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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)

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Offline ayheng

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #140 on: November 27, 2007, 12:10:22 am »
[quote user="wolfx"]

Are you relying purely on word of mouth, macedwin? Anyway i confirm ok la this weekend. Too bad the rest of OTK not coming cept me and ayheng. zzz. And i see some potential ASH in that list. Whoopeee. But i think they're just tagging along with their bfs la. [:p] ayheng+1 is probably some paktorlogy thing going on as well.



Get more A.S.H CAMPAIGN!!



PS: Who's driving up? Can I tumpang? =D Can split petrol and toll.



[/quote]

yep, i can tumpang.



an dyes, you guess right. ayheng+1 is some paktorlogy going on. Find your own AASH girls!!!


2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #141 on: November 27, 2007, 04:26:28 am »
ok, we got #14 - leonard!

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Offline wolfx

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #142 on: December 02, 2007, 03:19:50 pm »

A big thanks to Edwin for organising the Euro Game Retreat! I really enjoyed it there (despite not getting to try Agricola because some people haven't read the rules [:p] ) and hope there will be many more to come. [;)]



My favourite game: Mission: Red Planet .



Freshest game mechanics: Space Dealer .


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Offline Champion Eternal

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #143 on: December 02, 2007, 05:40:03 pm »
What else was played at the retreat?
Care to post a briefing of the events and games played?

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Offline ayheng

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #144 on: December 02, 2007, 07:06:31 pm »
yeah, like wolfx say, we had a time! but too late and sleepy now, will probably post somethin glater but suffice to say was very satisfied playing all the new essen releases.

2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #145 on: December 03, 2007, 03:15:01 am »
million thanks to all who took time/effort to join the retreat!



in the end, the retreat was saved by gamers/newbies from singapore!



full list:

(m'sia)

- ew

- wolfx

- ayheng

- lili

- jfei

- glouh

- shaun

- elfram

- elaine



(s'pore)

- sng

- airin

- madhu

- sheila

- daryl

- vivian



day 1 saw the following games in action: can't stop, uptown, die dolmengotter, darjeeling, chang cheng, stonehenge, zooloretto, neuroshima hex, antler island, container, blue moon city, hameln.



siena and arkadia were "abandoned" after initial rule reading overwhelmed the assigned rule readers!



day 1 night action saw one group going up to genting to try their luck; another playing arkadia and mission red planet; and one more getting an early night's rest.



day 2: king of siam, krumble, space dealer, arkadia, haste bock!, mission red planet.



agricola was there, but although the rules have been read, the game had not yet been playtested, so the participants decided not to give it a go, given all the "translation" comments from bgg.



brass and die saulen der erde did not see any play.



unfortunately, cuba and hamburgum did not arrive in time for the retreat :-(



venue/food-wise, not as nice as awana, but given the cost (neraly half!)...



finally, the results...

- definitely more friendly than last year, this year's format was grouping the winners of each table together to play in the next round, so, you only stay on table 1 if you keep on winning.

- in the end, lili took the honors with 4 wins! well done! and she wins a copy of gifttrap - the perfect gift for this festive season!

- ayheng graciously gave up his second prize to allow our guests from singapore to take home some prizes - all exclusive items from spiel - starfarers of catan figures (airin); ticket to ride mystery train expansion (vivian).



goodies...

- participants got a copy of the best in-print games magazine in town, knucklebones.

- and best of all, they get to buy all the games featured (ie. 2007 & 2006 essen releases) @ 50% mrp! err, not for resale of course!



see you next year... in awana i'm, sure!


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Offline ayheng

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #146 on: December 03, 2007, 07:51:15 pm »
Ok, this is a monster report and I haven't put in wolfx's pics yet. Too tired tonight for it so will only upload the pics tomorrow. in the meantime, enjoy!

Edit: Added pictures, changed various spelling and grammars. Pics again courtesy of wolfx.

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EUROGAMES RETREAT 2007 REPORT

Date: 1-2 December 2007


Venue: Le Sihat Hall, Selesa Hillhomes



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View from Selesa Hillhomes - cool air green hills.



