Game Review – Ticket to Ride United Kingdom: The UK Board
Days of Wonder are about to release their latest expansion in the highly popular Ticket to Ride series, and we have had the privilege of getting to play this game prior to it’s release later this month.
The United Kingdom is not a stand alone game, but an expansion which requires a copy of the original Ticket to Ride, or Ticket to Ride Europe to play. Thankfully, having reviewed Ticket to Ride earlier this year, we were well prepared!
The latest expansion comes with two brand new maps, each with it’s own unique additional game play aspects to enhance the original concept. Tonight we started out by playing the United Kingdom map, in a game of four people, two of who had never played any version of Ticket to Ride before.
Reading the rules and getting set up for the first time took a while. Being an expansion pack the rules in the new edition cover only additional game play, so if it’s been a while since you last played the original, you may want to also familiarise yourself with the basic rules before starting. It also took a bit of time to fully understand the technology cards, as a completely new concept for this expansion, we found it important to familiarise ourselves first with what each technology card allowed a player to do, and therefore the moves that a player could not do without said technology card. I did wonder when starting the game if this would cause too much rule checking, as there looked to be quite a few moves that would require the use of this new technology.
As with all new games, we set off to a slow start, but as we have found with the original Ticket to Ride, even new players can pick up the basic gameplay within just a few rounds. Additionally, our worries over the Technology cards seemed to disappear as the game went on. As suspected, there were some fumbles early on, where we would forget that certain moves required a technology card to complete, and there was frequent rule checking on what we could and couldn’t do.
After just a few rounds however, gameplay started to move swiftly. Despite the number of technology cards introduced, this aspect seemed to be grasped by all in just a few rounds, even those who had not played the game previously. In fact, once comfortable with the new concepts, we discussed the game in comparison to the original, and found them to be welcomed additions, and especially suited to the new board.
The UK board has an abundance of short routes, but when you discover that upon starting the game, only routes requiring one or two trains can be claimed without technology, the layout makes much more sense. It was also quite fun pulling up a player who may have forgotten that his chosen route requires technology he does not yet possess, and then knowing which route they are aiming for, and claiming it for yourself….
After we had finished playing, (I won, by A LOT, by the way) everyone in the group said that they had enjoyed the game. For those new to the series, they found the game interesting and fun, and for those of us who had played before, we came to enjoy the new concepts, and we all looked forward to playing the game again.
Ticket to Ride’s UK board was a fun and interesting take on a classic game, providing just enough unique concepts to keep the long time fan intrigued, without making the mistake of becoming too complex for the newcomer.
Later this week we’re looking to play the second new map provided with this expansion – Pennsylvania, and the introduction of shares.
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