18xx

OTK Meetup 30/9/2011

Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ OTK Cheras 30/9/2011
By jack208
 
EXCERPT
Friday’s Game Night at OTK and tonight’s no exception as we saw a variety of games hitting the tables LAST NIGHT ON EARTH, CARGO NOIR, SURVIVE, TOK TOK WOODMAN, POWER STRUGGLE, 1960 MAKING OF PRESIDENT, TIKI TOPPLE, F.I.T.S, CITADELS, and FRESCO. 18TN was the R1 game for the table of veterans with Hiew getting his first toe-dip into the 18xx series and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA resurfaced as the R2 game to close out another fantastic gaming night! And special thanks to all the gamers who helped us set up the tables & chairs earlier!! You guys are the BEST!

Gamers: Desmond, Chee Ho & frens, Zharif, Jeremy, Hiew, Caleb, Ken, Joshua, Ethan, Teddy, Lee Ching, Ken Yen, Wong LC, Vick Nesh, Terry Kok, Ang XJ, Henry, Heng and CK Au.      

Games: Last Night on Earth, Cargo Noir, Survive, Tok Tok Woodman, Power Struggle, 1960 The Making of the President, Tiki Topple, FITS, Citadels, 18TN Tennessee, Fresco, Battlestar Galactica.
 
Location: OTK Cheras | Google Map | Lat-Long: N 03° 06.179′ E 101° 44.237′
Date/Time: 30 Sep 2011 (Fri) 8.00 PM – 5:00 AM
 
 
THE COMMUNITY SPIRIT OF OTK!
I was late today getting to OTK. Since waiyan was already there much earlier, I was expecting some gamers to have arrived and perhaps started a game or two. When I reached OTK, some gamers have indeed arrived. But instead of gaming, they were all busy… with fixing Ikea furnitures!! LOL
 
BGC Meetup @ New OTK
 
That was indeed an amazing sight and one that warmed my heart!
 
We’d ordered some furnitures from Ikea and they’d arrived on Weds. But our usual contractors were busy and only able to come on the weekend to help us set things up (the furniture plus other renovation touch-up to the place) so we just left the boxes there for the weekend. Ang was one of the early ones to arrive and he offered to help set up those boxes.
 
The rest I suppose just joined him and soon we’ve everyone busy with the Jokkmokk tables and Stefan chairs… and even those who came later joined in the “fun”. I saw the power of the BGC community here and it instantly validates all the hard work we’ve been done in growing and building up the local gaming community.
 
I actually had to “stop” everyone around 9:30 pm to thank them and also to remind them they are here to play games, and not just to set up Ikea tables & chairs. J
 
A BIG THANK YOU to those who helped us with the Ikea boxes!!
 
LAST NIGHT ON EARTH
 
With Terry around, half the time you’ll either be playing with Zombies or Ameritrash miniatures games, so was not surprised to see LAST NIGHT ON EARTH on the table for this group. In fact, I’ve not yet played a session of LNOE. Had wanted to, but didn’t get around to it. It’s a very enjoyable game especially with the right crowd.
 
BGC Meetup - Last Night on Earth
 
Terry, Desmond, Wong, Ken and Vick Nesh in LNOE
 
BGC Meetup - Last Night on Earth
 
This looked like the “right” group for this type of game – Vick Nesh (from Puchong group) and Ken Yen enjoying their LNOE!
 
BGC Meetup - Last Night on Earth
 
POWER STRUGGLE
 
On the other table, Zharif, Jeremy and another fren promptly set up POWER STRUGGLE.
 
