Events

BGC Power Grid M’sia Qualifier #3 @ Family Boardgame Station 27/3/2011

BGC POWER GRID M’SIA 2011 QUALIFIER #3
By jack208
 
EXCERPT
Four Finalists now confirmed. Setapak is a relatively new ground for Boardgamers as most of them are centered in Damansara/PJ area so it’s said only a fierce dragon will dare cross over the river. Find out what happpens when Dragon Kev crosses over to the Setapak waters to compete with 5 local incumbents in the latest Power Grid Qualifier.
 
Participants Qualifier #3
1. Quah E-Lin
2. Lucas Lim W.K.
3. Lee Hock Hin
4. Kelvin Khoo C.J.
5. Wong Swee Yuan
6. Kevin Tan
 
Game Masters (GM): jack208 (Game #5)

Location: Family Boardgame Station, Setapak (link)
Date/Time: 27 March 2011 2.00 PM – 4.30 pm (Sun)
 
 
ENTER THE KEV DRAGON
With four finalists identified, Qualifier #3 are set to produce two more finalists to make up half of the Final Pool. This qualifier is being held at Setapak’s Family Boardgame Station (link) a relatively low-profile boardgame café run by Stanley Cheng that’s been in business for over half a year.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
They cater mostly to the UTAR students and gamers around the Setapak and Genting Klang area, and being a Boardgamecafe.net retailer partner gave them the privilege to host one of our Power Grid Qualifiers.
 
Stan confirmed 5 local participants (strength unknown) for us on Saturday and needing one more player to make a nice 6-player game, I asked around to see who’s game to drop in to Setapak. Kevin Tan (who took part in our 1st qualifier) answered the call! Kevin usually plays at OTK Cheras and lately he’s also been seen often in Boardgame Depot. He hasn’t ventured that far to Setapak so Family Boardgame Station is really an away match for him.
 
It’s said only fierce dragon crosses the river (猛龍過江)…  so let us read on to find out whether Dragon Kev was fierce enough to prevail in the stormy unknown waters of Setapak or would he succumbed to the local forces. 😛
 
QUALIFIER #3 – GAME 5

Players (initial turn order): Quah (purple), Lee Hock Hin (red), Kelvin Khoo (blue), Wong Swee Yuan (green), Lucas Lim (black), Kevin Tan (yellow)
Map: China, with north-east area not in play
GM: jack208
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
(L-R) Kevin, Lucas, Quah, Lee Hock Hin, Kelvin Khoo, Wong Swee Yuan
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
That’s me (back to camera) setting up the table for the qualifier match using China map. I love this BGC Halloween 97 t-shirt! Think we shud do another BGC Halloween event this year. 🙂
 
Turn 1
After the 1st round of power plants were auctioned off, the Setapak gamers immediately went into resource hoarding mode! The average resource cost per person was $16 in the first round and Kevin was the only one who paid a sub-$10 resource cost; just $6 for one garbage. Kevin’s comment was “Hmm.. this group plays different.”
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
First build was well spread out (friendly game?). However power plant bidding was notably more competitive here than in the previous two qualifiers. The good plants do not get bought without some fierce bidding. So no, this won’t be a friendly match. 😛
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Kelvin (left) and Wong agonizing over their bidding options.
 
Turn 2
Due to the intense bidding and hoarding of resources, the players were low on cash and some of them have to either sacrifice a power plant or building to balance their outlay. Three of them skipped building in Turn 2 (and remained at 1-city).
 
Turn 3
Bidding for power plants remained tight and only two players opted to pick up an additional power plant this turn;  the 18-eco went for $24 and the 16-oil for $20.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Three players opted out of building this turn again (not the same 3 players as in Turn 2) but this was turning into a pattern. Kevin-yellow was the first to reach 3-cities, and together with Lucas-black both of them were starting to suffocate Lee-red who’s camped in the north-east.
 
With all except Kevin-yellow still at 2-cities in Turn 3, I’m already anticipating this game to take a turn or two longer than normal.
 
Turn 4
When the #20 and #21 power plants came out in this turn, I was expecting to see another fierce fights over them. Unexpectedly it turned out to be a “peaceful” affair with BOTH the #20 and #21 going at cost to Kelvin-blue and Quah-purple respectively. Think they were conserving their cash to focus on the map building now.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Resources have started to normalize – players hoarding less now since they realized the connection costs in this map is not cheap and it’s hard for them to manage fierce plant bidding, hoarding of resources and paying for high connection building costs all in one-breath.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Garbage going really dirt cheap with only one garbage plant in play (but two uranium plants active).
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
While the others just managed to catch up with Kevin-yellow (who didn’t build this turn), Lucas-Black powered ahead with his 4th city.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Quah, the 2nd female participants in our BGC Power Grid tournament (after Rainny from the Boardgame Depot Qualifier). Glad to see more ladies in this thinky game.
 
