Saturday, November 7, 2009

Riding the Rails

Some time ago in our blog, we wrote about including games - and specifically Ticket to Ride - as part of our evening 'cool down' from a day of work at school or in the fields.

Happily, we can report that we have been able to play a number of games in the evenings - even after some pretty long days of work. We still enjoy Ticket to Ride very much. And, since the writing of that blog entry, we treated ourselves to the US and Europe versions. So, we have those in addition to Nordic Countries.

The good news: the games aren't getting old
The bad news: the games aren't getting old

A great thing about it is that these games are pretty simple to learn the rules, but they have layers of complexity that come from the graph theory applied to them. And, T & I are getting pretty good at running through a 2 person game very quickly. That means we can still get a bit of a game in even if we have much to do in the evening. I don't remember who won last night's game, but I do know it took no more than 15 minutes (probably less) to play. And, no, we weren't rushed. And, yes, we did enjoy the game. But - T had grading to do, so it was nice to be able to still do something for fun without paying too much in consequences.

Another part of this is that purchasing a game can give you access to the online game version, where you can play other people from all over the world. There are people on there that have played thousands (and even more than 10,000) online TTR games. Yoiks!

We also know the saying about curiosity and cats, don't we? Well, the online community advertised a 'multi-player' tournament (4 or 5 player games). R was curious. He asked if he could join. There were minimum rankings required to play (and a min of 1000 games played online!). Uh, right. Think we need an exception here if R plays. After some debate, I was allowed into the fray.

I now have an understanding as to how good these people are...and how, well, not as good I am. I finished a resounding last in the first two games (out of 13) that I played. I have since played four more and added another last place finish. Not bad, being last three of six times! On the other hand, I shocked myself (and probably my opponents) by winning a four person game and finishing second in a four and a five person game.

Fun people, interesting concept. Will I move on to the second round? ha! Reread the paragraph above.

Will T or R win the next contest at home? Flip a coin! Besides, we still play the game a bit like the cartoon characters Mac and Tosh and gin rummy.

"Do you mind if I gin?"
"Oh no, please do so."
"Thank you so very much"
"You are most welcome."
"Very well, GIN!"
"Well done indeed."

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