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wanshunwong

Introduction

The goal of this article is to provide you some basic statistics about Ticket to Ride (USA Map), so that you can make well-informed decisions and optimize your strategy accordingly during a game. We do not study any strategies because that would make this article way too long.


This article is created by the knitr package of R. Since this is written for gamers but not programmers, I hide all the codes. Also, due to my motivation to practice ggplot2 I make a lot of histograms instead of using just a simple table to present the same informatiom. Comments and suggestions are welcome and can be sent to wanshunwong at gmail dot com.

Regions

Regions and Cities

We divide the board into 6 regions: Northeast, North Central, Northwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest. The division criteria is given by the phyiscal board of the game, since it is made up of 6 equally-sized smaller boards. The distribution of cities over the 6 regions is as follows:

Regions and Routes

Next we look at the distribution of routes. Double-Routes are only counted once, i.e. they are treated the same as Single-Routes, while cross-region routes are counted twice. For example, Sault St. Marie-Winnipeg is counted as both as a route in NE and a route in NC.




SC has the most number of routes, which is kinda expected since it has the most number of cities, and most of them are connected to many neighbours.

By using the above distribution, we can calculate the means of route length and points of each region.

We see that on average, claiming a route in NC, NW and SW will cost you one more Train Car card than claiming a route in NE, SE and SC. This is also reflected in the mean of route points.

Here we see huge discrepancies among different regions (up to a difference of 85%). However we also need to take into account that long routes needs more Train Car cards and thus more turns to claim, therefore the actual difference in points during a game would be slightly smaller. Nonetheless, the point is that if you focus on claiming routes in NE, SE and/or SC, you will need more Destination Tickets in order to beat your opponents developing in NC and NW.

Destination Tickets

Destination Tickets and Points

A brief summary of the ticket points is as follows:

##    Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max. 
##    4.00    8.25   11.00   11.63   13.00   22.00

Notice that the mean and the median are both around 11 points, which is only 1 point higher than claiming a length 5 route, and 4 points lower than claiming a length 6 route. This doesn?t automatically mean that you should just give up your initial Destination Tickets and focus on claiming long routes, since failure to complete Destination Tickets will deduct your points (on average a swing of 22 points for each ticket). However, if you are thinking about getting more Destination Tickets in the middle of the game then you should definitely keep this summary in mind.

Destination Tickets and Regions

In this section we classify the Destination Tickets according to the regions of the destination cities.

Out of the 30 Destination Tickets, nearly a quarter of them are NE-SE. Moreover, 4 are NE-SC. Another way to phrase this is that, since there are 11 tickets belong to NE-SE and NE-SC, you are expected to draw 1 at the beginning of the game and in the Draw Destination Tickets action.

We can also look at the region of each destination city of a ticket.

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