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Ticket to Ride Europe - Tips for Rail Supremacy!

If you have not already seen, Braided Entertainment's first Board Game Tournaments will be fought on the rail networks of Europe in Ticket to Ride Europe!

So as we finish constructing and preparing the tracks and the trains for our respective railway companies, let's go over some tips for how you can have the best chance at supremacy on the day!

Tips & Strategy for Ticket to Ride Europe

1. Choose Your Starting Routes Wiseley

At the start of the game every player will receive 4 tickets, 3 short and 1 long. It is with these cards that you make the strategic decision that will shape the rest of your game. You must keep two of them...but should you keep all four? Remember, you can always pick up more tickets during the game, but you can't get rid of them.

You will only ever receive one long ticket (blue tickets) in Ticket to Ride Europe so it is generally a good idea to keep that one! Even if it leaves you open to the risk of failing to complete it and losing a big score. As for the rest try to keep tickets that you can link together without too many detours. If you have 3 that fit together and 1 that is completely on the other side of the board, perhaps ditch the outlier and draw some new tickets later.

In the average game of Ticket to Ride Europe roughly half the winning player's score comes from completing destination tickets. So knowing which ones to take and keep is a crucial part of winning Ticket to Ride Europe!

2. Take bottle neck routes as soon as you can...but also keep your cards to your chest.

There are a few routes on the board in Ticket to Ride that become a source of displeasure between players very quickly. London to Paris, Berlin to Wien and Kyiv to Bucuresti are some examples. If you miss out on one of these routes it can cause a great headache as you scramble to find another way around!

So, if you find you crucial bottle neck route is your plans then claim it as soon as you can! Yes there are always other ways around but getting these routes early will save you stress and time.

On the other hand, claiming routes early does have the disadvantage of revealing to your opponents what your plans might be. So for other less crucial routes...perhaps spend the early game saving up your cards so you can go on a route claiming spree later in the game. Doing this will make it a lot harder for your opponents to intentionally ruin your plans!

3. Longer routes are worth more points

At the end of the day, longer routes are worth more points than shorter routes in Ticket to Ride. So try and make use of them where it makes sense. Going a slightly longer way to get from one destination to another may be worth more points if you are getting there using 4 Train routes (7 points each) rather than 2 Train routes (2 points each).

4. Be prepared when claiming tunnels!

In Ticket to Ride Europe, some routes require building your railway lines through mountains, so you need tunnels! When claiming a tunnel route, you must identify which route it is you are attempting to claim and the colour of the cards you are attempting to use to build it (if it is a grey line). Then you or another player reveals the top 3 cards of the train deck and for each of those cards that either matches the colour you are using OR is a rainbow than you must pay one additional card to claim that route! Which means in the most unlucky of scenarios you may need 3 extra cards to pay for your route!

So, if time permits, it is best to be prepared and stock up on some extra cards of the colour you need. It will save you turns in the long run having extra cards you don't need than attempting to claim a route and failing, thus wasting your turn!

5. Know when to switch from focusing on tickets to just claiming as many longer routes as you can!

As mentioned earlier, destination tickets will make up approximately half of the winning player's final score and incomplete tickets will lose you points so definitely focus on completing your tickets! But unused trains are wasted trains! So there may come a time when it is more worthwhile for you to stop drawing more tickets and instead focus on collecting cards to claim as many of the longer routes (4,5,6 and 8 length) as you can before the game ends!

Keep an eye on the other players train yards and see how many trains they have left. The game end sequence occurs when one player has 2 or less trains remaining. So if you see another player only has 9 trains left...taking more tickets could be a less worthwhile choice.

6. Other Quick Tips

  • Train Stations: Not using train stations will give you a bigger score so only use them if you have to! If your plans get blocked by another player, try to find another way around first if you can

  • The Longest Train: Don't forget, the player with the longest continuous train will get 10 extra points at the end of the game! Try to keep an eye on if you could be in the running for this and make a conscious decision whether to go for it or not!

Join us at our tournaments!

Do you think you have what it takes to be the best Ticket to Ride player? Or have some other sneaky strategies? Then why not join us for a fun day at one of our tournaments! Links to the information pages and tickets are back at the top of this blog post! See you there!

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