'Ticket to Ride' Goes To Africa With New Map Pack

I play with trains down in Africa

"Ticket to Ride" is probably the hottest thing to hit hobby gaming since sliced Catan, and publisher Days of Wonder is keeping the trains rolling with "Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa." The third in a series, "The Heart of Africa" follows previous Asia and India-themed maps, and like it's predecessors, Africa brings some unique rules twists. Read on for a look at the new map board, and to see how "The Heart of Africa" plays differently from normal "Ticket to Ride."

The big twist to this new map is the introduction of terrain cards. From Days of Wonder's announcement, "each Terrain Type is associated with different Route colors: Desert/Savanna cards for Yellow, Orange and Red Routes; Jungle/Forest cards for Green, Blue and Purple Routes; and Mountain/Cliff cards for Black, White and Grey Routes." Players will have the option of substituting train cards with terrain cards under certain conditions (which have yet to be revealed), which will double the points earned for that route. 45 terrain cards come in the box, as well as 48 different routes.

A first look at Ticket to Ride's new African-themed map. Click for larger image.

It's a bit hard to make out even in the blown up image, but the new maps clearly has end-of-game bonuses of 10 points for ticket collecting and 15 points for route building.

"Ticket to Ride: The Heart of Africa" will be available in December 2012 for $25. The only major change from the prior two map packs is that "The Heart of Africa" comes with a single-sided board, whereas Asia came with two different maps and the India board had a reprint of the Switzerland expansion map on its opposite side.

Those two-packs retailed for $30, which was a great value, and quite frankly has probably spoiled fans. There's a bit of negativity around the hobby gaming message boards today, but who are we kidding, we'll all buy this one.