This new train adventure takes players through the great cities of turn-of-the-century Europe. From London to Constantinople… from Barcelona to Moscow – players now compete to claim routes over a whole new continent. More than just a new map, Ticket to Ride – Europe features exciting game play additions. There are tunnels to help you traverse the high mountain passes, waterways to navigate aboard ferries, and new train stations waiting to be built. The game’s superb components have also been given a first-class makeover and now include larger cards and brand new train station pieces.
Ticket to Ride - Europe remains elegantly simple; can be learned in 3 minutes; and appeals to both families and experienced gamers.
Here is a detailed description of the game from designer Alan R. Moon:
There will be 46 Tickets in the game. Six of them are Long Routes (20-21) and 40 of them are Short Routes (5-13, with most of them being 5-9). Long Routes have different fronts from Short Routes. At the start, each player is dealt 1 Long Route Ticket and 3 Short Route Tickets. You have to keep 2 Tickets, but you can keep 3 or all 4. Tickets you do not keep are put back in the box and are out of the game, as are Long Routes that are not dealt out. So you don't know which players kept their Long Route Tickets, if any. This gives you much more of a choice of the different strategies you can use in the game right from the start.
Most of the routes on the board are 1-4 spaces. There are no routes of 5 spaces, only two of 6 spaces, and one of 8 spaces. This means the scoring for Claiming Routes is much closer. Which in turn means Tickets become much more important. For this reason, and because of some of the other changes, you'll draw Tickets much more on the average. And because most of the Tickets are Short Routes, you'll tend to keep more of the ones you do draw.
There are only 9 double routes on the Europe map vs. 22 on the USA map. The hoarding cards strategy is still viable, but it can be a lot tougher depending on how early the other players start Claiming Routes. The Longest Route Card is usually won by a player with a much shorter continuous route (25-35), because it's hard to end up with just one continuous route of 40+.
Some routes have Tunnels. When you try to Claim a Tunnel Route, there is a chance you'll have to pay additional cards. If you don't want to pay the additional cost or you don't have the cards to pay it, you take back the cards you played and lose your turn! You just never know what is going to happen when you start to dig a tunnel.
There are Ferry Routes for which you will need 1 or 2 Wild Cards as part of the set you use to Claim these routes. The Tunnels and the Ferries make Wild Cards much more valuable, so you'll see players draw a face up Wild Card much more often.
Finally, a new type of piece is being added to the game. I don't mean to tease (although I am enjoying it), but Days Of Wonder asked me not to give you any specifics about this addition, so you'll have to wait for the official announcements at the Toy Fairs.
The overall effect is that the EUROPE map is even more tense than the USA map. It feels both the same and different, sort of like a new pair of your favorite shoes, comfortable but with that little extra bounce. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed designing it.