Ticket to Ride + Welcome to Savvy Game Night

Today is the launch of Savvy Game Night! If you want to keep up with my weekly board game reviews, you can subscribe to them by newsletter or RSS feed. Thanks!

Welcome to Savvy Game Night! At the end of last year, one of our friends posted on Facebook that she had just bought her 365th game, and that she could play a different game every single day in 2014 if she wanted to. As someone who has been blogging for the better part of 5 years, I immediately thought that would make a great blog concept – the Julie and Julia of board games, if you will. Which got my wheels turning… Dan’s and my collection is nowhere near the size of our friends’, but it does number close to 50. So while I can’t write about a game every day, I very nearly can review a different game every week. And so Savvy Game Night was born.

Ticket to Ride | Savvy Game Night

Dan and I have been having some long workdays lately, so some nights, we simultaneously want to play a board game to unwind and don’t have the energy to put much time or thought into it. Ticket to Ride has been one of our go-to games this month, partly because it is such a breeze to set up and get going.

Ticket to Ride | Savvy Game Night

There is definitely some strategy involved, as far as choosing tickets and which color train cards to collect. But very few decisions affect the rest of the game in any serious way, so you don’t have to constantly be thinking 5, 6 or 10 moves ahead, and one wrong move won’t destroy the rest of your game. The game remains lighthearted and fun, with maybe a tiny bit of deviousness, depending on the player. Like the time Dan cut off my ability to complete a 10-point ticket (not cool, honey). It wasn’t serious enough to keep me from winning!



Players attempt to fulfill Destination Tickets to earn points, by placing train pieces connecting various American cities. On each turn, a player can choose to do one of three things:

1. Take 1-2 Train cards. You need to build up your hand so that you have enough Train cards in the right colors to place your trains.

2. Place trains. Once you have enough Train cards of a given color to connect two cities, you discard the appropriate Train cards and place your trains on the board.

3. Take new Destination Tickets. Typically done when your other tickets are complete or close to it, or there is no way to complete your tickets. While new Destination Tickets can give you more points, if you don’t complete a route on your Tickets, you lose points at the end of the game.

When a player has two or fewer train pieces left, each person gets one more turn, and then the game is over.

Number of Players:

The game works just as well with two players as it does with four, so it is good for both a quiet night at home, as well as a game night with friends. You can play with up to 5 players.

Set Up Time:

Nearly none. Just separate the cards into their two types, shuffle, and distribute train pieces.

Play Time for New Players:

This game is easy to learn, and once players understand that they can either take train cards or take tickets or place trains, there isn’t much else to explain. 45 minutes to an hour.

Play Time for Experienced Players:

45 minutes to an hour.

Age Range:


Final Notes:

Ticket to Ride is a great intro game for players who are only familiar with the traditional board games like Monopoly or Life.


Overall Rating: 10/10

Ticket to Ride | Savvy Game Night
Psst: This post contains affiliate links. I only ever recommend products I use myself!


  1. says

    Ahhhh, I wish we lived closer as I would LOVE to have game night with you guys! Board games are definitely my favorite way to unwind lately. My friends are obsessed with ticket to ride– just played it for the first time a few months ago and now it’s my favorite!

    Maybe this game needs to come along to HLS?! 🙂

    • Julie says

      I’ll see what I can do – Dan is driving to the Summit, so maybe I’ll have him bring some games!

  2. says

    My husband and I love playing Ticket to Ride! It’s in heavy rotation along with Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Puerto Rico. I just recently downloaded Ticket to Ride on my Kindle which has become addicting 🙂

    • Julie says

      We just played Puerto Rico this weekend – I forgot how much I loved that game!

  3. Laura S. says

    Yaaaaaay, I’m so glad this site has launched! Can’t wait to see what you review next. I vote for Le Havre– ever since we played it I’ve been dreaming of a rematch or five. I just want to smoke huge quantities of fish, tin them, and sell them to a deli– is that so much to ask?

    • Julie says

      Haha. We’ll bring it again next time we visit!! Or you need to come up here again 🙂

  4. says

    This is great!! My husband is HUGE into board games, and I really want to be, but I have a hard time with all the strategy usually required. I’m hoping reading about them in this easy-to-understand format will help me understand and appreciate them more! (and maybe find one I’ll enjoy that we can play together!)

  5. says

    I found this post just now but still wanted to comment. The idea of reviewing your game collection is great and will surely deliver inspiration for many. We don’t regularly play board games anymore – granted, both me and my siblings living all over the country means family gatherings don’t happen by far often enough. But when we do it’s such a lot of fun and I’d happily take some ideas for new purchases from your posts. Ticket to Ride is a game some of my cousins own and it has become a favourite of the whole extended family.

  6. Kathleen says

    I’ve never played the America version (never really appealed to me), we much prefer the Europe and Asia ones. Lots of fun.

    • Julie says

      We’ve been eyeing some of the other maps, now that you don’t have to rebuy the full game to get them! We’ve heard the Netherlands one is really good for 2 people, too.