Rue is a simple strategic tile placing game played throughout the Western Shores. It is the Western Shores equivalent to Chess or Checkers, but more closely resembles Othello or Reverso. Each nation has slight variants on the cards used, the turn order, how many people may play and the procedures for placing money in the game. Originally this game was invented in Kartar as a training exercise for generals, the cards used depicted formations of troops. Later, the Kartaran nobility modified the cards to have images of flowers for each type.
Traditional Rue cards are three inches in size and made of leather which has been embossed and dyed. But you can occasionally come across a glazed porcelain or even inlaid bone or metal versions.
The rules for the game are fairly simple - red is bad, blue is good. It's meant for 2-4 players (but is occasionally played by more).
- Each player starts with their eight cards or tiles (if richer), known as the Rue Deck. Usually their personal set is marked on the back so they can easily sort them out after the game finishes.
- The first player (or Attacker) is determined randomly. That player places their first card. In the event of drawn scores when the game ends, the Attacker wins (even if there are more than 2 players and the Attacker would not have come close to winning).
- In turn, each player places one card from their hand such that at least one side touches the side of another card. This may form a grid, line or other congruent shape. However, it is regarded as amateurish to ever make the playing area bigger than twice the number of players (ie a 2 player game has up to 4 cards across).
- Cards that have the same coloured edge as the card just played next to it are "captured". i.e. a card played next to four other cards (if there is a space in the middle) is checked against all four sides and may capture those four cards.
- Captured blue cards are worth 1 point. To show a player has captured the card, place a counter on the card's edge nearest to that player.
- Captured red cards are worth -1 point. If that player has blue cards captured, then remove the counter from it, otherwise put a counter on the red card.
- Cards can be captured more than once (ie if cards are played against their other sides). Move the counter to the card edge of the new owner.
- Every player must play a card from their hand in their turn- even if this means this forces them to capture a red card, or they will be allowing a blue card of theirs to be captured by a later player.
The game ends when all cards are played. Scores are counted and compared.
- Each player has the same variations in cards and knowing which cards they have left will tell you whether played blue cards of yours are safe from capture or not.
- Cards should be played such that if the opponent captures a blue card, they also capture at least one red card.
- Most moves of a player will consist of playing a blue card, letting it be captured, and playing one or more red cards to surround it and capture it back.
Moving counters, and hoping the other player(s) don't remember who owned which captured card.
A Redder: A cautious (or cowardly) player who starts the game with a red card.
Bluey: A bold/foolhardy or strategic player who starts with a blue (usually with the intent to recapture it later).
Bumper: Slang derrogatory term for anyone caught moving counters.
Foxed: A blue card that would cost more points to capture than it would gain.
Red Prow: The red card with one red side.
Red Corner: The red card with two red adjacent sides.
Red Flanks: The red card with two red opposite sides.
Red Tower: The red card with three red sides.
Blue Prow: The blue card with one red side.
Blue Corner: The blue card with two red adjacent sides.
Blue Flanks: The blue card with two red opposite sides.
Blue Tower: The blue card with three red sides.
Playing for money
- Whenever a blue card is captured, the player's opponent(s) puts a coin on it. Whenever a red card is captured, that player places one of their coins on it. Placement of coins still indicates who owns the card. The winner takes all the coins on all the cards.
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