||[Monday 8th January 2018 at 11:22 pm]
After Christmas and New Year it was finally time for Pasta Night again! Today (well, a couple of weeks ago now that I finally write this - this post is backdated to Pasta Night) was the day of new games - one group (Beth and Jonners?) brought Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and I brought RYŪ (picked up from The Works as it looked interesting and was on offer). The Harry Potter game from what I could tell was a co-op game playing the role of the heroes making their way through Hogwarts and trying not to get splatted by various death eaters. It seemed to result in a hilarious epic fail somewhere around book 5, and is definitely one I want to have a try at.
Today however I gave RYŪ a go, along with Jonners, Matt and Louise. The tl;dr summary of it is that a dragon is coming! This is a Good Thing as it's a friendly dragon, so each of the five tribes is going to build a dragon of their own to welcome the dragon. They all have a different idea of what a dragon looks like: one tribe has a sea serpent, another a tree dragon, the third some sort of jetpack dragon, the amazon tribe a cool-looking dragon skyship... and the lizards are building a swap dragon made out of hot-air balloons. The mechanic boils down to acquiring resource cubes to be able to buy segments of your dragon, with a side order of collecting merchant/smuggler tokens to spend to help acquire resource cubes. The twist is that the main way to get cubes is by exploring a player island which results in both you and that player gaining resource cubes. Oh, and if the white cube is drawn then there's immediately a sealed auction where the winning bidder gets to immediately build their dragon.
It was something of an odd game - Jonners got a quick lead thanks to aggressively bidding in auctions for the first few dragon pieces, then slowed down a bit as the others equalled or outbid him (if there's a tie then no-one gets a dragon segment). I think we all got up to 4 dragon pieces and were just trying to get the last few cubes needed - the final segment is more expensive to construct. As it happened Jonners got their first. I think I would have been a turn or two behind him, and I can't remember how close Matt or Louise were. Definitely a game to play again now that we've got a better understanding of the rules.
After that since the Hogwarts battle was still ongoing Jonners dug out yet another new game in the form of Camel Cup. This is a deceptively complex game involving betting on a camel race - oh, it looks nice and easy with a simple mechanic, except the trick is that the camels can form stacks and when a camel move it takes any camels on top with it. The maximum move of a camel is only 3, but with the stacking it's quite possible for a trailing camel to gain half-a-dozen or so places overall and overtake the whole lot. Working out the probabilities of which camel to bet on when is very complicated, and while one can defer the decision by rolling the dice to move a camel that both advances towards the end of the round (each camel moves once per leg and once all camels have moved the per-leg bets are resolved) and gives the next player more information to use to decide. Generally it quickly becomes clear which camels can't win the leg, but working out which of the remainder is most likely to win is another matter entirely...