Monday, October 30, 2006

Too Good To Last.

The haze is back. The traffic jam is back. Sigh. I only got two days of driving bliss. :(

It's A Mad Mad World.

Last night been to bed with some of me old old magazines - we're talking InQuest 1998 that talked about Middle-Earth's CCG expansion The White Hand and The Duelist 1997 reviewing Battletech's CCG expansion Mercenaries (there's a picture of Anastasius Focht - white hair, black eyepatch but purple robes!).

So when I got a text this afternoon (while still asleep) that goes:

Who wants to be MAD? Got my game, its utter MADNESS. MAD, get committed. first thought was to Magic: The Gathering's expansion Torment, one of my favourite expansions with the game mechanic Madness.

Once we'd woken up tho', it made sense.

If your name is Alfred E. Newman, this game is made for you.

Psike mentioned he owned a Mad boardgame set and he'd finally found it. finally we could see what the game was all about - lose all your money to win. One thing we were warned about: don't question the logic of the game (there isn't any). Cards like "This card can only be played on Friday," and "Stand up, boo the person on your left and lose $1000" shows up.

The game has it's bits of fun because there are times when you're instructed to change seats with other players, but you don't change money as you change seats! Imagine stockpiling loads of cash and then leaving it for some poor sod who's $500 away from winning the game. Like Psike said, the game ends pretty quick because you lose cash quite fast. So we tried a variant - all cash we lose, instead of going to the bank, goes to the square called 'Tough Luck' (you get all the cash on 'Tough Luck' if you land there).

Still manage to win the game! Rah! Rah! Rah! Counting the total circulating cash by that time...$45000. Gods.

Today be the second time we did Domino's. First time was when I got my That's Life set, and that was 2 large shared by 4 peeps. This time, it's 2 large (same pizzas again, an Extravaganza and a Beef Pepperroni) shared by 2 peeps. Absolute fullness. Best thing be, the operator (by name of Jasmine) tells me that as a frequent customer I got a free gift. First thing that pops into me mind: 1.5l Sprite/Coke bottle? Free gift turns out to be a choice of Twisty Garlic Bread, Banana Kaya Dessert, CinnaStix or BreadStix. Alright...Twisty Garlic Bread it be.

Look, just look at the butter waiting for you to soak your bread in.

Our arteries are panicking.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Guys, Put Your Off-Roads On

With our left sandal finally breaking apart, it was time we moved on. The running argument of what new foot wear to get - loafers, because they can double as shoes; Crocs, because they're funky and comfy; or another pair of sandals?

Over the previous weeks loafers started losing out in the argument as they can't be worn if they get wet and wearing loafers sockless might lead to smelly feet/shoes. What finally led us to settle on Crocs? We has a friend who stocks them - and so we got ours from hers: the Army Green/Orange Off-Road Crocs. She'd recommended this colour combo, and guys, trust gals judgement if you're unsure.

The moment we put them on, our first comment was, "Whoa! Feels like I'm walking 5% faster now!" No Power Threads this but walking does feel much more quicker after I'd put them on in the store. Wow. Plus I'm now a wee bit taller.

Now maybe I should start looking out for some Gloves of Speed.

Friday, October 27, 2006


We're trying out Internet Explorer 7 and yes, it's nicer. The screen has more space whatwith the removal of the large icon toolbars at the top and replacing them with only the commonly used icons; the tabs are sooooo much more neater (less stuff to minimize!); there's an inbuilt RSS feeder; and everything is in ClearType. Of course, we can only play with IE7 in the office as it uses Original Recipe Windows and we need to get used to the tabs instead of different windows of IE. Me I'm waiting for Vista.

Am also itching for a Mac goodness knows why. The compulsiveness, oh! Must keep it in reign. Had a look at iLife as it has everything useful for us in it, but it's a bit of a blah to suddenly have to change blogs to .Mac instead. Must. Control. Spend. Elsewhere.

