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Boardgame In the News / 8-Apr-2011: Ready for more Power Grid Qualifiers?
« Last post by jack208 on April 10, 2011, 04:24:23 am »
Ready for more Power Grid qualifiers?

April 8th, 2011  |  Published in Cards and Boards

Well what do you know, time really flies when you’re having fun. Or knee-deep in work.

The games have to go on, no matter how busy school or work is right? (Hey it’s all about balance – take it from this old man!)

On to the really fun and slightly competitive stuff: the ongoing Power Grid boardgame competition is heating up, as the fifth qualifier is set to happen tomorrow, 2pm, in Mage Cafe, Damansara Jaya.

This month-plus-long competition is organized by the good folks of Boardgamecafe.net, who is led by CK Au. They take a keen interest in a variety of boardgames, as they convene pretty much every week (mostly Friday evenings) to play.

It’s the second last one by the way, and happens to be the only one that will be held on a Saturday (the rest all happen on Sundays).

Power Grid, as the name suggests, is a game where players aim to build the best power network. It’s a typical Euro-style boardgame, where placement of tiles matter than actual movements.

Want to find out how the first qualifiers went? Check out their blog at http://blog.boardgamecafe.net/ – it’s got tons of pictures, and pretty much play-by-play descriptions of all the games that took place.

Interested to find about other games? The blog has links and match reports of all these other cool boardgames as well, plus great-looking pictures to unleash the inner gamer in you!

If you’re keen to find out more, why not check out their Facebook page here, http://www.facebook....ardgamecafe.net for the lowdown. They’ve got loads of other activities lined up as well, so check back often for updates!

Do tweet me at www.twitter.com/arcturus_mengsk or leave me feedback below!

Boardgame In the News / 23-Mar-2011: More Power Grid Qualifiers This Week
« Last post by jack208 on March 23, 2011, 09:41:02 pm »
[size="3"]More Power Grid qualifiers this weekend[/size][/b]

March 23rd, 2011  |  Published in Cards and Boards

A couple of weeks back, Cards & Boards ran a story on how a bunch of boardgame enthusiasts have started up a casual and fun competition, for a little Euro boardgame, Power Grid.

Well, the qualifiers for the finals, are well and under way, with two rounds done!

C. K. Au and his friends have started up a whole boardgames community, Boardgamecafe.net, which pretty much gathers and plays boardgames virtually every week.

The group recently started its first competition, which is being held in a bunch of different games cafes and locations around the Klang Valley.

The qualifiers, which are ongoing, will enable the finalists in a winner-takes-all type of “grand finals.” Yeah, show ‘em who’s the Power Grid boss!

The game has players scrambling to be the most efficient and best power producer, in specific countries and settings. Who says boardgames has to be all about money or war?

This weekend, the action moves to Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, as Family Boardgame Station hosts qualifier number three. Free up your Sunday (March 27) as the power battles resume then!

Wondered how the first sessions went? Well, look no further than Boardgamecafe.net’s blog here, [color="#ff0000"]http://blog.boardgamecafe.net/2011/03/20/bgc-power-grid-msia-2011-qualifier-1/[/color]
[color="#ff0000"]http://blog.boardgamecafe.net/2011/03/20/bgc-power-grid-msia-2011-qualifier-1/[/color], for a darn detailed and action-packed account on what transpired. Gripping stuff!

For more information, check out Boardgamecafe.net’s Facebook page, here, [color="#ff0000"]http://www.facebook.com/boardgamecafe.net[/color]

Do tweet me at [color="#ff0000"]www.twitter.com/arcturus_mengsk[/color]
[color="#ff0000"]www.twitter.com/arcturus_mengsk[/color] or leave me feedback below!

Boardgame In the News / 9-Mar-2011: Harnessing the Virtual World
« Last post by jack208 on March 10, 2011, 12:42:06 am »
Harnessing the virtual world
March 9th, 2011  |  Published in Cards and Boards

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are hugely popular, but blogs still have their place. The Nielsen Company estimates that there are over 156 million blogs, so the blog universe is huge. I follow and like a number of boardgames and TCG accounts on Twitter and Facebook respectively, but also keep up with a bunch of blogs. It's truly a wonderful thing to have virtual conversation with the like-minded (and sometimes detractors) on your favorite topics.

