How To Play: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries – Setup, rule summary and strategy

In Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, players are transported to the mesmerizing Nordic region, where they embark on an exciting railway journey. This captivating board game combines strategic route-building, careful card management, and fierce competition to create an immersive experience. By optimizing route choices, managing train cards efficiently, blocking opponents' progress, and adapting to changing circumstances, players can increase their chances of victory.

The game begins with players setting up the board and collecting destination tickets, aiming to connect cities and claim routes while fulfilling their secret routes. Points are earned for completed routes and successfully fulfilled destination tickets. However, failure to complete destination tickets incurs penalty points. The game ends when a player has just two or fewer trains remaining, and overall scoring takes place.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is praised for its engaging gameplay mechanics, high-quality components, immersive theme, and exceptional replayability, making it a must-have for board game enthusiasts. With its strategically rich gameplay and the opportunity to outsmart opponents, this version of the Ticket to Ride series offers endless hours of enjoyment and challenging gameplay. Embark on a journey through the enchanting Nordic region and prove your skills as the supreme railway tycoon!


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for winning Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries! In this guide, we will provide you with an in-depth outline of the game rules and share the best strategies to help you emerge as the ultimate railway tycoon. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned player, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tactics needed to secure victory in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is a captivating board game that takes players on a strategic journey through the beautiful Nordic region. In this standalone edition of the popular Ticket to Ride series, you will compete against opponents to claim routes, connect cities, and fulfill destination tickets while facing challenges inherent to the Nordic landscape.

In the sections that follow, we will begin by outlining the basic game rules, including setup and gameplay mechanics. Understanding these foundational elements is crucial for successfully implementing the strategies discussed later in the guide. We will then delve into the best strategies and tactics you can employ to gain an edge over your opponents, covering topics such as optimal route selection, card management, blocking opponents, and adapting to changing circumstances.

Whether you’re vying to conquer the Nordic countries for the first time or seeking to enhance your existing gameplay prowess, this guide is your roadmap to success in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries. So, let’s dive in and elevate your railway empire to new heights!

What’s in the Box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 3 Wooden Scoring Markers
  • 135 Plastic Trains (45 trains in each player color)
  • 110 Train Cards
  • 46 Destination Tickets
  • 5 Wooden Scoring Markers
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries: Rules Summary

1. Game Setup

  1. Place the game board in the center of the play area.
  2. Give each player a set of colored trains, matching scoring marker, and 10 train cards.
  3. Shuffle the destination tickets and deal each player 3 cards.

2. Gameplay

  1. On their turn, a player can choose one of three actions:
    1. Draw train cards – either from the deck or from the face-up cards.
    2. Claim a route by playing the required set and color of train cards.
    3. Draw additional destination tickets.
  2. Players must strategically connect cities on the game board with their train routes while fulfilling destination tickets.
  3. Routes are claimed by playing the exact set and color of train cards specified on the route.
  4. Wild cards (locomotives) can substitute for any color of train cards.
  5. Players can only claim one route per turn.
  6. Destination tickets are revealed and kept secret until the end of the game.

3. Scoring

  1. Players score points by:
    1. Claiming routes between cities.
    2. Fulfilling destination tickets by connecting the listed cities.
  2. Unfulfilled destination tickets lead to a negative point penalty at the end of the game.
  3. The game ends when a player has two or fewer trains remaining in their supply.
  4. Final scoring takes place, and the player with the highest score wins.

Learning the rules of Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is an essential step to begin your railway venture in the beautiful Nordic region. By following these guidelines, you’ll be ready to embark on your strategic journey and compete against opponents for route dominance and victory!

Best Ticket To Ride Nordic Countries Strategies

Claiming Optimal Routes

In Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, claiming optimal routes is crucial for a successful gameplay strategy. By claiming the right routes, you not only maximize your scoring potential but also hinder your opponents’ progress. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

1. Prioritize Shorter Routes

  1. Focus on claiming shorter or intermediate routes early in the game to accumulate points quickly.
  2. By securing shorter routes, you not only score immediate points but also prevent opponents from easily connecting their longer routes.

2. Connect Clusters of Cities

  1. Identify clusters of cities on the game board that are close to each other.
  2. By connecting these cities, you can efficiently build a network of routes, scoring points while saving valuable train cards.

3. Avoid Overextension

  1. Avoid spreading yourself too thinly across the board by claiming multiple isolated routes.
  2. Instead, focus on building cohesive routes and connecting cities in a continuous manner.

Bonus Strategy: Utilize Ferries and Tunnels

  1. Ferries and tunnels require specific sets of train cards to claim.
  2. By strategically utilizing these special routes, you can secure valuable points and disrupt opponents’ plans.

Claiming optimal routes in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries requires careful planning, adaptation, and consideration of both your own scoring potential and the hindering impact on your opponents. By implementing these strategies, you can gain an edge in the game and increase your chances of emerging as the victorious railway tycoon!

Strategic Destination Ticket Selection

Strategic destination ticket selection is a crucial element in winning Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries. By carefully choosing your destination tickets, you can plan your routes efficiently, earn valuable points, and outmaneuver your opponents. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Analyze the Board

  1. Assess the route lengths, city densities, and potential blockages on the game board.
  2. Look for synergies between destination tickets and available routes to select routes that optimize your scoring opportunities.

2. Balance Short and Long Routes

  1. Select a mix of short and long routes to maintain flexibility in your strategy.
  2. Short routes can be completed quickly, providing immediate points, while longer routes offer higher point potential.

