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Subject: TTR - Homemade/Downloaded Board Test Runs rss

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Stewart Bushman
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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I do occasionally roll on Shabbos.
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Yesterday, three friends and I all tested out 3 new TTR games that I printed out and mounted on foam-core board (you can see two pictures of them here: http://stoobush.blogspot.com/2008/11/homemade-ticket-to-ride....

The results:

Asia: http://www.pressefoto.dk/t2r/asia.php
This game took almost three hours, but it was worth it. There's not a lot of guidance from the website with regard to rules other than everyone starts with 90 trains. I had forgotten that there were blue (long) and yellow (short) routes in the cardset, so they were all shuffled together. When we play again, we'll probably deal out 2 blue and 2 yellow to everyone, keeping 2 (minimum) and discarding the blues forever, and then all draws would be from the yellow deck. We played with longest road bonus, but most routes bonus would work well with this one too. Overall, it's a great map with good balance and size. The cards are TTR: Europe/1910-sized, which is nice, although all of our unfamiliarity with the geography made finding cities tough. Also, the city names are in an unfortunate shade of red which also makes them hard to read. There are a few choke points, which didn't seem to really hurt anyone. The winner scored roughly 250. I came in last at 210 or so, which shocked me, since I thought I had this one in the bag.

London Underground: http://www.pressefoto.dk/t2r/tubemap.php
This game truly blew. I appreciate what the designer was trying to do aesthetically with the colored routes, but in the end, it meant that you would end up with dead cards in your hand because they were useless. The near-absence of grey routes makes this game virtually unplayable. If one were to give it another shot, I'd recommend implementing a 3:1 or 4:1 exchange for necessary color, like the Murmansk-Lieksa route in Nordic Countries. There are also lots of lousy routes, like 6-pointers that are only 6 trains long to complete. Longest route bonus would be meaningless, but implementing the most routes bonus made the difference in the game winner, who also won Asia. She scored around 120. I didn't even break 100, despite completing 2 blue routes. A plus was the oversized cards, a minus was that you had to hold the card at a right angle to align it with the map properly.

France: http://www.bdenvrac.com/aventuriers-du-rail/france.html
This game I liked a lot, and it wasn't just because I won it. The author implemented TGV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tgv) routes, which are high-point ones that require 3 wilds each. This made the initial game strategy interesting, since there were races to acquire wilds just to complete the TGV routes, whether or not they contributed to your route-completion goals. Fortunately a confusion between red and orange (a common problem on these printed boards...pink/red is also problematic) gave me the Paris-Lyon TGV route, which lead to the Lyon-Marseille TGV route, and since I had Paris-Montpelier, I was in pretty good shape. I'd have to play this one a few more times to really get a feel for the card balance, but it seemed that I was the beneficiary of several overlapping Southern France routes, so much so that I ran away with this game, scoring 190 points. We played this game with no bonuses, but both longest road and most routes would be appropriate, if desired. One nice thing about this game is it came with some blank cards, so interesting routes can be added, if desired. One negative is that the cards are original-TTR small, and the front-to-back printing didn't work all that well (lots of offsets on the card faces). I may try to fix that.

-S
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Guillaume Le Be
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Nice review Stoobush.

I have not printed Asia yet but it is good to know that the map actually play nicely. It gives more incentive to actually print the map.

I Have printed the map of France. Actually i did a little trick to print it on 6 A3, which made the manipulation after so much easier and the map looks almost like an original ticket to ride one. I have easy access to A3 printing, so this trick is for the one with good A3 printing.

First i worked from the whole map. Using photoshop I divided it in 6 parts. It takes only a few minutes to do. You just have to create a "guide" at the centre (vertical) and then create 2 more horizontal guide to make it in 6 equal parts. Then you save this version, and from it you use the crop tool along the guides to create 6 files, one for each A3. To make things even better you can scale up each sheet to 107% when you are printing. Printing Advice: print it as a photo quality, it comes out great!

Stoobush do you know how to create a map? I am currently learning photoshop to do that but it is long and painful! So if anyone can gives me some advices, tips or even help it would be really nice!
 
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