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Boardgame In the News / WANNA PLAY: Play award-winning games for free (NST060607)
« Last post by jack208 on June 07, 2006, 07:51:17 am »

WANNA PLAY?: Play award-winning games for free

07 Jun 2006

Here is a review of five games you can try for free at Starbucks!

Settlers of Catan (Mayfair)
After winning the Spiel Des Jahres in 1995, Settlers went on to become the most popular designer game of all time.In the game, you lead your settlers to become the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads, through trading and resource management.

It has an amazing appeal to non-gamers and gamers alike, and has been extensively used by educators in classrooms to teach:
• Laws of probability.
• Basic economic principles of demand and supply.
• Resource management.
• Negotiation and trading.

Here’s your chance not only to try it, but to try out for a chance to represent Malaysia in the international finals!

Zicke Zacke Huhnerkacke (Zoch)
A lovely game where parents and children (below eight) are proud chickens trying to out-run each other around the barn.

With good memory, you will soon out-pace the others, and steal their tail feathers as you overtake them. In the end, the fastest chicken will be walking proudly, full of feathers.

Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck (Zoch)
If you love throwing dice, you will love this game. By throwing a whole bunch of them and deciding which ones to keep or reject, players race to pick roasted worms off the BBQ rack or their opponents’ plates.

Caution will only bring small worms as larger worms await those willing to push their luck! However, the greedy will go home with only an empty plate.

Kahuna (RioGrande)
How about practising your magic over tea for two?

In Kahuna, two magicians unleash their powers in a friendly match over unoccupied islands, taking turns to build bridges between islands.

When one player controls an island (by building the majority of bridges), all bridges to that island built by the opponent are destroyed!

In the end, the magician who controls the most islands wins. Kahuna is a wonderful game where you often see the “domino effect” swing victory from the grasp of one player to another!

Boomtown (Face2Face)
There’s gold in them hills! With that cry, prospectors race westward and Boomtowns are established because the gold rush is on!

In this very addictive card game, you compete with your fellow prospectors in a mad scramble to find your fortune in gold — but watch out for highwaymen, card sharks and crooked politicians! There are many ways to make a buck in Boomtown!

For those who prefer to give their brains a workout, you can try a selection of Mensa Select games.


Boardgame In the News / Spiel des Jahres 2006
« Last post by jack208 on May 29, 2006, 04:18:19 pm »

Nominations already received for this annual prestigious award for boardgames but two SPECIAL AWARDS have been made to 2 very special games!

Special prize for Fantasy play - SHADOWS OVER CAMELOT

The jury distinguished Shadows Over Camelot with the special price for Fantasy play. The critics appreciated the play idea of the authors Serge Laget and Bruno Cathala, which converts the usual fantasy game with outstanding cooperative play elements. The publishing house Days of Wonder treated the game with suitably fantastic components.

Special prize for complex play - CAYLUS

The jury awarded Caylus with the special prize for complex play. The author William Attia has combined hours of strategy play with very high replay. This is supported by exemplarily clear symbolism on the play materials, which was an impressive achievement of the small French publishing house Ystari.

The nominations for the Spiel des Jahres 2006 award have been announced and here they are....

  • Seeräuber / Pirate (Queen Games/Rio Grande by Stefan Dorra)

  • Aqua Romana (Queen Games by Martin Schlegel)

  • Just 4 Fun (Kosmos by Jurgen PK Grunau)

  • Thurn and taxi (Hans im Gluck by Karen & Andreas Seyfarth)

  • Blue Moon City (Kosmos by R.Knizia)
Events & Announcement / Starbucks - Award Winning Games Over Latte!
« Last post by jack208 on May 14, 2006, 02:41:02 am »

Award Winning Games Over Latte!
The long awaited launch of the “Award winning games over latte” project has been finalized with Starbucks!
All gamers are cordially invited to the media launch:
- Starbucks, 1Utama New Wing.
- Wednesday, 17 May, 2006.
- 3.00pm.

Errata: The previous post mentioned the launch on the 18/5 Thu. The correct date should be 17/5 Wed.

