Days of Wonder’s Ticket to Ride series is one of the best-selling board games in the world, with over a million copies already sold for the base game. A highly popular train game, the Ticket to Ride series is categorized by simple rules but more complex strategies than popular classic games like Monopoly and Risk. As with all popular series, the Ticket to Ride series has expanded to include a variety of stand-alone games that have taken the award-winning mechanics and also provided expansions to the base game.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is the original game of this series and is set in North America. Players collect points by connecting major cities on the board by discarding coloured “train” cards from their hand. Longer railway lines provide higher points, but are harder to connect. Additional points are won by completing destination cards (which indicate a pair of cities that the players must connect or lose points on).
Railways lines on the board are marked in specific colours, with the majority of cities only connected by 1 line. This makes it a ‘race’ against other players and provide opportunities for ‘spoiler’ purchases of railway lines. Furthermore, as engine cards are drawn from either the face-up pile (2 cards) or unseen from the face-down pile (3 cards), players must debate whether to push their luck or go for the sure-bet each turn. Additionally, during the game, players may draw additional destination cards at any time.
With uncomplicated tactical options, Ticket to Ride is a great game to introduce new players to more complicated board games. Each turn, the decision to act is very simple, but the long-term implications are quite high. Furthermore, because the variety of choices per turn are low, the game ‘flows’ very fast.
Ticket to Ride Europe
Ticket to Ride Europe is the same base game as Ticket to Ride, set on the European board. With the new map for Europe, new strategies appear as well as the different locations nad destination cards that will interest even veteran Ticket to Ride players.
As well, in Ticket to Ride Europe, 3 train stations are available per player. By playing a train station on a city, players can use a single track of their opponents to complete a destination card. This helps reduce the ‘blocking’ effect that is inherent in the earlier base Ticket to Ride game.
Lastly, ‘underground’ tracks are available. The cost of these tracks vary, depending on a random draw of cards. This introduces a new, random aspect to the game that makes underground tracks more risky to build.
Overall, Ticket to Ride Europe is less competitive than Ticket to Ride itself with the inclusion of the train stations and adds a new series of features.
Ticket to Ride Marklin
Ticket to Ride Marklin introduces the base game to the country of Germany. The new board provides new routes to mix things up, while the introduction of ‘passengers’ and chits on cities that the passengers must pick-up is an innovative addition to the game. With the use of ‘passenger cards’, you can even use an opponents track to continue your journey with the passenger, adding even more points.
As well, a new ‘engine +4’ card is added, which can only be played on longer routes. As well, route cards are split into long and short routes, with players able to decide how many routes from each pile to draw. This provides another interesting decision for players to make that will affect their game play.
Perhaps the most interesting, if aesthetic alteration is the use of unique train cards based on the Marklin series of toy trains. Probably the best looking of the three base-games, the Ticket to Ride Marklin edition cannot be expanded by any of the other games.
Ticket to Ride USA 1910
The Ticket to Ride USA expansion provides a replacement of all the original Ticket to Ride cards to a larger version. Furthermore, it adds 30 new Destination cards for the 1910 game and a rulebook with 3 variant games – 1910, Big Cities and the Mega Game variant.
Ticket to Ride USA 1910 really expands only the original Ticket to Ride base game, allowing for easier card handling and some new changes to provide more fun to the original.
Ticket to Ride : Swiss Map Expansion
The latest expansion, Ticket to Ride Swiss Map Expansion expands either the original base game or the Europe variant. This expansion is usable with either game, but not with the Marklin expansion.
Ticket to Ride Swiss Map Expansion actually provides a new game board that is specifically designed for a smaller number of players and introduces a few new rules including underground tunnels (as per the Europe edition) as well as destination cards with varying number of points depending on their final end points. Also, destination cards will now connect between adjacent countries in this edition.
Ticket to Ride the Card Game
Recently released, the Ticket to Ride Card Game delivers all of the excitement, fun, and nail-biting tension of the original Ticket to Ride board game, but with several unique game-play twists in a new stand-alone, card game format.
Players collect sets of illustrated Train cards, which are then used to complete Destination Tickets – routes between two cities depicted on each ticket. But before their Train cards can be used, players must face the risk of “train-robbing,” where another player may force them to lose their hard-earned cards.
The Ticket to Ride card game is meant for 2 – 4 players and provides a new dimension to the popular train series.