Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is an award winning railroad themed strategy game for 2 – 5 players.  The game has spawned many spinoffs, expansions, and even online versions. 
Each player starts the game with four train car cards, and three route cards. The train car cards come in the same colours that are on the board, and the player must collect an equal number of coloured cards in order to lay trains along the intended routes.  There is also a wild card, which can act as any colour.  Some routes on the board are grey, meaning the player can use any colour of train cards to collect that route.
The route cards that a player starts with shows two cities.  The player must initially keep at least two of the three routes, but may pick up more later.  Depending on the length of the route, the player will score the amount of points indicated on the route card if they complete the route.  If they fail to complete the route, they will lose that many points. 
On a players turn, they may do one of three things.  The first option is to pick up two train cards (or 1 wild card).  The second option is to lay down a line of trains by trading in a set of coloured train cards.  The third option is to pick up three more route cards.  If the player does this option, they must keep at least one, but can keep all three if they choose. 
The game ends when one player has laid down almost all of their train pieces.  At this point, players have one more turn to try and complete their routes or obtain more points.  At the end of the game, points are tallied based on routes complete (minus incomplete routes), length of each section, and a bonus for the player with the longest continuous route.  The player with the most points wins.
Ticket to Ride is a relatively simple game to learn.  Once I read the instructions for the first time, I was able to put them away, play the game and not have to look back at them.  It is also very easy to explain the game to new players. 
Ticket to ride is a very fun and addicting game.  It only takes about an hour to play, depending on the number of players.  The first time I played the game, I played two games in a row.  There are different strategies that can play into a game too, which helps to increase the replayability. 

Overall, this is one of the best games I have played in a long time.  It is easily number 1 or 2 in my top 5 favorite games to play, and it’s overall simplicity makes it the first game I think of when I want to introduce a friend to a new board game.  This is a must have for any board game player. 

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