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psteinx
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TTR Guide - Introduction Mon, 14 May 2007 20:37
Index:
1) TTR Overall Introduction, Gameplay, Etiquette
2) USA Map, 2 Players
3) USA Map, 3-5 Players
4) Europe Map - 2 - 5 Players

A) Rationale
TTR has developed a bit of a clique-ish feeling. Those who post most frequently in the forums, and in the game itself, tend to be the best players, and I think newer players may be intimidated. Therefore, and also as a favor to DoW and the TTR community for many hours of fun, I am creating a series of posts introducing key aspects of the game and strategy. All others, please feel free to add on your own thoughts in each thread, as appropriate. Also, feel free to translate and repost any of my comments from this or the linked threads (others can give their own permissions):

B) Introduction
TTR (Ticket To Ride) is an outstanding board game created by Alan Moon and published by DoW (Days of Wonder). There is also an on-line version of the game, that you can play for free at www.daysofwonder.com. As a free player, there are a few limitations on your play (discussed below), or you can register/pay in a few ways to remove some/all limits. This discussion is focused on the on-line versions, but should largely apply to the board games as well.

C) Gameplay
The summary below does not include every nuance, and some of these rules are changed a bit for maps other than the two primary maps (US and Europe). Still, they will give you a quick introduction to the primary rules.

The goal is to score more points than your opponents. In a typical game, the winner will score somewhere between 90 and 180 points.

*Points*
Points are scored in 3 ways:
1) Laying routes. Routes are the lines connecting cities. Longer routes award more points. There is a table printed on each map showing the exact points awarded.
2) Connecting destination cities. This awards you the number of points shown on the destination card. If you do NOT connect your destination cities by the end of the game, you LOSE that many points (instead of gaining). So, for a 10 point destination card, you will either get -10 or +10, depending on whether you make the full connection.
3) Longest route. The player with the longest continuously connected route gets a +10 bonus. In some of the variants (USA Mega, USA Big Cities, USA 1910), this bonus is removed, replaced, or supplemented by other bonuses.

*Gameplay*
The game starts with each player shown 3-4 destination route cards. Choose at least 2 and begin. Then, each turn you may either:
1) Draw color cards (that you use to build your routes)
2) Play color cards (to claim a route)
3) Draw additional destination tickets.

You also start the game with 45 'trains' - this is the maximum number of color cards you can play during the game. When you play a 6-long route, you use up 6 trains. When one player is down to 2 or less trains, then the final round begins - each player gets only 1 turn after that.

-Drawing color cards-
You may draw 2 color cards per turn, UNLESS you draw a face-up loco. If you draw a face-up loco, that is your only draw for the turn. If you have already drawn one card, you may not use your 2nd draw for a face up loco (locomotive - the multi colored card). Drawing from the 5 face up cards allows you more control of the cards you receive. Drawing from the face down pile gives you the chance of drawing 'free' locos. If you draw a card from the face down pile and it is a loco, you may still draw another card - only drawing the face-up loco (i.e. a guaranteed loco) limits you to 1 card drawn.

-Playing color cards-
To claim a route between two cities, click and drag the appropriate color cards from your pile at the bottom of the screen, on top of the route in question.

If the route shows 6 red rectangles (say, Miami-New Orleans), then you need to play 6 red cards to claim it. Locos act as wild-cards and are played automatically. If you have 5 reds and 3 locos, then drag a red on top of the Miami-New Orleans route. The game will automatically claim it using 5 reds and 1 loco.

Gray routes can be claimed using any color, but NOT a mix of colors. To claim the 3 grays between Los Angeles and Phoenix, drag a red to use 3 reds, a blue to use 3 blues, etc. Again, missing colors will be filled in with locos, if available.

If another player has claimed a route, you cannot claim it (it's taken).

When you see 2 parallel routes between cities (Los Angeles-San Francisco), you can claim the route with either of the two colors (green or pink for that one). If you're in a game with 4 or 5 players, then BOTH sides of the route may be taken, by different players.

-Drawing additional destination tickets-
You may use your turn to draw additional destination tickets. Click on the lower pile and you'll be shown 3 more tickets. You must keep at least 1, but can keep 2 or 3 as well. Be careful about taking too many, because you will face a penalty for uncompleted tickets.

