Ticket to Ride

It used to be, whenever I had my kids home for a winter holiday, we'd play Monopoly.

No more.

The children are grown and they've put away childish things.

Christmas Day we played chess and we played a multi-player board game familiar to them, but new to me and to Helen: Ticket to Ride.

Ticket to Ride

The quest in Ticket to Ride is to build railroad routes between destination cities. It's competitive, insofar as you'll do better (or make more efficient use of resources) if you build along lines before they're claimed by another player. But you can't be shut out of a route already claimed, not altogether. For a price (a mandatory royalty, or a network switching fee, if you will), you can build stations to facilitate the sharing of legs of a route.

It's a more complicated, less nostalgic mirror of the world than robber-baron Monopoly. You still keep score, but winning doesn't entail driving everyone else into bankruptcy.

And no one sits around for hours, like contestants voted off a reality show island, while remaining players duke it out. The game is designed to end at the same time for everyone.

Then it is time for more cake.

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