Get on Board:
Ticket to Ride, Europe

A modern alternative to Monopoly without the randomness or rage

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Set at the turn of the 20th century, Ticket to Ride: Europe begins, perhaps unsurprisingly, with of a map of the continent illustrated with train lines connecting up the most prominent capital cities. Each player is dealt three destination ticket cards, which set journey goals from one city to another. The player discards one and sets out on accomplishing their targets. Using the different coloured carriage pieces, the player marks out their route across Europe. There are also smaller routes to complete, as well as the ability to block other player’s routes and steal their points.

This stylish tabletop game is the brainchild of French-born Eric Hautemont who moved to the US and became involved in computer graphics but wanted to escape the daily grind to spend more time with his family. He set out to make his own board game publishing company – Days of Wonder – with the ethos of releasing a few games each year, while maintaining a level of care and attention into each one. Working with Southampton-born Alan R Moon, Ticket to Ride was born in 2004, followed by the European version in 2005.

If one person can wrap their head around it, it should be a doddle to explain to newbies

There’s a similar premise to Monopoly but don’t let that put you off if wounds are still fresh from the annual Christmas round of capitalist greed. There’s less luck involved in this board game, which allows the player to make strategic decisions to alter outcomes. No single player ever has a major advantage or can greatly benefit from a single decision, which makes the gameplay a lot more balanced, and ultimately a lot more enjoyable and egalitarian.

It will take a bit of time to digest the instructions for Ticket to Ride so it’s not one to blindly play in a group. But if one person can wrap their head around it, it should be a doddle to explain to newbies who can learn on the go since the game’s structure allows players to not make any big mistakes in the first half of gameplay that could jeopardise the second half.

Depending on number of players (you can have up to five), the game will last one to two hours. With a clear end goal and rewarding accomplishments along the way this is unlikely to feel like an annual punishment. Consign Monopoly to the back of the cupboard and add Ticket to Ride: Europe to your 2019 Christmas wish list.

Interact: Responses to Get on Board: Ticket to Ride, Europe

  • Dave Sumner
    13 Jan 2019 10:27
    I got this game for Christmas and played it a couple of times. Really interesting concept and kept the family entertained for a few hours, without any bickering or frustration! Can’t wait till we play it again.

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