Ticket to Ride: China 1930

February 15, 2011

Days of Wonder has a contest up for making a new map for Ticket to Ride. I’m probably not going to submit, but it got me thinking.

Sun Yatsen wanted China to have a massive rail system spanning the entire length of the former Qing Empire. Of course, most of the above plan ended up not getting built for a number of reasons, the Chinese civil war and Japanese invasion being among the more prominent. But even before that, warlords controlled much of the former Qing territory, Mongolia split off under Russian administration, and Tibet, Xinjiang, and the Southwest pretty much had to be re-invaded by the Communists to ensure that they would remain part of China after 1949. Even nowadays, nearly 100 years later, China’s rail system doesn’t quite live up to Dr. Sun’s dream:

Overview

The China’s 1930s map can be played with the normal Ticket to Ride rules (called here, the “Dinner Party” rules, after Mao Zedong’s famous assertion that a revolution is not a dinner party) or it can be played with the wartime rules that complicate matters.

Wartime Rules

You are China’s train barons, an assortment of people from a variety of backgrounds that have — through some means or other — gotten involved in building and operating rail transport in war-torn China.

Allegiances

During the game, you will be given the choice to ally with between 0 and 3 (i.e. all) of the military factions contending for domination over China. The three factions are the Nationalists (white sun), the Communists (red star), and the Japanese (red sun). You can, of course, choose to remain independent or allied with a local warlord, in which case you will remain independent. To indicate your factional allegiances, you will place tokens in front of you, one for each faction you have pledged loyalty to.

If, at some point, you decide to revoke or betray your alliance with a specific faction, flip that token over. Unless specifically directed by the rules, you cannot choose to ally with that faction again. However, you can choose to ally yourself with a new faction that you have not previously been associated with.

Event Cards

After each round of turns, an event card is drawn and its instructions are applied to the map. Typically, event cards will have different results depending on what allegiances various players have, so players must declare any new changes in allegiance before the event card is drawn, otherwise, they must wait until after the results of the new event have been completed before announcing changed allegiances.

Example events:

JAPANESE CAPTURE SHANGHAI: All players with rail connections to Shanghai must switch their allegiance to Japan or lose control of all rail lines starting in Shanghai to the Japanese-allied player of their choice.

COMMUNIST SABOTAGE: Every Communist-allied player chooses one section of track operated by a Nationalist-allied player. That section of track is removed from the map. On their turn, Nationalist-allied players can choose to cannibalize adjacent Nationalist-operated track (if any) to repair the break.

NATIONALIST PURGE: Every Nationalist-allied player that is currently or was formerly allied with the Communists must flee for their life. Flip over your Nationalist token.

PROFITEERING: During this next round, every player draws an additional card for each allegiance they have.

Endgame

In the event deck, there are three special types of cards: NATIONALIST ADVANCE, COMMUNIST ADVANCE, and JAPANESE ADVANCE. When they occur, they are placed off to the side of the board and players with the associated allegiance draw an extra card. However, when the third card of the same type is drawn (three NATIONALIST ADVANCEs, for instance), the game is over and the Nationalist faction has triumphed.

Depending on which side has ultimately won the war, players final point totals are adjusted:
— A side you are allied to wins: +10 points.
— A side you have no relation to wins: +5 points.
— A side that you betrayed wins: -5 points.

2 Responses to “Ticket to Ride: China 1930”

  1. buriedwithoutceremony Says:

    This is startlingly similar to my entry.


  2. Oh yeah? I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of the event deck and generate the events just by randomly drawing route or train cards.

    Where and when is your entry set?


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