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The Uninvited Guests

Hi there, you, me and other fellow geeks must have experienced this “uninvited guests” at least once in life, or often (you decide). And right now you might wonder what kind of guests are “uninvited guests”? Let’s be honest, us gamers, really happy to have game buddies orbiting around that are vigilant to take seat for gaming session with you since our hobby here (or activity) does need the presence of others (not you, solitaire players), physically, not saying online mode of board gaming session is not board gaming but it isn’t. Seriously, please just be focus and serious here, I’m talking the good old session with your friends (or anyone / anything else) happily sitting around the table playing board games with you. Ah… those happy times (well, I’m about to get there in an hour or two). So if you’re not a solitaire player, then playing board games cannot be done just by yourself. You need another partners (at least 1 other victim to bully around). And partners come from invitation, you ask your friends, colleagues and more to play with you. The good thing (which we all hope) they respond and willing to play, but not all the time they can manage your invitation. I live in a place where board game is an alien, that usually followed by a question by others and Monopoly as my respond. Yes, it’s not a common thing, not like karaoke or video games Hence we do not have a big community (yet) but it’s growing. With this scale, there are not many gamers lying around to be invited and most of them are not always available. So this leads to the gaming partner issue.

Gaming Group

Gaming over local gathering

What issue is that? It is when you want to play but no one’s available to play with you (no I’m not gonna resolve this to solitaire play, better read rulebooks or browse BGG). Getting someone to play with you is not a trivial quest, sometimes it’s so damn hard, either they’re busy or it’s just you’re not the one person they want to hang out with (*bitch). Either way, it’s a problem for us gamers and one of the solution is to invite all your friends and see who’s come up to the task of true friends (no I’m kidding), willing and able to play with you. So you start sending / broadcasting, here, there and everywhere (by texting, calling, posting request on social media, email , forum thread or maybe BBM broadcast) which will significantly raise your chances (or not) to get gaming partners. Well it’s a good effort though. But based on my experiences doing this kind of shit, there are people that just prefer doing than talking which is generally a good idea (compared to the opposite). Yes, I did invite them over for a game or two, yes I do expect all of them to come (cannot be picky with this kind of thing, can’t I?), but I do more appreciate them to answer to my invitation first rather than unexpectedly showed up without confirmation. Beside it surprises me, they also screw up the session big time! The reason is they ruined the gaming group formula. Let me explain, if you want to gather some friends over a game session, you need to think / plan what to play and how many additional players you’ll be needing. The thing is if you desperately try to invite anyone or everyone and ends up with an odd number of players that would give you and your group a headache to start with. Most Euro games (yes we often play Euros) are suitable / best with maximum number of 4 players (at least games on my collection) and having 5 players in the group is kinda a pain in the ass. It’s good if you have 6 (you can divide them into two 3-player groups) but 5!!!!??? Okay, there are nice amount of 5-player games out there but I don’t have that much and sometimes 5-player games take more times and not the best number for games (not talking about party or filler games). The fifth player is surely an uninvited guest and if he/she’s respond to my invitation first before barging into the session, I am sure I can find another solution of games.

A scheduled game session on progress

A scheduled game session on progress

Look here, how hard can it be, to reply to an invitation? just push a button or type a text can’ be that hard right? I could prepared more suitable games for the group and evade this kind of problems. If you are them, think again. I know you’re invited by me but we feel you as uninvited if you did not give feedback, so give feedback to be invited! It’s a small things but also important, I will definitely appreciate it if you give us heads up!

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Article

 

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Quick Session Report : Eclipse – A Peaceful Galaxy

Quick Session Report : 2 Players Game of Eclipse (B’Steak Green Ville, August 5th, 2012)

A Peaceful Galaxy

Play it complete for the first time with 2 players (Terran Union / Red and Terran Federation / White).

Terran Federation / White (me) acted first, explored the middle sector hex and inner sector hex in the first 2 turns. The same thing with Terran Union / Red (My girlfriend, who will be mentioned as Mpruel for the rest of the post), she explored 2 hexes and we both used our Colony Ships to populate the hexes. Another explored actions led us to confront Ancient Ships in new revealed hexes. For this reason, most of my next actions were Researches and Upgrades to modify my military aspect (ship customization). I researched Improved Hull first, and then followed with Fusion Source for more energy supply on the ships. To support my mobilization and upgrade utilization of the ships’ blue prints, I researched Advanced Economy and Labs then added a Plasma Cannon technology. While I was having mass progress on the military and grid lines technology, Mpruel had indulged the wealthy and prosperous way from Orbital technology research by building many Orbitals. This led her to control a large amount of money each round. Her Money track was completely opened from round 6 which gave her advantage on structural productions and technology researches. In the other hand, my lack of money condition has rendered me to early passes in several turns.

