Ticket to Ride

Date: 21-06-2010


Description: After a game of "Senji", there is still some time before the shop close, like 30 minutes. We decided to play a speed version of 3P "Ticket to Ride". Yes indeed it's a speed version. We set-up the game, played the game and packed up the game in 25 minutes time. Wow! That's fast! No time to think (although it's not a good brain burner), just play cards and claim routes.

End game scores: Max (winner) - 145pts, Suki - 96pts & me - 84pts

Stand up and play, speed up the game.

My end game score - 84.

Suki at second place with 96pts.

Winner, Max, with 145pts.

The board at the game end.


Date: 21-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: Suki, Max, ET & me having a 4P session of "Senji", a game by Bruno Cathala & Serge Laget, who design "Shadows over Camelot" too, which is a game I've been keen to play. "Senji" is a euro-ish light diplomacy war game that occur during the Japanese medieval clans war age, featuring samurais! That's cool! I like the diplomacy phase of the game which makes the game tense and fun to play with. "Senji" is a quite unbalance & medium-high luck based kind of war game, but were good enough to be balanced out by its Diplomacy Cards mechanics. This is the second time Max & me play "Senji", but for Suki & ET, it's their first time. I teach them the rules within 10 minutes and follow up all other details during the first 2 rounds. It's easy for them to pick up and they love it. It took us 100 minutes for the game set-up, rules teaching and playing the game. We had a good time playing this, it will be on the table soon enough whenever there is 4 or more players around. Perhaps "Shadows over Camelot" too.

End game scores:
Max (winner/hosting the Emperor most of the time) - 71pts
ET - 53pts
Suki - 43 (a true Samurai lover)
Me - 38 (can't pay attention to the game 'cos have to explain a lot & do all the game set-up & preparation)

Look at us playing, looks fun isn't it?

2 types of cards for Senji, Hanafuda (resources) Cards (left) & Diplomacy Cards for each clan/family (right).

9 Destiny Dice (D6) for the used to determine combat results, with the logo of each clan/family on it.

Summer Phase, the Emperor hosting player order other player to resolve their secretly deployed actions.

Battle ground! With Samurais!

My view and my reference sheet, markers & cards.

End game. Me (red) with 38pts, Suki (green) with 43.

ET (black) with 53pts.

Max won the game with 71pts.

The board at end game.


Date: 21-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: Me and Suki played a 2P game while waiting for others to drop by for a "Senji" session. No Witch card in play this time (we always like to play that to make people suffer from the Curses).

End game scores: Me (winner) - 36pts & Suki - 24pts

My hand during the start.

All my Victory Cards at the end.

Pandemic + On the Brink

Date: 20-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: 8th game, the final game of the night. A 3P game with "Mutation Challenge" again, but this time with all the Epidemic Cards in play and no Ultimate Role Combo in play too. You know what? The world suffer badly especially Middle East.

End game scores: Game def Players

The game is on the way. This is the longest Pandemic game we've ever played, approx 120 minutes.

The game end in a bad situation.

We are try to put all cubes into the outbreak areas even there is not enough cubes to do so. We use others color cubes to make the end game scene and just wanted to see how bad is it.

And here is the final board. Pretty bad is it?

Pandemic + On the Brink

Date :20-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: This time, the 7th game, we decided not to use the ultimate role combo to play with this "Mutation Challenge" and we still win against the game due to the normal level we play with.

End game scores: Players def Game

Mutation Challenge.

The purple cubes make their appearence for the first time。

Not much outbreak occur during the game.

Asia is always our priority to working on, you know~

Almost there...

Pandemic + On the Brink

Date: 20-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: The 6th game of the night. A 4P game. With "On the Brink" expansion, play "Virulent Strain Challenge". 5 Epidemic Cards in play. Easy enough for us to win against the game when we got the best roles combo in play.

Containment Specialist + Dispatcher + Field Operative + Researcher.

Trust me, try this combo and with as many Epidemic Cards in play, you will still win the game easily. This is the weakness of Pandemic.

End game scores: Players def Game

Arthur and Phang making their moves.

Virulent Strain Challenge.

One of the most powerful role from base game if match with any role from "On the Brink" expansion.

Containment Specialist, the second most powerful role from "On the Brink" expansion. Field Operative is still the best.

