Spreading the love of board games one meeple at a time
I’m taking this opportunity to write about Ticket To Ride because Krista (my wife) and I will be traveling around Europe this fall/winter (on a train, of course). We’ve bought a 23-country Eurail pass and have a pretty open travel itinerary, other than our one must stop destination: Spieltage Game Fair in Essen Germany. We’ll keep you up to date on our travels and game play through this blog.
In Ticket to Ride, the player who goes first is the player who has visited the most number of countries. So far, I’ve never had a chance to go first in the game (except against my iPhone, which has only been to Canada). I’m really looking forward to coming back from our trip with some cool souvenirs, fun stories, and the ability to go first at Ticket to Ride.
Ticket To Ride Europe
Europe has to be my wife’s number 1 traveling destination. She is obsessed with shows like Location, Location, Location depicting marvelous country side cottages, cobble stone streets, and interesting neighbourhoods. She must own a travel book for about every country in Europe and quite possibly has a detailed itinerary for just about anywhere you might go in the world.
I originally purchased Ticket to Ride for her on a bit of a whim, without knowing to much about it. I had not read any reviews and didn’t know anyone who had played it before. I really just got the game based on the back cover and the fact that my wife loves traveling. Sometimes I find it hard to purchase a board game this way as they can be a bit of an expense and sometimes having an appealing theme doesn’t always equal a good game. Regardless, I figured I was on the right track with this one.
Ticket to Ride is quite simple: players get a marvelously coloured game board of Europe (or other places, depending on the version you buy) with connecting train routes across the map. Each train route connects destinations by colour coded “tracks”. In order to claim these routes players must use the corresponding coloured train cards to lay the appropriate track. The object of the game is to score the most points by acquiring train routes, completing destination cards, and by having the longest continuous train route at the end of the game.
I really like the Days of Wonder video that explains game play. It’s concise and clear and way more interesting than reading the rules (while the other 3 players stare at you and wait for an explanation…). Check it out here.
I often play Ticket to Ride as a two player game with Krista. I find it lighthearted and fun but not as engaging as when I play with more people (up to 5 players). When there are only two players, I find that often we tend to be laying track on opposite ends of the board, and not really interacting. With more players there is more of a chance your opponents will take train routes you had your eye on forcing you to change your direction to get to a certain destination, and since most of the train routes are colour coded this also means collecting a different set of train cards. It becomes just that tiny bit more competitive with the more players you have. That said, I still find the game pretty un-aggressive as people are not usually out to block you.
If you were considering this game and really wanted to test it out before you buy it you can download the Ticket to Ride Pocket Edition from iTunes. I know a fair few people (including Krista) who are addicted to the app and have bought the table top version because of it. I would recommend spending the $2 or so the app costs and trying it out. Also look out for it as a promotional free app – that’s how we got our version.