Friday, 15 June 2012

Ticket To Ride: Asia

I own most of the Ticket To Ride expansions and spin-offs, and when I heard about this Asia expansion map I was quite excited, because I live in Asia. However I was disappointed to find out that of the two Asian maps, one requires at least four players because it's a team-based game. I usually only play Ticket To Ride games against my wife, so there's little chance of the team game getting played. So, as often is the case, my justification for buying it is when my two kids grow up we will be able to play the team game as a family.

That means for now I've only played the Legendary Asia map, and cannot write about the Team Asia map yet. The Legendary Asia map is mostly just Ticket To Ride on a different map. There is an element of TTR Europe - one of your start destination tickets is a long route (you can choose whether to keep it). I don't like this element because there are only a handful of such long routes and you'll soon know all of them. I think if you play a competitive game, this aspect is good because you need to prevent your opponents from guessing your card and blocking you. You also want to guess your opponents' cards. However I prefer a more relaxed play style with TTR, so I'd rather have more variability.

The bottom destination card, Ankara - Colombo, is one of the long routes. As usual, the Days of Wonder graphics design is top-notch. The game comes with card racks, but they are mainly meant for the team game, not for helping you hold cards.

Mountain spaces are a new concept. When claiming a route with such spaces you must pay extra trains. These extra trains earn 2VP each. Using them depletes your train supply more quickly. You need to be careful not to run short of trains to complete all your destination tickets. However using mountain routes can also help you force a quicker end while your opponent is unprepared.

I have only played a few 2-player games, so I don't have a good feel of how different this map is from other maps. At the moment it feels about the same. TTR Switzerland is still my favourite TTR map, but that's because I mostly play with two.

I may need to wait a few years before I can experience the Team Asia map. I'm looking forward to that, because the team rules look quite interesting. Maybe I should already start the kids on basic TTR (USA map).

This is the Legendary Asia side of the board. The bottom right corner is for placing trains that have been spent to claim mountain routes.

The biggest flaw of the game is --- there is no Kuala Lumpur! Surely it makes much more sense to add Kuala Lumpur and remove Singapore (cue cheers from Malaysians and jeers from Singaporeans).

1 comment:

GamesBook said...

So, you and your wife don't have any friends at all that would play a boardgame with you? That is just ... sad.