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Subject: Review of Ticket to Ride rss

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Robert V. Bolton
United States
Syracuse
Utah
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Ticket to Ride Overview

Ticket to Ride from Days of Wonder is a two to five player route/network building game designed by Alan R. Moon. In Ticket to Ride players begin the game with at least two destination tickets that show which cities on the game board they need to connect. They then collect sets of cards for the various colored trains routes between each city. As each card set is discard a player places their train tokens on the board. Players score points for connecting the cities shown on a destination ticket and for each train route a player is able to claim. The winner is the player with the highest point total at the end of the game. A typical game last about forty-five minutes.

Gameplay in a Nutshell

At the beginning of the game each player is deal four train cards and three destination tickets. A player can keep all three destination tickets or they can discard one of their choice, but they must keep at least two tickets. On a player’s turn he has three options: they can draw more train cards, discard a set of colored train cards to claim a route, or draw more destination tickets.

When a player chooses to draw more train cards they can either draw two cards from the deck or two cards from a set of five face up cards next to the card deck. If a wild card is present, indicated by a multi-colored border surrounding a locomotive, in the cards that are face up and a player selects the wild card that is the only card they can draw during their turn. A player can draw one card from the deck and one card from the face pile if they wish. If a player draws a wild card from the deck they can select an another card since this the other players are unaware of their choice.

After a player has collected the proper amount train cards of a given color they can claim a route. The game board consist of different colored routes that correspond to the train card colors. There also exist routes on the board that are gray. A play may claim these routes with any colored set of cards. Wild cards my also be substituted for another color in a card set.

At anytime during gameplay a player may choose to draw more destination tickets. When drawing these tickets the player takes three and must keep one ticket of his choice. Any destination tickets left uncompleted at the end of the game cut your final score by the point total listed on the ticket.

Each player only has forty-five train token claim routes with. As the game play progresses they will exhaust their stockpile of tokens. Once a player has two or fewer train tokens, the last round of play begins. The other players will have one last turn in wich to claim any routes. You can not claim a route longer than the amount of train token you have left. Once the game is over players move their scoring marker reconciling their completed or uncompleted destination tickets. The player with the longest continuous train scores an extra ten points. The winner is the player with the highest point total.

What’s in the Box?

Ticket to Ride contains the following components:

Game Board: Map of North America
225 Colored Train Cars
144 Illustrated Cards
5 Wooden Scoring Markers
Rules Booklet
The cards in this game are ridiculously small, which makes shuffling them a pain. Larger replacement cards are included with the Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 game expansion. The train tokens are make of plastic. It would have been nice to have wooden train tokens, but that would have added to the price of this game. Third-party wooden tokens can be purchased for this game if you so desire.

Overall Impression of Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a game the entire family can enjoy. The simple to learn rules and short game player make it an excellent game to introduce non-gamers into the board gaming hobby. However there exist a couple of flaws in the game. One thing that drives me crazy is lack of hand limit. This allows for the first twenty minutes of the game to consist of players randomly drawing cards. This is easily overcome by a house rule for a hand limit size. The destination tickets in the base game of Ticket to Ride are also unevenly spread among the following routes: Settle to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Miami , and Miami to New York. The Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 game expansion addresses this issue, while simultaneously providing larger train and destination cards. If you plan on purchasing Ticket to Ride I would also recommend purchasing the USA 1910 game expansion as well.
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The Soot Sprite
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Thanks for your contribution! My preference, as for most reviews, would be for more of your opinion, and less rules.

As for your proposed hand limit, have you had games where some players buy routes early? We've found that buying a crucial or central link will often spur others to purchase. The thought of losing route options can balance the greed of ticket acquisition.
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Dan Vore
United States
Lebanon
Oregon
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spritey wrote:
As for your proposed hand limit, have you had games where some players buy routes early? We've found that buying a crucial or central link will often spur others to purchase. The thought of losing route options can balance the greed of ticket acquisition.


My wife tends to be a card hoarder. I can usually get her to stop once I lay a track or two. most players will panic and stop once this happens. Of course she still wins....
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