Events

BGC Power Grid M’sia Qualifier #4 @ Wolf Game Shop 3/4/2011

BGC POWER GRID M’SIA 2011 QUALIFIER #4
By jack208
 
EXCERPT
After a tour of Qualifiers hosted by newly set-up boardgame cafes, we are honored to be back among one of the oldest game shop to premier in M’sia – WOLF GAME SHOP. Only the brave lurks in the lair of the wolf, and with rumours of Empress Hacan the Merciful making a return from her Catan slumber, we were all set for an explosive qualifier!
 
Participants Qualifier #4
1. Triona Leo
2. Norman Chuo
3. Arjun Armand
4. Ian Binn
5. Emil Ali
6. Aaron Khoh
 
Game Masters (GM): jack208 & aanemesis (Game #6)

Location: Wolf Game Shop, Section 14 PJ
Date/Time: 3 April 2011 2.15 PM – 4.00 pm (Sun)
 
 
SHE WHO DARES DRINK FROM THE POISONED CHALICE
WOLF GAME SHOP (WGS) has been around for as long as I can remember, from way back in their early days in Amcorp Mall when I was but a mere noob in boardgaming, they have now moved to Section 14. They are not a boardgame café but set up as a game shop with emphasis on miniatures gaming and yet have a fair share of boardgames being played here.
 
WGS commands a loyal set of followers and though some of them “disappeared” every now and then, a competitive event such as this would see the “long-lost” gamers coming back for some sort of reunion. While today’s qualifier saw 6 gamers who already knew each other, it’s not expected to get any less competitive for the simple reason they knew two will win and four will not.
 
News of Empress Hacan the Merciful making a comeback from her sojurn (since returning from Essen a few years back with M’sia’s best showing in the Catan Championship) fueled the fire that drew the other marauders into the wolf’s lair. Would she drink from the poisoned chalice?
 
QUALIFIER #4 – GAME 6

Players (initial turn order): Norman (red), Arjun (yellow), Triona (green), Ian (black), Aaron (blue) and Emil (purple)
Map: China, with north-east area not in play
GM: jack208 & aanemesis
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
(L-R) Aaron, Triona, Ian, Arjun, Emil, Norman

Turn 1
We’d the resource-hoarders in the previous Setapak qualifier (read sessrep here) and map builders in the earlier ones; I wondered how would this play out? 😛
 
The 1st turn seemed to be a rush for building as three players were already on 2-cities. First turn average resource cost was down to a mere $9 (compared to the Setapak Qualifier’s average of $16).
 
However this was probably skewed due to Aaron-blue’s interesting non-purchase of any resource in this turn (he’ll still get $10 even if he powered zero city). Was Aaron’s gambit justified? Read on to see if he makes the cut. 😛
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Loyal followers of our session reports on the qualifiers would not doubt have read about my comments of the first build in the north-east area which have entrapped all those who ventured there for the cheap early connections (Ang in Q1, Ken in Q2 and Lee in Q3).
 
Interestingly it was Triona-green who dropped her first two cities in that area. Hmmm. The Empress took a sip from the poisoned chalice….
 
Turn 2
The city building continued to keep pace with all except Ian-black not getting to 2-cities. Arjun-yellow has the most plant capacity when he bought the #15 giving him the ability to supply 5 cities.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Ian-black (left) and Arjun-yellow
 
Turn 3
Norman-red and Emil-purple were the first among the six to get their 3rd plants, pushing their capacity to 6 and overtook Arjun-yellow’s five capacity.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Emil-purple (left) and Norman-red and their respective 3-power-plants (below)
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Turn 4
The laggers were quick to acquire their own 3rd power plants to catch up with the early high-capacity players (not that anyone has 5 or 6 cities to reap the rewards yet) while map building continued at a frantic pace with more than half the players getting to their 4th cities! This session seems to be on steroids!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
With massive expansion done quickly on the map, you can see Triona-green being boxed in while Emil-purple appeared to have the freedom of growth!
 
