Darius I – 73rd Great Khan of the Illustrius Barbarian Horde, Duque San Lorenzo, Marquis de Feltón, Chief of the Zayante, Baron von Whaleyland, Lord Kennedy
Alright, so I received this pretty little expansion today and decided that it must be played! My girlfriend and I were the only ones in attendance and I decided to play the Big Cities variant with the Warehouse & Depot expansion.
I've played Ticket to Ride Europe about 10 times now and it is my only Ticket to Ride game. From what I've seen and tried on the Days of Wonder website, it seems to me the best of the bunch, excepting maybe Märklin. Normally, when you play TtR Europe you play with all the cities included. The Big Cities expansion cards narrow that down to just around 15 of the cities, leaving the rest as junctions but nothing more. Overall, it made the game more competitive, especially in a 2-player game. Almost all the roads out of Paris and Berlin were taken, and a number of other cities were quite crowded. Honestly, if more than 3 people played this expansion, I'm not sure how things would really work because some cities would just be so crowded. Stations would be a necessity but even they would be scarce, especially if there are depots at important intersections blocking stations.
Something I noticed that I really did like about Big Cities, though, was how it was much easier to get linked routes. I started with the Paris-Madrid, Paris-Vienna, Vienna-Athens, and Athens-Rome tickets. As you can tell, three of those pretty much daisy-chained to the next. Paris-Madrid wasn't too competitive since my girlfriend didn't seem to receive any tickets that went south of Paris.
Warehouses & Depots
The somewhat unexpected results of the depots were that they didn't necessarily change the game. My girlfriend collected two 15+ card depots while I only got one that had 5 cards. At the end of the game, I received the 10 point bonus for keeping the most depots. She, on the other hand, suffered from over plotting her cards. At one point, she very well may have had 40+ cards. You'd think that this would result in her picking up more routes, but instead she was left struggling to get those single cars that she was lacking. In the end, she managed to pick up more long routes than me, but her tickets were scattered so she lost the longest route race. That means that I received 20 points from the longest route and keeping the depots. She tried to catch up by claiming the 8-length tunnel between Stockholm and Russia but ultimately, her three tickets weren't worth as much as my four. The depots proved to distract her away from picking up more tickets and collecting more points.
This little expansion is fun and worth the money. The warehouses and depots are a fun addition, but do not necessarily change the results of the game. It truly is a gamble what you receive, so it is entirely possible that that stack of 20+ cards are completely worthless in regard to your desired routes. The Big Cities expansion, though, is very nice since it allows a 2-player variant in a clearly 3+ player game. Warehouses and depots was designed specifically for play with Big Cities so I'd highly recommend playing them together. Only when played that way does the competition for the depots/stations really become heated. The other tickets that I didn't use seem to mostly expand the tickets from the original game, but the Big Cities are an addition I will probably use time and time again.
Big Cities: A
Warehouses & Depots: B+
The Big Cities expansion, though, is very nice since it allows a 2-player variant in a clearly 3+ player game.
Thanks for the review! You confirmed what I what I wanted to know, namely, whether the Big Cities expansion would serve well as a 2 player variant of this game.
Thanks a lot for this review !
I've bought the expansion but haven't had a chance to play it yet.
I'm looking foward to try it.