23 September 2006

Departures and divisions

Yesterday was Debugger and NDrew's last day. Debugger is a nice, helpful guy who just like to disturb me. NDrew is nice too but he won't stop stealing my snacks. Once again, we lost 2 experienced colleagues that will be hard to replace.

I showed my little ships to my colleagues. The range of reactions was interesting.
"You're just like my son" -my shi mei who doesn't have kids and is one year older than me
"You're just like my brother. He's two years older than me and he's younger than you!"
"That's very interesting"
"So cute!"
"My son(me) wants to give this to me" -she's kind of my mentor
"You play this?"

I went off after work and met the others for Chloe's sending off dinner. When I arrived, they were finishing their soup. The place is run by a Hainanese group who cooks with a Russian influence. As usual, we traded news and gossips. I learnt that Biscuit is getting more unpleasant which suited me fine. For desserts, we picked off 3 on whim and they turned out to be their flaming specialty The ice cream cake was set on fire with burning brandy and the taste of it was strong and fragrant. The second was stir-fried cherries in orange liquor served with vanilla. The last was crepes in orange juice and brandy(I think so..). Who wants to go?

I shared a cab ride with Ding Dang and had a long chat with him. He had long been a pacifist and a peacemaker and it was until recently that I realised how in odds our thinking were. Can we really adopt a give and take attitude? What about guys like Biscuit, who take and take?

Finally, I brought out my fishing fleet against Gaga's fully assembled armada. The 30-points game was over quickly but it gave hint to what was to come. I chose speed while Gaga went for power. I went for assets while he worshipped talent. With our respective mistakes in mind, we tweaked the game parameters and had a 40-points game. I used my speed to good effect and so did Gaga with his firepower. When I got 2 ships in close proximity, I rammed his chase ship left and right and that gave my treasure ship a breathing chance. His tiny ship-destroyer La Furia, later crawled in and things got pretty hot. In another sector of the sea, my Fire Dijiin was unmolested throughout the game. She built a fort and carted off some treasure. While the rest of the world was fighting or sinking beneath the waters, she sailed into the home island unchallenged and pushed the gold tally to a win.


21 September 2006

New member to my fleet

By the way, a friend of mine suffered a fall and couldn't meet me for dinner. Speedy recovery...


19 September 2006

Ships ahoy!

Me and gaga bought a respectable amount of Pirates packs today. He got 3 rare ships and I got 2. Mine's more powerful though but I guess his can be annoying.


18 September 2006

The day when we had no cash in our pockets

As arranged, I went to Gaga's house for swim and games. I took a cab and Voila! Where's my wallet? Happily dozing at home, no doubt. This paved the way for an interesting day.
I called Gaga down to pay for my cab fair. After which, we have $9-10. "What? You don't have any cash at home?", I was incredulous. "My clients lor", he replied sourly.

We had lunch at a coffeshop and depleted most of his cash. As we had planned to watch a movie, I did a funds transfer so that we could pay for the tickets. Once done, we allocated an hour to play the Constructible Strategy Game I brought with me. After the game, we were so pleased with it that we checked out the official website. We were so engrossed that we ran into time trouble and had to take a cab. We would pay via Visa and for the tickets as well. Wait a minute, how much cash did you have before I transferred the money? Nothing? Oh great.
After the movie, we used his last $10 in his bank account to top up his EZ-link card. We then used it to purchase our dinner at McDonalds.
As I do not have my EZ-link card with me, we walked up to Leisure Craft and back to Raffles City on foot. There we found that they sell 3 series of the Pirates card that will become our new vice. We promised ourselves to be back after payday and journeyed home. Him on his EZ-link card. Me on $1.80 in coins.


14 September 2006

May history never forget the name Enterprise

-Yesterday's Enterprise, TNG

After learning that they planned to release a re-mastered version of The Original Series, I was holding my breath. Luckily, my fears were unfounded.
Whoopie! I'm glad I'm a fan =)


10 September 2006

Painball fun!

[startrek.sg 1]
edit: added costs
edit (2010): corrected previous edit; added pictures source / credit

4 teams of 4 each.

