I was first introduced to the board game Ticket to Ride a couple years ago. We invited some good friends over for dinner. We have since come to know them for their love of serious games. The first things I noticed about this game, was how big the game board is, and how elaborate the design of the game is. It is interesting to me how big of a difference the design can make. The concept of the game is pretty basic. Starting at the beginning of the game, you receive a couple cards that indicate certain train routes on the game board.
Your task is to collect he right colored cards that enable you to connect all of your train routes. Additional route cards can be selected as well in addition to those chosen in the beginning. The game ends when a player has less than three of his original forty five trains left. Points are added up for several things; the completion of train routes, length of train segments, and ten points for the person with the longest train.
The game Power Grid is another great one. I will admit that I have only played it once, but have been very anxious to purchase it for several months. This game is also played on a map, but has a different feel. It is based around the concept that there are many ways we can power a city. You can have a coal burning power plant, a nuclear power plant, a solar panel plant, a wind mill farm, and a hydro power plant. You need money to purchase cities, as well as money to build these types of power plants. You then need to purchase coal or nuclear fuel, etc. in order to power some of the plants.
The production of power gives you more money each turn. The object of the game is simple; to be the first one to have acquired a certain number of cities, and made a producer of power. One strategy comes in learning that, the person who has the most cities on a particular turn, is the last one to decide which power plant to buy. It sounds simple enough, but it was not until the end when I really understood how much strategy was involved. I thought I was winning, but my friend who was teaching me this game, came from behind and whooped on me.
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