Blast from the Past

Boardgaming on Merdeka – then…

EXCERPT. As Malaysia celebrates her 63rd Merdeka (Independence) Day today, there would be boardgame meetup sessions organized thru-out the country. But have you ever wondered what type of boardgames were played some 14 years back on Merdeka Day? Let this BLAST FROM THE PAST post take you down memory lanes.

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With Merdeka Day being a public holiday that closes a long weekend, plenty of meetup sessions are organized by various BG groups both publicly and privately to get together and spend time with our favorite pastimes!

Some of you may have wondered, 
"Hey what were Malaysians playing years ago?" 

Maybe everyone’s still playing this (below) eh? LOL

The 80th Anniversary Edition of MONOPOLY in BGC Games Library? A closet Monopoly fan? #fakenewsisit

Today’s BLAST FROM THE PAST post will take us back 14 years to 2006 when the theme for Merdeka that year was Keranamu Malaysia. hosted a Merdeka Day session at Toybox (one of the FLGS in the Klang Valley). This is likely the first Merdeka Day Gaming in Malaysia!

Let us saunter down memory lane and check out what board games Malaysians were playing back then, shall we?

Logo for KeranaMu Malaysia

The Hottest Race in the World

Not many may know this. The first Euro game “published” by a Malaysian designer?

First Euro Game from Malaysia?

That has to be The Hottest Race in the World – a self-published title by Edwin Wong back in 2005. It didn’t go thru any commercial print-run and not even distributed thru any retail channels hence it’s lost in the streams of time.

Tom Vasel even had a chance to play and wrote a review about it when Tom’s here for GameCon1.

Jimmy Yeoh’s MATH MAGIC does predate this game but I would classify Jimmy’s game as an “educational game” instead of an “Euro game”.

Power Grid

An evergreen classic. It has slowed down recently and the only reason I think is the lack of new maps being issued in recent years. The other disadvantage is that Power Grid maps come from Friedemann only unlike the Age of Steam system where any designers can contribute to the Maps eco-system.


This is one game I think not many today would have heard of it. AMAZONAS from Kosmos/Mayfair is light filler but plays too similar to Ticket to Ride which has more universal appeal.

Age of Steam

If you have been following our blog, the Age of Steam Series needs no further introduction. 🙂

All the copies of Age of Steam seen in this post are the coveted Warfrog Edition as Eagle Games 3rd Edition was only released a few years after this event.

Game of Thrones

Some say this game breaks friendship. Really? These guys were having so much fun and smiling-all-da-way while backstabbing each other.

You know nothing, Jon Snow

And those times (above) were before the HBO Game of Thrones series so most of us jumping into the game back then were coming from George Martin’s source material (the books).

With HBO’s popular series, everyone knows Jon Snow now. 🙂

Unfortunately everyone also knows the horrible HBO “ending”. To ye faithful, the source material remains our only hope now. tsk tsk.

Fury of Dracula

A game where I can’t decide if it’s more fun (and tense) to play as Dracula or the hunters. This was the 2nd Edition. Now in its 4th iteration.

Age of Steam (again)

Ah well, what can I say? 😛

The back of the game box (EAGLE) proclaimed this is the “Best Railroad Game of All-Time!” Hyperbole?

It certainly has “spectator sport” status. Look at those busybodies milling around the table, waiting for a train wreck no doubt. LOL


Less than 2 min to teach. Simple. Abstract. But can be brutal with the “right” group.


Now this is one classic I missed playing… and that beautiful 3D game board.

Lost Cities

When you want to spend some quiet couple quality time.


Jousting was one of our fave “sport” then. And nobody likes the Provost.

The grand-daddy of worker placement. Time to joust again.

Thurn & Taxis

This is the 2006 year’s Spiel des Jahres winner. And from the designer who gave us Puerto Rico.


Am surprised we only did one Knizia game in this meetup.

Most of Knizia’s games has some form of bidding. This one’s no exception. Knizia has designed many games, not all of them hits. This is however one of those hits.

That’s a wrap. Are you still rotating any of these 2006 classics in your play group? Are there any of them which you’d wanted to try/play? Or you have absolutely not heard of any of these. haha.

Time to check out what Malaysians are playing today?

I’ll reach out to all the community board game groups to ask for pictures of their Merdeka Gaming sessions. I hope to compile them and make a “Boardgaming on Merdeka – now” post later next week which would bookend a good 14 yrs of board gaming in Malaysia from 2006 to 2020.

Stay tune for the 2nd part of this post. Hope you’d a Happy Merdeka Gaming Day!

Selamat Hari Merdeka Malaysia!

This year’s logo Malaysia Prihatin

The BLAST FROM THE PAST is a series of articles that re-collects interesting scenes and events from the past 10+ years of in Malaysia (and beyond).

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