First 2 Players Complete Game

Left in such struggling condition, I was managed to dispatch a small squadron of Cruisers and Interceptors all out to take down one of the Ancients inhabited neighboring sector. The first assault was in vain and I lost one Interceptor, but managed to strike back by the hurling Plasma Cannon of my Cruisers, sector secured and discovered an Ancient ship (a +3 Computer). My next target was The Galactic Center, but I was not confident enough to launch an immediate attack, but directed the attack to another Ancient ship on different sector recently explored. It proved to be easy task for my squadron and discovered another Ancient ship part (-3 Shield) in the wreckage. Installed the newly achieved Shield to my Cruiser’s blue print and was ready to face the GCDS. Meanwhile, Mpruel had managed to destroy an Ancient with her Cruisers and Interceptors and gain a boost in the money track. She researched the Monolith and managed to built 2 Monoliths in her Home System’s backyard. Then she built a Starbase in her sector that neighbored with the Galactic Center since I made a movement to the Galactic Center. Tense was brewing and the possibility of friction was fluctuated. She felt need to secure her front yard.

Confront the Ancient!

The grandiose battle on the Galactic Center was begun. Equipped with such devastating Plasma Cannon, Ancient Computer & Shield technology, Fusion Source energy with Improved Hull, I realized that the result was eminent, only out of luck of the dice would say the opposite. My squadron needed to inflict 8 hits to bring down the GCDS and it completed in 3 rounds with no casualty (just 2 damaged on one of my Cruisers). This victory assured me boost on the Population tracks. Next target was the neighboring sector that also has an Ancient and to secure the Galactic Center from the possibility of an invasion, I deployed 2 Dreadnoughts and left an Interceptor in it. Then I moved my Cruisers into another sector to confront the Ancient ship. Mpruel also decided to make an aggressive move by assaulting a sector with 2 Ancient Ships. She managed to grab the victory without any casualty.

Against The Galactic Center Defense System

My next battle was won easily. The Ancient never had the chance against my Ancient equipped Cruisers. My next research action was Artifact key since I control 4 Artifacts on my hexes and gained 20 Science resources. Then in the last rounds I focused on the research actions of the Grid technology and filled all the Grid slots in the technology track to gain bonus VP with Quantum Grid, Positron Computer, Gauss Shield and Tachyon Drive Technology.

Observing the available Technology tiles

I won the game with 19 points from controlled hexes, 10 points from Reputation tiles, 6 points from Discovery tiles and 5 points from Grid technology track bonus (40 points total). While Mpruel managed to get 14 points from controlled hexes, 6 points from Monoliths, 3 Points from Military technology, 4 points from Discovery and 7 points Reputation tiles (34 points total). It was a great game, only minor misinterpretation of the rules (the timing of Colony Ship tiles usage and Initiatives order on the battle course). No battle or conflict between players in our first game, maybe because we (or at least me) saw possible conflict not as efficient as other actions. More playing experiences and number of players would definitely shed some lights.

End Game White’s Player Board

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Board Games, Euro Games, Session

 

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And Dorn Greeted Us With Woe And Despair

Dorn Session in Report

The date was 27th May 2012, it was Sunday though, the day was black and dark like any other day before it

The smile before the doom!

Grief was all over the place, the Dark Lord has found his way to spread the darkness…
This mean, our fellow adventurers have failed their quest.
The last news heard about them, though vague, had been a nightmare to remember… It was become a legend, a myth that others dread not to imagine or talk about it. From the tales, all adventurers were perished, devoured by the Dark Lord power, except one… Almanor, The Mage, was not dead (if the news was true). He was lost in the darkness, some people said he was captured, imprisoned by the Dark Lord for eternity, or even kept as slave. But some said, he was fallen into the dark side and become another minions of mindless monster himself. But, whatever it is, the Village of Argos was doomed.

Dorn

But then again, this grief tale is always interesting for travelers, for strangers and even children. They just seemed to take it as a tales, and their fear are just like flickers of flame, for not knowing the real and facing the Dark Lord himself. So, here it is, the tales that set Argon into the abyss of darkness…

The Dark Lord has grown powerful and Argos was in the edge of His grasp. Argos villagers decided to get help from adventurers that came to their village. So, 5 adventurers set up to the task and they traveled to Dorn, a dark and malicious place of the Dark Lord. The band of adventurers were, Almanor The Mage, Kaedrak The Paladin, Cedrik The Druid, Zohra and Ragnar. The 5 of them entered Dorn with their own quests but the same objective, to save Argos from the Dark Lord’s evil plan. They decided to form 2 groups and searched the place in different direction. Kaerdrak, Almanor and Zohra went into the Black Moor Marshes and Ragnar and Cedrik into the mines. Though it’s good progress for Zohra’s party in the marshes, Zohra ventured too deep into the marshes leaving her friends far in the back. She was ambushed by skeleton and bog beasts. She was dead by the time Kaerdrak and Almanor were able to arrived. One adventurer was down.

