Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan

Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride and The Settlers Of Catan are two titles that are often recommended to beginners in the world of board games. These entry-level board games are simple and light, yet with great depth. So, which one is better? We’ll discuss the comparison of Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan below, so continue reading.

What we will discuss in this article include:

  • What Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride and Catan are all about
  • The gameplay of Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan
  • How many players that each game can accommodate at once
  • Whether these games are suitable for children and adults or not
  • The average duration of each game
  • The replayability of each game
  • Which board game that is generally more recommended

Overview

Both Ticket To Ride and Catan are classified as eurogames or German-style board games. What does that mean? A eurogame or German-style board game is typically characterized by indirect player interaction, the use of abstract physical components, and an emphasis on strategy. These games usually keep all of the players until the end, instead of dying or failing in the middle of the progress. See also: Carcasonne vs Ticket To Ride.

In addition, Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan are often called as entry-level board games. This is because both Ticket To Ride and Catanare relatively simple and lightweight. Indeed, there are some mechanics that you need to understand in order to play these games smoothly, but the mechanics are not as complex as those of other more advanced board games.

Because of the simplicity and light atmosphere, these games are suitable for people who are new in the world of board games and for people who are not really into heavy games that require significant time and thinking. Needless to say, despite their similar classifications, Ticket To Ride and Catan have a lot of differences.

Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride, or simply Ticket To Ride, is a railway-themed board game. In this game, each player is given a number of train car pieces along with certain goals. Typically, a goal is about connecting two cities together by building one or more railway routes. The players need to build railway routes in order to get points and complete their goals.

The Settlers Of Catan, or simply Catan, is a board game about building a settlement on an isolated island. Each player starts on a location on the map. There are different types of resources scattered around. Since different places often have different resources, you need to negotiate and trade with the other players in order to ensure your settlement’s survival.

How to Play: Ticket To Ride

Now, let’s take a look at the more detailed gameplay of Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan. You can expect different kinds of experience from these games. Ticket To Ride is more about saving resources and decision making, whereas Catan involves a lot of player interaction.

Ticket To Ride requires about five minutes for setup. At the beginning, every player chooses a set of train cars (each set has 45 pieces) and a matching score marker. Then, shuffle the train cards and destination tickets. Every player draws 4 train cards and 3 destination tickets. You may keep all of the destination tickets or discard one. Next, the five topmost cards on the train card pile are put face-up next to the pile.

Now, the game is ready to begin. Choose a player to start first. The game will proceed in a clockwise direction. In your turn, you may perform one of three possible actions:

  • Draw three new destination tickets, and keep at least one.
  • Draw two new train cards. However, if you pick a locomotive card (which is a wild card) from one of the face-up cards, you are not allowed to pick another card.
  • Claim a route. You may only claim one route per turn.

Every destination ticket has a pair of cities which you must connect by claiming one or more routes. In order to claim a route, you need to have one set of train cards of the same type, with as many cards as the length of the route. When claiming a route, you need to fill the spaces on the route with your train car pieces. But, remember, your train car pieces are limited, so you can’t claim all routes.

The game ends when a player only has two or fewer train car pieces left. Every player gets one last turn before revealing their destination tickets. You get points from claimed routes and completed destination tickets. You can also get bonus points if you have the longest continuous set of routes. However, you get negative points from uncompleted destination tickets.

How to Play: Catan

Catan has a map with hexagonal tiles. The unique thing is, the tiles are placed randomly at the beginning of every game, so the map will never be the same. That said, there are also fixed layouts which you can use for a more standard game with fair chances for all players. Note that the hexagonal tiles have different types of terrains and resources.

On your turn, you need to roll two six-sided dice. The result shows you which tiles that produce resources. Then, every player whose settlement is adjacent to a producing tile gets a resource card. You can get multiple resource cards if your settlement is adjacent to multiple producing tiles – or if you have multiple settlements that are adjacent to producing tiles.

