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Jay Duval
United States
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I got to play my first game of Ticket to ride last week end. 3 player game, two inexperienced gamers and myself.

I won't go into the rules of the game, but the general concept is trying to score as many points by doing one of 2 things. First connecting cities, and second completing long routes between cities based on the ticket cards. You do this by collecting cards of the smae color to complete routes of that color on the board.

I was a bit skeptical when I read the rules on wether this game would be challenging. The main reason I bought the game was so I could introduce german style games to my non-gamer friends so the simple rules were both a plus and a minus.

The board is much larger than I had expected since the game comes in a standard FFG square box. The plastic train pieces are brightly colored and large enough that if one falls on the floor its easily located. The cards are not made of cardboard, but of a valure(spelling?) type of material, the only problem I had with them is the fact they were about 1/4 a normal size playing card. This fact was both a plus and a minus because somethimes you have a bunch of cards in your hand and theyre easy to handle, but when the discard deck was due to be reshuffled, my auto card shuffler ( a must for any gamer) had a hard time with them. Shuffling the cards real well is a must for this game since the cards are returned placed in the discard pile in sets.

The first game we played all the players were a bit gunshy and were more concerned about the rules than any strategy needed to play the game.

The second game watch out. It seemed the weakest of the gamers in my group became the best and most ruthless players. This was very surprising to me, but a welcome site. The rules are so simple that even the most virgin of players quickly become comfortable with them and start developing strategies.

A few people have commented on the fact the game was not created with color blind people in mind. I am color blind and really found no difficulty telling the colors apart, but in the first game a female player (not color blind) accidently collected brown cards so she could complete a red route. The color problem lies in the fact that the cards colors arent exactly the same as the colors on the gameboard. That same player also thought she had completed a route between cities on a ticket card but realized at the points count up time of the endgame that she had not. Keeping track of your ticket routes can be cumbersome at times.

I found the game to be very enjoyable, the strategies needed to play the game will vary in the way a player chooses to play the game. The real challenge is figuring out how the other players are playing.

I rate this game a 8 out of 10.

My favorite part of the game was the fact that non-gaming friends did not fret or role their eyes over the learning curve. So i was able to convince them to play. This one will definitely come out of the closet when my non-gaming friends come over for a visit and are looking for a game to play.
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