BGC Meetup - Power Struggle
 
Hmm… not sure why the Tok Tok Woodman was on the Power Struggle board, and if you looked at the picture carefully – surrounded by yellow peeps. Some “sacrificial totem” for those who were ousted from the post of Chairman? LOL
 
BGC Meetup - Power Struggle
 
TIKI TOPPLE & DWEEBIES
 
The Pang couple – Teddy & Lee Ching – arrived shortly but finding all tables already started their sessions, had a quiet game of TIKI TOPPLE between both of them. This game is part of the Boardgamekids Library but it’s equally fun as a light game for adult. It’s a 2008 Mensa Select Winner. J
 
BGC Meetup - Tikki Topple
 
BGC Meetup - Tikki Topple
 
Teddy & Lee Ching also did another card game, which I wrongly marked as Tiki Topple in the picture. It should be DWEEBIES. In a cute little tin box. 🙂
 
TOK TOK WOODMAN
 
Always a good game to bring out as a filler in-between the normal game sessions… this time the Zombies survivors from LNOE attempted some wood chopping in TOK TOK WOODMAN.
 
BGC Meetup - Tok Tok Woodman
 
BGC Meetup - Tok Tok Woodman
 
Haha… look at the way these peeps hold the axe! No wonder they couldn’t survive the zombies… 😛
 
BGC Meetup - Tok Tok Woodman
 
Was Wong chopping the tree or trying to tickle some ants on the bark? Hehe.
 
Caleb’s “Can’t Stop” gang arriving in the background. I think they call themselves “Caleb & The Can’t Stop Band”… Hey it rhymes with “KC & The Sunshine Band”. LOL
 
BGC Meetup - Tok Tok Woodman
 
And wolfx? Aiyoh…. so genteel…. afraid your axe will hurt the tree? Kekeke.
 
SURVIVE
 
Caleb’s group started with SURVIVE.
 
BGC Meetup - Survive
 
Hi welcome back Ethan!
 
F.I.T.S.
 
Teddy & Lee Ching joined up with Chee Ho who had just arrived, to do a few rounds of F.I.T.S. – Knizia’s Tetris on board. 🙂
 
BGC Meetup - F.I.T.S.
 
CARGO NOIR
 
After done with Tok Tok, this group moved on to their next game CARGO NOIR. Wong’s a veteran of this game after his stint in the recent BGC Boardgame Retreat. 😛
 
BGC Meetup - Cargo Noir
 
Wong came up to me at the end of the game and said, “I still hate bidding game.” Hmm.. I take it to mean he lost that game? 😛
 
1960 THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT
 
After completing their Power Struggle (not sure who won), Zharif and Jeremy continued with another power-themed game. This time it’s the fight for the Presidency title of US of A in 1960 THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT.
 
BGC Meetup - 1960 Making of President
 
This is a lite-version of TWILIGHT STRUGGLE and it gives you a good idea of how the CDG mechanic works for this series of game.
 
BGC Meetup - 1960 Making of President
 
This has to be Mr. Jeremy Kennedy? 😛
 
BGC Meetup - 1960 Making of President
 
A CDG (card-driven game) of the USA election campaign, that swings back and forth between the two parties…
 
At about the same time that Nixon was battling out with Kennedy, Ang was considering budget cuts on his cigarette spending while he worked out the cost of a brand new 8-train for his railroad company.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
CITADELS
 
BGC Meetup - Citadels
 
More of Chee Ho’s friends arrive and what do you do when you have more than 6 gamers? CITADELS of course! And I presumed they were playing with the Malaysian edition of the game? 😛
 
BGC Meetup - Citadels
 
Was planning to teach them BANG! after Citadels but a few of their frens have to leave around midnite. Next time then.
 
18TN TENNESSEE
The 18xx group got a buzz when Hiew wrote on our Facebook wall saying he’s interested to give this game a try! We quickly gathered up a few 18xx regulars and planned for an intro via the 18TN map which covers the Tennessee and Kentucky area.
 
18TN is by Mark Derrick who also designed the two PNP 18xx maps – 18AL and 18GA – which were long regarded as the best maps to intro people to the 18xx system. IMHO 18TN now makes a good intro map, as good as 18AL and 18GA with the advantage of being equally interesting for 18xx veterans (if played as 5-player).
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
Heng did the rules briefing to Hiew (above) but I suppose he has already seen a walk-thru of the game from Scott’s videoblog, and being a seasoned gamer, he was quick to pick up the rules.
 