The Downfall of Zohra… accompanied by the laughter of the Dorn Keeper

The rest of the adventurers (Kaerdrak and Almanor) couldn’t save her but revenge was done in swift by Almanor’s Fireball. Time was running out for them, for bog beasts were swarming the place, they decided to go back to the first place they entered the place, the safe path. Meanwhile, Ragnar were able to enter a portal that sent them to the deeper place of the palace. Ragnar got an artifact, a magical Axe that gave power to the wielder. Cedrik followed in the back. But, on the way back Ragnar was intercepted by a skeleton and a Demon (the horned fiend), he was cornered but Kaerdrak came to give help. The three of them were able to survive the ambushed, though they paid it dearly.
Almanor was still in the mines, hunting treasure and he leveled up from his acquired experience. He then found a treasure that led him onto a portal that sent him to another place. The other side of the palace, and achieve an artifact, The Morhen’s Blade, which was powerful during the day.
Ragnar and Cedrik were not safe yet, their ambushers were still on their tail and alas, they got cornered again and this time, they paid it with their lives. Ragnar was the first one to go down and Cedrik was alone, Kaerdrak couldn’t help him, for there was a demon between him and Cedrik. Cedrik was down, Kaerdrak had to flee and find a safe place for the moment. Critical time for them.
Almanor was lost, he tried every dark corner and yet, he couldn’t managed to regroup with his friends. He was forced to use his blessing and teleport into Kaerdrak’s place. The last hope of Argos was on their shoulders, which got heavier by the minutes. Kaerdrak was healed by Almanor’s greater healing potion.
Almanor got another artifact, which gave him the Ring of Morhen. Kaerdrak covered him from the back where A mummy, bog beast and a skull were appeared. He was paralyzed by the mummy’s attack and took several hits. Almanor came to the rescue and sent those monsters back to the darkness with his Fireball and Magic Missile. He gained another level from his experience.

Almanor’s Character Sheet – Lv. 2, soon to be Lv. 3

Kaerdrak was pinned down by another wave of monsters, a demon killed him. Now Almanor was getting desperate, the demon was immune to his magical attack. He was cornered, he cannot defeat the Demon, but in the last critical minutes, he found a way, he remembered his artifact, while he sees the glittering sunlight, he found a way to deal damage to that demon. He confronted it and the demon take hit him. Oh yes, he was hurt but the Morhen’s blade also deflect the attack to the Demon itself. The demon was wounded. But night came too early, and he realized that his chance was expired, so he fled..tried to survive as long as he can… but despair showed no mercy, the time was end…
Zorkal, The Dark Lord, had successfully completed the Dark Ritual… and Argos fell into the darkness!

The Blood Stones

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Board Games, Session

 

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My Recent Played #01 – And No Wonder It’s On The Top

Well, today is 21st February 2012. In the middle of Tuesday morning and just caught with all the things i had recently. Looking through my record of plays (Board Games of course), which led me to think that being a game that I played a lot, 7 Wonders did a significant effort to be placed on top, right in front of Rune Age.

7 Wonders

Come to think of it, looking at the statistic it was quite a numerable gap with 5 plays differences. They’re different games, though basically rooting from the same card game material. But mostly when you compare those two, you’ll get lot of differences, with 7 Wonders being a card game with card drafting mechanic, while Rune Age is deck building. 7 Wonders is played up to 7 players, with a civilization theme and unique game play though lack of direct confrontations / interactions. Meanwhile, Rune Age has a bit of fantasy theme and also 4 different races with special abilities and powers, 4 different scenarios for game play variant, it works well with 1-4 players. Each scenarios gives different feeling to the game and less luck than 7 Wonders.

Maybe one of the simple reason that why both of those games are in the top of my played list is they play quick (with 30-60 minutes per game). This can really boost the amount of plays. You can play 2-4 games in a row.

Rune Age

There are something to think about, I have 7 Wonders way before I have Rune Age and this make 7 Wonders has more advantage time to be played than Rune Age, but I also regard that I haven’t play 7 Wonders quite a long time, first day of the year (new year), played it 3 times. There is no doubt that 7 Wonders is easily one of the best simple, attractive and outstanding filler game, but my gaming groups might as well as kinda grow weary with it, that’s the reason it’s seldom hit the table anymore. While for Rune Age, I played it last week with 3 players and I still liked it.

