Mage Knight

I have played this game many times especially during the week where our friend left the game with Ban and I.

This benefited us a lot as we spent time discussing rules and strategies. Ban went further and read other people's view online. In fact, he has gotten so good at the game that I dub him the Mage Knight ("MK") God hehe. He's been winning almost every single MK game.

Mage Knight 5

This was one of the earlier games we played, I believed, where I won playing Goldyx :) Ban was at 2nd place.

Mage Knight 6

Thereafter, Ban has been winning almost every single game, be it just playing with me or with our friends. The above was one of the rare exceptions where I won playing Goldyx again. My score (as indicated by the green token at the top left) was off the chart, so to speak hehe.

Below were the units I had.

Mage Knight 8

Funny how I don't have photos of the games where I didn't win, eh? ;)

A Ban moment

Recently, after spending nearly a week in Penang, I arrived at One Utama. Ban was already there to get me but as agreed beforehand, at my request, we had some food at Ichiro Sushi Bar @ Eat Paradise.

The salmon sushi was quite nice but pricey given its portion (but definitely better than the miserable ones at Dontaku!) while the amaebi was the best I had so far in Malaysia. The edamame was fresh and sweet.

We took our time eating and chatting, while drinking green tea. Later, we had some gelato elsewhere. It then struck me that it we accidentally went on a date haha :) It was very nice, taking things slowly and chatting.

Once at his place, I took a nap shortly as I didn't have a good sleep the night before in Penang. When I woke up and went to the kitchen to get some water, I noticed both rubbish bins were full. I then did my usual complaining to Ban (n.b. this happens nearly each time I come back after being away for a few days).

Ban, who was doing some work on his laptop, laughed a little and said, "Welcome home, dear."

Hehe :)

Who needs gaydar...

...when you have this parenting guide on how to spot gays and lesbians:

For gays:
  • Muscular body and a fondness for showing off the body by wearing clothing, such as by wearing V-necks and sleeveless tops
  • A preference for tight and bright coloured clothes
  • An inclination to be attracted to men
  • A tendency to carry big handbags, similar to the kinds used by women
For lesbians:
  • Showing attraction to women
  • Distancing themselves from women other than their girlfriends
  • A preference for hanging out, sleeping and dining with women
  • Absence of feelings for men

These guidelines were introduced during a seminar in Malaysia, on 12 September 2012, on “Parenting in addressing the issue of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders)” organised by Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd and Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parents and Teachers Association and allegedly endorsed by Malaysia Education of Ministry. At the very least, the seminar was officiated by Deputy Education Minister.

I guess I do not need to train my gaydar any more, thanks to this guide :P

P.S: In case anyone thought I was serious, no I'm not! This guide is ridiculous!

3rd anniversary

Dearest Ban,

Happy 3rd anniversary! It has been 3 wonderful years and yet it seems we have been together only for a short while. There have been many ups and downs but definitely more ups than downs. Thanks for loving me and making me laugh every single day when I'm with you.

I love you. Muack!

Interlocking sudoku

This was published in the June edition of The Actuary magazine. It was my first time seeing such sudoku puzzle. So interesting. It was easier to complete it than I thought. I wish I had done it earlier and submitted my solution for a chance to win a prize hehe.


The return of Everquest

Couple of weeks ago, Ban told me about Guild Wars 2. A few friends we know were planning to get it (one just did). I even watched a video of a review about it, together with Ban. It seems to be a very promising MMORPG (Ban and I are always on a lookout for games we can play together) and yet it's subscription-free!

Unfortunately my laptop's specification does not meet the minimum system requirement. Incidentally, my laptop doesn't meet minimum or recommended requirement for Diablo 3, Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City. Lol. Oh well. I sure not going to purposely buy new laptop just to play games. Besides, I'm focusing on accumulating money after spending tonnes on renovating the house my parents are staying in and also repair of the apartment in Singapore.

With the advent of subscription-free MMORPG, there's murmuring about the death of subscription-based MMORPG. Out of curiousity, I checked Everquest to see. To my great surprise, it is still alive! In addition, in conjuction with its 13th birthday and the release of its 18th expansion, it was made free!

Ok, it is not as great as it sounds because there are 3 tiers: Free-to-Play ("F2P"), Silver and Gold. It takes only a one-time payment of USD5 to upgrade from F2P to Silver but the difference is quite great, notably: bag slot increases from 4 to 6 and in-game money limit increases from 100 platinum pieces ("pp") to 500pp per level. Gold gives full access at a subscription fee of nearly USD15 per month. I sure am not going that route.

Both F2P and Silver allow players to choose from only 4 races and 4 classes. However, for former subscriber like me, my account (my characters are still there!) is automatically upgraded to Silver and I get to use my old characters :)

The great news is that my laptop's system easily meets the recommended requirement. After much thinking, I decided to give it a try again, more out of nostalgia than anything. Ban gamely decided to join me as well. I'll be playing my level 25 druid and am now waiting for Ban to finish his newbie quest before he 'graduates' and joins me in the world outside.

As to whether I'll stay long this time, only time will tell. Hey, it's free. So if I get bored, I can leave it and maybe get back in another 8 years again? Hehehe.

