Meanwhile, Martin had brought the UK expansion for Ticket to Ride. Katy needed only a little persuading before they chose that as their game of the evening. And so with two train-based games in two rooms, we began.
We played a slightly different rule to normal: this time the bonuses for long links were shuffled into the pack and were only valid if they were dealt out, instead of the more normal rule of them being available all the time.
Railways started with one of Adam’s clever mind tricks. The railroad operations cards were dealt out at the start of the game. Adam mentioned the service bounty to Toledo for four bonus points, and then explained in detail the others. Such that, by the time we’d begun, the three of us had forgotten about the service bounty, allowing Adam to pick it up even though he was last to go.
Ian, Matt and Adam tussle on the East Coast
That was the end of Adam’s luck, as he and Ian then went head to head in the area around New York. I began in Louisville and was helped by (a) Ian misjudging how many moves he needed to get the four-colour-cube bonus, forgetting the rules, wasting a go and allowing me to swoop in, (b) Matt not noticing he could complete the three-link bonus before me if he used one of Adam’s tracks, allowing me to swoop in again and (c) two more service bounties to cities I was already connected to. Oh, and (d) I was the only player to complete his baron.
Ian and Adam crossed paths again as Ian blocked off Adam’s potential 10-point New York to Chicago route, and it was a frustrating game for the creeping custard who only had a three-link engine until quite late in the game. Ian went from miles in last, right up to joint second for one brief moment, before ending in third, which was commendable considering how badly he’d messed up his game near the start. Matt attached himself to my network, abandoning the East Coast, and hoovered up all the red cubes he could find.
Stat-fans may be interested to know that this is the third game of RotW in a row that Ian’s scored 49 points.
While we played we could barely fail to notice the cries of joy and hilarity coming from the next room. Ticket to Ride UK, with it’s new rules, was clearly going down well with the previously hesitant Katy. Part of her enjoyment must have been due to her aptitude, even though she almost lost it at the end when Hannah built the 40-point link to New York. Not sure what Martin and Andy were doing while this clash of the Titans was going on.
When this was over, we were still up to our elbows in rolling stock, so they began a game of Beasty Bar. As we played Railways of the World, we could hear Martin explaining the rules and it sounded like he was practising for when he has to read to his child at bedtime. He explained that “All animals have specials powers” in quietly soothing tones, and then went on to describe what each animal does (“Giraffes can hop”). I assume he made appropriate mime actions, too.
The scores were:
They even had time to start a game of Twilight before RotW was over. But after my epic win, I was a bit frazzled and set off home. But the games continued without me.
Hannah and Katy 194
Andy and Martin 167
Meanwhile the rest of the RotW crew played No Thanks!
Katy remains toppermost on the division, apart from that pesky points ratio which has now been nabbed by Adam.