After almost two years in Perlis, there arose an opportunity to host a tabletop game exhibition here at the university. Gray and Ben both gamers I knew and interacted with online back in Kuala Lumpur were planning a KakiTabletop Northern Tour which would take them from KL to Taiping to Prai to Penang to Perlis and back down to Ipoh before returning to the Klang Valley.
We thought it would be great to hold a tabletop gaming exhibition to introduce tabletop games - boardgames, card games and role-playing games - to the students of this university and the local community. If you remember I even once ran Mini Six for one of my classes last semester as a speaking exercise.
We were assigned Seminar Room 1 of Tunku Abdul Rahman Residential College.
After proposing the event to the Centre for International Languages, we had the green light to go ahead. With the help of colleagues, we scheduled the Tabletop Games Expo at UniMAP to be held last Friday.
Ain, Irfan and Faezan helped to organise the seminar room before the KakiTabletop crew arrived.
Meanwhile, I prepped the laptop, projector and the presentation slides.
We also arrayed the exhibits on the table, like these Star Wars X-Wing Miniature Game pieces.
Here are my complementary copies of BareBones Fantasy and Covert Ops, both RPGs published in a digest-format by DWD Studios.
A range of RPG books and boardgames I brought. Not much, but regular blog readers might recognise a number of them.
The second Eid of the year has come and gone. For Hari Raya Haji, we took the bus back to Pasir Mas. But for this Aidiladha post, we focus on games played by Irfan, Aiman and Zara when the cousins rendezvous at their grandparents house in Pondok Lubok Tapah.
Irfan could not wait to meet up with Aiman once again...
...although Irfan had some trouble getting the sand out of his eye at mornings.
The first game they played was one Aiman brought: Monopoly. However I don't think they found any monopole ores.
On the day of our arrival in Sitiawan, we played some Coup.
By the end of the session, we were quite evenly matched. It's Tyrion. The ambassador is Tyrion.
The morning of Aidilfitri, Ain had her galaxy-famous nasi dagang prepared for eating and stuff.
Yada, yada, yada... Maaf Zahir Batin.
Atok and Opah pose for a photograph with their plants.
As usual, photographs such as this need more Adik, Yaya, Sila and Vin to make it complete.
Last Saturday night's Star Wars X-Wing Miniature game turned out well. It was Ain's first game ever so Irfan and I decided to make this a straight up dogfight. No extra cards, no obstacles, no missions. Just blast each other out of the sky with what you have.
I played Darth Vader in the TIE Advanced.
Irfan was Luke Skywalker in the T-65 X-wing fighter and Ain, to give her an edge over me, flew the YT-1300 freighter Millennium Falcon with the Han Solo card.
It turned out that even with Darth Vader's high initiative number, the Falcon was quite a powerhouse in combat. At first I ignored it and went after the X-wing. We both passed each other at full speed and did a dropkick Koiogran turn, while the Falcon seemed to be swerving out toward the edge of the battlemat. Suddenly she banked right back into the fray. All my shots missed, thank you very much, totally useless Targeting Lock.
Because of the Falcon's 360 degree firing arc, it was easier for the freighter to hit me than me to hit it. My 2 Shields and 3 Hull were depleted pretty fast.
The Rebels won.
I am the worst Darth Vader ever.
Once upon a time, earlier today, Irfan came up with the idea of setting up a mat out in the yard so he and other neighbourhood kids can play board games outdoors.
Later, there were even sandwiches and apple juice!
Here's hoping the boardgaming will help Irfan and the other children to improve their social and language skills as they interact with one another.
Perhaps someday there will be RPG picnics?
Yesterday, Irfan and I finally started playing the X-Wing Miniature Game that was given to us by Darren when we last visited Kuala Lumpur. What Darren gave us was astoundingly lots, so many thanks to him for letting us have this trove.
We started with the basic game. Irfan controlled an Incom T-65 X-Wing fighter and I controlled two Sienar Fleet Systems TIE/ln fighters. His Pilot Card is Luke Skywalker, and mine were "Mauler" Mithel (apparently the father of Reljii Mithel) and Academy Pilot (a strange name to give your son, Mrs. Pilot). We did not carry Upgrade Cards, like astromech droids and proton torpedos.
