Ticket to Ride board game
Ticket to Ride
Board game manufacturer:
Days of Wonder
Number of players:
The Ticket to Ride board game is the best game on our shelf. Whenever we need to pull out a game at a party, time after time it's Ticket to Ride. It's simple enough for a novice to understand how to play, but has enough strategy for advanced folks as well.
The game and gameplay
Ticket to Ride is set on the backdrop of the turn of the century United States. Many of the major US cities are listed, along with various rail links between them, divided into pieces from one to six segments.
Players take turns either collecting tickets, rail cards, or playing train segments on the board. Players get points from playing train segments as well as completing tracks between pairs of cities.Additionally, the player with the longest contiguous train segment receives bonus points. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins, but the game is so addictive, it's easy to get them to try a rematch!
There are also expansions available, which we're planning to review in the near future.
Ticket to Ride is a game for from two to five players. We have found that four people is the optimal number to play with, but it is certainly playable with other numbers.
With five players, the game probably suffers from the worst gameplay, because the available tracks fill up VERY quickly.
To start out with, each player selects at least two tickets. Each ticket is a listing of a pair of cities. Once you have your tickets, you have a basic idea for the train segments that you want to connect. During each turn, you can select more tickets, collect more train cards or play train segments.
Much of the beginning of the game is spent collecting colored train cards. Each card has a different color (there are also rainbow-colored locomotive cards which serve as "wild" cards). You collect these cards to be able to play your train segments.
For instance, the train segment from Los Angeles to El Paso is six black segments - to place your trains on that segment, you need to collect 6 black (or wild) cards. Some of the train segments on the board are grey - this means that you can collect the appropriate number of any different color cards (three red or three orange would both work on a segment of three grey).
Play continues around the room until one player has only two trains left. When that happens, each player gets one final turn and then the scores are computed.
You get various amounts of points for each train segment that you have played (from one point for a one train segment to 15 points for a six train segment). Each ticket has a points value - if you have successfully completed a train path between those two places on the ticket, you add that point value to your score; otherwise you subtract it!
Additionally, the player with the longest contiguous train segment gets 10 bonus points. Whoever has the most points wins!
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Pros and cons
Ticket to Ride has tons going for it. It's fun, it's easy to play and there's still some strategy involved for people that don't like games that are completely random.
Cons... hmm... maybe that it's so addictive you'll lose sleep, because you'll be up all night playing?
If you're a big fan of the game but can't find a group to play with, check out the Ticket to Ride online game, hosted by Days of Wonder!
The Ticket to Ride board game is a fantastic game for parties or any other occasion.