How To Get Six Players Playing Ticket To Ride
So maybe you have bought and played one of the original boxes of Ticket To Ride and want to get more people round the table playing it, maybe even more than it was designed for.
Unfortunately, the original versions only accommodate up to five players so you might need to think – excuse the pun – outside the box in order to squeeze in a sixth player, but there are definitely ways to do it.
You can use one of the expansion map sets or you could be a little creative with what you already have, but keep reading if you want to know more about three options for playing with six players.
The Ticket To Ride Old West map allows up to six players to play on a single board with minimal changes to the original gameplay, while the Team Asia map lets a group of six players play in three teams of two. There are also fan-made variants which allow players to compete on existing maps, although these require the purchase of an extra set of trains.
Days Of Wonder, the publisher of Ticket To Ride, has released various map packs for the game over the years which shake up the rules and offer different challenges.
Each pack comes with a double-sided map, which means that you can play two new versions of the game with a single purchase.
There are two maps in the collection which are specifically designed to be used by up to six players, although unfortunately they do not come in the same pack.
This means that you would have to buy both packs to have two options for six players, although you would end up with some extra that you could also use with a smaller group.
There are several advantages to diving in with the Old West map pack if you want to play with a sixth player.
Firstly it is the only map pack to come with a sixth set of trains and secondly it plays almost exactly like the original boxes.
Old West adds the ferries that were seen in Ticket To Ride: Europe, which require a certain number of locomotives to be built.
It also introduces stations which introduce a couple of small wrinkles to the rules.
Players start the game with one station on the board and must build outwards from that point, but whenever they complete a route they have the option of placing one of their remaining two stations on the newly-connected city.
However, stations can never be moved, and if you connect a route to somebody else’s station then they end up taking the points you would have gained.
Both ferries and stations are small changes to the original rules but they add to the freshness of the new map, so that it feels different from the original versions.
There’s also an option to play with Alvin the Alien, who begins the game in Roswell, and if you capture him you get bonus points.
It’s a fun way of spicing things up and doesn’t add significantly to the complexity of the game.
Although this Dice Tower video only has three players in the game it’s a full playthrough on the Old West map which will bring you fully up to speed with the way it plays.
The other side of the Old West board has the France map, which accommodates up to five players.
Ticket To Ride Old West:
- Includes a sixth set of trains
- Only makes small changes from the original game
- Includes Alvin the Alien to keep things fresh
The Team Asia map is another way for six players to play Ticket To Ride although it does not come with a new set of trains.
Instead it adds extra trains to those from either base box so that each team plays with fifty four pieces.
The main change that Team Asia makes to the gameplay is that both players in a team have their own set of destination cards and trains, but they also have a shared set of destination cards which they can both see.
They cannot talk about the cards that belong only to them, but they can discuss the shared destination cards.
Team Asia also includes the rules about tunnels from Ticket To Ride: Europe, which add a push-your-luck element to building routes, as well as some moments of frustration.
As you might imagine, Team Asia plays best with either four or six players, but it’s definitely for people who want to work together instead of striking out on their own.
The Game Boy Geek takes a look at how this version works and shares his impressions in this short video.
The other side of the Team Asia board shows the Legendary Asia map which accommodates up to five players.
Ticket To Ride Team Asia:
- Lets you play in two-player teams
- Adds extra trains to the five sets from the base boxes
- Feels like a totally new and interesting way of playing the game
The first thing to say about using a fan-made variant for six players is that you will need to buy a sixth set of trains if you haven’t bought the Old West map pack.
These can be found online but can be tricky to track down, which is why I would recommend going down the Old West route first, but once you have the sixth set of trains then you can play on most existing maps with a few adjustments.
The first thing to note is that with six full sets of pieces any board designed to deal with a smaller player count is going to feel very crowded, so the most important thing to do is to reduce the number of trains each player has.
In the Old West map pack the extra player set has forty trains as opposed to the forty five in the original boxes, so playing with that number is a good idea.
You’ll also want to keep all double routes open, but be aware that the extra trains on the board are going to make some destination tickets harder to complete and the game will be more cutthroat as a result.
Given that to play this way you not only need to source a sixth set of trains but would also be playing on maps designed for a lower player count I would recommend trying this only as a third or second option.
However, it’s a great way of getting to play with six people on a variety of maps.
- Let you play other maps
- Will need an extra set of trains if you don’t already own Old West
- Mean that things will get crowded unless you reduce how many trains each player has
My recommendation for playing Ticket To Ride with six players is to begin by buying the Old West map pack, as it gets you the gameplay that is closest to the experience you already know, includes an extra set of trains, and comes with a really interesting France map on the other side for when your sixth player has gone home.
Then you can either buy the Legendary Asia map pack if you feel like playing in teams, or explore some new ideas for squeezing six players onto the maps you already own.