Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 27/8/2010
Gamers: Lester Lim (lester), Alvin Kee (alvin), Wei Yi (weiyi), Teddy Pang (teddy), Lee Ching (leeching), Ang XJ (angxj), Hiew (hecose), Kareem (kareem), Sam (sam), Heng (ayheng), Wai Yan (waiyan) and CK Au (jack208)
Games: King of Siam, Automobile, Dungeon Lords, Igloo Pop, Innovation, Cyclades and Caylus.
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras Google Map
Date/Time: 27 August 2010 (Fri) 8.00 PM – 7.00 AM
It has been awhile since I wrote a meetup sessrep so thought I might as well chipped in for this session. Many thanks to both ayheng and aanemesis who have been doing great jobs with sessreps for OTK and Cassian/Pitstop respectively.
We first started OTK Meetups in 12 Jan 2007 and in about 5 mths, we’ll be celebrating our 4th Year of Meetup @ OTK!! Check out the pics from our 1st OTK Meetup here to see who were the OTKers who were there on that day! J
The emergence of Cassian and also Pitstop as alternative meetup venues for Boardgamecafe.net is one of the few key events for us this year. We’ll be putting a lot more emphasize into helping these two locations grow and we appreciate and thank you for all the support you’ve given to us!
This year is a pivotal year for Boardgamecafe.net as we have moved into a distribution position within the local boardgaming industry, the main purpose is to allow us to keep ourselves well-stocked with a good variety of games in order for us to continue growing the local boardgaming community.
We operate from a mindset of Abundance (and not of Scarcity) and we believe by becoming a distributor, we are not necessarily competing or grabbing market share from the incumbent, but we are doing our part in growing and building a larger overall market that’ll be able to sustain all parties. Well, I suppose we’ve been doing our part in growing the local boardgaming market even before we became a distributor.
We’ve been busy forming some alliances; some of which we hope to announce in due course. J
There’s lot of programmes and ideas we’ve in our minds… sometimes we get too excited over these ideas… and need to be constantly reminded while it’s good to have great plans…. the key lies in the execution of those plans.
Now, let’s get back to things that are more important… ie. BOARD GAMING!!
KING OF SIAM
With today being a public holiday for Selangor, some of the OTK gamers who work in Selangor found it easy to commit themselves to today’s session. As such, we get to see Hiew (hiew’s boardgame blog) dropping by with his precious Automobile, a game that’s only been seen at OTK Cheras courtesy of Hiew, and Teddy / Lee Ching coming with their Dungeon Lords game.
However Automobile was not the first game to get to the table as we were still waiting for the rest so Heng took out his fave King of Siam.
Heng’s funky start-up approach for King of Siam… think it’s like a pre-game yoga exercise
Lester – who’s here really for some dungeoning training – joined Hiew & Heng in the political struggle for Siam.
The rest of the gamers soon arrived…
As this is Hiew’s first game of King of Siam, I presume he’ll do a more detail write-up at his blog site (link here).
Automobile was the game that Heng has been missing out for the past few times it came to OTK. He finally got it right this time!! J Alvin & Wei Yi joined him for this session, while Lester opted to go for dungeon training.
Hiew going thru the rules of Automobile
Teddy & Lee Ching arrived soon after with their Dungeon Lords game, so I did not get to join this session of Automobile, therefore I do not know the progress of this 4p game.
An overview of the Automobile board… wonder if Mayfair’s version will look as good as this
Heng later told me he liked Automobile as well. No surprises there as I rate Automobile as one of Wallace’s best designs – on par there with his Brass and Age of Steam. All the game mechanics gel nicely and fits into the theme (hi, wolfx – this game got THEME) that is easier to relate to.
Treefrog only printed 1,500 copies of these and it thus quickly went OOP (out-of-print). Mayfair and Lookout are reprinting this, expected Oct 2010. Meantime we are all still waiting….
There have been a few requests lately for Dungeon training, and since one of our resident gamer – ayheng – is a WDMI-certified Dungeon Master Trainer who has successfully graduated a few Dungeon Lords @ OTK, last Fri saw a few wanna-be Dungeon Masters arriving at OTK.
