Days of Wonder have finally made a London map! One that comes with double-decker buses and famous destinations within this fine city. They've given us the opportunity to claim the routes, see the sights, and enjoy Ticket to Ride: London.
In Ticket to Ride: London you will find one colourful map (board) of London's transport network, 68 plastic Buses (17 in each colour), 44 Transportation cards, 20 Destination Tickets, the rules and four Scoring Markers. See the components in more detail in my unboxing video here.
If you’ve ever played the original Ticket to Ride, or Europe, you will know all there is to know when it comes to London's gameplay. If you haven’t, then here’s a quick rundown on all you need to know.
After placing the board in the centre of the table, each player chooses one of the four colours and claims all the buses of said colour. Two Transportation Cards are dealt to each person along with and two Ticket Destination Cards. Players now choose whether to keep both tickets or just one.
The remaining Transportation Cards are placed next to the board. The first five are flipped face-up along the edge of the board. If three Red Double Decker Buses, the wild card of the game, ever appear in this face-up row at the same time, all cards are collected up and five new cards are laid out. The extra Ticket Cards are also put in a pile next to the board.
Players need to keep their ticket cards secret. If they complete them all by the end of the game the points on the cards are gained. However, if destinations are not met the number on the card is subtracted from the players score instead.
On a player's turn they are given three options.
- Draw Transportation Cards. Either blind from the top of the pile, or openly from the five laid out. If a Wild Card Bus is on show in the five laid out, the player can only take one card when picking up this card. But if the Wild Card is hidden from view on top of the pile, then a second card can be picked up also that go.
- If a player has collected enough of the right colour Transportation Cards they can claim a route on the board by discarding the number of cards equal to the number of spaces required. They then place their coloured plastic buses on the route between two locations and immediately win points based on the Route Scoring Table printed on the board. The longer the route the more points you get.
- Maybe the player has completed all their destination tickets and wants to push their luck on going for more. This final action allows the player to draw two more tickets and keep at least one. It’s a risky strategy but could pay off if you have already completed or are close to doing so with your already claimed routes.
Ticket to Ride: London continues until a player has only two plastic buses left. Then, every player, including that one, has one last turn before finally scoring takes place. The person with the most points is, of course, the winner.
Final Thoughts on Ticket to Ride: London
I’m a fan of Ticket to Ride: Europe. It was one the first games I bought. I've also used it to introduce others to our hobby, including my wife. She won't play or even entertain the thought of playing most games. However, Ticket to Ride is one that she enjoys coming back to.
However, the problem is that this hobby is jam-packed. It's full of so many brilliant games, with new releases every week. Therefore, it has been a struggle to get Europe back to the table recently. As a result, the Ticket to Ride buzz has been missing from our game night for a while.
Ticket to Ride: London has sparked that buzz once again. This game is the smaller sibling of the bigger Europe and USA games in the franchise. Its smaller box and game length is a filler size 10-15 minutes like Ticket to Ride: New York. However, with the London edition there is another area to score in; claiming routes in a district and picking up those much needed additional points.
The look of the game, and the component quality, is of the good standard that you would expect from Days of Wonder. The box art boasts some nice attention to detail. It features the Queen, John Lennon and the two main characters from the classic British Avengers series (nothing to do with Marvel) on the front cover.
In terms of replay-ability, don’t expect the same level as the bigger Ticket to Ride games. This is a good filler game. One that's perfect for travelling, or getting out a lunch or in the pub.
Set-up is quick, and it's easy to learn. This makes it a fantastic gateway game, one that is less daunting than others. Of course, it could well lead to you playing the bigger Ticket to Ride games in the upcoming months.
I’ve yet to play a game of it with my wife. However, she saw it the other day and I am happy to report that, for once, she was excited about one of my new games. Good times! Thanks Days of Wonder!