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Subject: [Review] Ticket to Ride: Switzerland rss

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Tom Vasel
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If you've never played Ticket to Ride, or Ticket to Ride: Europe, then I highly suggest you forget about Ticket to Ride: Switzerland (Days of Wonder, 2007 - Alan Moon) and go check out one of them first. Really, you don't have a lot of choice about that; because this is the first game in the T2R series, which is not sold as a complete game but rather an expansion for one of the two original games.

T2R: Switzerland comes in a flat, square box and essentially is just rules, new ticket cards, and a new board. The trains and train cards are not included, so one needs a copy of the original game to play. I managed to fit the entire expansion into my T2R: Europe box, although I had to take out the plastic insert to make everything fit. I suppose you could keep the original box, as it does look really nice - I just figured I would keep everything in one place. The new board looks fabulous (as they all do), and the new ticket cards are clear and easy to read.

T2R: Switzerland is one of the first examples of a game that I've played for a lengthy period of time (on the computer version) before it came out as an actual board game. For those who may have played the same version, it's essentially the same thing. This map is unique in that it only handles two or three players, making it perhaps less useful than the base games, which went all the way up to five.

A few new rules are included with this version.
- Tunnels (also found in T2R: Europe): Several routes on the board have a black border, showing that they are tunnel spaces. These are handled the same as normal routes, except that when a player plays the train cards necessary to complete a tunnel, the top three cards of the train deck are flipped over. If any of the flipped cards match the color of the train cards being played, or are locomotives, the player must play one extra card for each. If they cannot do this, they take their played cards back into their hand; and their turn is over, forcing them to complete the tunnel on a future turn. Tunnels add a bit of luck to the game but also force players to think carefully when playing there. Whenever I'm going to build a tunnel, I almost always store at least one extra card in my hand - just in case. On rare occasions, a player may need to play two extra cards; and needing three extra cards is the stuff of legends (I've never seen it happen, but it's certainly possible). Players can also attempt to avoid using tunnels; but this map has a ton of them, although most are in the same places.
- Locomotive Cards: My favorite card from the original game, because it acted as a wild card. In this version, these are still wild cards but may ONLY be used in tunnels. This has a two-pronged effect. One, players are more inclined to try the difficult tunnels, because of the ease of picking up these cards. Oh - I neglected to mention - taking a face-up locomotive card is now the same as grabbing any card, so they are snagged often. Secondly, the regular routes are now slightly more difficult, since a player has to have the exact color they need, rather than wait on the wild cards to help them. In fact, sometimes I get annoyed enough, waiting to get the color for a regular line, that I'll build a roundabout route, using the colors I had. This is something that almost never happened to me in the original game.
Tickets: There are forty-six tickets in this game, which for the most part follow the ticket rules to the basic games. However, a player starts the game with five tickets and only needs to keep three. Tickets discarded then and during the game are completely discarded from the game, which means that players need to grab them quickly. It's not uncommon for players to run out of tickets during a game, so tickets are grabbed early and often. There are four countries on the board (Austria, France, Germany, and Italy), each with several endpoints in them. This is because twelve of the destination tickets require a player to either go from a city to a country, or from a country to a country. All of these tickets, which should always be kept when drawn, have four numbers on them. If a player completes the ticket, they receive the highest possible number; and if they fail, they receive the lowest possible number. For example, there is a ticket that wants Lugano to be connected with one of the four countries. If I connect it with Germany (12 points) and France (14 points) and Italy (2 points), I merely receive the 14 points for France, since it was highest amount. If I failed to complete the ticket at all, I would only lose two points.

The country tickets have three end results. First of all, they are incredibly useful, and a player should likely always keep them, unless they can't get to the city (if any) mentioned on the card. The gain is greater than the loss, making them a good investment. Also, because country tickets are so good, players will likely draw more tickets from the deck in hopes that they get these wonderful country tickets. Finally, players should connect to countries - whether they have tickets or not - so that they are prepared when they draw country tickets. I'm convinced a player who ignores countries does so at his own peril.

T2R: Switzerland is all about the tickets. There are only a few routes on the board that award "10" or "15" points, while there are plenty of routes that have only one train section. For those who don't like the strategy of simply building random long routes, this game will be a blessing, as someone who does that will get pummeled into defeat. At the same time, don't think that the game suffers because of that. Players are in a fierce competition to get to their routes first, and it is very easy to cut another player off from their destination. This makes Switzerland the most interactive of all the games (except possibly Marklin) and certainly makes it the most stressful. I wouldn't recommend it for new players, if only because it has a more "nasty" edge to it than the previous games. But for two players, it is possibly my choice of games, if only because the game is so intense.