Hiew Chok Sien loves boardgaming, and he's the author of a home-grown boardgames blog, hiewandboardgames.blogspot.com, as well. He also has a Chinese language blog (hiewchoksien.blogspot.com), which he started late last year.

Starting by curating
Hiew started blogging about boardgames, all because he wanted to share his game sessions with his friends. "By the middle of 2007, I had been playing boardgames for about three years, and had accumulated a fair number of photos taken during game sessions. A blog seemed like a convenient way to post photos somewhere so that I could share with my friends and also keep record", said Hiew, who is in his early 30s.

He believes that keeping track of the sessions played which he calls "keeping record" is a common trait for hardcore and enthusiastic boardgamers. "In the beginning, I did write a little bit about my own boardgaming experiences. I had expected the blog to eventually become just an online scrapbook, but it turned out to be quite an enjoyable experience. The blog has now grown to become a bit of a forum for my friends and boardgame fans alike, to discuss everything and anything about boardgames", he said.

Locking themselves up to game
Hiew started blogging to spread the news about his new hobby. "I got hooked on boardgames during a work assignment in Taiwan a few years back, where I got to know of a boardgame cafe called Witch House (www.witchhouse.org). People played plenty of German or Euro-style boardgames there. I came back and spread the interest to my colleagues and we sometimes locked ourselves up in an unoccupied office space to play over lunch time", shared Hiew.

He loves boardgames due to the intellectual challenge and stimulation it provides, and the face-to-face interaction with like-minded friends. His favorite games include Race for the Galaxy (a quick but complex card game about empire-building set in space), Agricola (a game about farming in the Middle Ages), and Through the Ages, a civilization-building game that allows you to reenact the history of mankind in one sitting.

The most important thing
Hiew does not think his blog is too different from the other blogs. "It's pretty much just one gamer sharing his personal journey, impressions of games played, and photos. I try to write in a way that new gamers won't find difficult to follow. At the same time, I break my game reviews into sections so that the veterans can choose to skip to the conclusion", he said.

"I don't really blog all that often, about one or two posts per week. I try to blog only when I have something to say and not because I have to say something", said Hiew, who spends two to three hours a week blogging, depending on his schedule.

Aside from focusing on his blog, he also makes it a point to contribute to the gaming community at large, by contributing tips and resources to the likes of Boardgamegeek.com. "I do reference sheets for games that I own or want to play. They started as a handy tool for myself to remember rules details, and they also help me teach games by summarising the game rules in a structured way. So far, I have done about 170 reference sheets", said Hiew.They're available for download at bit.ly/idMiM.

Hiew is also a part of local boardgames club, Boardgamecafe.net. He occasionally joins them on their usual Friday night sessions at Old Town Kopitiam in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, to teach and play boardgames.

*CHEE YIH YANG will unbox his copy of Rice Wars, someday. In the meantime, he needs to make sure his own blog gets updated regularly. E-mail the esoteric gaming nut at yihyang@gmail.com if you have comments, questions, hot gaming news and tips, and trading lists and deck ideas, for both Magic and World of Warcraft. Follow him on Twitter @arcturus_mengsk
Boardgame In the News / 9-Mar-2011: Are you the Power Grid Champion?
« Last post by jack208 on March 10, 2011, 12:38:51 am »

March 9th, 2011  |  Published in [color="#ff0000"]Cards and Boards[/color]
[color="#ff0000"]Cards and Boards[/color]

Plenty of us play boardgames for fun, so imagine what would happen if there was some prize tagged on to the liberating and intellectually stimulating pursuit?

Well, wonder no more as the Power Grid boardgame competition is now officially here!

Do you have what it takes to be the uber gamer champ, for Power Grid at least?

The competition, the first of its kind in Malaysia, will be held beginning March 13 (that’s this Sunday), in the newly-opened boardgames store, Boardgame Depot, in Bangsar, and will continue all the way till mid-April.

