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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Prologue by Ricky: 
"Cao Cao the Wife-Snatcher" is one of the most interesting and creative Auxiliary modes I have ever come across. Although I have never actually played with this rule myself (my friends and I prefer to stick to the original rules), just reading the rules is enough to make me feel excited!

Here I shall present the original article that was published in the September 2011 issue of Zhuo You Zhi magazine. I have selectively paraphrased some parts of the article for clarity and entertainment, as well as deleted some parts which I felt were not crucial. Do test out this mode when you have your next SGS session and tell me how fun it is! Enjoy!


"Cao Cao the Wife-Snatcher" mode 乱世柔情: 夫妻模式 
(literal translation = Tender Affections in a Tumultuous world: Husband & Wife Mode)

This "Wife Snatcher" mode is similar to the original game in that the characters and scenarios are based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The key focus here is the emphasis on Cao Cao 曹操's affinity for married women. The initial impetus for this mode was to allow gaming couples to play together, thus the term "Husband and Wife" came into the picture. However this mode has more than just couple-dynamics, with unique concepts such as "claiming" the women as spoils of victory. This is a mode that can cater to a wide variety of tastes. You can play with 5, 7 , 9 or even 11 players, but we shall use a 9 player game to describe the mechanics of this mode.


Recommended number of players: 5,7,9 or 11

Difficulty in learning this mode: 3 out of 5



Strategy involved: 4 out of 5


Fun factor: 5 out of 5




Basic Rules:
1. Roles - Ruler 主公 must be Cao Cao, everyone else is a Defector 内奸

2. Sequence of Turns - As per normal in anti-clockwise fashion

3. Characters Restriction - Extract all the "couple" characters seen in Figure 1 and separate them from the rest of the characters. We will only be using these couple characters, which shall be referred to as the "couple deck". Every character has a corresponding "mate" according to Figure 1. For example, Liu Bei 刘备's wife is Sun Shang Xiang 孙尚香, Cao Zhi 曹植's wife is Zhen Ji 甄姬.

Figure 1: The couple characters. "Husbands" are located above the plus sign, "wives" are located below. Some characters have an "alternate lover", shown as cascading cards.

4. Character Allocation - (Assume 9 player game) Let 4 players select ONE female "wife" character of their choice each from the "couple deck". Once that is done, pick out the corresponding "husbands" of each of these 4 females, as well as the Cao Cao character. You should have a total of 9 characters (4 wives, 4 corresponding husbands, 1 Cao Cao). 

These 9 characters are then shuffled and randomly allocated to all 9 players, after which the characters should be displayed face up for everyone else to see. The player with Cao Cao is the Ruler and enjoys +1 health limit, everyone else is a Defector by default.  

At the beginning of the game, all "wives" and their corresponding "husbands“ have "married" status, with only Cao Cao being "single" status. 

Important! At this point in time, the characters with an "alternate lover" (eg: Cao Pi 曹丕 and Cao Zhi 曹植,  Dong Zhuo 董卓 and Lu Bu 吕布) can choose to swap for that alternate character. Meaning if you selected Cao Pi, you can choose to change into Cao Zhi, and vice versa. The alternate characters can be seen from Figure 1

Once the game commences, you can no longer change your character.

5. Cao Cao covets your Wife - Cao Cao will forcefully marry a female character when all of the following conditions are met:

a. Cao Cao is single
b. That female character is alive
c. The husband of that female character is dead

Once Cao Cao marries the female character, she will desert her dead husband and become a Loyalist 忠臣 to Cao Cao. Cao Cao's status will become married, and no longer single. Thus he can only take one wife at any one time.

If Cao Cao's wife is killed, he becomes single again and conditions a, b, c must be considered immediately. If there is a female character that helps fulfill all 3 conditions, Cao Cao immediately marries her. If there are more than 1 female character that can help fulfull all 3 conditions, Cao Cao will choose 1 of them to be his wife. 

