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Ticket to Ride: Europe
List Price: $50.00
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This installment in the best-selling Ticket to Ride series of train adventures, Ticket to Ride Europe takes you across the Ocean into the heart of Europe. More than just a new map to play on, Ticket to Ride Europe offers you brand new gameplay elements including Tunnels, Ferries and Train Stations. We've also upgraded you to First-Class accommodations with larger cards, new Train Station game pieces, and a lavishly illustrated gameboard.
Like the Spiel des Jahres winning original that has sold over 320,000 copies worldwide, the game remains elegantly simple, and easy to learn. Ticket to Ride Europe is a complete, new game that does not require the original version and will offer you hours of enjoyment.
Alan R Moon
Days of Wonder
Players: 2 - 5
Time: 30 - 60 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Est. time to learn: 10-20 minutes
Weight: 1,638 grams
All-Time Sales Rank: #77
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.
- 1 gameboard
- 240 colored train cars
- 15 colored train stations
- 158 illustrated cards
- 5 wooden scoring markers
- 1 rules booklet
- 1 Days of Wonder online access number
Map Collection Volume 5 (Preorder)
Map Collection Volume 4 (Temporarily Out of Stock)
Map Collection Volume 3
Average Rating: 4.5 in 8 reviews
Ok so I’m reviewing this game series out of sequence. I just submitted a review for the Märklin Edition (which I have) and now, I’m submitting a revised review for the Europe Edition (which Kevin owns).
Both games are awesome, both games have (for me) a few minor (very minor) issues that, in my mind is really just nitpicking. However I think if you adopt certain rules from both (Europe and Märklin) you’ll wind up with 2 games that on their own merit are far superior to the parent game, Ticket To Ride.
This game sets up quicker than Märklin, and plays much the same as Märklin. In Märklin, however you may choose to draw 2 cards from the Face-Up pile, 2 cards from the Face-Down pile, or one card from each. I like this mechanic a lot, and I think it will adapt well to this game. In the Europe Edition you may only draw 2 from the Face-Up pile or 2 from the Face-Down pile, not 1 from each. Secondly, Märklin has the "+4" locomotive card, which is very helpful to complete the longer routes, since you may only play this card on a route of 4 train cars (or more) in length. Thereby making it easier to complete the long routes. I think this would be a good revision for the next printing of T2R: E. Thirdly, in Märklin, you are given the chance to choose between at least 4 route tickets drawn (rather than dealt) and you have the option to keep at least 2, but can opt for all 4. Further, you may also decide from which route pile to draw your cards, either from the short or long routes, in any combination you want. In T2R: E you are dealt 1 long route, and 3 short routes. I feel that being given the choice to decide how many route cards you want to choose from and from which pile, is a much better revision, and will work out better for you in the end. If you choose to pick only from the short route deck, you’ll have the chance to complete more routes (hopefully) than someone who chooses more from the long route stack. Lastly, since I don’t own T2R: E to read the rules (as I write this) I cannot recall if there is a rule like in Märklin where you have to trash the Face-Up draw pile if there are more than 2 locomotives face up at one time. I think this is a great rule, and again will also translate well to T2R: E.
My final nit-pick is about the rule for being penalized using your train stations. If you’ve played the game, then you know that some of the long routes are next to impossible to connect, being penalized 5 points (progressive for each station) is a little absurd, however with the addition of a "+4" locomotive card you could perhaps drop this penalty, or increase it due to the fact that the "+4" loco is a huge boon to making a longer route connect faster. So other than these mostly nitpicky items, I really like both of these games.
