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Subject: 20X Reviews #41 - Ticket to Ride: Europe After 20 Plays rss

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Peter Barringer
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Check out a Geeklist containing all my other reviews here: 20X Reviews - A Geeklist

Time to 20 Plays: 1 Year, 2 Months

How to Play: Ticket to Ride is a gateway-style series of games in which players try to complete destination tickets by building continuous train routes between specific cities. On a turn, players can choose one of three actions: (1) draw colored train cards from a face-up draw pile and/or the face-down draw deck; (2) spend train cards of particular colors to build a train route between two cities; (3) draw three new destination tickets and keep at least one. The last round is triggered when a player reaches two or fewer plastic trains remaining in his/her supply. Players score points during the game for each train route laid between two cities (the longer the route, the more points it's worth), and once the game is over, players reveal their destination tickets. Any completed destination tickets gain the player the amount of points shown, but incomplete destination tickets lose the player that many points. I believe all the Ticket to Ride varieties have at least one bonus. In the European version, the player who connects the most cities with one continuous train gains ten bonus points.

I've played it so much because:
1. It’s one of the best gateway games. I used this game to get both my sets of parents into gaming. The rules are relatively simple, but good strategy typically trumps luck.
2. This version is “nice.” The European map is open and large. Players typically don’t have much competition in reaching routes. That’s why I play this map with family members.
3. The theme draws people in. People tend to like trains. Additionally, the theme and layout are reminiscent of Monopoly in some ways, which I think is a comfort for people who don’t (yet) play new-style board games.

I'd play it more if:
1. there were more player interaction. Like I said, this version typically leads to less direct conflict than the base game, Nordic Countries, and most of the other maps I’ve played. You can play a three-player game without ever coming into significant contact.
2. the map weren’t so hard to read. They’ve used European versions of all the city names, so Moscow is Moskova, and Munich is Munchen. Some of the cities are hard to read or hard to pronounce, especially if you're playing from above the board. The font doesn’t help, either.

Rating:

Overall: Ticket to Ride is one of the first new-style board games I played, and I can’t believe it took me so long to reach twenty plays. I think this is because I own five different versions and map packs. Ticket to Ride: Europe supports up to five players, and the competition is less pronounced than in other versions of the game. However, it’s certainly more balanced than the base game, and its train cards are full-sized, unlike the original. I’ll always have at least a few versions of Ticket to Ride in my collection, and this one is my favorite for 4+ players. If you’re looking for a two- or three-player version, check out Nordic Countries.
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Simon Maynard
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Re: 20X Reviews - Ticket to Ride: Europe
I recently traded this game away and replaced it with Airlines Europe. By the same designer but much more interesting and interactive (and with planes instead of trains).
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john newman
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Re: 20X Reviews - Ticket to Ride: Europe
Another solid review, Peter. My family prefers the base game, primarily because of the spelling of the city names and because the know US geography better than European geography. Like you, I prefer the European version to the original. For me, it's not because the stations take away the meanness, but because the contracts are much more balanced. Everyone gets only one long contract and the rest are short contracts, making the contract distribution much more equitable.

 
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Peter Barringer
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Re: 20X Reviews - Ticket to Ride: Europe
johnpnewman wrote:
Another solid review, Peter. My family prefers the base game, primarily because of the spelling of the city names and because the know US geography better than European geography. Like you, I prefer the European version to the original. For me, it's not because the stations take away the meanness, but because the contracts are much more balanced. Everyone gets only one long contract and the rest are short contracts, making the contract distribution much more equitable.



Very valid points. I've only played the original a few times, so I'm not as familiar with it.
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Sven F.
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Re: 20X Reviews - Ticket to Ride: Europe
z10n x wrote:
20X Reviews is my commitment to eventually review every game I've played twenty times or more.

If you have played Ticket to Ride: Europe twenty times, you should have noted these things:

z10n x wrote:
On a turn, players can choose one of three actions: (1) draw colored train cards from a face-up draw pile and/or the face-down draw deck; (2) spend train cards of particular colors to build a train route between two cities; (3) draw three new destination tickets and keep at least one.

[...] one of four actions: [...] (4) play 1-3 train cards to build a railway station

z10n x wrote:
I believe all the Ticket to Ride varieties have at least one bonus. In the European version, the player who connects the most cities with one continuous train gains ten bonus points.

No, that's in Ticket to Ride: Legendary Asia...

For Ticket to Ride: Europe:
[...] the player who claims the longest continuous path gains ten bonus points.
(Which is, actually, exactly the same rule as in the original Ticket to Ride, the one with United States and southern Canada.)

z10n x wrote:
I've played it so much because:
1. It’s one of the best gateway games. I used this game to get both my sets of parents into gaming. The rules are relatively simple, but good strategy typically trumps luck.
2. This version is “nice.” The European map is open and large. Players typically don’t have much competition in reaching routes. That’s why I play this map with family members.

The version might be nice, but that is mainly due to the stations...

z10n x wrote:
3. The theme draws people in. People tend to like trains. Additionally, the theme and layout are reminiscent of Monopoly in some ways, which I think is a comfort for people who don’t (yet) play new-style board games.

Really? "Theme and layout [...] reminiscent of Monopoly"? How??

z10n x wrote:
I'd play it more if:
1. there were more player interaction. Like I said, this version typically leads to less direct conflict than the base game, Nordic Countries, and most of the other maps I’ve played. You can play a three-player game without ever coming into significant contact.

Well, you will definitely come into contact, but you can use the stations to "borrow" somebodys route(s) and thus save a troublesome situation.

z10n x wrote:
2. the map weren’t so hard to read. They’ve used European versions of all the city names, so Moscow is Moskova, and Munich is Munchen. Some of the cities are hard to read or hard to pronounce, especially if you're playing from above the board. The font doesn’t help, either.

He he, "European versions" of the names? No, but rather the local names (although written with Latin letters). The same is true for most Ticket to Ride versions if not all, including Nordic Countries, Nederland, and Märklin/Germany. Moskva is also found on the World map, along with Athína and other "non-English" place names.

 
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