The project follows our original “6 stores - 6 games - 6 weeks” concept where Starbucks customers can try out 6 award winning games in 6 of their outlets over 6 weeks. Customers will also have the opportunity to try Settlers of Catan, and take part in two Starbucks Malaysian Qualifiers, for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to represent Malaysia in the finals at Essen, Germany, in October.
See you there and do spread the word around!

From Edwin Wong, Panglobal Insurance Bhd

Sign up at KL Boardgames Meetup NOW to be kept informed of similar boardgaming events in the future!


Wanna Play: Enter the flick-to-kick challenge
03 May 2006

Not a professional footballer? No problem. EDWIN WONG invites you to compete for the 2006 World Cup anyway.

SAY hello to the 2006 Subbuteo World Cup (Malaysian Chapter)!

Thirty-two Malaysians will have the unique opportunity to play in this year’s finals, as one of the countries participating. Following the actual World Cup schedule, the first match kicks off on June 9, with the finals taking place on July 9.

Invented in 1947, Subbuteo became the cult table soccer game in the 1970s, where Malaysia even held qualifiers for the 1978 Subbuteo World Cup held in London!

Sadly, the game all but disappeared during the 1980s, giving way to cheap pirated soccer games — PC/Console software, and pub favourite, foosball.

After more than two decades, many have finally come to realise that, from a skills and visual point of view, nothing compares to the “real thing”. Subbuteo, is still the closest thing to live action soccer!

This fast-paced, highly skilled “flick-to-kick” game is now set to win back the hearts of soccer-crazy Malaysians!

The finals will be held over six locations:

  • Petaling Jaya (PanGlobal Club),

  • Damansara Jaya I (Games Circle),

  • Damansara Jaya II (Comics Corner),

  • Subang Jaya (Comics Corner),

  • Paramount Gardens (ToyBox) and

  • Cheras (Boardgamecafe.net)

— and the entry fee is RM30 (teams provided!).

Registration and selection will be open from next week.

For pre-registration and enquiries, email imagine_newszine@mac.com.

You can also register by RSVP at http://boardgames.meetup.com/310/events/4923930/


New Arrivals: Mensa winners that won’t bust your brains...

ONE could be forgiven for associating Mensa with highly intelligent people who don’t know how to have fun. Well, if only you knew that many of them play games that are exciting and socially interactive!

Here are some Mensa award winners that will give your brains a good workout, without busting it!

Ingenious (Fantasy Flight) — 2005 MENSA Winner
An abstract game from acclaimed designer Reiner Knizia, Ingenious certainly dispels the notion that abstract games are boring!

Each turn, players place a two-piece tile on the board and score points if their symbols are connected in an unbroken line to similar symbols on the board.

Players try to maximise their score with every tile placed, or sabotage their opponents by breaking up possible unbroken lines!

Where this game shines is in how the winner is decided — it’s the player with the most points in the least-scored symbol, forcing players to score points evenly across all symbols!

Bridges of Shangri-La (Uberplay) — 2004 MENSA Winner
The third in the series of games (after Cartagena and Clans) by Leo Colovani, who is fast gaining popularity, Bridges is the most challenging, and certainly one of the heavier winners.

In Bridges, players are Masters, training new students and sending them across bridges to take control of neighbouring mountain tribes.

For most part of the game, these students co-habit in uncomfortable alliances with rival tribes, and eventually, some of them become Masters and take their turn to train other students, and send them across other bridges.

Bridges collapse as they are crossed, causing them to separate villages forever. In the end, when the last bridge falls, the player with the most Masters will control Shangri-La.

Transamerica (RioGrande) — 2003 MENSA Winner
A very light and fun game, it’s played over three rounds. In each round, players draw five destination cards, representing cities across North America. Each turn, players lay up to two tracks, and the first player to connect all their five cities wins that round.

Other players are penalised according to how far away they are from connecting to their cities. The further away, the more penalty points.

The twist in this game is that you can “piggy back” on other players’ tracks, so it pays to anticipate how you can use other players’ tracks while not letting them use yours!