T2R: Switzerland is not simply another edition of the basic game. Sure, it uses the same mechanics and will initially feel quite similar, but the game has a much more crowded feel, and competition (something that can occasionally be absent from the basic game) is higher. You don't really have the option of "playing nice" in Switzerland; players are simply hurrying to finish as many tickets as they can. I think releasing the game as an expansion was a good idea, as it will keep newcomers from trying this game first and also save a little money and space for purchasers. Once again, Mr. Moon manages to take his successful formula and keep it refreshing and fun!

Tom Vasel
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Ian Wakeham
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Good review Tom. Not sure I'll rush out and get this though as I've got the PC version so can play online whenever I like.

I agree that it can have a "nasty" edge; it seems to be the most aggressive of the TtR games I've played online. Lots of route blocking, particularly with players attempting to seal off links to the other countries. On several occasions I've come across players whose sole aim is to block and who do not bother completing their own links - probably aiming for the lowest negative score. I'm sure they're the type who kill their own team members on online shooter games, just because they can; TtR: Switzerland provides a bit of light relief for them...
 
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Jason Cheng
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TomVasel wrote:
All of these tickets, which should always be kept when drawn, have four numbers on them. If a player completes the ticket, they receive the highest possible number; and if they fail, they receive the lowest possible number.


This may not matter as much since you followed it up with an example, but it could be misunderstood to be saying that as long as the ticket is completed (whether you made one connection between two countries or all four, since there is no such thing as a partially completed ticket), you always score the highest possible number on the card. I think the cards themselves are pretty clear as to how points are given, but for someone that hasn't seen them, this could be misleading.
 
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david karasick
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"If a player completes the ticket, they receive the highest possible number; and if they fail, they receive the lowest possible number. "...........you meant to say that the completed trip gives you the points for that particular trip from one country to another, and the points are based on the amount for each trip. For example,if a trip from Austria to France scores x points, and from Austria to Germany scores y points, than if you complete the trip from Austria to Germany you get y points not x points even if x scores more points.
 
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Daniel
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One thing that was not mentioned here is the presence of at least one typo on a card. "Brio" instead of "Brig." My wife spotted it when we played last night. At least one owner of the game has said (in their comments here on BGG) that there are more typos, but I haven't taken the time to find them.

EDIT: I was in no way trying to shame Days of Wonder. As with the first edition of Ticket To Ride which lacked symbols, I am sure that reprints will fix the issue. Mostly, I'm trying to point out the fact that Tom Vasel didn't notice something which surprised me. He's usually so thorough!
 
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J B
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I don't think those are typos...I think what happened is they printed the English verisons of the city names on the cards but the Swiss (German?) versions on the map. It breaks the convention from TTR Europe and is kind of annoying. I'm looking to see if I can get cards that were printed in Europe, and if said cards would match the board.
 
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the_kid
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TomVasel wrote:
However, a player starts the game with five tickets and only needs to keep three.

T2R: Switzerland is all about the tickets.


You only need to keep 2 tickets at the beginning of the game.

Between 2 good players, Switzerland is all about blocking and getting longest and not ticket drawing.
 
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jcb231 wrote:
I don't think those are typos...I think what happened is they printed the English verisons of the city names on the cards but the Swiss (German?) versions on the map.


I don't have the game (yet), but Brig should be Brig. It's definitely not called "Brio" in any of the languages here - so at least that one would be a typo.
 
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Geni Palladin
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the_kid wrote:
TomVasel wrote:
However, a player starts the game with five tickets and only needs to keep three.

T2R: Switzerland is all about the tickets.


You only need to keep 2 tickets at the beginning of the game.

Between 2 good players, Switzerland is all about blocking and getting longest and not ticket drawing.


To disable the very annoying and game destructive blocking tactic (with keeping just the lowest 2 tickets), we have invented a special house rule: winning is only possible, if you reach at least 120 points in a 2-player game and 100 in a 3-player game.
With this additional rule, the game is much more fun!
 
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mike hibbert
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the_kid wrote:
TomVasel wrote:
However, a player starts the game with five tickets and only needs to keep three.

T2R: Switzerland is all about the tickets.


You only need to keep 2 tickets at the beginning of the game.

Between 2 good players, Switzerland is all about blocking and getting longest and not ticket drawing.


