Mega-Train hits the rails in 2013!
GM Claire Brosius "conducts"
her Final as Henry Allen fans his huge hand.
So many tickets, so little time!
Ticket to Ride set a record in 2013 with 249 riders
in its sixth straight year of 200+ players. The first two heats
each had 152 people -- 38 4-player games. The ballroom was stuffed
with Ticket to Ride and Ra competing for tables,
but everyone found a place to play, with a few overflowing into
The new system for sorting players into tables worked like
a charm. During the heats, players could choose between Ticket
to Ride Europe, Ticket to Ride 1910 Mega-game, and the original
Ticket to Ride USA. Every table was soon on the train
and chugging along. My two stalwart conductors, Sarah Beach and
Nikki Bradford, kept the check-in line moving to the "bin
sort" where each player could line up next to an orange
cone that had a flag marking their variant of choice.
Many of the games produced interesting results. In several
games, the runner-up would have won if they had noticed one spot
where their route did not connect to a city they needed. The
1910 Mega-Game variant lends itself to high scoring games, and
we had quite a few. Romain Jacques had a WBC record high score
of 224. One quarterfinal game had massive scores across the board.
Eric Brosius led it with 166, followed by 159, 132 and 131. The
fourth place score of 131 in that game would have won most of
the other games in the tournament, including the Final.
In the Final, defending champion Henry Allen repeated his
2012 strategy of holding a fistful of cards for most of the game,
playing only key sections during the early stages. At one point
almost half the deck was in his hand. But Henry's defense of
his title was not to be, as Trella Bromley, Rich Irving and Hillary
Haagen thwarted his effort.
Near the end of the game, Henry had a connected network in
the east and a small section in the west that included Seattle,
Vancouver and Calgary. He had six orange and six yellow cards
in his hand and twelve trains left, and needed to connect Duluth
to the western section to fulfill his tickets. He first played
six yellow cards to connect Seattle to Helena. On Trella's turn,
she fell on her sword -- she couldn't connect her network, and
Henry wasn't going to connect his either. She used three orange
cards and three locomotives to build Helena to Duluth. This blocked
Henry from making his connection and dropped him to fourth. Rich
Irving made the most tickets, but could only claim second place
as Hillary Haagen ended with the highest ticket score and the
longest route. Trella was third, right on Rich's heels, and a
spot higher than she would have placed if she hadn't blocked
Henry. Almost immediately after Trella's play, Henry realized
that if he had played the orange cards first, he would have had
two options (Seattle to Helena or Calgary to Helena) and would
not have been vulnerable to a blocking move.
Even with the biggest heats and the most players ever, the
Ticket to Ride train ran smoothly and on schedule. Get
on board for 2014 when we will be a North American Tournament
Regional qualifier for the 2014 Ticket to Ride World Championships!
The depot is full of munchkins.
Ed Beach is part of the Beach family
GM team for TTR.
Ticket To Ride Junior
29 pint-sized travellers contested GM Matthew Beach's Juniors
tournament with six new top passengers emerging. Top honors went
1st: Donte Saccenti (12) who won for the second year in a
row, Look out adults! Here he comes ...
2nd: Sophie Bels
3rd: Ethan Shipley-Tang
4th: Ryan Sokolowski
5th: Brandon Wines
6th: Sam Shambeda