Turn 5
With the mid-game plants coming out, the players were pushing the prices higher in the plant bidding phase. Can’t afford to lose out. The #2x plants went as high as $30!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Norman-red (middle) trying to decide if he wanted to pay more than $30. 😛
 
This appeared to be shaping into a fast-n-frantic Power Grid session with the players getting to their 5th cities in this turn. Looked like Step 2 was only a turn away.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Triona-green was already locked-in with no more room for her to build her 6th city unless she makes a quantum leap of faith!  So was Norman-red.
 
Emil-purple appeared to have the advantage on the map as the critical Step 2 was looming on the horizon when the leaders can break away from the pack. So can the Queen escape from her predicament?
 
Turn 6
Almost everyone was reaching 10-cities supply capacity now, and even though their building was lagging behind their supply capacity, this still indicated a quick game as everyone would be pushing towards the 14-city trigger.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
The power plants available at the start of Turn 6, which meant Step 3 could also be triggered at the end of this turn.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Resources have tanked bottom coz everyone was putting their money on power plants and city building instead of hoarding resources.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
With everyone getting choked on city building options, Emil-purple was the first to grab his 6th cities (Step 2) when he took the last 2 available cities in the central regions. Except for Ian-black who built first before Emil-purple, the rest were unable to find any empty city to expand. And with access to the north-west cities being blocked completely by Emil-purple, he looked set to continue his map dominance in future turns to come.
 
Turn 7
Step 3 did not happen this round as expected, so the players continued the game as Step 2 (which was triggered last turn). The #34 uranium plant was highly coveted and Emil-purple had to go as high as $40 in order to win it. With it, Emil-purple now has the capacity to power 13 cities (the only other player with this capacity was Aaron-blue) and unrestricted access to 4 cheap cities in the north-west – can he make a dash for the finish?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Not so fast! This was when Empress Hacan Triona-green made her move! She dropped 5 cities in this turn to jump from 5 to 10 cities!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Only Arjun-yellow and Norman-red were able to keep pace (but only till 9-cities) with the rest falling behind at 6- to 7-cities. A possible good news for the chasing players was Triona-green has supply capacity for 10-cities only and would still need to acquire at least one more power plant before she can pushed for the game-end trigger.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
The critical Step 2 where the leaders can move away from the chasing pack with a well-timed break!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Norman-red (right) trying not to lag too far behind Triona-green while Emil-purple saw his early lead being cut back mercilessly by the Queen of Merciful. 😛
 
Step 3 was also started in this turn.
 
Turn 8
Can the back-three catch up with the front-three (Triona-green, Arjun-yellow and Norman-red)?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Everyone acquired one of the high-powered Step 3 plants to push their supply capacity to 14 or more as the game neared it’s inevitable conclusion.
 
Everyone except Arjun-yellow who surprisingly did not get any new plant and as such his supply capacity remained at just 10-cities. Arjun-yellow was still in a lead position with his 9-cities but could his underwhelming supply capacity cost him in the last straight?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Triona-green managed to get the #31 (above) to push her supply capacity to 15 cities (the downside was she has one too many coal/oil plants in her inventory) while Emil-purple got the #50 eco-plant at cost to put him at the highest capacity of 16-cities.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Triona-green (right) surveying the resource market, getting worried at the price of oil & coal since she’ll be the last player to buy resources this turn.
 
