Introducing the Game
I set the game up with little explanation to the players.
As I handed out destination cards I explained what the cards meant. I took one card of my own to show as an example (and also give a bit of an edge to level the playing field for my new opponants.) I explained that on the card I had I needed to go to make a connection from Montreal to Atlanta.
"How will I do that?"
I dealt the Train cards and laid the pile of draw cards out.
"Let's look at my hand"
"I have two orange cars, and as we can see there is a train with multiple colors face up in the draw pile. I want that because it is wild, you can use to complete any color leg. You MUST have enough trains to complete the leg of the journey. You can not lay 4 black trains down on a leg that shows you need six trains to get to the next city."
I used the cards that I showed the group that I drew to lay down two trains at a random point between my destinations. I explained that you are allowed to put the trains wherever you wish on the board--but keep in mind that your goal is to complete your destinations.
Dans Turn-- he drew cards but did not lay trains.
Kristins turn-- she drew cards and layed trains.
John's turn-- he drew cards and layed trains.
"After Sue goes we will have a choice on our turns. You can either draw cards or lay trains--but not BOTH!"
The reason I did the first round with both was to give them each a quick feel of the main mechanics of the game. It seemed to work well and they transitioned into the proper rules with no problems.
I then explained the rules regarding the point value of the legs. Added the bonus of the longest line of trains, and told them about drawing new destinations.
The game kept up at a pretty good pace and all of the players enjoyed it immensly. I was very happy with the introduction that I presented, it seemed to go over quite well with the group.