Ticket to Ride: Poland
aka Ticket to Ride: Map Collection 6 1/2 - Poland
|Alan R. Moon
|Cyrille Daujean, Julien Delval
|Days of Wonder
In Ticket to Ride: Poland (TTR:P hereafter), players will get new destination tickets, a new map, and a new game mechanic as they get points for connecting countries on the border of Poland. Players will need a copy of the original Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe for the train cards, trains, player markers, and stations. So, is this trip through Warsaw worth it, or should you have flown instead? Read on for the review!
TTR:P is a smaller map, with only 4 quadrants instead of the 6 on the original or Europe maps. As such, the rules state that players will only need 35 of their usual 45 trains. Players may also notice that the routes are shorter and don’t have any of the tunnels from Ticket to Ride: Europe. Because of these factors, gameplay is shorter and snappier than either of the large maps, but not as fast as one of the city-focused titles like San Francisco or Amsterdam. With most routes only needing 2-3 trains, players may even end up needing to change their usual strategy if they’re the type to collect cards until they have most of what they need. In Poland, by then the game might be almost over!
The new mechanic of connecting neighboring countries is a nice way to get more points, and it forces players to go to the edges of the map. This makes sense because many of the new destination tickets go to Warsaw, which is more centrally located. How it works is that as soon as a player has connected two border countries, they get to draw the top card from each of their decks. Every time after that, if you connect to a new country, you get to draw the top card from each deck of a country on your route. Anyone who manages to connect 3 or more countries will end up with a bonus that will rival their destination tickets!
Speaking of which, since the map is smaller it’s a lot easier to connect multiple cities, especially if you go back for more destinations after reaching your initial ones. I found that on my first game, of the 3 new destinations I pulled, I had already made one of them and only needed 2 new destinations to connect the other 2. If you can get to multiple neighboring countries while fulfilling 3-5 destinations, you’re bound to make it to the podium, if not win.
TTR:P is a nice sized map, splitting the difference between the large continent games and the smaller, city-focused titles. I like that it feels quicker and easier to score destinations, but my only concern would be whether it brings enough to the table to justify the purchase for the average gamer. Odds are most people will fall into the category of not caring enough about TTR to justify getting it, or being a TTR superfan who already has Map Collections 1-5 so this will be a no-brainer purchase. On the plus side, it does seem like it would mostly fit inside the base box, especially if you removed the insert. Overall, it brings enough new to the table to make it fun, but not enough to warrant it as a “must buy!”
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
The Bottom Line
Brings new ideas to the table, but ultimately not a "must buy" expansion.