Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 3/12/2010
Gamers: Ho Hock Doong (ho), Jimmy Cheng (jimmy), Ang Xian Jun (ang), Nicola Troiani (nicola), Kang Chuan Chean (kang), Neo Say Soon (neo), Eugene Chua (eugene), Nicholas Lim (niclim), Kareem Koh (kareem), Ian Tan (ian), Cherly Mun (cmun), Samantha (sam), Heng Aik Yong (hengy), Wai Yan (waiyan) and CK Au (jack208)
Games: Civilization (Sid Meier), Homesteaders, Nanuk, Roll through the Ages, Dixit, F.I.T.S., 1960 The Making of the President.
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras Google Map
Date/Time: 3 December 2010 (Fri) 8.30 PM – 7:30 AM (Sat)
OTK BACK FROM RENOVATION
OTK Cheras was closed a few weeks earlier for some renovation. Was kinda wondering why they did that. Answer’s out today when I saw a banner unfurled in the nearby Wisma CKE saying Papa Rich will be opening there for business soon!
They’ve revamped their 1st Floor setup but we’ve not yet had the chance to see whether the new setup is better or worse compared to the pre-renovation layout. We were a bit let down today when we arrived and were told they’d closed off the 1st Floor due to some water supply problem. They assured us it was for today only.
Unfortunately we’d a much-larger-than-normal crowd today… and we were stalking the three main tables at Ground Floor!! LOL
We did manage to get all the three tables and very quickly filled them up with gamers and we’d three concurrently sessions going on till past midnite! After the early birds left, the late nite owls stayed on till 7:30 am the following morning.
Read on and find out what kept us going!
Psst…. a plug-in here to remind everyone our BGC Black Friday Sale ends next Sat 11/12. So hurry up if you wish to get 25-30% discount from our webstore!
CIVILIZATION (SID MEIER)
This has to be the HIGHLIGHT TABLE for the evening! The much awaited CIVILIZATION (Sid Meier) the latest Boardgame from FFG finally made it’s first appearance in OTK Cheras! We owed this to Ho (from the Sg Long Weiqi Boardgame group) who had probably the 1st copy of Civilization (Sid Meier) in M’sia and he was kind enough to sacrifice his evening time to drop by OTK to give us a session.
The gamers eagerly helping in setting up the game board for Civilization!
Ho going thru the rules of this not-for-the-faint-hearted game. The others trying hard to look like they were paying attention. 😛
The CIV game getting started… Jimmy’s so anxious he needs to stand hehe. Chin (also from the Weiqi Boardgamer Group) dropped by to observe the CIV session.
I didn’t listen to the rules for this game – was busy at Table #3 welcoming a group of newcomers to OTK with Homesteaders – therefore my sessrep on this will be brief and more towards photo caption. Will see if ayheng (left above) is writing up a sessrep on this since he was involved in this session (*hint hint*).
The gameboard that describes the map and terrain for the game. It’s a grid of 3×3 large tiles forming a 9-tile map that are randomized for each game to add to replayability. Each player (up to four) starts with his capital at each corner of the map.
This is the Egypt civilization played by Ang…
… while ayheng had the German civilization; strangely with the attribute of Democrazy which means they can’t attack others!
Nicola and Ang mulling over their CIV moves.
Hmm.. are they playing CIV the Boardgame or some Poker Card game?
Another look at the game map. There are a few paths to victory; one of them is to take over your opponent’s capital! There’s also the option to nuke others! Ah…
Thanks again to Ho and the Weiqi Boardgamers for bringing this game experience early to OTK Cheras!
Finally I leave you with ayheng’s short comment on the game (posted at our FB site).
“Thanks to Ho for bringing CIVILISATION, most of us were new to the game and as a consequence, none of us really focused to push towards the game ending, thus we call it off after 4 hours. Technology seems to be the straightforward game end condition but I’m sure culture and coins can be competitive as well. Combat, once again prove to be quite the arms race, resulting in all sides diverting much resources towards building them!”
I’m sure this game will see more play time on the OTK tables soon. BGC has some copies of this hot game being fast-shipped in and we are expecting their arrival middle of next week. They’ll be available from our webstore at just Rm215 with free shipping to anywhere in M’sia.
In return, I tempted Ho with 1841v2 but too bad he has a working Saturday.. ah Tuesday is another public holiday? Dare we think “18xx Day”? 😛
NANUK was a game we heard some faint murmurs when a customer requested us to bring it in. The murmurs grew stronger when aanemesis had chance to play the game with the Wolf Gameshop gamers. Two thumbs up from him and we decided to bring a batch of them; due to arrive 15th Dec! But let’s see how NANUK fared with the OTK crowd.
