A quick look at Ticket To Ride Europe; the second installment in the Ticket to Ride range from Days of Wonder, designed by Alan R. Moon. This game takes you on a journey across turn of the century Europe from Edinburgh to Constantinople.
Having heard lots of positive comments about this game from friends I decided to get myself a copy and see what all the buzz is about. Unboxing a new game is always an exciting time and as always I was not disappointed when I got my first look at the contents, which I must say is quite impressive. This game is for 2-5 players and when lifting the lid you are faced with a whole host of goodies. 45 train carriages and 3 stations for each player, a deck of train and destination cards, rule book, 5 wooden tokens to keep “track”(apologies for the terrible pun) of the scores, spare carriages and a very substantial game board.
The game is very simple to play in that each turn, you perform 1 of 4 actions (draw coloured trains cards, claim a route, build a station or draw new destination cards) once you have completed an action play proceeds to the next player. Scoring is easy to keep “track” of as every point you gain, you advance your marker around the outside of the board. You score points with every route you claim and extra points are awarded for each destination ticket you have completed at the end of the game, but beware if you fail to complete a destination ticket you will quickly find yourself loosing points so plan those routes carefully.
This 2nd installment builds on the success of Ticket To Ride and adds a few new rules to the mix without complicating the game.
Ferries: The waterways of Europe can be crossed, but at a price. Each ferry requires at least one Locomotive card for you to be able to cross the water and claim the route.
Tunnels: When you venture into a tunnel, you risk a potential cave-in, so each time you play cards for a tunnel route, the top three train cards from the draw pile will be revealed, and each match with the cards just played will force you to pony up one more card to complete the set, or pass your turn.
Train Stations: Train stations can be built on any empty city, to gain access to one route of another player’s network at game end, for the purpose of completing your Destination Tickets. Train Stations are quite useful when you’re stuck on a dead track, especially on the congested railways of Western Europe. Each train station kept in reserve at game end is worth 4 victory points however, so build wisely!
I have now played this game with 6 different friends and so far everyone has asked when are we playing it again. They all found it easy to learn and picked up the rules within 10 minutes of setting off. With no dice to roll and a simple action to perform each turn, turns pass very quickly from one player to another. My only slight disagreement with the information on the box is that is we found a 3 player game was between 30-60 mins (stated on the box) whereas a 5 player game ran to 90 mins.
For more information on the Ticket to Ride range take a look at the Days of Wonder website.