Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 11/02/2011
Our first meetup post-Chinese New Year saw ZOMBIES in-play (hmm… not superstitious ka?) and the popular – and some said the BEST – 2010 game DOMINANT SPECIES getting intro-ed to the OTK group by Emil. Other games in play were Alhambra, Kaigan, Carson City and Glen More. Another Friday and another 7am meetup!
Gamers: Terry Kok (terry), Leong (leong), Kevin Tan (kevintan), Lucas Tho (lucastho), John, Patomas, Kareem Koh (kareem), Long TJ (lostboyz), Emil Ali (derchef), Ainul (aanemesis) and CK Au (jack208)
Games: Zombies, Kaigan, Alhambra, Dominant Species, Glen More, Carson City
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras | Google Map | Lat-Long: N O3° 6.195° E 101° 44.058°
Date/Time: 11 February 2011 8.00 PM – 7:00 AM (Fri)
GONG XI FA CAI
With the Chinese New Year holidays just behind us, we resumed our Friday OTK Cheras meetup with Emil dropping by to intro possibly two new games; the highly anticipated Dominant Species and the well-rated BSG Exodus expansion. With 2-3 tables in play and the last table ending its session around 6 am the following morning, let’s find out what we did for our CNY meetup.
There is now a gamer group in OTK that likes lighter games that delivers more FUN in a shorter play-time. I’m happy for this as this now allows the OTK crowd to break into two groups; those who prefer heavier games with minimal (or no) luck, while also catering to another group of gamers who dun mind some randomness in their games as long as it’s FUN!
ZOMBIES was requested for tonite’s session and Terry brought his copy along to the meetup.
ZOMBIES is a beer-n-pretzel game… and is a blast with the right type of crowd. One of it’s problem is that the game can dragged on and you can play defensively by hiding in some store until the helicopter arrives (in other words – BORING PLAY!)
We’d experimented with some “faster play” variant, which is documented in our forum. This session presented me with the opportunity to try out the “faster play” variant again with a new group to see how it works out. J
A quick summary of the “faster play” variant rules
- Game is now won on 15 kills for 5 players (instead of 20 kills)
- Movement is not by dice-roll but instead you get to move (2 + Life Points)
- You also do not need to roll the die to determine how many zombies you can move (at the end of your turn). Everyone simply moves up to 4 zombies
- Dice roll is still required when fighting zombies
- No limit to bullet tokens, but still limited to 5 life tokens
- When the helipad tile is out, instead of it being given to the player with the least kills, everyone now bids for it using their zombie kills… the highest bidder decides where to place the helipad tile
The 1st and last rules above will encourage players to be more aggressive and go all out to kill those zombies instead of spending their energy locating places to hide! LOL
The game was won by 15 kills (and the helipad tile was not yet in play). From the feedback I received, the game is now more streamlined (with no dice rolls for player and zombies movement). And the 15 kills also help to encourage players to attack zombies!
After smashing zombies heads to smithereens, this group continued with a more lowkey game, building the beautiful gardens of Alhambra. 🙂
This is one of the most talked about game from last year’s crop, and most gamers consider this as the BEST Game from 2010. It’s also a diversion from GMT Games usual hex-based historical wargame for grognards and as such it received relatively low buzz here among the euro crowd.
Thanks to Emil for bringing his game (which he got from his Secret Santa programme in Boardgamegeek) and for teaching us the rules.
The game has so much hype to even draw out a long-hibernating Jedi Master (above) to drop by OTK!
I won’t go into detail for this game as this was my first time playing and I’ll need one or two more sessions to get the full flavour for the game but suffice to say, we were all very impressed with the depth of gameplay and tactical options presented to you.
The game has an ever-changing landscape reminiscent of Tigris & Euphrates (which I regard as Knizia’s finest) and the various ways you need to balance the landscape – Abundance, Regression, Wasteland, etc – can be daunting for newbie gamer but should be manageable if you are already used to balancing Caylus & Le Havre.
The ever-expanding landscape (above) with the tundra growing larger and larger as the game progresses till it reaches the Ice Age (which is the game timer here).
Insectman showing the middle finger to Monkeyman. Probably after insect habitat was ruined by the monkeys. Bad monkey, bad. LOL
We did have a few key misplayed rules which did affect the game but nevertheless we still enjoyed the session, and all agreed with the correct rules the game would be rated even higher! Can’t wait for the next session.
Click here for the misplayed rules.
KAIGAN aka INOTAIZU
Kaigan (a.k.a. Inotaizu) is a recent small print run game from Ascora Games – and to be honest I’ve not heard of this game until Kareem brought it to the OTK tables. As with all small print run games, they have the challenge of reaching the mass gamers and as a result, does not help to improve their ratings in Boardgamegeek. This means not all lowly rated games (in BGG) are not good or fun to play. Some may be lowly rated just because their audience is very limited. Kaigan could be one of them.
Kareem teaching Lucas and John their first game of Kaigan. I’ve yet to play a game so are not able to comment on how it plays.
Carson City is not a recent arrival. We’d the game in-stock a few months back and it sold pretty fast. Sadly (but as usual with recent arrivals) I didn’t have the chance to try this game until today when we decided to do this (and Glen More) for Round 2.
Note: For those not familiar with OTKspeak, “Round 2” (or R2) is the boardgaming session from 2am onwards.
The starting landscape for Carson City is randomized per game. In our game, Carson City is very much surrounded by mountains (which would be a good thing for those looking to build their empires on mines).
Carson City is a worker placement game, where you place your workers (ala Caylus) and get certain action with your worker placement. The spin here is that the action space is not exclusive to your worker! Others can butt in.. and very often they will.
What happens when you have more than one player’s worker(s) on an action space? Like all cowboys, you duel it out! Have guns will travel!
The City as it develops along with the game…
Beautiful board, shoot-em up scenario to fight for action spaces with your opponents, worker placement. Caylus it is now. But as a medium-light & fun game, it’s great!
After Carson City, we have time for one more game as it’s just 4 am. I’ve seen Kareem taught Glen More a few times at OTK and that game looks interesting. Plus it plays fast – under one hour.
Plays on a small board with interesting turn-order mechanic… you basically move your player piece around the board picking up “buildings” which provide you with certain resources – or abilities. So you do know to know the building-combo to do well in this game.
Some buildings are designated “special buildings” so these are good for VP bonuses. “Castle Stalker”? Hmm.. Reminds me of … nvm. LOL.
This is my landholdings as I developed it thru the game…
We played a 2nd session since each session takes about 30-45 min only! Glen More is part of our Feb/Mar New Arrivals.
We ended our session around 6+ am. Patomas Jr (his 1-mth old baby daughter) dropped by to bring daddy home. 🙂
Note: No baby was made to stay up late or deprived of sleep in the making of this session report. LOL
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