Have to say, glad I don't play at your gaff. I like positive play, I prefer to win the game by playing better, not by forcing the other person to play worse. Heyho, we're all different.
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Tim Gilberg
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moxtaveto wrote:

To disable the very annoying and game destructive blocking tactic (with keeping just the lowest 2 tickets), we have invented a special house rule: winning is only possible, if you reach at least 120 points in a 2-player game and 100 in a 3-player game.
With this additional rule, the game is much more fun!


Yet another crappy house rule! Definitely need to put together a geek list at some point.
 
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Geni Palladin
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zelador wrote:
One thing that was not mentioned here is the presence of at least one typo on a card. "Brio" instead of "Brig." My wife spotted it when we played last night. At least one owner of the game has said (in their comments here on BGG) that there are more typos, but I haven't taken the time to find them.


I wonder, if the typos of the new game are the same as the ones on BGG image #110156 from January 2006.


On this image, there are the following typos: Brio (should be Brig), Bargans (Sargans), Lungano (Lugano), Shaffhausen (Schaffhausen), Wintherthur (Winterthur) and Plaffikon (Pfäffikon). Minor typos are Neuchatel (Neuchâtel) and Delemont (Delémont).

These typos are NOT on the PC version - so let's see...

By the way, all locations on the Switzerland map are written in the language, that is spoken there (French in the western part, Italian in the south, and German in the north and east).
 
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Geni Palladin
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Gilby wrote:
moxtaveto wrote:

To disable the very annoying and game destructive blocking tactic (with keeping just the lowest 2 tickets), we have invented a special house rule: winning is only possible, if you reach at least 120 points in a 2-player game and 100 in a 3-player game.
With this additional rule, the game is much more fun!


Yet another crappy house rule! Definitely need to put together a geek list at some point.


This rule is absolutely necessary, if you don't want to abuse the game by playing your cards as fast as possible ANYWHERE on the board (you would not even need a game map to play like that).

If I look at the game results of "the kid" at the Days of Wonder website, I can see, that he has won 840 of 876 (2-player-)games on the Swiss map. I guess these games did not last more than 10-15 minutes, since his opponents scored only 43.5 points on average (he reached 90.3). If you want such a short game, o.k., but if you would like it longer...

 
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Jason Cheng
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Personally, a 2-player game that's reduced to blocking offers no skill and defeats the intent of the game. Why play then?
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Mark Kaufmann
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>I wonder, if the typos of the new game are the same as the ones on BGG >image #110156 from January 2006.

No, the typos in the linked image are from an early online version of Ticket to Ride Switzerland, that was quickly fixed. They are not in the printed board game.

There are two typo/spelling issues on the cards that we are aware of. Brio on the Destination Ticket is a typo and we missed it in editing the cards. It should indeed be Brig. The other mistake is a language issue, we used the local (French) spelling "Genève" on the board and the English spelling "Geneva" on the cards. As we have done in previous editions of the Ticket to Ride series, the intent was to use the local language for the spellings of the cities.

There is no difference between the versions sold in North America or Europe, (those who have the game will note the rules are multi-lingual), so getting a copy elsewhere, won't fix the typos.

While neither of these mistakes should effect game play, we will of course fix the cards in the next print run of the game.

Mark
Days of Wonder
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Travis Easton
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Gilby wrote:
moxtaveto wrote:

To disable the very annoying and game destructive blocking tactic (with keeping just the lowest 2 tickets), we have invented a special house rule: winning is only possible, if you reach at least 120 points in a 2-player game and 100 in a 3-player game.
With this additional rule, the game is much more fun!


Yet another crappy house rule! Definitely need to put together a geek list at some point.


I did a geeklist of ridiculous house rules ages ago.....
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/6731
 
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the_kid
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Zalasta wrote:
Personally, a 2-player game that's reduced to blocking offers no skill and defeats the intent of the game. Why play then?


To win a game by blocking is the hardest thing to do. It is extremely difficult to get longest which on a % basis is worth a lot more on Swiss as its a lower scoring map. That while making your own tickets is also very difficult. Do you realize how easy it is to be wrong and if you are you get killed? People that think it's so easy to block make me laugh.

How else you think I score 90 points a game. The max you could get with your 40 trains is 2 6's for 30 points, 2 5's for 20 points, 4 4's for 28 points and a one 2 for 2 points. That's only 80 points.
 
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Mark Zielinski
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I am looking forward to this one!

Now if we can just get DoW to release the Nordic expansion in the States.
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Jason Cheng
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the_kid wrote:
To win a game by blocking is the hardest thing to do. It is extremely difficult to get longest which on a % basis is worth a lot more on Swiss as its a lower scoring map. That while making your own tickets is also very difficult. Do you realize how easy it is to be wrong and if you are you get killed? People that think it's so easy to block make me laugh.