The initial get-to-know you session between the “hunters” before they do Nanuk.
Guru Ian teaching newbie hunters how to do the hunt in Nanuk. He kept assuring us the thick glasses he wore is not to protect him from the fierce Nanuk (the great polar bear).
Nanuk board where hunters declared their “boast”.
Okie.. NANUK does appear to be FUN FUN FUN. This group was already enjoying themselves immensely while the Civilization rule-teaching was still ongoing.. Hehe That’s always the issue when you are doing a heavy game. You need to invest the time to i) learn the rules of the game, and ii) play sufficient sessions in order to appreciate the deeper nuances of the game.
Good to know Nanuk can create tension (headache) in players. You are doomed! 😛
NANUK passed the FUN test with two thumbs up from the OTK crowd and it’s Dec arrival will be highly anticipated! Reserve your copy with us now!
btw, do you know of our special After Black Friday sale promo where you can get 20% off any of the Dec New Arrivals?
A new group of gamers – Neo, Kang and Eugene – who stayed around Cheras were dropping in this Friday to join our OTK Cheras meetup, and after some get-to-know them time to find out these group of gamers are keen on no-luck games, I decided to introduce Homesteaders to them.
Setting up Homesteaders and going thru the game rules with Neo & Gang.
Neo, Eugene and Kang – getting into Homesteading… hope to see more of them at OTK. Since they love no-luck games, they’ll be able to find similar gamers at OTK Cheras easily.
Analysis paralysis introduced early into the game, hehehe. I did play two rules wrong in Homesteaders; first is that the overbid resulted in an immediate resolution instead of waiting until your turn. And secondly when you are outbid, you cannot re-bid in the same auction (the proper rule is to allow). The 2nd misplayed rule has a significant impact to the flow of the game. I believe with the 2nd rule played properly, it actually enriches the strategies available within the game!
I must have been playing a bit too much of Cyclades and Amun-Re to misplay (and mistaught) the 2nd rule above.
My rather unbalanced steel strategy… luckily it still helped me to 51 pts. Kang was quick to latch on to the Meat Packer VP strategy. 😛
Bids were relatively low in this game – prolly because it was a first game for Neo & gang. In a low-bid session, if you can build more buildings than your opponents, you’ll likely win the game.
Red was me and as you can see from above, I didn’t pass up to this stage of the game & this would have given me a building advantage.
I’ve plans to do a proper write-up on this game so hopefully we can see that soon. On another note, I’m happy to get to know new gamers like Neo, Kang and Eugene. Firstly being from Cheras or staying near Cheras, they indicated there’s a growing trend of gamers from the Cheras area which is encouraging news for us since we are Cheras-based.
Secondly, these three gamers – Neo & Gang – seem like the type of gamers to get into heavier gaming; Caylus, Age of Steam, Imperial and yes the 18xx series. Too bad they couldn’t stay for another game else I would have take them thru an 18Scan or 18TN session. But a very promising group! 😛
DIXIT was the next game to hit Table #2 when they were done with their Nanuk session (while CIV and Homesteaders were still ongoing at Table #1 and Table #3 respectively).
DIXIT – winner of the 2010 Spiel des Jahres award – is a game with many beautiful large-sized cards. The downside is that it’s not easy to find sleeves that can fit these cards!
Each player holds a set of cards in his (or her) hands and the cards are used either i) to start a story, or ii) to add to other player’s story with the aim of confusing the others.
In DIXIT, the story-teller (ie current player) picks a card to play, announces a clue (to allow other gamers to guess which card is played but not too easy a clue coz if everyone guess correctly, the story-teller scores no point).
It can be hilarious trying to match the story-teller’s clue with the cards that were played to the table.
There appeared to be some confusion to the scoring as waiyan posted some errata to our Facebook page after the game.
Rabbit-meeples were used to track score and there were definitely lots of bunny business going on last Friday at OTK. 😛
Dixit is a game that’s very good to be played even with a mixture of adult and children gamers. In fact, the children often comes up with more innovative clues for the story. 🙂
This Dixit group then did a quick game of F.I.T.S. before calling it a night.
1960: THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT
At around 2 am, there were still 6 gamers at OTK; four were still trying to bring up their civilization while me & Nicola were observing the session. I couldn’t make much sense of the proceedings – served me right for not getting up to speed on the rules – and in any case, I was prepared for the day with a 2-player game.
