Ticket to Ride United Kingdom was probably the game I was most looking forward to this year. This is mostly because the other side of the United Kingdom map features a Pennsylvania map, which is my native state. In fact, in April of this year I moved from Wilkes-Barre to Lancaster, both of which are featured on the map.
This is Expansion 5 of Ticket to Ride and requires either the standard or Europe version of Ticket to Ride to play. For the Pennsylvania side, you’ll need the trains, train cards, score markers, and Globetrotter bonus card and for the United Kingdom side, you’ll need the score markers and just 35 trains per player (10 less than the usual amount per player).
To play the Pennsylvania expansion, you won’t be scoring your trains as you place them, which is unusual for Ticket to Ride. Instead, you’re going to focus on completing routes and collecting stocks. There are 9 types of stocks that you can collect depending on the route you purchase. Whoever ends up with the most, second most, and third most of each stock gains points at the end of the game.
In a two player game, you’ll use a 3rd dummy player to help break up the stock distribution. Each time a route is built that has the option for multiple stocks, the player who placed the route chooses a stock to give to the dummy player. At the end of the game, the dummy player’s stocks are shuffled and 1/2 of them are used to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place of those stocks.
Overall, it’s a really nice variant of the usual Ticket to Ride game play and I enjoyed not having to remember to score each route. The addition of the stocks is a welcomed change and the Pennsylvania map feels like the next step up from Europe in terms of challenging game play.
If you’re looking for an even more in-depth version of game play, just flip over the map to…
the United Kingdom map. Ticket to ride United Kingdom is definitely the gamer’s version of TTR. It’s all about strategy of leveling up your technology, claiming routes, scoring points, buying bonus cards, and watching what your opponents are building and buying.
The UK side is more of a weekend game for your first time playing, as if you’re not expecting it, you may feel a little overwhelmed. To start out, you can only build 1 and 2 point routes in England. If you need to build larger routes, ferry routes, or ones that connect to France, Scotland, Ireland or Wales, you’ll need to buy technology cards to do so. Technology cards can be purchased with locomotive cards with prices ranging from 1-4 locomotives. Thankfully, TTR UK comes with its own set of train cards that include additional locomotive cards than the standard deck. Also, you now have the option of using any 4 train cards as 1 locomotive.
Not only can you buy technology cards, but you can also buy cards that award you bonus points for each route built, each destination completed, and each ferry route built. The longest route and globetrotter tickets have been turned into gambling bonus cards. You can buy each card for 2 locomotive cards, but if you don’t end up getting the most tickets or longest route, you’ll actually end up losing 15-20 points.
Overall, this expansion is probably my favorite expansion for any board game. It really increasing the complexity and game play for Ticket to Ride and feels like Days of Wonder put a lot of time into making an old game have all new life. If you’re a fan of Ticket to Ride and are looking for fresh game play, definitely check this expansion out.