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Ticket to Ride Europe
How to play
2-5 players from ages 8 up.
This is an award winning game and yet I hadn't heard of it until it was given as a Christmas present. If you enjoy steam trains, travel in Europe to the great cities, or just like being an armchair traveller - the kind that watches, Julia Bradbury or Michael Palin and Michael Portillo going about Europe than adults you'll enjoy this.
If you know children with a growing sense of adventure then introduce them to the cities of Europe and take them via this game to amazing destinations. Use it as an educational tool for history and geography and tell them about the great years of rail travel and the people who made those rail journeys. Install in them a desire to learn about the world they live in whilst having fun. The US version can also be purchased but I love this set.
Collect matching train cards to get a connecting route through Europe such as London to Berlin. The choice of direction can change and the route can be made longer via other connecting cities, though it's more expensive to the player, it's good because you won't be penalised for left over cards at the end of the game. These cards provide points and the player with the most points wins. The longer the route you obtain the more points amassed which is shown by the thick plastic coloured trains which the payer places on the map board as they obtain them. The rule book included will explain in a bit more detail.
Lovely box design with a steam train and old fashioned clothed passengers both the gentle folk and the labourers. All of the characters are happy, waving and smiley people that draw you in to taking the lid off and taking out the delights from within. Just the picture on the box engages me with the old-fashioned nostalgia for better days.
It's easy to set up and once the rules are grasped from a first reading it's very simple to teach it to others. Players pick out cards that provide the coloured route they must take. Eventually you can lay down trains along a whole network but beware this is not just a game of luck strategy skills come into it and players can block your route with their own trains. All routes are both colour coded and marked with matching symbols as are the tickets. Everything is colourful and appealing.
The rule book looks like the game will be confusing. Parents need to read it through before starting up the game. Actually, it's not a difficult game once you've had a proper read through. It becomes easy and though it says from age eight I've played with a six year old who understood and enjoyed it so much so that they wanted to take the game away home with them.
The fact, that you can never be sure who will win makes this a tense game. Now to some this might be frustrating but to many it adds to the excitement of the game and becomes a positive. It's only at the very end that you can tell who has won.
The plastic trains are solid but I think it would be even higher quality if metal was used like the pieces on a monopoly board. This is only a minor point.
You soon learn which routes are long so it does make me think I'll buy the 1912 expansion set. However, the game is fun as it is and lasts up to an hour. We enjoy repeated games despite understanding which are the best routes to have.
When I see the lid, open the box and take out the board, which is designed as a route map, I get that exciting feeling as if I am about to make a great journey so for the price of £34.82 instead of £39.99 on Amazon, at the time of writing this review, I'm paying for a lot less than a real rail journey an I get to go on repeated journeys across different routes. It is expensive but it is a good quality game. If can afford it buy it. For those with iphones you can even buy apps to play so all aboard and...
Ticket to ride has proved popular with everyone we have taught it to and is often the game they choose to play. It is simple to learn with only two main options on each turn. You can pick up different coloured train cards or put down train cards to claim a line between two European cities. You may occasionally also want to build a station or pick up more tickets. The aim of the game is to gain as many points as possible by completing various routes between two cities on the board that are on the tickets you hold.
The only tricky things for people to get the hand of are tunnels and ferries. These are an addition to the European addition that wasn't in the USA version, that make things a bit more interesting. The USA version is much more cut-throat as it is much easier to block people off thus making it impossible for them to complete their tickets. The European version is much friendlier and it is much harder to block people off completely, as stations mean you can 'borrow' someone else train line to complete your tickets.
We are serious board gamers and have now gone off Ticket to Ride (having played around 50 games) as we know the game so well, and have memorised many of the tickets so the game is somewhat formulaic with it always being clear what the best thing to do is. However, I don't think this would be a problem for most people who don't play it that often, and it is certainly popular with people who are not regular gamers.
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country Train adventure game for all ages. It was designed by Alan R Moon and is produced by 'Days of Wonder'. The board is a map of the great cities of Europe from the turn of the century and therefore some of the names may not be so familiar. Collect trains and dominate routes around Europe in an attempt to become Europe's greatest Train Magnate.
I am not, and never have been a train-spotter. We did go on a train last year! We don't have a 'OO' guage Hornby Railway set, but we do have Ticket to Ride Europe! We were given this board game by friends and it has become a firm family favourite. The kids love to get it out on a wet Sunday afternoon (most weeks then!) and rope their parents into palying too. One of the main reasons I like this game is that there is some strategy involved and I can win!!
There are obviously other games Made by 'Days of Wonder', in the same series but we have only played 'Ticket to Ride Europe'. It is quite simple to learn the rules, although I find them quite hard to explain. I always think it's easier to learn the game as you go along. Anyway I will try to expalin the rules very simply, without confusing you too much!!....
The game is for 2 - 5 players (age 8 and above)
It says on the box that it will take 30 - 60 minutes, however we have never played a game in less than an hour, so be prepared for the long haul!
At the beginning of the game each player has 45 coloured train cars in either red, blue, yellow, green or black and 3 train stations in a matching colour - these are your game pieces.
The object of the game...
The object of the game is to score the highest number of points.
At the beginning of the game you are given up to 4 Destination Tickets (One long route and three shorter routes). These are routes between two cities eg Berlin and Bucuresti - 8 Points - Each completed route is worth points. You have to complete your long route, but can choose which short route you complete. The longer the route the more points.
You can complete routes by collecting train cards - you start off with 4 and collect up to 2 train cards every turn. You claim a route by playing a set of train cards that match the colour and quantity of the spaces that make up the route. (It's much easier than it sounds!) .
You can gain extra points by completeing the longest route and claiming the European Express Bonus card.
You can also claim points for each Train Station ( you have three to start with) kept in reserve at the end of the game, so it's worth trying not to use them.
The game ends when any one player has got down to two or less of their coloured plastic trains, each player then gets one final turn. The game ends and the players calculate their final scores.
The player with the most points wins the game! Please be aware I have only given you very basic rules as I don't want to befuddle or confuse you!
With the game also comes an online access number which means you can play the game online. I have not tried this - I'm an old fashioned gal at heart. I love playing board games with my family. I think we all spend far too long watching TV or playing computer games. Its a great opportunity for a bit of healthy competition, the odd argument (!)but mainly a chance to sit down and spend quality time together.
Please don't be put off by the poorly explained instructions. I don't do complecated! The game really is easy to pick up. Once you've played it a couple of times you will feel quite confident. Don't take my word for it - have a go!!
Ticket To Ride Europe by Days of Wonder is on Amazon at the moment for £29.99
Ticket to Ride Europe takes you on a new train adventure through the great cities of turn-of-the-century Europe. Would you risk a trip through the dark tunnels of Switzerland? Venture aboard a ferry on the Black Sea? Erect lavish train stations in the great capitals of the Old Empires? Your next move might just make you Europe's greatest train magnate.