Sandals have broken. Shall start looking out for lime-green Crocs.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Deeparaya in Klang

You probably came from here:
If not, read there later.

A quick look-through at the stuff done in Klang for the Deeparaya.

'Nic had texted regarding plans for Deepavali:
7am - Bah Kut Teh breakfast
8am - TI3
12pm - Lunch
1pm - TI3
6pm - Finish

7am. 7AM. SEVEN ay-emm. To avoid risk of sleeping in until afternoon we'd bunked over at 'Nics'. At 2am 'Ward nicely called 'Nic to tell him that he just got back from KL and won't be joining us for breakfast >_<

Early in the morning, 8 o'clock...

After a so-so BKT breakfast we'd started Twilight Imperium (TI3) with four players: 'Nic, Ivan, 'Ward and us. In a 4-player game, each player took two strategy cards instead of one. This allowed me to win the game much faster than we'd anticipated as I got to draw the Imperial card quite often ('Nic, aware of what I was up to, tried to 'nudge' others into taking the Imperial card as well instead of taking it himself, sneaky!) - we'd finish TI3 by 1.30pm. 'Ward, however, was not happy that I'd robbed him of game satisfaction. Next time!

KFC for lunch at Giant Bukit Tinggi, then it was back for different games. NJH joined us at this point (hurrah more players!) and we did speed Puerto Rico with the expansion set buildings. Well, not really speed Puerto Rico but our PR games are getting faster and faster with everyone knowing pretty much what to do with the tokens (refill ship, place plantations etc). Strategy was a bit out of the window since we played with a mix of old and new buildings thus I lost out to everyone else.

Pick a role each turn, build districts and guess who's who...

Ivan then introduced Citadels to the rest of us. Whoa, was this fun! [More playtesting later would show that the game is at its best at 5-6 players.] A medieval setting where roles are chosen player by player, thus making the few last players guess what roles are held by the others. A simple yet mindscrewing game. Lots of laughter as after choosing a role, eye contact will be made, body language saying, "You know I know la I'm Assassin/Thief, you want to be who?"

Building...Construction complete. The House that produces the most spice- oops.

On Monday 23rd we did Siedler von Catan Travelbox followed by Caylus. There's a lot of multitasking in this game as well, where as a master builder you're to help construct a castle. 'Nic explained the game to the rest of us (Ivan, NJH and us) where NJH proceeded to win the game as master builder, leaving me with second as the King's favourite. Ivan, feeling rather drowsy that day, stuck with his strategy of "saboh 'Nic!!!" by being in cohorts with the Provost, first by denying 'Nic his resources and then rushing the build job. A round of Citadels and that was it.

Jeff teaching us Bang!

The heavy for the hols was on Tuesday night...starting at 11pm all the way to 7am next morning! Playing at Long's who kindly hosted, 'Nic finally gets Jeff to teach Bang! Another fun guessing game of Sheriff & Deputy vs Outlaws vs Renegade. Poor 'Nic, as Deputy he was killed by Outlaws early in the first game, and in the second game Ivan (as sheriff) declares, "Chances of 'Nic getting Deputy twice in the row very unlikely!" and promptly kills him before he even gets his turn!

" the world map. Don't get lost."

This followed by Antike, a civilisation game, then Victory II, more towards warfare. Viktory II takes a start from Settlers of Catan, using the same tiles but with more. Loads more.

Fog of war covers the Island of Ca- game of Viktory II.

This game ended rather quickly with only 3 rounds as 'Nic capitol was crushed into vassalage by Jeff while 'Nic decided to say "Hello" to Wai Yan's towns with cannons.

The lighter games that followed: That's Life and Hey That's My Fish.

Us innocent souls thinking That's Life is a light-hearted game...

Analytic Paralytics hard at work trying to isolate competing penguins while saving the best fish for themselves.

