Days of Wonder have release another ‘filler’ version of Ticket to Ride, this time set around London, UK. A great little 15-minute version of Ticket to Ride, there’s no doubt about that and it quite happily fits in as a 2-4 player filler game, while waiting for others to arrive or finish a game they are already involved in; but is it really needed? Doesn’t Ticket to Ride: New York already fill that gap?
I do wonder at times whether the Ticket to Ride expansions are reaching saturation point, whether there is anything different they can do to keep our interest; and then a new expansion is released, with a new twist to the rules.
So far, Days of Wonder has released two mini-map versions of Ticket to Ride, New York and London, each with unique player pieces, artwork and add-on rules. As I have not talked about either of these games in the past, I have decided to go through them both at the same time.
Ticket to Ride: New York, as the name suggests is set around New York City; or more specifically, south Manhattan. Your aim as always is lay routes in order to complete tickets. Instead of trains, with this map, you are placing the famous New York taxi cabs to connect various landmarks around the city, with bonus points awarded at the end of the game for each ‘tourist attraction’ station the player has connected to. They have also removed the score track from the map and provided the players with a score pad instead.
With Ticket to Ride: London (TTR:L), each player has 17 London buses to place on various routes around the city to complete tickets between famous London landmarks, The variation for the rules on this version is that London is split into five districts and if a player links all the stops in a districts, they receive 1-5 bonus points at the end of the game (depending on the district completed); and score track is back and bordering the map.
With both of these being a small map, they only take 15-20 mins per game, even with four players. With a full contingent of players, completing the longer tickets is certainly much more of a challenge and the ‘card hog’ method of play is generally not an option as you are like to run out of time to place all your routes.
I have enjoyed playing both of these games and they certainly do fill the hole of a quick filler game for Ticket to Ride fans, but are they different enough to warrant having both in your games collection? Personally, I’m not sure that they are. They are both great little games and are both enjoyable, they both have lovely artwork (which is not unusual for a Days of Wonder game) and they both have a rule variation; however, in my view, those rules are not different enough.
My preference of the two is TTR:L. This is not a biased choice because I’m British, there are three predominant reasons for this:
- The map itself. The New York map feels a little narrow and the London map feels like it has more variation with less chance of being locked out of a location.
- The rule variation of linking a group of stations, similar to area control, is much more of a challenge, rather than simply getting points for going to a station you needed to pass through anyway, as it is with TTR:NY.
- The score track. I’m not saying that a Ticket to Ride game must have a score track, but I prefer to have an idea of how many points I need to catch up, or I am leading by, rather than estimating and not knowing for sure until the end of the game. I know completed and unfinished tickets will still have an effect on the final score, but this is just my preference.
So, is it worth having both games in your collection? Unless you are a completionist and must have every variation, then no. TTR:NY was a great game to test the reaction to a mini-map Ticket to Ride; but for the reasons above, TTR:L is the only one I think you need in your collection, for now.
Have you played these games? What did you think of them?
Please feel free to let me know in the comments.