I’d wanted to do 1960: The Making of a President with Hiew last month when we met at OTK Cheras for his interview with me (as a feature article for his blog). Well, I suppose the interview took a bit longer than we thought and didn’t leave much time for us to do 1960. 😛
This time I’ve the perfect opportunity to bring this game to the table, since the four seemed to be still engrossed with their CIV game which did not look like ending anytime soon, and me & nicola are free until then.
1960 is about the “famous” Presidential election when Kennedy was pitching for the Most Powerful Man’s position against Nixon. In terms of theme, it’ll be similar to Die Macher – and the soon-to-arrive Founding Fathers.
1960 in terms of mechanic is similar to Twilight Struggle, though TS has a global domination theme and would therefore appeal more to the “male” gamers.
I won’t be writing a full review of this game here now as this was just my first game and I would like to play it for one or two more times before forming an opinion, but safe to say, the game exceeded my expectation – and also Nicola’s – and I’m keen to get this on the table again.
In this game, I played Kennedy (blue) while Nicola was Nixon (red) and both of us really liked how the game designers made clever use of the events and campaign points of each card to force us into very difficult decisions every time we were to play a card.
There were a lot of other things we – as Presidential hopeful – need to take care of, including championing key issues, fighting to hold influence over the media and making sure we keep our momentum (marker) healthy and forward-going.
The game even managed to include a Debate phase in the mid-game stage before ramping up quickly into the Election Day.
Both of us were basically fighting to gain the support of key states in order to garner the majority votes of 269 to win the election.
In the end, Kennedy won the election with just 10 votes. Nicola commented how “close” it was since a swing of support in just any one of the mid-level state (ie those with 8-10 votes) would have swing the victory the other way. I agree wholeheartedly with him, which makes this a very good game.
ROLL THROUGH THE AGES
The CIV game were “completed” while me & Nicola were halfway thru our 1960. I understood ayheng took out Roll thru the Ages and played 3 sessions with Jimmy and Ang while waiting for our 1960 to conclude.
Sadly no pictures were taken of this Civilization by Dice game as yours truly were busy squaring off with Ni-cola-xon for the USA Presidential Election! LOL.
HOMESTEADERS – again and again
Four late nite owls were still hanging around OTK after the rest had gone. Ho was very tempted with 1841 but work duties required he took a rain check on that option. 😛
With four players and Jimmy & Ang not yet done Homesteaders, we did a quick 4-player session. Alas we continued to play using the wrong rules (bidding).
ayheng nicked the winner’s position by just a single point!
Ang enjoyed the session so much he asked for a 2nd run! We ended our 2nd game around 7:30 am and well, we did have to call it a
night day then. Hmm.. I shud have asked or suggested we go for our customary Dim Sum since we finished at past-7am. Somehow I forgot.
Whew! OTK Cheras has not seen such concentrated gaming for some time esp with a few of our regulars away on “other duties” – allen at home and rhyen in Spore for his Causeway Scrabble competitions. Ayheng asked for an all-nighter and I think he got what he wanted with the meetup ending at 7:30 am the following morning – that’s an 10-hour plus of heavy gaming – and we were not playing Halli Galli or Jungle Speed yeah? – from Friday!
Copyright (c) 2010 Sundraraj Krishnasamy
Three things I’m happy about. First, happy to see a growing base of Cheras (or nearby) gamers who can join our OTK Cheras meetups. In fact, a few other gamers/customers eg Damien (bro to Leoskyangel) dropped by, said Hi and picked up some games but didn’t manage to stay back for a session. Hope we’ll see more of them playing at OTK Cheras soon.
Secondly, the new gamers who joined us seem to be those who are happy with light/fun games (like Nanuk, Dixit, Roll thru the Ages) and also perfectly ready to do the heavier lifting (with games like Civilization, Homesteaders and even 18xx); which is what OTK regulars love to play!
Third, we are back to doing long stretches of boardgaming. By long, we are talking about 10+ hours of gaming in one stretch. These are all what made OTK Cheras legendary for its hardcore boardgaming meetups and long may it continue into 2011!!
I’m hearing calls for us to do an 18xx Day this coming Tuesday afternoon (which is a public holiday here in M’sia) and I think there’s also a Cassian Meetup (Subang Jaya) due on 18th Dec (Sat). The Cassian Meetup will be interesting as we do expect our Dec15 New Arrivals shipment to reach our store by then! Dominant Species, Hansa Teutonica, Founding Fathers, Civilization at Cassian?
Stay tuned to our BGC Facebook page for these event announcement!
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