The sculpts for these minis are amazingly detailed. One might even want to collect them because they look very nice indeed. I have seen the Corellian Corvette mini in a box back in KL some time ago and it looks fantastic. And still too expensive for me to pick up.
The game is at its core elegant in its simplicity. Initiative, attack, defense, weapon damage, et al are numbers assigend to you on your pilot card. You manoeuvre your ship, then you attack if you are able to. Deciding your move requires a Manoeuvre Dial that you would turn to your choice of move, but you would reveal them from the lowest initiative so the higher initiative players would know what your move is. Moving your ship requires a Manoeuvre Template which would help you move anywhere between 1 to 5 spaces in Straights, Turns or Banks.
Attacking requires the roll of a number of red eight sided dice where you might hit with normal damage, hit with critical damage or "Focus". Defence requires the roll of a number of green eight-sided dice where you might evade or "Focus". A Focus token is used when you declare that the pilot will be Focused after its manoeuvre, which allows the pilot to able to turn any red or green die with a "focus" result to either a hit or an evade respectively.
Hits and Evades cancel each other out. Remaining Hits is the damage dealt out to the fighter being shot at. The X-Wing has Shield Points that has to be depleted by attacks before you start to affect its Hull Points. Deplete a ship's Hull Points and it gets destroyed.
So we used the old West End Games' Star Warriors battlemat, which looks kind of busy and distracting but it is less busy and distracting (and far less embarassing) than our linoleum. Asteroid tokens were scattered all over board as obstacles. We just chased each other around the board for a bit. I attempted to outflank him with my two TIEs, but it was much more difficult that I thought it would be.
Irfan scored some hits with his Taim & Bak KX-9 wingtip cannons on Mithel's TIE early on. One more point of damage inflicted, and Mithel would be all like, "LOOK OUT!" and smash into the
Death Star trench wall asteroid. Above, both TIEs had finally gotten the upper hand and flanked Luke, but all my attack rolls were embarassingly bad, like the linoleum. For some reason, although he had higher initiave, he was unable to put the TIEs into his field of fire. He was not able to shoot.
This allowed my TIEs to let loose with their green cannon bolts, which eventually hit a lucky break and depleted Luke's Shield Points and some Hull Points. Ultimately, Luke and Mithel had the same damage result - one more damage would destroy either - but in the end it was Academy Pilot's attack that took out the X-Wing.
The gameplay was quite enjoyable. I even used a soundboard for the relevant sound effects whenever we fire and things explode. We hope to play with more Upgrade Cards and maybe use the Millennium Falcon and the Slave One next time.
This year I was able to take a full week's vacation for Eid vacation at Pasir Mas. I was able to take a vacation because I had a job to take a vacation from this year, which is one of the many things I am grateful for this year. We arrived a couple of days early so Ain could work her magic in the kitchen. There was also a lot of orange soda thanks to Abang G.
Eid was on a Friday. Irfan and I walked to the masjid, and almost missed the Eid prayers but got into the back line just in time.
On our recent return to the city, the GOKL gang gifted upon us more fun stuff: the Guardians of the Galaxy expansion set for the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building game. Since then, we never had the opportunity to break it out of the box to play it... until today.
The Hero cards included were Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Raccoon - thrown into the limelight thanks to last year's film no doubt. Poor Phyla Vell, Adam Warlock, Bug, Mantis and Cosmo the Space Dog. Pip the Troll was absolutely inconsolable.
The Masterminds provided in the set are Thanos the Goonie and the Kree Supreme Intelligence, supported by two Villain sets: Kree and Infinity Gems - the latter able to act as either Villains or Artifacts.
Irfan and I played twice, both times against the Supreme Intelligence. The first game against the Intergalactic Kree Nega-Bomb Scheme was a massacre because all the Master Strike and Scheme Twist cards were shuffled on top of the Villain Deck. We could barely touch the Supreme Intelligence because it collected a truckload of Shards that increased its strength against players attacks before we all lost. (Irfan was glad he captured Korath the Pursuer though.)
Also, Scheme Twists activate the Nega-Bomb that wiped out all the Heroes arrayed in the HQ.