You might be wondering why the hall is called “Le Sihat”, well it

seems that Selesa Hillhomes is home to a regular health wellness

program. In fact, on the morning that we arrived, we saw a group of

people practicing a sort of massaging technique in an open field using

wooden sticks. Supposedly it helps with the body’s lymphatic movements.

Well, in our case, we massaged our ‘brain’ throughout the entire

weekend with wooden bits, and what a massage it was!



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Another view from back of Le Sihat Hall - bottom just out of view is the open field.



Contrary to speculation, the attendees of Eurogames Retreat 2007

aren’t all young working adults with lots of disposable income and no

commitments. In fact, the age range was like 1 to 40 years old. The

cast of characters includes: -



Madhu, Sheila and Daryl - a chess-playing family of husband, wife and son,


Elaine, Elfram and ‘baby’ - another family (but stayed for first day gaming only),


S’ng - Singaporean gamer who was there by default because he bugged Edwin to join last year,


Airin (pronounced as I-rene) - Indonesian Chinese working in Singapore,


Vivian - Singaporean hotelier working in Malaysia, also Madhu’s friend,


Ken - nicknamed wolfx, also bachelor searching for ASH (available single hot) girls,


Edwin, Shaun, Jian Fei and Galouh - Edwin’s entourage,


Li Li and Heng - significant other and myself.



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Participants listening attentively to Edwin’s opening speech -

table no.2 on left: Sheila and Heng; table no.3 on right: Daryl,

Vivian, Li Li and Shaun; table no.1 in front: Airin and Jian Fei.



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View from back of Le Sihat Hall - Not seen on previous picture:

Madhu on table no.1, Galouh and S’ng on table no.2 (backs to camera)



All told, there were 15 of us at one time (16 if you count the baby

:P) and 13 of us when Elaine and Elfram left. Edwin sat out for most of

the games (poor guy!) to arbitrate on the proceedings. The result is

that there were 3 tables’ of game going on at all times with 4-5

players each.



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Organiser Edwin bringing out the first bunch of games.



Gaming started with light fillers. Instead of everyone doing Pickomino like last year, starters for this year were more varied:


Table1: Can’t Stop


Table 2: Uptown


Table 3: Die Dolmengotter


Uptown was really a simple game to play and I had no

trouble smashing my way to victory. It’s an abstract tile laying game

with the objective of connecting as many of your own tiles as possible.

To this end, the middle of the board is an important point to hold.

There is also the secondary strategy of building a great line as quick

as possible to block off your opponents’ route. In terms of complexity

it is on par with Blokus but the scores would be much closer due to the mostly open nature of the game.



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Table no.2 doing Uptown - from left: S’ng, Galouh, Sheila and Heng.



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Closeup of Uptown.



Can’t Stop is a simple dice game which some how ran long because all the players got bad dice rolls.



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Closeup of Can’t Stop.



Die Dolmengotter on the other hand is a classic

eurogame with minimalist graphics and intriguing gameplay. It’s a game

about druids but as Ken commented, you can’t really see the theme from

the plain boards and bits. However, that still didn’t stop Li Li from

enjoying the game and commenting ‘can we get this game?’ after playing

it.



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Table no.3 doing Die Dolmengotter - from left: Daryl, Vivian, Li Li and Shaun.


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Closeup of Die Dolmengotter.



Next up is a short tea break and then a step up in game complexity:


Table 1: Darjeeling


Table 2: Chang Cheng


Table 3: Stonehenge


These three games are 2007 Essen releases and I’m at table 1 playing Darjeeling.

There were some rules taught wrong (which seems to be the recurring

theme throughout the retreat due to the large number of new games

played for the 1st/2nd time). But that didn’t stop us from enjoying the

game. The game’s premise is that the players are tea companies

competing to produce and ship teas. Sounds like a typical produce and

ship game, right? Well, the difference is in the game’s all fresh and

new mechanics. The tea ‘plantation’ which the players compete on are

actually made up of square tiles which when collected, can be formed

‘carcassonne’-like into tea crates to be shipped. Very novel.



The other innovation of the game is in the concept of shipping. In Darjeeling,

the tea crates shipped are not scored and discarded immediately.

