Ticket to Ride is easily one of my favourite games so when I heard there was an expansion I was keen to get my hands on a copy as quickly as possible. I was not quite sure what I was expecting probably more of the same but with different route destinations but instead it feels like TWO whole new games, so phenomenal value at RRP £25.99 (available for £24.24 on Amazon currently).
But do remember you will need the original game to play (no hardship there as it is one of those games EVERYONE should own anyway, if you don’t have it already go and buy it NOW!). You will be using the counters; trains and the coloured train cards (for the Pennsylvania side of the board) from that set. The expansion cannot be used as a standalone set.
Learning the two new games was a bit taxing on my poor brain to begin with, but its well worth preserving. We tend to search YouTube for videos so we get a feel for gameplay after reading the rules ourselves. On the United Kingdom side you are dealing with lots of extra cards, concession cards to allow you to enter Wales, Scotland and Ireland and other types of cards letting you extend the number of tracks you can lay within a route (you start off only being allowed to lay one or two at a time) and enabling you to use ferries to reach all your destinations. But you do rely on getting enough WILD cards to do that, so if your unlucky you can be waiting and waiting till you get enough of them. But that’s what’s great about these games there is an element of skill and luck!
The two sides both have very different ways of playing. When you’re on the Pennsylvania side you start incorporating stocks and shares. My hubbie was quick to get the hang of this and made sure he got the number 1 share card as often as he could for maximum points, we did not realise how quickly he had grasped the concept until we added up the scores and realised just how many more points he had! Some of the share cards only give points to the two highest owners of those shares, so if your third or fourth highest it’s a waste of time, so sit close to the share cards if you can and work out which ones to avoid if you cannot get enough of them to make it worthwhile.
Hubbie is always planning strategically and is very difficult to beat these days. It can be frustrating but I keep coming back for more, as these games are just so very engaging, it would just be nice to win occasionally though! My son at eight is also a big fan of these games, its great to increase his concentration and I enjoy seeing how as he has been more proficient at the game his scores have improved greatly!
You can find more information on the Esdevium website, but I really do recommend this game for Christmas for adults and children (8+) alike!