If Guo Jia 郭嘉 and Sima Yi 司马懿 are a couple (yes I know this sounds queer) and 1 of them dies, Cao Cao cannot forcefully marry the surviving partner because Cao Cao does not covet men. 
(Ricky: Hahaha!! There's a good dose of humor there from whomever created this article!)

If Cao Cao dies, his wife will desert him and her marital status will return to being "married to her original (but dead) husband". She then becomes the Ruler 主公.

6. Rewards and Punishments 


A. If you kill your mate, you must discard all equipped and on-hand cards. 


B. Killing any other character will let you draw 3 cards from the deck as reward.

7. Winning Conditions


A. Ruler: Kill everyone else except your mate. If your mate is dead but you are the ultimate winner, your mate is also declared a winner (ie: It's considered a couple win.) 


B. Defector: Kill every other player except your mate before challenging the Ruler 1-on-1. However, if the Ruler is killed before you challenge him/her 1-on-1, nobody wins. 


(Note: If you are the Defector and only the Ruler, your mate and you are left in the game, there is no need to kill off your mate before killing the Ruler.)


Additional Remarks:
This mode creates lots of confusion but also a large amount of fun! Xiao Qiao 小乔 and Zhu Rong 祝融 in particular have a large tendency to "cheat" on their original husbands.

To be able to win in this mode, players need to balance Cao Cao's health with the strength of other players. Strategies that are important include striking those adjacent while allying with those at a further distance, as well as being flexible to cope with the changing scenarios.


Highlights of this mode:
The males are put at much larger stress to stay alive so as not to lose their wives! But enough banter, test it out for yourselves to see how much fun this mode can be!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One Million Views!!

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:11 PM No comments
Thanks everyone!! Although Xia Xue's blog has the same number of views within 3 weeks as this blog has in 3 years, it still feels warm and fuzzy to hit the 7 digit threshold.


Hope you guys are enjoying SGS! This blog continue to post interesting articles as long as people keep reading them.

杀!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Zhao Yun 赵云 (*SP001)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:04 PM 13 comments
Translated description:
“The Vanguard on a White Horse 白马先锋 (bái mǎ xiān fēng)”

Who is he:
For goodness sake, this is Zhao Yun! I'm pretty sure you do not need me to describe who he is. But just in case you do, here's a one-sentence summary.

Zhao Yun is one of Liu Bei 刘备's most accomplished generals, but while he was younger he was part of Gongsun Zan 公孙瓒's army, thus the Neutral Heroes allegiance here.


Why is he an SP character:
I'm going to be politically incorrect here. I do NOT think that Zhao Yun needs an SP version. The official reports state that the SP versions are an upgrade so that the original characters will not fall behind.

Rubbish!

The original Zhao Yun is still strong as heck, and has one of the best abilities ever created in this game: creative, adequate, simple. So why do they need to make Zhao Yun unbalanced? Well, I guess everyone will have their opinion. Who knows? I might just like this character after I lay my hands on it.

Or maybe not.

Character ability 1: "Dragon Heart 龙胆 (lóng dǎn)"
All ATTACK 杀 and DODGE 闪 cards can be used interchangeably.

Character ability 2: "Formation Piercer 冲阵 (chōng zhèn)"
Whenever you use or play an on-hand card to activate “Dragon Heart”, you can immediately take an on-hand card from the opponent.

Note: "Opponent" here refers to either the player who caused you to activate "Dragon Heart" (the player that uses "Raining Arrows 万箭齐发"), or the person on the receiving end of "Dragon Heart" (you use DODGE as an ATTACK on that player).

Additional info based on changes:
This is the young Zhao Yun serving Gongsun Zan, the Whitehorse General. According to Zhuo You Zhi magazine, his 3 units health reflects his immaturity while his new ability reflects his contributions in The Battle of Jie Bridge 界桥之战. In that battle, Yuan Shao 袁绍 rained arrows on Gongsun Zan and almost decimated his entire army. When Gongsun Zan’s was on the brink of collapse, the young Zhao Yun charged into Yuan Shao’s vast army and single-handedly killed Yuan Shao’s general with one strike, with time left to spare to save Gongsun Zan's rear-end.

