Mat Salleh

Fyi, in Malaysia, Mat Salleh refers to Westerners. Yes, today, I shall talk about them.

Just kidding :P Actually, it's the name of a restaurant. It is the latest reincarnation of a particular corner shoplot that in the past never seem to be auspicious for its business owners. We'll see how this one goes.

As a first (as far as I can remember), they offered free lunch on their opening day on a Tuesday, the same week as Chinese New Year. By then, I was already back home in Seremban. Nevertheless, I usually do not visit a shop on its first few days, for the fear of big crowd.

They have an interesting mix of Western and Malay food plus a variety of fried rice. Malay food was just mixed rice with some mouth watering spicy dishes...not that I try it hahaha. Instead, I tried their Grilled Fish Fillet (RM 14).

Mat Salleh 1

Mat Salleh 2

The fish fillet was soft but a little too salty. The dipping sauce was a little peculiar: it had red and green bits. It wasn't spicy and not sure whether it added anything to the cream. In any case, the fish was better off without the sauce.

The grilled potato was not hard (which was good) and appeared to be pan fried. I wish they gave more of the fresh salad and replaced the coleslaw. The latter had strong tasting cream, which was bad on its own but surprisingly went well with the potato.

I probably won't have this again but may just try their other dishes.

O'Penang @IPC

After dinner and shopping at Ikea (got replacement sofa cushion), Ban and I passed by this shop on the way back to the carpark at IPC.

O'Penang 1

O'Penang 2

O'Penang 3

I decided to try their chendol (RM 3.90) and I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite good. The proportion of coconut milk seems a little more than usual but everything else was pretty good. The sweetness was just right and the ice does melt (instead of in huge chunks).

Only small complaint was that it could have more chendol. In any case, it's definitely better than the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chedul @Paradigm Mall (and cheaper too!).

Duel of Champions: an Academy win at last!

Ever since the inaugural Haven win at the Swiss tournament, I've been aiming for my first Academy win.

Usually, my go-to deck for Academy is Akane's spell recursion build, with spells like Geyser, Lightning Bolt, Father Sky's Wrath, Frozen Wave and Ice Meteor. I love this build because, as Ban would tease me :), it allows me to boom-boom a lot :).

However, under the current meta, it seems the top Academy deck is Nahla time-lock (ranked among the top 5 by a great player, jkkk89), followed by Myranda's spirit deck plus Free Mage Altar building (ranked just outside top 10).

I'm not confident in using Nahla deck because it requires regular skillful use of the event Night of the Rising Moon. I rarely knows what cards to discard. Even if I know, it still requires great skills to stall, clear and finally conquer the board. Just watch this replay.

So I'm left with Myranda. I practised playing with this deck while waiting for the format of the tournament to rotate back to Standard. I had 4 wins and 2 losses before I joined the tournament. Lost badly lol. I won only the 3rd duel. My console myself with the fact that both my losses were to the overpowering Kal-Azaar's 4/6/0 control deck.

I practised 4 more times (winning 3 of them) before joining tournament again. This time, there was no Kal-Azaar. Phew! Had quite an easy 1st round duel against a Seria deck (player was probably quite new and so didn't have more rare cards and no epic cards).

2nd round was against a Dhamiria's Fire Elemental deck. That could be very tricky as demonstrated by his previous duel (which I spectated) where he won despite being down to 1 hp at one point while his opponent still at full health. Naturally, he had to stall for enough time. Luckily, I drew the Free Mage Altar on my 4th turn and I won on turn 5 :)

Against Deleb in the final round, I was praying for bad card draw for him hahaha. Deleb can be fast and furious, inflicting both direct and indirect damage. Once again I was lucky: I drew the building on my first turn and a few turns later, I had another one! By the way, although it's a key card, you still need skills to play. Don't think it's a no-brainer deck, ok? :)

So yes, I danced a jig after I won hehehe. With that I unlocked a few achievements: win Swiss tournament with Academy and win at least once with each faction. Current tally is now 12 wins:

Necro (2) - Ariana on standard and BS2 format each
Inferno (2) - Deleb probably on Inferno-only format, Kal-Azaar on "minimum 30 spells" format
Stronghold (5) - 3 Kat on standard and 2 Kat on BS2 format
Sanctuary (1) - Yukiko on standard format
Haven (1) - Cassandra on standard format
Academy (1) - Myranda on standard format

I'm glad I won the last 2 tournaments before the next expansion, rumoured to be released on April 6th. Meta would definitely change after that and so I will need to learn new things then.