Instead, the tea crates shipped will generate victory points

continuously until newer teas are shipped, causing the old teas to

become ‘out of fad’. The timing of the tea shipping can become critical

as players try to position their tea as the ‘last word’ in the latest

tea fad.



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Table no.1 doing Darjeeling - Elaine and ‘baby’ at top joining from game#2 onwards.



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Super cool Darjeeling components - the victory

point track, shipping boats and demand slide/barometer at top - the tea

pickers in the ‘tea fields’ of ‘carcassonne-like tea crates’ at bottom.



Did not look at Chang Cheng and Stonehenge as the Darjeeling game was the last game to end.



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Closeup of Stonehenge.



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Table no.3 doing Stonehenge - Elfram at top left joining from game#2 onwards.



We break for lunch before getting together again for the Third Game:


Table 1: Zooloretto


Table 2: Neuroshima Hex


Table 3: Antler Island


Antler Island is the latest game by the Lamont

brothers (Fragor Games). Known for their cute themes and cute

miniatures, the Lamont brothers’ Antler Island

recounts the tale of the mightiest Stag of them all. In this game, the

players feed, grow an impressive set of antlers, mate with does and

finally lock horns with other stags in an ongoing ‘king of the hill’

battle. The game mechanics are simple enough and the ‘programmed

orders’ mechanic provides some interesting and unexpected results. It

actually reminds me of a Starcraft:the boardgame session in the programmed orders resolution.



The timing of when a stag battles to be the ‘king of the hill’ is

important as the last stag left on the hill at the end will earn a

great amount of victory points. In our game, S’ng timed his battles

well to stay on top for the greater part of the game. However a late

charge by Vivian saw him dethroned and myself snatching the victory as

both S’ng and Vivian’s stags were left licking their wounds after a big

battle. I was kinda lucky to be able to snatch victory from the jaws of

defeat. Overall, this game is an attractive package that plays as well

as it looks.



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The visually appealing Antler Island - crazy cute stags shagging doe-ples (doe meeples)



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Antler Island player board - ‘programmed order’ tokens to the right, antlers made of brown sticks in middle. 



The Neuroshima Hex game ended early and the Zooloretto

game was already in the second round. Seems like my game went over time

again :P. I’ve seen/played both games before so nothing much to report

except that I’m considering to get Zooloretto as the game seems well received by everyone.



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 The chick friendly Zooloretto drawing a crowd

- they are in their 2nd game, hence the attention from the other

completed tables. Madhu seems to be concentrating hard… this ain’t

chess, man!



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Closeup of the Zooloretto player board - note the cutesy animals.



We break for tea again and then to the final game of the day:


Table 1: Container


Table 2: Arkadia - Blue Moon City


Table 3: Siena - Hameln


This is where Edwin made a boo-boo and made us read the rules before

playing. I tell you it just doesn’t work (cue rantings of a failed Marvel Heroes

gaming in one of my last vacation due to last minute rules reading…)

Although I’m sure everyone enjoyed tearing open the shrink-wrap and

punching out the counters, everyone sat around looking politely

interested as the rules reader struggles to read at top speed. At Table

1 - I stuck with explaining Container as I had read

the rules online before. But since I am seeing the components for the

first time it is still tough going for me. I lost Daryl during the

rules explanation but fortunately the adults bear with me as we got the

game up to speed. The beginning is very slow and I must say that it is

because of the nature of the game.



Basically the players have to wear many different hats as they play

different roles in the supply chain. On one hand the players are

factory producers producing containers and on the other hand, they are

also the port masters, container ship captains and consumers as well

(basically every other person in the supply chain). The idea that is

difficult to grasp is that in wearing the many different kind of hats,

the player is generally not allowed to buy nor sell the containers from

himself TO himself at any point. The strategy then is to find ways to

get the containers you want to yourself in the most indirect manner.



The other difficult concept about the game is that there is no hard

and fast rule on the value of the containers at every point in the

supply chain. There is a range in which the prices may vary but the

strategy in setting the prices again is not clear. The easiest way in

understanding the economics in Containers is that

collusion, diplomacy, price fixing, negotiation and cooperation

determines the prices. Playing this game, one can actually see the

effect of inflation in action as all members of the supply chain tries

to jack up the price of the containers for their own selfish benefit.

