BGC Retreat

BGC Boardgame Retreat 2013 – Game Two (Day One)

BGC BOARDGAME RETREAT 2013 – GAME TWO (DAY ONE)
by jack208

EXCERPT
The 2nd round featured no less than six (of the seven) games being a 2013 release – Glass Road, Legacy, Bruges, Artifact, Byzantio and Cafe Melange – and only Lords of Waterdeep was a 2012 game. So many new games…. so little time. 😛

A CHANGE AND THE GAMES CONTINUE…

When we took a breather – after conclusion of Game One – we also decided to switch the venue; from the main Reception area of Kin Tick (below)…

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… to the area just outside our stone hut rooms (below)

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While the main Reception is large enough to accommodate us, it’s not really meant to be set up as our “gaming area” as that’s also where Kin Tick receive their visitors.

We also find the main Reception area a little stuffy – probably becoz we packed 30+ people into that enclosed area – and the lighting can be better (again, we do not want to fault Kin Tick since they did not intend for that area to be used for gaming or any meeting purpose).

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We do find the open space area outside our stone huts to have very good natural light, and it’s airy since it’s in an open space with very tall ceilings. And it overlooks into an awesome view!

GAME TWO (DAY ONE)

Let’s see how everyone’s stacked for Game Two which featured a good number of Essen Spiel 2013 releases such as Glass Road, Legacy, Artifact, Cafe Melange etc

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Table Game Title P1 P2 P3 P4
1st Glass Road wong (4) meng (3) ken (4) ivan (3)
2nd Legacy raymond (1) iantan (0) edmund (4) laiwah (3)
3rd Bruges sera (1) heng (0) ka wee (4) francis (3)
4th Artifact chee ho (1) damien (0) thomas (4) bgc / wy (3)
5th Byzantio seh (1) bee lan (0) see kei (4) zhen (3)
6th Lords of Waterdeep matthew (1) khim (0) sonia (4) darryl (3)
7th Cafe Melange dith (1) lili (0) ong dc (1) shu wen (0)

With the exception of Bruges and Lords of Waterdeep, the rest were 2013 releases. Byzantio, Cafe Melange and Artifact were three of last year’s Spiel releases that didn’t get wide distribution – the gamers in table #4, #5 and #7 had the opportunity to sample them earlier than the rest of the peeps in M’sia.

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Let’s dive in and see how the session went.

GAME TWO – TABLE 1: GLASS ROAD

Table 1 featured one of Uwe Rosenberg’s (of AGRICOLA fame in case you are wondering) two releases last year – GLASS ROAD.

We also have CAVERNA (Uwe’s other 2013 release) schedule for Game Three so it’ll be interesting to compare notes with the gamers to see what they think of both Uwe’s games from last year.

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GLASS ROAD is the “lighter” of the two Uwe games released last year. Glass Road’s highlight is undoubtedly the Production Wheels (above) for Glass & Brick.

On first sight, the production wheels with its turning dial may flummox you. But if you just take a step back then you’ll realized it’s just a nifty way of converting raw materials (eg brick, charcoal & clay) to Bricks.

The difference – and it’s a big one – is that with these wheels, the conversion to Glass or Brick is sometimes “forced”, and not necessarily at your convenience. This can throw a huge spanner in your plan especially if you have been meaning to save some of those clay for other purpose (and converting them to bricks now may not serve you better).

Learning to adjust your game plan to the (automatic) turning of the production wheels is one of the (fun) challenges of Uwe’s latest game.

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And so we’ve four – Ken (light blue), Ivan, Wong and Meng attempting to walk the Glass Road. Boardgamecafe.net’s aanemesis (in light green) facilitated this session.

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The general Building board where all available buildings are shown for players to decide which to take / build. The Buildings are essentially the engine of the game as they come with added abilities to enhance conversion rate, produce something or provide VP bonus.

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Above: Meng pondering his move in Glass Road.

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Ivan & Ken won this round and thus remained in Table #1; and would get a chance to do Uwe’s 2nd 2013 game Caverna next. Meng & Wong would move to Table #2 where they now get the chance of an adventure to the Great Zimbabwe.

Glass Road

If you are looking to buy this game, sorry to say Boardgamecafe.net is currently out of stock for this game. Drop us an email and we’ll keep you informed once we restock.

GAME TWO – TABLE 2: LEGACY

LEGACY was one of the few new releases receiving the buzz at Portal Games in last Essen. From a relatively new designer, Michiel Justin, Legacy is a worker placement game where you attempt to match-make your family with the best suitors in Paree (and beyond).

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Above: Michiel demo-ing LEGACY at Portal’s booth @ Essen Spiel 2013. Guess what I was meeting him for? To do a trade on his copy of MANILA. LOL.

This game – or an early prototype – won a design contest back in 2009 but it was not until 2012 when Ignacy (of Portal Games) playtested the game with his friends, was impressed and attempted to contact Michiel with the intention for Portal to be his publisher.

p/s If you have not read it, do check out Legacy’s designer diaries written by the humorous Ignacy. Episode I (About Michiel) is particularly funny!

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Above: Seemed like we’ve Yellow vs Black for Table #2’s LEGACY game. We’ve Ian Tan (yellow stripe tee), Raymond, laiwah and Edmund for this session, while Kaz (green) looked on as facilitator.

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In LEGACY, your goal is to maximize your honour (VP) and wealth by working hard to arrange the right “strategic” marriages for your family. Yes there’s the distractions of acquiring renowned titles, building mansions and contributing to the betterment of your communities, blah blah.. but at the end of the day, it’s all about getting the “right” marriage partners for your family. LOL.

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The choice of possible suitors for your family…. choose wisely, tsk tsk.

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Your own player board where you track your wealth (money) & prestige (VP). It also provides a quick summary of game rules.