How else you think I score 90 points a game. The max you could get with your 40 trains is 2 6's for 30 points, 2 5's for 20 points, 4 4's for 28 points and a one 2 for 2 points. That's only 80 points.


Well hey, you're the expert on it. However, the luck that comes with the guessing doesn't negate the fact that blocking someone's route does not take skill. Since you have only 2 tickets to make. I'm not so keen to debate with you the finer points of blocking, because that's not my style, I don't play games with the sole intention to screw people, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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MarkKaufmann wrote:
>I wonder, if the typos of the new game are the same as the ones on BGG >image #110156 from January 2006.

No, the typos in the linked image are from an early online version of Ticket to Ride Switzerland, that was quickly fixed. They are not in the printed board game.

There are two typo/spelling issues on the cards that we are aware of. Brio on the Destination Ticket is a typo and we missed it in editing the cards. It should indeed be Brig. The other mistake is a language issue, we used the local (French) spelling "Genève" on the board and the English spelling "Geneva" on the cards. As we have done in previous editions of the Ticket to Ride series, the intent was to use the local language for the spellings of the cities.

There is no difference between the versions sold in North America or Europe, (those who have the game will note the rules are multi-lingual), so getting a copy elsewhere, won't fix the typos.

While neither of these mistakes should effect game play, we will of course fix the cards in the next print run of the game.

Mark
Days of Wonder


Thanks for the info!

There are a couple more mis-matches between the cards and the board, but I don't have them in front of me right now to specify further.
 
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the_kid
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[q="Zalasta However, the luck that comes with the guessing doesn't negate the fact that blocking someone's route does not take skill. Since you have only 2 tickets to make. I'm not so keen to debate with you the finer points of blocking, because that's not my style, I don't play games with the sole intention to screw people, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.[/q]

So if it's luck, or no skill, then why do I win such a high % of my games. Hmmmm. Cause it is skill. And the sole intention is to score more points than the opponent, to win.
 
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I gave this a 6 instead of a 10 because the cards are of a MUCH lesser quality than my TTR Europe set, the board does not contain a helpful chart for determining scoring, and the city names on the cards do not always match the spelling of the names on the board...an oversight that should have been corrected before shipping. TTR Europe established a pattern of using local names for the cities, and the Switzerland board does the same...the cards, however, use English or in some cases just flat-out wrong versions of the names, which can actually cause younger players some slight confusion...it's annoying.

I've heard that this game is going to be fixed for it's second edition, but where does that leave us chumps that bought the first release? I am thoroughly dissapointed in what should have been a great expansion. If only the component quality matched the gameplay.

I had originally given this a 9, but then I thought about it somemore and I played it back-to-back with TTR Europe and other DOW games and the quality gap was VERY noticable. One of my gaming buddies honestly thought I had printed the cards myself. I was only mildly annoyed until I put the components side by side and saw that quality gap...then I was royally pissed off. My local game store will not accept a return unless something is missing or damaged, and nobody on eBay is going to buy this game for the full 25 bucks I paid for it, so...yeah...screwage for me.

Many of my gamer friends have asked me about this game, I've told all of them not to buy until the quality problem is solved...unless they want to buy my copy off me so I can get rid of it!
 
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Neal Parish
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the_kid wrote:
Between 2 good players, Switzerland is all about blocking and getting longest and not ticket drawing.


Since you are supposed to use only the train cars and train cards from either TTR or TRE, and since it's not mentioned in the rules, do you get the 10 point bonus for the longest continuous path? This is not mentioned in the rules for the printed version, and I've never played the online version ...
 
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Mark Kaufmann
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Quote:
NAParish wrote: Since you are supposed to use only the train cars and train cards from either TTR or TRE, and since it's not mentioned in the rules, do you get the 10 point bonus for the longest continuous path? This is not mentioned in the rules for the printed version, and I've never played the online version.


---------------

Actually, in the Swiss map rules in "The Board" section the last sentence says: "As in the original Ticket to Ride game, the player with the longest continuous path of routes at the end of the game receives a bonus of 10 points."

Mark - Days of Wonder
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jcb231 wrote:
I gave this a 6 instead of a 10 because the cards are of a MUCH lesser quality than my TTR Europe set


This is the first thing I noticed when opening this set. The cards feel like they were printed on card stock and cut out by hand. My cards aren't even the same size, which reduces me to pile-shuffling, which I hate.
 
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