BGC Retreat

Euro Game Retreat ’06 – Event Report #2 (7/10/06)

The 2nd part of Day One where 3 more rounds of 12 of the best Euro Games were played among 16 gamers to vie for table positions and points. Find out how they all fared after one intense day of 8-hrs of non-stop gaming….

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Event Report #2
by jack208

Gamers: Edwin, Shaun, Jen Fai, Denise, Richard, Chris, Melissa, KP, Ryan, BK, Melody, Teddy Pang, Heng, Alvin, Rob Street and Jeff Au

Games: Heck Meck, Caylus, Antike, Tikal, Railroad Tycoon, Samurai, Through the Desert, RA, Ticket to Ride, China, St Petersburg, Niagara, Thurn & Taxis, Santiago, Cosmic Encounter, Pirates’ Cove, Settlers of Catan, Torres, Elfenland, Pompeji, Cafe International, Power Grid, Acquire, Elasund, Reef Encounter, Tigris & Euphrates, El Grande, Puerto Rico, Primordial Soup.

(Buy these games from our Web Store)

Games on Special Menu: Dune, 1856
Games on Preview: Project X

Location: Genting Awana
Date/Time: 7-8 October 06 (Sat/Sun)


Continued from Report #1 (which reports on the morning session of Day One)

The morning session of Day One (8/10/06) saw us played three rounds of Euro Games; one qualifying round (Heck Meck) and two competitive rounds where the gamers not only score points for their finishing position but also switch tables after each game so that i) they get to mixed around with other gamers, and ii) the gamers with more wins will move up eventually to Table 1.

A brisk lunch break (to refuel their internal “engines”) and everyone’s back to Jelatek Room to begin the afternoon session where we aim to complete 3 more rounds to wrap up for the day.

Day One – Afternoon Session (Round Three)

After two rounds of gaming (and lunch), this is where everyone stands and their table positions to start Round 3. You can see the gamers who were leading the pack were grouped into Table 1 while Table 2 hosts gamers with the next most wins. This round was also a little special as it featured not one but two Spiel des Jahres award winner; Niagara in 2005 and Thurn & Taxis the recent winner in 2006.

With the exception of Alvin, three of the leaders are now grouped into Table 1 to square off. 🙂

Round 3 – Table 1: China

Table 1 resumed with China (from left): Edwin, Heng, Melody and (not in pic) Jeff

Table 1 resumed after the lunch break with the new version of Web of Power, now renamed as China. In many ways, this game is like El Grande lite where you placed your “house” and emissaries to earn influence from the regions on the map. (Sounds familiar to Samurai, ain’t it?) The player with the most influence will become the new Emperor (or Empress) of China.

China has made some changes to the rule from Web of Power; one of them being that 4 cards are now turned face-up for players to select from to refill their hands compared with Web of Power where only 2 cards are face-up. This helps to reduce the randomness in the game.

Heng won this game by overpowering Jeff with his strong emissary alliances. Melody came third and Edwin again came up last in this game! Seems like he’s jinxed with this game!

Edwin praying to the Gods of China to give him “ong” (luck) for this game!

Round 3 – Table 2: St Petersburg

Table 2 saw resource management actions in St Petersburg (from left): Alvin, Chris, Teddy and BK

Gamers from the East (BK and Teddy from their Samurai game) and West (Alvin and Chris from RA) met in Saint Petersburg (Russia) to help Czar Peter built St Petersburg into a glorious city! In this resource management game, you juggle your rubles to hire/acquire craftsmen or aristocrats which helps you to build those glorious buildings expected by the Czar.

Money is tight and you can only do so “many” things per turn…. and above all, you need to balance your quest for making money (rubles) vs. earning victory points. This game was the 2004 IGA Winner.

BK and Chris were eventually were picked by the Czar as the most successful builders in St Petersburg who promoted them to the island of Santiago for another mission, while Teddy and Alvin ended up with some pirates near Treasure Island!! sigh, that’s what happens to you when you didn’t impress the Czar.

Round 3 – Table 3: Niagara

Table 3 hosted the 2005 SDJ winner Niagara (from left): Richard, Denise, KP (hidden) and Ryan

From the sands of the desert (Richard and Denise) and the wild wild west of USA (KP and Ryan), four gamer friends met in the rapids of Niagara Falls when they heard there are gemstones to be plundered…  Some of those jewels were located on easily accessible river banks but a couple of them gemstones were placed right near the edge of the waterfall that plunges over 100 feet! No fun. 😦

Armed with only kayaks, these four brave souls raced each other to be the first to collect either i) one of each gemstone (five), ii) four of one gemstone, or iii) seven of any gemstone combination. The more cunning ones lay in wait… and then stole from the others who worked hard to collect the gemstones from the banks of Niagara!

