Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth, like a genuine, bonafied, (not) electrified, six car….train. What’d I say? No, not monorail, train.
10 Bonus points added on at the end of your game if you get the reference.
Ticket to Ride from Days of Wonder is a bit of a classic, a staple, a game that’s almost synonymous with board games. It’s been around for a while now (although not as long as I thought…) and is a regular amongst many board game fans and there’s a reason for that – because it’s very easy to learn and a lot of fun to play.
One thing you’ll notice right from the the start is the lovely art style of Ticket to Ride. Everything has been drawn with a really nice 19th century feel to it. It looks great and feels really decent quality too, like it will last you a long time.
In Ticket to Ride you need to complete routes between cities by collecting enough train card tickets that match the colour of the route you’re looking to try and claim. So if you want to claim from New Orleans to Miami the route is 6 train cars long and they’re red, so you’d need to pick up 6 red train cards whilst you’re playing, once you have enough you can claim that route and place your miniature train cars on the board.
You can also chain together routes to complete journey cards that you can also pick up, these will give you bonus points for completing them, but beware if you don’t complete a route the number of points shown on the card will be deducted from your total score at the end of the game. The longest journey at the end of the game also gets some bonus points!
Or you could just claim routes that you think other players might be after, just to mess with their plans and try to make them lose out on completing routes. A little evil? Yes. But that’s part of the fun!
Getting started in Ticket to Ride is nice and easy, pick your colour and grab the trains and scoring counter that match it. Then dish out 4 train cards to each player, place the rest face down in a pile with 5 lined up next to it face up. Finally hand out 3 destination tickets to each player – they can keep all three if they wish, but must keep at least two. Then place the rest face down in a pile. That’s basically it.
Each turn the player gets perform one of a number of actions, these include picking up two train cards, either from the deck or from the cards laying face up – if one of the face up cards is a multi-coloured car (meaning you can use it as any colour) you can only take that one card should you choose to. Any cards taken from the face up piles must be immediately replaced by one from the deck. You can also pick up 3 journey tickets – you must keep at least one, but can also keep all of them. Finally you can choose to claim a route, by playing your matching train cards and then placing your trains on the board completing the route. The longer the train route the more points you will get – a route that’s 2 carts long, gets you 2 points, but for one that’s 6 carts long you get 15 points! So it’s worth trying to collect up a few cards to try and grab one of the longer routes.
Even though I always seem to lose to my girlfriend – no matter what game it is, I still really enjoy Ticket to Ride for its casual, relaxed feel that is really easy it pick up and play and doesn’t involve intense concentration or take up hours of your day.
We’ve been playing the US version of Ticket to Ride, but there is also a European version and a couple of others. I haven’t actually played the other versions so don’t know if they’re completely the same, although I do know the European version has a few extras such as ferry routes and tunnels.
If you’re looking for something that offers good competition without being overly complicated and can be enjoyed by almost anyone then Ticket to Ride is a safe bet! You can find it at your local games store here.
Also with the addition on the newly announced Ticket to Ride Rails & Sails, now is a great time to get to grips with the game before the new one pops up later this year.