Just the blue cure to be discover and the board is just fine even the cubes are everywhere.


Date: 20-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: Arthur came and join us for a 4 players game. We try this 4P game with 6 epidemic cards and it turns out 4 of it appear as the game starts. I'm the last player to take action, and when it's about to be my turn, the game ends and we lose. What?! That was fast, like only last less than 10 minutes? 8 outbreaks with a lot of chain reactions within 2 turns.

Well, we play another 4P game again. This time, with only 5 Epidemic Cards in play and we go with a win. Arthur ans I decided to go holiday before the game ends with a win. I spent my air ticket and fly to Tokyo and Arthur spent his air ticket and fly to Manila. Max and Phang have to take care of the rest 'cos they got the final 2 cures.

End game scores:
1st 4P game - Game def Players
2nd 4P game - Player def Game

4 Epidemic Cards appear at the start of the game! Toasted!

The moment before the world fall into darkness...

Me (light brown) and Arthur (green) fly to Tokyo and Manila for holiday.

2 more cures to be discover and Phang and Max done it within 2 turns.

The savior of the world.


Date: 20-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: Max came and join us for a 3 players game. I forgot we do win or lose this game due to there is total of 8 games we played that night. Nevermind the result then.

End game scores: Forgot...

Game start! Epidemic came earlier...

The starting point - Atlanta.


Date: 20-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

Description: Played 2 round of 2 players game with Phang, used only the base set roles. This time we played it right according to the rules.

First game - Only 4 Epidemic Cards in play. We won it easily.
Second game - 5 Epidemic Cards in play. Again we won it too.

End game scores: Players def Game, twice.

First game started.

End result of first game.

Second game on the way!

Again, we won.

Pandemic + On the Brink

Date: 09-06-2010

Venue: Mage Cafe

1. First game - Played a 2 players game with Phang, using 5 Epidemic cards. Me as the Medic and Phang as the Archivist (On the Brink expansion's role). No purple disease in play. We succeed to cure 2 diseases but lose to the Outbreaks within 20 minutes.
2. Second game - Adam came and join us as the 3rd player with the role of Generalist (On the Brink expansion's role), still again with no purple disease in play. Me and Phang used our previous roles, everything else unchanged. This time, we plan ahead and take every action carefully. We won! But play it wrongly 'cos we thought everyone has the power of the Researcher (You may give a player cards from your hand for 1 action per card / Both of your pawns must be in the same city, but it doesn't matter which city you are in). That's why we could win this easily. Shame on us didn't check out the rules earlier. We will definately play it right next time.

End game scores:
1. First game - The game defeated the players.
2. Second game - The players defeated the game (cheated unintended).

Succeeded cure the 1st disease (red / H1N1?).

Game end! All 4 diseases cured! We won!

The board at game end.

What I Think about Monopoly Deal Card Game

Yes. I shouldn't be talking about any Monopoly games here, especially the blog title named Monopoly Killer. As you can see, I grow up with Monopoly, I had 6 different set of Monopoly games and one of this card game with me currently, but I will never play them again, except in some strange or force situation.

I talk about this card game is because of its really different than the usual Monopoly gameplay and its gameplay is really cut-throat in some way. Not just because it's just a card game, its gameplay is totally different than the old Monopoly too. No auctions, no roll and move, no going to jail and of 'cos not a single bad roll that ruin everything. It's a Set Collection + Hand Drafting game, but in a family friendly and lighter flavor.

It borrow the theme from Monopoly and no dice involve, that's a good news. The game is simple enough for anyone to pick up within 5 minutes, yet strategic to play with (for the first 2 rounds), but you will leave it on the shelf soon enough. It's not deep enough for hard-core gamers to dig in, simple tactics and heavy luck on the card draw will bored you soon enough.

House rules might change the atmosphere of the gameplay, especially if you leave out the chaotic and over-power spoiler cards (Deal Breaker) out of the game.Play this with your kids or any non-gamers will slowly lure them into this gaming hobby. It's a great gateway card game for them.

The best thing in Monopoly Deal is the playing time, short! 10-20 minutes, what a great filler game while waiting for others to come for the real gaming session. You can even play this during your lunch hour or on the small table at the cafe. It came within a small card board box, easy to carry around. The box contain one sheet of good explanation rules and 100+ standard quality cards.

