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Ticket to Ride

Wednesdays are usually one of my favorite days of the week, because not only is it my regular mid-week day off (with the exception of this week), but it is also the one day every week when I know I’ll be able to spend some time with friends playing board games.

I’m still a newbie to the whole world of board games, but have discovered a few games that I can play over and over again without losing interest. Each playing experience is different, especially when factoring in the different people who show up from week to week, but I’ve yet to have a bad experience at game night– even when I’ve managed to come in last place, I still end up going home happy about the experience overall.

Learning new games and trying to implement the best strategy is something that I really enjoy, and the added perk of a little friendly competition is something that I enjoy way more than I ever expected.

This week, we were able to play a game that I’ve enjoyed immensely on my iPhone over the last several weeks (okay, maybe several months 😉 ), and I was really excited to play it with actual people instead of against a computer: Ticket to Ride.

The first time I saw or heard about this game, I thought it looked like a kid-game, and while it is suitable for children to play this fun train game, it’s also fun for a group of adults to get together and see who has the best strategy for completing randomly drawn routes across the board.

For some, the train theme might not be that appealing, but trains are kind of a big deal in my family since both my dad and step-dad work/worked in the railroad industry, so this game was right up my alley. (I’ve always thought it was kind of cool that my parents decided to name me Kathryn– spelled with a “y”– because they wanted to call me Katy after the historic rail line, The Katy Trail.)

After playing countless times against the computer, I developed what I thought of as a foolproof strategy, and was really excited to see how my plans worked when faced with actual people, people who manage to beat me in every other game we’ve played at game night over the last several weeks.

Due to my somewhat unfair advantage of having lots of practice, I actually managed to win at a game for the first time in ages tonight (but only by a few points).  I’m not counting on this rare occurrence of me winning to happen often, or even again, but I’ll take my wins when I can get them. 🙂

I won’t go so far as to say that Ticket to Ride is my all time favorite game, but it definitely ranks in the top 5, with the top spot being given to 7 Wonders, a game I’ve yet to win, despite it being one I’ve purchased (including the expansions).

What are some of your favorite games or ones that you can play countless times without getting bored or losing interest?

Responses (5)

  1. We must be a big board game family, because this branch loves board games too~ Let’s see…. Scrabble of course and Scattergories. Matt loves Munchkin. And we all like to play Monopoly. And the newest edition to the favorites list would be Life Adventure edition. Though your niece seems to clean up everytime at both Monopoly and Life.

    • Katy says:

      Next time I’m out there with you guys we’ll have to set aside some quality game time to play Life Adventure edition and Munchkin… and I’ll be prepared to accept defeat by the hands of Little Miss. 🙂

  2. Joe Babbitt says:

    Oh man. Huge question. One of my absolute favorites is Agricola, a cruel, harsh and unforgiving mistress. Tiny play mistakes in that game follow you all the way to the grave. One of the reasons I was so excited about Jamey’s Viticulture (which I haven’t got my hands on yet) is because I read somewhere that someone compared it to Agricola. Win or lose, it stretches your brain, and that’s a good thing.

    Chaos in the Old World is another favorite of mine. It takes a little bit to get over the fantasy hump and rope in non-gamers, but it’s a really fun game with deep strategies. One of the things I love most about this one is that the players are asymmetrical.

    I just learned Love Letter and Guildhall this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed them both.

    I prefer Thunderstone to Dominion because it offers deeper strategies, but both are excellent games.

    It takes a minimum of 5 people to play, but The Resistance is really awesome. It takes the best parts of the stellar Battlestar Galactica and gives it to you in bite size pieces.

    I’m stopping here before I write a small book. I don’t know if we’re local to each other, but if we are, we need to nerd it up, yo.

    • Katy says:

      Thanks for sharing this great list of games, Joe! A lot of these are ones I’ve heard of, but haven’t had the pleasure of playing yet.

      Agricola is near the top of my “games I’d like to play soon-ish” list, so I can’t confirm how similar it is to Viticulture, but do know that Viticulture is one game that will really make you “stretch your brain,” and I always spend time after the game is over thinking about what I could have done differently– I’ve yet to come close to winning at Viticulture, but still enjoy playing it and trying out new strategies.

      As far as being local, I’m in St. Louis, so arranging a game night shouldn’t be too challenging…and I’m sure if either of us asked nicely enough, Jamey might even let you finally have a chance to get your hands on Viticulture (and would probably be willing to come play, too– he hosts the game night I attend currently). I’ve been itching to play it again now that I’ve seen the final game/components in person.

  3. I’m steadily getting better and better, beating the computer a handful of times now.

    You’ll meet your match one of these days. Just give me a few months to catch up.

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