Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 1/10/2010
Gamers: Teddy Pang, Lee Ching, Ken (wolfx), Wong LC, CK (wolfx’s fren), Jimmy, Ang, Hiew (hecose), Waiyan and CK Au (jack208)
Games: Agricola, Mystery Rummy #5 Bonnie & Clyde, Dixit, Vasco da Gama, Dungeon Lords.
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras Google Map
Date/Time: 1 October 2010 (Fri) 8.00 PM – 5:00 AM
AGRICOLA as Gateway Game?
That was what an Agricola fanboy – wolfx – requested me to bring to tonite’s OTK meetup as he wanted to get some boardgame newbies into the hobby… starting with Agricola!
I did remind Wolfx the no. of cards in-play (Occupation and Minor Improvements) can make this a daunting game even for those who have had some boardgaming experience, and asked why would he consider Agricola a gateway game?
He gave me an interesting response…
“The animeeples make it look gateway-ish!”
haha… yeah perhaps he has a good point in there. J
After doing a quick rule walk-thru with the newbies, they started a four player game with Lee Ching joining them as this is one of her fave games!
They did the basic game with just the “E” deck and no Farmers of Moor expansion.
There were some interesting “farms” being built in this session!
Well, perhaps wolfx is right in his assessment that Agricola fully pimped out – in the above set you can see the wooden Farmer-meeples in use – can make the game seem less complex or daunting!
MYSTERY RUMMY #5: BONNIE & CLYDE
A new Mystery Rummy game has been released by Rio Grande – Bonnie & Clyde – and when we brought this game into the local market together with some of the reprinted Mystery Rummy (Jack the Ripper and Jekyll & Hyde), we found out that sales for them were brisk!
I personally enjoyed playing the Mystery Rummy series with waiyan, so much so I was not even aware that Jack the Ripper can be played with 4 players – until Hiew corrected me! Guessed we’ve always played them Rummy as 2-player games. The only Rummy game we played as 4-player is Wyatt Earp.
Hiew doing his “teaching” role for Bonnie & Clyde
I was not present during Hiew’s teaching of the rules – was at the other table teaching them Agricola – therefore I’m not fully acquainted with the game play myself though from my observation of the session, I could pick up a few pointers here and there.
The game revolves around a track where this cute little orange car moves up-n-down. The basic of the game is still the same meld, play down as runs, and be the first player to finish your hand. Points are scored for your melds and runs.
There appears to be a shut-out mechanism but Hiew may have to confirm that for me. A “shut-out” is a move in most of the Mystery Rummy series where if you play a correct sequence or set of cards, you’ll be able to shut out all your opponents from scoring (ie only you score!) A pretty nasty end-move – and also what makes Mystery Rummy tense. J
Let’s hope to see more Mystery Rummy sessions getting played in future BGC Meetup sessions.
VASCO DA GAMA
Beside Bonnie & Clyde the other highlight of the evening would certainly be Vasco da Gama, making it’s second appearance at OTK Cheras!
We first played this many months back courtesy of Nicolia – whom some commented in our Facebook page that he looks like Vasco da Gama himself! – who brought his set all the way from Italy!
We did a 4-player game. Ang who came after we started just looked on.
The turn order token mechanic may appear gimicky but it does contribute towards a tense game as each player need to decide how far they want to push their luck! In a sense, there’s a random element in the draw of the card that determines your action cost. Then again, you have to say that’s thematic as this is a game about sailing to the far shores and hoping to strike gold! Certainly as a Captain on such voyage, you would understand the balance of risk & luck in every successful ventures? 😛
The game is about acquiring Projects (such as those above), and then hiring the right mix of crew – captain and seafarers – before embarking on your adventures!
You need different mix of crew – denoted by the colors – depending on which project you are sailing out for. Each project/journey will also need a captain to lead the voyage.
Once you’ve assembled your crew, you can set sail – if you choose to – and you’ll embark at one of these ports. Each of these ports come with a different blend of VPs and bonus which helps you to form some strategy. The game is mostly tactical but you still need an overarching strategy in order to frame your tactics otherwise you are not likely going to get anywhere fast. 😛
The tension in the game comes from the ports getting full! And if your ship(s) is caught in a packed port without an empty slot, it’ll simply be disbanded (ie put out of commission!) The ports are where everything you’ve worked hard for is earning you your returns – or not!
In the above picture, Teddy’s (yellow) early camp at the expensive top port allowed him to open up a gap which none of us were able to close.
I personally like this game and you can be sure this game will hit the BGC Meetup tables again soon!!
If you wish to know more about how this game is played, click here to read Hiew’s sessrep on this game where he provided a detailed write-up on the gameplay.
Beside Agricola, the other requests we had was to start a dungeon lord training session for a group of 2-3 dungeon lord wannabes.
Dungeon lord training in progres…. ssshhh…. else you may release the Vampires to terrorise the villagers!
With our “official” Dungeon Lord trainer (ayheng) busy with other matters – of a volcanic nature – it’s left to deputy jack208 to do some dungeon lording with the trainees. 😛
Due to the scarcity of imps available for-hire, I forced the Troll to work part-time as “imp”. LOL
A not-so-nice event hitting us in the 2nd year, resulting in a rush to hire next-to-useless monster just to sacrifice them to the witch hunt!! We Dungeon Lords are just so thoughtful when it comes to caring for our employees.
Dungeon Lord graduates enjoying some laughter after graduation! I think they were all laughing at their “teacher” who came in dead last!! LOL
DIXIT was played briefly.. While the Vasco da Gama table was waiting for me to complete my Agricola rule-teaching at the other table.
Till next OTK Friday, enjoy your boardgaming!
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Categories: Meetup, Meetup Cheras
CK totally enjoyed agricola and it isn’t as complicated as some people make it out to be as a gateway game.
Mechanics are simple enough for anyone to learn. Mastering the art of resource management (RM) though is another matter altogether. I find people who play RM games to be able to pick up Agricola pretty fast.
Yes Bonnie & Clyde does have a shutout mechanism as well. If a player manages to capture both Bonnie and Clyde, AND also finish his cards to end the hand, he shuts out all others from scoring. This is usually devastating because the Bonnie + Clyde cards already give 20VP.
Yeah, and I was all frost-biten and caught in a blizzard in that volcano!