But when playing with new players, I have my own considerations. Rune Age rule is simpler to teach and not really fiddly but, most common people (new players) somewhat well off unaware about the strength of the theme influence on the game, which is most likely set an unabridged gap for me to teach the game. 7 Wonders is different, though I might as well as get a bottle of water ready after the explanation, the rules is streamlined and easy to comprehend by new players. Though the only obstacle for newbie is get to know the icons. More thorough and clear explanations are needed and this means 15 minutes minimum game explanation at your doorstep exclude the questions afterwards.

Agricola

Okay, lets now look the rest of the list. Unsurprisingly Martian Dice is on the 3rd place with 17 plays. Looking by the nature of the game, it’s acceptable. Quick and easy, though has totally different feeling. Right below it, is the famous Agricola, which came to my surprise, since it’s a long and fiddly game (2-3 hours), I even played this one 4 hours long (oh that cruciating pain). 12 plays are marvelous, I didn’t even realize and remember. Agricola is one of the game that requires you to enjoy the game flow (at least for me). One does not simply over think the victory from the beginning of the game. Once you enjoy the game flow, you will realize how jewel the game is. Very suitable to play this with close friends or family, enjoy the evening and of course play through it with some snacks. Don’t you agree? Akrham Horror and Balloon Cup stay right behind with also 12 plays. What can I say, Arkham Horror is epic and though it’s leaning down to the dull curve, I still wanna play this if I have the chance (oh that memorable times). On the other hand, Balloon Cup was a black horse, never thought this kind of 2 players filler got my attention. Quick and easy with small table space gives you more reason to play this one. Now with 11 plays, If Wishes Were Fishes and Quarriors, two games that Quarriors being one of the games that I don’t have. It’s one of my friend’s and he lent me for quite a while. So what’s interesting with these two games? If Wishes Were Fishes is one of my earlier games, bought it just because of the components (quoting from my review of the game “Who doesn’t like gummy worms?”. Too bad lately it’s unfairly rarely hit the table and come to think of it, maybe I need to bring it to the table next time. Now, Quarriors is an interesting dice game, with innovative and unique mechanic which brought the game to it’s fame. Quick, simple, easy and very interesting for kids, though the theme is kinda less prowess in the stand of time. I found that to explain this game, it’s easier with a player mat which then I made custom player mats. The bad about this game is, sometimes players will be able to tell the winner just by looking at the possibility, which makes the game quite a bit anti-climax.

Ankh Morpork

After those two, Discworld: Ankh Morpork and Thunderstone are right behind with 10 plays. I am optimistic about Ankh Morpork, to climb the ladder with a serious pace, since my girl and me like this game so much. It’s chaotic and suspicious feeling really shoot you to the gut. Entertaining, full of laughter and of course this kind of game need a perfect gaming group. So, let see where this one stand in the near future. Unlike Aknh Morpork, Thunderstone has been quite a jobless game, and I am in deep concern. Since the existence of Rune Age, Thunderstone just couldn’t get out from the shadows cast by Rune Age, with similar mechanic, Thunderstone was beaten from several aspects such as the setup, the fiddly rules, the less interactions and no scenarios. Even nowadays there are lot of variants on the forum, but it seemed Rune Age won outstandingly. Plan to play it again in the near future. Just hold on Thunderstone!

Drum Roll

Drum Roll, Pickomino and The Resistance follow with 9 plays. While Pickomino is a simple mathy game of dice for kids but some of my friends and me found this game to be hilariously fun. But for some reason it’s just seasonal. Not in my collection and never play it again since it’s returned to it’s rightful owner. Drum Roll in the other hand, has the same mathy feeling though heavier with the salary aspects. Great game, a bit of overwhelming but suit me right into it, great artworks importantly. This one will surely still climbing it’s way in this list. The Resistance is kinda end up in an unfortunate situation, which most players in my central gaming group just rather feel enough of this one. To make the case worse, it really shines with lot of players and with specific gaming group. But nevertheless, always look forward for a session and resistance is futile.

The rest of the list are being end up in the bottom, though I won’t say they’re bad or not good. They just circumstantial not in the best position to begin with. Lack of times, no perfect gaming group that are willing, no chance and other hundreds of reasons. Instead some of them I am hoping to get them played more often like as Caylus, Chaos in The Old World, Troyes, War of The Ring, Brass and many others.

