Ticket to Ride was the first game that I bought for myself. I had played it before a couple of years before and really enjoyed it (probably because I won that game). This is the second game in my review of Gateway Boardgames.
There are many versions of Ticket to Ride. The initial version is based on the United States, but there are versions for Europe, Middle East, Nordic, German etc. There are a number of expansions that can be played with the initial version. As I am based in the UK, I have the Europe version. I have the United Kingdom expansion, but I have yet to play this.
So, what's it all about?
The principle aim is to build routes that match tickets. You get points to building a route portion, and bonus points if you complete the route. Failure to complete a route will result in points being taken away. The longer the route portion, the more points you can earn. The aim is to get as many points as possible before the game ends.
The mechanics of the game are very simple. Everyone has a single action they can perform and it moves onto the next. Actions can be:
- to pick up train cards (these come in a number of colours, and you need the same colours to make a route)
- to create a route (by placing train icons on the board)
- buy a new ticket
- build a station
Most of the time you will be picking up train cards as these are needed to build the route. You can either pick up cards that you can see, or 2 blind ones. Some of these train cards will be locos, which can be classed as wild cards. Some routes require a loco for the route to be completed.
Once someone has 3 train carriages or less left, the game goes into its final round - so get as many points as possible.
Why is this fun?
The mechanics of the game are simple, and I know a lot of people who have grasped the game after just a couple of turns. While points are scored during play, its the completed tickets that swing games. These tickets are not shown until the game finishes, so players can go shooting up the table. It's great fun to see the colour you wanted grabbed away from you at the last minute, or blocking someone's route so they are forced to use a station (and thus lose a few points).