Game Review:  Ticket to Ride Germany

Ticket to Ride is one of the most popular board games and in some cases it starts some of the most epic emotional scenes!  When one player takes a key stretch of track before the other can get it, sometimes there is anger or even crying.  However, with Ticket to Ride:  Germany, you can make people even madder by grabbing the right Meeples and really messing with their plan!

New Game Mechanic Changes Tactics for Ticket to Ride!

What is Ticket to Ride?

If you’ve never played the original Ticket to Ride, you have probably at least heard of it if you are a boardgamer.  It is a popular game that has won more than a dozen awards.  It is easy to learn and the gameplay is quick.  There is some strategy, but also quite a bit of luck involved.

You collect train cars in order to build routes that you randomly received at the beginning of the game.  The longer the route, the more points it is worth.  At the end of the game you get victory points for the total of the routes you successfully built minus the points for the ones you failed to build.

[Ticket to Ride: Germany map]

What is different about the Germany edition?

The first thing you will notice about the Germany edition is that the map is of Germany, not the Continental United States.  Most of the maps are different in the many versions of Ticket to Ride.  This map has train links to other countries that surround Germany as well.  

The Germany edition adds passengers, which they revised into the current concept of “Meeples” that you pick up whenever you build a stretch of track.  Some intersections have more than one Meeple on them at the beginning of the game.  When you build a stretch you pick up one from each end, if there are any.  The Meeples come in six colors.

At the end of the game you count up how many Meeples of each color everyone has.  First place in each color gets 20 points, which is more than most of the long stretches of track get you.  Second place gets you 10 points, which is still a lot of points.

How do the Meeples affect strategy?

Since there are so many points up for grabs for Meeples, some players will definitely build tracks where they don’t “need” them for their routes.  They might just want to pick up Meeples, especially if they need a certain color to get ahead in that victory point category.  

There are a lot of Meeples available on routes that are one train long, so you don’t have to get lucky matching 2-7 colors of train cars just to pick up some of them.

Some people may just stick to their old strategies of completing their routes, but with the Germany edition, it is more likely that they will get blocked.  In the base set, it is unlikely that others need the exact stretch you are building and there is no incentive (other than to play mean or to try to be a spoiler) for picking up small 1 or 2-length stretches in the middle of someone else’s route.

What tends to happen is that everyone starts to pay at least a little attention to how many Meeples of each color they have, and when necessary, build something they don’t need, just to prevent coming in second or third in a certain color Meeple count!  

Often this results in conflict.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Have you played Ticket to Ride Germany?
  2. What did you like or hate about it?
  3. Do you think there is too much luck in this game or just enough strategy to offset luck?
  4. What other versions of Ticket to Ride have you played?

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