The real world economics reflected in the game is awe-inspiring and

scary at the same time. Not one for the faint hearted, a player can

actually be shut out entirely if the others refuse to do business with

him.



Surprisingly the other players - Vivian, Sheila and Li Li gave this

game a thumbs up for requiring real world skills to be put to use in

this game. For me, watching inflation and people trying to get more

money out of others is actually quite depressingly real world. Woo, I

want back my stags and tea shipping.



Meanwhile, on the other table, S’ng had given up on trying to learn Arkadia while Ken lost hope in deciphering Siena. Instead, Blue Moon City and Hameln hit the table and finish well ahead of Containers. Seems like every game I’ve been in finishes last…



Nighttime we took a break from gaming and we chatted during dinner

time. One group (myself, Li Li, Ken and Airin) decide to pay Genting a

visit, while others decide a full day of gaming is not enough and

soldier on with Arkadia and Mission: Red Planet. Yet another group decide that they had too much brain massage the whole day and hit the sack early instead.



Early morning we woke up, had breakfast, chit chatted some more and then break our game fast with:


Table 1: King of Siam


Table 2: Space Dealer


Table 3: Krumble


I’m at table 2, playing Space Dealer

with Shaun and Galouh. Since its Shaun’s no#XX game, he creamed us. For

the first time, I was involved in a game that actually finished first,

but then with sand timers ticking away, there’s no time to hesitate as

you try to produce and deliver cubes to distant galaxies for victory

points. A fun game, I can see myself playing it as a filler game after

being all stressed out with the heavy games.



After we finish our game, we went and check out King of Siam

at table 1 and during the game end, everyone has the same amount of

influence cubes! All four players therefore declare the game a tie!

Further examination of the rules by Jian Fei and myself found that the

game was actually taught and played wrongly! From the setup to the

tiebreaker calculation, there are little nuances missed which would

have made the game more interesting. Haiyor, rules teacher caught

red-handed teaching rules wrong again.



Anyway, after clarifying the rules, Li Li, myself and Jian Fei sat

down for a 3-player game and my oh my is it good! Basically the players

try to gain influence in various factions in Thailand during the age of

political upheaval and British interest. The royalist, with their power

base in Bangkok fights against the Malay faction in Kedah and the Laos

faction in Luang Prabang.



The interesting thing is that each player only has 8 action cards

with which they influence the power struggles in the 8 provinces of

Siam. So for the whole game, a player only takes…. 8 actions! Very

fast, very easy, right? Wrong! The proceedings are often intense and

the power struggles are often down the wire. The shift in power is

continuous and the wrong step can totally hand the victory to someone

else.



And so, analysis paralysis sets in, and this game is so finely tuned

that the normal end result is a tie! Hehe, so that first game wasn’t

too far off in its result. But this is a feature rather than a failing

of the game system. The game actually lists all the tiebreaker

conditions prominently on the player aids as though it will be

constantly referred to even before the game ends! There are tiebreaker

conditions for all three of the game’s possible endings and the

challenge therefore is to balance one’s influence markers through the

proceedings and then deliver the coup-de-grace through the tiebreaker.



The other interesting element in the game is in the taking of the

influence cubes. To gain influence over a particular faction, a player

must remove the faction’s cube on the board. But doing so weakens the

faction on the board! So the tension comes when deciding how to gain

influence over a faction yet still ensuring that faction retains its

strength on board. The only random element in the game is in the

initial setup as the number of royalist, Malays and Laos are not

balanced. Anyway a good game, thumbs up from myself.



Did not manage to learn Krumble but judging from the laughters, it’s probably a fun game.



Once again we break for tea and then proceed to the Last game:


Table 1: (Architects of) Arkadia


Table 2: Mission: Red Planet


Table 3: Haste Bock!


By this time, Edwin probably had a good idea of what everyone’s

abilities are at and he assigned the players to the order of game

complexity. So table 1 saw all the heavy hitters while table 2 have the

moderately skilled guys (some might argue that they are just unlucky to

have not win any games!) while the family played at table 3.