There is tons of other card games similar to this and even better than this, so why bother picking this up? It's cheap! You don't even need to sleeves it 'cos it's so cheap. If the cards are ever wear off, just trash it and buy a new one.

The over-power DEAL BREAKER cards.

- Short and ideal play time
- Easy to pick up rules
- Easy to carry around
- A game that is for everyone
- Not the usual Monopoly game anymore except the title
- High player interaction
- Cut-throat

- Still with a lot of luck factor
- Not strategic enough
- A game that is not for everyone
- Cheap box storage
- Monopoly is the name of the game
- Some over-power cards can ruin the game
- Gets boring after a few plays

My BGG rating: 5/10

10-20 minutes gameplay is the winning point for Monopoly Deal.

What my friends think about it:
Phang: Still a lot of luck. Boring after a few plays.
ET: Me and my sister play this alot at home when we got nothing else better to do.
EM: I always beat my sister, so I love this game.
Beh: So cheap! I'll buy one.
Adam: Start off very nice, ends up on the shelf with dust.
Arthur: I carry it around everyday. Wanna play it now?
Jeremy: Too simple. I want challenge!
Kachat: It's Monopoly! I'm a Monopoly collector you know.

Great Review from others:

What I Think about Power Grid

I used to hate mathematics while I was still at schools 'coz I'm suck in that. I always failed most of the exams, and I not sensitive to all those numbers stuff. But when it comes to real life, everything is in numbers! Your life spend, salary, buying stuff, counting victory points when gaming, etc.

Then why I pick up this game, Friedemann Friese's Power Grid? It's a mathematics board game after all, most of the gamers called that. I found out I love this game actually, not becos of its mathematics matter but it was quite a cut-throat game after all. The theme is OK but the mixture of mechanics are just outrageously genius.

My gaming group like to outbid others on the power plants auction phase, buy off all the resources in the current market if can or block off others during the network building phase. That's whats it's all about in Power Grid. The game is always tense and challenging from the start until the end and it works extremely well with whatever numbers of players you got.

The best strategy in Power Grid is to keep everything of yours in balance. The money, power plants' output power, city networks and even a single resource matter. You have to plan ahead and read your opponents' mind, very often. That's the key to achieve victory in Power Grid.

Most of the users in BGG claim that Power Grid is lack of player interaction, and I don't agree on that. My gaming group do make a lot of noises during the course of gameplay due to its gentle & subtle cut-throat level.

This is one of the most balanced game ever designed, it always allow the weakest player to act first and throw the strongest player to the back and go last, it letting the weakest player has a chance to compete with others. That's what most Euro Games are all about, no one gets eliminated during the course of game.

The box come with a nice illustrated double sided map board (USA & Germany) which allow you to play whichever you feel comfortable, one deck of weird size power plant cards & over 200 nice looking wooden pieces. I always like wooden pieces, it just feels great when holding it in hands, rather than plastic. The only complaint I have with Power Grid is the paper money, I just hate its cheap quality.

There is tons of expansions for Power Grid, but most of it are a game board/map, with some different rule changes. So, you'll never felt boring using the same map again. These expansions are cheap, so don't worry.

Lastly, note that Friedemann Friese's game are always green in color, he uses green a lot in his games, and even his hair is green in color. Punk is not dead!

I can't imagine a green haired punk designed this awesome game.

- High production quality
- Quite easy to pick up
- Brain burner
- Mostly no luck involve
- Tense gameplay
- Reasonable price
- Subtle level of cut-throat

- Rulebook needs more work
- The paper money are just sucks

My BGG rating: 10/10

One of the most play game of my gaming group, play it whenever wherever if we have the time.

What my friends think about it:
Phang: Simply the best game I've played.
ET: I like cut-throat games.
EM: I like this game 'cos I always win.
Beh: I'm not a gamer but I would definately buy this game.
Adam: Yeah baby! It's Power Grid time again!
Chang Yi: Do I asked a lot of questions during the game? Sorry, I don't fully understands the rules.
Jeremy: This is a mathematics game and I'm good at it.
Tat: Wow! I didn't know there is such a economy game that is better than Monopoly.
Kultur: Capitalism!
York: I'm new to this, don't bully me, OK? (He wins in the end)
Junnu: Not that interesting, I feel sleepy.

Great review from others: