Caleb Finkelstein
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When my friend and I sat down to play Ticket to Ride I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew about the game was that it had trains. Also it’s apparently fairly popular? That didn’t end up mattering, I was sold at the trains. Upon opening the box the first thing I noticed was that some of the tiny trains was red. I declared my intent to use the red trains. It was right then and there that I decided I wanted nothing more in life than to win this game about placing plastic trains on a board. My friend then explained the rules. I was a tad caught up in inspecting the various bits of train imagery on the board, but I think I caught the gist of it. Get cards, match colors, pretty simple stuff. Figured my extensive Candyland experience should come in handy.

Anyhow I was dealt some cards with locations and then some more with a variety of rather pleasing train imagery in various colors. My opponent then picked some cards. I followed suit. We placed trains, sometimes. I mostly stuck to the East, whereas they were off doing their thing in California. It was great, we were both successfully providing valuable services to the American people while not stepping on the others’ toes. I had a whole bunch of connections to make around the Midwest, so I stayed focused on there. Connected some cities that needed connecting. Ended up drawing a few more of the connect-y cards. But wait! My rival suddenly decided they were fed up with the dried-up wasteland that is the entire Western half of the US and wanted in on my slice of the pie. This was the bit where I began to build various bits of rail just to spite her. And hopefully impede her progress, but things didn’t quite turn out the way I had envisioned. But I’m pro-spite as a general rule, so I didn’t mind much. I was able to cut her off before hitting Atlanta at the cost of my entire stock of rainbow cards, millions of dollars, and a couple dozen lives due to unsafe working conditions. What can I say? When you need a job done quick, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Those rainbow cards will be missed.


The final board state. Note the contrast between the nice long chain of barely-interrupted blue. Contrast with the unorganized spew of red.

The score was 56-82 in blue’s favor.

This was before tallying the contract thingamajigs.


Keen observers may note that blue was unable to complete all of their objectives. So that's a win for me. Not a 'win' win, mind you, but you have to appreciate the little things, y'know?

So all in all things could have gone better for me. Still, I tried my darndest. Though the Red Line will someday fade into obscurity, our legacy will live on in the form of… er… Y’know never mind that last bit.

Anyhow, I thought the game was very well executed mechanics-wise. Very simple and straightforward, elements of randomness that still allow for plenty of strategy, trains. I didn’t catch onto the overall strategy as quickly as I had hoped, but I think that’s mostly to this being my first playthrough. But all in all I had a very positive impression of Ticket to Ride. I’d be quite interested in trying this game with more people. Or perhaps I could just solitare it. All red, all the time. Hm yes on second thought I think that’ll do quite nicely.
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Michael Drog
United States
Jacksonville Beach
Florida
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Great post. Always get a kick out of 1st timers on ticket to ride.
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Nicholas Fetter
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Awesome play summary and yes, welcome to the game.

If you looking for a challenge, I recommend the Africa Map with 4+ players. It can be a lot of fun since you like to spite other players and is a nice challenge even if you lose.
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Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
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I have provided some GeekGold to reward the effective use of images as documentation.

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Jelle Gommers
Belgium
Herenthout
Antwerpen
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Nicely written review!
 
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