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on November 20, 2011
I'm a huge fan of the Ticket To Ride series; I own all the board games and am proud to say this new Asian expansion set does not disappoint. You get not one, but two, extremely challenging new maps on a durable, double-sided board. The new maps feature cities from Mecca to Kobe. You'll build routes between the Middle East, Russia, India, China, Korea, Japan and all points in-between. Side one features cooperative team play for 4 or 6 (not five) player games. Side two offers traditional competitive play for 2-5 players featuring ferry routes (as seen in the Europe and Nordic Countries sets) and all-new Himalayan Mountain Tunnels.

Both maps are fun and having the ability to accommodate six players is always nice for when we manage to get that many people together for game night. As usual there's only one page of easy rules, and if you're already familiar with previous editions, all you need to do is understand the tweaks they've made to freshen this version up and make it stand out on its own.

As this is an expansion set, not a standalone game, this review assumes you are already familiar with how to play Ticket To Ride and will focus on the new rules in Asia.

NEW RULES IN COOPERATIVE PLAY: You split up into teams of two. Each team uses one set of colored plastic train pieces (45), adding in the nine matching color bonus pieces provided in Asia; you then split the trains up into two piles of 27. Each teammate gets that to build with. You and your teammate can only share commonly-held information, not discuss what it is in your private hand of cards and route tickets. On your turn, you may put up to two of your route tickets in your common route ticket holder so both of you know where to build them. That takes up your entire turn. When you draw train cards, you draw one, decide if you will put it in your hand or in the common train card holder, then select your second train card, which you must then do the opposite action with. The exception is if you draw a face-up locomotive (wild card), it automatically goes to the common holder. When building a new route, you may use any number of cards from the common train card holder and your hand to complete the route. The challenge is trying to coordinate with your teammate while not having all the information available. Especially if your teammate is not sharing his or her routes with you or is taking cards you need out of the common card holder or is just not much of a strategic thinker. End game is initiated when a team has four trains or less (either together or separately). You and your teammate are scored together collectively at the end of the game (including minuses for failed routes). Longest route gets a 10 point bonus, as does most tickets completed (you can earn both if you're lucky).

Also new to cooperative play are Himalayan Mountain Tunnels. These work like regular tunnels in the Europe, Nordic Countries and Switzerland editions, but with the added twist that you must turn over more cards from the train deck in order to complete them. Previous editions used a standard three card flip. Asia uses a variable 4-6 card flip, determined by the number written on that route on the board.

NEW RULES IN COMPETITIVE PLAY: Unlike cooperative play, in order to claim a Himalayan Mountain Tunnel, you need the usual cards of the same color (and/or locomotive wild cards), plus you must discard one additional card (of any color) for every "x" on the mountain route. These discarded cards are worth an extra 2 points each, but if you don't have enough cards to discard, you can't claim the mountain route. Longest route gets a 10 point bonus.

TWO MINOR COMPLAINTS: 1) As with Ticket To Ride: Nordic Countries, some of the route tickets are hard to figure out, with the ending city given first, rather than the starting city. I think all routes should be listed with cities from left to right or top to bottom, not randomly. With my limited knowledge of Middle Eastern, Russian, and Asian geography, it makes it difficult to know where the tickets go. Also, since the game takes place in 1913, not all of the city names are the same as used today (Peking instead of Beijing, for example).

2) Japan is not shown on the cooperative map, but thankfully, it is available on the competitive map. My friend's Japanese wife couldn't believe that her country was not included on the coop map, and not better represented on the competitive map. It's definitely the most disappointing feature of this set, as Japan is one of the first countries most people think of when they think of Asia. Maybe a Japan-only expansion will be coming in the future, like the India-only one already scheduled for release in December 2011. If so, it makes more sense that Japan was shortchanged in this set, but it's still lame. On a related note, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia are completely absent from both maps, either because they are too far from the mainland to ferry to or for space considerations.

Regardless of these nitpicks, if you love Ticket To Ride, this Asia Map Pack is another winner in this amazing series. Definitely a worthy addition to your Ticket collection!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an expansion set, not a standalone game (hence, the lower price). It does not include the plastic trains (except the additional ones required for team play), nor does it include the train cards. You will need one of the following games to get the required pieces: Ticket To Ride or Ticket To Ride - Europe. While Ticket To Ride - Marklin has these pieces, the plastic trains are not all the same color as the previous sets and there are a bunch of Marklin-only passenger cards you'll need to remove from the train card deck. Ticket To Ride: Nordic Countries has all the train cards, but it is only for 3 players max, and again, the plastic train colors don't match previous sets. So you'll want either the original (North America) version or the European one in order to make use of this new Asia map pack. Keep this in mind for Ticket To Ride India: Map Collection - Volume 2 and other map pack only expansions.
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on February 8, 2012
My husband and I have been fans of the Ticket to Ride series for a while - we have the original game, the Switzerland edition (which is great when you only have two people), and the card game. We got this one largely because it's the only Ticket to Ride game which you can play with six people (most of the others max out at five).