3. Minimize Overlapping Routes

  1. Avoid selecting destination tickets that overlap too much or require a significant detour.
  2. Choose tickets that complement your existing routes or have potential connections with other tickets.

Bonus Strategy: Engage in Destination Ticket Blocking

  1. Identify destination tickets that your opponents may be targeting.
  2. Strategically claim routes to block your opponents’ progress and force them to take detours or lose potential points.

Strategic destination ticket selection in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries requires careful analysis of the board, planning for diverse routes, and minimizing overlaps. By implementing these strategies, you can increase your chances of choosing profitable destination tickets and getting one step closer to victory!

Card Management and Hand Optimization

In Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, effective card management and hand optimization are key to maximizing your routes, minimizing costs, and scoring valuable points. Here are some strategies to help you navigate your card management and optimize your hand:

1. Strategic Card Draws

  1. Assess the available face-up cards before drawing from the deck.
  2. Consider if any of the face-up cards match the colors you need for your current or future routes.
  3. If the face-up cards are undesirable, draw additional train cards from the deck to increase your options.

2. Stockpiling Wild Cards

  1. Strategically collect and preserve wild cards (locomotives) in your hand.
  2. These versatile cards can be used to complement or substitute any other colored train cards.
  3. Accumulating enough wild cards can provide flexibility in claiming routes and reduce reliance on specific colored cards.

3. Balancing Card Usage

  1. Plan your routes to make the most efficient use of your train cards.
  2. Avoid focusing solely on one specific color, as it may deplete your inventory faster or lead to unnecessary costs.
  3. Balance your card usage and aim for a variety of colors to maintain flexibility and optimized hand options.

Bonus Strategy: Discarding and Drawing

  1. Optimize your hand by strategic discarding and replacing cards.
  2. If you have cards that don’t match your intended routes, selectively discard and draw new cards to increase the chances of getting the desired colors.

Mastering card management and hand optimization in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries allows players to efficiently claim routes, reduce costs, and streamline their gameplay. By applying these strategies, you can stay one step ahead of your opponents and pave the way to victory!

Blocking Opponents’ Routes

One of the key tactical elements in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is blocking opponents’ routes, disrupting their plans, and gaining a competitive advantage. By strategically blocking your opponents, you can impede their progress and secure a clearer path to victory. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Identify Targeted Routes

  1. Monitor your opponents’ destination tickets and observe their gameplay patterns.
  2. Identify the routes they are likely aiming to complete and prioritize blocking those specific paths.

2. Claim Critical Connecting Routes

  1. Focus on claiming routes that serve as essential connections between major cities or cluster groups of routes.
  2. By positioning yourself strategically, you can cut off your opponents from completing their desired connections.

3. Disrupt with Shorter Routes

  1. Consider opportunistically claiming shorter routes that block your opponents’ longer routes.
  2. Even though these shorter routes may not rack up as many points initially, they can significantly disrupt your opponents’ plans and force them to strategize anew.

Bonus Strategy: Trap with Feeder Routes

  1. Recognize when your opponents are reliant on feeder routes to complete their main connections.
  2. Strategically block or claim these feeder routes, preventing your opponents from accessing their crucial connecting paths.

Mastering the art of blocking opponents’ routes in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries allows you to hinder their progress and increase your chances of securing your own routes. By implementing these strategies, you can tilt the game in your favor and position yourself as the dominant railway tycoon!

Adapting to Changing Circumstances

In Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, the ability to adapt to changing circumstances is paramount to success. As the game unfolds, new routes are claimed, opponent strategies emerge, and unexpected challenges arise. To thrive in these dynamic conditions, players must possess the skills to adapt. Here are some strategies to help you adapt and overcome:

1. Read the Game Flow

  1. Stay vigilant and observe how the game is progressing.
  2. Anticipate shifts in player strategies, identify emerging patterns, and adapt your own gameplay accordingly.

2. Brace for Obstacles

  1. Recognize potential obstacles, such as route blockages or card shortages, that may alter your plans.
  2. Prepare contingency routes or alternative strategies to overcome these obstacles as efficiently as possible.

3. Be Flexible in Route Choices

  1. Stay open to flexible route choices instead of rigidly sticking to a predetermined plan.
  2. Embrace opportunities to claim alternate routes or adapt existing routes based on changing circumstances.

Bonus Strategy: Take Advantage of Hidden Paths

  1. Be aware of hidden paths or unexpected connections that can provide shortcut routes or lucrative scoring opportunities.
  2. Seize these hidden paths to gain an edge or disrupt opponents’ calculations.

Adapting to shifting circumstances in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is crucial for maintaining competitiveness and seizing scoring opportunities. By applying these adaptive strategies, you can navigate the changing landscape and position yourself as a savvy railway tycoon!

Conclusion: Becoming the Master Railway Tycoon

Congratulations! You have reached the conclusion of our strategy guide to Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries. By now, you have learned the essential rules, strategies, and tips to help you along your railway-building adventure in the captivating Nordic region.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries offers an immersive experience filled with strategic decision-making, clever route selection, and intense competition. With our guide as your companion, you are equipped with the knowledge and tactics to elevate your gameplay and increase your chances of emerging victorious.

Remember to consider your route choices carefully, manage your train cards effectively, adapt to changing circumstances, and block your opponents’ progress to gain a competitive edge. By mastering these elements and continuously honing your skills, you can become the ultimate railway tycoon!

Now it’s time to gather your friends, family, or fellow board game enthusiasts, set up the game board, and embark on an exciting journey through the Nordic countries. May the railways pave your path to triumph and ensure endless hours of thrilling gameplay!

Want to know what we think of Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries? Read our detailed review of Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.