Essen Spiel

OTK Meetup 2/11/2012 – Essen Play Week 2 Meetup Report @ OTK Cheras 2/11/2012 – The Great Zimbabwe, Briefcase, Aliens, Gotta Go, In the Year of the Dragon, Dixit, Kuhhandel, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Mundus Novus
By jack208
While CO2 remained the highlight of the evening, lest we forgot there were nine other games (mostly card games) in-play at OTK also. We also did a 2nd visit to The Great Zimbabwe and are continued to be awed by the depth of its gameplay.
Gamers: Ivan, Kai Ming, Wolfx, Wong LC, Sinbad, Laurence, Thomas, Boon Khim, Hiew, Kareem, Heng, Waiyan, CK Au and others.      
Games: CO2, Briefcase, The Great Zimbabwe, Aliens (card), Gotta, Go, Mundus Novus, Agricola, In the Year of the Dragon, Dixit, Kuhhandel, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan.
Location: OTK Cheras | Google Map | Lat-Long: N 03° 06.179′ E 101° 44.237′
Date/Time: 2 November 2012 (Fri) 8.30 PM – (Sat) 3:00 AM
While CO2 (below) certainly received all the attention for the Essen Play Week this Friday, we also wished to note this was a particularly busy Friday for us and we’ve seen a fair number of other euro games hitting the tables.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
If you have not done so, do read our sessrep on the first play of CO2 here.
CO2 actually started later in the evening. Before that, the gamers did a round of The Great Zimbabwe; becoz the gameplay kept tempting them back in spite of us having done three sessions last Friday in our Essen Play Week 1 (read that sessrep here).
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Let’s quickly see what else came to the table this week before I wrap up the sessrep by copying Heng’s sessrep on The Great Zimbabwe. When you are surrounded with great sessrep writers, it makes your job easier eh? 😛
We’ve our Taiwan guest – Pudding from Swan Pan Asia – with us tonight and she’s great with light party games.. So GOTTA GO has gotta get a run on our OTK tables!
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
We also saw a very popular game that we – for some reasons – do not bring to the OTK table often enough. I mean, not at all for some time. So it’s always good to see this game on the table.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Usually talked in the same breath as Catan, also another great gateway game that most ppl enjoys but OTK hardly sees.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
If you have not done so, take a read at what we consider as gateway games in our Gateway to Evangelise blog post.
Next you have some hardcores taking on one of the top-rated games in Boardgamegeek. Uwe’s AGRICOLA. I forgot to bring out the new Belgium Deck for them to have a go!
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
One of Stefan Feld’s finest. Also one of OTK’s favorites. I’ve not had a proper sessrep/review written for this game. May rectify that.. But then again the backlog is ahem huge. :S
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Now we turn our attention to the main table which hosted The Great Zimbabwe. Over to ayheng for the commentary. 🙂
[by ayheng]
This game have a mix of new and experienced players.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Gods and specialists:
Thomas (black) have played before and took Engai without hesitation. He also took the Rain Ceremony, which is an important part of his strategy which we will come back to later.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
That’s Thomas on the left and you can see Engai just peeking out from below…

Hiew (green) also have played last week and he went for Qamata. The God of networks is not as powerful in this game due to the presence of a large body of water and again the constant raining that was conjured by Thomas. Hiew also took Nomads, and this happened as a counter to stop Thomas’ rain from connecting even more bodies of water.

121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
This is the first game for Sinbad (white) and he took Tsui-Goab, the shape shifter. I’m not sure if he read the previous session reports but this was the winning God for last week’s sessions. However in this game, the God merely helped him keep pace and Shaman was under utilized by Sinbad.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
First game for Allen (red) and he took Shadipinyi, God of drunks, a first for our group. The God helped him to take first place for a few turns by allowing him to bid 2 cattles and taking them back. With Herds, he practically guaranteed himself a high VR to always start bidding.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Finally, I (yellow) took Obatala, without any specialist. I wanted to try the ‘rabbit’ monuments strategy.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
From left: Allen, myself, Hiew and Sinbad.

