Last week, the two new board games we ordered from Days of Wonder arrived. The first was Ticket to Ride: Märklin. This is similar to the U.S. Ticket to Ride game, except on a map of Germany. (Märklin is a German toy company best known for their model trains.) The game does add a couple new twists. It gets rid of the longest train bonus, replacing it with a most completed destination tickets bonus. It also adds passengers that you can move along your routes, picking up points for every city they visit on the way. It's a fun variant of Ticket to Ride, and Tianna and I both enjoyed it. We tied at 169 points. (We both lost, though, to our friend Bryan, who pulled more than 200 points.)
The second game is Small World. Small World is somewhat like Risk + fantasy - dice, and a whole lot shorter. Each player controls one of 14 races combined with one of 20 special powers. These combinations are changed every time you play, so the game is unique. Then players take turn conquering regions on the map and gaining points for each region they own. However, each player only has 10 or so armies, and generally won't get any more. (The Skeleton race is an exception; as they conquer other regions, they get more armies.) Thus, you eventually get to the point where your race is stalled; spread too thin to be able to grow much. At that point, you can put your race into decline and pick a new race and special power, and start it in a new area on the board. You get points from the regions owned by either race, but the race in decline can no longer attack. The game continues for 10 rounds (at least, it's 10 with two players), and whoever has the most points wins. Games usually take less than an hour.
Anyway, it's a fun game. We played this just after our TTR: Märklin game and tied again, at 106 points each. Tianna won via the tiebreaker rules (whoever has the most armies on the board wins a tiebreaker). But really, how often do you have two tied games in a row? We must be meant for each other.
So anyway, if anyone in the area likes board games, we've got a couple fun ones for you to try out. Oh, and by the way, both of those pictures are links to the game's website, in case you want more info.