Ticket to Ride (board game)

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Ticket to Ride
Close of up game board.
Designer Alan R. Moon
Publisher Days of Wonder
Players 2–5
Age range 8 and up
Setup time <5 minutes
Playing time 45+ minutes
Random chance Medium
Skills required Set collection

Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed German-style board game designed by Alan R. Moon and published in 2004 by Days of Wonder. The game is also known as Zug um Zug (German), Les Aventuriers du Rail (French), Aventureros al Tren (Spanish), and Menolippu (Finnish).

The game won the 2004 Spiel des Jahres, the Origins Award for Best Board Game of 2004[1] and the 2005 Diana Jones award and As d'Or, and came 2nd in the Schweizer Spielepreis for Family Games. Ticket to Ride: Europe won the 2005 International Gamers Award. As of August 2008, over 750,000 copies of the game have been sold according to the publisher.[2]


[edit] Gameplay

At the beginning of the game, players choose a number of 'destination' cards showing a pair of cities on the map. These become goals, representing two end-points which players are secretly attempting to connect. Each turn, players collect 'railway car' cards in various colours (including wildcard 'Locomotive' cards), draw additional 'destination' cards, or use railway car cards to claim routes on a map of the United States (that also includes southern portions of Canada) and thereby earn points. The routes are of varying lengths (requiring varying numbers of matching coloured cards), and each discrete route marked on the board can be claimed by only a single player. Some cities are connected by two parallel routes that can each be claimed by a different player. Longer routes are worth progressively more points than shorter routes, e.g. a route of length four is worth more than two routes of length two.

Explanation of the railroad cars depicted on the train cards
Card color Car depicted
Black Hopper car
White Reefer
Red Coal car
Green Caboose
Blue Passenger car
Yellow Boxcar
Purple Freight car
Brown Tanker

The game ends when one player has exhausted or nearly exhausted his or her supply of coloured train pieces. When this occurs, every player then plays one additional turn, after which they each reveal his or her previously hidden 'destination' cards. Additional points are awarded for having successfully completed the routes on the cards, whereas points are subtracted for any incomplete routes. A ten point bonus is awarded to the player who has the longest continuously connected set of routes.

[edit] Expansions

[edit] Mystery Train

The Mystery Train expansion was released in 2004 as a free giveaway in the December edition of Game Trade Magazine and at the Spiel 2004 game festival in Essen, Germany. The expansion cards are also available as a free download from the official site, or may frequently be purchased on eBay. Mystery Train includes a total of twelve cards:

  • Four short destination cards: Vancouver to Portland, Boston to Washington, Winnipeg to Omaha, and Montreal to Chicago.
  • Five character cards: Station Agent, Tycoon, Engineer (x2), and Inspector.
  • A blank card for players to create their own unique character card.
  • Two rule cards explaining the expansion.

The new destination and character cards are shuffled into the destination ticket deck after players have drawn their initial destination cards. While the destination cards simply function as normal destinations, the characters each have special rules associated with them. Engineer cards can be played to allow the player to search the entire destination ticket deck and select a desired destination. The remaining character cards provide various score bonuses at the end of the game if certain conditions are fulfilled.

[edit] USA 1910

The second expansion, Ticket to Ride: USA 1910, contains large format reprints of all the cards from the original deck, including 4 routes with revised point values. Additionally, the expansion adds 35 new destination tickets (with the 1910 logo in the upper right hand corner), a new 15 point Globetrotter bonus card for the most completed tickets, and the 4 destination tickets from the long out-of-print Mystery Train expansion. Released at the 2006 Essen game festival, it also includes three new ways to play Ticket to Ride with the USA 1910 expansion, in addition to using the original deck as described in the game's standard rules.