Both were rather fun, quick, simple but importantly cutthroat games. So much so that I bought That's Life the day after :)

And that's Deeparaya for us in Klang.

What? Visitations? Food?


Hah. How was the whole of the Deeparaya spent? Boardgaming, vodka, boardgaming, Bodypumping the PC to Low Yat for a checkup again, overnight boardgaming, afternoon boardgaming...whoa yeah. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Must Grudge-ingly Admit That...

While The Grudge 2 is good, Ju-On 2 still beats it hands down with more creative deaths :) The Grudge 2 retains some of the essence of Ju-On 2 but there are more changes to this one compared to Grudge/Ju-On. Anyways the spook factor is still there. Go watch.


Gah. Me PC's down again - the thing starts up but I don't see the memcheck running (thus com not starting...). Why??? Why???

Ming's first diagnosis was, "Motherboard rosak."

I think his mouth is very acidic.

Shall have to risk visiting Low Yat on Raya to see if anywhere is open to treat da PC.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Retreat! Retreat!

Second game for the day is Ra at Table 3. At our table, Jen Fai, Shaun, Chris and us. According to the Games Allocation table, this is game 7, a 1 hour game which should finish fairly quickly.

A game in 3 epochs. Objective is to gain the most points.
Tiles are drawn and placed representing various aspects of Egyptian life - gods, culture/civilization, pharoahs, buildings and season (flooding of the river), all earning points in some way. This are placed on the game board to be auctioned off. The intersting part of auction in this game is that each player only have three 'chips' for bidding with a value from 2-13 (or higher depending on players), thus players have to be mindful whenever they bid.

This was an interesting game, very quick learning curve but certain strategies in the game may smack you in the face if you don't keep watch - after the first epoch Chris was left with the 2, 3 and (we think) 6 chip for bidding! And we guess it would be better if a bag was provided for tile-drawing and shuffling. Otherwise it was a fairly quick game played, giving us time to check out other tables, or in Shaun's case, play dominos with the bidding chips.

Watching Samurai going on Table 1, things were quite hushed. Edwin and Jeff were already calculating their wins and losses already before the game has ended! Analyses Paralyses hard at work.

Onto our third game of the day - Table 2, Game 7: St Petersburg. Another 1 hour game.

St Petersburg.
Objective of the game? Earn the most victory points.
There are 4 phases in the game: Workers, Buildings, Aristocrats and Upgrades. Purchase cards revealed in each phase to either earn rubles (cash) or victory points. Workers generally earn rubles, Buildings for rubles and or victory points or even special abilities, Aristocrats mainly victory points. Upgrades allow you to improve cards you have already bought to either earn more rubles or points.

I didn't get to read about the flavour behind St Petersburg, because 'Nic and I were trying to teach Thurn and Taxis to Table 4 (why does Table 4 seem to have all the train games?). Hopefully our explainations were clear enough. Anyways, easy learning curve, heavy strategy punishment. Well, maybe not really. Just not paying attention to what we were buying, plus we didn't realise that, while we could 'take a card into hand' we couldn't 'discard a card from hand' as an action - leading to further point deduction at the end of the game <:( Back to Table 3.

Table 3, Game 4: Pirate's Cove, 90-minutes.

Pirate's Cove.
Objective is to loot different islands for their treasure, fight off any competing pirates on same island, take on notoriously famous pirates or The Royal Navy...all in the name of getting Fame Points.
Lasting 12 turns, pirates secretly choose their destination island to loot for treasure, gold, fame and/or purchase strategy cards as well as upgrades for their ship. Ships can upgrade sails (initiative), crew, cannons (both required for firepower) and hull (treasure hold space). During combat pirates blast each other until one sustains massive damage in any one of the four upgrades or flees.

