Ticket to Ride Europe, the game that takes players from the craggy hillsides of Edinburgh to the sun-kissed docks of Constantinople on their way to victory. Yes, everyones favorite track based method of transportation is back for another installment in the Ticket to Ride franchise. You might be asking yourself: what changes has Alan R. Moon worked into this version of the game? One big difference are the cities, which with names like Brindisi, Zagrad, Wilno, Smyrna, and Smolensk, are slightly harder to find on a map than Oklahoma City. Besides the changes to the setting, there are also some minor changes to the game itself including: ferries, tunnels, and train stations, which adds a new feel to the game.
In Ticket to Ride Europe, each player is trying to score the most points. Points are scored by building routes and completing destination tickets. Each turn, a player may claim a route by playing the appropriate number of train cards. Players continue claiming routs until any player is left with two trains or less. The score is then calculated, and the player with the highest score wins the game.
The game starts with each player receiving 45 train cars, 3 train stations, and a scoring marker. Each player is then dealt 4 train cards, one long route, and three short routes (players may then discard up to two of their route cards.). The route card deck is set to the side. Next, five train cards are flipped over face up, the deck is set to the side, and play begins.
In Ticket to Ride Europe, each players goal is to score the most points. Points are scored in one of four ways:
Claiming a rout,
Completing a destination tickets,
Completing the longest path, and
Train stations remaining at the end of the game.
Ticket to Ride Europe Game Review
Most points are scored during the players turn. During a turn, each player must complete one of three actions:
Draw Train Cards,
Claim Routes / Build a Train Station,
Draw Destination Tickets
One thing I should point out is the full sized cards in this version of Ticket to Ride. Gone are the god awful postage stamp sized cards from the original to be replaced with something much more functional. There are eight types of regular train cards, as well as locomotive cards, in the deck. Locomotive cards can be played as wild cards and are required to complete ferry routes. If a player chooses to draw cards, then the player can do one of two things: (1) draw face up cards, or (2) draw from the deck. Players may take any two face up regular train cards, or a player may take one face up locomotive card. When a player takes one of the face up cards, that card is immediately replaced with a card from the deck. Players are also allowed to draw two cards from the deck at random in a blind draw. A player may hold as many cards as they like, and most good Ticket to Riderzz will have large hand sizes throughout the game.
The train cards are used to claim routes. Players may claim any route on the board by paying the correct color and number of train cards. After a route has been claimed, it is off limits to other players unless there is a double route or a train station.
Double routes allow two sets of track to be laid between cities and are indicated on the board. Train stations allow players use of a route for the remainder of the game. The first train station costs a player one card to play, but each successive train station played costs an additional card of the same color.
There are also several routes new to Ticket to Ride Europe: (1) ferries, and (2) tunnels. Ferries require that a certain number of locomotives be played to claim the route.
Tunnels are a little trickier, and involve a special mechanic. The player pays the appropriate number of cards to claim the route. After the cards have been played, three cards are flipped over from the deck. If any three of the revealed cards is the same color as the route, then the player must immediately play an additional train card of that color to claim the route. If the player fails to claim the route, then the player loose their turn and the route is still available.
After a route is claimed, points are tallied and the player advances their scoring marker around the board. Players receive points in the following way:
1 Point for Routs of Length 1
2 Point for Routs of Length 2
4 Point for Routs of Length 3
7 Point for Routs of Length 4
15 Point for Routs of Length 6
21 Point for Routs of Length 8
One thing that is clear after looking at the scoring is how important it is to claim longer routes. Only the longest destination tickets in the game give as many points as an eight length route, so its vital to secure some of these large routes early in the game to keep up with the other players.
Players continue building routes to connect the cities listed on their destination tickets. At the end of the game, each completed destination ticket receives the points listed on the card. The point value of any destination that is not completed is deducted from the players score.
In addition to drawing cards and building routes, players may also draw additional destination tickets. Players may draw three destination tickets and are required to keep at least one of them. Many players will draw additional destinations on their first turn to find tickets that overlap with the tickets that the player already has.
The game ends when any players stock of trains gets down to two trains or less. Each player then gets one more turn and the game ends. Scores are calculated by adding the current score, the destination ticket bonus / malus, +4 points for each unused train station, as well as a European Express Bonus for the longest continuous path. The player with the most points wins the game.
Ticket to Ride Europe is an entertaining game that is great to play with novice gamers. The rules are simple to teach and the gameplay is quick enough to keep everyone involved. The european setting, and the addition of new routes, is a welcome change from the original, however, finding the city can be a bit challenging at times. If youre looking for a fun game thats easy to learn then Ticket to Ride Europe is a great option. If you own the original Ticket to Ride, I wouldnt recommend purchasing the European version. While the game has a different flavor, the overall mechanics and strategy are the same, so its probably not worth the investment.