[edit] Switzerland

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland, originally released as part of the computer game, was released as a board game expansion in 2007. The game features several changes. The first is that it only uses 40 train markers (instead of the usual 45). The second is that 'Locomotive' cards may only be used for tunnels (instead of as general wildcards). Lastly, some routes end at specific national borders rather than cities. To play this extension, one needs to have either the original game Ticket to Ride or the spinoff Ticket to Ride: Europe. The spinoff Ticket to Ride: Märklin may not be used as a foundation for this extension, mainly because it does not contain the same amount of wagon cards. Using Ticket to Ride: Europe as the sole foundation for the Ticket to Ride: Switzerland extension produces one minor omission from the scoring rules because Ticket to Ride: Europe contains no train route lengths of five. The original Ticket to Ride rules provide that a train with five cars scores ten points.

[edit] Unofficial expansions

Fans of "Ticket to ride" have created their own board for this game, which can be printed for a private use, and played with the original wagons and cards. Links to unofficial expansions can be found in the external links section.

[edit] Spinoffs

Since the game's release in 2004, Days of Wonder has released three additional stand-alone board games, one card game and two computer game versions.

[edit] Board games

[edit] Europe

Released in 2005, Ticket to Ride: Europe takes place on a map of Europe as it was at the turn of the 20th century. The game includes two new types of route: 'Ferry' routes, which require 'Locomotive' cards to be played when claiming them, and 'Tunnel' routes, which add an element of risk and chance to the game.

Each player is also given three 'Train stations', which allow a player to sacrifice points to use a route already claimed by another player.

The method of distributing ‘destination cards’ is also different as compared to the base game.

[edit] Märklin

Days of Wonder released Ticket to Ride: Märklin in 2006, based on a map of Germany. Märklin is a German toy company, best known for model railways and technical toys. Whereas railway car cards of each type in the previous games were identical, the cards in Ticket to Ride: Märklin each show a different image of Märklin rolling stock. While this has no impact on actual play, it provides additional theme and flavor.

The game adds passengers and goods as a new point-scoring mechanism. This allows each player to place up to three passengers (over the course of a game) in cities when establishing routes between them. At any later point in time, players can then choose to move their passenger, causing the passenger to traverse a set of connected points, collecting available point tokens (or goods) at each city which is visited. Doing so consumes the passenger, which is then removed from the game. Because the point tokens themselves are removed as they're collected, doing this early in the game earns tokens of higher value, while doing so later in the game tends to traverse longer routes.

This version of the game also uses two different type of 'Locomotive' wildcards. In addition to the standard type, there are "+4" locomotives, which can only be used as wildcards on routes of at least length four. The upside of this is that these locomotives can be freely selected from the available face-up cards without counting as a double-draw.

[edit] Nordic Countries

In late October 2007, Days of Wonder released a local version of Ticket to Ride in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. While it was initially intended to be sold only in these countries, this version will also be available in English, French and German in September 2008.

The gameboard is located in the Nordic countries, including part of Russia and Estonia. It includes ferry routes and tunnels, like Ticket to Ride: Europe.

[edit] Card game

[edit] Ticket to Ride: The Card Game

The card game was released in the summer of 2008 and includes a similar artistic style and theme, and general game mechanism of set collection. The card game is playable in 30-45 minutes and supports 2-4 players.

[edit] Computer games

[edit] Ticket to Ride: Online

Ticket to Ride can be played online at Days of Wonder's website. Although anyone may join existing games, the site requires a subscription to begin new games. Each board game comes with a code valid for a free 6-month subscription.

[edit] Ticket to Ride: The Computer Game

Days of Wonder has also released a computer game for Windows PCs and Macintosh, which allows players to play the original game, Ticket to Ride: Europe, and Ticket to Ride: Switzerland. The Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 expansion is available as a free downloadable enhancement to the game.

[edit] Ticket to Ride: Xbox Live Arcade

Xbox Live Arcade version.

The Xbox Live Arcade version was released on June 25, 2008, and supports play with up to five people on Xbox Live or four people on the same console, and can utilize the Xbox Live Vision cam.[3]

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Preceded by
Spiel des Jahres
German "Game of the Year" Award

Succeeded by
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