Ticket To Ride is a game that is a little simpler than some of the more complicated train board games that are out there. The goal is rather simple: it’s to score more points than your opponents. The trick is how you go about scoring points. You can get them two ways. One is by having the longest track completed at the end of the game. The other way is by completing different destination tricks which give you points for connecting certain cities on the map.
Everyone begins the game with their own set of little miniature trains. On your turn you can either draw cards, place your trains, or draw destination tickets. The only way you can play your trains are by having enough colored train cards to match one of the tracks between cities, if you have the correct number of that color of card for that track you can play your trains. Because of this, drawing cards is a good idea early in the game. Another thing you might want to do is draw destination cards. When you draw destination cards you can draw up to three and discard them if you don’t like them but you must keep at least one. Destination cards give you points for completing paths using your train tokens from one city to another.
As the game goes on you will have to decide if you want to try to risk picking up more destination tickets. If you complete a ticket you get points, but if you fail to complete it you lose points. The trick though by picking them up late is you might find a destination ticket that you have already completed. Remember, you can choose up to three of them and only have to keep one! Of course there is another way to score points. That is if you have the longest track at the end of the game. This will get you ten bonus points. This is why I said early in the game you might want to make sure you draw cards early. You can try to make a nice long route and then hope that it will work out for the destination cards you draw. Of course this also increases your risk of getting negative points.
In the end you will need to develop your own strategy and sometimes you opponent’s strategies will help dictate the one that you use. This game is a lot of fun, and due to it’s simplicity it can be played with a variety of age groups. In the end the person with the most points wins, and considering how quickly the game can be taught it works for groups of people that are gaming fans as well as ones that just want a simple boardgame to play for the evening. It retails for about $30 so that is one of the few negatives about the game. If you think you and your fellow game players will play it quite a bit it’s worth the purchase though.