EXCERPT. As the tumultuous 2020 came to a close, it’s time to put on a reflective hat and take a quick account of last year. It’s certainly not your usual year, but it’s also not all that bad. Here’s a round-up of Boardgamecafe.net in 2020. It was a challenging year but it was also one where we’ve many things to be grateful for.
2019 ended with a Bang for us after a busy Dec month hosting a few Outreach meetups and also having dropped in to our first GammaWaves at the iconic Rex KL. We even have time to host our usual closing curtain event TWILIGHT XMAS. A hectic month no doubt but a fabulous one to round up 2019.
While we did hear murmurs of some “viral infections” in China – there are always viral infections there, no? – 2020 did start innocuously for us. We resumed our Meetup activities and the highlights for us surely would be the fact we got two of our fave SIGs (special interest groups) going ie. AGE OF STEAM and 18xx.
Click here for Sessrep 7/2/20
Meanwhile news of the “virus infection from faraway China” turning into a global pandemic grew louder and struck closer to home. The last event hosted by OTK before our country was plunged into our first COVID-19 lockdown was Meja Belakang‘s video shoot of their new NAK MAKAN APA card game!
If you are looking for a copy of this game, you can get it from Meja Belakang‘s official Shopee store
And the world went upside-down
No one can imagine the impact a “flu-like virus” can have on the world. No one was expecting this, and no one knew how to handle it (initially).
Looking back, I actually think Msia didn’t do too badly. Yeah there were certain things we should have done better. Most of the struggles were due to the fact our life was almost completely yanked from underneath our feet in an instant. And we were too shocked to know how to respond to the “new normal”.
But numbers then were very much under control. We were recovering and by August, while SOPs of the New Normal were put in place and life has not yet fully returned to “normal”, we were generally tracking in the right direction. Most businesses and activities/events were allowed to resume bit-by-bit.
At Boardgamecafe.net our customers’ safety comes first so we are still keeping very much to the RMCO SOPs we’ve put in place since August. If you are coming to our shop whether to pick up your orders or for meetups, do ensure you’ve read our SOP and able to comply with them. 🙂
OTK MEETUPS returned, and we hosted a series of memorable sessions including the back-to-back LACERDA Saturdays, more AGE OF STEAM and 18XX were played, and even got two tables of 5p DIE MACHER checked!
Yeah it was Good Times.
And just as we were about to host an epic two tables of 6p DUNE, the untameable sandworms of Arrakis were halted by the winds of Sabah!
Yeah.. we were not the only ones screaming…. as the highly anticipated DUNE movie due for a Dec 2020 release was pushed back to Oct 2021! Oh well…
As I write, we are still waiting to see when it’s deem safe for OTK Meetups to return.
Meanwhile on the other side of the fence
(ie on the sales front)
This has been a bumper KICKSTARTER Year, even by our self-imposed policy of doing selective backing of Kickstarter projects. The good news is most of the Kickstarter projects were delivered more-or-less on-time except fora few stray ones (Luna, 1861/1867, Cthulhu Wars, Madeira, and even Cleopatra, yes I’m looking at you all).
Are all the Kickstarter games good? That’s for you to tell me, I suppose.
What were some of the 2020 Kickstarters that caught our eyes? Here’s what we think. Share with us if you’ve some that caught your eyes.
Note that we exclude most of the biggies/established ones as I think they are more of an established company leveraging on the Kickstarter platform to release their products, rather than “kickstarting” it.
We were however – in a twisted way – glad that xMCO halted the OTK Meetups as we’ve been subjected to a barrage of box trolls that we are struggling to contain. In a nutshell, not having to host meetups meant we can just use our shop space to hold the boxes.
How would this play out next year (2021) when we can resume OTK Meetups, I have no idea. Those who dropped by our store knows how “messy” it is at the moment… but as usual we’ll pivot as to where we see fit and get this sorted when the time comes. 😛
One highlight for us is obviously the launch of our ARCHON LITE series of card sleeves. We’ve been carrying the more premium 80-micron ARCHON series for a few years which are very well received locally, and it’s about time we complement that range with the thinner 60-micron LITE series.
