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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bloggers outing at Settler's Cafe

After an aborted attempt at karaoke before Chinese New Year, a few of us bloggers finally got around to organising a get-together. We were to meet at Settler's Cafe at Clarke Quay (really North Canal Road opposite the Speaker's Corner at Hong Lim Park).

Angela and I arrived slightly before 2pm, and even though the outlet was supposed to open at that time, it remained closed until about five minutes after. Such is Singaporean flexi-time that even establishments observe lateness.

Jeff joined us later, followed by Kelly and Eddy, "the host and hostess" because they made the reservation. We selected our package ($48 for six drinks, snacks, and two hours of gaming), ordered our drinks, then selected our games.

BTW Settler's Cafe is a hang-out place where you can play non-electronic games, e.g. board games, card games, etc.

We played:
  1. "unknown name of card game"
    We are given a stack of cards with four "suits" corresponding to four different types of fruit (e.g. banana, grape, etc). Each card shows between one and five of the fruit (e.g. one banana, two grapes, etc). Each of us receives an equal number of cards.

    Going around the table, each person lays out a card. When there are five of a fruit showing (e.g. two grapes from player A and three grapes from player C = five grapes on the table), the first person to ring a bell gets all of the cards on the table. The objective is to gain all of the cards.

    I admit that I have a slow reaction. In the end, it came down to between Eddy and Angela, and Eddy finally won.

  2. "Apples to Apples"
    This was probably the most subjective game. In the box are two stacks of cards: green and red cards. On each green card is an adjective (e.g. "important", "charming", etc.). On each red card is a noun (e.g. "Atomic bomb", "John F. Kennedy", etc.). Each person gets seven red cards.

    Going around the table, a person will be the "judge" and show a green card. The other players will then pick one of their red cards which they think best matches the adjective. The "judge" then decides which red card should win. The person who gave that red card wins the green card. The winner is the person who wins a certain number of green cards.

    Given how the winner is determined by the "judge"'s impartiality, wit and command of English, it is no wonder that I didn't think much of it. And no, it's not because I didn't win.

  3. "Dawn Under"
    Each player is given fourteen "vampire" cards, facing down save for four. Each player also receives three "garlic" cards with a colour representing the player. Each vampire is a certain colour (e.g. red, white, etc.) On the board are several "graves" covered by "stone slabs". Each stone slab has a colour (e.g. red, white, etc.) or a rat.

    Going around the table, each player turns over a stone slab. If it has a colour (e.g. white) and the player has a vampire of that colour (e.g. white), then the vampire is placed in the grave. When a player has played his four face-up vampire cards, then he can reveal another four more from his deck.

    If the player doesn't have a corresponding vampire, then he can choose to place his garlic card in the grave.

    If the slab is a rat, the player can also choose to uncover the immediate surrounding slabs. The rat slab is then replaced by one of the extra slabs and it is not played again.

    If the grave is already occupied by another vampire, the player gets a stake. If a player collects three stakes, the other players give him one of their vampires each. If the grave has a garlic, then the one who placed that garlic will give a vampire to the player. If the garlic belongs to the player, then he receives a vampire from each of the other players.

    After a slab has been revealed and the corresponding action taken, the slab is replaced. The winner is the one who gets rid of all of his vampires.

    I quite enjoyed this game because it really is a memory game, since you have to remember which slabs have been revealed and what lies beneath. I'm pretty sure that a computer version could be programmed...

  4. "I'm the Boss!"
    Another board game, this time about wheelin' and dealin'. Each person plays a character. At the start of the game, each player holds five "bargaining" cards. Each card has things like "send someone on a trip" or "stop the action" or "I'm the Boss!"

    Going around the table, a die is rolled and a token is moved to a square. Each square states how many investors are to be involved and the number of shares in play (e.g. 4 investors and 5 shares). On some squares, specific characters may also be mentioned who must be involved in that round.

    Then the bargaining begins because of the unequal number of shares. Any player can say how many shares he wants, and to back his statement up, can play one of his cards (e.g. "send someone on a trip" so that player is out of the negotiation) or negotiate with the other players. The other players can, of course, play their cards to get the upper hand.

    Once a deal is arrived at, each player then receives some money corresponding to the number of shares (e.g. $2 million per share). About every alternate round, the amount per share goes up by a million dollars. The objective is to earn the most money.

    Initially, since we were new to the game, we would make bargains like "okay, you can have two shares, we'll all get one each". But later, some of us got greedy, e.g. "I want all of the shares and you guys get nothing", which would inevitably lead to bargaining and jockeying. There was never a round where someone got all of the shares, but there were one or two where a few of us ganged up against another player.

    If it sounds confusing, that's because it is. But isn't the game of business confusing? Anyway, when all of the money was counted, and even though I thought I had made some bad negotiations, I won.
Chin called about an hour after we had started to ask where we were. It turned out that he had gone to the Holland Village branch, so he didn't join us. Stephanie stopped by later and joined for the last two rounds of "I'm the Boss!"

And then our gaming hours were up, so we just hung out until after 6pm. Eddy and Kelly left for an evening appointment, and the rest of us took a taxi to Marché for dinner. We thought that the fare would come up to the same as taking a train or bus. Haha, stupid youths.

We ate, talked cock, pondered what to do next, and in the end, we went our separate ways at about 8:30pm.


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1 comment:

Ed, Edd & Eddy !!! said...

If I remember correctly, the board game with vampires is called "Dawn Under".

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