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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Moon, Daviau, and Leacock Talk About (and Play) Ticket to Ride Legacy

by W. Eric Martin

At Gen Con 2023, Days of Wonder demoed Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West, letting attendees play through the first game to give them a taste of what’s inside the box.

I got the chance to do this, and (since I had scheduled this meeting ahead of time) my play partners were designers Alan R. Moon, Matt Leacock, and Rob Daviau, who talked about the origin of the game, their interaction with one another, how this design compares to other legacy games, how repeatable this game is, and more while we played that first game.

If you want to go into this game cold and know nothing about it, read no further and don’t watch this video. If you want a sampling of how TTRL:LotW differs from other Ticket to Ride games, skip to what I’ve posted below this video or give it a watch:

Youtube Video

This video is 35 minutes long, and we stop play many times to talk about something. The gameplay along might have been 15-20 minutes. While editing, I noticed that we probably gave Rob extra turns because we continually forgot whose turn it was and assumed it was his. Maybe this assumption is wrong, but I’ll blame that negligence for his victory!

I’ll summarize what’s new in this design based on what I encountered in game #1:

• The train deck includes newspaper cards, and a newspaper is drawn or flipped into the market, you replace that card with a train card, then read the top card of the event deck. What happens? I’ll leave that to your imagination, or you can watch to discover what happens, then imagine what else might be added to that event deck later.

• You don’t score points when placing trains. Instead you earn money based on the number of trains you have at game’s end (fewer is better), for completing tickets, and for claiming routes in your color. The game is for 2-5 players, and each player has a train color that matches one of the track colors, thereby giving you an incentive to take certain cards and build in certain locations.

• Some cities are designated “large cities”, and whenever you claim a route that connects to one or two large cities, you draw a card from the top of the train card deck. Build lots of tiny routes, and you’ll keep replenishing your hand at the same time.

• You start the first game with only 20 trains, and by game #12 you will have 56 trains.

• Tickets have color coding in the five player colors on their right edge, and one ticket in my possession included instructions about what to do when that ticket is retired.

• Lewisburg, West Virginia is kind of a big deal.


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