Ticket to Ride

ticket_to_ride_coverTicket to Ride is an insanely popular board game. It has expansions and different versions but it always impresses me how well the base game plays and how much fun it is. There have been a lot of board games that have come out and a few are more popular than this, but Ticket to Ride is the one game that everyone I’ve played with has enjoyed. My parents, my siblings, my aunts and uncles, and well everybody. More so it is the one game that they ask me to play. Most of the time I’m suggesting games to people but Ticket to Ride is the one they remember and the one they want to play. It is the only game to achieve this level of status with my family.

Ticket to Ride is a game set in the early 20th century in America. Players collect route cards and then use train cards to claim routes between cities. It is pretty simple though it can be fun to learn which of your family and friends are geographically challenged. Some of my East Coast friends are always trying to figure where Helena is and some of my friends who know where all the American cities are have trouble with the few Canadian cities on the map. To be fair once we switch to the map of Europe, Asia, or Africa I have trouble finding some of the cities on those maps.

I mention a few of the expansions but there is only one I feel is a must have. The regular Ticket to Ride comes with cards but they are small cards. The other full games come with normal sized cards so in the 1910 expansion they have normal sized cards and routes for the regular game. It also comes with additional routes to use with some different options on what routes to use that can bring a little variation to the game.

I have been enjoying the map packs they have put out. These require a base game like America or Europe for the train cards and train pieces, but they do include new maps of different areas with route cards for them and new rules to make the games more complex. I have used many of the new maps without any new rules and I think they work fine like that, especially with players that just do not want a complex game. The Asia map has rules where train pieces get lost in the mountains and are taken out of play. We call this giving a sacrifice to the Yeti. If you see the map you’ll understand that more. The Asia map also has a version for team play that can be fun and brings in a neat dynamic for the game. I have yet to try the team rules with different maps and I am curious as to how well that would work.

Ticket to Ride is my game of choice to play with family and with people that are not hardcore board gamers. There are some of my hardcore board gaming friends that really love the game and many times it is their game of choice when we get together. Even with people who play a bunch of different games and who have played Ticket to Ride countless times it amazes me how enjoyable the game still is for us. There is a closet full of games that we played once or twice or were popular for a bit, but we grew out of. Ticket to Ride so far has stayed a fun and popular game among my family and friends.

Chris Gath.  I’ve been gaming since 1980 playing all kinds of games since then.  In the past year I’ve run Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classic, Paranoia, and Mini d6.  My current campaign is mini d6 and we are using that for a modern supernatural conspiracy investigative game.  On some forums I’m known as Crothian and I’ve written a few hundred reviews though I took a sabbatical from reviewing for a few years as it burnt me out.  I was also an judge for the Gen Con awards (ENnies) six times.  Jeff, the owner of this blog, is one of my players and a good friend.

3 thoughts on “Ticket to Ride

  1. Carcassonne and Formula De (Formula D, in it’s last reprint, I believe) seem to go over well with non/non-regular gamers, as well.

    I agree with Chris that the 1910 expansion is well worth the money.

    • Carcassonne is good for non gamers, but for whatever reason my non gamer friends and family prefer Ticket to Ride. I have not played Formula D so I might check that out.

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