Not that I am encouraging people to go trolling around on OkCupid, but they do happen to have a test there which will tell you officially whether you are a nerd, a geek or a dork. For the record, I am a modern cool nerd.
Which is pretty badass.
I've only been waiting 36 years for someone to say I was cool, so just let me have this dammit.
Anyway, this week I want to tell you about this table game that I love called Ticket To Ride.
Feel free to wear striped hats, overalls and talk like a conductor. Or go all out and steampunk it up.
Played by 2-5 players, you choose your color and corresponding trains. You then select three potential routes from a randomly shuffled pile. You must keep at least two of them and may discard the third if you choose.
On each turn, you can select trains of varying color available from the pile of cards (five are exposed at a time) or from the face down deck, you can claim a piece of track or you can choose a new route. When choosing train cards, you may choose two of any color or from the face down deck. If an engine is facing upright, you may choose only that card as it is the wild card of the game and can represent a train track portion of any color.
To build a piece of track, you must have the proper number of colored train cars between the two desired cities. Gray track can be occupied by any color train so long as you have the required number of the same color. If only two players are playing, the double track lines may not be used.
Due to the fact that routes are up for grabs by anyone, and the reality that if someone grabs a piece of track you need to complete a route, it becomes fairly imperative early on in the game to start claiming track.
Ideally, your designated routes will overlap at least in part so that it cuts down the amount of track you need to cover. However, the length of each connection is what earns you points, so it is a delicate balance of wanting longer routes, but not routes that are impossible to complete before the game ends.
If a player runs out of trains, all players remaining will get one turn. If at the end of that turn you have not completed one or more of your routes, you will be penalized, losing the number of points attributed to that route. For each route you complete, you add the number of points for that route to your total.
Strategy comes into play later in the game, particularly if you have completed all your routes. You can elect to choose another route, running the risk of not finishing it, or you can just spend your time claiming additional track. You can attempt to sabotage the routes of other players at this point if you can guess where they still need to go.
In addition to all those considerations, at the end of the game, the player with the longest continuous route earns additional points, regardless of whether they had been required to complete that entire route or not. It may be advantageous to spend the last few turns of the game adding track to the end of a completed route.
It sounds complicated, but you will catch on quickly. It becomes a very fast paced game. It is labeled for ages 8 and up, and that's definitely a fair age assessment.
Everyone in our house loves to play this one, and both the girls have already beat us at it.
I will warn you though...there are a TON of pieces and you really don't want anyone bumping the board.
If you have a crush on Wheaton and haven't seen this episode of TableTop, here you go.
Other posts this week in the land of nerd include this one arguing about DC v. Marvel by a new geek writer. Check it out and give him hell....only because Wonder Woman sent you.