Ticket To Ride: The Best Bach Board Game Ever?

Last weekend I visited a friend’s parents’ bach. Not the kind of bach that was made in the 60s and sits, corrugated iron and all, down a scrubby track. The kind of bach that was completed last month and costs more than most Auckland homes. It still had that new smell.

I’m not here to talk about how lucky I am to have friends like that. I’m here to tell you what I discovered while there: Ticket To Ride just might be the best bach game ever invented. Ticket To Ride: Europe, to be specific.

Sunday mornings are always slow. If you’re not up at the crack of dawn to go fishing, you’re lazing around dreaming of a magical breakfast that comprises both bacon and eggs. There’s often a bit of time to fill though, and you need something that’s engaging without being difficult.

Here’s where Ticket To Ride comes in. We had five players: two newbies; one person who had played it once, but recently; and my wife and me, who had played three or four times, but not in a year or more. We had the board set up in minutes and it was easy to divide up the gaming pieces and cards.

Going through the rules was quite fast, especially considering it was Sunday morning. From deciding to play to the first draw of the cards took around 30 minutes – I consider that a pretty fast start-up time.

What really amazed me, though, was how quickly the game got interesting. Even with two newbies on board, tension rose, routes were cut off, routed around, re-established quickly. Gameplay was quick, people were making moves in time and things just flowed. There were no negotiations that had to take forever, no complexities that slowed the game. It was fast, fun and friendly.

If you haven’t played Ticket To Ride: Europe, pick up a copy today and take it up to the bach with you. You’ll find it the perfect way to spend a lazy morning.

Dmitriy TEST