Trivia:
Zhao Yun became the 3rd character with more than two character cards in SGS. The first was Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮 and the second one was Lu Bu 吕布. Note that the card of young Zhao Yun is two-sided and slightly smaller than the usual character cards. This card is not meant to be shuffled into the character's deck, but rather to be substituted for the original Zhao Yun card if the player chooses to use him.

Wiki Links:
Zhao Yun Wiki

How to obtain this character?
Purchase the 13th issue of Zhuo You Zhi magazine to get this limited character card as a free gift!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Revamped SP characters for 2012?!

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:51 PM 3 comments
Now this may not be shocking news to all of you, after all I am blogging about this well into February. So if you already know about this, feel free to click "Comment" below and put in your opinions.

For the rest of the world... BIG NEWS!

YOKA has officially announced that they are re-introducing SP characters starting from the January 2012 edition of Zhuo You Zhi magazine (13th issue). 

The "new" *SP001 issued in January 2012 is SP Zhao Yun, with a completely different artwork and character frame. 

If you've been keeping track of the collectible SP characters in 2011, you will know that SP001 was the code for SP Yang Xiu, which is now INCREDIBLY RARE! What does this mean for SP Yang Xiu then? Is it getting exterminated from SGS altogether? Why give its "identity number" to another card? Doesn't it seem like a conspiracy to wipe-out SP Yang Xiu and pretend it never existed?

Does this also mean it is going to happen to all the SP cards in 2011??

Here's what I think.

If you were one of the very lucky ones who bought 2011 SP cards, you have struck gold!! Now that the new SP cards of 2012 are going to obliterate the old ones from existence, it just meant that 2011 SP cards have multiplied in value!

(Note: The new SP cards can be used together with the old SP cards. They will clearly be differentiated based on the frame art, as well as a star symbol beside the identity number. Eg: *SP001.)

It's always the rare items that were produced in very small amounts, then terminated quickly, that are the most rare. 

Ok I know what you are thinking. "You're just saying that to push sales for your 2011 SP cards." The truth is I don't have many SP cards left from 2011. I'm keeping my SP001 Yang Xiu and SP002 Diao Chan, unless I can find some more to bring in at reasonable prices.

In my next post, I shall be blogging the translation of the official announcement from YOKA regarding this change in SP series.

Till then, keep on gaming! 杀!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Outing Confirmed: 5th February!

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:37 PM No comments
Thanks for everyone who has registered for this meet up! The tables have been booked for that day, so I look forward to seeing you there.



5th February (Sunday)
1:00pm to 4:00pm (can be extended)
Settler's Cafe (Clark Quay) 
Exit from Clark Quay MRT Exit A, look for the row of 2-story shophouse facing Hong Lim park.

Let's get ready to 杀!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sino-Games SALE! 10% off storewide!

Posted by Ricky Chua On 3:18 PM No comments
Dear all,

As promised, the new Sino-games.com site is up and running!

In celebration, we are giving a 10% store-wide discount when you key in the following discount code in the "Checkout" section.

Discount code:
GCO4KVRSQMNX


Key in your discount code into the box shown in red in Step 2 of the Checkout screen for 10% off your purchase!


This promotion ends February 29th, so grab this opportunity and get yourself a good deal today!

But wait! That's not the end of the good news!

Starting 1st February, we are opening up our door-to-door delivery service to ALL Singapore orders, regardless of order price. We used to impose a minimum of $20.00 per order before we delivery door-to-door, but to thank you for your kind support, we are going to extend the delivery service no matter how small your order!

What are you waiting for? Click here to visit the new Sino-games.com NOW!!

杀!

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