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Bush’s Board Game Thing Episode 4: Phil Columbo

bush's board game thing episode four
bush's board game thing episode four

Welcome back to the Zatu blog for our weekly podcast recap. Bush's Board Game Thing sees Andy Bush celebrating the wonderful world of board games and the experience of gaming with friends Jess Temby and Brian Murphy. Each week, expect passion, enthusiasm, and multiple trips through gaming wormholes. This podcast is powered by  Zatu - we're making sure the board game cogs keep on turning. Each week, I'll be bringing you the best bits here on the blog and letting you shop the podcast! Today, we're recapping Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4.

On last week's episode of Bush's Board Game Thing, the gang were talking politics. Or, rather, they were discussing board games all about politics and power. We heard about The King's Dilemma, a narrative game which throws you head-first into the cut-throat royal court. Meanwhile, the trio pitched their own board game ideas based on real-world issues. If you haven't already listened to the previous three episodes of Bush's Board Game Thing, you can click here to catch up on your favourite streaming service.

This week, despite being back in lockdown, we're on the move! That's right, Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4 is all about transportation games.

Tickets, Please

It seems fitting to kick off a discussion of transportation games with one of the most popular gateway games on the market: Ticket to Ride. Before lockdown kicked in, Andy, Brian and Jess played this iconic railway game together and fell in love with it! In particular, they adored Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails, which adds a few nautical twists to the tried-and-tested formula.

In the trio's gripping game of Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails, Brian used some very peculiar tactics, displaying his entire hand of cards to the other players. Was this madness or a cunning psychological strategy? Jess, after lagging behind on just two points for much of the game, placed seven ships and scored eighteen points in one fell swoop! However, it wasn't quite enough to beat Brian's potentially sneaky tactics, employing a rule that Andy and Jess weren't aware of to take the victory.

With this latest win in Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4, Brian remains undefeated, having won every game that the team have played together. Will Andy or Jess be able to knock him off his throne in future episodes? You'll have to keep tuning in to find out...


First Class Travel

Despite Brian's mind games, Ticket to Ride definitely gets the Bush's Board Game Thing seal of approval. Our trio loved the game's simplicity. The game is fairly self-explanatory, which saves you the excruciating process of trying to explain complicated rules to new players. How many of you have ever tied yourself up in knots trying to explain a new board game to your friends on game night?

Andy in particular loved the artwork on the cards and components. Days of Wonder are renowned for producing colourful, inviting games and Rails and Sails is no exception. The cards are beautiful and the whole game has visual appeal by the bucketload, which is part of what makes it such a great gateway game! When the art is so inviting, Andy reckons convincing new players to give it a try is so much easier.

And if that wasn't enough to convince you, there are also loads of different versions available, including Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam, Ticket to Ride: London, and even a scaled-down version for younger players, Ticket to Ride: First Journey. With several standalone games as well as unique expansions to choose from, the Ticket to Ride franchise definitely has something for everybody.

If you could create your own expansion, what would it be? Andy suggested Ticket to Ride: Swindon, complete with all the roundabouts. Get in touch @boardgamething on Instagram to let us know what you think.

You can browse the whole Ticket to Ride collection right here on the Zatu Games site.

Ticket to Ride First Journey - Board and Componets

 All Aboard!

Andy and the team love hearing from you on the @boardgamething Instagram. This week, we asked about the games you've made up to pass the time on long journeys. Jojo wrote in to tell us about 'Baa, Moo, Neigh', where you win points for being the first player to make the right noise when you see a sheep, cow or horse. Meanwhile, Kate and her friends play a mischievous game called, 'Are They Hot Or Are They Just Wearing Sunglasses?' As Jess rightly explains, a good pair of sunglasses can work wonders for anybody! Finally, who else remembers punching their fellow passengers when you saw a yellow car or a Mini?

If you'd like to be in with a chance of a shoutout in the next episode of Bush's Board Game Thing, go and give @boardgamething a follow over on Instagram.

Favourite Transportation Games

Of course, there are plenty of other excellent transportation games besides Ticket to Ride. Brian has just started playing Colt Express, which will have you building your own 3D train before conducting a Wild-West-style heist and robbing your fellow passengers. The process of building the train isn't too tricky or time-consuming and, luckily, once it's built, you don't need to dismantle it to get it back in the box. The train takes the place of a conventional board, and you'll soon be feeling the thrill of leaping from carriage to carriage to swipe the most loot.


Tokyo Highway is another great transportation game which gets the seal of approval in Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4. Players compete to build an intricate 3D network of roads and cars. Although the rules are very simple, the game requires a fair bit of dexterity and ambition, as you stack your roads higher and higher in very precarious structures. Another awesome travel-themed game is Downforce. This is a classic Formula One racing game where you'll race against your opponents and bet on who you think will win each race. Continuing with the motorsport theme, we have Thunder Alley, a game about NASCAR racing in which players draft cars, race them, and conduct careful pitstops in the pursuit of victory. Last but not least, there is Flamme Rouge, a cycling-themed game set in the early 20th century. You'll need to play cards from your rider's decks and race around the beautiful track to cross the finish line before your opponents.

What's your favourite transportation/travel game? Let us know over at @boardgamething on Instagram!

 Brian's Board Game Fact of the Week

Every week, Brian shares a fascinating board game fact with us. This week, for Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4, we've got a doozy.

What is Columbo's first name? According to family-favourite board game Trivial Pursuit, it's Philip. However, this question landed Trivial Pursuit in some hot water, when encyclopaedia writer Fred Worth took them to court for plagiarism! The writers of the TV show Columbo never specified the character's first name; in fact, Fred Worth had made it up and included it in his trivia encyclopaedia as a copyright trap. When the question appeared in Trivial Pursuit in 1984, he sued the game's distributors for $300 million, claiming they had stolen their questions from his work. Unfortunately for Fred, the case never made it to court, as the judge ruled that facts are not copyrightable.

Now that's an impressive board game fact!

Cards of Monopoly Deal

A Quick Pitstop

Side note: the night before recording Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4, Jess and her housemate had a mammoth games night, which may or may not have involved several cocktails). More importantly, it involved Monopoly Deal, a card-based version of Monopoly which you can play in as little as 15 minutes! Monopoly can be a bit of a Marmite title in the world of board games; you either love it or you hate it. A common complaint from the 'hate it' camp is that it takes too long to play. If that sounds like you, Monopoly Deal could be the answer!

Bon Voyage!

And that's all for Bush's Board Game Thing Episode 4. Make sure to tune in again next week for a lockdown special. Andy, Jess, and Brian will be sharing the best games to play online with friends or by yourself. Lockdown is a tough time for all of us. We want to make sure you can still get your board game fix (from a safe social distance, of course!)

As always, you can find every game that's been mentioned on the podcast right here in our Podcast Approved collection.

Happy gaming!

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