Customer Reviews: Ticket To Ride - Europe
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on August 5, 2010
Ticket to Ride Europe is an improved follow-up to the original Ticket to Ride. It improves upon the original by coming with standard-sized cards, by adding ferry and tunnel routes, and by adding train stations. It is a stand-alone spin off, so the original TTR is not required to play.

Much like the original TTR, TTR:Europe involves claiming train routes to complete city-to-city destinations on destination tickets. On each turn, players have take one out of three possible actions:
-- collect train cards (which are used to claim routes)
-- claim a route (by spending train cards). The routes score points as they are claimed, and their point value grows progressively with length: 1 length = 1 point, 2 length = 2 points, 3 length = 4 points, 4 length = 7 points, 6 length = 15 points, 8 length = 21 points).
-- take destination tickets (which give bonus points if you are able to complete the destination by the end of the game, but COST points if you are not able to complete). The player takes 3 destination cards and must keep at least one card, but has the option to reject up to two. The makes it a bit of a gamble - the player may get destination tickets they already have completed, or they may get destinations that are difficult to impossible to complete. The destinations can be close city connections worth a few points or cross continent connections worth 20 points.

Since each turn involves only one of three possible actions, the turns move very quickly and keep everyone engaged in the game. If you take your turn and get up to get a drink, it will usually be your next turn before you get back to the table. The scoring is fairly well balanced, and since you don't know what destinations other players have or haven't completed, the score can change dramatically at the end of the game.

Unlike the original TTR, there are two new route types that add a twist to the game. The first is the 'ferry' route. These are all 'any color' routes, but they take one or two locomotive (wild) cards to claim. The second is the 'tunnel' route. These are either a specific color or 'any color'. When a player wishes to claim a tunnel route, they state their intention and three train cards are drawn from the top of the deck. For each card that is the same color as the route, the player must add that many cards to complete the route, so it could cost anywhere from zero to three extra cards to build. If the player is unable to add enough cards to claim the route, the turn is over.

The other addition to the TTR:Europe that is not in TTR:USA are the train stations. The train stations allow a player to use the route of another player in order to complete a destination ticket. These can prove very useful when the right cards aren't coming your way, or if a section of the board get clogged by other players. They come with a cost: 1 card to place the 1st, 2 cards to place the second, 3 cards to place the 3rd, and a 4 point penalty for each station placed at the end of the game. However, if the station helps to complete a route, the 4 point penalty is usually a worthwhile tradeoff.

TTR:Europe even has bit of educational value. The city names are in their local names, so Moskow=Moskva, Munich=Munchen, Rome=Roma, Vienna=Wien, etc.

If you are looking for a game to add to your game nights, consider Ticket to Ride Europe. If you are on the fence between the USA version and the Europe version, you'll be happier with the Europe version.
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on September 17, 2015
Ticket to Ride Europe is a great game to add to your library of tabletop games. I never wanted to play the original Ticket To Ride because it had one major flaw (in my opinion), getting blocked. Now you might be thinking, "Isn't that part of the game and strategy even?" and you'd be right, it is, until it happens to you and then the game sucks, and life sucks, and you hate your friends, and trains, and you're glad you never rode a train. Yep, that's pretty much what's like. Unless you're the person who ALWAYS wins and everyone hates and you don't care cause you ALWAYS win. And you happen to be the owner of the game.
Anyways, Europe version helps to nullify that, though it can still happen, it's less frequent. This is done by the addition of 3 train stations each player starts with at the beginning of the game. Throughout the game players can play a station on a city connected to one of their trains which allows them to "use" another player's train route touching that city as if it was her own. For example; Sue blocks John by building a train from Rome to Milan, John plays a trains station on Rome and then uses Sue's train (the one she just built) as if it was his own, to complete his route.

And that's it, and that's why I give it 4 stars instead of 2, like I would the original. It adds a few other interesting elements but is generally the same as the original.