Initial Stock Round
The initial stock round went pretty quick, with players picking up the next available privates on their turn except me who dropped a $180 bid on the L&N private (which gives you the Prez cert to the L&N and also allows the L&N to operate even if two shares are floated) but Heng put a spanner in the works by putting in another bid on the same privates.
 
No one seemed interested to pick up the $100 private to trigger the L&N bidding phase. Aiyoh. Not a good start for  me. 😦
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
This was not good for me – and for Ang as well since he’s the only other player beside me who has no private and thus no operating revenue in the OR – as the rest all had a private and will be getting some revenue in the OR.
 
I decided to pass and let one OR ran to see if someone will pick up the $100 private on the next SR. No one. Duh.
 
So I’d no choice but to pick up the $100 private but chose not to fight with Heng for the L&N private. He kinda got it cheap for $185. 😛 But with Henry only picking up a cheap $20 private and Ang’s cashpile untouched, he’ll face a tough fight holding on to L&N.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
True enough, he did lose control of L&N to Henry (middle) who managed to buy 4 shares to get himself appointed as the CEO. Hiew (right) started the GM&O after I pledged my support to help him float GM&O by picking up 3 shares.
 
18TN is set up very similarly to 1830 where players won’t have enough cash to float their own company in the first SR and would have to depend on some form of cooperation with the other players to get companies started.
 
Early Operating Rounds
… consisted mainly of Henry (with Heng’s input) building up north-south tracks for L&N while Hiew was busy with setting up the network for GM&O in west.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
Hiew’s first 18xx railway company, the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad otherwise known as”GM&O”
 
Peace, stability and tranquility don’t exist in the 18xx world. But the chaos came earlier than I thought. In one SR, I was ahead in the Priority Lane and while I’d enough cash to start a new company (albeit at low par value), I was thinking of holding one more round before I pulled the trigger. Was also hoping Heng’s thinking of the same.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
He wasn’t. Bummer.
 
He quickly dumped all his L&N shares and floated TC at $80 par. Ang appeared stupefied by Heng’s move. Hehe. When the turn order came back to me, I’d no option then but to dump my GM&O shares and floated Illinois Central (IC) but at the lowest par of $65.
  
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
Both TC and IC were floated to leverage on the networks already laid down by L&N and GM&O respectively.
  
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
  
Hiew’s GM&O was running the most profitable route and paying the highest dividend with his three trains… I did re-invest back in GM&O shares as the dividend yield was very good.
 
Jostling for the mid-game
Competing networks were now converging and everyone’s jostling for the best mid-game position.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
I was lucky as I managed to save up enough funds to kickstart my 2nd company, the NCSI which piggybacked on to the routes laid by L&N and TC even though my southern track lays for NCSI would be across expensive terrains in the Appalachian Mountains.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
With the NCSI formed, there’s only the SR railway remaining (was Ang going to pick this one up?) and  the imminent arrival of the dreaded 6-trains; the first rusting the 3-trains and the 2nd obsoleting the 4-trains. At OTK, we play without the “delay obsolescence” rule. 4-trains rust immediately. 😛
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
The Sun is always Hottest at Midnite in OTK
Hiew has his first experience of Hotsun ™ when my NCSI was traded away to Ang (fortunately for Hiew, this was an observant experience and not as first-party :P)
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
  
While me & Heng were contemplating the fallout of the NCSI Hotsun maneuver, …
  
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
  
…Hiew was wondering why NCSI went over to Ang and a new company SR appeared in my portfolio instead, while Heng was laughing at Ang’s misfortune. LOL
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
And then viola! Light bulb moment as Hiew now sees the beauty of the Sun that’s Hot! J
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
With the NCSI now suddenly in his tender loving care, and the 6-train coming very soon and the treasury only containing less than $100, Ang has a burning issue on his hands.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
Shares dumped at this stage where companies were at their “weakest”.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
A quick shuffle allowed me to get the right trains into the right companies and prepare them for a home run. I still have a lot of work to build up the network for SR in order for it to complement IC’s revenue stream.. but that’ll come hopefully on time before the game ends.
 