So we thought we'd switch Star-Lord for the Hulk in the second game, because he's a heavy hitter! Irfan wanted to capture Korath again. He even collected enough Hulk cards in the Forge the Infinity Gauntlet Scheme to punch the crap out of the Time Gem.
Hulk will punch the crap out of anything.
For this game, the Henchmen cards were Hand Ninjas. Why would Hand Ninjas be henchmen to the Supreme Intelligence and the Kree villains? BECAUSE COMICS! Irfan took out three Hand Ninjas in a single... um, hand.
I bet the Hand wishes all they had to fight was Daredevil.
Meanwhile several Scheme Twists returned captured Inifinity Gems back into the city, reinforcing their strength with more Shards. Finally, here is Irfan's hand of three Hulk and one Groot cards, the coup de grace that wiped out the last Supreme Intelligence Mastermind card, dealing a whopping 16 damage points!
Final Victory Point tally: I got a measly 9 points while Irfan acquired 32 - for capturing 3 out of 4 Mastermind Tactics cards and the final Mastermind card, as well a host of Kree and Hand bad guys.
Korath the Pursuer escaped Irfan though. Next time, Korath! Next time!
Before we left the city, the GOKL guys gifted to us Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game.
A box of cards.
We tried to play it when they brought it over the last time they visited, but it was too late for a game, we only managed one round before they had to leave.
Now, after I've located which of the dozens of moving boxes the game was hiding in, Irfan and I finally started playing it.
Another year, another Aidiladha spent in Kuala Lumpur. There was no balik kampung because of insufficient resources. So yesterday we tried to make the best of it.
In the morning, we went for Solat Aidiladha at the Pandan Indah mosque. This morning, for some reason the khatib was not firing all engines. Perhaps he was exhausted.
Then it was time for salam hari raya between ourselves. First, Irfan salam and kissed Ain.
Followed by the same with me, after which, Ain started cooking some nasi lemak in anticipation of impending visitors.
In the afternoon, Irfan's school friend Fikree and his family, as well as his cousins Aiman and Zara, came a-visiting. Apart from savouring the nasi lemak, Irfan, Fikree and Aiman played some Tsuro while Star Wars Rebels was playing on television.
Even young Zara was intrigued by the game.
Since boardgaming was pretty fun, the crew moved on to Small World.
After many weeks of differing levels of smog over the city, it was refreshing to have clear skies (and breathing air) for the day.
Especially for this holiday.
Peter Schweighofer, who was a writer and editor at West End Games back in the '90s and the editor-in-chief of their Star Wars Adventure Journal periodical, sent a couple of rare gaming memorabilia to me which I received earlier this month.
The first was the Mos Eisley Shoot-Out miniature game.
The game is a simple boardgame that came with a paper foldout grid map of the streets of Mos Eisley and cutout miniatures of characters you could play in the environment. The rules were a simplified version of West End Games' Star Wars The Roleplaying Game combat rules. It was also marketing material that cleverly generates excitement for the RPG itself.
I don't think I'll be clipping out the paper figures out of the document. And not just because I have other paper minis that I could use for the purpose. I'm uncertain, but the map looks to be a segment of Jennell Jaquays' amazing full-colour foldout map that came with the Tatooine Manhunt module, which I once ran early during the Strikeforce Enteague Star Wars D6 campaign.
Finally, Peter also included a promo card of the splash page artwork illustrated by Doug Shuler that accompanied the short story Mist Encounter written by Timothy Zahn in Star Wars Adventure Journal #6. The photograph above places the card alongside its printed page counterpart in the book!
Peter is currently a freelance writer who produces excellent gaming sourcebooks like Pulp Egypt for the Any-System Key. Thanks for letting me have a piece of Star Wars RPG history, Peter!
It's Irfan's 12th birthday. We were supposed to set something up for him, like allowing him to invite his friends over. But because of low resources, we had to cancel. But Cikma and Ayah Cik The Younger came with a cake anyway, so we held a small gathering. I was not even in the right frame of mind to take photographs so we do not have photos of the cake.
The GOKL group did pass the gift they bought for Irfan, which was the boardgame Tsuro.
I did however take a picture of Irfan unboxing and playing Tsuro.
