Gamers: Heng (ayheng), Henry Yeo (rhyen), Ainul (aanemesis), Long (LostBoyz), and CK Au (jack208)
Games: Coloretto, Blokus, Caylus, Puerto Rico, 1856
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras Google Map
Date/Time: 19 January 2007 (Fri) 8.00 PM – 4.30 AM
Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 15/1/2010
|BOARDGAME WARS II: THE RETURN TO KOPITIAM
So you think you saw the last of Heng’s gaming report. Fat Chance! It’s time for another round of….
Boardgame Wars II: The Return to Kopitiam
(a.(a.k.a. BGC OTK 19 Jan 07)
This gaming session lured two dormant gamers, Long (Lostboyz) and Ainul (aanemesis) out of the woodworks to join Jeff (jack208), Henry (ryhen) and Heng (ayheng) for a gaming session within the hip and happening crowd at OTK (Old Town Kopitiam).
Yeah, yeah, we are vain, we know, we like to show off our hobby to the world. And we also happen to like our coffee to go with our boardgames. Long was lured out by the promise of ‘no traffic jam’ while Ainul was lured out by the promise of good 18XX game. Hopefully, they got what they want!
At At 8.30pm, I arrived at OTK to find gamers lostboyz, aanemesis and jack208 already in the middle of a game of Coloretto.
This is a game of ‘chicken’ and collecting card sets. The objective of the game is to collect card sets of your own color while avoiding taking colors different from your card sets. The ‘chicken’ aspect comes when you are deciding between going for the easy points or building up your own set of cards at the risk of being tainted by other players’ intervention.
I was surprised to see the game being played as open information (cards revealed to all) rather than closed information (players’ cards are secret). This actually makes the game more challenging and less random. Thanks, Alvin, for teaching us the wrong gameplay during the Cameron trip! This original version of gameplay is more tense, and has a messing-with-other-players’-plans factor. Definitely will play this version next time. (Btw, thanks Alvin also for the Coloretto b’day present!)
When the three of them finished up, I was still in the middle of my tasty Ipoh Hor Fun dinner. But that didn’t stop me as we start a four-player game of Blokus Classic.
The first Blokus game was rather peaceful as aanemesis is new to the game and we didn’t want to show him all the dirty tricks in the book. jack208 won this one handily and we quickly played another.
The second round of Blokus opened with a host of nasty opening moves by all the players. LostBoyz even gave some tips to aanemesis at jack208’s expense! This led to jack208 being assaulted on three fronts to an early defeat. This also led to jack208’s claim that the game is broken! (Yea, when you are the winner of the 1st game, you are public enemy no#1!)
This is all in good nature jest, of course. Thereafter, Lostboyz and ayheng went at each other’s throats as they correctly surmised that aanemesis posed the least threat as a newbie. However, aanemesis played some good moves of his own, surprising Lostboyz and ayheng, to eke out the win.
By this time, rhyen arrived just in time to start a 5 player game of Caylus. Supposedly not a favourite of jack208’s or Lostboyz’s, but definately a favourite of ayheng’s and aanemesis’, due to the game’s complexity and mechanics. As a 5-player game, resources are scarce and the players have to scratch their head a bit harder to earn their victory points.
Castle building is tight in this game, with many players taking their turns in the castle. jack208 made the first move in the castle while others scrounge for more resources. ayheng decided that the castle is overcrowded and spent his time building the city of Caylus instead. As the first part of the game closes, the Bailiff called for the dungeon section of the castle to cease building. Although not all of the dungeon is built, the Bailiff cared not for such incompetence and moved the castle construction along. The dungeon scoring saw jack208 getting a favor from the King for helping out with two sections while ayheng was penalised for contributing nothing.
The next construction stage saw the building of the towers and again ayheng risk the King’s fury for ignoring the crowded castle. This time, however, the other players caught on and started building out the city of Caylus to win prestige for themselves. jack208 continued his castle strategy and complement it by sending his knight out jousting for the King’s amusement. jack208 continued to earn favors upon favors from the King with his strategy. Meanwhile, ayheng concentrated on stockpiling his money for a big job in the future. aanemesis and Lostboyz both went for a balanced strategy and had their hands both in the castle and city pie.
The end game saw jack208, ayheng and rhyen in good positions as they built a prestige building each. In the end, ayheng was declared the master of Caylus as he won (narrowly) by his city building strategy. As resources were tight in this game, right till the end, it’s difficult to come out with a sure-fire strategy for winning. The points were very close in the end as well. This game still takes some thought to plan and execute, particularly since the strategies and tactics are flexible depending on other players’ movements.
Our next game however, is pretty easy and refined. Some of us even have our own strategy down to a fine art. It’s a game of Puerto Rico, grand daddy of the Eurogame genre.