In hindsight, I think that all three of these games could amalgamate their rules and mechanics into a more cohesive and outstanding set of games. Now I’ve not played T2R or T2R with the 1910 expansion, but I’ve heard there are a few "bugs" in the game and it’s mechanics. The 1910 expansion is said to fix these glitches, and I think that a further debugging, series wide, will fix ALL the glitches. Debugged or not, I still really enjoy both T2R: E and T2R: Märklin, I think I will have to get the Father game (T2R) and try it out, then get the 1910 expansion, try it, and see wherein lies the errors. I suspect fellow gamers that in that review I shall further quantify my feelings that all 3 need just a slight tweak. But again even with the games as they stand I enjoy them, will continue to play them, and I’ll be on the lookout for Ticket To Ride: Orient Express… which I hope they make basing it in Asia and India. We’ll see. Be on the lookout for my review of T2R sometime in the near future.
While the map and city locations aren't familiar to me, I've learned to adjust. While the variations between the original ticket to ride: revised and ticket to ride Europe aren't extensive, I've found that the European version is much better as a whole compared to that of the revised.
The learning curve is fairly low, perhaps only an extra two minutes of explanations if you've already played the original ticket to ride, and it still contains all the fun and enjoyment from the original. If you've played ticket to ride, and enjoy it, I highly recommend you get this one!
When my wife and I first got Ticket to Ride: Europe, we had a lot of fun playing. The problem, though, was that unless we got the Cadiz-Stockholm and Lisbon-Danzig lines, we never interacted on the board. Plus, within a couple plays you could predict which long route your opponent had. Though the game was still a joy, it loses the competition of the multi-player game. So we cut out most of Russia and Turkey (eliminating all destination cards with the following cities : Riga, Petrograd, Moscow, Smolensk, Wilno, Kiev, Kharkov, Rostov, Sebastopol, Sochi, Erzerum, Angora, Smyrna, and Constantinople).
Then we made slips of paper with about a dozen longer routes to act as the starting destination cards (Brest-Bucarest, Sarajevo-stockholm, Copenhagen- Palermo, Warsaw-Madrid, Dieppe-Athens, Cadiz- Berlin, London-Palermo, Stockholm-Barcelona, Sofia- Pamplona, Danzig-Edinburgh, Lisbon-Zagreb, Edinburgh-Brindisi).
I did this as a lark one evening, and it works great! There are enough longer destination slips that you're not repeating very often. The smaller board makes for a lot of interaction, so you need to play your cards quicker to secure the better routes. There are just enough regular destination cards (22?) where about half the games you run out, but only at the very end of the game.
If you're looking for a great 2 player game, I highly suggest trying this out. Gotta go -- starting another game.
Ticket to Ride: Europe is a great game for a classic gamer like me. Having never played the original Ticket to Ride, I didn't come in to the game with any preconceived ideas. What I got was a great game that has been played many times already.
So, what do I like about it?
I had a lot of high praise for Ticket to Ride in my initial review. I stated that I thought it would win game of the year, and that it had a high probability of breaking into my top ten games. Both of those predictions came through, and Ticket to Ride stands as my most-played game in 2004. It is THE gateway game for me to use and works just as well with a group of “gamers”. I was pleased as punch to hear that Alan Moon was working on variations to the game and was excited to play the first in this lineup - Ticket to Ride: Europe.
I knew that some changes had been made but expected game play to remain mostly the same. Was I ever surprised! Even though only a few changes have been made to the game, coupled with the new map, they’ve produced a game that is just as good as the original game, yet seemingly more strategic. This is good, because I didn’t want to play what would have simply been an alternate map (although that still would have been interesting) - but TtR Europe feels like an entirely different game - with the same mechanics.
The basic game play of Ticket to Ride is the same so I’ll discuss the differences in this version...
1.) Components: Days of Wonder certainly listens to their customer base. There were many complaints about the small train cards in the first edition. I never had a problem with them, but the people who wanted larger cards should be pleased - the train cards in this game are full-sized cards, with white borders and of excellent quality. The board looks really nice, just as the one in the original edition (although I see that the ridiculous complaints about city placement are popping up on the internet. For crying out loud folks, it’s a GAME!). The train cards also have little symbols on them that match little symbols on the tracks, allowing colorblind people to play. Three new station pieces are added in each color and are made of plastic just like the trains, adding some more décor to the board. I needn’t go on about component quality; all I need say is that this is a Days of Wonder typical game.
