Years ago – in a time I feel like I can barely remember – I owned an online board game store. Among the first titles I sold was the Ticket to Ride, published by Days of Wonder. I didn’t know much about it at all and took a copy for myself and, after that, I was hooked on this award-winning game.
The Ticket to Ride board game has a simple premise: build train lines between locations. Okay, so there’s a bit more to it than that.
So how do you play Ticket to Ride?
Between two to five players can play a round of Ticket to Ride, with the longest game being around an hour in length. The faster everyone is able to grasp the game, that faster it moves along. Trust me, you can be in and out of a game of four people in under 20 minutes.
At the start of the game, players are given a hand of random train cards and also three destination cards. Everyone has to pick at least one destination card, each of which has a different point value. The longer the distance between two destinations the more points a player can earn.
On each turn, players can swap out tickets, pick new train cards, or place down trains. The catch with placing trains is that you need to have train cards of the same colour that match the track between destinations. Unless you have a locomotive, which can count as any colour.
There are other rules and nuances to the game, but I’m not going to go into them.
I’m not normally one for Euro-style games, but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played my copy of Ticket to Ride. Eventually, I picked up the USA 1910 expansion to replace the smaller-print cards and add more variety. It didn’t necessarily need the expansion, but it also really added to the base game.
Ticket to Ride is always a hit at game days and get-togethers with friends. It’s just so easy to learn and play. Players maybe take five to 10 minutes to actually grasp the rules.
The Ticket to Ride versions
The original Ticket to Ride has a map of North America and a bit of Canada. Later versions of the game and expansions would include Nordic countries, Europe, Germany, and many, many more locations. There are so many versions of the game, including one based on Märklin model trains.
Days of Wonder would later go on to release Ticket to Ride London and New York, which are mini versions of the core game that aim to be played in around 15 minutes. I’m still keen on picking up one of these.
So yea, you should pretty much pick up any copy of Ticket to Ride. Make sure you have one of these in your collection.