is a small expansion for the Ticket to Ride: Europe
Europa 1912 comes with:
Cards: There are 102 total, including 101 destination cards and 1 "Big Cities" card. They're all printed on heavy, linen-textured cardstock.
The destination cards include 55 new destination tickets and reprints of the 46 tickets from the original Europe game. Including the reprints not only ensures that all of your destination cards will look and feel the same, but it also allowed Days of Wonder to put the new "Big Cities" logo on appropriate original cards. I was very happy to get the whole set, including the reprints.
The "Big Cities" card just shows a map of Europe with the nine "big cities" highlighted. It's a useful little reference, to remind you which cities are important when you're playing a big cities game.
5 Warehouses: These displays gives you a place to put warehoused cards. Each one is printed in the players' color on glossy, light cardstock. They're attractive and big enough to fit the cards.
25 Depots: These wooden "huts" appear in the players' colors. I don't entirely like the aesthetics of wooden pieces mixing with all the plastic on the board, but they're good quality nonetheless.
Overall, the components of Europa 1912 are very good quality and attractive, thus I've given then a "4" out of "5" for Style. I'm a bit sad that they weren't sold in a tin, like the similar USA 1910 set, but on the other hand I won't feel like I have to obsessively keep these small expansion box, and can instead just toss everything into the main Europe box.
The Game Play
Europa 1912 comes with two elements: the warehouse & depots and the destination cards.
Warehouses & Depots: These elements will actually work with any Ticket to Ride game. At the start of the game each player is given an (empty) warehouse and five depots. They'll place one of the depots on the board in an empty city of their choice.
Filling Warehouses. Whenever a player takes train cards, he must first take a face-down train card and place it face-down on someone's warehouse (without looking at it).
Emptying Warehouses. Whenever a player builds a link into or out of a city with a depot in it, he may choose to empty the warehouse of the same color (whoever it belongs to) by discarding an unplaced depot.
Placing Additional Depots. On his turn a player may place an additional depot on any empty city (e.g., one that doesn't contain a depot or a station). This is a free action. It's also something that you won't typically do--but, if people had been piling cards on your warehouse, you might suddenly decide to play a new depot on your turn, so that you can claim them yourself from whatever city you happen to be linking to that turn.
Interacting with Stations. As already noted, you can't build a depot in a space with a station; the converse is also true.
Ending the Game. At the end of the game, whichever player or players has the most depots left, unused, earns +10 points.
New Destinations: The new destination cards include 6 additional long routes (bringing the total to 12) as well as 49 additional shorter routes. The set of shorter routes is now divided into 45 "big city" routes (which all connect to at least one of the 9 big cities and sometimes to two) and 44 regular routes (where neither of the cards is a big city).
The rules offer three different ways to play, each of which uses a different combination of destinations. You can use: everything; just the original cards + the 19 new regular routes; and just the big city cards (excluding even the long routes). Each set of destinations should support different dynamics in the game.
Relationships to Other Games
Europa 1912 is an expansion for Ticket to Ride: Europe. It's similar to the USA 1910 expansion of late 2006, which was a card-based expansion for the original USA game that also included Big Cities.
The Game Design
Destination tickets add a lot to the game of Ticket to Ride because they create more variety in play, give your more opportunity to pursue very complementary route designs, and can generally revive your game. So, to start off with, I was very pleased to see that this new set doubled the destination count of the game.
On the other new elements:
The Big Cities creates very competitive play around the important cities, and I think that makes games feel very different. After seeing how well they worked in USA 1910, I was pleased to see them here as well.
The warehouses were an interesting new element that created yet another bit of brinkmanship tension in the game. Ticket to Ride is always a harrowing game where you're grabbing routes and cards just before other people do (hopefully!). The idea of putting cards into specific warehouses in the hopes of grabbing them before anyone else added another, similar element of tension that fit very organically with the rest of the game.
However, what really impressed me was how well Europa 1912 complemented the existing style of Europe play:
- The Big Cities melded very well with the stations, because there was more opportunity than ever to get locked out of cities, but at the same time you could use stations to make up for that.
- The stations and depots worked very well together, since there was suddenly added tension concerning whether you could place a station (or a depot) in a specific city.
Overall, I think that Europa 1912
is an excellent expansion for Ticket to Ride: Europe
, and thus I've given it a "5" out of "5" for Substance.
Europa 1912 adds interesting new tickets and new play styles to Ticket to Ride: Europe. Though it's just a small box, it can add a big amount to your game.