Ticket to Ride: Switzerland

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland

From: www.daysofwonder.com

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland Expansion is a new Boardgame Expansion from Days of Wonder.

Ticket to Ride (TtR)is one of those staple games you can always see at a convention. It is right up there with Settlers of Catan as one of the more popular games to play. Ticket to Ride: Switzerland is an expansion of that great game that takes you into the tough terrain of the famed country. It adds a few new things and challenges the player in different ways.

It is first important to note that TtR: Switzerlandis an expansion and not a stand alone game. If you do have have Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe, it might be a good idea to have one of those and played it before you buy this expansion. It contains a new board and Destination Tickets for the game, but it needs the playing pieces and the Train cards to play.

From the back cover : “From the shores of Lake Geneva to the slopes of Davos, this expansion takes you through the heart of Switzerland’s mountainous geography.”

The basic mechanics of the game are the same as TtR. I am going to write this review under the assumption that you are familiar with the base game. What TtR: Switzterlandbrings to game are the following:

  • Country destination: Along with the city to city routes, there are routes that connect city to neighboring countries, suck as France, Italy, and Austria. These act similarly to cities in general.
  • These give rise to the Country Destination Ticketswhich can be from city to country or country to country. These cards give 3 or 4 points value options for the player to choose from. For example, from Germany to Italy is 13 points, Germany to France is 5 points and Germany to Austria is 5 points. The player can complete more than one route on the card, but the number of points earned are ONLY the highest points of the completed routes. If none are completed, the player only looses the lowest points on the card. These cards can be some of the more valuable cards in the game and the loss is minimal if you don’t make the destination. In most cases, the player should keep these cards when drawn.
  • Starting Destination Cards and Drawing Destination Cards: Also related to this subject is the starting Destination Card hand. The players are dealt 5 cards and get to choose up to 3 for their starting Destination hand. Also, when the person wants to draw an additional Destination Card, they draw 3 and keep one.
  • Discarding Destination Cards: Destination cards in this version are not discarded for later use. They are completely taken out of the game. This includes ones discarded during the set up as well as when cards are drawn. This can result in the game running out of Destination cards.
  • Tunnels:Like Tunnels in TtR: Europe, tunnels in Switzerland are very prevalent. When building a tunnel, one must play it as normal route, except that in addition to the Train Cards necessary to complete the route, the player must also flip the top three cards of the Train Deck. If any of these cards match the color of the train cards being played or are locomotives, the player must play one extra card for each. If this is not possible, the player takes his played cards back into their hand; and his turn is over. He must attempt the tunnel again at a later turn.
  • A Change in the Locomotive Card: The 14 “wild” Locomotive cards that come in the base set are played differently. They are treated like normal Train cards when drawn and can only be played on Tunnel routes.

From the back cover : “You’ll climb aboard the Mont-Blanc Express connecting Martigny to France and ride the Berina Express over soaring passes into Italy.”

The Tunnels are nothing new if you played TtR: Europe.However, there are quite a few of them in this expansion. They tend to add a bit of luck to the game, but not a devastating amount. It is always good to have a few extra cards prepared if you plan to build a tunnel. One or two is probably safe and it is very rare that you will actually need three. The loss is not bad if you don’t have the cards – at least you do not lose the Train cards you played.

The change to the Locomotive card tends to make the regular routes a little more difficult as you have to match the colors exactly. However, it also forces the players to build tunnels because the Locomotive cards come out as often as regular cards and they tend to build up. It can get frustrating as you wait for the right color. This is really one of the more felt changes in the game.

One of the other more significant changes to the game are the Destination cards. The fact that they are discarded out of the game makes them a more valuable asset, especially in the case of the country destination cards. Destination Ticket cards are the real difference makers in this game. The layout of the map is much different from the standard TtR,as it is more tight and crowded (as one can imagine). The geography of Switzerland plays a big role in this game, making it harder to strategize. One can not win by simply playing random routes. It is a far more competitive and interactive game. There are many ways to “put it to” the other players, like cutting them off and preventing them from getting to their desired destination.

In conclusion, although similar in many ways to the base game, TtR: Switzerland is definitely different in many ways. It is more competitive and “cut throat” than the Ticket to Ride. Because of the nature of Switzerland’s terrain and size, the game has a claustrophobic feel. It is definitely a game in its own and not a game for those new to the Ticket to Ride series.

I like Ticket to Ridefor many reasons but one primary reason is that is it so elegantly designed and simple in mechanics that you can have some fairly different versions of the game by simply tweaking the mechanic here and there. Ticket to Ride: Switzerland is tweaked really well, making it a fun addition to the series.

For more details on www.daysofwonder.com and their new Boardgame Expansion “Ticket to Ride: Switzerland Expansion” check them out at their website http://www.daysofwonder.com, and at all of your local game stores.

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland

From: www.daysofwonder.com

Type of Game: Boardgame Expansion

Game Design by: Alan R. Moon

Art by: Julien Delval

Number of Pages: 1 page rules in 8 different languages

Game Components Included:

  • A full-size game board
  • 46 Destination Tickets
  • A multi-lingual rules booklet (English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish)

Game Components Not Included: Complete Base set of Ticket to Ride.

Retail Price: $ 25.00 (US)

Number of Players: 2-3

Player Ages: 8+

Play Time: 30 to 60 minutes

Website: www.daysofwonder.com

Reviewed by: Ron McClung