Boardgame In the News / WANNA PLAY: Onward to Middle Earth (NST060412)
« Last post by jack208 on April 13, 2006, 11:02:51 am »

WANNA PLAY?: Onward to Middle Earth
12 Apr 2006

Teamwork and co-operation are vital for players of Lord of the Rings as they battle evil in their quest to bring the One Ring to Middle Earth. EDWIN WONG writes.

Lord of the Rings (Fantasy Flight)
A tense game that tests the extent players are willing to sacrifice for the survival of the fellowship!

Game Overview: Players take on the roles of the five Hobbits in their quest to destroy the One Ring. They must journey across Middle Earth, co-operating to overcome challenges and to prevent the ringbearer from being corrupted. As the game progresses, Sauron moves closer to the fellowship, pressuring them to call upon Gandalf for help or to use the Ring and risk further corruption.

Key Lessons: LOTR is a unique game as it requires players, who often play competitively, to learn how to sacrifice individual gain for the larger gain of the group.

Throughout the game the journey of the Hobbits is filled with peril. Players are constantly forced to choose between their own advancement and survival of the quest.

In today’s highly competitive world, LOTR is a rare opportunity to get children and adults working to achieve something together, but in a fun and immersive way.

If you are a fan of LOTR, then it’s even a greater experience, as players really find themselves in the movie, trying to stop Sauron from winning back the One Ring!

Fun Factor: Beyond teamwork and co-operation, LOTR will have players cheering each other on, and cursing the evils that cross their paths as they make their way across the hazardous regions of Middle Earth.

New arrivals
Here are some games which are pretty strong contenders for 2006 Game of the Year. Well, check them out and judge for yourself.

Elasund: First City of Catan (Kosmos)
Following in the footsteps of Settlers of Catan, the most successful designer game of all time, comes Klaus Teuber’s latest game, Elasund: First City of Catan, released at Spiel’05 in Essen last October.

Gamers overwhelmed by the many variations and expansions of the base game can rest assured that Elasund is really a stand-alone game. If at all, it is a more aggressive version of the original.

In Elasund, players race to earn victory points by building cities of various sizes and on certain locations, fortification walls and churches.

Players need the appropriate number of building permits before they can build, and the total amount of land available is limited.

This leads to a streak of viciousness which was never present in Settlers of Catan, as players can outmuscle opponents to use their permits, and even worse, build larger buildings over (and thereby destroying) opponents’ smaller buildings!

If you like Catan (and who doesn’t?), you will love Elasund! Definitely the front-runner for 2006 Game of the Year.

Antike (Eggertspiele)
At last, a civilisation building game that doesn’t come with a rule book the size of a novel and won’t take the whole weekend to play. Welcome to civilisation light!

As Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians and Babylonians build cities, construct temples and sail the seas, you have the opportunity to lead one of them to victory. But beware your enemies who will want to conquer your cities and destroy your temples.

No dice or luck is involved as winning depends entirely on strategy and and persuasive diplomacy.

An early favourite, players are project superintendents with a mission to build a new castle for King Philip the Fair.

For that, they will have to manage their money and available resources and develop the economy of the small village at the foot of the building site. Of course, the royal agents — the bailiff and the provost — keep a close eye on the progress of the work!


Boardgame In the News / Edwin Wong report on Boardgamenews (Mar 2006)
« Last post by jack208 on April 05, 2006, 11:55:33 am »

Edwin Wong: March Report From This Side Of Earth

The momentum gained from GAMECON-1 in Kuala Lumpur last December is quickly snowballing into some very exciting projects! Here’s a quick overview of some exciting developments:

