50 Games in 50 Weeks: Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride game board

Ticket to Ride game board

Ticket to Ride is one of the classic Eurogames. This intimidated me; Eurogames are known for their relative complexity. I’ve only played Ticket to Ride once, and I learned it quickly and had fun.

The game is played on a board showing major American cities (there are other versions for other countries, naturally), and colored potential train lines running between them. At any given time, four colored train cards are revealed from a deck, and on your turn, you can choose up to two of them (or up to two from the deck). If you have enough train cards of a certain color, you can place train tokens on a train line of that color.

You also get three destination cards, each of which lists two cities and a score. At the end of the game, if you have an unbroken chain of train lines between those two cities, you’ll win that score at the end–but if not, that score will be deducted from your total. You also get points for each train line, longer ones being worth more points.

That’s just about the entire game. You play against a couple of other players, of course, and the game gets really interesting when folks are all going after the same area of the country. Some cities can be connected by two different lines, but that’s the max, so you may need to route around a full connection.

There’s just enough strategy to keep the mind occupied, but few options at any given time. It fits well into that middle ground of games that are neither casual nor ruthless, and even tweens can play.

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