting the right vegetables for the right customers). There are various tools to help you with that - Market Stalls, additional fields and the big variety of Helpers. The scope of the game is not as wide as Agricola or Le Havre (also by Uwe Rosenberg).

28 Nov 2010. Ticket to Ride Switzerland. Zurich is always a chokepoint, so often at the start of the game we make sure we claim one of the routes leading to it.

4 comments:

Cecrow said...

Always been fond of TTR(USA) since it's one of the few games to prominently feature the town of my birth, Sault Ste. Marie (even if they did omit the "e" from "Ste.").

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I used to be rather dismissive of TTR when it first came out. At the time I disliked it for being too simple. Only later I learned to appreciate it for what it is, and since then I have been enjoying it more and more. My favourite is Switzerland.

Cecrow said...

I think I'm still in the dismissive stage (still prefer old-school Iron Dragon, 1830, etc. for my railway fix), although I'll confess it has some strategy to it.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

well, i don't even think of TTR as a railway game at all. :-)