Accordingly, table 1 has the heavy game, table 2 have the medium game

and table 3 have the cute game. Being the last game, Arkadia

is actually quite a standard game where the game mechanics are familiar

and possibly seen elsewhere. The game is very simple and the scoring

method is reminiscence of Reef Encounter. The game

production quality is amazing though and the hanging of the flag on the

player’s tent after scoring is just way cool! I won the last game but

the scores are still pretty tight, which is probably a hint at possible

subtle strategies that I may have missed in my initial assessment.

Still I won’t mind another game just to find out.



Ken quite enjoyed Mission: Red Planet and my impression is that it is a boardgame version of the Citadels game by the same author. Haste Bock! I did not manage to see as our Arkadia game once again is the last game to finish.



After that Edwin gave a final summing up speech and present prizes for winners! For finishing with most wins, Li Li got Gifttrap, Airin got the Starfarers of Catan miniatures for finishing second while Vivian got the limited edition Ticket to Ride

Mystery Train expansion. Shaun was disqualified for being Edwin’s son

(muahaha) while I myself abstained as Li Li already had a prize.


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Edwin doing the closing/summing - note the drawing board of all the players’ standings in the games.



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Edwin describing the cool factor of the Starfarers of Catan miniatures.



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Li Li and myself caught on camera by Ken.



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Airin and her super cool Starfarers of Catan miniatures!



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Li Li the overall winner receiving the prize of Gifttrap!




Later we all had lunch at one of the restaurants outside Selesa

Hillhomes at Janda Baik. Good food and conversation to be had and it

was nice to know all the people there, especially the friendly

Singaporeans. They were quite candid about the concept of kiasu-ism

amongst Singaporeans but I was surprised to find that waiting in line

for the best bargains is considered kiasu. Sounds more like a shopping

culture to me.



Highlights of the retreat for me are: Darjeeling and King of Siam.


Boos for the retreat: Unplayed games!: Agricola, Brass, Die Saulen De Erde. Also boos for the rules mis-teaching (yes, I’m a picky rules lawyer :P)



Singaporean gamer S’ng also graciously left his h/p number and

offered to fix up visiting Malaysian gamers with Singaporean gaming

groups and special interest groups (ASLSK, 18XX, etc.) Ask me for the number.



We had a time, and I wish there were more people coming to share it

with us. To inspire people who were on the fence about this trip in

order to come for the next trip, please remember to save RM20 a month

for one year and remember that old Malay proverb - “Hendak, seratus

daya, tak nak, seribu dalih”.






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Offline Champion Eternal

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #147 on: December 04, 2007, 02:41:30 am »
Wow! Monster report! Very well-written, Hengy. Sounds like everyone enjoyed themselves.

Brass is available at Mage Cafe. It probably is not owned by Mage, but by a gamer. If you ask Ryan nicely, he'd probably let you play. [:)] It is a good game, well worth trying out.

I'm not too keen on Mission Red Planet, nut I know some ppl like it.

Too bad Agricola was not played. It would have been good to get some feedback on that.

So, Container is not your cup of tea, eh? You prefer Darjeeling? Mmmm, from your description of Container, it sounds very much like a game that I would like. But the remarks from BGC (not the ratings) make me hesitate. If I could get a game or two in before I decide, that would be good...(hint, hint to whoever owns Container)[;)]

As for King of Siam: issit abstract or historical? Do you feel that the theme is relevant to the mechanics or pasted on? This is annuder game that I have been eyeing since before Essen.

Thanks for the report - very helpful to ppl who were not there.

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Offline dave

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2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #148 on: December 04, 2007, 03:25:51 am »

Your description of Container sounds intriguing..... It sounds like a game worth trying as the mechanics sounds very different from most other games.



Ta for the excellent report!


2007 Euro Games Retreat (ideas and proposals)
« Reply #149 on: December 04, 2007, 03:45:58 am »

Thanks for the report! Too bad Brass didn't get to be played. I am looking for more plays of this game, so do ask Ryan to teach you. Was also hoping to get feedback on Agricola. Haste Bock is a remake of Shear Panic, IIRC, which is a fun game. Die Saulen De Erde was unplayed? Shame. Beautiful board, it has wooden cubes, and a very nice turn marker in the centre i.e. 6-piece wooden cathedral gradually built up during the game.



BTW, it's "Hendak, seribu daya...."