Ticket to Ride: United Kingdom (and Pennsylvania) Expansion Review
The Ticket to Ride: United Kingdom and Pennsylvania Map Expansion is the fifth map pack from Days of Wonder for their award winning Ticket to Ride board game. As it is an expansion, a copy of Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe is required to play.
For those of you unaware of Ticket to Ride, it’s a very decent, family friendly, tactical game of track building across America (or Europe in the other stand-alone core game available). Players take turns, trying to complete train lines using cards they have gathered, which get them points, whilst trying to stop other players getting train lines that get them points. It’s fun, easy to pick up and provides a great challenge for beginners or pros alike (regardless of your interest in trains or lack of). The map packs each cover a different region of the world and introduce new challenges and rules, and this map pack is no different.
Ticket to Ride: United Kingdom provides players with two new maps (one on either side of the provided board). The first is for the United Kingdom and along with introducing new routes, it also introduces a new rules concept, technologies. Technologies forces players to only play smaller routes within England to start with, then as the game progresses and they gain more advanced technologies, they can build longer routes and explore other areas of the United Kingdom (and the Republic of Ireland). An example of this is the Propellers technology card (which can be bought by discarding a locomotive card), which allows players to build train tracks across bodies of water, across to France or the Republic of Ireland for example.
The flip side of the map is for Pennsylvania and this introduces a new shares rule. The shares rule means that when you claim routes, you can pick up shares, if available, in one of the companies that operate on that route. At the end of the game, players score points depending on how many shares you own in each company, as well as the normal points for completed routes.
The game components, as expected of Days of Wonder are of a great quality, the board is fantastic and detailed and the cards have a subtle quality that makes them really stand out.
I read through the rules once before playing the game and then referred to them as required, as is standard for our review tests. As this is an expansion, it is assumed (and recommended) that you have played the original Ticket to Ride before embarking on your UK or Pennsylvanian journey, which means that the two page rulebook (for English, several other languages are covered) isn’t too much of a chore and is almost a reference. The extra rules on each map add a new dimension to each game, and it will take a game to nail it down (or half a game if you’re a TTR regular). Ticket to Ride already had a lot of replayability, but the map packs and slight differences in rules really do add a lot to a great game. Both Technologies and Shares will cause you to make sacrifices as you attempt to win, and not all sacrifices will pay off and the same sacrifices won’t work from game to game.
If you already have a copy of Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe, the extra cost of the United Kingdom and Pennsylvania map pack is well worth it. If you don’t have a copy of Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe, the cost of the core game as well as the United Kingdom and Pennsylvania map pack is also well worth it. It’s a great and rewarding game to play across all ages. The United Kingdom map pack will add another dimension as well as new routes for Ticket to Ride regulars, who won’t be disappointed as Days of Wonder have produced another quality looking and playable product.
4.5 out of 5 Nerds