This is the Catan vs Ticket To Ride game comparison showdown. Catan and Ticket To Ride are pretty much the king and queens of the strategy board game world. There are some other iconic titles up there, but few are as beloved as these two. Both have big route building components but they diverge from there. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about the games then check out our Catan vs Ticket To Ride notes and final verdict.
ABOUT THE GAMES
About Settlers of Catan (1995): You need to grow your empire. Each game is completely different because all the resource tiles and numbers on them are changed and randomized each game. These control everything. You need to build settlements and cities to gain resources that are going to let you build even more and ultimately lead to victory points for the win. Every turn starts with the roll of two dice and that number corresponds to one of five resource types on the board. If you have a presence on that tile (or tiles) you get that resource.
FOR MORE: Settlers of Catan Page | How To Play Settlers of Catan | Settlers of Catan Review | Games Like Settlers of Catan | Buy Settlers of Catan
About Ticket To Ride (2004): You are a train tycoon with your sites set on building a great rail system across the United States. Players sit around a board of the US, with many empty possible routes connecting cities across the country. Each game everyone has a secret route they need to complete and only you know what you need to do. Each turn you can either take different colored train cards or build routes using them. Complete more goals and build more impressive routes for victory.
FOR MORE: Ticket To Ride Page | How To Play Ticket To Ride | Ticket To Ride Review | Games Like Ticket To Ride | Buy Ticket To Ride
CATAN VS TICKET TO RIDE ANALYSIS
Theme: These are not at all alike. Catan is a fantasy medieval time from long ago and Ticket To Ride is about the more realistic boom time of the cross country railroad system. Both games have a great setting but not real people within them to deepen things.
Gameplay: Catan is more robust than Ticket To Ride just because you have more decisions to make. They both end up being a solid medium on the intensity scale. Both games have you battle against others to build the best routes and lock down areas of the board but the similarities end there. Catan is about making bets and building up, Ticket to Ride is about making tough connections and collecting sets.
Mechanics: Catan is driven by the roll of the dice and trying to fan out over a variety of numbers to hedge your bet. Ticket to Ride forces you to take one of a few action options each turn. Scoring is victory point based in both, but they are too different to compare.
Time Commitment: Catan runs slightly longer than Ticket To Ride because there is just more you need to achieve in order to get to victory, but they are both around that medium length, around an hour or so.
Player Count: Ticket to Ride is much more versatile being able to accommodate 2 -5 and change to adapt to the count. Catan is only for 3 – 4 and it is not like it blows Ticket to Ride away at that count.
Cost: Both games are at the same level of quality and component density so they are both around $40 and a steal at that price in terms of quality of quality hours served.
Verdict For the Shelf: Catan (50% of the time) and Ticket To Ride (50% of the time). These are very different games and they are two of the most beloved out there in that medium strategy field. Honestly get both, it is the only way to put this to rest and not have regret in your heart. Catan is about building up and Ticket to Ride is about getting it done impressively and efficiently.
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Catan vs (All Others)
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Love both, but if I have to choose Ticket To Ride is the winner. I love the many different maps and the small adjustments to the rules on each expansion. You can do a tournament and play each version.