New venue

For the pen & paper games that Ban and I are in (Ironclaw and Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)), they were used to be held at Mage Cafe. However, the owner of the shop decided to take back the shop and the operator (a very nice lady) just wanted to concentrate on her catering and soap business.

So the hunt was on for alternative venue for the D&D games (Ironclaw had concluded few months ago). For the games that we're in, Ban offered his apartment as a venue. Our initial concern was the number of people but the first try went rather well in my opinion.

In addition, we have also been playing Mage Knight (incidentally, we do not own that game; a friend's friend does) with some friends at Ban's place as well.

As a beneficial side effect, I have been sweeping and cleaning most parts of the apartment each time before guests arrive as it can get really dusty here. I know I could just do it on a smaller area e.g. the kitchen and the dining table where the game is held but once I start, I usually will go on to other area hehe.

So, not only do these games improve our cognitive function by geting us to socialise, strategise and learning new stuff, they also induce exercise (sweep and mop) that results in a cleaner home :)

Different wavelength

a cat-and-dog life

One day, while Ban and I were playing Mage Knight with a friend...

Me: Can I do this, this and that so that I can have such and such effects?
Ban: If you do that, then that and that will happen.
Me: Huh? So I can lah.
Ban: Yes, but then ruff ruff ruff ruff.
Me: Oh, I understand. So meow meow meow meow lah.
Ban: No, you don't understand. Ruff ruff ruff ruff!
Me: Comes to the same thing mah. Meow meow meow meow, right?
Ban: Gah, nevermind.
Me: Meow?
Friend: You guys are on different wavelength lah.
Ban: Yah, it's like dog talking with a cat. *did puppetry with his hands conjuring imaginary conversation between a dog and a cat*
Me: *LOL*

Longest boardgame

Which boardgame did you take the longest time to complete?

Some games can be very long if followed traditionally e.g. Monopoly and Risk where the standard way of completing the game is to have one single winner. Others can be completed in a short time especially if players are experienced e.g. Blokus.

I don't usually time the boardgames I play. If I ever play games such as Monopoly or Risk, I would only play them with some house rules so as to speed things up e.g. the game ends when 1 player goes bankrupt in Monopoly.

That was until I played Eclipse recently. That took around 3 hours, 4 hours? I couldn't remember because that quickly was overtaken by the next game: Mage Knight. Three of us took a glorious 8 hours to complete the full conquest scenario @_@

Ok, ok. To be fair, we were all fairly new players to that. It was only our 4th time for Ban and I and the 3rd time for a friend of ours. But still...

Mage Knight is a game where you play as a conqueror in a fantasy world. You start of with a deck of 16 basic action cards (1 of them is unique to that character) and then you build your deck subsequently with addion of advanced action cards and spells through leveling, purchase and conquest. Along the way, you can also purchase units to help you with your battles in most areas.

Regardless of the scenario selected for play, there is always an end to the game in spite of the progress made by each player i.e. the game will still end even if players fail to achieve the scenario's objective. So what really determines the length of the game is the time taken for players to plan and execute their actions.

In our opinion (Ban's and mine), the rules could be simplified a lot more and yet still retain its richness. Some rules are just unnecessarily complicated.

Despite this, we enjoy playing this game thoroughly.

Mage Knight 1

Mage Knight 2

Mage Knight 4

Mage Knight 5

Protection against mozzies

At the beginning
Mozzies were common unwelcome visitors at Ban's place. At first, we this this electrical device that supposedly could repel insects (or, at higher setting, rats). Failed miserably. Made in China.

Partial victory
Next, we tried using Repel MOS from Causway i.e. a repellant made of lemongrass, I believed. It worked 50% of the time during the day but it was no match fo night time mozzies. We had to close all doors at dusk. This made his place a little stuffy and hot. Since I didn't like using aircon (not good for my sinus and throat), we used a standing fan, which incidentally also helped to repel mozzies.

When both of us were infected with dengue fever one after another (about 2 months apart), Ban resolved to get insect screens installed in his place. Meanwhile, we closed doors even earlier i.e. at 4pm and would be earlier if it was raining. I notice mozzies love coming indoor when it rains. After much procrastination that ended with a show of frustration on my part regarding the importance of our health, he managed to hire some people to install the screen within a week of making an appointment.

Great victory
Since then, life was so much better. We could leave our doors, including the balcony's, open to allow air circulation and enjoy whatever breeze there was. We didn't need to use any repellant.

Intrusion again
However, this peaceful life was broken when we discovered that mozzies were waiting at the front door to take every opportunity to come indoor whenever someone walked in or out. Goodness! One would think they were intelligent or something.

At first, we tried to tell everyone to go in/out as quickly as possible but darn mozzies were very quick. Ban then had a brillian idea: use Repel MOS just outside the front door. It worked marvellously :)

We also recently discovered that they were also waiting at the balcony, ready to pounce in the moment the screen door was open. We hardly open that door and so it is not a big issue.

What's up with these mozzies and their die-hard attitude to get in here? With some sort of strategy too!