…. and at the same time making sure they don’t get caught with their kayak on the river when the wind is blowing strongly downstream!

Niagara is a game fully deserving it’s Spiel des Jahres award and a game that offers great fun for both gamers and family alike. This is one of the few popular games played at Boardgamekids meetups. When played with kids, they even negotiate with each other not to steal the gemstones; “I dun take yours, you dun steal mine ar.. ok or not?”

Well, in our adult Niagara games, we also do the same thing… we tell each other, “I dun take yours and you dun take mine, deal ar?” But then once we turned our back, we go and grab that gemstone from the other gamers… giving flimsy excuses like “Eh.. I dun wan to take it from you but that’s the only blue gemstone available…”  Yup, that’s Niagara ala Adults for you… LOL.

In this game, Richard won with KP in second place. Denise and Ryan probably spent too much effort fighting the rapids of Niagara (or more likely getting their gemstones stolen after all the hardwork spent in retrieving them). The win got Richard and KP the chance to travel to outer space to experience some cosmic encounters while Denise and Ryan were sent to the newly discovered island of Catan for some early settling adventure.

Round 3 – Table 4: Thurn and Taxis

Table 4 saw four gamers trying to build the most lucrative postal delivery business (from left): Shaun, Jen Fai, Melissa and Rob

Rob finally joined us from KL. Welcome Rob!

Unfortunately since he did not participate in any of the earlier rounds, he has gained zero point and thus had to start at Table 4. So here he was in Table 4 together with Shaun, Jen Fai and Melissa for the latest Spiel de Jahres winner (2006) Thurn and Taxis.

Heng has the honour of teaching this group the game (since he’s not playing in this group) and after “teacher Heng” has completed his lesson the four gamers eagerly got into their game.

After much route building, card drawing and the odd mail deliveries, Rob lorded over all the rest to win this game with Jen Fai coming in second. They will move up to Table 3 next to fight for fame points as pirates, while Shaun and Melissa shall move on to Catan island to build settlements, cities and roads instead.

Round 3 Results

Heng  & BK joined the leaders group with their 3-pointer wins in China and Saint Petersburg.

i. First two winners of each table move up to the next table (except Table 1) while the last two gamers move down to the next table (except Table 4)
ii. Winner gets 3 points, 1st Runner-up 2 points and 2nd Runner-up 1 point.
iii. Number in brackets denote the gamer’s current accumulated points at the end of this round.


This round saw games of slightly heavier weight (time/difficulty) than Round #3. It also featured the game that’s synonymous with the rise of Euro Designer Gaming i.e. Settlers of Catan – another Spiel de Jahres winner.

The leaders are now grouped into Table 1 & 2 with the surprise of Alvin dropping into table 3 due to his unexpected loss in the previous round.

Round 4 – Table 1: Santiago

Table 1 saw the fun (yet vicious) game of fighting for canal water in Santiago (from left):  BK, Heng, Chris and Jeff (as usual not in pic).

The four gamers were sent to the hot and humid island of Santiago to plant, grow and sell their crops which can be coffee, chili, banana or beans. Beside fighting with each other over the choice of crops to farm (thru a single round bidding action), they have to also make sure their farms are properly irrigated. How? By getting the canal overseer (the gamer who has the lowest bid in that round) to build a canal along your plantations otherwise your crops might dry up and you lose your all your potential profits on that plantation.

The good thing is that the Canal Overseer can be ahem, “influenced” with suitably under-table offers. Obviously sometimes the Canal Overseer has his own (usually wicked) agenda and may choose to do it his way (and at the same time, humming Sinatra’s signature hit “My Way”) at a cost higher than the highest bid. But if that action hung someone out to dry…. that’s all that matters to the Canal Overseer!

Through absolutely corrupt means, Jeff managed to reap the most profit from his crop with Heng (all the while smiling wickedly) coming in second. Chris came in third and poor honest-do-good BK, who was hung out to dry a few times by these bunch of “callous” neighborhood farmers ended up last. However we all “feel” for BK’s pain (hehehehe).

For their hardwork, Jeff and Heng were sent to Wales to build castles with their knights, while Chris and BK moved to Table 2 next to the world of Elves for a mythical adventure!

Round 4 – Table 2: Cosmic Encounter

Table 2 has Cosmic Encounter in play (from left) KP, Richard, Melody and Edwin

The 1st space game of this Euro Retreat featured the game Cosmic Encounter which was originally published by Eon Games more than 25 years ago but since then has been reprinted by Mayfair and Avalon Hill. The Avalon Hill version, arguably the best-looking edition of Cosmic Encounter was brought to the table. Each player is an alien race with their own special powers, and they all seek to make encounters – usually of the nasty violent type – with other aliens in an attempt to rule the universe!

