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Subject: Are the desert tiles worth using? rss

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Chris
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They just seem to be marginal to me, you've a 33% chance of it being landed on for $1... is that actually something worth doing compared to the other options? Seems to be a needlessly fiddly addition for the probability involved. Are other people finding they do get used to a genuine benefit?
 
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Matt Tonks
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I thought this initially as well, but if I was the first player in a leg I would put my desert/oasis tile three spaces ahead of the camel(s) in the lead to bump up your chances of getting 2 or perhaps 3 coins in the leg.

They're probably more useful at the beginning when the camels are very close together, or during a later leg when the same circumstances arise. Not a lot of point in playing the tile where the camels are quite spread out. Unless you desperately want to alter the order of the camels, etc!
 
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Chris
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tonksey wrote:
I thought this initially as well, but if I was the first player in a leg I would put my desert/oasis tile three spaces ahead of the camel(s) in the lead to bump up your chances of getting 2 or perhaps 3 coins in the leg.

They're probably more useful at the beginning when the camels are very close together, or during a later leg when the same circumstances arise. Not a lot of point in playing the tile where the camels are quite spread out. Unless you desperately want to alter the order of the camels, etc!
I guess there are two seperate parts to it then, the extra money and the movement. If you ignore the movement and just see the money that does make more sense to use it indiscriminately early on.
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Andre Bronswijk
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Chances for more money are higher than 33% if you place the desert tile onto the "-1" side.
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James Clarke
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The Desert Tiles can be quite beneficial, but you need to get in early because the number of decent spots is very limited.

See THIS thread, for a variant which widens the scope of Desert Tile usage.

 
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Board WithLife
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For me, it's less about ensuring that I get a coin and more about trying to keep a camel off of one I bet on or atop a camel others are betting on.
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Ben Harding
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I haven't played the game yet (my copy will be in the luggage of a Dutch friend who will be visiting next week), but it seems to me that the desert tiles could be used mid-to-late game to spread the field (Oasis) or compact the field (Mirage) to improve your chances of scoring on overall winner/loser tiles played earlier in the game.
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Chris
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Dingbat Meeplepusher wrote:
I haven't played the game yet (my copy will be in the luggage of a Dutch friend who will be visiting next week), but it seems to me that the desert tiles could be used mid-to-late game to spread the field (Oasis) or compact the field (Mirage) to improve your chances of scoring on overall winner/loser tiles played earlier in the game.
Absolutely, that's the point of them. Since I posted, I've seen them come up a bit, and influence the camel order, but still not to the extent where it seems worth it much.
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Nicola Cheney
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The tiles in my opinion make the game

A friend last night got 4 coins in one leg playing the -1 in a 7 player game. So it can be fruitful.

It's an early card to play in the leg if you get chance and makes it more difficult for others to bet, especially if you play -1 as then it's all up in the air quite literally.


It basically gives a fun angle and makes the game more playable. We've played with 2, 3,4 6 and7 people. The more the merrier. Love it as did my hard core gamer friends last night 3 of which went to buy today

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Danger Don
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It's pretty rare for a tile to only pay off an average of $0.33 for a leg. It looks like the max average payout for a Mirage tile is $1.54 with all camels yet to move, given the following configuration: 2 camels on space N, 2 camels on space N+1, 1 camel on space N+2, and a Mirage tile on space N+3.

I used my Camel Up Probability Calculator (http://www.dangerdon.com/camelup) to get this answer.
 
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Erik van der Weide
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Also, since a mirage causes a camel to slide under the stack just before the tile, it can really mess up the order the camels are in.
 
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Lee Gauge
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We just finished our first game with a bit of shouting and name calling... I placed a mirage tile in the corner before the finish line, which impacted the bets that were being placed for the leg and overall winner. After many bets were placed, and a few camels were moved, I moved my tile to the space before the finish line (which was empty) and put it oasis side up. This really changed the possible outcomes... There were shouts of "you can't do that," "cheater," and even worse assertions about alleged affection for camels (i.e., my wife was playing, so there was the usual "let the wookie win" dynamic which I foolishly overlooked)... particulaly when my generous profits were tallied.

Nonetheless, I stood my ground (i.e., often wrong, never unsure). That being said, can someone confirm that this really is legal. It should be, I mean they all had a chance to make other bets after I used my action to move the tile.
 
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alan beaumont
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leegauge wrote:
...can someone confirm that this really is legal. It should be, I mean they all had a chance to make other bets after I used my action to move the tile.
Perfectly legal and amusing. Players sometimes seem to forget that the worst that can happen on a leg bet is a 1 pt loss, so I would cheerfully have bet more on the new favourites, or checked out your own betting to see what was on your mind and cover that.
 
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Leif Smart
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leegauge wrote:
We just finished our first game with a bit of shouting and name calling... I placed a mirage tile in the corner before the finish line, which impacted the bets that were being placed for the leg and overall winner. After many bets were placed, and a few camels were moved, I moved my tile to the space before the finish line (which was empty) and put it oasis side up. This really changed the possible outcomes... There were shouts of "you can't do that," "cheater," and even worse assertions about alleged affection for camels (i.e., my wife was playing, so there was the usual "let the wookie win" dynamic which I foolishly overlooked)... particulaly when my generous profits were tallied.

Nonetheless, I stood my ground (i.e., often wrong, never unsure). That being said, can someone confirm that this really is legal. It should be, I mean they all had a chance to make other bets after I used my action to move the tile.


Certainly legal to move and change your desert tile, but I believe it is illegal to place an oasis tile right before the finish line. Don't own the game but that point was clearly spelt out to me. Might be worth checking the rules for confirmation.
 
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alan beaumont
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leifsmart wrote:
Certainly legal to move and change your desert tile, but I believe it is illegal to place an oasis tile right before the finish line
No, it is illegal to place it in 'space 1' - the one just beyond the finishing line.
 
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Chris
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misteralan wrote:
leifsmart wrote:
Certainly legal to move and change your desert tile, but I believe it is illegal to place an oasis tile right before the finish line
No, it is illegal to place it in 'space 1' - the one just beyond the finishing line.
Which to me shold just be a faq footnote. Of course the race finsihes when you cross the line. Why would anyone think that you can be pushed back and ... unwin? the graphic on the board for that really annoys me!
 
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Samo Oleami
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What's going on in Britain? Nobody there gets this game?

Whenever I teach this game, I make a point that the tiles should be used to the maximum effect. Makes the game much more interesting.

The point of the tiles is not to get money out of them. The point of tiles is to manipulate the chaos in the game - it's the most control the game gives you, so exploit it. If camels you bet on are winning, use the oasis side, if they're not, use the desert side (same for the last place camel, just the other way around). But generally you want a lot of tiles on the board - the idea is that without tiles, some camels will be in the lead and some in the back, and the player who just happened to have a turn when a crucial change happened, will benefit. By adding more chaos into the game, you make it more exploitable (as illogical as that sounds) - there's more risk taking, there's more "educated" guesses. It's kinda like with dice rolls - one dice roll is random, but 40 of them even themselves out and you can work around them. So with tiles you want to create more "being at the right place at right time" events and spread them out, so everybody has a chance at them. And then you just have to take notice when such an event occurs and exploit it before others catch on.
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Dennis Ku
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Late to the thread. Just played the game for the first time tonight.

The desert tile is definitely very important for manipulating the order of finish. The dollar you get out of it is a tiny bonus, but not nearly as important as pushing a camel forward or holding it back.
 
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