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Subject: Steaming Through Constantinople rss

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Sheamus Parkes
United States
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I started my train collection with the original Ticket to Ride. It turned out to be such a great game that I went ahead and purchased Ticket to Ride: Europe. I've played about five games of each, and here are my current thoughts on the Europe edition.


Ticket to Ride: Europe is a re-imaging of Ticket to Ride. All of the base rules remain the same. Each player is given some destination tickets at the beginning of the game, and then on each turn they may:

1. Draft train cards.
2. Play sets of matching train cards to claim routes on the board.

Each player's destination tickets give them a goal of connecting sets of cities. Points are awarded for claiming routes and completing destination tickets. The game ends when someone runs out of trains and the player with the most points wins.

Europe differs from the base game in the following ways:

1. The map is now of Europe.
2. The destination tickets are segregated into many short routes and a few long routes. Each player is given one long route at the beginning of the game, and then can only acquire more short routes.
3. Each player has train stations. These may be used to borrow an opponent's tracks. Unused stations give points at the end of the game, and borrowed track doesn't add to your longest route, so you are encouraged not to use train stations frivolously.
4. Routes that go over water (ferries) are always gray routes, but will cost you 1 or more locomotives (Wild Cards) as marked on the board.
5. Routes through mountainous terrain will require blasting. When you attempt to claim these routes, three train cards are revealed from the top of the deck. For each revealed card that matches the color of the blasting route you will need to play an additional train card from your hand to be able to claim the route.


1. The distribution of route lengths on the new map is much more even and fair. There are only a few six length routes and a single eight length route, but they are not all bunched together. The west side of Europe does seem to have more four length routes than the east, but the point discrepancy is much less than on the USA map.

2. The distribution of destination tickets is much more even. The separation of short and long routes do a great job of giving each player very comparable point potential.

3. *If* blocking frustrated you in the original Ticket to Ride, then the train stations do a good job of alleviating these frustrations.

4. Final scores seem to be much more evenly distributed. I have seen much fewer runaway leaders than in the original game.


1. If you are American, the European cities will likely be more unfamiliar to you. Of course, if you're European, this would actually be a good thing. The choice to use native spellings on most of the cities adds some extra complications. The destination tickets still do a good job of highlighting city locations though.

2. Train stations take away some of the cut throat nature of the original game. If you liked the competitive feel of the original, some of that is lost in Europe.

3. Ferries and Blasting are not worthwhile mechanics to me. They seem just to add complications to the base rules. Most of the other changes seem to have been made in direct response to criticisms with the base game. I suppose ferries and blasting could have been included just to add more depth to claiming routes. In my experience though, these additions just seem to confuse newbies without adding enough rewarding experience to the game.

After playing numerous games of base TtR and TtR:Europe, I have found that I enjoy TtR:Europe more than the original. The additions and changes made to the game seem to balance out the scores and create a more enjoyable experience. Both versions are great games though; I recommend at least trying them both out if you are at all interested.
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