- Light/medium strategic elements
- Easy to learn
- Quite easy to mess things up for other players
- Can cause analysis paralysis because of the one action per turn rule
A great gateway into board gaming is Ticket to ride. In this game you play a railroad tycoon that is trying to expand your railroad network. Your only issue is that there are other tycoons expanding their routes on the same board and there might be a couple of collisions along the way. But is it a fun time or a total train wreck? Here is the review of Ticket to ride!
In Ticket to ride the board is made up of a map over the United States with train tracks connecting cities together. At the beginning of the game you will be handed three tickets with two cities marked out, this is the destination you need to complete. You need to keep two of these three tickets. You can later spend a turn and take new tickets if you feel adventuress.
To help you complete the routes you have a number of trains to place out but there are some different rules here. You’ll notice that some of the tracks on the map are of a certain color and some are gray. To place trains on the tracks you need to collect train cards. If you want to complete a stretch of 4 purple train tracks you have to be able to put down four purple train cards (or there is also a wild card locomotive which can represent any color).
You can only do one action per turn, which I think is great as it makes the game more balanced and also harder to project how it is going to be played out. On your turn you can take new train cards, take new ticket cards or place trains. So will you risk it and take new train cards just to see the next player place their trains just where you were going to? That’s the biggest challenge, plus the fact that there is a limited ways to connect a city. This limitation in ways to connected the cities helps to create a sense of urgency and you have to act quickly before someone else takes that only road left.
For beginners – don’t take too many tickets
When you first start playing you might not realize that there is a limit of the number of train you can put out before the game ends and the game will end when as soon as any player puts down their last train. The turn will continue around the table, but that’s it. So you better keep track of how many trains people have left and if you’re thinking to grab new tickets that you might not get a chance to complete, because here is one thing to remember in the game – you get minus points for every ticket that you haven’t completed. Each ticket has a specific score based on the difficulty in completing that route and if you do not finish it, well that will be the number of point deducted from your overall score.
Final thoughts – Ticket to ride
I love Ticket to ride and all the expansions I played so far. The original game set in the States is a good balanced map but you will after a couple of plays get used to the “best” routes to play and therefore present less of a challenge. I all depends also on the people you play with because Ticket to ride can be a real stick it to them type of game. If you want to make some ones live hard, it’s quite easy to destroy their whole route by taking that last crucial piece of train track. But overall this is a great introduction game to board gaming with easy to pick up rules and light/medium strategy elements.