Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 17/12/2010
This meetup came right after our Dec New Arrivals, and never before have so many new games hit the OTK tables in one night – Lords of Vegas, Magical Athlete, 7 Wonders, Horse Fever, Leaping Lemmings, and some not-so-new ones like Nanuk, Carcassonne, and Age of Steam – attended by over 18+ gamers; almost a whos-who of the local boardgaming scene. 🙂
Gamers: Yew Cheong Lai & wife Lee Hui Ling, Oon, Castor Teo, Kevin Tan, Ang Xian Jun (ang), Jimmy Cheng, Kareem Koh (kareem), Nic Lim (nickid), Jonathan Soo, Lexiss Pong, Han P.K. (hanpk), Allen (blownfreaks), Yee Ling, Heng Aik Yong (hengy), Ainul (aanemesis), waiyan, and CK Au (jack208)
Games: Lords of Vegas, Carcassonne, 7 Wonders, Magical Athlete, Horse Fever, Leaping Lemmings, Nanuk, Age of Steam, and a look at Confucius.
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras | Google Map | GPS: N O3° 6.195° E 101° 44.058°
Date/Time: 17 December 2010 8.00 PM – 6:00 AM (Fri)
LORDS OF VEGAS
We started off today’s packed meetup with the latest high roller game from Mayfair, the LORDS OF VEGAS.
[aanemesis] I Love them dices! 😛
Allen and wife Yee Ling making a rare appearance with baby Ethan’s taking up their time lately
Since Heng has done a good report on this, I’ll copy that here for your reading pleasure. J
Lords of Vegas report
Our table played Lords of Vegas, a new game from Mayfair Games.
The players are myself, Kareem, Aanemesis, Allen and Yeeling.
What you pay for in this game – lots of dice!
In this game you play as a Vegas Casino Owner.
There are many ways to build up your casino.
There are 5 chains of casino with different payout potentials depending on the cards still left in the deck.
A casino can have only one boss, denoted by the owner of the dice with the highest value. However, there is an action to reorganise the casino by rerolling all the dices in the casino. And so there are many many MANY attempts to reorganise the casinos in order to become the boss.
Overall a fun game that has strategy and a healthy dose of luck.
Aanemesis (blue) won this game by a large margin.
Despite the luck factor, Aanemesis rode on his dice numerical superiority and crush all other pretenders to become the one and only Lord of Vegas! From the last photo, it can be seen that Aanemesis controlled 3 large casinos, myself 2, Allen and Kareem controlled one each.
Comments from the players:
Kareem “Vegas Baby!”
Heng “Vegas Bay-bie!”
Allen “Vegas Rollin’!”
Aanemesis “Dice is good!… er I mean no comment…”
On the 2nd table we have Han teaching the light game of Magical Athelete (from Zman).
This game is about a group of atheletes possessing magical powers racing to a finish!
I noticed lately there has been a surge of smalltime low-profile publishers/designers who are rolling out pretty good games (and in contrast some of the mainstream designers are just putting out samey samey games). Homesteaders & Alien Frontier are good examples. Dominant Species another.
Today, Oon/Castor making their first appearance at OTK Cheras introduced us to yet another gem from a relatively unknown publisher, HORSE FEVER from the Italian publisher Cranio Creations.
Oon setting up and teaching us the game
In this game, you are more a race gambler than a horse owner. Yes you can buy stables and own horses, but that’s simply one of the many paths to victory.
The odds are not tied to the horse (unlike Long Shot). Here the odds are set based on the last finishing position of the horse therefore if White was the winner in the last race, he has lower odds now (1:2).
Each of us get to be a character, whom has an unique ability to the others. For eg, mine was Eric Change and gave me the power to fix some of the odds AFTER the players have placed their bets. Cool eh? 😛
There’s also the Assistant cards which can be purchased. Each Assistant comes with his own abilities for eg I’ve bought the assistant who can get my VP at lower cost (yes, you can buy VPs in this game). There are a lot more of these Assistants and it’s up to you to spot a good combo.
The RACE itself is relatively simple. Throw two dice and when the horse’s color turns up, move the horse the no. of steps according to the chart table. It’s clear the game is designed not to center around the actual race itself (unlike Long Shot and Winner’s Circle where the race took up the bulk of the game time)
You can attempt to fix the races too.. by playing tactic cards behind a horse. These tactic cards – also purchased – can bring a positive or negative effect to the horse. And everyone can play them as well!
The game is played to a max of 10 rounds but think Oon suggested we do the shorter Family version of 5 rounds. Apparently there’s also the Party version??!! The game plays fast and except at the beginning when we were getting ourselves familiar with the cards, it moved along quickly.
Oon showing Nic how to fix races!! LOL
My winning hand!
How does this game compare with the other horse racing games? It’s certainly more strategic than Long Shot (or Totopoly, the grandfather of all horse racing game), and has more tactical options (via cards, actions, bets) to consider than Winner’s Circle. If I am to rank them in terms of weight/complexity, this is how the order would be:
Long Shot -> Winner’s Circle -> Horse Fever
(the more complex game to the right)
(the more complex game to the right)
NOTE. Boardgamecafe.net cannot confirm yet if we are able to import this title in. Stay tune to our New Arrivals thread for further updates.