2.) Rules: The rulebook is written very nicely. If this is your first time playing any Ticket to Ride game, you’d never know it. Veteran TtR players are notified which sections are new to them. I will say that I think this game is a bit more complicated to teach to new players - I would prefer to show them the original game instead. Still, however, I’ve taught TtR Europe to several new players, and all of them caught on quickly.
3.) Tickets: Another complaint about the original TtR game was player’s luck when drawing tickets. Again, I never saw this as a problem, but I did like how this luck was handled in the Europe game. Tickets are divided into two piles at the beginning of the game: Long tickets (six of them - with blue backgrounds), and short tickets. Each player is randomly given one long ticket and three short tickets, and must keep at least two of them. Long tickets are worth twenty or twenty-one points, while short tickets are worth six to twelve points. Players can only get a long ticket at the beginning of the game; the rest are discarded, and only the short ticket stack is used throughout the game. I really enjoy this method; and everyone who’s played the game agreed that this levels the playing field from the beginning of the game, although it by no means certifies exactly what a player will do.
4.) Tunnels: Several tracks between cities have a dark outline around them, denoting the fact that they are a tunnel. Tunnels add a bit of randomness to the game, in that a player can never be too sure how long a tunnel might be. Whenever a player is going to place track between two cities with a tunnel, they must place the colored train cards they are using (i.e. four green cards), and then reveal the top three cards of the deck. If any of these revealed cards match the color of the train cards being played (or are wild), the player must play an additional card to match each revealed card. If they cannot, they must take back their cards and their turn ends. Tunnels add a layer of excitement to the game that I really enjoyed. Yes, it adds a bit of luck to the game, but it’s luck that the player can control, to a degree. Do you really want to build that two-yellow tunnel route? Well, if you have three yellow cards, you know that you have a good chance; four yellow cards all but guarantee it, and five yellow cards seal the deal. Players who are risky may chance it when they only have the minimum train cards needed, but they risk losing their turn, revealing their cards, and showing the other players where they intend to play.
5.) Ferries: Some of the neutral gray routes between cities have locomotive icons on one or more of their spaces. This means that a player must play a wild (locomotive) card for each of these icons or cannot complete the route. This doesn’t seem like a big change, but it does put a premium on locomotive cards. Between tunnels and ferries, I saw a lot more locomotive cards being drawn from the face up cards on the table. When playing TtR with experienced players, we’ve discovered that it’s usually best to leave locomotive cards lying on the table, as getting only one card instead of two can be detrimental. Not so in TtR Europe - players are rapidly scooping up the locomotive cards. Resets occurred a lot less frequently in our games.
6.) Routes: The board is a lot more crowded than the American one. In a five-player game, players will constantly be blocking each other’s routes, and the game can indeed get a lot nastier. No longer will claiming long routes only be a viable strategy; players must complete tickets to win. There are no five-card routes on the table, only two six-card routes, and one whopping eight-card route (but it’s also a tunnel!) Even if a player gets all the points from the three biggest routes, they still need to complete tickets to win the game - something that makes the game better (although I did like the build-long-random-routes-all-over-the-board-and-annoy-other-players strategy every once in a while.)
7.) Train Stations: Since the board is so cluttered, and since player’s routes will be blocked quite frequently, each player has three train stations that they can build on their turn. The first train station costs a single train card, the second costs two train cards of the same color, and the third costs three train cards of the same color. When building a train station, a player can place it on any city on the board (preventing any future train stations from being played in that city). When the final scoring occurs, players may utilize each station to use one (and only one) route belonging to another player for the purpose of completing their tickets. The stations actually fit over the trains, so a player can place the station on top of the route they are “borrowing”. This allows a player to keep from getting boxed in, and they can usually complete an important ticket if they wait to play their stations. All this does come at a catch, however - each unplaced station is worth four points to the player at the end of the game. Several times now, I’ve seen a player place a station, and then connect their route a different way - not needing the station after all - but losing those four crucial points. A player must only play a station when they absolutely must - but in a three or five player game, when the board is most crowded - playing a station at the right city can be a lifesaver.
