Ticket to Ride Germany Guide

Germany is a beautiful country filled with spectacular castles, fascinating monuments, and lush forests. Not to mention mouthwatering food and beer!

You may be wondering: why the sudden enthusiasm for Germany? Isn’t this website all about board games? You’re absolutely right, and this guide is dedicated to one of the all-time classics, Ticket to Ride.

But this isn’t Ticket to Ride as you know it, oh no. This is Ticket to Ride Germany, a new version of the game that combines the Deutschland 1902 expansion pack with Zum um Zug: Deutschland to create something spectacular.

If you’re a die-hard fan of Ticket to Ride like I am, you’ll be eager to hear more, so I won’t prolong the suspense any longer. Read on to discover more about the game!

Ticket to Ride Germany: A Quick Overview

  • Players – 2-5
  • Recommended age – 8+
  • Playing time – 30-60 minutes

Ticket to Ride Germany is a standalone game that allows you to explore Germany’s vast and stunning landscape at the turn of the century, building an expansive rail network to connect various cities. Well…at least you can imagine you’re really there; I usually do,

The rules are almost identical to the original Ticket to Ride Game, so it’s easy to pick up if you’ve played before, and unlike expansion packs, there’s no need to own the original map and cards; everything you need is right there in the box.

Ticket to Ride Germany Board

The Aim of the Game

No surprises here: the aim of the game is to score more points than your opponents. If you’re competitive (me? Never!) and you like coming up with clever strategies to destroy your friends (in the game only, of course), you will enjoy this.

When I first encountered Ticket to Ride, I was disappointed by how simple that objective sounds, but there’s no need to worry; it’s a little more complex than that, thanks to the various ways you can earn points:

  • Complete the highest number of Destination Tickets
  • Collect the most Passenger Meeples in each color
  • Finish a continuous path of routes from one city to another (listed on your Destination Ticket(s))
  • Claim a route

How to Play

I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t need to learn how to play; I’m a Ticket to Ride pro!“. That may be true, but there are a few minor differences you’ll need to be aware of to play at your best, so make sure you’re paying close attention.

Setup

First of all, unfold the map (feel free to take some time to admire it if you’re a nerd like me) and place it on a flat surface, ideally a large table.

Locate the cloth bag – a lovely addition to the game, in my opinion – and put the sixty Passenger Meeples inside it, shuffling them as you do so.

Next, randomly draw the Passengers from the bag and place them on the board using the diagram in the instructions booklet.

Each player needs forty-five colored Train Cars and a matching score marker, which should be placed near the scoring track.

The Train Car Cards should be thoroughly shuffled, with four being dealt randomly to each player. Place the rest of the cards near the board, turning the top five face-up (you probably know the drill by now).

Put the Globetrotter Bonus Card face-up beside the board.

After this, the Destination Tickets need sorting into a deck of Long Tickets (with brown backs) and Short Tickets (blue backs). Shuffle both decks. I’d recommend spending a good few minutes doing this; otherwise, you’ll see the same cards appearing repeatedly.

Players can then draw four Tickets from these decks in any combination they choose. (Top tip: make sure you announce which combination you’re going to pick before you take the cards; it’s Ticket to Ride etiquette for those in the know.)

Once you’ve drawn your Destination tickets, each player needs to decide which ones to keep. You have to keep at least two, but if you want to save more, you can.

When it comes to choosing which cards to keep and how many, my advice would be to think carefully about which ones will be easiest to connect. When you’re more familiar with the board, this comes naturally.

When I first started playing, I always chose the longest and most challenging routes that would score me more points, but believe it or not, this hardly ever worked out!

Discard all unwanted tickets, reshuffle both decks, then place them beside the board.

Now you’re ready to play.

Gameplay

I’ll break this down into easy-to-follow sections to help you get to grips with the game quickly, even if you’ve never played before (in which case you’re in for a treat).

  • Taking a turn

The oldest person in the group goes first, and play continues clockwise.

Each turn, you can do one of three things:

  1. Draw Train Car cards
  2. Draw Destination Tickets
  3. Claim a route and collect Passenger Meeples
  • Draw Train Car Cards

You can draw two of these per turn – either one of the face-up cards or the card from the top of the deck (this is what’s known as a blind draw).

Don’t forget, if you choose a face-up card, you’ll need to turn over a card from the deck to replace it.

Ticket to Ride Germany Game

  • Draw Destination Tickets

Take four of these from the top of the deck. You’ll need to keep at least one. Any cards you wish to return should be put back at the bottom of the deck.

  • Claim a route and collect Passenger Meeples

To claim a route, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Play a set of Train Car Cards that share the length and color of the route
  2. Place a colored train on each space along the route
  3. Record your score by moving your scoring marker
  4. Collect a Passenger Meeple from both spots around the route you have claimed
  • Drawing Train Car Cards

Certain Train Car Cards (there are eight types of these cards) share colors with specific routes: purple, orange, blue, green, white, yellow, red, and black.

You’re allowed to have any number of cards in your hand, which is an excellent aspect of the game; far too many board games try to restrict play by adding unnecessary limits.

If there are no cards left in the deck and no discarded cards with which to replace them, you, unfortunately, can’t draw any Train Car Cards on your turn.

  • Claiming routes and collecting Passenger Meeples

What is a route, I hear you ask? A route is marked by a continuous set of colored spaces spanning two adjacent cities.

Take note, though – in this edition of Ticket to Ride, a route can also run between a city and another country that neighbors Germany.

While most routes can only be claimed by cards of a matching color, gray routes can be claimed by cards of any color. This is worth remembering because I often find myself saved by these colorless routes!