- The official KL Boardgame Meetup finally kicked-off in February, after overwhelming demand from dozens of newly converted gamers during GAMECON-1!
- The first mini-game convention outside of Kuala Lumpur was held in the historic city of Melaka this month, as part of the GACC (Games, Animae & Comics Convention), organized by the Multimedia University. It was jam-packed despite being held on the same weekend as the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Cross Over games drawing the most attention.
- The first local game club, Game Circle, has been seeing a full house every weekend since the beginning of the year.
- A second game club, PanGlobal Club, has been announced in the weekly games column “Wanna Play?” in the national English daily, New Straits Times, and is set to open its doors in April.
- The 2nd & 3rd Qualifiers for the Settlers of Catan & Carcassonne International Championship will be held at Game Circle and PanGlobal Club between April - June. This year, Malaysia will be sending 2 representatives for Catan and 1 for Carcassonne. The 1st Qualifer was held during GAMECON-1 last year.
- Finally, the international coffee chain, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, have confirmed that they will be launching the first “game cafe” concept stores in 10 of their outlets in Kuala Lumpur, and eventually to all their other outlets in the country!

- Settlers Cafe, the pioneer of game cafes in Singapore, have opened their 3rd outlet in Singapore, and have announced that they will be opening their first outlet in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur later this year.
- Singapore will also be sending representatives to the Catan World Championship this year, and will have their Qualifiers in Paradigm Infinitum next month.
- Home grown game designers continue to promote their titles in the established gaming markets of USA and Europe.

- The first game convention was held in Bangkok at the ABAC Bangna campus in February.
- Bangkok’s first game cafe, Playloft, are busy preparing for their launch in June, in conjunction with the start of the new tertiary education year, as they are located within the premises of a popular University.

On the whole, there is a clear sense of growing enthusiasm in designer games, which I believe will continue to grow until GAMECON-2 this year!

Events & Announcement / Coffee Bean To Launch Game Cafe on 12 April!
« Last post by jack208 on April 04, 2006, 10:22:56 pm »

Coffee Bean To Launch Game Cafe on 12 April!
(from Imagine Games)

Dear Gamesters,
You are cordially invited to the launch of the Coffee Bean Game Cafe concept stores next Wednesday, 12 April, at Coffee Bean, 1Utama New Wing (Ground Floor), from 3.00pm.
The good editor of Cards & Boards already reported this in last week’s The Star, where we hope to see an influx of newbie gamesters discovering this great lifestyle activity over a cuppa!
For a start, three pilot CBTL outlets (1Utama New Wing, Bangsar Shopping Center & SS2) will carry a range of six designer games that customers can borrow:
- Card: tba.
- Award: Setters of Catan Travel Box (ie. check out this kool travel version!).
- Mensa: Transamerica.
- Kids: Gulo Gulo.
- Dice: Pickomino (Heck Meck Bratwurmack).
- 2 Player: Kahuna.
Next, gamesters at CBTL will get to practice and enter the Settlers of Catan International Championship Malaysian Qualifiers, where two winners will represent Malaysia in the finals at Spiel’06 at Essen, Germany, this October.
Finally, the KL Boardgame Meetup will be held at CBTL branches by rotation, to help promote the games and also convert more newbies!
We are now working out the logistics of introducing Warhammer 40K & Confrontation miniatures display showcases and demonstrations at CBTL stores. Is that kool or what?


Boardgame In the News / WANNA PLAY: Fun games that are hot and cool (NST060329)
« Last post by jack208 on April 03, 2006, 02:30:39 pm »

Wanna Play: Fun games that are hot and cool


March 29

Fun. Cool. Engaging. EDWIN WONG introduces three games that will keep one on the edge of the seat.

SCHRILLE Stille (Zoch): If you identify more with Simon Cowell than the other American Idol wannabes, than this is the game for you. As head of a recording label, your job is to influence/predict the popularity of 14 artistes by secretly voting for bands you want to support. At the end of every round, the least popular artistes are removed a la American Idol.

It’s a fun game that gives you a taste of the ever-changing fortunes faced by recording artistes, and comes with one of the coolest game components ever — a wooden CD player that the DJ (dealer) uses to tally the votes!

Der Untergang von Pompeji (Zoch): As Vesuvius erupts and spews molten hot lava upon the unsuspecting citizens of Pompeji, players engage in a tense minute-by-minute mission to rescue their citizens from being the next victim! Check out the cool 3-D volcano!