That's pretty much it - the rules to the game are fairly simple, but the strategies can be quite complex. The US map uses the simplest rules (as outlined above). Other maps add a few extra rules.

*Etiquette*
The following suggestions should help you fit in quickly with the on-line community

1) Change your default name (i.e. Player12571) to something better. Click on My Account, then Profile to change it.

2) Entering games. As a non-paying player, you cannot start games - that is the primary restriction on those who haven't paid. Wait for an open game and join. If you're unfamiliar with TTR, you'll probably lose at first, but hopefully catch on quickly. I think 4 player games are easier for newcomers than 2 player games. Ask questions - most folks are friendly. However, other players may not always respond - they may not be talkative, or they may not speak English well (the on-line TTR community comes from many nations, with particularly heavy contingents from Germany, France, and the U.S.).

You will not be able to join all games immediately. You start with a 'karma' of 3. Some games are limited to those with a karma of 5. Look for open games, and play them to completion. Your karma goes up when you finish games normally, and down if you quit in the middle of a game. It's ok to lose, just finish your games.

Some of the better players prefer to play against other good players and not against newcomers. These games are often marked as 1400+, 1500+, top 300, etc. 1400+ refers to your rating (which you can only see when you have paid, not as a guest), and top 300 refers to your ranking, within the overall community of TTR players (also visible only to paid players). Please avoid these games until your skill improves.

3) Blocking. Good players can often guess what cities you are trying to connect by the way you play your routes. They may then intentionally block you by taking routes that interfere with yours, or prevent you from reaching your destination altogether. This is a part of the game, and is generally considered normal play, at least for better players. Don't take it personally. If it really bothers you, stick to 4 player games (which generally have less blocking).

------

Note that this guide has 4 parts total - this is only the first part. The other 3 parts are each in their own threads (in case others wanted to add comments pertinent to those sections).

Sections 2-4 focus more on strategy. If you are a relatively new player and want to improve, I encourage you to read the other sections.

1) TTR Overall Introduction, Gameplay, Etiquette
2) USA Map, 2 Players
3) USA Map, 3-5 Players
4) Europe Map - 2 - 5 Players

------

Feel free to make your own comments. I may also update my initial post to make corrections, improvements, etc.

[Aktualisiert am: Mon, 03 March 2008 17:19]

      
Zeno
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Tue, 15 May 2007 02:23
Wow, what a concept.

minor changes: In the drawing cards section mention that in the Swiss game the multi-colored card is a tunnel card, not a wild card. It can only be used as a wild card in making tunnels and you may draw a tunnel openly and still draw another card. for that matter, you probably need to mention tunnels in the route claiming section. Lastly, in some of the variants I believe you get 4 additional destination cards to choose from.

I look forward to the rest
      
player 577453
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Tue, 15 May 2007 11:47
Well done Phil,this is a good idea.As someone who learn't a great deal about the game from watching your games and then playing u.I would suggest we all play open games( when we know our opponent), good players playing OPEN GAMES is 1 of the best things we can do for up and coming players.
      
erps
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Tue, 15 May 2007 16:07
Hi

Very good!

But wrong place Sad Maybe you can ask DoW for a sticky note or a closed thread, because otherwise it will go down down down.

Or send it to shamogi (or me), we can put it on our websites.

But the most important thing is, you will not reach 50% of all players because they are german... And i think it is a lot to translate Sad

But continue anyway, it's a great thing. Maybe you can make links to screenshots of games or videos?

bye, erps
      
blueridge
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Thu, 27 September 2007 17:15
How do you get into private games for 1300's only when your score is above 1300?
      
psteinx
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Thu, 27 September 2007 19:03
Generally, players opening 1300+ games (or 1400+, or 1500+, etc), password protect them. When you try to join the game, you will be prompted for the password. Usually, when the game is created, the password is listed the title of the game (1300+ pw 13), but if no password is shown, you can usually assume that it's 13 for a 1300+ game. Or you can ask the opener in the lobby.
      
AAAPewterDragon
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Sat, 29 September 2007 17:50
how do you add buddies?
      
Zeno
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Re:TTR Guide - Introduction Sat, 29 September 2007 19:06
method 1: Click on name in lobby. When info comes up, click on add buddy button.

method 2: Go to my account --> buddy list enter login at bottom, or use find user.

method 3: In the forum, under the avatar for the poster, is the option to add to the buddy list.

welcome to the site.
      
    
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