Board Game Review: Ticket to Ride Europe, Pandemic and Carcassone

I have always loved board games. Because I come from a large family I always had people to play with. We had lots of fun playing the usual games, Cluedo, Game of Life, Trouble etc. However, I would like to try lots of different games and there are a lot of games out there!

Ticket to Ride: Europe

Ticket To Ride

This is a rail themed strategy game where players complete routes between European cities to score points. Takes about 10 minutes to learn and is a nice mix of strategy and luck. There are a few different versions but we have the Europe one because it is still interesting to play with 2 players (we live in a 2 person household, so games that require 3 or more have to wait till games nights). This is a perfect game for families to play instead of monopoly (which gets repetitive and can go for ages!). This is a favourite at games nights I have been to as well, it can get very crazy with 4 players all trying to claim similar routes.

SewingButterfly Rating: 4/5

Pandemic

Pandemic

Pandemic is a co-operative game where each player takes on a role and as a team they attempt to cure 4 diseases spreading around the world. I love the co-operative nature of the game and the different combination of roles can make the game different every time you play. There is a great mix of strategy and luck in the game play which makes this one of my favourites! I have ordered the 1st expansion called “On the Brink” and cannot wait till it arrives. During my brother’s last visit, we got hooked and played about 6 games in a row until we won!

SewingButterfly Rating: 5/5 

Carcassonne (Big Box 5 edition)

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile based game where players take turns placing tiles to expand fields, roads and cities. Players also place followers in the fields (as farmers), on roads (as theives) and in cities (as knights) to score points. One of the things I love about this game is that the ‘board’ never looks the same twice. The Big Box 5 edition has the original game as well as 4 expansions and 1 mini-expansion. The expansions are:

  • Inns and Cathedrals – this expansion is simple enough to add into the original game without too many additional rules. The additional gameplay mostly affects scoring for roads and cities.
  • Traders and Builders – This one adds 2 new characters, the builder and the pig. It also adds barrels, wheat and cloth to city scoring.
  • Wheel of Fortune – This adds extra scoring opportunities and an element of luck to the game.
  • Hills and Sheep – This expansion adds another character, the shepherd, who can gather his flock and score points based on how many sheep he shepherds. Hills are probably my least favourite with 2 players, as they don’t really come into play much. Followers placed on hills can break ties, but they rarely occur in the 2 player games I have played.

The Big Box also has extra meeple for a 7th and 8th player as well as a mini expansion, The River, which adds in tiles containing sections of a river to add to the game.

I received this game as a Christmas present and it has been played with just the original game, with 1 or 2 expansions added in and with ALL the expansions added in. That is one of the things I enjoy about Carcassonne, is that you can adjust the length of the game by deciding whether to play with none of the expansions or all (and any number in between). There is a balance between strategy and luck, although luck probably plays a larger role in the beginning, until you figure out more of the strategic options. It seems easy for non-gamers to pick up the basics and I am sure this one will get regular play in our household. I think I will get the Bridges, Castles and Bazaars expansion next.

SewingButterfly Rating: 4.5/5

I am hoping to have a games night early this year and should be able to try out some new games. Let me know if you have any I should check out!

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2 thoughts on “Board Game Review: Ticket to Ride Europe, Pandemic and Carcassone

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