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Above: A 3-generation family, starting with you as the patriarch and extending into your grandchildren. Interesting – only one son, but three grand-daughters.

The game plays over 3 round (or 3 generations) with a slight tempo change in each generation. The first round is all about yourself. Making sure you set yourself for success by choosing the right partner who’s wealthy or famous / well-connected; better if both wealthy and famous.

The 2nd round is about “helping” your children secure your their future by marrying them into the right family, preferably both wealthy and famous! The last round is setting up your legacy to be everlasting.

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Above: Gamers with t-shirt color that matches with the table… hmm.

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Raymond (above) was the “noblest” of all in Table #2 and were joined in Table #1 by Edmund for Game Three.

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After failing to convince Paris of their nobility, Ian & Laiwah were off to the mythical island of Terra Mystica next.

GAME TWO – TABLE 3: BRUGES

Nowadays you almost can’t avoid including a FELD game if you are hosting an event like a boardgame retreat. Feld’s games have featured as far back as our 2010 Genting Retreat with IN THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON. So it is then for this Retreat, BRUGES made it’s appearance in Game Two.

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The BRUGES table with Heng (bottom right, then clockwise), Ka Wee, Sera and Francis.

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As with (most) Feld games, there’s always dice. In this game, the dice determines 1) the cost of advancing your reputation, and 1) distribution of threat markers.

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A closer look at the reputation track. You can see Yellow’s well ahead of the rest here. You earn VP based on the position of your track so the higher up you are, the more VP you gets. You are only allowed to advance one step per round, and the cost is the total of all 1 & 2 die roll (in the eg above, it would cost 3 coins to advance one step).

Note: The player color is not related to the dice colors.

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You get 5 cards in your hand, and you can spend one card to perform any of the 6 actions available. The card can also be activated as a “Person” by first recruiting him (as an action) into any of your empty house (building a house is also an action).

Some Person is a one-time activation (ie you enjoy his ability once) but most can be activated repeatedly. Some may require a worker to activate (you hire worker as an action) and some only once per round.

Psst… there are shady underworld characters as “Person” in this game. 😛

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Above: One Person card rotated to show it has already been activated this round.

The Person deck is your engine for this game. Doing well in this game requires you to set up the proper group of Person in your houses.

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Francis (above) winning this round and would be in Table #2 with Heng for the adventure of their life in Zimbabwe.

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Sera and Ka Wee were heading to the port of Bremerhaven after this.

Bruges

We still have BRUGES in stock and if you are looking to add to your Feld collections, do check out our webstore (click here). btw we have a promo attached with this sessrep (go to the end of the report).

GAME TWO – TABLE 4: ARTIFACT

Archaeology was also a fave theme back in our 2011 Retreat at Port Dickson where two archaeology games were played – THEBES and MYKERINOS (read sessrep here).

Thebes Mykerinos

This year when I heard Bernd Eisenstein (of PELOPONNES) was co-designing an archaeology game, I knew it would get onto our Retreat game list.

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Damien (left-blue tee) taught the rules, and also played in this session with (clockwise) waiyan (representing BGC), Thomas and Chee Ho.

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Most archaeology games are about searching / digging for artifacts to be transported to some museums for exhibiting. You earn VP and/or money for discovering valuable artifacts. ARTIFACTS is no different here but with Bernd as co-designer, you’ll be expecting some good auction mechanism.

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Above: The tiles indicating the type of exhibitions you can collect artifacts for. It’s essentially set collection, the trick is being able to acquire the right type of artifacts before your peers in order to exhibit at the chosen museum (ie claiming the exhibition tile).

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The dig sites – there are four of them denoting Africa, Asia, Middle East and America – where you can set up research camps, send more workers and race against your peer to pull out the “better” artifacts.

The game is played over a max of 8 rounds (years) – see the top track in the pic below – however some events may trigger an earlier conclusion to the game. This “sudden end” condition keeps players on their toes.

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The white meeples (above) denote the Museum track which allows a player to set up a new research camp at any of the four sites or produce exhibitions. The cost of the action here gets lower as more players take the actions on this track.

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The black ship track is used when you wish to close up a dig site and ship back artifacts from that site. It’s also used for buying & selling artifacts to the black market.

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The tension of the game comes in the search / digging for artifacts in any of the four sites. As more players set up research camps and workers in any of the sites, more artifacts are unearthed.

There’s an element of “cooperative” play here since the more players that converge on a site, the more choices (variety) of artifacts to choose from. However you do not want to be the “last” to exit from that site since you’ll then be shipping back less artifacts than those who exit earlier than you.

Artifact

ARTIFACT is surprisingly languishing at #7021 at Boardgamegeek but the game is not as bad as it’s ranking seems to imply. Poor distribution and marketing of the game by it’s publishers contributed to that as it’s not widely available in the USA.

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waiyan and chee ho won this game, and all set to join Ian & Laiwah in the mysterious island of Terra Mystica.

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Damien & Thomas shall be in table #5 for a visit to the island of Bora Bora instead.

GAME TWO (DAY ONE) – to be continued

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Alrite, that’s a quick recap of the first 4 tables of Game Two. Stay tune for the 2nd part of this report which would take us thru the next 3 tables in Game Two featuring Byzantio, Lords of Waterdeep and Cafe Melange.

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We certainly found that shifting from the (rather stuffy) Reception area to this (more) open space was a great choice. Not only was this area better lighted (by natural light) but it felt refreshing (due to the tall ceiling?) to be playing next to the greenery of the orchard resort.

Beats the usual playing environment in McD, Old Town Kopitiam or boardgame cafes, eh? 😛

Click here for Part 2 of Game Two (Day One) sessrep.

 


Related Links

Past BGC Boardgame Retreat reports

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