Family gaming, trains, and boards

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A photograph of a board for a board game. The board is covered in spaces for trains to be placed and images of characters or animals, and has the background of a coloured map of an area in southern Ontario and some northern states beneath it.
What’s the training regiment to play this? Victoria Baht

All aboard! Fun awaits those who choose to play this game 

My family is a big card and board game type of family. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been spending time during the holidays and family gatherings sitting around the table playing a game.  

We could and would go anywhere from playing long card games of War or Uno to playing board games such as Sequence and Monopoly. As I got older, the more challenging the games got and the more options that came open to play.  

Now, there are many different types of board games out there in the world. In my mind, there are two types of games you can play. There is casual play, where you do not have to have too much strategy involved and it can just be a fun time. Or, there are board games that involve a great deal of strategy, last a long time, and require all your attention.  

This past holiday season my family discovered and bought a new board game known as Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails. Ticket to Ride is the type of board game that requires a great deal of time, attention, and strategy when playing it, making it a great option for people who don’t want the fun to end.  

Before we bought this version, my family just had the original Ticket to Ride, which is why we knew we had to get this version as soon as we saw it. The game’s publisher, Days of Wonder, lists over a dozen different versions, expansions boards, and even a handful of easier adaptations to play with younger children to further add to the adventure. 

For any trivia fans out there, the game was created by American game designer Alan R. Moon, and originally published in 2004. 

Although there are many different versions of Ticket to Ride, this article will specifically discuss the Rails and Sails version.  Now, the objective of the Rails and Sails version of Ticket to Ride is to gain the most points. Points are earned by accomplishing the completion of routes between locations and building harbours.  

We are not going to get into all the nitty-gritty details of this game. We will only be talking about my favourite parts of the game so you can look forward to learning the game with friends or family and playing it together.  

First, my absolute favourite part of the game is quite honestly the details. The work that was put into making this board game is evident, even when only looking at the design of the board. The board itself is huge and, not only that, but it is double-sided too. In the Rails and Sails version, you can choose to play either “The World” or “The Great Lakes.”  

The design of these maps is also extraordinary! What with all the different locations to look at, the different colourations so you always know where you’re supposed to play your pieces, the art on the board, and more. It is a beautifully eye-catching board and, just in general, super cool.  

Second, not only is the board cool, but the challenge of the game is also just as rewarding each time you play. As previously mentioned, one of the objectives of the game is to complete routes. As a player you try and complete a route that can be big or small; that is totally up to the player, and the challenge they want to have throughout the game.  

Third, I honestly like the strategy that goes into the game. Rails and Sails can be played with two to five players. In my experience, I find the more players that are involved in the game, the more challenging the game becomes. As you play with more players, the harder it becomes to accomplish your route since someone may snag part of a route you were trying to grab.  

Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails is a great game to play. If you want to try out this version or another version of the series, I highly recommend it. If you do try it out, I hope you have a great time!  

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