John Kaufeld

Jun 1

And so it begins.


Toinght I lit the fuse on the adventure I started working on several years ago. It’s happening… here we go… 

Next step: New web site coming soon!!

Hi John, I have made an app for calculating your score in Ticket to Ride. Is this something you can use in the tournament? The app is called TTR calculator:)

Thanks for the offer! Days of Wonder provided a pretty wicked spreadsheet for calculating tournament scores, so I’m good there, but the app sounds useful for home games.

Is it iOS or Android?

The prize shipments keep rolling in… the translucent custom train sets and winner’s medallion for the Ticket to Ride Regional Qualifier, plus the Space Penguin and promo card packs for the King of Tokyo tournament!

Will I see you playing at PentaCon in Fort Wayne?

If you attend on November 9 (Saturday), you can play in BOTH tourneys! (Or come for November 8-9 for two chances to win your way into the Ticket to Ride semi-finals & finals on Saturday night.)

Download convention registration forms and event lists at (Yes, it’s old-school pen-and-paper registration this year, but think of it as “retro” instead… it helps.)

Ticket to Ride Regional Qualifier Tournament


Ticket to Ride North American Regional Qualifier tournament
November 8-9, 2013
PentaCon Game Convention
Grand Wayne Convention Center
Fort Wayne, Indiana

It’s true! Thanks to the generous folks at Days of Wonder, I will be running a North American Regional Qualifier tournament at this year’s PentaCon in beautiful Fort Wayne. It’s your chance to be part of the 10th anniversary festivities for everybody’s favorite train game!!


Thanks to the incredible generosity of Days of Wonder, the North American Regional Qualifier is a prize-laden extravaganza of goodness:

  • All participants receive a single color set of translucent trains to use with their home games! (One set per player.)
  • The tournament winner receives a medal, a complete set of translucent trains, a pass to Gen Con 2014, and, most importantly, a seat at the 2014 Ticket To Ride North American Regional Tournament!


The Ticket to Ride Regional Qualifier Tournament will be played in two preliminary rounds plus a semi-finals/finals round during PentaCon:

  • November 8, 7:30-11:30pm
    First preliminary round (seating 30 players)
  • November 9, 1-5pm
    Second preliminary round (seating 30 players)
  • November 9, 7:30-11:30pm
    Semi-finals and Finals

The tournament begins with two preliminary rounds. Each preliminary round can seat 30 players maximum, and will include a mixture of Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride Europe. Please familiarize yourself with them because you’ll be playing both games 2-3 times during the preliminaries.

Depending on the total number of players in the preliminary rounds, between 8-12 people will advance from the preliminary rounds into the Semi-finals. In the semi-finals, players will challenge each other in two games of Ticket to Ride USA 1910 (one game with Big Cities rules, one game with the Mega Game rules).

The top two players from the semi-finals go into the championship match. The 3rd and 4th ranked players go into a consolation match. This round is the best two out of three matches using original Ticket to Ride.

Final places will be:

  1. Tournament winner: Winner of the championship round.
  2. First Alternate: Other player in the championship round.
  3. Second Alternate: Winner of the consolation round.
  4. Third Alternate: Other player in the consolation round.


All players must be a citizen or resident of the United States.

Players must be 18 years of age or older on the day of the tournament to qualify for the Gen Con badge and a seat at the North American Regional Tournament.

Players younger than 18 may play in this Qualifier tournament, but if they win, they will not advance to the North American Regional Tournament. They will receive the other prizes for winning the tournament. If this happens, then the highest-placing alternate who is at least 18 years old will receive the badge for Gen Con 2014 and the opportunity to play in the North American Regional Tournament.


To play in the tournament, you must purchase a badge for the PentaCon Game Convention. Badges are $15 for one day (the best deal for the tourney) or $25 for two days (lets you play in both of the  preliminary events).

You can download a ready-to-use registration form in Adobe PDF format with the information about the Ticket to Ride preliminary events already filled in. Complete the form with Adobe PDF Reader, then follow the pre-registration instructions at the bottom of the form. (Mac users: do not use Preview to fill out the form because it can’t do math right on the form’s calculated fields Just sayin’.) If you only want to play in the Saturday preliminary tournament, delete the information for the Friday tournament.

For complete registration details, see the PentaCon web site.


I have answers! Email your questions to or reach out on Twitter at @johnkaufeld.

Facebook Scam -“Free tickets from Disney Celebrations”

A new variation on an old Disney scam is going around right now, this time through a Facebook page called “Disney Celebrations.” 

There are NO free tickets. Please DO NOT share their contest post.

Here are some clues to look for to avoid these scams:

  • Call to action is “like and share” — It’s impossible to run a large-scale contest this way (can’t see all entries), plus it violates Facebook’s rules. 
  • The page was launched five days ago — Click the page’s About link and check the Joined Facebook entry.
  • Incorrect spelling — There’s no space in “Disneyland”

Here’s the text from the scam

"Celebratıng $3 Bıllion in revenue in 2013 we at Dısney have decıded to start your summer vacatıon off with a bang by gıving away 500 Tıckets To Dısney Land or Dısney World to YOU, our fans!

To be entered to wın all you have to do is the followıng:

1. LIKE and SHARE thıs photo!

2. Comment how many tıckets you want!

and that’s it!

The wınner’s will be notifıed on August 14th 2013 via an INBOX message!

Good Luck, Dısney!”

Aug 5

How board games made me a better dad - The Dad Game -

I’m proud to announce that The Dad Game, my column about the parenting power of board games, is now a regular feature in The News-Sentinel

It appears every other week in both the print and online editions of the paper.

Here’s to reaching more parents and helping them connect with their kids by playing awesome games together!

Page One (movie)

If your job involves pitching and interacting with members the media, this movie is a must-watch. It’s a great primer on how journalists think, ask questions, and find the heart of a story.

I don’t think I could survive in that environment, but I’m glad I get to support it in my own way.

This started my day right.

This started my day right.

Hey John - Are you still connected with If so, would you be able to tell me who created the video presentation for the company's pitch? Thanks in advance, Valerie (vstjohn@discern.)

Hi, Valerie! No, I’m not connected with Good luck with your search for the video developer. Sorry!

This may or may not be Eric Jones, and I may or may not be following you now. Your blog seems reasonably active, so I'm going to assume you'll see this.

Howdy, Eric! Yes, I try to keep things moving out here, although sometimes I’m better at it than others. Thanks for the follow!