The tournament will be played in a series of six qualifiers, spread across different boardgame cafes and shops as well as regular kopitiams.

While the grand prizes are likely to be cash prizes, the big appeal of this competition has got to be its full-on, competitive angle, a rarity for boardgames, especially in Malaysia!

So what’s the lowdown on the game? Power Grid or Funkenschlag, its original German name) is an Euro boardgame designed by Friedemann Friese in which the gamers play the role of independent power producer, and you get to build power grid networks, bid for the best power plants, acquire raw materials at the lower cost possible, all in order to supply the most cities with electrical power.

The player who can build his power plant empire in the most efficient manner wins the game!

Power Grid first came out in 2004, and quickly became a staple German or Euro-boardgame around the world. It’s playable between two to six players, and has spawned a number of spin-offs and expansions.

Boardgamegeek.com has a full review here, complete with plenty of pictures: [color="#ff0000"]http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2651/power-grid[/color]

For the full and latest details of the Power Grid competition can be found, click here, http://blog.boardgamecafe.net/2011/03/07/1st-msian-power-grid-tournament/. Well, here’s to hoping that this will be the first of many local boardgame competitions!

Do tweet me at [color="#ff0000"]www.twitter.com/arcturus_mengsk[/color]
[color="#ff0000"]www.twitter.com/arcturus_mengsk[/color] or leave me feedback below!



Events & Announcement / BGC POWER GRID Competition 2011
« Last post by jack208 on February 26, 2011, 01:31:35 pm »

This is now certain to happen in Mar/Apr. Plugging this here first and will be updating this with more news/updates as we move along.

Inner circle members, pls go to this forum for the planning discussion.

Read Me First! and FAQs / Archived: Why am I in "EVERYONE" group?
« Last post by jack208 on February 06, 2011, 05:32:37 pm »
Update: Jun 2018
This status is no longer relevant in our new board under SMFv2.

If you were a member of our old forum, during the migration you may have been moved to the EVERYONE group. To have yourself reassigned to the proper group, just post a reply here and we'll take care of that immediately.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Boardgame In the News / 21-Jan-11: Get your fix of boardgames in Cheras (TheStar)
« Last post by jack208 on February 03, 2011, 06:55:17 pm »
Get your fix of boardgames in Cheras
January 21st, 2011  |  Published in Cards and Boards

In this month’s print version of Cards & Boards, I’ve spoke to a local boardgame enthusiast that has started his own community in the Cheras area. (http://rage.com.my/all-a-board)

CK Au has its own playing group, that usually congregates in one of the Old Town Kopitiam branches in Cheras, pretty much weekly on Friday nights.

Well do stay tuned to his Facebook page for latest updates, meet-ups, industry news and even where to get your favourite game.

One thing cool about the community is that Au himself is an importer of some of the latest and hottest boardgames, and even some of the not-so-latest but nevertheless cool ones as well.

So if there’s a particular fix you need, he probably has it: check out the page at http://www.facebook.com/boardgamecafe.net for further updates.

Why don’t you head on down to Boardgamegeek.com and see what strikes your fancy? (www.boardgamegeek.com)

With literally hundreds upon hundreds of games available for order, there’s got to be something you like.

If you ask me, even something as simple as Citadels, would be perfect to start people off on their Euro type of boardgame.

Okay strictly speaking, it’s not a boardgame per se, but for the new and uninitiated’s purposes, the card game will do great as an entry level game.
By the way Au has a dual language version of Citadels (both Bahasa Melayu and English) – well, for around RM100, which is a pretty good deal if you ask me.

I hear that our friends will be pursuing more than the standard weekly Friday evening gaming during the coming Chinese New Year season.

Already over the Thaipusam holiday period (Thursday, January 20), there were two straight days of sessions – the Thursday afternoon followed by the standard Friday evening session.

