Tips & Strategies (69)

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Tips & Strategies (69)

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My First Game Tip
41 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Getting Kids Started”

This was the first grown-up game that I was able to get my youngest daughter, Anna, to enjoy. She was only 6 years old and had some trouble keeping track of the destinations. We made two modifications that really made her fall in love with the game.
1) Open destinations. Keep the destination cards face up. Anna had a hard enough time keeping track of her multi-colored train cards, let alone the destination cards. Keeping them face up in front of her made it easier.
2) Use colored markers on the map to indicate each player’s destinations. This really helped my daughter go beyond the typical linearity of most kid strategies and consider a network instead.

I would also urge any parent using this variant to avoid exploiting a blocking strategy until your kid figures it out for themselves. Fewer tears that way.

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Amateur Reviewer
39 of 40 gamers found this helpful
“I'll Draw this turn”

I find that drawing a small stack of cards (like 28ish) before laying down a single train works supprisingly well. I know most people are going to say but then I give someone the chance to block me, but at least in the US map it is pretty difficult to totally block off someone and once you have your entire route in your hand it is pretty hard to stop you.

If you use this strategy try to refrain from drawing the shown cards. Remember the more you draw from the deck the more wilds you will get and the less information your opponent will have if you think he is going to try and block you.

Also if you do decide to use this strategy try to get high point routes the best possible route is one from east to west like New York to Portland so you can get those high point yellow, orange, and pink routes.

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Gamer - Level 5
Critic - Level 3
Novice Advisor
43 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“Find the linchpin!”

What’s a linchpin? It’s the most important route in your plan. After deciding which destinations you want to connect together, you’ll probably find that there’s one spot where you NEED a particular route in order to avoid a huge detour around the map.

Now, most people tend to get route after route in order, slowly building their strip of trains as they go, but it’s more important to figure out where the ‘hot spots’ on the board are, and grab them early!

For example, the connection between New Orleans and Houston is a very popular one, so I’d grab it early. Another important route is Las Vegas, which only has two routes connecting to it. Finally, be sure not to get cut out of Alaska.

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Eminent Domain Fan
Went to GenCon 2011 Beta 1.0 Tester
40 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Cynical Grabs”

A couple of routes to grab early include:
Houston-New Orleans
and perhaps…

I enjoy relaxed play, but some serious TTR veterans will use these routes to block your progress rather easily (assuming you have routes along those links). Don’t let them do it by grabbing them first. Hopefully your game is more friendly than that, but just in case…

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Grand Master Grader
Guardian Angel
Advanced Reviewer
Rosetta Stone
27 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“The timing of Destination Tickets”

In some groups I play with, the malicious may choose to stop players from completing certain destination tickets if the victim has made it obvious where they are trying to get to. At the start of the game, this doesn’t happen as much considering players will be busy focusing their efforts on their own destination tickets before moving onto slyly eliminating the possibilities for others.

With this in mind, I usually focus my attentions on the first batch of Destination Tickets given at the start of the game. Once completed, I shift my focus to the ‘Longest Route’ objective. with around 10 carriages remaining, a rather efficient network has spread through the US bragging your colour like some sort of virus.

At this point, it’s a good idea to start asking for Destination Tickets’ once again. Every time you ask for Destination Tickets, it’s a gamble, but at this point in the game your sporadic network should reach far and wide. With three tickets to choose from, there’s a very strong chance that certain routes have already been completed, banking you very easy points heading into the end-game. Should the unlikelihood of no automatic completions be apparent, you still have a decent amount of carriages to help aid you in any that need completion.

In games I’ve played, this usually not only bags a nice amount of points, but confuses the more malicious players. Whenever someone asks for Destination Tickets, a collective ‘OOOOOOOOHHH!!!’ is murmured around the table, giving some people the idea they should start getting a bit more aggressive when it comes to your train placement. Here, you can confuse them by stringing together multiple Destination Ticket requests or even completely de-rail their tactics altogether!