8.) Fun Factor: If you asked me whether Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe was better, I couldn’t tell you; they are both incredibly fun in their own way. TtR Europe offers more strategic options, especially with the stations, and is probably a slightly well-tuned game. At the same time, I find that the original TtR has a nice simplicity, and I (as an American) found the US map a bit more intuitive. But these are all minor points; both games are extremely fun!
Whenever I have folks over to my house, who’ve never played board games before, I’ll probably still prefer to show them the original Ticket to Ride. People who want something a little deeper, or a change of pace will get introduced to the Europe version. Not only have Days of Wonder components improved in this version (something we thought was impossible!) but the game play has also deepened, without losing any of that fast, smooth game play that was in the original. Watching an opponent spend two extra trains to build a tunnel, cutting off two opponents when placing a route, managing to save all three stations until the end of the game, completing my long ticket, and many other enjoyable experiences place this game at the top of my list. Ticket to Ride Europe may be a derivative of the first game, but it’s certainly good enough to stand on its own ground; and owners of the first game can be assured that they are getting their money’s worth when purchasing this version. When choosing an hour or less game that accommodates up to five people (with a two-person game playing equally as well), there are almost no other games I would prefer over this one. Alan Moon has struck gold with this series; and if TtR Europe is any indication, each game will continually get better!
“Real men play board games.”
I bought TTR:E one rainy day when my wife and I could not go outside. I had played TTR (the original) about a year ago and thought it was 'OK.' However, TTR:E is much much better. The variants with the stations make route resolution some that can be accomplished and since we have lived in a couple of different European countries over the years, the city names brought back great memories.
However, after just a few plays, there was little turn angst over which long route one's opponent started with. Also, without extra opponents, there was little chance for defense. I went to another famous gaming website and downloaded 9 new long routes, a dozen or so medium routes and then I did a bit of tinkering with the parts and rules.
Now, at the beginning of a game, we each choose 2 long and 2 medium route cards, discarding one of each. We also get three short route cards, and may discard one. I add the 3 spare trains and then borrowed ten more from a spare copy of Union Pacific, so we start with 58.
We also begin with 5 train cards rather than 4. I shuffle one of the generic advertising cards into the top 2/3 of the remaining draw pile - when it appears, each of us must take either 2 long or 2 medium route cards, keeping one. This adds a bit of tension as well as strategy later in the game, after several routes are being established on the board.
Played this way, we now have some extra trains to use for defense or to build a 'phony' route somewhere, which might encourage one of use to play trains in a blocking maneuver and thus might disrupt the longest train award for either of us. We can still hammer out a game in 30-ish minutes - usually while dinner is warming.
While not a tremendously deep game, TTR:E is most enjoyable, EZ to set up and offers a lot of amusement for the money. As an aside, I wonder if Alan Moon created this game just to use up bits from many other game he invented - trains from UP, cards from Santa Fe... anyway, great job, Alan!!
This game does remove the imbalance of the orginal ticket cards, but it does so at the cost of the great building tension that takes place in the original Ticket to Ride. True, the luck factor in the original game could swing the score drastically, but that's what made it so exciting to risk not playing your trains in order to be more efficient with your moves.
In this version , you are risking less and also gaining less. In the end, the game may be a little more exacting, but at the price of my favorite aspect of the original game: the building of tension as the tracks got taken.
This is a decent game, just not worthy of the original. We have played a number of times and don't find any sense of drama or tension. You're just not competing for the same cities. Further, the addition of the 'stations' takes away the tension of missing a route and having to build around. I don't believe that the ferries and tunnels add anything to the game except having to learn a new rule set. If you want a great game, 5 star, buy Ticket to Ride. If you want a decent, balanced game that lacks tension, buy Ticket to Ride: Europe.