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Ticket to Ride: Switzerland
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From the shores of Lake Geneva to the slopes of Davos, this expansion takes you through the heart of Switzerland's mountainous geography. You'll climb aboard the Mont-Blanc Express connecting Martigny to France and ride the Bernina Express over soaring passes into Italy.
Previously only available to Ticket to Ride Computer game players, the Ticket to Ride Swiss Map Expansion is now coming to your board game table!
Designed specifically for 2 or 3 players, this expansion forces you to reconsider all your Ticket to Ride playing strategies. It features Locomotive cards that can only be used on tunnel routes; only 40 trains per player; and new Destination Tickets that take you not just to other cities, but to surrounding countries as well.
The game's author, Alan R. Moon, has called the Swiss map his "favorite of all the Ticket to Ride maps". We think you'll also find this map a great new way to play your favorite train game!
Alan R Moon
Players: 2 - 3
Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 1,055 grams
Language Requirements: Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are printed in English.
- A full-size game board
- 46 Destination Tickets
- A multi-lingual rules booklet (English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish)
Average Rating: 5 in 2 reviews
I've always had an issue with a great game like Empire Builder or the 18XX series that used the game system on a different map but didn't really offer a different gaming experience. Using the same system with a few different rules, This T2R game offers an a more competitive game which plays well with less people. Those who have the DVD edition have already been playing this game and know it's merits.
If you've never played Ticket to Ride, or Ticket to Ride: Europe, then I highly suggest you forget about Ticket to Ride: Switzerland (Days of Wonder, 2007 - Alan Moon) and go check out one of them first. Really, you don't have a lot of choice about that; because this is the first game in the T2R series, which is not sold as a complete game but rather an expansion for one of the two original games.
T2R: Switzerland comes in a flat, square box and essentially is just rules, new ticket cards, and a new board. The trains and train cards are not included, so one needs a copy of the original game to play. I managed to fit the entire expansion into my T2R: Europe box, although I had to take out the plastic insert to make everything fit. I suppose you could keep the original box, as it does look really nice - I just figured I would keep everything in one place. The new board looks fabulous (as they all do), and the new ticket cards are clear and easy to read.
T2R: Switzerland is one of the first examples of a game that I've played for a lengthy period of time (on the computer version) before it came out as an actual board game. For those who may have played the same version, it's essentially the same thing. This map is unique in that it only handles two or three players, making it perhaps less useful than the base games, which went all the way up to five.
A few new rules are included with this version.
- Tunnels (also found in T2R: Europe): Several routes on the board have a black border, showing that they are tunnel spaces. These are handled the same as normal routes, except that when a player plays the train cards necessary to complete a tunnel, the top three cards of the train deck are flipped over. If any of the flipped cards match the color of the train cards being played, or are locomotives, the player must play one extra card for each. If they cannot do this, they take their played cards back into their hand; and their turn is over, forcing them to complete the tunnel on a future turn. Tunnels add a bit of luck to the game but also force players to think carefully when playing there. Whenever I'm going to build a tunnel, I almost always store at least one extra card in my hand - just in case. On rare occasions, a player may need to play two extra cards; and needing three extra cards is the stuff of legends (I've never seen it happen, but it's certainly possible). Players can also attempt to avoid using tunnels; but this map has a ton of them, although most are in the same places.
- Locomotive Cards: My favorite card from the original game, because it acted as a wild card. In this version, these are still wild cards but may ONLY be used in tunnels. This has a two-pronged effect. One, players are more inclined to try the difficult tunnels, because of the ease of picking up these cards. Oh - I neglected to mention - taking a face-up locomotive card is now the same as grabbing any card, so they are snagged often. Secondly, the regular routes are now slightly more difficult, since a player has to have the exact color they need, rather than wait on the wild cards to help them. In fact, sometimes I get annoyed enough, waiting to get the color for a regular line, that I'll build a roundabout route, using the colors I had. This is something that almost never happened to me in the original game. Tickets: There are forty-six tickets in this game, which for the most part follow the ticket rules to the basic games. However, a player starts the game with five tickets and only needs to keep three. Tickets discarded then and during the game are completely discarded from the game, which means that players need to grab them quickly. It's not uncommon for players to run out of tickets during a game, so tickets are grabbed early and often. There are four countries on the board (Austria, France, Germany, and Italy), each with several endpoints in them. This is because twelve of the destination tickets require a player to either go from a city to a country, or from a country to a country. All of these tickets, which should always be kept when drawn, have four numbers on them. If a player completes the ticket, they receive the highest possible number; and if they fail, they receive the lowest possible number. For example, there is a ticket that wants Lugano to be connected with one of the four countries. If I connect it with Germany (12 points) and France (14 points) and Italy (2 points), I merely receive the 14 points for France, since it was highest amount. If I failed to complete the ticket at all, I would only lose two points.
The country tickets have three end results. First of all, they are incredibly useful, and a player should likely always keep them, unless they can't get to the city (if any) mentioned on the card. The gain is greater than the loss, making them a good investment. Also, because country tickets are so good, players will likely draw more tickets from the deck in hopes that they get these wonderful country tickets. Finally, players should connect to countries - whether they have tickets or not - so that they are prepared when they draw country tickets. I'm convinced a player who ignores countries does so at his own peril.
T2R: Switzerland is all about the tickets. There are only a few routes on the board that award "10" or "15" points, while there are plenty of routes that have only one train section. For those who don't like the strategy of simply building random long routes, this game will be a blessing, as someone who does that will get pummeled into defeat. At the same time, don't think that the game suffers because of that. Players are in a fierce competition to get to their routes first, and it is very easy to cut another player off from their destination. This makes Switzerland the most interactive of all the games (except possibly Marklin) and certainly makes it the most stressful. I wouldn't recommend it for new players, if only because it has a more "nasty" edge to it than the previous games. But for two players, it is possibly my choice of games, if only because the game is so intense.
T2R: Switzerland is not simply another edition of the basic game. Sure, it uses the same mechanics and will initially feel quite similar, but the game has a much more crowded feel, and competition (something that can occasionally be absent from the basic game) is higher. You don't really have the option of "playing nice" in Switzerland; players are simply hurrying to finish as many tickets as they can. I think releasing the game as an expansion was a good idea, as it will keep newcomers from trying this game first and also save a little money and space for purchasers. Once again, Mr. Moon manages to take his successful formula and keep it refreshing and fun!
"Real men play board games"