Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride

If you are looking for a family-friendly board game, you may be interested in Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride. Many people love to play these tabletop games with their friends and families. In the discussion below, we will learn further about the gameplay of Carcassonne and Ticket To Ride to help you decide which game to play with your group.

Continue reading if you want to find out further about:

  • The suitable audience that can enjoy each game
  • Each game’s recommended number of players and average runtime
  • The gameplay of Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride
  • The pros and cons of each board game
  • Which board game that is more fun and more recommended

What is Carcassonne?

Carcassonne is a tile placement game where you try to build properties and score as many points as possible by claiming those properties (we have discussed this game in a previous post, Carcassonne vs Catan). The rules are rather simple, but this game has a great depth which will allow you and require you to experiment with different strategies. It is one of those few games that are easy to understand yet difficult to master.

This game is classified as an entry-level strategy eurogame. In contrast to american board games, eurogames typically require the players to cooperate in order to build something up or overcome a huge challenge. In Carcassonne, however, the players need to ‘cooperate’ in building the properties, but they will still try to achieve their own goals and claim properties for themselves. As an entry-level title, Carcassonne is light and simple enough to play, making it ideal for beginners in strategy games.

In the global stage, Carcassonne is quite popular. Every year since 2006, an international championship of Carcassonne is held. The participants come from many countries around the world.

Carcassonne is designed to be played by 2 – 5 people together. Hence, it is ideal for a small group of people. Since it can be played by just two players, you can pull this game up to spend some time with your partner or best friend. Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride recommends a minimum age of 7 years old. This game can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. One game lasts for about 35 minutes on average.

How do you play Carcassonne?

Carcassonne features a medieval landscape. At the beginning of the game, you need to shuffle the tiles and put a random tile face-up at the center of the table, creating the initial terrain. The rest of the tiles are placed in a draw pile. Players will expand the terrain by taking turns in drawing new tiles and placing them on the table.

When your turn comes, you need to pick a tile from the top of the draw pile. Then, place the new tile on the board adjacent to an existing tile. However, the new tile must have a feature that extends something similar on the existing terrain. For example, roads connect to roads, fields connect to fields, and cities connect to cities.

Connected features create properties. You can claim a property by placing a “meeple” or follower on the property. The meeple will take a particular role depending on the type of feature that it is placed on, and different roles have different effects. For example, a thief placed on a road will give you extra points as many as the number of tiles making up that road.

A property that has been claimed by a player can’t be claimed by another player. However, when two separated properties (or more) that have been claimed by different players are connected by a tile, hence creating one continuous property, the resulted property is “shared” between the players.

The game ends when all the tiles have been used. At the end of the game, the players count their scores based on how many completed properties that they own, and there can be extra points from the mechanics of their particular meeples. The player with the most points wins.

Pros of Carcassonne

  • Although you need to learn about the different roles of the meeples, the overall gameplay of Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride is quite simple and easy to understand. Children and new players can pick up this game without much problem.
  • Despite the simplicity of the rules, Carcassonne has great depth for strategy. Because of this, the game can be enjoyed by both beginners and veteran players. You need to plan your way to victory, and there are many ways that you can try. You also need to be able to adapt to the changes on the board.
  • Carcassonne has high player interactivity. Players somehow need to cooperate in order to finish properties, but each of them will also try to be the first to claim an important property.
  • Carcassonne is ideal for people who love strategy games. Since it has elements of both competition and cooperation, it can appeal to fans of american board games as well as eurogames. It is also a great way to spend a few hours with your friends or family.

Cons of Carcassonne

  • People who don’t like strategy games that require a lot of thinking probably won’t enjoy Carcassonne very much.
  • Carcassonne can be a long game. It is not something that you can pick up and finish in just a few minutes.

What is Ticket To Ride?

Ticket To Ride is now one of the most popular board games in the world. It is a railway-themed German-style board game. In this game, you try to connect cities by building routes between them. You score points based on whether you are successful in achieving your personal goals (each player is given pairs of cities to connect) and the lengths of your routes.

Millions of copies of Ticket To Ride have been sold around the world. It has also won various awards, such as the Spiel des Jahres Award, the Diana Jones Award, and the Origins Award. Many people enjoy playing Ticket To Ride because it is light and casual, while at the same time requiring some degree of strategy. In addition, the game can be played by both children and adults.

According to the box, Ticket To Ride is suitable for 2 – 6 players. It is recommended for 8 years old and over. You can play this game comfortably with your friends or family members. Both Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride take some time to play. One game of Ticket To Ride usually takes 30 – 60 minutes to finish.

How do you play Ticket To Ride?

At the beginning of the game, each player gets four train car cards and three Destination Ticket cards. On each Destination Ticket, there is a pair of cities that you need to connect. You may discard one Destination Ticket, or keep them all. Over the course of the game, you will try to connect the pairs of cities from your Destination Tickets. Failing to do so will give you negative points.

You don’t know what the other players’ goals are, and vice versa – they don’t know your goals. However, as the game progresses, you can predict what the other players want by seeing the routes that they attempt to take.

Each player also needs to choose a group of 45 train pieces of the same color, along with a matching score marker. Then, choose a player to take the first turn. The turns will go in a clockwise direction.

On your turn, you may only execute one action. However, there are three possible actions that you can perform:

  • Draw three new Destination Tickets. You may discard two of them, and you must keep at least one.
  • Draw two railway car cards. However, when drawing a wild Locomotive card face-up, you can’t draw another card.
  • Claim a route by placing the required number of train pieces on it.

You score points by claiming a route. Longer routes will give you more points than shorter routes. Each route can only be claimed by one player. When two cities are connected by two parallel routes, a player may only claim one of them.

The game ends when a player only has two or fewer train pieces left. Every player must run one additional turn before revealing their Destination Tickets. You get bonus points from every completed goal, but you get penalized for every uncompleted goal. The player with the longest continuous set of routes gains ten bonus points. Finally, the player with the most points wins.

Pros of Ticket To Ride

  • The game can be played by both children and adults, making Ticket To Ride a good family game.
  • Ticket To Ride has a good depth. There are several ways to win the game, such as completing as many Destination Tickets as possible, building the longest continuous route, or a mix of both.
  • It can teach about patience. Often, you need to choose between claiming a shorter route now or collecting car cards to claim a longer route later.
  • The overall gameplay is rather simple and easy to understand. It won’t take long for new players to grasp the flow of the game and join the fun.

Cons of Ticket To Ride

  • Although this game can be played by children, the complex mechanisms sometimes require the adults to alter or erase some elements (such as how routes and Destination Tickets are scored) in order to play with children comfortably.
  • Some routes are prioritized over the others because of the high scores that they have, hence limiting the flexibility of your strategy.
  • The game takes a long time to finish. Not something that you can grab and end in a few minutes.

Carcassonne vs Ticket To Ride

BrandCarcassonneTicket To Ride
Key features- Place tiles and claim properties - Suitable for 2 – 5 players - 35 minutes average game length - Quite simple and easy to understand - Great depth for strategy - Collect car cards and claim routes - Suitable for 2 – 6 players - 30 – 60 minutes average game length - Simple, but some mechanics need to be altered for children - Good depth for strategy

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Both games here are definitely great in their own ways. However, Carcassonne is generally more recommended. It is suitable for both children and adults, and it is relatively easier to grasp. Despite the simplicity, though, Carcassonne has plenty of depth, making it a very good strategy game.

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