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.
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.
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.
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
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