WDMI = World Dungeon Master International. 🙂
The four Dungeon Master trainees at OTK
However with ayheng busy building automobiles now instead of dungeons, it was left to Dungeon Master Trainer-wannabe jack208 to do the teaching. :O
Dungeon Master training in-progress… do not disturb else frightful monsters may be unleashed accidentally
Seems like dungeon keeping is a profession well-liked by the ladies? 😉
And contrary to what you may think… the LEAST EVIL of the dungeon masters was not a lady!!
The Evil-o-meter showing which Dungeon Master is the most and least evil
Dungeon Master looks very colorful – and that may deceive you into thinking it’s a relaxing game. It’s not.. Underneath it’s cutesy look, it is a very tense but good resource management and planning game.
Quick quiz – whom do you think is the more EVIL Dungeon Master (see picture below)?
And in a nice twist to the ending.. Lee Ching (the most EVIL dungeon master all this while) suddenly ramped up some PR campaigns to improve her public image. The Paladin – falling into her guile – bought the PR stories, left her dungeon and moved to her husband Teddy’s dungeon.
Teddy was caught completely by surprised as he did not expect the Paladin to come-a-visting and therefore did not prepare his dungeon properly to “welcome” his gracefulness. Hehe.
I’m sure all the Dungeon Master trainees enjoyed the training… and given they’ve all graduated now, I hope we’ll see more stories of adventurers getting whacked by these OTK-trained Dungeon Masters!
The Automobile session took longer than I expected. Kareem, Sam & Ang joined us while both the Autombile and Dungeon Lords sessions were on. After Automobile, I understand Kareem taught that group Innovation, a Civilisation-theme card game that was first played at OTK two weeks back, and then again at Cassian a week ago.
I played it again a 2nd time at Cassian SJ a week ago, and I find it’s much better the 2nd time round probably as once you got used to its mechanics and the various powers related to the card eg Agriculture, you can form some strategy to it.
I lost both games though.. Hahaha.. So much for forming strategies.
As Innovation and Dungeon Lords finished, it was past 12 midnite and the end of R1 (round one). Some gamers had to call it an evening but as regular readers know, Fri Meetups at OTK do not end at 1 am. 😛
We stil have five gamers remaining – Heng, Kareem, Sam, Ang and myself. We do have a few games that are good with five – Caylus, Imperial 2030, Carson City, etc – but what better game to play when you’ve five players than the current hottie CYCLADES!
Kareem and Heng have done Cyclades, albeit a wimpy 3-player session last week. Ang – one of the Sg Long Weiqi Boardgamers Group – made a surprise visit to OTK this evening and he’s in for treat with 5p Cyclades.
Ang (brown tee) in his first game of Cyclades
CYCLADES is a game of territorial conflict where five great cities – Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Thebes and Argos – compete with each other for control of the islands around Greece. Cyclades has very easy-to-learn rules yet present decision angst almost in every round as you bid on the action of the Gods to help you in your quest to control Greece.
From the gameboard above, you can see each party is just an island away from “someone” else, so you are never really safe. The objective of the game is to build two Metropolises but the initial two islands you controlled only allowed rooms to build 5-6 buildings (you need 8 for two Metropolises) unless you go the Intellectual approach and call on the power of Athena to help you.
The early conflict centered around the island of Corinth (red) where Kareem has temptingly added another prosperity marker to the existing two.. Making that island a very lucrative island to control as it pays three gold coins per round, and money is very important in this game as it’s used to solicit favors from the God and disaster befalls those who are too poor to pay their homage to the Gods.
Sparta (black) eyeing it’s rich neighbour Corinth’s (red) island
Ang’s Sparta (black) has been doing very well, quietly building up militarily in the south and slowly advancing thru the middle towards the city of Corinth. I think his Sparta once casted an eye towards my (peaceful) Thebes (yellow) but since my island only has one prosperity marker, he decided to turn his Sparta’s attention towards Kareem’s Corinth.
