Tabletop Time – Ticket To Ride

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What is Ticket to Ride?

One of the greatest things about this game is that it is so simple yet so fun to play. Ticket to Ride is basically as the name and pictures suggest, a game based on creating routes via trains to different parts of different continents. It is a German-styled board game made by , the clever clogs, who has most probably made millions off such an elegant addition to any table-top gamers collection!

How can we tell that such a game has made a bit of dosh you ask? Well the fact that it’s collected a varying amount of awards under its belt is a bit of a clue. With such a lovely game all the family can enjoy it, so it’s no surprise how well it has done since its initial release in 2004.

It was published, with many other additions to the franchise, by Days of Wonder.

What about the game?

So the game is very simple, as I mentioned already, and can easily be learned in about fifteen minuites. In the very beginning of the game each player is dealt four train cards as their playing hand and also three Destination tickets (they show a pair of cities that are located on whichever map you have on the board. So for example you may have Madrid and Paris, with a number 20 in the corner of the card.) These cards are goals to achieve before the end of the game and the cities represent two end-points in which the player has to SECRETLY connect together. It can be really difficult being sneaky when people tack onto a certain direction you need to be in, so be wary of those who wish to foil your plans by placing a train link in your way! Just one lone train line can be enough for you to have to go the longest route around it.

Moving on! So you have to keep at least two of these destination cards and discard any unwanted tickets to the bottom of the destination stack. You will not be able to discard any tickets you decide to keep, so again, be very careful you pick ones you know you can do easy! Or if you want a bit of a challenge, just go for the hardest route possible…this may reflect bad on you at the end of the game though. Each player also has to select a group of 45 coloured train pieces (so cute!) with a matching scoring marker…as with most board games, yes?

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There are 3 options to choose from when it comes to your turn and you may only do ONE of them. Choose whichever fits you the most from below!

  • Draw two railway cards in various colours from the draw piles (a Wild Locomotive card face up is special, though, so you may only pick this and no others. You forfeit drawing another card for a multicolour card. This can be super handy!)
  • Draw three additional destination tickets, discarding a maximum of two and keeping a minimum of one. Again any tickets you don’t want go to the bottom of the stack.
  • Play their collected railway car cards from their hand (hand size doesn’t matter!) to claim routes that you need on the board. You will have to place the corresponding number of train pieces from your stash to the claimed route…this will earn you points.

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Each route has a different length so it may require a varying amount of matching coloured cards (which you pick in the one option you have each turn) and each route marked on the board can only be claimed by one player. So if one player claims a spot you want, you may not take it as well….unless you want a train wreck of course! Some cities may be connected by two parallel routes that may be claimed by a different player (unless you’re playing with 3 or less, then only one route may be claimed). The longer the route the more points you will get in the end, so if you make a route of four train cars then it will be worth more than two routes of two cars.

When it comes to your turn, you can claim whatever route you wish on the board that is not already occupied. You are not restricted to the routes you’re given on the destination cards…they just help by giving more points towards victory if completed. If you don’t complete a route then, like I said previously, it’ll be bad for your points! You end up LOSING them instead of gaining. Sucks, huh? All the more reason to trick the hell out of other people. 😀

The game ends when any one player  has exhausted or nearly exhausted their supply of train pieces. When this happens every player plays one additional turn before finishing (so place whatever you can where ever you can on the board to get a tiny trickle of points!). Once the turn is over then everyone reveals their destination tickets and points are tallied up depending on whether or not you successfully completed the routes depicted on the cards and again, incomplete routes suffer a subtraction to your overall score. Make sure you also check who has made the longest continuously set of routes as they gain a 10 point bonus!

This my friends, is how you play Ticket to Ride! It isn’t complex and is probably one of the easiest games we’ve ever player…but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, so try it out with friends or family (or both!). We can assure you it is a LOT of fun!
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Pros & Cons

Pros

Easy to get a hold of for first timers

Simple but elegant gameplay

Extremely fun to play with friends and family alike

Is as long as you make it (decision making time etc.)

Cons

There is a maximum and minimum amount of players (2-5)

It can drag on if someone takes too long to decide what to do

 What made you want to play it?

As we’ve mentioned in a previous table-top time article, we play a lot with friends and have played a varying amount of games in the last few years. Ticket to Ride was also among those games…and it was another reason to enjoy quality time with the parents (Kelly) back in the UK. I had immense fun being able to play something with both my folks…without it being too difficult to get used to or take forever to explain. We love playing this game with friends and family.

Why we recommend it.

It’s an extremely fun game. Can we repeat this anymore?! For players who don’t want something to complex then this is a perfect game or if you’re hankering for a game that requires very little set up. We recommend this game to just about anyone who wants to enjoy a good night in with a fun, laughter and good company!

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Additional Ticket to Ride board games

Ticket to Ride: Europe

Ticket to Ride: Märklin

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries

Ticket to Ride: Germany

Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails

Ticket to Ride: First Journey


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