That’s right…de-rail…

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8 Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012 Bronze Supporter
Advanced Reviewer
63 of 67 gamers found this helpful
“Grab Certain Routes First”

You’ll really see this in the digital format, because if you don’t grab them first the bots will. There are two routes that you should try to get on your first or second turn if you think you are going to need them.

Houston to New Orleans: If you need to get across the map east to west on the south end this route is very important. Failure to grab this route could cause you is spending at least two more turns to get around and reroute.

Nashville to Atlanta: To me this is one of the most important routes on the board even though it is only one space. It can easily be used to connect routes that are both east and west as well as many of the routes that travel along the east coast. It is also nice because it will link better to longer routes yielding more points verses two spaced routes.

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Miniature Painter
I Got What I Wanted
25 of 26 gamers found this helpful
“Beginning Game Choices”

I’ve played dozens of games of Ticket to Ride and I have observed that choosing routes wisely in the first round is critical to winning the game.

– Always choose routes that are grouped together, so it doesn’t take many turns to complete all of your routes.

– Try to choose routes that will form into the longest route possible (The ten points are critical at the end).

– Try to choose as one of your first two routes, a cross-country route. This will make it easier to add new routes on without much effort.

– Try to avoid routes with critical choke points (2-3 trains long) that fill up early.

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Professional Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
35 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Capture key block areas first for your destination routes.”

A corollary to the Annoy opponents tip.

If your routes take you near key block areas like Nashville to Atlanta or LA to Pheonix, get your trains on it ASAP. You don’t want to get blocked and stuck with a longer route or break up a potential longest route. Those areas take few cards, so you can get them early and not give away your route too early.

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I play yellow
Check Out My Favorites
Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
35 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Key Cities strategy”

Every T2R board has Key Cities. These are cities that either serve as a major hub or crossroads geographically, or that appear a little more often than others on that game’s Destination Tickets (the two are usually related).

Choose your opening routes to allow yourself to cross thru 3-5 of those Key Cities and finish a long, continuous path (helping win the Bonus Pts, too, if your game is using that card/rule). Then, if you’ve “played your cards right” (snicker), you’ll be in a position, with plenty of time/turns left, to draw aLOT more Destination Tickets (maybe baffling your opponents).

It is very likely that with each draw you will have already completed at least one of those routes = free points! Even if you have to “swallow” a loss of points once/twice, you’ll more than make up the difference in longer, already connected, routes!

Figuring out what the Key Cities on each map isn’t difficult, just takes some observation and repeated play. And, HEY! That’s what we’re all here for, right?

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Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness
60 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“Grabbing new tickets? Check how many trains you have left!”

The loudest groans I have heard while playing Ticket to Ride don’t come from someone taking a needed route, or drawing a bad set of tickets. Instead, these follow after drawing new tickets, spending the time to analyze one’s hand of cards and the board, and deciding on a plan. A turn or two later, the player realizes they don’t have enough trains left to complete the routes they need.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Make sure to include the number of available trains you have left when planning your final routes. Also keep in mind the alternative routes’ length (if any) in case someone grabs the most direct link you were planning on using.

Running out of trains early may not cause you to lose, but it will sour your gaming experience.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Rated 50 Games
45 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Effective Hoarding”

It is usually a good idea to build up a very large hand before laying down trains, but how do you know when to play? Just consider these things:
1) Is a route ‘key’? How long will a detour take you?
2) Is the route colored or wild? If possible, wait to play on wild (grey) roots, claim routes that are confined to one color first.
3) Are there cards you need face up in the draw area? If there are, take them, they are more likely to be taken by other players than the route you might otherwise play on.

Of course, each of these things has to be taken one case at a time, but generally they are sound.

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Professional Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
41 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Be flexible and plan ahead”

Usually when you get your initial destination tickets, most people pick the most optimal path. Don’t just pick one path, but see multiple routes that complete all your destinations. This gives you back-up plans should either someone block you or the cards aren’t going your way.

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The Gold Heart
I Am What I Am
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Balance early placement & drawing multiple routes”

Take time at the beginning to map out the best way to complete your routes that will also take your trains through multiple key cities. Drawing a large number of train cards will give you multiple ways to complete your routes which will enable you to select key cities to travel through.