Round 1: Balloon shoot
Team 4's Joran went for the right flank. Encountered 2 enemy soldiers. Enemy 1 fired first, shot went high. Joran took aim, enemy 1 ducked. Enemy 2 fired, shot went high. Joran took aim, felt a shot ricochet off his skull. *First blood!* Joran sulked his way back to base, high five-d Wai Kit who ran out, skidded. Joran tapped the base and ran out. Enemy 3 appeared, it's Darkman! Joran flanked his right side but was spotted. Darkman stumbled while turning to his right. Joran strafed to his right, the shot meant for him missed. Wai Kit fired at Darkman. Darkman turned to his front. Joran popped up on his right flank again. Darkman stumbled again. Wai Kit fired. Joran fired. Darkman fired. No one got shot. Buzzer went off. Velvic shot out their balloon at their home base. Victory for Team Joran!

Round 2: Capture the flag
Joran and Wai Kit went left. Jose and Velvic went right. Joran encountered enemy 1 and 2 in the hedge maze, took pot shots at each other through the flowers. "Capture the flag", scolded the co-ordinator. Joran saw a flag, went under the wooden tower, grabbed and ran. "Go, go!", shouted enemy 2, who thought that I was enemy 1. Joran ran to the fortress and waved the flag. He took aim from the high vantage and awaited a test of sharp shooting.
Result: Team 3 won as there were 3 flags in the maze. Darn it!
Long story short: Everyone had fun while Joran had no kills to mark on his weapon.

Round 3: Elimination
Rule: No resurrection; you die when you run out of rounds; you die if you run out of gas.
Joran and Velvic went left, Joran trailing. Enemy 1 and 2 (again...) appeared, fired at Velvic. Joran took cover and dashed to join Velvic. Piak! Shot on the collarbone. Life's not fair -.-

1st: Team 2
2nd: Team 3
3rd: Team 4 (us)
4th: Team 1

Q. So how painful is painball?
A. Well, my skull is fine, no bruises. I have a smart red bruise the size of a 5 cents coin on my collarbone. It didn't feel very painful for both shots. The distance was 3-4m for the first and 5m for the second.

costs: $50
rounds: 250
costs: $40

pictures from: http://startrek.com.sg/news2006/06-09-10.html


Going off to...

[startrek.sg 1]
Updates in the evening.

By the way, our wireless router has been upgraded. Lag should drop significantly as the transmit rate is 54mbps. That won't mean much as the bottleneck is still at the cable modem but at least my connection won't go up and down whenever it likes.


07 September 2006

The complexities of Alpha Centauri

This old game proved to be fun, much more than Galactic Civilisation 2.

Indigenous lifeforms that lives in the xenofungus. They don't play by the normal rules of strong weapons vs. strong armour. They feed on your fear before boring holes into your body. Whoever has the stronger mind wins.
I had scoffed at them as inferior when I played this game years back. Mindworms cannot be upgraded with advanced weaponary and abilities. Advances in Psi defences also protect you against them so there is little to be feared. What I found was that if you mass cultivate them and swarm the enemy, it is unstoppable. They strike past walls like they weren't there. They move fast. They heal fast. Technological benefits to your Psi abilities assist your worms as well. They are a true terror.

Impressive for a game so old. When I was discovering the joy of breeding demonic boils of mindworms, my opponent took to a Scorched Earth policy and began destroying farms. Later, he retaliated by launching Fusion Planet Busters at my largest cities. Two of them became craters as my space defence was inadequate.

Mountains trap moisture on the windward side and dry the lee side. Terrain can be raised or lowered. Sea levels can be manipulated to drown cities or strand sea colonies on dry land. Forests bloom and xenofungus spreads. Erosion forces constantly shape the coasts. All this gives it a living planet feel. Unfortunately, I was too busy managing my worms to notice these.

[Learning Curve]
Steep. As with all Civilisation games. AI opponents tend to push you around. Refusing to help Miriam take out Santiago will earn you her wrath. Further refusing to help Santiago will land you at war with both factions. "No fair!", I had cried.

As mentioned, no matter what government, environmental, economical or political stance you choose, someone will be unhappy with you. The game will never be boring.

I think I'll buy the original version next time I stop by Heartland Mall.