Yesterday we played two games of original version of Ticket to Ride.
We had four players around. Two of them had never played the game before, and I have played Ticket to Ride only once before.
Still everyone caught up with the game mechanics quite soon, so I guess you can say it's a game that is easy to learn. About mastering it I cannot say anything, yet.
Last time I played Ticket to Ride it was with three players, and now, even with only one player more there was a lot tougher competition over railway connections. The "pro player" in our group said that the game is best when played by maximum number of players, and I can believe that. It would even further escalate the disappearance of viable railroads.
The first game ended in victory for the most experienced player with final scoreboard being: 134, 124, 117 and 103. In this particular game the 10 points you get from longest continous railroad made the victor. If anyone of the top 3 would have gotten it, it would've changed the winner.
In the second game everyone had gotten a little bit better understanding of the game and competition was tougher.
And this time victory didn't favor the bold: game ended when our veteran still needed to make two easy connections. This resulted in about 30 negative points instead of over 40 additional points.
Final scoreboard was 116, 105, 105, 38.