I started off strong by spamming two monuments and upgrading them the next turn. However, this rash tactic doomed the long term strategy as I had not any craftsman for the longest time. I tried to save money for the Diamond cutter but was beaten to it by Thomas.

Thomas start strong by getting a potter. Supported by Engai, he went on to make a Diamond cutter one turn ahead of me and with the Rain Ceremony, ensured that almost all diamonds were in range of his Diamond cutter. Basically negating the possibility of a competing cutter.
Hiew planted a cheap Wood carver that was popular at first, but got cornered quickly by Sinbad’s Sculptor. He later went on to build the Thronemaker and Vessel maker but by then Thomas’ Diamond cutter had came online.
Allen got an Ivory carver while Sinbad got a Sculptor. Allen did quite well with his economy by returning his money thru his own carver while Sinbad managed to leverage Tsui-Goab to upgrade his monuments cheaply.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Mid game position:
Yellow – myself, spamming monuments all over but without a money engine, sputter off too quickly
Green – Hiew, has many craftsman but ultimately lost to…
Black – Thomas, his board looks simple but he has Engai and the Diamond Cutter on the bottom of the board
Red – Allen, have a regular beginner’s board, which looks almost like…
White – Sinbad, also have a regular beginner’s board position – one craftsman, 3 monuments of various levels.
Notice the large expanse of water with added rain to link it bigger.
In the end, however, Thomas’ Engai + Diamond cutter strategy overpowered everyone to win by an average of extra 10 points! His innovative combination of cheap 2 cattle Diamond cutter that is in range of 5 diamonds really pull in the money. In the last turn he just pushed ahead with his cattle horde and upgraded his monuments for the win.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
End game score (above)
The economics of this game is very interactive and the decision on whether to price the goods competitively to get the opponents’ cattles or to price the goods high to limit the usage to oneself is not an easy decision. Price it too cheap and opponents can upgrade their monuments too cheaply, however price it high and no cattles may not come in to supplement your income! Mix together with the constantly changing board position by the power of the specialists and this game becomes very deep indeed.
Wolfx (also known as Ken Yen when the moon is not full) brought along his ALIENS (print-n-play) card games for a spin with the local OTK card sharks.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
I was not in the session so couldn’t tell you much except the cards look pretty and well-done.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Could have done with more originality in choice of game components rather than snitching from Citadels. LOL.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
This card game is addictive. Always so.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
DIXIT can now play 8 players? haha
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Tonight seems like a “card nite” with most other tables hosting card games except the main table which was doing CO2 (and In the Year of the Dragon).
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Dennis getting everyone together for one of OTK’s recent fave card games MUNDUS NOVUS. Even I like this game so you can imagine how good it is. 😛
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
This is also another new Essen 2012 Release.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Our resident card shark Kareem was running this session and right now he’s packed his Briefcase (no pun intended) and hopping around in D.U.B.L.I.N. so can’t be reached for commentary on how the game went.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Comments I got from wolfx, Wong LC and Laurence who were in the game indicated it’s a solid card game. Perhaps not to the same level as GLORY TO ROME but certainly something worth checking out.
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
I do have the Essen promo card “The Boardgame Factory”. Wonder how that adds to the game.
Lastly, as a reminder to those who are supporting the Terry Fox Run – which has been making our yearly presence since 2010 – Wong LC wore his nice 2007 Terry Fox Run t-shirt to remind everyone. 😛
121102 OTK Spiel 2012 Play Week 2
Check out our 2010 report on TERRY FOX RUN
That’s all for this week, folks. We hope you are enjoying the sessreps.
Stay with us as we enter our 3rd week of Essen Play with possibly an early look into 18RUHR. That’s in preparation for our mid December 18XX DAY meetup between M’sia and Singapore.

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