January 23, 2017

Not Your Parents' Board Games: Profiles of Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride

Not Your Parents’ Board Games
Part Four: Game Profiles of Carcassonne and Ticket To Ride
By David Means 
Editor's note: In this post, David Means profiles two very popular board games, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride

In January 2016, KaCSFFS member and notable board game collector David Means gave a presentation to the club about his collection. It was so interesting, I asked for permission to reprint it as a series of posts on this blog. He graciously agreed, and supplied me with his script. I have added the illustrations, hyperlinks, embedded videos, etc. 

The first two posts in this series covered more general topics that cover many types of games. They were published on June 4, 2016, and June 18, 2016and were well-received. The third, published on December 29, 2016, initiated a series of Game Profiles with a more in-depth view of Catan/The Settlers of Catan. We hope you will continue to enjoy this series! --Jan S. Gephardt 


Carcassonne (named after the Medieval city famed for its walls) is probably the best known of the tile-laying games. 

It plays almost like a jigsaw puzzle -- when a tile is drawn, the player must place it adjacent to another tile, and make sure the features all match: city to city, road to road, and so forth. 

Examples of Carcassonne tiles

Players accumulate points as the game progresses, and it’s easy to see who is ahead at any particular point. Carcassonne also has four variants and over thirty expansions. 

Recall that Carcassonne is the game that originated Meeples.

Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride employs card drafting and route building as its two major mechanics, and is a very popular game. 

There are twelve different variants to the base game, two official expansions, and over eighty fan-designed expansions to the base and variant versions. 

These are not all of the variants, but they give an idea.
The 10th Anniversary edition of Ticket to Ride featured specially designed railroad cars in tins.

Play consists of collecting cards of a particular color that match the color of the railroad route you wish to claim, then turning the cards in to claim the route, and scoring points for the length of the route. 

Train Cards: you must turn them in, to build routes.
Here are some of the Destination Cards one might draw.
You also score hidden bonus points for completing routes shown on your Destination Tickets.


I found the photo of the spread-out Carcassonne game in a review by Jeff Dougan on the Chambanamoms site. They credited "Boardgamegeek user Mecandes," but gave no link. The illustration of the tiles is from Ultra Carcassone. Thanks to "Stella May I" and her article about the game for the photo of the Meeples. Many thanks to Bob Mills on You Tube for the "How to Play Carcassonne" video.
Many thanks to the Indiana Recreational Sports Association (via Gawker) for the photo of the original game. The illustration showing six of the variants is from a post that describes them on Games Paradise Online. The photo of the 10th Anniversary tins of special rail cars is from a post by u/gn0xious on a Reddit discussion board about "Boardgames going for 'Heirloom' quality." Thanks to Game Head for the photo of the Train Cards (from an article on strategy for the game). The image of the Destination Cards is from Tom'S Epic Gaming review. Many thanks to Mark Barros on You Tube for the video on how to play Ticket to Ride.

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