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Inofficial Belgian expansion to Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride - Inofficial Belgian expansion

I have finally printed and played the (inofficial) Belgian expansion of Ticket to Ride (more details here)! The fan-made non-official expansion was created by Nicolas Maréchal / Les Jeux de Nim.

We bought new high quality photo paper, a very large and strong sheet of cardboard plus new color ink for the inkjet printer. And 2 hours later - with much anticipation and excitement - we held our own copy of the Belgian expansion in our hands. It was certainly not long before we started playing.

The expansion is designed for 2-3 players and one can immediately see why: the routes between cities are much much shorter, mostly only 2-3 fields long. To balance the game the author has put several double routes onto the board, which may be used when playing with 3 players. But sometimes even this is not enough, as it becomes really crowded. Especially Bruxelles (Brussels) and Liège are among the more popular destinations in Belgium (who would have guessed). The destination tickets are adjusted to the Belgian route network.

Design
For a fan-made extension the design is extraordinary. By investing about EUR 15 into ink and paper you get a durable, well designed addition to the excellent original game. The designers have obviously a lot of time and energy into making the board look similar to the original.

Gameplay
The gameplay is identical to the basic version. Naturelich, the new board requires you to revise your strategies. I have noticed that drawing a lot of destination tickets pays well off. Additionally, it was felt that getting your trains onto the board early on some key routes was important to achieve victory. Since the board contains only two routes of length 6 - scoring superproportional 15 points - these are even more valuable than in the original game. All these new elements make up for a new set of strategies and tactics. Something which shortens the time-period until the official first extension to this great game is released.

Key words:
- inoffizielle Erweiterung Belgien Zug um Zug
- Les Aventuriers du Rail en Belgique

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Comments

The game group I play with, Billygames, have played the Belgian board for TtR. Go to this url to see the entry in our blog.

http://coljenngamer.blogspot.com/2004/11/tuesday-17th-ttr-belgium-board.html

I have added the picture today. You can see how crowded it got in Ath. The black waggon belongs to Naturelich and was supposed to get me from Brussels further to the west but the others did not let me - not because of a blocking strategy but rather because of their own targets. This proves the point: the board gets really crowded and needs some very different tactics than the original Ticket to Ride.

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