A game which has proven fairly popular over the last year has been the Days of Wonder game ‘Ticket to Ride’, and it’s follow on ‘Ticket to Ride – Europe’. I’ve brought these games along half a dozen times to the club over the last year and they’ve generally had a good reception.
Both games operate on broadly the same rules, though the Europe edition introduces a few new mechanisms to cover tunnels, ferries, and stations.
The basic set has a map of the USA, whilst the Europe edition strangely enough covers Europe. The boards are very attractive heavy weight bound boards. Each player has a set of carriages their colour which they place on the map to claim track sections. The other components are two sets of cards, one of tickets for various routes on the map, and the other set of different coloured carriages.
Each game generally lasts between an hour and an hour and a half and caters for 3 to 6 players, though 4 or more gives a better game.
The objective of the game is to be the player with the most points at the end of the game. These are obtained by laying track through the game, and at the game end by having completed routes, and having the longest continuous rout.
A play may do one of three actions in their turn which are take one or two cards, play a set of cards to lay a section of track, or collect a new selection of route tickets. Cards are taken either from a blind deck, or from an open hand of 5 cards.
Each card is either a single colour carriage, or a multi-coloured joker engine. Players claim routes by playing a number of cards in the colour of the section of track they want to claim equal to the number of segments in the section. Jokers can be used to replace any missing coloured cards from the required set.
The game generally moves between periods of turns collecting cards to other periods of claiming track sections. The game comes to an end when one player has 3 or fewer ‘carriages’ left to play.
Game play is very fast with player turns coming around fairly quickly.
The game seems to be well received by boardgamers and wargamers alike, and is also well suited to family play. The rules are easy to pick up, and games can generally be underway within 5 minutes.
I have enjoyed both variants of the game, and even bought some of the expansions. Needless to say there are other variants of the game for Germany (Marklin), and Switzerland (only 3 players and expansion on basic sets).