Francis Drake is a really nice Euro in which you prepare for and make three voyages to the Spanish Main to 'acquire' treasures and trade goods. Each round consists of (a) provisioning your ships with crew, weapons, supplies, trade goods and some special abilities, and (b) setting sail, attacking Spanish galleons, invading towns and forts, and trading for exotic goods.
The first half of a round is really a race to get the best provisions needed for your voyage, then set sail before anyone else so you get first dibs. If you're planning to make lots of trades then you'll need trade goods, if you're planning to invade and attack then you'll need crew and weapons. The trick of course is finding a balance so you can do what you want plus have some provisions in reserve for other options once you're at sea.
I think everyone enjoyed the game. For me, it's a nice blend of interesting theme and appropriate mechanisms, but what sets it apart are the board and bits! Look! It's gorgeous!
At the end of the evening we played a couple of very silly dexterity games. First up... Super Rhino! Each player has a hand of five roof cards and the aim of the game is to play all your cards first. On your turn, you place some walls onto the previous roof (using the building plan shown on the card) then add a roof card. Some roofs also have special abilities to screw your opponents or help you, but mainly it's an excuse to build a card tower and have some fun!
Next up, the totally awesome Riff Raff! This consists of a wooden ship that is built into the frame of the game box, with a heavy weight hanging inside the box, and a set of gimbals which give it free movement in all directions. Each player starts with eight wooden objects and the aim of the game is to get rid of them first. On your turn, you play a card which determines where on the ship you must load your stuff. If you cause the ship to tilt and stuff falls off, then you can discard anything you catch(!) but everything that hits the floor must be returned to your stock. Really good fun and a great way to end the evening.