How to play ticket to ride India? | Strategy and Tips

Are you ready to visit one of the oldest civilizations in the world and race across 3.2 million km2 of its beautiful land snapping up rail routes and making your opponents pay? Yes, it is time to play Ian Vincent’s Ticket to Ride India Expansion.

If you have purchased this game and like many others feel like the instructions were a little lacking. Don’t worry because this article is for you. We go through how to play the whole game here. We even throw in some strategy and tips at the end. So let’s take a look at how to play Ticket to Ride India.

First off, Ticket to Ride India is an expansion. So, you will need either Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe base games before you’ll be able to play. You can take a look at my full review of Ticket to Ride Europe here. If you have one of the base games then read on.

How to play Ticket to Ride India

Ticket to Ride India is set in 1911 colonial India. Things are changing to the British Raj and it’s time to take a grand tour across the colorful land.

How to play Ticket to Ride India pin

The Ticket to Ride India expansion also comes with the Switzerland map too so you get two variations. If you have played Ticket to Ride Europe you will know that version has ferries and tunnels. Ticket to Ride India uses the ferry variation and Switzerland uses tunnels.

Preparing to play

The set up is exactly the same as the base games and you will need to use 45 trains per player and their markers from either Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe. Plus the 110 train cards from Ticket to Ride, Ticket to Ride Europe or the USA 1910 expansion.

The Indian Express for the longest route and Summary are replaced on the board itself and can be seen on the right hand side.

The scoring works the same but with slightly different numbers of trains. You can refer to the top right of the board for the scoring.

The 58 Ticket to Ride India cards are used. If you want to see how to set up the game then you can take a look at the instructions I have written here.  

Once set up you are ready to play Ticket to Ride India, let’s go.

Ticket to Ride India Destination Card

Playing the game

The game pretty much plays the same as the base games with the Ticket to Ride Europe ferry variation added. There is also an opportunity to get bonus scores at the end of the game by creating circular routes. 

This basically means that you will have two separate routes between destinations on your card. The more circular routes you have to the same destinations the higher the bonus. We’ll discuss scoring a little later.

Ticket to Ride India is for 2-4 players and you will see double routes on the board. These can only be used when there are 4 players.

Ticket to Ride India Map

The game begins by each player reviewing their destination cards. Each player must keep two cards but can discard or keep the rest as they wish. Any discarded cards are placed back in the box face down so no one else can see.

Game Turn

This works just the same as the other ticket to rides in that you have the following actions you can make:

  • Draw Train Cards
  • Claim a Route
  • Draw Destination Tickets

Ticket to Ride India also has the following differences.

Ferries

You will notice that there are routes that travel over water and are in grey. Bombay to Karachi for example is a ferry route. You can use any color to claim this route but you will notice that there are two locomotive symbols on two squares. 

This means that you will need as many color train cards plus two locomotives to complete the route. So, in Bombay to Karachi you will need 4 train cards of the same color plus two locomotives.

Ticket to Ride India Box

Drawing Destination Tickets

A player can hold any number of destination tickets during the game.

The player will draw three cards (or however many are left in the pile) from the top of the destination pile. They must keep at least one card and can choose to discard one, two or no cards and keep all three.

Each destination ticket has two cities in which the player must have a continuous line of their colored trains connecting in order to claim. Once this is accomplished then they will get the bonus number on the card awarded to them at the end. 

If by the end of the game they have not managed to complete the journey between the two cities the number on the card is subtracted from the player’s score. The point here is to not be left with destination tickets, or as little as possible, at the end of the game.

Circular Routes – Bonus

In Ticket to Ride India there is an opportunity to gain extra bonus points by completing additional routes between destinations. The bonus is added at the end of the game and will increase depending on how many you have.

These routes must not use the same train routes to get between the two destinations but each must have their own separate route. The route may intersect as long as they don’t use the same trains.

End Game

The end of the game is initiated when a player has two or less plastic trains left. The last round begins and will include all players.

Calculating Scores

As you have been claiming routes you should have your score calculated using your counter around the edge of the board. You can recount if mistakes may have been made or it is a particularly nail bitingly close game.

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Now the players reveal their destination tickets and for each one completed their counter is progressed by the number on that card. For each failed ticket the counter is subtracted by the points on the card.

Each player will add to their score according to the number of circular routes they have managed to complete. You can see from the table below that this can have a significant impact on the game and this is a really good mechanic of the game.

Now you must find the player with the longest continuous route. To do this count each train along the route only once. The route can loop and pass through a city multiple times. Also, any opponent’s trains cannot be counted.

Once the longest route is identified then the 10 point bonus card is given to that player. In the event of a tie all players who tie will get 10 points.

Scoring Summary:

  • Routes claimed – current score
  • Destination ticket bonus/deduction
  • Circular routes completed
  • Indian Express Bonus
Circular Routes
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Score
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Once you have moved all the counters on to their final points the highest score wins. If this is tied then the player with the most destination cards completed wins.

Tips and strategies

The great thing about Ticket to Ride India is that it is better paced for 2 and 3 players. If you are used to the usual pace of the game then you’ll be surprised to find out that this game is a lot more tense. 

A word of caution here. Ticket to Ride India is more competitive so introducing new players to this game may not be the best idea. It may put them off and so introduce them to the base US and European games first to give them a better first experience.

There are a lot more small routes between cities and this will make it much easier for you to be blocked. This makes this game really fun and will appeal to people who have played this for a while. 

Ticket to Ride India Board

Destinations

When planning your destinations, always have a secondary route to take. As I said above, you will be blocked. So try and think ahead more and plan for ‘What if’s.’ Try to take the strategic routes first without giving away your ultimate destination.

Circular routes

When planning destinations you now also need to think of circular routes that will give you a bonus score at the end. This could just launch you over your opponent if you have more circles than them.

So, try to think of a wider view of how multiple destinations could also provide multiple circular routes using the same trains efficiently.

Concealment

Probably stating the obvious but, wherever possible, conceal your plans. You can do this by the way you claim routes. 

You can also only take train cards blind from the deck. This will prevent your opponent from seeing which train colors you want.

Conclusion

Well, that rounds up this post and I hope it has been really useful for you. I hope that it now only enables you to play this excellent expansion but provides you with some strategies to help you win too.

Good luck and happy board gaming.