You can check out the full range of our sleeve sizes here:
Archon Sleeves | Boardgamecafe.net Webstore
Throwing back for a Blast from the Past!
Two themes that I’m happy we rolled out last year were 1) #ThrowbackThursday and 2) Blast from the Past.
#ThrowbackThursday is more about sharing some interesting photos from days gone by from our BGC Photo Library that stretches as far back as 2005. Some of these photo memories represent nostalgic walks down the history of board gaming in Malaysia.
Blast from the Past on the other hand is more of an editorial look – with updates – of (boardgaming) things that happened in the past, and things that may happen again now or in the near future.
All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again.
No Secret Santa but we’ve 12 Days of Giveaway
We’ve been hoping to revive our Secret Santa get-together but nope, not going to happen given how we were hitting “record” COVID-19 cases every now and then (in fact we ended the year with a record 2,525). So we’d to make do with 12 Days of Giveaway… which has been a blast for us (we hope it is the same for you too). Some of the comments are priceless. 😛
Don’t worry if you missed these… we still have 3 more days of giveaways to go. LOL. Just head over to our BGC Facebook page and catch the next one.
Finally BGC Birthday Promos are back!
This one’s a personal win for myself. We’ve teased the return of this promo for some time but due to the busy schedule of my “other” work, we’ve not been able to get this rolled out. So the MCO was a blessing for this. With the activities of my “consulting” biz going all quiet during the MCO period, I’d the time needed to focus on getting this implemented. This and the Insider Reward Programme which you’ll hear more of in this year. 🙂
It was still a pretty rushed roll-out, we are getting there and we would like to thank everyone for your understanding and patience. With January clocking into the new year now, we’ll be restarting the redemption cycle with January babies. hehe.
Giving back to the Community
Lastly, the last promo we ran for 2020 was to give a little bit of something back to the boardgame community that have supported us in so many ways – the Boardgamegeek Patron Rebate. If you have not claimed your rebate, go check it out.
No year’s perfect especially 2020. hahaha. But the biggest disappointment has to be the cancellation of SPIEL 2020, which was inevitable. They did host a Digital Spiel… but it’s not going to be the same experience.
I want my Retreat!
What’s worst than having Essen Spiel cancelled? To us, that’ll be having our BGC Retreat canceled. This we cannot allowed, but this we have to allow (sigh) given the spike in COVID19 cases as the year came to a close. **sob**
We miss everyone mucho…. dun worry, we promise BGCR will be back again in 2021! err.. should be back gua. I think. haha.
Outlook for 2021
Phew… 2020 might look like a bumpy year or even a train wreck to some. It certainly was not a typical year. Yet there are so much more to celebrate and be grateful for.
A peek at what’s in the pipeline for 2021?
We’ll obviously resume this when it’s “safe enough” to do so. Not in a rush. But we’ll also likely change how and what we are running our meetups for. There are already many other meetups – formal or informal – being organized everywhere so BGC wouldn’t want to overlap nor duplicate those. They are doing a pretty good job and if anything, BGC would like to find ways to support them.
We’ll also like to put a stake on the ground and announce our plans for our very own KeretapiCON. Initially planned to kickoff last year (ah well…) hopefully we’ll find the space and safety to get this off the ground this year.
No dates confirmed. But we are optimists. hehe. Anyway this will be a project where we’ll need collaborators so if this is something you are keen to contribute or help out, give us a shout and we’ll get you in when we have our mind meld session.
An event where trains rust and the sun is hot. And FTP is not “file transfer protocol”. But as long as you have a ticket to ride, you won’t be shorted.
Here’s another tease…. a new product category we hope to share with you this year.
Finally… thanks for everything in 2020 and we hope to see you again and again in 2021! We’ve so much to catch-up. With masks and social distancing of course. haha. Meanwhile you go and have a smashing 2021! #kitajagakita
p/s If our service level last year have not met your expectations, our apology. We’ll certainly strive to do better this year. We are always appreciative of your feedback. 🙂 #kaizen