The last weekend of April saw the climactic finale of the Power Grid boardgames competition.
After six qualifiers in which over 50 people took part in various games cafes and boardgame-themed places in the Klang Valley, the 11 best finishers of the different legs battled it out in the final championship.
The competitors were split in two groups of five and four persons per table, all vying for the honour of Power Grid champion.
Power Grid is a European-style boardgame, where players compete to build the most efficient and best power network. It uses different maps, with each representing a different country or region.
By the end of the inaugural competition, Matthew Goh was named the champion.
“I only started playing Power Grid three years back. What I like about the game is that it’s very easy to pick up compared to other Euro-style boardgames. The luck element of the game is also minimal; when you win or lose, it’s not because of some poor dice rolls or because you were dealt a certain set of cards,” said Goh, 28.
He took home a voucher worth RM300, one Factory Manager game worth RM179, one Power Grid Japan/Russia expansion map and a Power Grid Promo pack.
“Winning feels great. There were a few moments in the final game where I felt I had lost. I didn’t know right until the end that I had won! Of course, winning isn’t everything, though.
“Playing boardgames is a good way to meet new friends as well,” he said.
The other participants praised the well-organised event, and are looking forward to future competitions.
“It was a very good experience. When you play in a competition, you learn to play better and get to know the game better. There is so much more to learn in Power Grid, for instance,” said 39-year-old Aaron Khoh.
Khoh agrees with Goh that boardgaming is excellent for meeting and making new friends.
“Making friends is the best part of playing boardgames. We constantly help each other out, too, as we all analyse each other’s styles of play and tactics after the game sessions in order to find new ways on improving our future plays,” said Khoh.
For Triona Leo, 24, the finale and competition overall, was an “intense and exciting” experience.
“Any move you make could either win you the game, or make you lose it!” she said. Leo is no stranger to board game competitions as she was a Settlers of Catan finalist in Essen 2007. She also won the inaugural Settlers of Catan competition in Malaysia during the same year.
More to come
C.K. Au, the organiser of the Power Grid competition and founder of Boardgamecafe.net, is looking into organising more boardgame competitions in the future.
He’s certainly done his fair share for the local boardgaming community, as he not only maintains and leads the team that takes care of the website, blog and Facebook page, he also imports the boardgames.
Au is currently organising Boardgamecafe.net’s annual boardgames retreat. As the name suggests, it’s an entire weekend filled with mostly playing boardgames, boardgames, and more boardgames.
“This is our first major effort at organising a series of boardgame competitions, and it’s been a big success. In fact, a lot of the participants actually asked why didn’t this happen sooner,” revealed Au.
The thinking behind the series of qualifiers, followed by a “final” session, was conceived as a way to give as many places as possible the chance to be a part of something bigger.
“Right now, in order to further popularise boardgames, Boardgamecafe.net is doing the quick-and-easy type of events, as well as longer types of events, such as these multi-leg competitions,” he explained.
This year’s boardgames retreat will be held over the June 4 weekend, and will be held in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan. It follows something similar to what Au did last year, where around 20 gamers had a weekend of playing boardgames in Genting Highlands, Pahang.
The concept behind a boardgames retreat is centered on a series of sessions over several different tables. Gamers are encouraged to “move” between tables so they don’t play the same games again and again, and instead, end up playing with as many different titles as they are able to.
Boardgamecafe.net is in the middle of confirming the details for this event, so keep a lookout for updates on the R.AGE blog. Alternatively, check out Boardgamecafe.net’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/boardgamecafe.net) or their blog (blog.boardgamecafe.net) for more information.
q Yih Yang is still looking for the pre-FFG edition of Condottiere – can anyone help? E-mail the esoteric gaming nut at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have comments, questions, hot gaming news and tips, and trading lists and deck ideas, for both Magic and World of Warcraft. Check out his blog at https://rage.com.my/category/cards-and-boards, and follow him on Twitter (@arcturus_mengsk).