1st Dec 2022 - Ticket To Ride: UK

by RobinWed, 25 Jan (Updated at Wed, 25 Jan)

Along with Newport Pagnell Board Games Club, the other great thing to come out of Milton Keynes is perhaps Marshall Amplifiers. And at Ousebank House this week you could see them both, thanks to the presence of a very exotic-looking Marshall amp alongside Ark Nova and Tiletum in the side room. No-one seemed to know why it was there but it was definitely a highlight for me – maybe the club’s new mascot?

I was a latecomer this week and was lucky to be able to join Michel and Jon-D for an evening of lighter games. Michel suggested co-operative games, so I introduced him to Magic Maze. This is a game of silent co-operation, where you have to work together to get 4 meeples out of a maze against the clock, without communicating other than via the notorious “Do Something” pawn. An interesting challenge and lots of fun, so long as you’re okay with everyone glaring silently at you while you desperately try to figure out what they’re waiting for you to do…

Jon brought in Splendour, which is a nice little resource-management, engine-building-ish game that I’d not seen at the club before; and then we moved onto Ticket To Ride: United Kingdom, which was new to me. Both were great fun, and a nice reminder that supposedly light games can still provide a proper tactical challenge.

In anticipation of our forthcoming Brass: Birmingham tournament game, I have been trying to emulate Ian’s technique of not remembering all the rules. So coal always flies, beer never flies, iron only flies from your own breweries, etc. (If that means nothing to you… hopefully Brass Birmingham will make a return to the club again soon. I would recommend it – though probably best to read the correct rules when the time comes.)

After an unsuccessful attempt in Lignum a couple of weeks ago, my rule-forgetting came into its own in Ticket To Ride. The rule I forgot was specific to the UK map, whereby you can use 4 random cards in place of an engine. I had accumulated about half the deck, trying and failing to draw a couple of engines, before Michel kindly reminded me of the rule. Whereupon I suddenly found myself with the required cards to score 40 points in a single turn, which catapulted me into a lead that I never lost.

At the other tables in our room we had Macao; and also Dan’s table playing Kanban EV. Is this product placement, by someone trying to convince us to vote for “Vital Lacerda games” as a tournament category? I confess I didn’t vote for that one. It seemed risky, as none of the Lacerda games really meet the requirement that you have to be able to finish them in an evening; apart from Railways Of Portugal, but there aren’t enough copies of that one at the club. So we would have a category with no eligible games in it…