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For the moment we have had fun playing Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries, however, the fun has been spoiled by now due to the following incentive of which I don't know whether it is allowed.

Consider the following situation:

  • Two players build a network across the map based on the initial destination cards they got from the start.
  • Then each player extends their network up to the point that they have almost run out of trains, but keeps enough trains apart to not let the game finish automatically.
  • Now the players can harvest destination tickets with 3 at a time, where at least 1 destination card should be kept.
  • With only a handful of trains left in your stock and a reasonably well-connected network, chances are pretty high that at least one of the three cards you draw will be already covered by your network (at least this is my experience). So one does not have to be afraid of negative scoring for unfinished destination tickets.

As far as I understand the rules, unlimited harvesting of destination tickets is allowed. The only punishment that exists in the game is that any destination ticket you fail to complete will be counted negatively in your final scoring.

If this is true, TTC NC changes from a strategy game into a lottery.

So my question is: Is unlimited destination ticket harvesting allowed in the way I described before?

I am aware of a similar question asked here, but in contrast to that question, my question is specifically about the balance of luck against strategy and planning in this game, not about the influence of the luck itself.

I could think of house rules where the number of destination tickets you are allowed to draw is depending on your available stock of trains: the fewer trains you have left, the fewer cards you may draw. But I'd rather stick with official rules.

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    At least in other variants of TTR, the game ends as soon as one player has almost depleted their stock of trains, so if my opponent is doing this I'll just finish the game and win while their score goes very negative. Is that different in TTR Nordic? (I don't see anything in the BGG summary which says this is different) Sep 8 at 13:56
  • @PhilipKendall, I added an extra bullet point to my list. The thing is that the destination tickets in TTR Nordic Countries are very similar to each other and destinations are easily added to your network. So you can make a long stretch like Oslo-Kuopio, and draw a card for Oslo-Stockholm or Helsinki-Kuopio later on while these two trajectories were already included in your network when you were working on your earlier destination ticket. In that way, there is hardly a chance that you will get negative scorings from your destination tickets
    – saQuist
    Sep 8 at 15:46
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From the rules here with emphasis mine

A player can use his turn to draw more Destination Ticket cards. To do so, he draws 3 new cards from the top of the Destination Ticket deck. He must keep at least one of the cards, but may also keep two or all three if he chooses. If there are less than 3 Destination Tickets left in the deck, the player only draws what cards are available. Any returned cards are removed from the game and put back in the box

Most Ticket to Ride game tickets untaken are returned to the bottom on the deck. In some variants such as Swiss and Nordic untaken tickets are removed from the game. So there is not 'unlimited ticket harvesting'. the deck will run out if lots of players are just taking tickets.

As the comment says if your opponent is taking lots of extra tickets then just make the game end quicker by placing your remaining trains quicker.

Players are also taking the risk that they draw tickets where none are completed or that they won't be able to complete them. Obviously you don't find this our until the end of the game as completed tickets are not revealed until the game ends.

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  • Right, indeed the deck shrinks but given the sheer size of the deck and the maximum of 3 players for this game, the deck won't likely run out, making it supposedly endless. But you are right in the sense that the opponent should probably just end this behavior by 'killing' the game via finishing his/her trains.
    – saQuist
    Sep 8 at 16:42

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