Duel of Champions: a Haven win at last!

Yes! I finally won a Swiss tournament using a Haven deck. Yay! :)

A few points:

  • Cassandra barrack is a top tier deck in the current meta. A top player ranked it in the top 10. Hence, I decided to try my luck to win the tournament as Haven hasn't been this good for so long.
  • I was playing against lower ranked players. Still, they did present much challenge, especially the second player (using Anastasya). In fact, before turn 6, I thought all was lost. I was down to 10 hp while he still has full health and starting to use her crippling ability too from turn 7 onward. By turn 8, it was 1 hp vs 19 hp. Good thing I maintained concentration and I couldn't believe I managed to win at turn 12. 
  • The final player was playing a Dhamiria breeder deck. If he was lucky to get his potent combo (spell hungry breeder + spawning chamber) going, it could have gotten much worse. Fortunately, it is generally quite difficult to pull off such combo consistently and it didn't happen in my game.
With this inaugural Haven win, I have won Swiss tournament 11 times :). They are:

Necro (2) - Ariana on standard and BS2 format each
Inferno (2) - Deleb probably on Inferno-only format, Kal-Azaar on "minimum 30 spells" format
Stronghold (5) - 3 Kat on standard and 2 Kat on BS2 format
Sanctuary (1) - Yukiko on standard format
Haven (1) - Cassandra on standard format

Only faction missing now is Academy. Hmmm...

Duel of Champions resumed

It had been ages since I played ranked duels. Probably since I completed the Week of Enrolment quest. As a result, although I still have my Champion II rank, my (hidden) ELO (rank points essentially) steadily degraded to the point that I was playing against lower level Champion I and higher level Lord Commander players.

At first, it was ok because I was still trying to a variety of deck builds and then later trying to master a few decks I like. In addition, the duels were still challenging despite choosing unranked duels.

However, later, as my ELO dropped by nearly 300 points, I was winning duels more often than not. It was something like 80% win rate? *shrug* I'm not sure but I knew I wanted more challenges. So I decided to play ranked duels. There are, however, a few problems:

  • I still suffer from heart palpitation and have to stop playing after 2 consecutive duels! This is crazy @@
  • I've been ill for nearly 2 weeks :( So I feel oozy and lose more often than not.

I still play unranked duels, especially to fulfill the daily quests. When I do feel well enough, I'll try to play a ranked duel. We'll see how that goes.

Too Fancy

Such a light-hearted fun song! It's the shortest 90's song I know.

He likes Armani suits
To wear with ties of silk
Bought a herd of cows
To milk his own milk
I like his heart of gold, his personality
He's just too fancy for me

He's got a Cartier and a Mercedes Benz
And that was all ok
When we were only friends
But when we're on a date
It's all too plain to see
He's just too fancy for me

I like a man who can roll up his jeans
And wade in the water
And still has some dreams
I like a man who can understand

Don't want 'em finely tuned
Cause quirky men are cool
The Concorde's caviar
Ain't like Balducci's food
Those thousand dollar suits
May suit society
But they're just too fancy for me

Give me a fishing boat
Give me a wide eyed grin
Don't even try to gloat
Cause you won't even win

Don't want the courtside seats
I want my nose to bleed
He's just too fancy for me
He's just too fancy for me

Fire exit to...

Read the words and then look at the drawings below. Hahaha.

Fire exit to Bulgogi

The Rose

I've loved this song for decades already. So meaningful.

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin'
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose.

The Rise and Rise of Galadriel: Part 4

After nearly 1.5 years since the last post, I picked this game again (as contemplated recently). I had to relearn a few things e.g. tactics during battle, the use of the siege crossbow, sieging 'shoot-and-run' tactic etc but fortunately it didn't take long.

This was the situation about 2 weeks ago:

Warband 19

Warband 18

Warband 17

Warband 22

Warband 21

Warband 20

So Swadia is no more. I captured their last town Praven and initially awarded to myself, in line with my plan of owning towns. However, after their demise. Grainwad defected to my kingdom and I gave him Praven. I had tried for ages to get him over but to no avail. It seems that lords with upstanding personality generally stick with their original liege until the end.

Grainwad is quite special. He is one of the few lords whose personality doesn't get randomised for each new game. He is the only lord with reknown value of over 1000. Impressive, eh? Hence, he's the only vassal whom I bestowed a town, castle and a village. Gharmall, another upstanding lord, has a town too but no castle. Otherwise, all other lords (updated as at 2 weeks ago) have only castles and villages.

