Have you ever wanted to create your own railway across the United States, Europe, or Asia? Ticket to Ride is a board game that scratches that itch. Designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Days of Wonder, Ticket to Ride tasks players with building train routes across a map to specific destinations whilst navigating other players’ railways. The first Ticket to Ride game was released in 2004, and a variety of different versions and expansions have been released in the years since.
You can learn more about Ticket to Ride here at the game’s official homepage.
No matter the game, the goal of Ticket to Ride is simple: complete the most train routes and win the most points. Ticket to Ride can be played with 2-5 players and takes about an hour to complete.
Before playing, each player chooses a colour and receives 45 plastic train cars and a scoring marker corresponding to that colour. Players are then dealt four train car cards. Train car cards come in a variety of colours that correspond with coloured routes on the map, or as wild locomotive cards.
Players are then dealt three destination ticket cards. Each destination ticket card shows a route between two cities on the map, and a point value correlating to the completion of that route. Players must keep at least two of these destination tickets. If a player decides to keep a destination ticket, it cannot be discarded. If you do not complete the route specified on a destination ticket, you lose the points specified on the card!
Keep all of your cards (both train car cards and destination tickets) hidden. These are for your eyes only!
During each turn, you can do one of three things:
- Draw two train car cards from either a set of five face up cards or the draw pile.
- Draw three additional destination ticket cards to choose more routes. If you do this, you must keep at least one.
- Play train car cards to claim routes on the board with your plastic train cars.
Routes vary in length and can only be claimed by one player. Longer routes are worth more points (a route of four train cars is worth seven points), whilst shorter routes are worth fewer (a route of two train cars is only worth two points).
In certain cases, there may be routes next to each other connecting specific cities. When playing with three or fewer players, these parallel routes are not in play. When playing with four or five players, however, they are in play, and can be claimed by two different players.
Be careful when choosing new destination tickets because other players can block your routes, forcing you to subtract points at the end of the game.
How to End the Game
The end of the game is triggered when a player only has two or fewer train car pieces left. When this happens, every player takes one more turn. After that, every player reveals their destination tickets.
Points are then tallied for routes on the map and completed destination tickets. Remember that you have to subtract points for any incomplete destination tickets! A bonus of ten points is awarded to the player who has made the longest connected route across the map. After tallying up all the points, a winner can be crowned.
Variations and Expansions
Since the initial release of Ticket to Ride almost two decades ago, there have been many variations, expansions and re-releases, including Ticket to Ride: Europe, Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, Ticket to Ride: Germany, and Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails.
Some of these releases, like Ticket to Ride: Europe and Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails, introduce new gameplay elements like tunnels, ferries, and ships to make things more interesting.
A variety of map expansions have also been released and can be played with pieces from Ticket to Ride: USA, Europe, Germany, or Nordic Countries. These maps collections include expansion maps of Asia, India, Africa, Japan and more.
In addition to these variations and expansions, several anniversary editions have been released, including Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary, Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary, and Ticket to Ride: Europe: 15th Anniversary. These special anniversary editions feature a larger game board and special metal tins for the train pieces.
Ticket to Ride is a great way to live out your dreams of being a railway designer. With a wide variety of editions and expansions, Ticket to Ride has plenty of features to keep you coming back and building more train routes.