Sparta (black) poised to attack Thebes (yellow) with a fleet on standby…
Sparta (black) also had her eyes on a neighbouring – and weakly defended – Thebes (yellow) island. I’d to withheld building any building on that island lest I tempt Sparta. 😛
All seafarers shall tremble when the Kraken is summoned!
As a pre-mediation to the attack, Sparta (black) invoked the power of the Kraken to sink Corinth’s (red) fleet and in one action, isolated Corinth’s forces on the lucrative island.
Corinth’s (red) massive fleet ready to strike.. But at whom?
Kareem quickly regrouped his force… and built a massive fleet poised to strike.. Potentially at Sam’s Argos (green) but could also be aimed at Ang’s Sparta (black)… until the God decided to play with fate (and Kareem)….
Chimera (middle) allows the player who controls it to re-play any previously played/discarded creature
… and called the creature Chimera to earth. Chimera allows the person controlling it to replay a discarded/played creature (eg Kraken). With four fleets assembled at a high cost – Kareem paid a lot of coins to gain Poseidon’s favor – the last thing Kareem wanted is to see the Kraken sinking his large fleet!
Kareem did prevent the Chimera invoking Kraken but I guessed at a high cost to him as he then has to take a few turns to recover his composure (read: money).
In that moment of respite for Kareem (red), Ang’s Sparta (black) strikes! Calling on the power of Ares, Ang mustered a large force of 5 battalions and launched them against Kareem’s three that’s defending the island. The battle should have been swift and bloody on both sides…
Instead… Ang’s Sparta suffered a horrible one-sided defeat, losing three battaltions to Kareem’s none! I guessed Ang forgot to ask the God of Ares to stay behind after he mustered the armies. 😛
Meanwhile Heng’s Athens (blue) and Sam’s Argos (green) have been quietly teaching their younger generation and paying dutiful homage to Athena. As such, their intellectual prowess allowed either of them to be the first of the five powers to erect a Metropolis.
I took opportunity of a right timing to grab a cheap homage to Zeus while Heng (forced) needed to challenge Sam for the favor of Athena in building his first Metropolis.
The End is Near
The gameboard just before end-game… four of us have one Metropolis (Argos, Corinth, Thebes and Athens) and just one away from victory
Heng’s Athens (blue) was probably the one best poised for a victory as he has Athens aimed two of her fleets directly at both my (yellow) islands. A successful attack on either one would have gained him his second Metropolis. My Thebes (yellow) following in the steps of Athens & Argos was halfway towards completing our 2nd Metropolis via intellectual development.
The bidding in the last round was rather tense with Ang’s Sparta (black) clearly wanting to invoke Ares again possibly for another attack at Corinth, me obviously wanting to go for Athena but with Athena being the 1st God (which also defines the player order) and there being three very useful Creatures on the table – Harpy, The Fates (which allow you to receive your income again!) and Medusa – it’ll be expensive to call on Athena.
In the end, Heng gave up on Athena allowing my Thebes paid homage to Athena and went on to secure our 2nd Metropolis!
The Five Gods of Cyclades (from left) – Athena, Zeus, Ares, Poseidon and everyone’s fave Apollo
While Cyclades work for 4- or even 3-player, it shines when played with the full complement of five. One of the reason is that ALL Five Gods are available in every round, and will be called upon. With Ares & Poseidon in play every round, conflicts will escalate.
With Cyclades ending close to 4:30 am, Kareem & Sam decided to call it nights. Ang was happy enough to stay around for more boardgaming, so R3 (round 3) it is!!
Caylus was chosen and we quickly get Ang up to speed with Jousting OTK-style!! 😛
The jousting session lasted well into the wee hours of dawn, and by the time we finished it was close to 7 am. Ah well, you dun get to be called an OTK Caylus Knight until you can joust till the early hours of the morning. 🙂
Till next week, enjoy your boardgaming!
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Categories: Meetup, Meetup Cheras
Sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve not played ANY of these games, except for Caylus… 😦