If you're on the fence about this one I'd lean towards getting it. And that's saying something because I really really dislike the original.
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on October 12, 2016
This is a really great board game that appeals both to lifelong gamers as well as to new initiates into playing board games. This makes for a nice party game if you have a couple of friends over but can also be played with two people and is fun regardless of the number of players you have. I thoroughly enjoyed playing this with my significant other, who surprisingly really liked it. He is usually not a fan of board games especially if they have a complicated or confusing rule structure, but regardless of all of the rules of this game, he had a ton of fun and has gotten really into playing it. It is really easy to learn and after playing through one game, you will understand all of the rules. The ease of picking up this game makes it a really great family game as well since it is engaging enough to be interesting for kids or adults, although I would recommend this more for older kids who will understand the rule structure and who aren't young enough to try to put the pieces in their mouth since there is a choking hazard with the small train parts. This version of Ticket to Ride is largely similar to the original, but has a lot of new game mechanics that add an element of difficulty, but in a really fun way. One thing I like about this version of Ticket to Ride is that it is a standalone game rather than just an expansion which definitely justifies the purchase price. You don't need the original game to play this one. If you are vacillating between getting the original game or this version, I recommend this one since it adds new mechanics, but both games are really fun so if you want a truly comprehensive board game collection, either or both would be a purchase you won't regret.
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on January 13, 2012
I read the reviews on this game and watched some YouTube video reviews as well and decided to purchase it for some new euro style gaming. I previously had purchased another euro style game called Carcassonne which is now a family favorite (or should I say favourite) and I was looking for something else to add to the gaming mix.

Ticket To Ride Europe fit with what I was looking for. I first compared the two prominent versions of the game: the USA map to the Europe map and read comparison reviews on them both before deciding to buy. I went with the Europe version of the game because it seems there were more route paths to connect your cities compared to the USA map. What I did not expect was the names of the European cities to be really old and spelled differently than what I am used to now. I think it was done this way to fit into the time period, but not being that familiar with the old names of the European cities it was difficult for us to determine our various routes. The route cards do show a mini map though with highlights in the general area of the two cities you need to connect, but it is still a bit difficult especially for the younger kids in the family. What this means is that we need to take extra time in looking at our route cards and the map to decide on our paths to build.

Other than getting used to the city names the only other minor downside I see in the game is that there are so many train pieces. You have to be really careful not to drop them all over the place when picking up. The game does come with 2 extra train pieces per color which is good in case you lose a couple. After that though you may have to dock everyone a piece if you really start losing some (or buy a new game).

Regarding the game play, it is great! Not too difficult to learn at all and once everyone knows what they have to do it moves along at a good pace. Although our initial games of 4 and then 5 people lasted about 2.5 hours each to play which everyone thought was a bit too long. The non players passing through the room kept making comments like "You guys are STILL playing that game?!?!" and "When the hell is it going to be over already?!?". But those of us playing the game were not fatigued at all by the amount of time it was taking us to get through it. I think it is conceivable to have a game last maybe 1.5 hours on average.

Overall, the family really liked this game. It is definitely a must for a unique and new type of gaming experience that is interactive and not just your boring roll the dice and move type thing. I will be getting the Ticket To Ride 1912 Expansion pack for this game as well since I have read it adds a couple more elements to the play in addition to some new route cards.

UPDATE: It has been about 1 year now since I had the game and I did get the 1912 expansion which adds a ton more route cards to the game. We have been playing this game so much that the base routes kept coming up and it was getting a bit boring. It seemed like we were always getting the same routes game after game. The 1912 Expansion is a MUST. My family is addicted to this game and even more so with the 1912 expansion. This is a GREAT GAME.
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on January 17, 2016
Great game! There are differences in the game play vs the original version but I think that once you experience this version, you will prefer it to the original rules. There are tunnels and ferries in addition to the routes which make the game a little more challenging, plus longer routes. The cards are also a larger than the original version's which actually makes a big difference during gameplay. No regrets buying this game even though I love the original, and the price is a little high. I highly recommend this game!
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on August 11, 2014
One of my very favorite board games! Since there are lots of reviews about this game in general, I'll write mine in comparison to the original "America" one.

"Ticket to Ride: Europe" is a stand-alone, full board game made of the same quality and durability as the original. The train pieces are plastic, the point markers are wood, and the board is heavy-duty and the same dimensions as the America one. The biggest improvement over the America version is that the train and ticket cards are all full-size instead of mini half-size of the original America version, so you don't need to buy an expansion simply to get larger, easier-to-handle cards.