I’ll certainly be also conversing on the latest news and updates, so feel free to follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arcturus_mengsk.
Boardgame In the News / 12-Jan-11 - ALL-A-BOARD (TheStar)
« Last post by jack208 on February 03, 2011, 06:44:42 pm »
January 12th, 2011  |  Published in Cards and Boards

In this month's print version of Cards & Boards, I've spoke to a local boardgame enthusiast that has started his own community in the Cheras area. (http://blog.rage.com.my/all-a-board)

Back in 2006, Malaysia’s first games convention was held, moulded after the world-famous Essen Spiel global gaming event in Germany. Since then, however, there has not been any significant events organised in that scale. However, 2011 might be the year that things turn around again, if some local boardgame enthusiasts have their way.

Homegrown group
CK Au first started playing Euro-style boardgames in 2005. “I tried out Puerto Rico and Settlers Of Catan, and started hosting my own group on Meetup.com,” said Au, 44. Then, Au and his friends would meet and play boardgames in Damansara Jaya, Selangor.

“The majority of gamers then centred around the Damansara area. It was only after 2006 or 2007 that we organised sessions outside of that area,” said Au, adding that he started organising competitions after that. “Catan was the one game that we organised competitions for and had serious sessions on, as it was the most widely-available and popular boardgames around,” he added. There was a series of Catan competitions back then, and the winner of one of the first national-level competitions actually participated in the worldwide finals in Essen Spiel several years back.

It was also shortly after Au’s gaming group expanded that he also started to import boardgames. This was to fulfill the local market’s growing demand for Euro-style boardgames. But his primary interest remains in growing the local community, more than anything else.

Getting bigger
If it’s one thing that’s noticeable about Au, it’s his earnest passion to get more people to be interested in boardgames. Together with his friends, he started organising boardgame “retreats” – and like the name suggests, these are pretty much two-to-three-night events devoted to marathon sessions of boardgames held at a local holiday destination.

Based on his years of being a part of a group of devoted gamers, Au says there are a couple of major obstacles to the growth of gaming in Malaysia.

“With games costing around RM100 or more to own, we find that people prefer to try the games out a few times first, either by playing them at cafes that rent them out, or getting their friends to share and then co-own the game together,” said Au.

“But the bigger reason why not many Malaysians would take up games is simply due to the fragmented nature of the gamer communities here. Unlike in many countries where public transport and well-planned suburbs mean that travel time is short, Malaysians, especially in the Klang Valley, tend to only play in areas where they have friends of similar interests.”

Au feels that the learning curve for such games are not that high, but surprisingly, there seems to be more of a language barrier in some places. In a few boardgames cafes in the Klang Valley for instance, the owners there have full translations for the rules of the popular boardgames in a couple of local languages, so that the people can play in a language that they’re more comfortable in.

Even in this area, Au has contributed to the local scene. He helped Sabah-based boardgames café, CarcaSean Café, produce a localised copy of classic Eurogame, Citadels. The Bahasa Malaysia and English language versions are actually printed by China and Taiwan-based Swan, which already republishes a number of Euro-style boardgames in Chinese.

Coming up this year
With his band of boardgames enthusiasts, Au plans to propagate and grow the boardgaming community, via special events.

“While Malaysians are generally more casual and do enjoy playing with their friends and relatives, I hope that more organised events will bring greater awareness to boardgames in general,” he revealed.

Au has already started a Facebook group (www.facebook.com/boardgamecafe.net), from which the regular community updates are posted.

He also feels that this year is set to be filled with new and exciting games. Living card games (LCGs), is one niche that he feels will do well along the year’s more hyped-up releases. He is looking to further extend the availability of the games, to include bookshops and more cafes.

The annual boardgames retreat will continue, while Au will relook into organising more game sessions to cover more areas. Well, looks like he’ll be out to make 2011 a memorable one for the local gaming scene. Stay tuned to this space!

Chee Yih Yang is starting to plan his Chinese New Year gaming sessions. E-mail the esoteric gaming nut atyihyang@gmail.com if you have comments, questions, hot gaming news and tips, and trading lists and deck ideas, for both Magic and World of Warcraft.

