Archive for January 2010

Journal Singapore – Singapore’s first heritage board game

I was invited to the launch of Journal Singapore, a Singapore board game by Monsters Under the Bed with the support of National Heritage Board. It is the first board game to feature the history of Singapore from it’s early days as a British Colony in 1900, to it’s Independence in 1965. The game is designed for 3 to 5 players and can be played in 1 to 2 hours.

I would consider the learning curve for this game to be average. That coming from someone who played a few other board games occasionally. I’ll just briefly talk about the game play. It may sound confusing here. But trust me, it would be easier for you to learn as you play along.

You start off by selecting one of the characters. The characters are all pioneers of Singapore like Mr Tan Kah Kee, Mr Lim Bo Seng, Mr Yusoff Ishak etc etc. Each characters has a special abilities to help you during game play, so choose one wisely. Each player also get 5 plan cards and 5 resources (which we prefer to call money). The first player to take the Merlion Token starts the game. This Token will be passed to the next player at the end of each round.

There are 3 era in the game (Colonial, Occupation and Post War) and 5 rounds for each Era. You can choose to play all 3 Era or just one, depending on how much time you have. At the start of each round, the player with the Merlion Token will draw an event card. This event card will affect all players. At every turn, a player has 3 action which he/she may choose to either Move (using the plan card), draw a plan card, influence/bid the sector the player is at. Every sector has a special ability which the player can use if he/she owns the sector. Player can also use the secondary effects on the plan card to either sabotage his/her opponent or give him/her the added advantage.

At the end of each Era, players will tabulate the Victory Points (VP). Each sector is 1 VP. Occupying related sectors gives player 3 VP. Player holding the Merlion Token at the end of the Era gets 3 VP. Players can also exchange 4 resource for 1 VP or 3 plan cards for 2 VP. At the end of the game, the player with the most VP wins.

I played one era during the launch with a few other friends from the media. It’s a pretty fun game. One of the players has no experience in playing board games and she managed to pick up pretty fast. And she almost won the game. Must be beginners luck. The thing I like about Journal Singapore is the way they associate with Singapore history. All the characters, events and sectors are related to Singapore and there is a short write up about their history. It is a fun and interesting way to learn about Singapore’s history.

The game is quite replay-able. Every game is different since there are 12 different events in each Era and the order of these events will change the strategy and game play. I understand that there will also be expansion packs in the future. Journal Singapore is now selling for $59.90. Quite a decent price for a board game. You can also find it at some of the board game cafe in Singapore.

For more information, check out their website.

I have a dream

18 Jan 2010 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a United States holiday marking the birthdate of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (observed on the third Monday of January each year)

Coke light, Mentos and a little fountain

This is what we do when we are bored in Hackerspace last Saturday. Justin, Adrian, CJ and I went to the nearby 7-11, bought some Coke light and Mentos and took a short walk to a nearby empty field.

Look, when someone buys Coke and Mentos at the same time, it could only be for one purpose. This……

I must say that this is perhaps the most lousy Mentos Coke fountain video on youtube. The fountain isn’t tall enough. I think one of the main reason is because we are using Coke Light instead of Diet Coke. Couldn’t find any Diet Coke at 7-11. And also I think it would be better if we use 2L bottle instead of 1.5L.

But it’s still good fun. Maybe we should try it again.

Republic of Singapore Navy “Beyond Horizons” advertisement

This advertisement by the Navy caught my attention lately.

The Navy is well known for making interesting recruitment advertisement. But this advertisement got me thinking about 1 thing….

The Internal Security Department should bring that guy in for questioning. He has a physical journal filled with photos on the Navy’s operations, crews, ships, weapons and maps. Surely that is a breach of security. And he accidentally drop the journal in the public. What if that journal lands in the hands of terrorist?

PS: I’m just kidding. Don’t take this blog entry seriously. It’s Sunday.

German government say do not use IE until it is fixed

This is perhaps the first time that a government agency advice people not to use Microsoft Internet Explorer. And we are talking about almost all version of IE here. (IE 6 Service Pack 1 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and IE 6, IE 7 and IE 8 on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2)

There is a current security problem on Internet Explorer that allows a webpage to maliciously inject code onto the machine running the browser. This vulnerability was used recently to hack Google and roughly 20 other companies. According to Google the attack originated from China. The hackers reportedly attempted to gain access to the Gmail accounts of U.S., China, and Europe based Chinese human rights activists as part of what many believe to be ongoing cyber-espinonage.

German Federal Office for Information Security recommends that until a full patch is released, Internet Explorer is not safe, even if users run IE in protected mode.

According to Microsoft, IE 5.01 Service Pack 4 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 is not affected. Wow, still got people use IE 5 meh?