In many ways, "Europe" feels much more balanced than the America version, with more double paths and more tracks in general to get to different cities, where in the America version you could get blocked much easier. Also in the Europe version, the long 20-point routes are separated at the start and each player is randomly dealt 1 along with 3 other short/normal sized routes to choose from. This ensures that every player has the chance to complete a large cross-continent route, which was often the winning strategy of the America board - but only if you happened to of had a long route dealt to you at the start. The inclusion of the new station markers allows you to utilize one of your opponents route segments so you can finish a ticket without building parts of the route. This is really useful in crowded areas of the board where you are unable to build a route.

However, don't let these things fool you - there are other elements that increase the difficulty (and entertainment) of "Ticket to Ride: Europe". There are a few routes that are MUCH longer than any routes in the America version that take much more effort to complete. "Ferries" and "tunnels" make even short routes trickier to build: ferries require you to use a certain amount of rainbow locomotive cards to complete while tunnels may require extra cards from your hand depending on a random draw from the deck. These elements can keep even the best strategist in check and allow less experienced players to have a chance at winning.

I personally also enjoy that the cities on the board are given their historical local names rather than their Americanized names, so the game acts as a bit of a geography lesson for those unfamiliar with Europe.

I'm still a fan of the original America version; it has its own quirks and balance so I can't say I prefer one over the other. If you enjoy the Ticket to Ride series and would like to buy some of the expansion boards (like the "Asia" or "Africa" boards) but don't own either base set, I might recommend the Europe game over the America one just because of the full-size train and ticket cards.
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on May 8, 2016
My sons and I like to play board games and this is a good one. We played on vacation every day (once per day) for four days. We will play some more. It's a good game on par with Settlers of Catan, though it would take me another four or five games to really "get it". The rules are easy, by "get it' I mean play it well enough to detect player strategies and counter with adaptation to my own.
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on January 31, 2016
This is by far my favorite family game! definitely much better than the american version, and not just a different map, the rules are also different. I ordered this as a birthday gift (very last minute) but the shipping was very fast and I was able to get it on time. Also I am not a parent saying that this is great for playing with your family, so if you have teenagers that are maybe difficult to get to do anything with you, this is a great game!
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on November 14, 2015
'Gateway Plus' because the 'Europe' variant adds several new mechanisms that create a richer gameplay experience, while retaining most of the original's elegance. Players can take one of four actions on a turn - take train cards (to build routes in the future), take destination tickets (to acquire new points scoring objectives), claim routes by using the appropriate set of train cards (to score points and progress against objectives), or build a train station (to claim a route in alternate way). This simplicity allows the game to move at a very fast clip because players have usually chosen their action by the time their turns come around.

The addition of train stations, tunnels, and ferries add a light, but welcome layer of complexity. They also work well from a thematic point of view. Train stations offer additional flexibility. They mitigate the element of chance inherent to drawing destination tickets or being blocked off by an opponent, and they are almost necessary given that the European map is much less interconnected than its United States counterpart. Tunnels add an element of risk that forces players to think more about hand management. And ferries change the way players go about acquiring and using their locomotives.

It's little wonder that 'Ticket to Ride' games stand out as one of the most well-known and beloved gateway game series. For me, 'Ticket to Ride: Europe' is superior to vanilla 'Ticket to Ride' in almost every way with significantly higher replay and engagement value.

+ Retains most of the elegance and simplicity of vanilla 'Ticket to Ride'
+ Richer gameplay thanks to addition of new gameplay mechanisms
+ Players feel a sense of accomplishment even if they don't win
+ Moves at a fast clip; players quickly get into the groove of pre-planning their turn
+ Beautiful board game with high quality, colorful game components
+ Just enough strategy and optionality for a gateway game
+ Beats out the original in terms of replayability

- Train and railroad theme is not for everyone
- Location names can be difficult to read across the table
- Luck of the draw can make a big impact in regards to destination tickets
- Slightly more complicated than vanilla Ticket to Ride
- Little player interaction outside seeking to block others
- Works with 2, but not very well
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on July 14, 2015
This version of Ticket to Ride is way better than the standard version with the US map. Although the geography and city pronunciation may be a bit harder for some folks who live in the states, the slight increase in complexity with the addition of train stations, ferry routes, tunnel routes, and the minor change in the destination ticket cards makes this version far superior, in my opinion.

It's a great entry-level game for a group of people that won't fry the brain with overly complex rules or gameplay. Highly recommended
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