To appreciate how much “FUN” this game is, during this round you can visibly hear Table 2 generating the most audible laughter! Every now and then (I think when someone starts prepping his ships to attack another system/planet), you’ll hear cries/howls/screams/accusations and all sort of banters/jest as the gamers attempted to wriggle their way out of trouble!

Occasionally you hear things like, “Ooi, you can do that mer?” with replies “OF COURSE I CAN.. I’ve the Infestation Power la!”

Yes there are lots of randomness in this game but if you want pure FUN FUN FUN in your game, this is one you should not miss!

Table 2 getting lots of interests when Edwin taught Cosmic Encounter

In the end, KP and Edwin won this round to set themselves up for Wales while Melody and Richard get to revisit the city of Pompeii just before Mount Vesuvius erupts!

Round 4 – Table 3: Pirate’s Cove

Table 3 was about Treasure Island with four pirates (from left) Teddy, Jen Fai, Alvin and Rob

The next table saw the beautiful game Pirate’s Cove from Days of Wonder. Then again, which game from Days of Wonder are not beautiful? In this game, the pirates fight with each other for treasures, gold and fame points! The pirate who is most famous at the end of the year (12 turns) shall be hailed as the King of Pirate’s Cove!

The pirates have to also consider how they will set up their ship; should it be strong in the hull (so that it can carry more goods, presumably stolen ones) or should it have more firepower to bring FEAR to other pirates. Maybe it’ll be good to have faster sails since running away seems the best “strategy” when faced with adversary!

Besides having to contend with each other over the spoils of treasures, gold and fame points, they also need to be aware of the legendary pirate who sails the seas of Pirate’s Cove. And if he sees you, you better pray to God your soul he keeps……

After many fierce encounters on the high seas, Rob emerged as the most famous pirate of all with Jen Fai in second place. Both of them go to Elves land next for more adventures! Teddy and Alvin shall be attending to international customers in a cafe.

Round 4 – Table 4: Settlers of Catan

Table 4 saw the popular Catan played by (from left) Melissa, Denise, Shaun and Ryan

Ahem…. with the current Malaysia Settlers of Catan champion (Ryan) in this table, the other three gamers will be having a tough challenge to unseat the King of Catan. Ryan did go on to win this game but the other three gamers were all tied for second place!

So it came down to 2D6 for resolving the tie-break. First to get three 2D6 wins among the three shall be decided as the 1st runner-up and that went to Melissa. Now it was down to Denise and Shaun for another best of three 2D6 rolls. Denise won 2-1 to grab the 2nd runners-up spot.

Ryan and Melissa shall be joining Melody and Richard in Pompeii while Denise and Shaun remains in this table to run an international cafe.

Round 4 Results

The leaders starting to slowly open a gap now with Jeff, Heng and KP at the front while Edwin & Melody in close-seconds.

i. First two winners of each table move up to the next table (except Table 1) while the last two gamers move down to the next table (except Table 4)
ii. Winner gets 3 points, 1st Runner-up 2 points and 2nd Runner-up 1 point.
iii. Number in brackets denote the gamer’s current accumulated points at the end of this round.


This shall be the last round before we call it a day for Day One, and we have some good 1-hour+ games to bring to the table including two very good gateway games: Downfall of Pompeii and Cafe International. One of Alan Moon’s early games Elfenland was also in play together with the Spiel des Jahres Winner for 2000 – Torres.

All the heavyweights are now in the 1st table (with the exception of Melody who’s at Table 3 again due to a loss the previous round). Interesting to see who will now survived this round of Torres.

Note: Due to a sudden communication breakdown in Wales (read: too much analysis paralysis in the game of Torres), we were not able to take photos of any of the games played in this round!

Edited: Except for one photo of the Torres table sent to me courtesy from Alvin (aycee). Thanks Alvin.

Round 5 – Table 1: Torres

Brain-burning stuff here at Torres (from left): Edwin, KP, Jeff and Heng (picture (c) Alvin)

We have Jeff, Heng, KP and Edwin for Torres, a game of abstract resource management where you sent your knights to build (and control) castles for the King of England in Wales. This game was designed by the same designer as Tikal which was played in the 1st round of our Euro Retreat (see report #1). Both Tikal and Torres won the Spiel des Jahres award in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

This game gives the gamers a huge sense of achievement as you start with a blank board and at the end of the game, they would have built some castles with various levels! The game uses the Action Point system first introduced in Tikal and with the addition of Action Cards, this game has good replayability.