Any open route on the board is free to be claimed, but you can only claim one per turn.

When it comes to collecting Passenger Meeples, there are a few rules you need to be aware of.

If there are multiple Passenger Meeples in a city, good news! You can choose whichever one you’d prefer. But if there are none in a city, you have to go without.

It sucks, I know, but don’t be disheartened. This is a board game where you never quite know what will happen; even if things are looking bad for you, it only takes a few turns for your fortune to change completely. This has happened to me more than a few times now, and it always feels incredible.

  • The route scoring table

Check the route scoring table to determine how many points you earned for claiming a particular route.

  • Drawing Destination Ticket cards

As I mentioned briefly earlier, you can use your turn to draw multiple Destination Ticket cards.

Each card includes a Point value and the name of two cities on the map. By successfully completing the series of routes that connect these cities, you can add the Point value to your total at the end of the game.

Careful, though – if you fail to complete the routes, these points will be deducted. For this reason, I’d really recommend thinking very carefully before deciding which cards to keep. Be ambitious, but more importantly, be realistic!

It’s also worth noting that different routes connecting to the same country are not considered connected.

Keep your Destination Tickets secret until it’s time to work out the final scores.

End of the game

As soon as a player’s colored trains get down to two, one, or zero, it’s time for each player to take one last turn. After this, the game ends, and scores are calculated.

Calculating scores

If like me, you’re suspicious of your friends (because one of them always cheats!), you might want to recount the points each player has earned for their routes.

Then, all players reveal their Destination Tickets, adding or subtracting the value of these Tickets based on whether they completed the routes connecting locations on them.

There’s one final twist…the player who has completed the most Tickets throughout the game gets the Globetrotter Bonus Card. (I swear, there’s no better feeling than winning this!)

The Bonus Card gives you an extra fifteen points. If it’s a tie, which is always disappointing, all players involved in the tie earn fifteen points.

The final scoring aspect relates to the number of passengers each player has acquired throughout the game. You get twenty – yes, twenty! – points for each color you lead in, and 10 points for any color in which you have the second largest number of passengers.

If it’s a tie, all players score ten points.

After scoring is done, there are a few ways the game might end:

  • The player with the highest number of points wins
  • If it’s a tie, the player who has finished the most Destination Tickets wins
  • If there is still a tie, the player with the most Passenger Meeples is victorious

Ticket to Ride Germany review

How Many Pieces are there in Ticket to Ride Germany?

The game contains the following components:

  • 1x board map depicting the German Empire at the turn of the century
  • Colored train cards (45 of each color, including red, white, purple, yellow, and black, plus some replacement cards)
  • 110x Train Car Cards (12x each type and 14x locomotives)
  • 55x Short Tickets
  • 34x Long Tickets
  • 1x Globetrotter Bonus Card
  • 5x scoring markers
  • 60x Passenger Meeples
  • 1x cloth bag
  • 1x instructions booklet
  • 1x Days of Wonder Online access number

Alternatives to Ticket to Ride Germany

I know you’re dazzled by how simple, yet exciting Ticket to Ride Germany is. But there are other games that are certainly worth trying too! Here are my recommendations.

Ticket to Ride Europe

Ticket to Ride Europe Board Game

You’ve seen Germany; now it’s time to expand your horizons and explore the whole of Europe in this Ticket to Ride adventure! Featuring larger cards, a new map, and a whole bunch of features that add complexity to the game, Ticket to Ride Europe is one edition not to be missed.

Want to know more? Read our full Ticket to Ride Europe guide.

  • Players – 2-5
  • Recommended age – 8+
  • Playing time – 30-60 minutes

Ticket to Ride New York

Ticket to Ride New York Board Game

New York is one of my favorite cities in the whole world, so I might be just a little biased when I tell you that Ticket to Ride New York is one of the most enjoyable family games out there. But seriously, it’s great. There aren’t any complex rules, so anyone can learn to play, and it’s a faster-paced version of the original, so little ones won’t get bored.

If that quick overview has caught your attention, you can find out more in our Ticket to Ride New York guide.

  • Players – 2-4
  • Recommended age – 8+
  • Playing time – 10-15 minutes

Catan Settlers of America

Catan Histories Settlers of America Board Game

Moving away from Ticket to Ride, Catan is another iconic board game that simply has to be mentioned, and the Settlers of America version, in particular, stands out. It’s a fantastic family game – one that can be used for educational purposes, too – the aim of which is to successfully build infrastructure and civilizations.

Learn more about why this game is loved by so many people in this Catan Settlers of America guide.

  • Players – 3-4
  • Recommended age – 12+
  • Playing time – 120 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Ticket to Ride Germany an expansion pack?

Answer: No, it’s a standalone game; you don’t need to have the original version to play.

Question: What other editions of Ticket to Ride are available?

Answer: There are plenty of different editions and expansion packs, so you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you. Other versions include:
Ticket to Ride Africa
Ticket to Ride 1910
Ticket to Ride India

Question: Is there any strategy to Ticket to Ride Germany?

 
Answer: The more you play, the easier it will become to think of new strategies. This is what makes the game so enjoyable!
Traditional Ticket to Ride strategies can also be applied to the German edition; you can read more about these strategies in our guide.

Question: Who invented Ticket to Ride Germany?

Answer: Like the original Ticket to Ride, it was created by Alan R. Moon.

Question: Is Ticket to Ride Germany a family game?

Answer: Absolutely! In fact, it’s one of the best family games, in my opinion.
Recommended reads:
A Complete Overview of Ticket to Ride
Best Ticket to Ride Strategies
Catan Board Game Guide

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