Sunday, 8 November 2009

gaming in photos & misc

Let's start with the "misc" part. In July, I made my first ever eBay purchase - an old copy of Civilization (the Gibson Games edition, which is much cheaper than the Avalon Hill edition). I only recently received the game. I was worried for a while whether it was lost in the mail. I did ask for the game to be sent by surface mail. It took more than 2.5 months to arrive. Well, at least it's here. The game is quite old, you can't tell it by looking at the photo on eBay. You'd need to look very closely to see how the board and the rules are turning brownish. I guess that's unavoidable for such an old game. My copy of unplayed Advanced Third Reich, which is probably half the age, is in about the same condition. Most of the game pieces were unpunched. The previous owner only punched out components for two players (max 7 players). She probably played a two-player game and thought the game sucked. Indeed I don't think the game works with two. I'm happy that only one counter is missing. And it is the generic round people/coin counter, which I think would rarely affect a game, unless you are poor in managing your people / money. Now I wonder when I'll get to play this copy of Civilization. It's a long game, and is not exactly easy to get to the table.

This (well, a slightly cropped version) is my avatar on

Richard Breese, famous for Reef Encounter, Alladin's Dragons and Keythedral, designed The Board Game Geek Game, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of He asked BGG users to submit their avatars to him, to be added to the game box. He offered 1000 spots, and I was lucky to be able to submit my avatar before the spots ran out. Well, that should be no surprise. I visit BGG every single day.

This picture above show these 1000 avatars, which are printed on the box sides of the game. Can you find my avatar? (solution at the end of this blog post)

Early Oct 2009, in Pakistan. I was in Pakisan on a business trip. Due to security reasons, I spent most of my free time at the hotel. Thankfully I had another colleague Keith with me on the same trip, and I brought games. We played Blue Moon (above), Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation, and Lightning: Midway. Keith's favourite is Blue Moon. Maybe it's because he used to play some Magic: the Gathering. To keep my luggage slim, I didn't bring the dragons, so we used sugar packets as dragons.

Mini Keith playing Blue Moon. (stupid phone camera setting... grumble grumble... )

What a depressing hand - 1 character card and 5 boosters. That didn't give me much flexibility. I was playing the Flit deck, the bird-like race. I brought 5 of the 8 Blue Moon decks to Pakistan, and we tried all of them. So I'm getting some good mileage out of the money I have spent on Blue Moon. Now I keep the games at the office, for an occasional game with Keith during breaks. Let's hope we'll eventually get to play the Allies, Blessings and Buka Invasion expansions, which I still have not played.

31 Oct 2009. A four-player game of Ra: the dice game played using my home-made copy, with Sui Jye, Jing Yi and Afif. I think this was the first time I played a four player game. The board is very colourful with four players.

In the 3rd epoch, near game end, Afif, Sui Jye and I all had 2 civilisation cubes, which means we don't get penalised -5pts for not having any civilisation cubes, and we are only one cube away from gaining 5pts (for having 3 cubes). Then Jing Yi rolled four 1's - a disaster. That was the only disaster rolled in the whole game. Sometimes you don't even have a single disaster in a whole game, so I intentionally didn't teach them about disasters in detail. I only summarised it as "basically something bad will happen to everyone else, but we'll get into that if we do see a disaster". Jing Yi, of course, chose to remove two cubes each from Afif, Sui Jye and I, effectively setting all three of us back by 5pts. Now that's one perfectly timed disaster.

me, Afif, Sui Jye, Jing Yi. Playing Dominion. Dominion did not blow me away like it did many others, but the 2nd expansion Dominion: Seaside triggered my interest. The first expansion Dominion: Intrigue didn't excite me, and I have not tried it. I find one advantage of playing with 4 (or maybe 3) players is you have enough time to shuffle before your turn comes around again. With 2 I think it's better to play on BSW.

Solution to the avatar hunt. Click to enlarge. Please leave a message if you actually spent the effort to hunt and you found it without looking at the solution.


Cecrow said...

Darn, no luck here until I checked your solution; I scanned for green backgrounds and it didn't jump out at me.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Hey, someone actually did try to do this! I'm honoured. :-)

halfling said...

I am a big fan of the classic Civilization board game. We played it quite a bit with my gaming gang in my college days. I know what you mean about hard to get to the table due to the length of game play, I am not sure my current gaming group would ever let me bring out a copy, if I had one. Perhaps I should pick it up to add to my collection anyways.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Since buying my own copy of Civilization, I have not played it up to now. :-P Sometimes my game buying sequence is a bit screwed up. I play a game, I like it, I buy it. It should be I buy - I play - I like.

Same thing happened to my deluxe version of Twilight Struggle. I had played a friend's (non deluxe) copy 4 or 5 times, and after I got my own deluxe version (I think more than half a year ago), I had not played it yet.

Gamers are always distracted by the new and shiny games. :-)