Hey Bloggers! Today, I wanted to highlight a light game for those of you out there who may just be starting your first foray into the fun world of board gaming. For those of you who are casual gamers, or for those of you who have busy lives, packed schedules, and can't really commit to a 12 hour romp of an epic game like Arkham Horror (which I love) or Twilight Imperium (a game I still have yet to play but desperately want to before I leave this earth)....
Well then, Ticket to Ride: Europe may just be the game for you! It's based on Alan R. Moon's award winning railroad game, Ticket to Ride , but on, you guessed it: a map of Europe! You're basically collecting a handful of colored cards and laying down routes on the map to score points. Whoever has the most points in the end wins! Easy right?! Lets dig a bit deeper, shall we?
"Whoa, whoa WHOOOA!!" you say.
"This is already starting to sound a bit complicated! I thought it was a light game?"
Well, it's actually quite easy! See those colored cards down below? Well, you'll have a random hand of those throughout the game which you will then use to claim routes on the board with train cars of your color.
|pick cards, lay down a route. That's it, stupid!|
Still with me? O.k., lets keep going!
|Zagrab to Budapest can be claimed with 2 orange cards...|
So in the picture above, you could claim the route from Zagrab to Budapest if you played two Orange cards. Simple huh? Well, not so fast!
You see, each player (including YOU) will also have in their hand several DESTINATION TICKETS (seen below). If you complete the route on said tickets, you will feel like a total badass and score extra points at the end of the game....the longer the route, the more points.
However, if you DONT complete the route on the ticket(s) you're holding, they actually take away from your point total at the end and your wife opponent will laugh at you and question why she even married you in the first place. So the lesson here is: don't bite off more than you can chew or you will lose!
|Destination tickets give you a purpose and extra points!|
Train Stations allow you to go through a completed route that the opponent owns! Use them wisely, though because you only get three of them! It's also good to know that any UNUSED stations will give you +4 points each at the end of the game as well. You'll thank me later when they end up saving your ass from a massive beat-down from granny.
Anyhoo, players keep scoring routes until a player has only two trains remaining, at which point every other player has one last turn to do something. And THAAAAT'S the game!
So what do I think of the game? I like it. My wife LOVES it. It's extremely easy to learn and can be played anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour without melting your brain. I tend to like more medium weight euro games such as Carson City , but this also gives you a certain satisfaction of seeing the map develop as you claim your routes and it's fun regardless of whether you win or lose.
Anyway, for those of you just getting into the wonderful world of board gaming, this is a wonderful game to start off with. And heck, if you decide you want to play with an American map, you can just buy the original. Go ahead, I won't judge.
|What the board may look like during mid game...|
In the end, the name of the game is hand management. It's a fine balancing act of deciding what route to claim NOW so that it can set you up to completing that longer route for the future. All this while fending off your opponent(s) as they do the same! I told you it was easy!
|The end of a game. Joy (green) won with the most points!|
Happy Gaming guys and gals!