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Subject: KL Boardgames Meetup reports for Sep 2006 rss

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C.K. Au
Kuala Lumpur
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Boardgames Meetup @ BGC Cheras 15/9/2006 - Kuhhandel, Power Grid (France), St Petersburg, Battle Line

Gamers: Long (Lostboyz), Aw, Heng (ayheng), Rob, Henry Yeo (rhyen), Lai Wah (laiwah), and Jeff Au (jack208)
Games: Kuhhandel, Power Grid (France), St Petersburg, Battle Line

Location: Cheras
Date/Time: 15 Sep 06 (Fri) 8.00 PM - 5.00 AM

by jack208 & ayheng

Firstly a special appreciation to Long, Heng and Rob who came all the way from Puchong for this meetup. I know Cheras is not somewhere you can considered "nearby" so thanks to all for making the effort to drop by. Esp Rob who got stuck in possibly the worst jam of his stay in Msia... when he was stuck in the Kesas MRR probably around the Bandar Tasik Selatan area (which is notorious esp when it rains during 5-6pm). He said it took him 80 min to get here... but on his way back, he took only 21 min!

Anyway due to the rain, we all started late (close to 9pm) but I think everyone had fun! We started with 5-player Kuhhandel (You're Bluffing). Henry, Long, Aw, Lai Wah and Rob were the gamers. Heng came after the game started so he just observed... and I think he enjoyed the proceedings. Lots of bidding actions and bluffing esp when trading is involved. Long won this game with his Horse, Pig and Duck trios.

After that, Aw has to leave so the rest ping-pong between wat games to play... El Grande was called but since no one has read the rules (alamak!) we decided to skip it. Finally we settled on Power Grid and the expansion map France was used. Henry, Long, Rob, Heng, and myself was in the game. Lai Wah observed the game for awhile before she has to leave as she has an early appointment tomolo.

After Power Grid (which Heng won with a nice 15-city rush), Long and Rob decided to do a game of St. Petersburg and me and Heng watched/learnt the game.

Chua (if you are reading this post), while I did not play, I found the game's not too bad. Not a Top 10 but certainly one of the good-enuff-to-play type of game. Tight resource management, and some strategic decisions.

Me and Heng then do a round of Battle Line. Heng's not played the game before so it's another new game for him. All this while, that Henry was just busy laminating his Havoc and Take 6 (bah!)

Gaming finished close to 2am, not bad.... in 5 hrs, we did 4 games - Kuhhandel, Power Grid, St Petersburg and Battle Line. Full session reports by ayHeng follows.

Kuhhandel also known as "You're Bluffing"
(reported by ayheng)

I arrived late from the traffic jam to observe this game. Generally, this is a fun negotiation game in which you try to form sets of animals by buying the animals from each other.

The gist of the game is that:

1. You try to get a matching animal from another player by offering them an unknown sum of money.

2. Since an offer can't be refused, the other player will try to counteroffer with another unknown sum of money that is hopefully more than yours.

3. Both of you then exchange your offers and compare with each other.

4. The player with the higher offer gets the contested animal from the other player, and

5. Both players now continue the game using the money obtained from the offer exchange!

The bluffing aspect comes when you lie about your offer, so that the other player will either give you a lot of money in a supergood counteroffer, or give their animal to you at bargain price. The fun aspect then comes when the other players pull the same trick on you!

As you can tell by the photos, everybody had fun!

Power Grid - France Map
(reported by ayheng)

Now, those of you who are my loyal readers will remember my last write-up on the Cameron trip where I lost two games to a 'trick'. This time, I resolved to avoid the same 'trick'.

But first, I had to get used to the France map where the connections are different from the US map. There is a special 3-adjacent-sectioned Paris city, an early nuclear power plant, and early cheap uranium.

I started by bidding highly for a low number hybrid power plant. Everyone seems to be scared off by that play and backed off. However, I consider that a good purchase seeing that the low number plant put me in a good position to buy resources and connections first.

My next power plant purchase was a nuclear plant. Again everyone backed off from my high bids. However, I still consider it a good purchase seeing that the uranium resources will be uncontested for awhile.

In mid-game, all the high numbered power plants suddenly came out. I got myself a good high numbered plant uncontested, which put me in the lead several times. Although I overspent on some resources and was screwed out of cheap city connections, I still consider myself in a good position solely because I had a high enough power plant for the end game.

Towards the end, I got myself another high numbered power plant which happens to be a garbage plant. Now, this was critical because:

1. Others are just starting to phase out their garbage plants and I can get cheap garbage resources.

2. Low numbered power plants started showing again, screwing everyone else's expansion capabilities.

3. Nobody bid for the low numbered plants, causing stagnation in the power plant market.

4. Everyone waited too long for the high numbered green power plants in the futures market to move up, which didn't, since the current market is stagnant.

5. I pulled the 'trick' I learned from Cameron Highlands.

What is the 'trick'? Essentially, the game ends when someone builds to 15 cities. However, the game rules that you do not have to power all of the 15 cities! So I just make sure I can power 13 cities (which is more than anyone else) and end the game prematurely by building to 15 cities. The phase 3 card didn't even turn up yet!

Yup, I stole victory right under everyone's noses. In this game, I consider power plant purchases to be the critical points of my victory. However, I recognise that power plant purchases are subjective and everyone has their own assessment of the 'correct' price for a plant. Feel free to discuss on the four plants buying decisions I made, would love to hear opinions!

St. Petersburg
(reported by ayheng)

Contrary to popular belief, I don't observe every game intimately. I was distracted soon after Rob's game explanations, by Jeff who proceeded to teach me...

Battle Line
(reported by ayheng)

Now this is a tough abstract mathematical game by the creator of Lost Cities. Like that game, there's some luck in the drawing of the cards. But my mistake was committing my low valued armies too early, resulting in a breakthrough loss. Now that I get a taste of the game, maybe next time I can strategise instead of praying for the right cards to turn up!

(reported by ayheng)

This game we didn't play, but Jeff brought it out to be oggled by Long, Henry, Rob and myself. The board was a close reproduction of the map of Europe, but the graphics, the components and the bits! Antique, man. Old Skool.

(reported by ayheng)

This is not a game but a hawker session at the nearby foodcourt. (It can be a future M'sian game, where the first expansion will be imaginatively titled 'mamak'...)

For those of you wondering what sort of topics that went around, here's a sample:

- Interest in Gaming Getaway?
- Where to go for Gaming Getaway?
- Long games or short games for Gaming Getaway?
- "7 Ages" long game Genting Getaway Gaming Galore?
- Are Chess, Scrabble and Go considered boardgames?
- Are Chess, Scrabble and Go heavier than 18XX?
- Are Chess, Scrabble and Go dependent on genius intellect or laborious 'moves' and 'vocab' memorisation?
- Why is "emf" (electromagnetic frequency) considered a word in Scrabble?!
- Ticket to Ride & Puerto Rico, are they equally suitable as gateway games?
- Why does Long prefer teaching Puerto Rico than Ticket to Ride?
- Why does Jeff prefer teaching Powergrid than Puerto Rico?

Bear in mind that the above are a snapshot of the discussions that day, which may be modified by the effects of a 9pm-5am boardgame meetup session length and coffee.

Footnote: Reach home at 6am. So darn tired!

On a side note, I busted my friendster photo upload limit this month due to the large number of meetups for the past 4 weeks! Oh, and Jeff takes lots of nice photos, just have to put them in the report!

To read the full report including photos

For more gaming reports, visit our Boardgame Meetup Reports Blog

To discuss this gaming session, visit our forum in

If you wish to join our gaming meetups, sign up now at KL Boardgames Meetup!
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