We tried out the Team Asia version on New Years Eve with two other couples, and it was so much fun! The way it works is each pair has one set of trains to share between them, but each individual has their own train cards and routes. You're not allowed to discuss your strategies, and the only way you can share information with your teammate is by using one of your actions to place cards on the common rack. The result in our case was a hilarious, intense game full of meaningful looks, outbursts of frustration, and lots of, "Why can't you read my mind???"

The Legendary Asia map is fun too, but the dynamic of Team Asia is totally different than the other Ticket to Ride games. Highly recommend!

Keep in mind this is an EXPANSION, not a standalone game! You need a copy of the original to play this.
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on November 30, 2011
I highly recommend Ticket to Ride Asia for anyone who likes this game series. This set allows you to explore Asia in two games. Game 1 allows for team play if you have 4 or 6 players. If you have 2, 3, or 5, you can use Game 2 which plays like all of the other Ticket to Ride games. Great Fun for the whole family. I don't know anyone who has played these games and didn't like them.
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on February 6, 2012
Ticket to Ride Asia brings a great dynamic to the game with team play. I enjoyed the America and expansions, Europe and Swiss games, but they don't match up to the team play in this edition. Best part is that if you don't want to do the team play you have the other side of the board for a different solo game play. Great addition for anyone who likes the Ticket to Ride game.
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on August 4, 2014
The two-sided game board is a wonderful idea. It adds depth and freshness to the original Ticket To Ride game, taking you around the world to different locations. The rules are basically the same with a few minor exceptions. This is an expansion and does require that you have a copy of Ticket To Ride so that you have all the necessary pieces. One of the sides of this game is designed specifically for team play, this is something that a person may want to realize.
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on February 1, 2012
This is a great expansion. There are 2 sides to the board. One side plays basically the same as the USA or Europe versions (with a few minor rule changes). The other side is for team play, either 4 or 6 players. Team play adds a new element to the game. Highly recommend this expansion.
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on January 26, 2012
Ticket to Ride Asia: Map Collection - Volume 1 is a delight to play. The ticket to ride games are a favorite at my house. The expanded maps, alternate rules and additional game features make the gameplay new again.
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on March 18, 2014
We loved the original Ticket to Ride with the 1910 expansion deck added--strategy is the key in this game. The Asia Ticket to ride seemed a fun new map to explore but the game relies mostly on whether you can draw the right cards as there are few options to get to destinations. We tired of this game quickly. The two-team game board on the reverse side is better and may be worth the purchase, however. We enjoyed more. It did get a bit crazy to play as our team would have usually 10 routes we were working on at one time. We have played Asia 5-10 times and are done with it.
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on April 4, 2015
We played and enjoyed the basic Ticket to Ride (America) version, but we really like the Asian expansion. The two new maps add variety instead of the same old US geography. The introduction of ferries and mountain routes and double routes with different levels of difficulty increases the challenge and makes it more fun while still keeping it in the realm that can be handled by kids and adults with cognitive disabilities. Also, the larger size cards (standard poker card size) are a great improvement over the hard to shuffle little cards in the original set. Many expansions aren't worth the money, but this one is. if you're going to buy an expansion for Ticket to Ride, this one should be your first choice.
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on June 4, 2016
This was a great addition to our Ticket to Ride collection. As others have said, this is an expansion and you need a Ticket to Ride game with all the necessary playing pieces. This particular expansion is two sided. Each side has different rules for play, with one side being for team play. However, you can also choose to play using the standard rules (we do this to make it easier for our younger children, 6 and 8, to play as well). The extra features (team play/tunnels) just give the opportunity to try a new twist.

Ticket to Ride has become a family favorite game. Because your destinations are different each time, it keeps the game interesting. Also our kids are learning geography and strategy skills. They love "exploring" new places. The Asia board is fairly comprehensive, surprising us with far across Asia the board covers. The two sided board just gives us even more geography (and history) to explore.

We highly recommend the Ticket to Ride game series!
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