This is how the players stacked up moving into the building stage of this turn:
 
Turn Order
Player’s Name
Color
Cities
Capacity
1st
Triona
Green
10
15
2nd
Norman
Red
9
13
3rd
Arjun
Yellow
9
10
4th
Aaron
Blue
7
15
5th
Ian
Black
7
14
6th
Emil
Purple
6
16
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Everyone’s in standing mode now as the game reached it’s finale….
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Kareem (left) and Aanemesis joined the players in their finale frenzy…
 
In the Building phase, while most of the others built only one-city (I supposed their money all went to bidding for the needed Step 3 plants earlier in this turn) Aaron-blue dropped 3-cities to rush up to a 10-cities pole position and with Norman-red unable to build this turn and Arjun-yellow only adding one city to his previous nine, Aaron has now came into joint 2nd/3rd breathing down  Triona’s neck.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Can Triona-green (being the last to build) dropped 4 cities to end the game and claim victory?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
No, she can’t! Can only managed 2 which still kept her in pole position going into the next turn and this surely has to be the final turn.
 
Turn 9
Only two players went for power plant bidding in this last turn – Arjun-yellow with his mandatory purchase of the #46 to bring his capacity to 15-cities, and Norman-red who has to do one more upgrading of his power plants to move from 13- to 17-cities capacity. Would spending the money on this last power plant set them back in terms of building one more crucial city?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Norman-red (above) with his newly acquired #38 to boost capacity to 17-cities… would that be a step too late?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
With Triona-green on 12 cities and almost sure to be able to build at least 2 (to trigger game end), no one can leave anything to chance and have to build as many cities as they can in order to claim one of the two Finalist spots on offer!
 
Emil-purple and Ian-black both managed to build 4 cities to bring them to their 11th cities but alas this would not be enough to win the game.
 
Norman-red can only add 3 cities bringing him to 13-cities. I think the last #38 power plant took out too much moolah from him. L
 
Arjun-yellow was the first to trigger the 14th game-end condition when he built 4 cities to jump from 10- to 14-cities! He later commented he didn’t knew it was possible for him to build 4 cities in a single turn (for a total of $92) until he played in this game. LOL
 
There’s still Aaron-blue and Triona-green yet to build. Would Arjun-yellow’s 14th be enough to tip him over the line? He still has $21 left and was searching the map to see if he can build just one more city but to no avail!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Aaron-blue had everyone especially Triona in suspense when he placed 5 blue houses to the board…. that would have meant he was building 5 cities to reach 15-cities!
 
But alamak! He mistook one of the empty cities in the (not-in-play) north-east area of the map as one of his planned five cities built. Oops…. so he quickly recalculated and paid $100 for his 4 cities and with only $25 left was trying to find a possible 5th city. Again none found so Aaron-blue ended the game with 14-cities but he should be able to win a tie-break with Arjun-yellow.
 
As expected, Triona-green took 3 new cities bringing her total cities to 15 for an outright victory! 2nd place went to Aaron-blue on the basis of money as tie-break with Arjun-yellow.
 
Phew!
 
Final position of Game #6 from Qualifier #4
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
Triona-green (left) achieved two firsts in this qualifier. She became the first lady Finalists (cheers!) and she was also the first not only to survive the dreaded “north-east poison chalice” but claimed victory!
 
Both Triona and Aaron 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
Triona Leo
Green
15
15
$22
2nd
Aaron Khoh
Blue
14
14
$25
3rd
Arjun Armand
Yellow
14
14
$21
4th
Norman Chuo
Red
13
13
$3
5th
Ian Binn
Black
11
11
$18
6th
Emil Ali
Purple
11
11
$0
 
 
OUR HOST: WOLF GAME SHOP
Special thanks to our host, Wolf Game Shop and Francis Wolf for hosting this Qualifier.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop
 
The competitors (below) unwinding with a game or two of The Speicherstadt (courtesy of Emil)
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Wolf Game Shop

NEXT UP: MAGE – THE FIRST BOARDGAME CAFE (FB Invite)
From one of the earliest game shop in town (WGS), we take you next week to the first boardgame café in Msia – MAGE CAFE of Damansara Jaya – where we expect to see euro-centric boardgamers gather to compete to become the 9th & 10th Finalists.
 
 
RELATED LINKS
 
For more photos of this Qualifier, visit our Facebook Album.
 
Event reports from other Power Grid 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 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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