You can use your resource cards for various things to improve your civilization. For example, you can build roads, build your army, or purchase development cards. You can also build new settlements or upgrade existing settlements into cities. You can place a robber on a tile to prevent it from producing any resource.

If you don’t have the resource that you need, don’t worry. You can negotiate with another player in order to conduct a trade. Alternatively, if you are not comfortable in trading with another player, you can make a trade with a non-player bank with a fixed buy/sell ratio.

Every player counts their score as the game progresses. The game ends when a player reaches 10 victory points (VPs). You get one VP from every settlement and two VPs from every city. Certain development cards will also give you bonus points.

Suitable Audience

When choosing between Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan, one thing that you may need to consider is the suitable audience and the recommended number of players. You probably are looking for a game that can be played together with your partner, children, siblings, or friends. Fortunately, both games here are suitable for a wide range of people.

Ticket To Ride can be played by 2 – 5 players, so it is quite flexible. You can play it even if there are just two people around. You can still play it, too, when there are four or five people that can use some time to have fun together. This game is great for family and friends.

According to the box, Ticket To Ride is suitable for players of 8 years old or over. It does not contain any mature theme, and the gameplay is rather simple. So, it can be played by children just fine. In fact, this game is a very popular family game where parents can play with their kids. Thanks to the great depth, adults can also enjoy the game.

Catan is suitable for 3 – 4 players. You can say that Catan is not as flexible as Ticket To Ride, as the recommended number of players has a narrower range. Finding three more people to play with you is sometimes difficult. Then again, when there are more than four people in the group, the game is also not suitable.

According to the box, Catan is suitable for 10 years old and over. This game can be played by older children and teenagers just fine. It is not suitable for younger kids because the negotiation mechanics can be a little bit complicated. Anyhow, this game is also great for family and friends.

Average Gameplay Length

Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride usually takes 30 – 60 minutes to finish. Depending on how the players play, the game can be relatively quick. If you aggressively claim routes as fast as possible, you will run out of train car pieces soon and the game will end. However, if the players are all patient enough to collect train cards in order to claim longer routes, the game can take up to an hour to finish.

The Settlers Of Catan, on the other hand, tends to be longer. The average gameplay length is about 60 minutes or so. This is because there are many things that the players can do in the game, and the game indeed involves a lot of player interaction through trades and negotiations. You want to dedicate at least one or two hours in order to play the game from start to finish.

Replayability

Ticket To Ride has a very good replayability. You can play it again and again without really getting bored. The game is able to keep itself fun and enjoyable over multiple iterations. Not to mention that there are many expansions that you can add to the base game, which will add new elements and mechanics.

The slight downside is that there are some routes that seem more important than others. As the effect, players tend to prioritize these important routes in order to secure a win. Well, this is not always the case, but the tendency may limit the players’ strategy options.

Catan also has good replayability. Since the map is dynamically changing, the experience is almost always new. The high degree of player interactivity is also another great factor for the replayability, especially if the players are relatively mature and easy-going.

However, unless you use one of the fixed layouts, the ever-changing map can be a little bit unfair sometimes. A player may get a side of the map with plenty of resources, while another player may start from a more difficult condition. Also, depending on your group, some of the players may be inclined to cooperate to make the game harder for another player, and this condition may cause tension.

Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride vs Catan

BoardgameBoardgame
BrandDays Of Wonder Ticket To RideCatan
Key features- Collect cards in order to claim routes and complete goals - For 2 – 5 players, suitable for 8 years old and over - 30 – 60 minutes average runtime - Low player interaction - Some routes tend to get prioritized over others- Gather resources and conduct trades to build settlements - For 3 – 4 players, suitable for 10 years old and over - 60 minutes average runtime - Very high player interaction - The dynamic map and negotiation aspect can turn to be unfair
Price

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Conclusion

Both games here are definitely great, with their own strengths and weaknesses. In general, though, Ticket To Ride is more recommended. It is more flexible in regards to the number of players, and it is suitable for a wide range of people. It is quite simple and light, but it still has great depth. The replayability is very good.

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