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Geoffrey Steenberge
United States
Painted Post
New York
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Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a train game by Alan R. Moon. I’m not going to go into a lengthy discussion of the rules which are explained elsewhere. Instead, I am going to discuss my opinions regarding the game and hopefully help people determine whether or not this game is for them.

Brief Rule Summary: On a turn a player can do one of 3 things: draw train cards from either the 5 shown face up or the face down supply, play train cards of the same color to put their trains on one of the same color routes on the board, or draw ticket cards showing cities for the player to connect. Players get points for playing train cards to create a route based on the length of the route. The game ends the turn after a player has 2 or fewer trains left. At the game end players gain points for completed tickets, lose points for incomplete tickets, and a bonus is given to the player with the longest continuous route. The player with the most points is the winner.

Players: 2-5. There are fewer connections available on the board for 2 or 3 players than with 4 or 5 which makes the game play equally well with any number.

Game Length: Approximately 45 minutes. It plays faster with fewer players and will speed up as people become familiar with the game.

Gamer type: Light/Medium. There is some planning and strategy involved in the game but not too much and the game doesn’t take that long to play.

Components: Good. The plastic trains are nice and the board looks pretty, is designed perfectly to hold the trains, the colors are easy to tell apart, and the scoring track around the outside of the board works very well. The cards are too small to put in card protectors and are starting to show a little wear after many plays since they are used so much during the game. Also, the brown card doesn’t match the board very well. The ticket cards have a picture of the map on them with the cities clearly shown which makes it easy to find the cities on the board which the ticket applies to. Extra trains are included in the game in case you lose one which is a nice and appreciated addition. The box holds the components very well which is always a plus for me.

Theme: The theme fits the game very well. You really feel like you are trying to connect certain cities to one another. Laying trains is similar to building track and the tickets make sense as they represent people wanting to go from one place to another.

Learning curve: Low. The game is very easy to teach and learn. There is some strategy in the game but it is easy to pick up on and most people begin to recognize it in their first playing.

Replayability: Moderate. The random tickets change where you have to go each game so each game is slightly different. The game plays pretty quickly so can work well for a lunch or afternoon break or a short game in the evening. However, the board is always the same which limits the replayability somewhat.

Rating at time of review: 8 (Check my profile for my current rating.)

Random thoughts on the game:

This is a great introduction game in the same vein as Settlers of Catan. It is easy to teach, fun to play, and can work as a gateway to more complex games.

The components are not perfect but look nice and help draw people into playing the game. For some reason people really seem to like having their own private supply of colorful plastic trains.

The longer connections and tickets seem to be a little too valuable. It is very difficult for a player who draws several short tickets to compete with someone who completes a coast to coast ticket or two. However, this is not a huge detriment to such a light game.

As with many games, this is a game which seems to be played very often when people first discover it but wears over time.

Conclusion: This is a very nice, quick, light game to introduce people to the German style of games and play as a filler or when you feel like something a little lighter.

You will like this game if… you are looking for another lighter game similar to Settlers of Catan which is easy to learn, plays quickly, is fun to play, and looks nice.

You will not like this game if… you like more strategy and complex choices in your games and many ways to directly influence your opponents.
 
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Chris Shaffer
United States
San Francisco
CA
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Re:User Review
The longer connections and tickets seem to be a little too valuable. It is very difficult for a player who draws several short tickets to compete with someone who completes a coast to coast ticket or two. However, this is not a huge detriment to such a light game.

Of course, the player who draws several short tickets should do everything in their power to prevent the player with coast-to-coast tickets from completing those routes! If you don't play aggressively in that situation, you're doomed.
 
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