Dungeon Petz

By looking at my board games collection growth, I just wish that i could be able to fairly divide the playing proportion for each game. There are quite many games in my list to be seriously played for their flying time. New games like Dungeon Petz, Belfort, Panic Station, Conquest of Nerath and more of it the upcoming game of Eclipse (this should be EPIC) that I back ordered recently.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Article, News

 

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The High & Low of Gaming Groups

Okay, when you say about Board Games, then it will come to mind that you need a group to play the game. Well, i know there are online play version of board games (which are not counted for) but in this matter it’s not put into consideration. We shall see, how important a gaming group is. To tell you the truth, you can’t play if you don’t have a group (except you think about solo play which i honestly don’t like).
So, if you are a board gamer, then probably you already have at least 1 group. This group can include families, friends, girl / boyfriend or even work colleagues. Or you have more than 1 gaming group which usually common for heavy gamers or board games mania with tend to have routine schedules over the week. Now with just this we can see the importance of a group is, since you will not be able to play without it.
Now let’s go deeper into the matter. What you gaming group consist of? Well i don’t talk about the amount of players, but it’s more like the kind of players your gaming group consist of. This will determine what kind of group you’re playing in. As i can say, your group is the important aspect of any board gaming experience, it could drastically judge the game itself, since your experience about the game will be your key point to rate the game.

I already told you about what part gaming group has in the board gaming experience, now it’s time to define what builds your group. As you can see, one of the board games most interesting parts is the players interaction (which is lies in your group). So i can small down the scales that i talk about the players. There are lot of different types of players, and though it’s not fair to categorized them into types, in this case i think i need to. So, here are the types of players in my opinion, and please try your best not to be offended.

  1. The Victors. These type are just can’t play without winning they like winning, instead they love to win in every plays. Their number one goal is to be number one, at the top of the score boards of every games. They tends to take the game seriously and think hard so they can achieve the glorious victory ignore the rest. Well, if you’re such a competitive person, then you need to try them. Usually they smart, know the game very well, a hard thinker, serious face and solemn throughout the game. What good about them is, they can provide a good challenge for you, to test your skill maybe. The bad thing is, they can pose a serious threat to your joyous victory and the most important thing is they are not fun to play with. Come on, we play games to have fun, not to get overwhelmed like we had in office hours or school tests.
  2. The Clowns. Well i shouldn’t need to explain this type of players to all of you, but never mind, this type is the most common you can find in any group. Why? I’ll tell you why, because this kind of players are the biggest contributors that your gaming group still exist. Nope, they’re not the perfect type but, with them, your group will instantly be alive. This type usually play the games with lots of fun, they shoot you with laughter and overwhelming tears. The good about this kind of players is, they can turn your seemingly desperate and brain burner game sessions into a fun in the circus or comedy show. They will non stop humoring you and your friends with their unbelievable skill of self denial, out of place, regrets, and persistent foolishness. Now the bad thing is, they tend to slow the game as they usually makes unimportant gestures or actions in the middle of the game that made you want to slap your fore head.
  3. The Cheaters. Now, this is the kind of players that you really want to avoid. No one’s enjoying the company of this kind of players and to the very least, what’s the good of the game if you cheat? One must take a good look upon this kind of players since they will make their moves when others looking away. This kind of players can turn your gaming session into trial session which end up really bad with someone accusing each other. So, be careful with this one. Keep lots of eyes on this one, on the general supplies and count all of his assets. You don’t want him to come up with more that he can come up to.
  4. The Losers. Well, this type is the kind that really annoying. They will complaining relentlessly and without end. The only thing that come out of their mouth is the things that did not happen as they planned or hundreds of reasons why they’re unlucky. So, tuck your ear plug and enjoy the pantomime. They will blabber as much as they want and you set the remote on mute. Please, do your best to survive the ongoing madness if you miss the ear plug.
  5. The Thinking Dead. Yeah, let’s assume they’re zombies or else. You play board games with bunch of zombies, who cannot think (or doesn’t want to) and never have the will to play or finish the game. The only thing that keep that stay still is they have nothing better to do or they had been forced to play! It’s kinda pain in the ass if you’re the only one eager to play and finish the game right?

So, after all these types descriptions, maybe you can look at yourself before you judge players next right to you, what types you are? For me, personally i could put myself on the clown types. I enjoy playing board games, any kind of board games (generally) and really enjoy the play, not the winning (for me victory is kinda like a bonus when ding something you like). And i really ecstatic or enthusiastic when i can invite people to play, or even let them play without me playing. It somehow satisfying for me. But i kinda lil’ bit victors and losers types frequently, just to allow the game is flowing and living.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Article

 

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