Sunday, November 4, 2018

14) Ticket to Ride

Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at the Cafe that you may want to check out. Maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!

What could be interesting about completed train routes on a board of North America? If you’ve played Ticket to Ride, you’ll know how fun it actually is! Ticket to Ride is a quite the classic in the board game hobby because it’s simple to teach and learn, fun to play, and hosts a lot more depth than at first glance. I always cite this as the one that sucked me into board gaming and who knows, maybe this’ll be the one for you too!

In Ticket to Ride, your goal is to connect certain cities together using your brightly coloured train pieces. In between cities, there are x number of boxes that attach a city to its neighbours. You need to play x cards of that colour to lay down your trains, therefore connecting those cities. Repeat until the two places listed on your route card are joined via a long line of trains!
The 3 ways to lay out your trains. Which person are you?

Easy enough, except for the fact that there are other players. Remember that path you’ve hoarding all those yellow cards for? Well your neighbour just claimed it. Did you telegraph the path you wanted to take? Your opponents might just be mean enough to block you on purpose. Not to mention, if you don’t complete one of your routes, it counts as MINUS points!

Even with those potential frustrations, Ticket to Ride still feels like a calming game. Each turn feels like you’re making progress. Multiple pathways give you options if Plan A is foiled by your friend’s blue train cars. Even if you draw the wrong coloured cards, there’s always grey (any colour) paths you can use them for or connecting cities on future routes. The turns go quickly and at the end, its a board full of vibrant pieces and winding paths.

On top of all that, there are so many versions that you can try to add more to the experience. Ticket to Ride: Europe (my personal favourite) introduces tunnel pathways, which have a chance of costing more cards than they appear on the board. Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails gives you both trains AND boats, requiring you manage your supply of pieces. And the mobile versions of the original and Europe are actually really good (played it for the first time as an app)!

Is Ticket to Ride my favourite game? Not in the slightest. But would I recommend it? Absolutely! I see it as the perfect way to show people how interesting board games can be and help break their preconceived notions on what a board game can be. Then they get blindsided by my next spotlight pick, which hopefully gets the hooked on games forever! Next time, we're going to finally look at my favourite game in the cafe, so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading! Come visit us at the cafe at 12644 137 Ave, Edmonton. You can ask me about a certain game that you’ve always wanted to learn. I’d be happy to work through it with you :) Keep warm out there!

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Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at ...