We started rather slow because we didn't had anyone to teach us the game - Rob had to make do with going through the manual with us and us having mini-trials to ensure we've got the gist of it. Jen Fai has played the game before but that was waaay too long back, so we'd best go through everything again. We decided to sacrifice our hull integrity to increase our firepower might. Unfortunately as encounters prove, for firepower to be really impressive and intimidating, one's ship must be able to manouevre with ease. In the end our ship spent plenty of time at Pirate's Cove doing repairs T_T

The strategy cards may require clearing up on some details. Initially I'd cards that told me I could redirect the Royal Navy elsewhere. As the Royal Navy did not appear in the game I wondered what worth was the card for, until Jen Fai played it near end-game against Rob. Seems like when you play that card, you put the Royal Navy into play to chase and battle other pirates! So Rob had to fight off the persistant Royal Navy, but thankfully he had a card in hand that allowed him to deal double damage (or something). Rob won, got famous. After that encounter, next turn I launched my Royal Navy against Rob who fled ^_^

Which Is Which?

17th - Wee Wog and toy, originally uploaded by Janvier.

Midget has joined the family since February as has grown from the wee thing she was ^.^ Can you tell which is the toy and which is the wog?

[This is a posting via Flickr with the option of uploading a pic at 500px on it's own line. Hmmm. 'Twas too big for my template so had to resize pic in the end.]

Saturday, October 14, 2006


[We can't upload photos again. So we'll just leave the post up and try and upload them sometime soon. What we've done so far is link text to the pics we've got up at Flickr. 'Nic, got a pendrive to get the whole lot of pix?]

Team, fall back!...

...All the way to Awana! The weekend was set for the 2006 Malaysian Eurogames Retreat. Starting at 8.30am Saturday and going alllll the waaaaay till Sunday afternoon. Shoot, should have had more marathon sessions with 'Nic and Ivan for practice. Hope brains don't dissolve before the weekend is over, as once we finished we'd to rush back, finish packing up for my trip to Singapore - we'll be there a week for training and will not be a good sign if brain has melted.

Decided not to take a risk in oversleeping so had kind 'Nic come up to fetch me over to bunk overnight at his place before heading up to Awana. We'd a good start and 'Nic also picked up Jeff along. The more the merrier, everyone was awake and the haze gave way to clouds and cool weather.

Soon everyone arrived and breakfast was underway. Edwin, our organizer did the honours of welcome speech and such and explained how we'd be playing da games. 16 gamers in all, split into 4 tables of 4 players. Essentially the games would be rated thus: Table 1 would be rather difficult games, scaling down to Table 4 with simpler games. As there were loads of games (28 for the event not counting extras for during free time) there were most of us who don't know some games. So those who knew how certain games are played were to teach the others, provided that they're teaching another table to "make sure you don't 'forget to mention' certain winning conditions". Fair innit?

First up, lots were drawn to see which table we'd sit at. Then the prelimenary game - for actual table placement. Heckmeck. A dice game. We suck big time at dice games. Anyways:

Objective is to collect the most points in worms.
Using six d6, roll to try and get marks to collect tiles of same mark and score points. Tiles either score 1, 2 or 3 points and can be stolen by other players as well!

This retreat was gonna have quite a bit of Musical Chairs/Tables - after each game, 2 winners will head 'up' a table while the 2 losers head 'down' a table. You could probably keep a permanant seat in Table 1 or 4 if you had the skill.

Anyways, as we're lousy at dice, we ended up at Table 4. No biggie. What's the first game up?

What the-? What is this game doing on Table 4???

Railroad Tycoon.
Objective is to get the most points by the end of the game.
Points are earned by building railroad tracks to send goods from place to place. Completing certain objectives also earn points. Cash is required to build tracks, upgrade train engines, urbanize towns etc and can be gained either by alloting shares or earning points.