In this game, there are two core strategies for playing. They are the building and shipping strategy. True to form, jack208 emerged victorious with a balanced approach between the two strategies (building early, shipping late). rhyen went for a pure building strategy and finished second. ayheng went for a shipping strategy and finished third. (ayheng was also saved by a combination of good luck and bad plays by his opponents as he narrowly avoided being screwed by being shut out of key trades and shipping.) Lostboyz and aanemesis saw their strategy went nowhere as their early hospice was nullified by rhyen’s Mayor tactics.
|1856 UPPER CANADA
As the clock struck 12 midnite, Lostboyz bid the other gamers goodbye. The other gamers continued on, shifting operations from OTK to BGC (BoardGameCafe) premises with a heavy game of 1856. As everyone present was familiar with the mechanics of the game, jack208 plunged headlong into highlighting the difference between this game with other 18XX series. This took about 30~60 minutes and then the game begins!
The auctioning of the private companies saw jack208 and ayheng obtaining two companies while aanemesis and rhyen got one company each. Claiming priority, aanemesis started up the first company, WGR. rhyen started BBG while ayheng scratches his head and started GW, the company with the best starting position. Unaware of the screwage to come, jack208 started LPS.
A little bit of comment here: Most players started their public company according to the private companies that they bought during the first round auction. This is not really a good play but since everyone was still blur as to the public companies’ capabilities, almost everyone sought to use the power of their private companies by setting up companies to benefit from the private companies. This was done regardless of the public companies’ potential profitability.
Second bit of comment: money is rather tight in the game and most players found it hard to invest in public companies other than their own. Most players again floated their company on too low a par value due to the money scarcity. This is not a good play as well, because the low capitalisation will cause problems in the future. When the public company requires funds to upgrade its trains, the public company’s capitalisation will go a long way into ensuring that it can continue to issue dividends while still having enough money to invest in trains.
As the public companies’ are being floated and operated, their first priority was to connect to its target destination as stated in the respective public companies’ charter. This is to ensure investor confidence and the bank’s release of public investment funds held in escrow. GW, WGR and BBG reached their target easily enough but jack208’s LPS got screwed by an accidental track laying by ayheng’s GW, blocking his railroad from further expansion. This placed a dent into jack208’s plans as he has to now search elsewhere to invest his money temporarily away from a stunted LPS.
As the companies’ operation start ramping up and trains get sold out, newer models of trains started entering the market, promising greater efficiency and return on investments. By now, companies are starting to generate comfortable profits. New towns are being connected. Trade is bustling. jack208’s LPS can now finally connect to the GW line courtesy of the invention of the combined track. 😛 Sorry for screwing you, man! Tension is starting to pile up, however, as CEOs start to watch their cashflow in preparation to upgrade obsolete trains.
Third bit of comment: GW with its repertoir of 4 train stations was reaping lots and lots of profit while other companies with less stations found it hard to expand and to block competitors. Again, train stations quantity is a serious consideration for investment and potential returns.
It is about this time that everyone grew confident to startup another company. Citing a dismal future with LPS, jack208 started WR while rhyen started CPR. Capitalising at a par value of $90, WR drew a sizable investment from all parties. And it operates promisingly too, paying out good dividends to all loyal shareholders. But then, jack208 executed the dreaded HotSun manuever. What happens is a blur to all as it was quite late/early in the morning. What I can surmise is as follows:
1. jack208 used WR to buy all the trains in LPS for an obscene amount of money, effectively capitalising LPS and crippling WR in one stroke.
2. jack208 dumped all his shares in WR to the open market, effectively passing the controlling stake to aanemesis. (all this while adhering to the Stock Exchange Commission’s ‘50% stock in open market’ rule.
3. aanemesis now owns a useless company with debts. aanemesis was effectively ‘HotSun-ed’!
4. In hindsight, jack208 planned it quite early on as he made some curious move of getting government loans but not using the money. It should have screamed: Hot Sun alert!
jack208 then uses the money to build up LPS to more glory. aanemesis by this time was completely blur as to what had happened and went on playing with two debt-ridden companies. jack208 used his money to startup a new company, GT. However, due to the stunt pulled earlier, it did not attract outside investment and was unable to capitalise fast enough.
In a curious turn of events, jack208 made a blunder and purchased a level 6 train, triggering the formation of the CGR (Canadian Government Rails). jack208’s poor GT was stuck with debts while he was doing so and was so absorbed by the government. aanemesis’ WGB was also beyond redemption and has to be absorb into what now appears to be a behemoth entity. The CGR apparently does not have to play by a few rules and its potential is staggering. Unfortunately the game have to be called here as it was 4.30 am. Luckily we have a photo to commemorate this momentous event:
Now that we have reached the climax of the game, the next target is to continue the story of the CGR monster and finish 1856! Thanks to all for a great gaming session!
Source: ayheng’s report was copied from his blog Heng’s Gaming Blog
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