Turn 5
Wong-green and Lee-red were the first to recycle their power plants as they acquired their 4th power plants in this turn but with only one of the two available garbage plants being bought, garbage plant operators were enjoying a boon in low resource pricing.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
The players were still trying to find the correct balance between bidding-resource-building as yet again three players opted out of building in this round, allowing Kevin-yellow to power back to first position when he built 2 cities to reach his 5th.
 
This, IMHO, is also an important milestone as Kevin-yellow starts to lock up the access to the crucial north-west region of the map.
 
Turn 6
We are now a possible turn away from  hitting Step 3 (with the #31-#35 plants coming out in the next turn) and with only 5th city reached, I felt there’s not likely to be a Step 2.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Kevin-yellow triggered Step 2 by building his 6th city but with the Step 3 card coming out as the replacement for the discarded (lowest) plant (discarded due to Step 2), it confirmed there would be no Step 2 for this game (ie. Step 3 starts in Turn 7).
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Wong-green was very eco-friendly with his two eco-plants but they were greatly under-capacity for him to win….
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
I noticed Quah-purple was already in pole position when she was the first to reach a winning capacity of 15 after acquiring the #30 garbage plant but she was 2 cities lagging Kevin-yellow. Can she moved up a gear or two and powered to a strong finish?
 
Turn 7
With the power plant market being fully capitalized now in Step 3 (ie a new power plant will replace the one just sold unlike Step 1 where you only get 5 static power plants per turn), and only Quah-purple having a winning capacity of 15, the rest were on a drive to acquire the high-capacity plants.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Kevin-yellow went for the extremely efficient #35 but was outbid till $41 by Lucas-black. He eventually got the #34 instead. Wong-green snatched the #50-eco. Quah-purple was still in the lead with her 15-capacity as the rest were all playing catch-up at just 11-capacity.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
(Above) The situation before Turn 7’s Building phase with Kevin-yellow leading at 6-cities. Lee-red’s growth was stunted at the north-east (note the similar situation with Ken’s (wolfx) situation from the Cassian meetup).
 
With everyone being aware the game was coming to an end soon.. they switched their focus to acquiring game-winning power plants and map building. No one was hoarding resources at this stage. J
 
Turn 8
More power plant acquisition in this turn with all but Wong-green joining Quah-purple with a winning capacity of either 14- or 15-cities. Wong-green trailed the group with his 12-cities capacity however while Lee-red has 15-cities capacity, he trailed all the others in terms of city-network with only 3-cities on the board.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
While most were building three cities in this turn, Kevin-yellow continued to remain in the lead by building just 2 cities to reach his 9th city. His closest competitors appeared to be Wong-green and Kelvin-blue but Wong-green still require one more power plant to get a 14+ winning capacity.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Wong-green at 12-city capacity (above) still needing one more power plant to complete his inventory. Advantage Kevin.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
My bet would be on Kevin-yellow since he has successfully sealed off the north-east for his final expansion. He also has the experience of playing the China map to completion; the different tempo of this map – to the more conventional USA / Germany – cannot be discounted.
 
Turn 9
Wong-green finally got his (last) power plant, the #42-coal to allow him to reach a 14-city capacity and be a serious challenger to two Kevin-Kelvins.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Kevin龍-yellow stood up as the challenge intensified and the challengers appeared to be closing the gap fast on him. He finally got started with the expansion to the north-west by building his 12th city there (below).
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
After the Building phase in Turn 9, this was how everyone stood…
 
Position
Player’s Name
Color
Cities
Capacity
1st
Kevin Tan
Yellow
12
15
2nd
Kelvin
Blue
11
14
3rd
Lucas
Black
10
14
4th
Lee
Red
9
15
5th
Quah
Purple
9
15
6th
Wong
Green
8
14
 
Quah-purple has lost her early momentum with almost everyone outrunning her on the map even though only two others can power to match her 15-cities capacity.  Kevin-yellow remained the favorite to win this match given his unhindered access to the empty north-west region plus his two closest competitors can only build to 14 unless they acquire another (likely expensive) power plant.
 
I was surprised though that Wong-green dropped to 6th and his board position was not in any way favoring him. Perhaps the tempo caught him out.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
This side of the table (above) was very eco-friendly with 4 green power plants in play. 🙂
 
Turn 10
Kevin-yellow started this turn with three power plants of 15-capacity (below) but instead of staring down to the finish, Kevin-yellow blinked…
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
… and he bought the #38-garbage to everyone’s surprise! Throwing away the efficient #29, he now has the capacity to power 18-cities with his #34, #39 and #38 but did he really need that many capacity?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Kevin-yellow realizing he has overcompensated (in his own words) frantically scanning the board to see if his last-minute fumble might cost him the game….
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
But he needn’t have worried; with the open access to the north-west region, it was a shoo-in for him to get his last 3 cities needed to win this match!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Only Kevin-yellow has the moolah to build to 15 cities; with Kelvin-blue and Lucas-black only managing 14. But with Kelvin-blue’s $40 leftover he’ll certainly win over Lucas-black. Wong-green did marvellously well in the last turn by building 5 cities to reach 13-cities on par with Quah-purple.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Lee-Red was last with 12-cities and drawing a parallel with the previous qualifier at Cassian where Ken (wolfx) who started in the same north-east spot as Lee-Red was also last. Would that area be a poison pill? I’ll let the other qualifiers tell us. 😛
 
Also of note is that while this game took 10 turns (one turn more than the usual), it was completed in 2 hours. Not bad eh?
  