We love you Irfan. It's been a rough year what with - among others - the UPSR fiasco and the absolute unreliability of this country's education system at this point in time, but we will strive for a better year for you next year.
Also, many thanks to everyone who wished him a happy birthday over the many online channels available!
Last week I made some Mobile Suit Gundam paper minis for Irfan to play with using pictures downloaded from the Gundam Wiki. He has deviced a turn-based Gundam battle game based on the minis.
I arrayed the Anno Domini universe Gundams for a group photo, as can be seen above. Left to right: 0 Gundam, Gundam Exia, Gundam Dynames, Gundam Kyrios and Gundam Virtue.
We played a one-on-one battle. My Build Strike Gundam vs. his Unicorn Gundam in a desert environment with boulders and one crater for cover.
Ivan and Kai of the GOKL gaming group dropped by to visit us for Aidilfitri.
The Aidilfitri visit is of course an excuse for some gaming shenanigans.
Once upon a time - about a month ago - I asked Kai if he knew where to get any Pacific Rim Heroclix figures. At the time, there was none in town. When his order from Noble Knight Games arrived, he offered to sell two figures so Irfan and I can play! The jaeger I picked was Gipsy Danger and the kaiju I picked was Knifehead. This game needs more jaegers and kaiju. A Tacit Ronin clix would be awesome.
But since a host of clix were arrayed on the dinner table, Kai taught Irfan to play.
Another gift from the GOKL gang, I finally started playing with Irfan the Star Wars: The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games. Designed for two players, but with a future expansion rule that would allow for more than two players, I spent the last couple of days duelling cards with Irfan. He has won once and I twice. It was enjoyable.
I'm certain we got some details of the rules wrong because we played and read the rules on the fly - and I never really played any card games before this. We kept discovering new things that we missed when we played earlier. In any case, you can view the video tutorial by FFG here.
Recently I've been teaching Irfan how we played Battleship back in school, using a grid paper and pencils. And soon after, in addition to yelling "You sanked my battleship!" his cruise missiles being launched and flying it toward my ships were also being dramatised using hands and voice.
Later, he used his duit raya to purchase Battleship: Hidden Threat card game where the traditional game is ported to cards where you randomly array your battleships with your Missed cards in a grid, and you have a hand of different cards that you can play either to reveal your opponents' cards, attack your opponents' ships, repair your damaged ships, implement shields on your ships and even allow you to play more than one card per round.
It doesn't take a lot of time to play, perhaps 30 minutes at the most, but we can easily bring it about with us anywhere and set it up for a quick game when we have the time to play it.
Created by Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, Geek and Sundry's new biweekly TableTop web series features 30 minutes of tabletop gaming video that shows how much fun it is to pay tabletop games from boardgames like Ticket to Ride to card games like Munchkin to roleplaying games like Fiasco! Each episode, hosted by Wil, shows how each game is played by playing it onscreen. Every episode also has different guests.
Irfan and I saw the first episode together and he totally fell in love with the board game they played, Small World.
Small World allows a player to control a society of one fantasy race after another, allowing your race to expand or decline each round using the game rules. The game randomly mixes in special abilities and racial abilities, and by planning a combination of these abilities you are able to maximise the number of points you acquire each round. At the end of a set number of rounds (which depends on the number of players) the player with the most points win.
Once upon a time, Sila brought back with her a Star Wars: Escape the Death Star Action Figure Game, which is actually a board game with two sets of rules (an easy and an advanced rule) as well as two Hasbro action figures, a Luke Skywalker in stormtrooper disguise with removable helmet and lightsaber, and a Darth Vader figure with removable helmet (complete with exposed back of head) and lightsaber.
It must have been ten years since, and I've never actually played it until recently. Because Irfan wanted to try it out. However, I realised that the easy rules were too easy and straightforward, and the advanced rules were too complicated for Irfan.
So the gamemaster in my blood took over, and I not only modified the rules so that the difficulty level of the rules are something in between and it's something Irfan can play and enjoy. Also, I can integrate what Star Wars action figures I had with me into the modded rules that I came up with. It took several runs with Irfan to refine the rules, but I think I've almost got it. Hopefully this game will also teach Irfan the basics of role-playing.
Here are the new rules:
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