This group seems to be focusing on the lighter & fun games… after doing Magical Athlete, they moved on to the favorite gateway game Carcassonne – a game that rhyen has been waiting for ages to play at OTK! And they have to bring it out when he’s not around tsk tsk.
Yew and his wife Hui Ling joining our OTK meetup for the first time… I think they enjoyed Carcassonne!
After some high rolling with dices at Vegas, the group continued with 7 Wonders with the set from Kareem. I suspect this was the first play of 7 Wonders in Msia! Over to AyHeng for his report.
7 WONDERS report
Allen and Yeeling have to leave, but then Ang and his cousin reached to join us in a game of 7 Wonders!
Another new release, this time from Asmodee Games. This is Kareem’s copy, so thanks to him for bringing the game and teaching it to us.
Every player starts with a wonder of the world which produces a resource and have some VPs and/or special abilities when it is built.
There are multiple paths to get VPs to win: economic, military, technology, guilds, so on and so forth.
The game uses a drafting mechanic to cycle the deck through the player’s hands for them to build up their wonders and play area. Which I thought was pretty clever as the single pass through the entire deck controls the game pace to 30 minutes.
The limited interaction between the players and their immediate neighbors only is also an inspired design decision.
Overall I thought that 7 Wonders is a sort of Race for the Galaxy clone with its icons and build up, but streamlined to something simpler and direct.
We played 2 rounds of this game and I still like the balancing mechanic where certain buildings allow another building to build for free rather than using the normal resources. It sort of guides you down an optimised build order but with an option to diversify with a cost.
GMT Games, usually producer of 2-player hex-style wargames appear to be branching into new territory when they first released Dominant Species (another hotly awaited games arriving to our store est end January) and then Leaping Lemmings!
In this game, you control a bunch of lemmings… all bearing your color but unlike other nameless lemmings, these carry a name each. Yup, each one has a unique name.. Which I suppose makes it harder to “kill” them later. Oops.. yeah, some of those cute lemmings die in the making and playing of this game. :S
Your objective is simple… guide your lemmings to run across the field to the other end and dive off the cliff! The more stylish your lemmings dive, the more points you score!
The gameplay however conveniently evaded the question of whether the lemmings survive the dive! I think they do survive but anyway let’s not go over there..
Here’s Dave, the first local lemming to complete a successful dive, and at 3 out of a possible 5 point that’s not a bad score!
The canyon can get packed with lemmings scurrying around here and there… avoiding the the eagle circling above waiting to pounce on any poor lemming. Oh wait.. I did tell you about the eagle rite? No?
Where there’s lemmings, there’s eagle. As the lemmings run across the exposed canyon, they need to be wary of Ruby the Eagle who’s circling high above them… but can swoop down in 2 secs to pick them off.
Woe betide the lemming that was picked… he’ll end up becoming eagle chow! The pic above showed Mary becoming the eagle’s next lunch.. while sneaky Clint tiptoed past the eagle as she was busy feasting on poor Mary. May your soul rest in peace at LemmingGate.
Unlike the ambiguous fate of the lemmings jumping off the cliff, here the designer left us in no doubt whatsoever as to the fate of the lemmings caught by Ruby the Eagle. They are COOKED!
P/s Is it just me or is there anyone else who find the picture of the naked skinned lemming on the plate tasty? Sigh.
Castor won this with the most dives! Btw Castor, do you feel remorseful sending so many of your lemmings to their death off the cliff? Hehehe
Special thanks to Oon and Castor who came all the way from Damansara to share some interesting / new boardgames with us!
AGE OF STEAM
By the time we finished Leaping Lemmings, it was already late into the night at 2:30 am and only those staying back for R2 were around. There were now four of us – Lexiss, Ang, his cousin and myself. We’d initially wanted to do Confucius but Ang’s not too sure of the rule so we finally ended up with the classic Age of Steam.
Ang getting his cousin into a Wallace game… at 4AM in the mornig! We luv OTKers! J
My copy was the 2nd Ed still bearing Wallace’s name, but enhanced with Railroad Tycoon style components (hehe).
I still prefer this non-predictive production system (above) than Steam’s predictive goods production which places the goods production in the hand of the players.
The fight for the south-western corner of the game which probably costed me the game. L
Ang trying out his Jedi Mind Trick which aanemesis is famous for.
(It’s late lar Ang. Jedi Mind trick only works earlier in the day)
The game was finally won by Lexiss (left)
While we did not get to do Confucius, we did take it out for a testdrive after we were done with our Age of Steam session.
The game is about “controlling” the three Ministers – Public Works, Military, and Finance – whether thru seeding the Ministry with your own scholars (by sending them to successfully complete the Imperial Examination) or more direct via Bribe!
The Three Ministers during the Confucius-era for which we fight for control. Influence in the Ministry also help us obtain other favours at lower cost.
The officials in each Ministry available for us to influence with gold coins!
The game mechanic is via worker action. The key to the game however lies in the network of goodwill that you can spread around by giving gifts to the other players. Once indebted with your gift, they are obliged to “help” you during certain resolution phase – until they discharged their obligation for eg by returning a higher valued gift.
The gameplay sounds intriguing and you bet it’ll hit the OTK table soon….
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