Thurn and Taxis
English language edition
Your Price: $34.99
(Worth 3,499 Funagain Points!)
from 5 customer reviews
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Winning the Spiel des Jahres in 2006, Thurn and Taxis takes the theme of the German post office and transforms it into a fascinating game. Players take turns building connecting routes of postal stagecoaches across Germany. Decisions must be made whether to build short, safer routes that may allow them to control territories, or to build longer, more lucrative routes. Fans of Ticket to Ride will enjoy the medium complexity of this game, as players may utilize one special ability each turn to help be the first to build routes in each area. Requiring planning and forethought, Thurn and Taxis is a rewarding experience for those who enjoy strategic games.
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I used to enjoy playing Ticket to Ride and can still enjoy it but, Thurn and Taxis has put Ticket to Ride on the back burner. Both games are route games but, in both games one needs to line up the right cards to build routes. Thurn and Taxis though offer so much more than Ticket to Ride.
What makes Thurn and Taxis easier is you have the freedom to decide what to do. There are no destination tickets. Two people can even build in the same area and copy routes. No getting locked out as can happen in Ticket to Ride. The game also seems faster because you collect cards and build on the same turn.
What makes Thurn and Taxis harder is there much more choice involved. There are four characters and you can only use one of them to help you but, which one. You do also have to plan in advanced or you could get yourself in trouble. The rules are also more complex and it may take you a game or two to get comfortable with all the choices. Once you do though you will find this to be a winner of a game.
We haven't played with the left over houses counting against a player. I don't see why this doesn't get five stars and so many other games have gotten five stars that I have enjoyed but, then found don't work after awhile. I play with my family and we generally like the lighter family games (Witch's Brew and The Four Ten Days Games)
I just purchased this game at GenCon Indy over the weekend. I've played it twice--once at the convention and then again that night with close friends.
I'm astounded at the bad review posted below, so I thought I'd add MY 2 cents. The game deserves a MUCH better rating than 2.0 stars.
I won't reiterate the details of the game play. I can say that if you like Ticket to Ride but wish it had more strategy, then this game is right for you. It isn't exactly like T2R, but with the collecting of cards in order to play strings of cards connecting cities with your color markers. That is spot on. The difference lies with the collection of victory points.
Why would I want this in my collection? I thoroughly enjoy the extra measure of strategy while depending less on the luck of the draw. In Thurn & Taxis your game plan is not set in stone (or tracks as it were) from the onset. No one has the ability to lock you out of a destination, simply because they managed to draw the right flavor of cards first.
As for losing the game on a single mistake, that's a gross generalization. The wide disparity of winning and losing scores comes NOT from a single mistake, but not keeping up with your counterparts--you don't want to lag behind in getting your houses in the cities. Everyone with house left in their supply at game end loses a victory point for each. Sure it looks like you lost the game (and BADLY) in the closing turn, but that should be a lesson learned in how NOT to play this game.
I think the ever diminishing return (victory points) in each facet of scoring is a brilliant technique for rewarding the agressive, and might I add, EFFICIENT play of your cards. Thurn & Taxis (just like the postal system) is all about proficiency.
It is a GREAT game!
Although Thurn & Taxis will probably not be remembered as one of the all time greatest games (like Carcasonne or Settlers), it's in the league with many very solid games that can be enjoyed for a long season or two (like Pueblo or Tikal or Alhambra).
Although it is a route game like Ticket to Ride, it's also very different from that game. One has to try to piece together a good postal route with what is at hand. And in that way, the mechanics do probably dimly echo some of the choices that had to be made by postal carriers of the time. The strategies are interesting and not immediately obvious.
Another thing of note is that the game is VERY nice looking. It has beautiful art that looks like a faded parchment, and I'm always a sucker for tasteful game art.
Are there some flaws? Perhaps, but they seem to have been addressed by some of the game rules (in the form of 4 different 'helpers' that can be called upon during one's turn). No, it's not a perfect game but fun enough and certainly stimulating enough to make your children just a little smarter.