Ticket to Ride is a relatively new board game that pits players against each other to see who can make the longest train line and get the most points at the end of the game. Because of Ticket to Ride’s fun gameplay that is never seen before in other board games, it quickly became one of the best-selling board games, and it was able to spawn multiple editions features new maps and layout for players to enjoy. Before we get into discussing Ticket to Ride’s gameplay, we must first have a look at the history of the game, from how it came to be, down to its rise in popularity.
Ticket to Ride was invented in 2003 when a board game author named Alan R. Moon was doing his morning walk in Beverly, Massachusetts to come up with a new board game. He already had an idea for a train-based board game called “Thunder on the Tracks” the day before, but he was only able to flesh it out in the morning.
After making the prototypes for the board game, Moon then sent it to three publishers, but only one was interested. The interested publisher was Eric Hautemont, one of the founders of the Days of Wonder company.
Days of Wonder then released Ticket to Ride in 2004, and the game subsequently received critical acclaim and commercial success. Ticket to Ride then went on to win the 2004 Spiel des Jahres, a prestigious award given to publishers and inventors who were able to create a top-notch board game that is promoted in the German market.
Today, Ticket to Ride is available in more than ten languages, and it is also released in different editions and variants around the world.
At the start of the game, a player would have to shuffle the Train Car deck and the Destination Ticket deck, and he or she would then have to distribute four train car cards and three Destination Ticket cards to each player. The players would then have to look at the cards on their hand, and they have a chance to discard one Destination Ticket card before the start of the round, but they can keep all three cards if they want to.
The player who shuffled all decks will place the Train Car deck next to the board, and he or she will have to put five cards face up and line them up to the right of the deck.
After discarding or keeping the Destination Ticket cards, the players would have to choose one color available in the box of game pieces. Once they have chosen a color, they would then need to place the round game piece at the start of the score tiles at the side of the board.
At the beginning of each player’s turn, they can do one of the three following actions:
- Draw two Train Car cards from the deck or from the cards that are facing up at the side of the board. If you are going to draw the Locomotive card, which has multiple colors, then you can only draw that card without drawing another. If a face-up card is collected by the player, another player would then have to draw the card at the top of the deck and replace the collected card on the table.
- Draw three Destination Ticket cards and choose only one to keep on your hand.
- Discard one or more Train Car cards that have the same color and claim train tiles on the board using your train pieces. One card allows you to occupy only one tile, and you must be able to build a complete railway to connect two stations or cities.
For the third option, you may discard a Locomotive card along with the other cards, and it will act like a Train car that has the same color as the ones that were discarded. In addition, if there are railways between cities and stations that have two parallel tiles that are presented in different colors, players are only allowed to occupy one color on the railway.
Players will be able to get points for every completed railway, and the total points depend on how many tiles are found in each railway.
- One tile = 1 point
- Two tiles = 2 points
- Three tiles = 4 points
- Four tiles = 7 points
- Five tiles = 10 points
- Six tiles = 15 points
Moreover, players can also get points on the Destination Ticket cards by completing a railway system that connects the two cities or stations that are indicated in the card. The points that will be received by the player are also shown on the card. However, if the player was unable to connect the two stations, then he or she will lose points equal to the number shown on the card.
If one player only has two train pieces left that are unused, the scoring phase of the game will begin. The player who gets the most points from building railways and accomplishing the Destination Ticket cards wins the game.
Popular Editions and Variants
Since its release in 2004, Ticket to Ride became available in different special editions and versions that can still be purchased today. Here are some of the most popular ones that you can buy on Amazon.
Specifically made for kids to play, Ticket to Ride First Journey has simplified gameplay mechanics that only requires children to collect and fulfill six tickets to win the game. The map on the board is also shorter and has fewer tiles, making it a faster game to play compared to the original version.
This version to Ticket to Ride features iconic cities or stations found in the countries within European territories, such as Constantinople and Budapest. Along with trains, the Ticket to Ride Europe edition also includes ferries that can transport people to other faraway cities around the map.
The Ticket to Ride Rails & Sails version contained two oversized maps that can be played at the same time if players choose to. These maps use not only trains but also ships that can connect one country to another.
Ticket to Ride New York is a more compact board game compared to the original game, as it only involves taxi cabs instead of big trains. Players would have to get the most points in the game by creating taxi roads that will lead to multiple iconic destinations around New York City.
These are just a few in the dozens of varieties of Ticket to Ride to choose from. No matter what edition of the game you play, Ticket to Ride would still be fun and enjoyable as long as it is played with friends and loved ones.