There are many different variants and expansions for the Ticket to Ride series, and I'm curious about the differences. I know the standard version and the Europe version differ only by map, but I'm not so sure about the others.

What are the differences between the different games? What are there strengths and weaknesses? Is the dice expansion worth getting?

Looking for stuff like player #'s, game length, and any other things that change the experience. :D


The original and Europe versions differ HUGELY, it's not just a different board.

The US version is the simplest formulation of the game. It accommodates up to 5 players, I believe, and it'd be a great one to play with non-boardgame-obsessed family members, including the old and the young. It's still got a great deal of strategy and depth to it once you know where to look, but it won't turn off anyone who can handle Monopoly, Scrabble or Risk. (The 1910 expansion adds less unwieldy cards and a few new variants, but keeps things maximally simple and elegant.)

The Europe version is also good for large groups but takes the complexity level up a notch. Now you have to deal with concepts such as tunnels, ferries and stations, which severely alter the dynamics of collecting cards and claiming routes. It's a more gamer-y Ticket to Ride which I would probably recommended over the US version to anyone who plays with mostly hardened gamers. The 1912 expansion offers variants at a similar complexity level.

I haven't played the Marklin (German) edition but I believe it's got extra twists over the US version that probably put it on about a par with the European set.

I have played with the Nordic Countries edition and it's my personal favourite. The caveat here is: it's only for 2 or 3 players, so don't get it if you need to regularly cater to a larger group! It is even more complex than Europe, with a lot of exceptions to the normal rules that are pretty hard to grasp on the first play - but it's perfectly balanced and my wife and I come back to it again and again. The Switzerland game is another 2-3 player outing, and again I haven't actually played this one, but most of what I've seen written about it suggests that most people prefer Nordic Countries.

Hope this helps!

  • I actually feel that Europe is a much more beginner-friendly game than the US version. The map is more forgiving (there are fewer critical routes that can be snatched to block people) and the stations mean you won't be screwed over by an opponent taking a route you need, though you pay a small cost. This makes it much more enjoyable for new players as they can actually complete their routes. – Samthere Sep 1 '15 at 9:14
  • As a more "hardcore" gamer, the stations are the one thing I don't like about the Europe version. It's pretty much impossible to block people off, you don't ever really have to detour, and you only wind up with unfinished tickets if the game ends sooner than you had anticipated. – Nuclear Wang Feb 5 '16 at 9:13

I can't comment on the newer Ticket to Ride editions, but you should know the original and Europe have a few differences:

  1. Europe edition includes ferry and tunnel routes that have special rules about claiming them. http://www.daysofwonder.com/tickettoride/en/content/rules_te
  2. The original edition comes with small cards that I find a bit clumsy to shuffle. The 1910 expansion entirely replaces the small cards with large ones, and subsequent editions including Europe come with large cards.

The Days of Wonder website provides Flash-based versions of several ticket to ride games, which would let you try before you buy.

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