 
SR (right) in a rather isolated network as it started late and with the Appalachian Mountains surrounding it, the other railway companies did not venture this far east yet.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
Hiew’s GM&O has all the trains obsoleted by the new spunky 6-trains rolled out by SR and Henry’s L&N. But he did have some heads-up when he observed Heng & Henry withholding dividends to store up enough cashpile for their TC and L&N in anticipation of this train rush. He did the same for GM&O and while the cashpile was still short, it won’t cause any major dent to his pocket.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
CEO of NCSI contemplating budget cuts as he worked out the cost of forking out for a 8-train now (instead of the planned 6-train). He was badly wounded but survived this train rush and eventually built up NCSI to have one of the more profitable routes in the history of Tennessee! 😛
 
Home Run
With all railway companies owning permanent trains, everyone’s pushing their company towards a home run… maxing out the route and improving their dividend yield. All the jostling and maneuvering were a;ready done by this time and it’s all a matter of breaking the bank.
 

BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee

 
The final railway network in Tennessee.
 
BGC Meetup - 18TN Tennessee
 
The stock exchange market position at game-end. IC and TC have the highest market value with the others not far behind.
 
Name
Last Div
Cash
Shares
Total
Hiew
1213
1682
1630
4525
CK
1445
1635
2580
5660
Henry
1279
815
1780
3874
Heng
1322
1229
2270
4821
Ang
961
237
1220
2418
 
Hiew did very well considering this was his first 18xx sessions among the wolves (Henry) and sharks (Heng) *cough* both of whom were colluding on L&N early in the game. Ang’s position was understandable after he got hit with the NCSI Matahari Panas (Hotsun) phenomenon.
 
Almost all the companies have $30+ EPS except for SR which has been slow to ramp up and only achieved the $20+ EPS in the last set of ORs. The IC’s high $40+ div yield kinda made up for the SR’s poor showing. The NCSI would have better dividend potential and it was indeed a gambit (as Heng pointed out) for me to swap NCSI for SR but it was a toss between consolidating my position or going for a home run.
 
Hiew basically has only one company from start till end but by focusing on it, he has spent very little (hence his high cashpile) relative to returns. But to win, he’ll have to start converting his cash to pick up shares especially of high-yield companies (ahem) like IC. Hehe.
 
All in, I believe this was a great session for Hiew. Can’t wait to read his sessrep… J
 
Been awhile since we did 18TN but as a 5-player game, it’s still tight and presents a few interesting key decisions. And best of all, it has the 18xx rules in the vanilla version that’s easy for 18xx newbies to pick up the game mechanics. The OTK house rules for this game is to 1) remove the Civil War stage (which IMHO doesn’t add anything to the game) and 2) remove train delayed obsolescence on the 4-train.
 
FRESCO
 
After concluding 18TN, Henry did not want to join our Battlestar Galactica session as he’s worried it might end too late for him. Instead he helped teach FRESCO to Caleb’s group.
 
BGC Meetup - Fresco
 
None of the pictures I took for the game session came out properly (sorry) so we’re left with the above pics. Now that Caleb’s group has gotten into Fresco, it’s time to try out the Glaciers Expansion. J
 
 
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
 
It’s been awhile since the OTK group has taken this game out for a session and this was the first play of BSG at the new OTK. Five players with the legendary Helena Ken in play (who took the OTK group to one of their few Human victory in the BGC Boardgame Retreat After-8 session in Genting two years back; sessrep here)
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
This session started off bad… the basestar was upon us almost from step one. Ken as Communications Officer promptly moved the two civilian (below) ships away from the raiders…
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
… but the basestar simply sent more pesky raiders to go after the civ ships. We were in a state of readiness to jump and promptly forced an FTL drive to get us out of the hotspot!
 