Final position of Game #5 from Qualifier #3
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station

So Kevin-yellow (right) proved to be a 猛龍 (fierce dragon) and managed to prevail in Setapak to win this game, with the 2nd finalists being Kelvin-blue (he won over Lucas-black with money as tie-break). They also won a Rm50 boardgame voucher from Boardgamecafe.net for being the top 2 finishers from this qualifier. CONGRATS!
 
Position
Player’s Name
Color
Cities
Supplied
Cash
1st
Kevin Tan
Yellow
15
15
$12
2nd
Kelvin Khoo
Blue
14
14
$40
3rd
Lucas Lim
Black
14
14
$5
4th
Wong Swee Yuan
Green
13
13
$15
5th
Quah E-lin
Purple
13
13
$6
6th
Lee Hock Hin
Red
12
12
$10
 
Well played to everyone! This is the first time this group (except Kevin-yellow) has played the China map and while a few things did catch them out of tempo, I felt they did pretty well to give Kevin-yellow a final fight in the last turn. Inevitably Kevin-yellow’s experience with the China map saw him thru – though I’m sure he was antsy over his last #38 purchase (LOL).
 
BGC to Kevin-yellow: How does it feel to win this round and be confirmed as one of our 12 Finalists?
 
Kevin-yellow: Oh.. Can I pass a message to my best fren, Ang? Ang, see you in the Finals. Oh wait, he’s not there yet?
 
LOL
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Boardgame Depot
 
Haha… the above stmt was purely made up by me.. and while Kevin-yellow has overcame his Men-in-Black jinx (he made sure he came in white this time), his buddy Ang is now probably busy preparing for the decisive OTK Cheras Qualifier! 😛
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
I would like to comment something positive about this group (the five local participants). Obviously they knew each other prior to this match, and with Kevin (yellow) the only outsider from the 6-players, sometimes you expect some “unofficial” clique to form against the outsider.
 
My fears were unfounded. Not only did the five not form any clique, they in fact competed just as fiercely against each other as with Kevin (yellow) for eg they were outbidding each other’s power plant! LOL
 
I LOVE this sportmanship and would really like to see this attitude being more pervasive in group competitions. A big kudos from Boardgamecafe.net to the five of you – Lucas Lim, Quah, Lee, Kelvin Khoo and Wong!! Win or lose, you peeps stand proud! 🙂
 
OUR HOST: FAMILY BOARDGAME STATION
Special thanks to our host, Family Boardgame Station and Stanley Cheng for hosting this Qualifier.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
Stanley (2nd from left) in a game of Forbidden Island with waiyan. Eh? What’s Jimmy doing there? Spying on competition before he joins the OTK Qualifier? Hehe..
 
And if you are around Setapak area and are looking for some boardgaming actions, feel free to drop by Family Boardgame Station (Facebook page) for a game or two. They’ve a pretty good library of games for you to try out.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
.. And of course, they do carry Boardgamecafe.net’s range of games so if you looking to pick up some of our games there, you can do so as well. Just ask Stan the Man!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Family BG Station
 
NEXT UP: THE LAIR OF THE WOLF (FB Invite)
Crocs, sharks and dragons are so out nowadays. Wolf is the IN thing now. 😛
 
Next week we shall pay a visit to one of the oldest game shop (and arguably the shop that started the boardgame wave in Msia) in town; WOLF GAME SHOP where you shall find all kinds of characters. Rumour has it Empress Hacan the Merciful will make a return at the wolf’s lair. But I think blood will be spilled before the rest let her walk over them. Only for the brave… See you next Sunday in Petaling Jaya!
 
 
RELATED LINKS
 
Event reports from all 2011 Qualifiers
– Qualifier #1 @ Boardgame Depot > round 1 > round 2 > photo album 1 > photo album 2
– Qualifier #2 @ Cassian Kitchen > report > photo album
– Qualifier #3 @ Family Boardgame Station > report > photo album
 
Learn more about POWER GRID board game at Boardgamegeek (link)
Buy POWER GRID from our webstore (link) and its expansion maps:
– France & Italy maps (link)
– Benelux & Central Europe maps (link)
– China & Korea maps (link)
– Brazil & Iberia maps (link)
– Russia & Japan maps (latest) (link)
– Power Plant Deck 2 (link)
  

For more photos of this Qualifier, visit our Facebook Album.
For more boardgaming reports, visit our Boardgamecafe.net Blog.
To discuss this tournament, join us in our Facebook Page.
 
To buy the games played in this meetup, please visit our Web Store.
To view a listing of POWER GRID and all its expansion maps, click here.
 
We carry over 400+ games and provide prompt and free delivery to anywhere in West Malaysia. Min order applies for free delivery.
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