Hamsterrolle (Zoch): A really fun dexterity game where players take turns to place objects on the wheel and try to move it in such a way as to cause one’s opponents’ objects to fall over. Finally, you get to experience life as a hamster!
Events & Announcement / ManorCon - Largest boardgames convention in UK
« Last post by jack208 on March 25, 2006, 11:32:39 am »

ManorCon is a large board games convention that has been running since 1983. The 200-250 attendees each year stay and play in a large, modern University Hall of Residence with bar and canteen facilities and ample room for both tournament and open gaming. There is free car parking available and the site is also within easy reach of public transport and the City Centre of Birmingham with its pubs, restaurants and nightlife.

ManorCon features a large array of different games and tournaments, from the old favourites such as Acquire, 18xx, Diplomacy and United, to the relatively recent German games like Die Siedler Von Catan, Euphrat & Tigris and Puerto Rico. A few of the tournaments are formally organised, with games starting at specific times, but most are played on an Ad Hoc basis - just find a group of players to play, write the result down on a results sheet, and put it in the appropriate envelope for scoring at the end of the weekend.

If such competitive play is not your scene, there is always a large amount of open gaming, from the serious games like Modern Art and Samurai, to the less serious Perudo (always more fun after a couple of beers), and some years there has even been a game of Cuddly Animals Diplomacy . Or alternatively, play one of the games which has a tournament, but agree beforehand that the game will not be entered.

So, if this sounds like a good idea, then why not come along and give it a go, either just for the day to start with, or jump in the deep end and go for the whole weekend. And if it sounds like fun, but you don't recognise any of the games mentioned, then don't worry, people are always prepared to teach beginners - how do you think we learned to play. And if you are still not sure, why not visit http://devel.diplom.org/manorcon/

Boardgame In the News / WANNA PLAY? Revving it up on the board (NST 060322)
« Last post by jack208 on March 22, 2006, 09:16:12 pm »

Designer board games rocked Malacca last weekend. EDWIN WONG tells why they are value-for-money entertainment, and better than F1.

UNKNOWN to the tens of thousands of motor-racing enthusiasts, many paying well in excess of RM300 per ticket to watch the two-hour Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang over the weekend, a few thousand game enthusiasts thronged the Multimedia University in Air Keroh in Malacca to enjoy more than eight hours of gaming for free!

“Ah, but you cannot compare Formula 1 to designer games,” say the multitude of sweating F1 fans – but here’s where we prove them wrong:

- The cheapest ticket to this year’s F1 was RM50 to sit on the grass in the uncovered Hillstand on race day only. This excludes RM50 for a three-day parking pass.

- Over the two-hour race, that works out to RM50 per person per hour.

- Watching the F1 race is entertainment, no different from watching a movie, or playing designer board games.

- A movie on a weekend would set you back an average of RM15 (RM10 for the ticket plus RM5 for popcorn, etc), or RM10 per person per hour.

Now compare that to buying and playing designer games. The two most popular and highly awarded games — Settlers of Catan & Ticket to Ride — go for around RM180 each.

As they play four players over an hour, that works out to a shockingly low RM3.75 per person per hour if you play the game just 12 times in your life!

Is that a lot? Well, the winner of the Settlers competition in last year’s GAMECON-1 played the game more than 300 times!

At the highest end, games like the massively popular World of Warcraft (check out the huge crowds in the picture below!) goes for around RM320, but plays up to eight players over an average game time of four hours. That works out to just RM10 per person per hour if you play the game just once in your life!

Which brings me back to the 1st GACC (Games, Animae & Comics Convention) organised by the Multimedia University.

Well done, folks! Considering you would probably never get free F1 or movie tickets, GACC offered participants eight satisfying hours of entertainment, including the opportunity to try the best designer games in the world — absolutely FREE!

From the perspective of “value-for-money” lifestyle entertainment, it’s no wonder many made their way from KL to Air Keroh!

View our photo gallery of this event now, more than 80 photos for you to enjoy


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