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GAME THREE (Last Game of Day One)
GAME THREE brought out the best of the recent arrivals with AUTOMOBILE and NAVEGADOR claiming the top buzz while some of the older games HANSA TEUTONICA, LUNA and POWER STRUGGLE all making their impressions on their respective tables. Find out who lead the Retreat scoreboard after three rounds of semi-competitive gaming.

Game #3 would be the last game for the day, wrapping up the first day’s proceedings and marking the half way point of this retreat. As such we tend to pick the “best” games to be played for this round and not surprisingly, AUTOMOBILE (whom I considered one of Wallace’s best design) sat proudly at Table #1 while NAVEGADOR (another of Mac Gerdt’s strong game) waited on Table #2. The other three games are equally good boasting a line-up of HANSA TEUTONICA, LUNA and POWER STRUGGLE.

Game 3 / Table 1: AUTOMOBILE
Automobile is in many ways one of Wallace's finest (certainly my fave among his better games). The reason is simple. Automobile is simplicity in the delivery of the game design unlike his other equally good games like Brass, Age of Steam, Liberte – all good but there are so many fiddly stuff in their rules, you can get frustrated at times trying to remember them all.

In Automobile, the mechanic fits well with the theme… you build factories, newer factories – yours or your competitors – will eventually arrive to obsolete yours. Shutting down your old factories is an option – but an expensive one. How often can you shut down old factories and rebuilt new ones? All these eat up your capital expenses… and at the same time, you need the moolah to put into your production. Less cars produced meant lower sales/profit.

However over-production will cost you – and I’ve experienced how a badly timed over-production literally took me out of contention in one of my Automobile sessions – yet if you produce conservatively, you won’t be in a position to win the game. Such difficult decision is one of the hallmarks of a great game.

Game 3 / Table 2: NAVEGADOR
Table #2 featured another fave game of mine – NAVEGADOR. This is by no means a new game as some might lead you to believe. We already have this game in-stock since March 2011 and it has seen a few plays at OTK Cheras and elsewhere (notably the Taipan group).

NAVEGADOR is Mac Gerdts (founder of the Rondel system) latest game. Me – and a few OTK regulars – are fans of his rondel system where your action is determined by moving around a rondel (err.. It’s not called a “rondel” system for no reason la) and no dice.

This game offers a few paths to victory and while shipping (ie. building ships and sending them exploring all the way from Lisboa to Nagasaki) appeared to be the dominant strategy, it is NOT the only way to win. Shipping, if executed swiftly, aggresively and with high urgency can close down the game so quickly the others won’t know what hit them.

Yeah unfortunately Navegador – which has no luck element in it – is a game where an experienced player can hammer those new to the game. But do not let that detract the fact this is a very solid game, and certainly in my opinion one of Mac Gerdt’s best rondel games (and second only to IMPERIAL).

Game 3 / Table 3: HANSA TEUTONICA
While everyone’s raving about AUTOMOBILE and NAVEGADOR, the game brought up for Table #3 is not any lesser being a 2010 Spiel des Jahres Recommended and 2010 Golden Geek Boardgame of the Year winner.

Game 3 / Table 4: LUNA
The game is hmm.. actually NOT that complex. And while the 14 actions may paralyze our thinking, in playing you are most likely looking at 3-5 options at any one time. You do still have the full 14 possibilities to think of if you are planning your moves ahead but most times, your choices are narrowed to a few more viable moves

This is Stefan Feld’s latest game – and most of us enjoyed his earlier creations such as In the Year of the Dragon and Macao. LUNA appeared to be his most complex game yet.

The game is played over just 6 rounds, but it won’t be until round 3-4 that you begin to understand some of your actions ie WHY you did this and not that. LOL. I believe if one persevere and do a few more sessions of this game, there’ll be a very interesting game in it.

Game 3 / Table 5: POWER STRUGGLE
Most assumed we chose the “least good” game for Table #5. Not so. There’s a method to our selection of games but it’s certainly not based on whether the game is good or less good. In fact, only the good games get picked to be played in our Retreat.

And if you think Table #5 always have the “inferior” games, this session would prove you wrong

Four “normal” employees aspiring to be the best they can in a company that’s corrupt from top-to-bottom. Will they remain “honest” after this power struggle?

In this game, you worked your way up the food chain in the company, becoming Dept Head then Division Head.. And eventually joining the Board of Directors and hopefully pull in enough of your cronies so as to get yourself elected as Chairman.

And in the process, a few honest productive employees may be sacked to further your ambitions. Ah well, to achieve great things require sacrifices and as long as you are not the person sacrificed, who cares! Sack them! LOL

The gamers in this table were so visibly enjoying themselves, others dropped by to see what’s happening.

Wong (below) clearly enjoyed this session tremendously… after all, how would you feel if you can be downright bad-ass, carry out dastardly deeds, set ppl up to be screwed, and still be crowned as the winner!

More photos for GAME THREE

With Game Three completed, we conclude our first day of the Retreat with Kareem, Junyet and Lester leading the scoreboard. Junyet was the most impressive performer as he had stayed at Table #1 throughout all three games and won all three! Kareem was the best “climber” as he moved from Table #4 in Game 1 to Table #1 at the end of today.

Jacelyn & Junyet

Kareem aka kaz

Can Junyet hold his position tomorrow as the stronger contenders have now floated up to Table #1?

A quick snapshot of the other games in-play during Day One though not as part of the official rounds. We’ve already mentioned SERENDIPITY and RACE OF THE GALAXY earlier, and SURVIVE: ESCAPE FROM ATLANTIS was also played.

SURVIVE without giant squids yet...

INNOVATION on the table

Colorful 1st edition GLORY TO ROME.. wait till our GLORY TO ROME KICKSTARTER edition arrives. Boardgamecafe.net has 22 gamers pledged for this game... an awesome record! And thanks to KAREEM for this!

Source (full report): http://blog.boardgamecafe.net/2011/06/19/bgc-boardgame-retre...
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