Check out his blog at http://rage.com.my/category/cards-and-boards, and follow him on Twitter (search for arcturus mengsk).
Boardgame In the News / Interview with an Online Retailer
« Last post by jack208 on February 01, 2011, 11:43:11 pm »
An Interview with a Vampire... sorry, Lord of Midnite... oops I mean Boardgamecafe.net's CK Au
by jack208

The first prompt was made months back when Hiew (of the popular Hiew's Boardgame Blog) asked if I'm interested to answer some questions he has regarding the online boardgaming business, the local market and about organizing boardgame meetups. 

Sure, why not? :P

Hiew promptly sent over a series of questions. There were over 30 questions, I think.... OMG! [omigod]

Busy-ness then overwhelmed me.. and I kept having to apologize to Hiew for the delay in sending my answers back to him....

Early November found me some time to look at his questions, and boy, they were really probing - but interesting - questions. Took me some time to compose my thoughts & replies to his questions. 

After sending over my reply, we decided to meet over the long Deepavali weekend to go thru my answers and for follow-up questions. We'd also planned to do a session of 1960: The Making of a President but that was shelved as we were too engrossed in our interview/discussion and time just flew.

Those questions were really really good ones, and they allowed me to share some of my insights into the past five years of involvement in the local boardgaming market; as a gamer, as a meetup organizer and as an online distributor/retailer.

Here's the link to Hiew's awesome interview report; you must not miss this, even if I've to say so myself (hehe)!


Thanks Hiew for doing this interview!

Lord of Midnite - CK's personal blog
Lord of Midnite - CK's personal blog
An Interview with a Vampire
Read Me First! and FAQs / Posting Guidelines for this Community Board
« Last post by jack208 on February 01, 2011, 10:59:56 pm »
Hi fellow boardgamers,

These forums are set up for all of you to participate, contribute and discuss boardgame-related topics. The posting guidelines and code of conduct are summarized below:

1. No advertisement or posting of competitor related topics or sites or links. This is a Boardgamecafe.net community site and is run by Boardgamecafe Sdn Bhd. We are not in the business of providing free services to our competitors and shall remain so. However we are more than happy for boardgamers - whether you are our customer or otherwise - to make full use of the services in this portal to promote the boardgaming hobby.

For those with commercial announcement or wishes to advertise here, kindly send your requests to the mailto:inquiry@boardgamecafe.net

2. Be nice, courteous and mind our language. We are all here to learn and share so let us all be respectful of each other's opinions, and keep a positive attitude at all times. I alsop hope the seniors are not too critical of the input from the junior members. Remember, we were all once a "junior".

3. NO SPAM! Keep your replies to a decent length (ie at least one sentence, and not one or two words). Do not reply just to bump up your post count. If the Administrators feel you are doing so, they'll deduct your post count or suspend your posting privileges. A little banter here and there is fine but let's not go overboard.

4. No unsolicited PM or Emails. The PM or email feature is there for your convenience. Do not abuse it.

5. Organizing Meetups. If you wish to call for a meetup, pls do so via the forums already set up for this purpose;
- KL Boardgame Meetup - for OTK Cheras
- Kids Game Day - for Boardgamekids meetups

If you are planning meetups that you think can be leveraged together with Boardgamecafe.net, we are always happy to hear from you! Email us at mailto:inquiry@boardgamecafe.net  to discuss how we can work together.

6. Marketplace. We've also created a marketplace forum for members to buy/sell/trade their personal boardgames, This is for personal users selling or trading their games and not for other company/business to hawk their products here. All games transacted through our Markeplace MUST be original and not fake/pirated items. Click here to go to Marketplace.

7. No Piracy. There is to be no discussion at all about any form of fake/pirated or any board/card games that are prohibited in Malaysia. This is a major offense and will result in immediate banning not just from this forum, but from all Boardgamecafe.net activities & events.

NOTE: If boardgame is a hobby you like, do not be a hyprocrite and choke it to death by buying & encouraging pirated/fake version. This may sound like a selfish statement given that we are also distributor of boardgames (and therefore have a vested interest on sales of original boardgames) but I would rather you not buy any boardgames than buy a pirated/fake copy.

Cheers! :fiesta:
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