Oh no. Heavy game IMHO, shouldn't this be a Table 1 or 2 game? A look around showed that the other tables had heavier games. Anyways, managed to suffer our way through as was slightly familiar with game concepts by now plus we knew what we needed to do during the initial stages of the game. But I guess the deciding factor as to how we won was the fact that KP wanted to win the prize for 'being fourth on the Table 4 in the final round'. That put Shaun and us up to Table 3.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

small pleasures, small gripes

we've found a new pleasure in time-wasting - hanidoku. not only is it your regular sudoku but it's settlers of catan sudoku. and it's giving me a really big headache, an hour into the game and i've yet to place a single number. gotta read the strategies on working out this logic-honeycomb.

there's been a gripe i've had with apple since i've gotten their ipod. previously with itunes store, they'd only the 99¢ per mp3 which was pretty much worth it for them songs we couldn't find...elsewhere. now with itunes 7 there's more games, audiobooks (am eyeing project gutenberg for audiobooks now), downloadable telly episodes and movies as well! anyways. malaysia has no way of purchasing itunes store stuff! gripe gripe gripe.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm A Sucker For Good Goody Bags

Men's Health came down to Fitness First The Curve today, bringing with them girls with goody bags and forms. Thing is, goody bags from MH should actually have things of value. Of course we had to scan the booth for the T&C like must enter contest, make slogan etc.

For this one, one gal explained, "All you have to do is fill in this form, if you're one of the 20 picked you'll have grooming tips classes etc that will take place on the weekends somewhere next August."

Hmm. We gathered that it's basically a way to pick some zhialat fellows and do a before-and-after. The gals took photos of us, dressed in scruffy gym togs for BodyCombat. In the end there was five of us signing up for the freebies - lad, dad, Joel, Riza and us. Dunno if others had signed up before/after us. Chances that we'll be chosen? Hopefully as slim as us. Wethinks by August next year also we would have clean forgot that we'd signed up to do such >.<

Lesse. A Fitness First bottle (yay I lost mine), a Philips towel, a L'Oreal Professionel Liss Extreme shampoo, a Biotherm Homme Age Refirm Eye Force cream, a X-Trail keychain and compass, a GNC pill box, and IMO the star items: a big pink box from Playsafe called Love & Romance - a box of 12 Fit-tex 002 with a aromatherapy set, and...

A Dunhill Pure Eu de Toilette! Wow the waft! Yum...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Devil wears Prada is a must watch - either to learn how to be a devil-boss, or just to watch Anne Hathaway or Meryl Streep or even just to see clothes and fashion galore.

Saturday had dropped by at Games Castle for the boardgamecafe meetup and dragged Paul along as well - as we were early (bugger every single road was jammed! What's wrong with KL this past week?) we started Ticket To Ride: Europe. An observer's take on our game pretty much sum up how a game of TTR:E by first-timers or players without the attribute: Analysis Paralysis play: "Eh how come no one block each other one? Everyone's got their long mission done already!" Ah well.

Somewhere mid-game Jeff, 'Nic and the others have arrived and started Tikal :( Oh well plenty of chances to learn new games. So after TTR:E we'd switch to Puerto Rico. Playing familiar games gives us the advantage of playing games quickly as we won't have to spend time letting information filter into the brain (like the implication of getting certain Operations cards in Railroad Tycoon early). Unfortunately these be new games to Paul so we couldn't zip through the game as we would like.

After 2 games had to rush off for the Les Milles new track launch. Was aiming for 'Combat, 'Jam and Rockstar Bollywood, but arrived late, missing 'Combat. Dunno if that's a good thing, because by the end of Bollywood my body was aching so bad that staying in Igor-hunch-limp-lurch pose felt most comfortable! It's actually quite scary at the launch, about half or more of the group very the 'yat chai' kind one...

Steven was back and was at Settler's doing dinner - which by the way was hosting some birthday function or other, all tables and chairs were taken and kitchen fully harassed. Tried the Chicken Cutlet dish, still find the Footlong the best followed by the Carbonara. Learned that in playing Power Grid you may want players that can bid fast >:P the game lasted from 10pm all the way till 1am!