In this round, all four gamers were competing furiously in trying to build the “best” castles…. and to deny each other the King’s Castle Bonus in each round. Heng made a great move in Round Two to sealed off the other three gamers from the King’s Castle Bonus or so he thought. One by one, the other three gamers – by hook or by crook – maneuvered themselves to be able to claim the King’s Castle Bonus (which would have made a lot of difference in their final scores).

Finally, after much jockeying Jeff made a last minute sweeping move to claim the King’s favour with Edwin in second place. Both of them shall move to the USA tomorrow to begin their IPP (independent power producer) business, while Heng and KP shall dabbled in stocks-n-mergers in the hotel industry.

Round 5 – Table 2: Elfenland

(c) Boardgamegeek

Chris, BK, Rob and Jen Fai played the roles of elves in the mythical Elves Land and their mission is to visit as many of the 20 Elfencities in as short a time making use of the various “transportation modes” available in Elves Land. No, there are no cars, planes or bicycles here. Instead you get Pigs, Dragons and ElfBikes.

Elfenland is one of Alan Moon’s (of Ticket to Ride fame) early game but still very playable and enjoyable.

Chris was making some good runs and was clearly in the lead. Rob thought he was losing… only to find in the end that Jen Fai had made some bad calculations and were behind him (in terms of score). Chris and Rob get the chance to build an IPP business empire in good ol’ USA while Jen Fai and BK shall go to the first city of Catan.

Round 5 – Table 3: Downfall of Pompeii

(c) 2006 frogmind

The city of Pompeii was a prosperous and growing Roman city until Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79 and covered the entire city in lava! To this prosperous city, four courageous gamers – Melody, Richard, Ryan and Melissa – converged, hoping to make their fortunes and retire to Naples.

Once they settled into Pompeii, they started to invite their friends to join them in their growing ventures…. and then Vesuvius shaked and seethed.. but the gamers paid no heed. After all when you are making good money, what’s a little lava threat, yeah? In fact, they were so confident Vesuvius will not erupt, they begin to invite their relatives over!

At times, the priests of Pompeii demanded that “human” sacrifice be made to appease the Volcano God and you get to see people being thrown screaming into the volcano! …but still the relatives and friends kept coming in… until AD79 Mount Vesuvius erupted! And everyone started running like headless chickens to get out of Pompeii…..

In the end, Ryan and Melody escaped with the most relatives/friends, and decided to change to the high-stake (but less perilous) business of stock-dealing in the hotel industry. Melissa and Richard would be exploring the underwater world of coral reefs and parrotfish instead.

P/S. Downfall of Pompeii was pulled to the table again after we concluded our gaming for the day and we have Teddy, Jen Fai, Shaun and Edwin trying to outdo each other in their escape from the doomed city of Pompeii. Definitely a good fun gateway game for everyone!

Round 5 – Table 4: Cafe International

(c) Amigo / Boardgamegeek

Another Spiel des Jahres award winner (1989), Cafe International is a fun game where gamers play the role of waiters/waitresses in an cafe that serves international guests. They need to be able to not only serve their guests promptly but also seat them according to their nationalities, and also to ensure that there are never more than one more person of either sex at each table.

Not an easy task, but then if done to the satisfaction of the guests, the gamers get “tips”. Sometimes really good tips. Of course there’s always the Bar if a gamer cannot find a suitable table for their guests. But having too many guests at the bar will “cost” the gamers in lost tips since not everyone appreciates being placed at the bar!

The waiter/waitress with the most tips wins at the end of the game. We sent four gamers to the task – Teddy, Alvin, Denise and Shaun – and after a full days work of waiting at the tables, Shaun and Alvin came back with the most tips and will get to visit the first city of Catan. Denise and Teddy will be joining Melissa and Richard for some coral reef exploration.

Round 5 Results

A gap is now opened with Jeff moving 4 pts clear from Edwin/Heng/Chris/Ryan. There are still 2 more rounds to go so all’s not lost.

i. First two winners of each table move up to the next table (except Table 1) while the last two gamers move down to the next table (except Table 4)
ii. Winner gets 3 points, 1st Runner-up 2 points and 2nd Runner-up 1 point.
iii. Number in brackets denote the gamer’s current accumulated points at the end of this round.

Dinner Break

Time for us to break for the day and everyone proceeded to Rajawali Restaurant for dinner. After dinner, it’s free-time for everyone. Some have their own plans while a few of us planned to do our After Eight Evening Gaming session at the Lobby Lounge which opens 24-hours.

Click here to read Euro Game Retreat Report #3 where 1856 was being played for the 1st time in M’sia.

Click here for more photos of the Euro Game Retreat 2006 – Day 1 & Day 2

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