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49 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Trading for the Kids”

When we play with our children we allow the trading of train cars. We only allow 1 for 1 with the exception of wild cards and they can be traded 2 for 1.

The kids love this aspect as it makes them feel more in control of the game.

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Advanced Reviewer
20 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Throw advanced players off your tail”

New players don’t pay much attention to what you do, but more experienced player is more he/she seeks to hinder your progress.

I have noticed that people who I play TtR with (the experienced lot) seem to tend to collect proper hand before playing, as in sizing up others and reacting after first play rather than rushing to tracks.

Collect your first route(s) and lay one of them, it comes fast evident who is ready to play and who seeks to delay others. By this time you have numerous cards to help you lead the opponent on wrong tracks. Play your route to wrong direction and see how opponent reacts. Next time you can start on the other end of the route as if it would be the other route of yours, but make sure they’re not too close to each others or your game will be called.

In best case you can delay his track by letting him think he slowed you down and he probably paid more on it than you. In worst case you opened an avenue for detour in case your original path get blocked.

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Critic - Level 1
19 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Get a Running Start”

While the normal game states that all players start with 4 train cards, a way to get the ball rolling faster is this little variant. Instead of dealing out 4 cards, all players get 7 cards as their starting hand. This will give players more starting resources to start forming their plans.

Additionally, after the drawing of destination cards, you can allow the players to use the first full round to draw from the draw pile only (no playing routes or drawing more destination cards).

This can be helpful in both the base game as well as the 1910 expansion.

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3 Beta 1.0 Tester
Intermediate Grader
44 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Blocking by color”

One strategy I really enjoy using is hoarding a particular color. Early in a game I will pick a particular color that I don’t need and pick it up whenever there is not something I need. I then sit on this color for as long as I can then use them for the gray (any color) routes towards the end. This causes problems for other players that might desperately need more of that color, but since you can still use them for the gray routes it doesn’t really hurt you. It is important to not let this strategy get in the way of getting cards you need, though.

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Gamer - Level 5
Count / Countess Beta 1.0 Tester
41 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“Card Hoarding”

To prevent someone from knowing where you are going to build your route and cutting off your route, just draw cards for awhile until you have some of the cards needed for your longer routes in hand. It will give you a massive hand but will make it harder for them to predict where you will be going and make it more difficult for them to cut you off.

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Intermediate Reviewer
Novice Advisor
40 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Long routes is the key!”

I think the America map is a bit broken, for this strategy have NEVER failed me to win the game.

1. At first, out of the initial destination cards, grab one or two that can use partially the same route and preferably a route with many 7 step passages.

2. Hoard cards! Locomotives are not that important, getting MANY cards is much more important, sooner or later you’ll find the use for them anyway.

3. Complete your destination cards as quickly as you can

4. Build as many long routes as you possibly can. There are two reasons for this: A) Building a long route cost you one move, building two shorter ones cost you two moves, you lose precious time when you don’t claim as long routes as possible, B) You have a limited number of trains and the long routes willgive you most vp/train cart.

5. Don’t bother trying to stop the other players. It may annoy them, but it’s hard to really deny someone the access to a particular station, and it’s not really worth the effort.

A bonus is of course that if you build the long routes you will deny your opponents vp for all their trains since the game will end before they have the chance to place them on the map.

So, it works, but the strategy may also ruin the fun with this map. I sincerely think this kind of strategy is the reason they tweaked the european map, where thist does not work nearly as good (and I also prefer the european map for those reasons).

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Treasure Map
24 of 26 gamers found this helpful
“Choosing Destination Tickets”

At the start of the game I try to make a point of choosing destination tickets that will easily be connected while also stretching out over as much of the map as possible. If I do this effectively enough I am more likely able to hold on to more destination tickets as I pick them up later in the game. That of course has a knock on effect and it becomes more and more likely to pick up destination tickets where the work is already (or almost) done.

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