Friday, March 29, 2013

Cavalock and The Chicken Collagen Part Deux

I swear it wasn't intentional but once again, I found myself facing a bowl of chicken collagen for dinner. Well, this was actually a bowl of chicken broth ramen from Ramen Keisuke Tori King. Really, what's not to like about this? It's like having your dinner and facial at the same time!

So this Tori King outlet at Amara Hotel specializes in chicken based ramen while the other one at Orchid Hotel is all bout pork ramen. Had the Tori King Ramen with egg as I had forgotten that they actually provided free eggs at the table but they are the hard-boiled variety. Now the chicken leg was really nice and tender, comes off easily when you scrape it with your chopsticks. The broth tasty. You even get to choose the texture of your ramen, like how chewy you want it to be. And at S$13.90, a much cheaper collagen fix than at Plaza Singapura.

Here's the little basket of free eggs at the table. There's even a sign that says the brown ones contain less cholesterol than the white ones. Really? Speaking of cholesterol level, mine's 187mg and the guy took it said that's normal. Anything below 200mg is normal, according to him. So why am I saying it there? Nah it's just cos I wanna remember it. :P

If you know me, you'll know how much I enjoy playing boardgames. And this coming Saturday is the first International Tabletop (boardgaming) Day. Don't fret yourself if you have never heard of it. It's a purely commercial event not unlike Valentine's Day, dreamt up by fellow gaming geeks in the US.  Here's a pretty neat article from L.A. Times bout the event.

So here are just some of my favorite games that I own. I have lotsa other favorite boardgames but they belong to the rest of my boardgame group. Those games above are the ones I have and if anyone wants a game with me, I'll usually bring one of them along. They are very easy to play with simple rules.

From top, you got the classic Citadels.
Players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. Each character has a special ability, and the usefulness of any character depends upon your situation, and that of your opponents. The characters then carry out their actions in numerical order: the assassin eliminating another character for the round, the thief stealing all gold from another character, the wizard swapping building cards with another player, the warlord optionally destroys a building in play, and so on. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects her eighth building and the player with the highest score wins. 

Why I like it? The different roles let you screw with the players and there's nothing more fun than screwing your opponents. Plus it's one of the very few games I have that can play up to 7 players.

Elder Sign.
A fast-paced, cooperative dice game of supernatural intrigue set in 1920s for one to eight players. Players take the roles of investigators racing against time to stave off the imminent return of the Ancient One. Armed with tools, allies, and occult knowledge, investigators must put their sanity and stamina to the test as they adventure to locate Elder Signs, the eldritch symbols used to seal away the Ancient Ones and win the game.

Why I like it? I can play solo! It's after all a co-operative game and my group doesn't like that kinda game (we like beating the hell out of each other). Best of all, it's based on the stories by one of my favorite horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft.

Winner's Circle.
A lively game of horse racing where players bet on several of seven horses to try to gain the most money by the end of the game. Players bet on the horses before each race and so either co-operate or compete to get their horses over the line.  

Why I like it? Lotsa bluffing and screaming whenever we play this game. Just gets crazier every time we play it. This game has been out of print for years and I was really lucky to have found a mint copy for almost half the price earlier this month.

Garden Dice.
A strategy game that combines dice rolling, tile laying, and set collection. The game board depicts a garden as a 6x6 grid in which seed and vegetable tiles are placed using dice rolls as coordinates. Players take turns using the dice to plant, water, and harvest five different types of vegetables with differing point values, from the lowly squash to the mighty eggplant. The game's chaining mechanism allows players to water or harvest multiple tiles using a single action, enabling players to build upon each others' chains. Players can also use bird and rabbit tiles to eat other players' seed and veggie tiles, but not without paying a small penalty. Two other special tiles – the sundial and the scarecrow – allow players to modify dice rolls or protect their own tiles.

Why I like it? Fun theme and with some really attractive artwork. And lotsa dice to roll, tiles to place and sets to collect, it's three great gaming mechanics in one game.

Pure negotiation game that puts a different spin on the typical ocean catastrophe. There's been a boating accident, and a rag-tag group of six lifeboats is trying to make its way to one of several islands just over the horizon. However only one boat will make any forward progress in a given turn, so players try to convince everyone to vote for his particular favorite. To further complicate matters, the sailors can't seem to decide which boat they want to be in, so they're constantly jumping out of boats to swim to another one. As if all that wasn't enough, one of the boats springs a leak each turn. If the boat is at maximum occupancy when the leak occurs, then players vote to decide who to toss to the sharks.

Why I like it? No luck involved here. Just pure begging, threatening, yelling and backstabbing. Plenty of broken promises by the end of the night.

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