The fight for Praven wasn't easy. After capturing it, I had to defend it against a horde of Swadian lords, including their infamous King Harlaus. Taking them on the field was an epic failure because their sheer number of troop with significant number of Swadian cavalry. After trying a few times, I asked Ban help but he too had difficulty beating them on the field.

My vassals were just too scared to approach in silo. I can't remember what my marshall was doing but I highly suspect he was still gathering an army. So it was left to me to defend Praven. In the end, I decided to defend it within the town to partially negate the power of their mounted troops. Swadian Knights are still decent melee units but not as fearsome as when they're on their horses.

After some painstaking sniping and chopping (I use crossbow and axe + shield), miraculously I managed to beat them off and that was the straw that break their back. Swadia was gone shortly after.

Incidentally, a tactic that was suggested by Ban for the defense of Terrama Castle (much later) against the overwhelming number of Sarranid army (something like 250 vs 1000) was to get my troops down off the ledge and below it within the castle just when the enemies about to get onto the ledge. I stationed my Rhodok crossbowmen below facing the flight of stairs which the enemies took to get down while my infantry units were stationed at the base of the stairs.

There was peace after Swadia was gone. I took the opportunity to hold a feast and improve my relationship with my vassals. Meanwhile, there were plenty of surprises: Nord weakend considerably before bouncing back; Khergit weakened; Vaegir miraculously reinvigorated and took more land. There was some tug-o-war between Sarranid and Khergit but as at 2 weeks ago, it was pretty much status quo for Sarranid.

Sometime during my feast, I was notified of a certain incident near the Nord border which gave me the justification (casus belli) to declare war on them. If I didn't, I would 'lose face' with some of my vassals (think they're all martial type lords). So when I ended the feast, I declared war on Nord.

My immediate priority was to go around the field and defeat Nord lords individually before they could amass an army. I was depending on my marshall to gather forces to capture some Nord holdings. I was mildly successful in my objective but my marshall prioritised repulsing raids done by the Nord lords. I changed marshall and finally Gutlan lead a campaign, which I joined, and captured Kelredan castle but boy it was painful. We outnumbered the defenders by a lot and yet lost a lot. I blamed the poor AI.

Then disaster struck: Vaegir and Sarranid declared war on me. Only Khergit held peace. So I was at war on 3 front. Grrr. I was busy helping defending castles because my marshall was too slow. There was one funny incident: a group of Vaegirl lords were sieging when I approached. Due to their numbers, I had planned to defend within the castle. However, they started to scatter despite outnumbering me lol. So, after some manoeuvring, I managed to defeat them one-by-one (or at most two).

After breaking their armies by defending castles, I went on the offensive, capturing some Nord castles since I wanted to curb their power. I vaguely remember my marshall not conquering anything but at least he did lead people to repulse enemies.

So 2 weeks ago, the 3 largest kingdoms were Kelethin (my kingdom), Nord and Vaegir. Oh yes, Khergit had fallen by so much. We'll see how this will pan out.

Colour of a famous dress

When the dress is first shown in the video below, what is its colour? You'll be surprised to learn that there is no unanimous answer on this. It's basically divided into 2 camps: black & blue and white & gold. I'm in the former whereas Ban is in the latter. Same goes for both my sisters i.e. they're in different camps. Soooooo interesting!

Andez lucky draw

Recently, before helping Ban set things right at his place after his war against bedbugs (and also sterilise my clothes with boiling hot water and put them to wash), we went to Andez for dinner as it was nearby. This time, we brought his brother along as it would be his first time to the restaurant since renovation and under new management.

I tried one of their recommended dishes: Fish & Cheese (RM 19.90). It was basically deep fried dory fish coated with bread-crumb with cheese and cherry tomatoes on top and a small side dish of salad. I chose mashed potato instead of fries.

The fish was delicious, juicy and light while the breadcrumb was crunchier than the usual dish. The addition of tomatoes and cheese were quite refreshing and interesting respectively but I didn't think the cheese added much to the dish. If the difference between this and their Fish & Chips is only the cheese, then I wouldn't pay extra for this dish. The mashed potato was forgettable.

Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the dish due to tiredness and hunger. However, I did (later) take photo of this:

Andez voucher

After the bill was paid, we were asked to pick a red packet from a big bowl. I was delighted to have picked this because coincidentally I next wanted to try their Fish & Chips as a comparison with the dish I just had. Yay! :)