Thursday, July 15, 2004

Tilibumbleroo+Wags= Shemp wins

Last night, we played the Spiele Des Jahres game of the year winner, "Ticket to Ride" and a very odd time travel themed game called Chrononauts.
Ticket to Ride was a fun game. Simple enough but with good strategy. Basically boils down to collecting trains of similar colours to claim train routes between major cities for points. We had a good time picking at it's various production flaws (the Star of David", and unfortunate colour coding among others), but all in all it was quite an attractive and entertaining game. It seems that Days of Wonder specializes in medium weight strategy/ high production values games. Shemp and Tilitumbleroo battled for the longest train ride, while Kozure and Easy spun their wheels. In the end, Shemp pulled a win.

This led us to an interesting observation: Just about every time that Tilibumleroo plays a game with us, Shemp wins.

She didn't join us for the second game of TtR, and three players proved to be quite different experience. Without the luxury of multiple routes between cities, it became a game of "Grab your route while you can" (at least for me). Lucky for me, most of my plans worked out (except I ran out of trains and missed a big ticket...Bah!) and I won.

Next up was Chrononauts. this is a very strange game involving time travel, the effect of altering timelines and the chaos of having several people try to do it at once. This game managed to be incredibly complex and simple at the same time. I found myself a little frustrated by having to always corelate the year in which I had to alter time with the year I wanted the ripple effect to take place in (couldn't they have put that on the cards?) and a little discouraged by the amount of chaos in the game... but by the second game I started to see the balance in the game come through. A fun diversion game, but i wasn't the only one who commented on how messed up it must have been to try to design this game!

By the way, Tilibumbleroo joined us for both hands of Chrononauts and Shemp won both times. hmmmmmm.....

Ticket to Ride: 7
Chrononauts: 5


  1. Spun our wheels? Harrumph!

    We came in very respectable third and fourth places, thank you very much! :)

    The first game was close. The second game, not so much.

    I enjoyed Ticket to Ride, but I do fear it suffers from over-hype syndrome. Unlike Princes of Florence, Traders of Genoa and Puerto Rico, all of which definitely deserved the accolades they received, TtR doesn't feel to me like a top-ten game. I'd give it a 7.5 right now. Maybe with repeated playings I might enjoy it more. It's solid, with clear strategic potential and a lot of variables for exploration. I'm sure Hapi will enjoy it as well, and will bring his unique brand of "screw-your-neighbour" playing style to the table.

    I like Chrononauts, but mostly because of the theme. I concede that gameplay is highly dependent upon card draws, so victory can seem quite random.

    I should point out, for Easy's benefit, that the years affected by each linchpin are clearly printed on each linchpin card, and the icons on the ripplepoints which are affected by the linchpins key to the icon on the linchpin. Not so clear until you become with the icons, I suppose, but it's pretty clear to me now that I've played about six or seven times.

    I've always been very interested in alternate history science fiction, so I get a kick out of Chrononauts, even if the gameplay is pretty average and the strategy vs luck factor is low. I give Chrononauts a 6.5. I think its best niche lies in the filler or palate-cleansing category.

  2. I didn't comment on this one at the time only because I agree almost entire w/ Kozure. Now, I think I should at least get my comments on board.

    Ugh, accidental pun.

    Anyhow, I'll give Ticket to Ride a 7 - it's fun, somewhat strategic, and has good SYN (Screw Yer Neighbor) possibilities.

    Chrononauts I liked, as well, even though it is a little bit fluffy - you can have a strategy, and it might work, or it might not - no biggie either way. Let's say a 6, but an enthusiastic sort of 6. Wouldn't mind using this as a back up game at all in the future.