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USA 1910: TICKET TO RIDE EXPANSION

Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Days of Wonder, 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, 40 minutes; $15)

 

With the success of the Ticket to Ride series of games which include Ticket to Ride (Spring 2004 GA REPORT), Ticket to Ride: Europe (Spring 2005 GA REPORT) and Ticket to Ride: Marklin Edition (Spring 2006 GA REPORT), you have to wonder how many times designer Alan Moon can go to the well. Well, apparently at least one more time as indicated by this new expansion for use with the original Ticket to Ride game called USA 1910.usa1910

Packed in a stylish metal tin, USA 1910 contains brief rules for their use in no less than NINE languages (!) as well as cards and lots of them! First of all, the 110 small cards found in the original game can now be replaced with full size versions. There are also 69 Destination tickets consisting of full size reprints of the original 30 Destination cards, four cards from the Mystery Train expansion that Days of Wonder put out awhile ago and 35 “1910” tickets which offer new and different Destination cards. Capping off the expansion is a bonus Trans American Express card (aka the Longest Route card as in the original) which give 10 VPs to the player with the longest continuous route and a new bonus card: “Globetrotter” which awards 15 Victory Points to the player with the most completed Destination tickets. With the addition of the expansion, the basic rules remain unchanged. However, the dynamics of the play change depending on how the new cards are used.

Three variations of play are suggested here.

In the 1910 variation, the standard rules are used with only the new 1910 cards and the Longest Route card from the original game is replaced with the Globetrotter card.usa1910card

In the Mega Game, both bonus cards are used, all 69 Destination cards are used, players are dealt FIVE Destination cards to start and must keep at least three of them (although they can hold onto all five if they wish). During the game, when a player opts to draw additional Destination cards, they draw FOUR and must keep at least one.

The final variation is called The Big Cities. Only the 35 Destination cards featuring at least one of the Big Cities of the USA are used. (The Big Cities are Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Seattle.) These cards are shuffled and four are dealt to each player with at least two of them being kept. When drawing Destination cards during the game, four are drawn with at least one having to be kept. Of the three variants, this one is probably the most demanding as the action centers on the Big Cities creating the potential for heightened competition and that competitive flair spices things up!

The USA 1910 Expansion continues the progression we have noticed with the games in the Ticket to Ride series, namely a growing shift from the point generation of laying track towards the importance in completing Destination cards. As such, it shifts the perspective a player needs to have in constructing his game strategy towards winning and breathes new life into the original game. For players who have enjoyed Ticket to Ride, this expansion is a welcome energy boost that adds a little something without taking anything away. – – Herb Levy


 

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