Without losing any passenger and civ ships, I’ve to add. We’ve skilled navigators, you see. J
 
After that early adrenalin wake-up rush (well, it was past 2 am so I guessed the Cylon wanted to make sure we were well awake) it was then plain damn boring sailing all the way…
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
How boring you asked? To the extent, we got nothing to do (Colonial Fleet policy still dun allow boardgames onboard battlestars) except camped out at the Research Lab.
 
Oh.. We did have a small incident during the Research Lab camping trip. We caught President Roslin (below) with his hands in the cookie jar! LOL
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
There was one crisis check that we failed where three negative skill check cards were found so obviously at least one person played those. And the only one who had yellow skill check cards were either Prez Roslin (Wong) or Admiral Adama (myself) and I didn’t play any skill check cards for this check. LOL
 
You should see Wong’s face as he tried to bluff his way out of this. We did try to brig him (on Ken’s turn) but failed as Wong indeed has a lot of high-value cards to fail that brig check… haiz.
 
With Roslin unmasked, it was still plain sailing for us (guessed his Super Crisis card not so super after all?) and we continued camping at the Research Lab.
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
What chance you may ask, of the Detector Sabotage crisis being played now? This card – if the skill check fails – will sent everyone in the Research Lab to the Sick Bay! Haha…
 
Anyway we managed to pass the crisis. Had to, otherwise we lose more cards if everyone’s sent to Sick Bay.
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
That’s when the 2nd Cylon revealed himself. Turned out to be Ang (Gauis Baltar). His parting shots didn’t do much damage to Galactica…
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
.. And while food & morale were in the red, Population and Fuel were healthy. I think at this point we were at distance 6 to Kobol and everything’s looking good for us and not so good for the Cylons.
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
So smooth sailing that Ken – for entertainment – attempted to taunt the two Cylons sandwiching him… hehe
 
And then SHIT HITS THE FAN.
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
Two basestars jumped out of nowhere. We’d Communications Jam. Civilian ships were getting wonky with their navigation (and flying too close to the cluster of raiders). Our vipers all damaged in combat save a few vipers out there trying to hold off the incoming raiders.
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
The Cylons sensing blood, now woke up!
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
We did manage to force one FTL jump – without losing pop if I recalled correct – and were now on our last jump to Kobol!
 
A few of our civilian ships were not so fortunate and we lost them to the raiders. Took some heavy hit on the Population counter and we are down to 1 pop.
 
This meant a forced FTL jump that fails (losing any number of pop) would be disastrous to us. And we were three steps away from an auto-jump and we also can’t afford to have any crisis that risk population.
 
So when we get to the FTL-3 jump, we decided to risk it with a forced FTL jump. We did play Strategic Planning so it was a 50% chance of making it out alive!
 
All down to one die roll now…..
 
BGC Meetup - Battlestar Galactica
 
And we lost! 😦
 
No bright records to kickstart the Galactica journeys in new OTK. The Cylon Queen (yo, Li Li) would be pleased.
 
SEE U NEXT FRIDAY!
BGC Meetup - New OTK
 
Another good Friday gaming ending at 5 am the following Saturday. Sad the Humans have to leave for home defeated.
 
To those waiting for our Terry Fox Run announcement, we have the details of the event and the wonderful Terry Fox Run t-shirt. Stay tune here for an announcement later today.
 
Terry Fox Run M'sia 2011
 
Read last year’s sessrep on our Terry Fox Run outing! Everyone (boardgamer or not) is welcome to join us!
 
Make your Nov 13th (Sunday) free!! More details on our BGC Terry Fox Run Facebook invite here.
 
BGC Terry Fox Run 2010
 

For more photos of this gaming session, visit our Facebook Album.
For more boardgaming reports, visit our Boardgamecafe.net Blog.
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To buy the games played in this meetup, please visit our Web Store.
To view a listing of all games in stock, please visit our (blog) Webstore Listing page.
 
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2 replies »

  1. great session report! 😀
    we had a game of Battlestar as well last week, with both expansions and it was FUN! After reading the sessrep I feel like bringing LNOE to the table again 🙂

    Like

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