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An Essential Expansion
on February 3, 2010
Anyone who owns Ticket To Ride : Europe probably already knows that it is one of the best of the Ticket to Ride games, with a map that creates interesting challenges and roadblocks.
The one drawback with Ticket to Ride: Europe is the lack of routes, with only about 45 or so routes (including only 6 'long routes'). After 20 or so playings, it becomes fairly easy to tell what long route someone is attempting at any time. In my view this expansion is essential, and to a large extent fixes what is the only drawback of Europe I can find.
Europa 1912 adds another 6 long routes. They are designed in such a way that it is now much more difficult to know which long route someone is attempting, no matter what long route they have. These routes are typically slightly shorter than the existing long routes, and worth 16 or 17 only. Also, all long routes now have a different back - good for finding them to shuffle and deal seperately, but everyone will know if you keep it or not!
Additionally, there are 19 more 'short' routes, and these are carefully designed to make those cities and tracks that are underutilised in the original game more important. In my view, with these cards there is a fairly good chance of use (and even of two or three players wanting the track) for any track on the board.
Lastly there is a large set of 'Big Cities' routes. As with both the above sets of cards, it is optional to use these cards. On these cards, nine cities are picked (London, Paris, Berlin, Roma, Athina, Wien, Madrid, Moskva, Angora) and a route is introduced between every combination of these cities. Since only a handful of these routes already existed, this brings in a large number of new routes. Some are short (Berlin - Wien is worth 3 points only) while Madrid to Moskva, worth 25, is the longest route in the game, despite not being a 'long route'. Using this set of cards significantly increases the importance of and the competition for tracks around those 9 cities. In my view this makes for a very different game. My preference is to always play with the other new cards, but to play with the big cities cards only when everyone is up for a cutthroat game.
All up there are about 55 new route cards, a significant expansion on the number there were in the original game.
The last addition is 'Warehouses' and 'Depots'. Descriptions of how this works can be found elsewhere on the web, and although they add a different element to the game, for me they are not the drawcard in this expansion.
All route cards from the original game are reprinted, but there are ways to tell them apart. It's important to note that some of the original routes will be found in the 'Big Cities' pack.
I recommend that everyone who owns Europe buys the Europa 1912 expansion. The extra routes are really worth the money, they make the game more even and less similar from game to game. Additionally, it was very hard for me to find. I suggest you buy now while you can - there is no guarantee with Days of Wonder that there will be a reprint!