Sunday 2 August 2015

by Cheryl Loh Qian Wen and Natasha Wong, Junior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2016
All photographs by Yvonne Ang Yee Von, Form 5 Science 1 and Koh Jia Yao, Junior 2 Hawking, Class of 2015

“9am on a Sunday morning - and I’m in school, of all places” were the sullen thoughts of probably every student at Thinkcon 2015. Forced to cut off our Raya holidays and leave our beloved beds one day too early, Cempakans made their way to the Art Gallery in the Cempaka Cheras campus to represent their house in a board game competition. Sounds boring, doesn’t it?

The aura immediately changed as the games began, tensions rose as we eyed down our competitors. Board games were just like any sport and event, and at the end of the day, we al all of us were excited to win.

In addition to the usual board games - Settlers of Catan, Qwirkle, Subbuteo Table Soccer and KEVA - a brand new game was introduced: Room 25. This game includes 6 players; 4 prisoners and 2 traitors. The objective is simple, for the prisoners they'd simply have to try and find a way out of a maze by entering unknown rooms, some of which could cost them their life. For the traitors, they'd have to try to keep the prisoners in while at the same time protecting their identity. Easy. Throughout the game, spectators watched as the players negotiated, stabbed each other in the back, walked into rooms like the illusion chamber and the mortal chamber etc, before someone finally succeeded in their task. Considering its brilliant concept and exciting idea, it came to no surprise that although new, Room 25 emerged as one of the most watched games of the day.

To kick off the event, players from Rumah Harimau and Rumah Beruang battled it out in Subbuteo Table Soccer - a game where the pitch is table-sized, and miniature football players are flicked to score goals. The excitement however was no different than a real football match despite its small magnitude. Played in singles, doubles, mixed and boy and girls events respectively, Subbuteo Table Soccer was an event not to be missed. 

Settlers of Catan was my (Natasha’s) game of choice, having played it every Thinkcon. The famous board game is a game of strategy where you start with settlements, gain resources and expand to city, build roads, build an army and to win the game, obtain victory points. Obtaining 10 victory points is the key to winning, and the tensions between past and new players was evident. Ultimately it was a close fight, and begrudgingly (or rather fortunately for all you Harimau players out there), Harimau had won...twice, in both my games. 

Although it had a much simpler concept that most of the other games - Qwirkle was not to be missed. Careful strategic combinations of colour and shapes decided the winner -  which was surprising, considering how it had a much simpler concept compared to the other games. The objective of the game is pretty self-explanatory - achieve a combination of six in a single line, either in the same colour or shape. Unfortunately, much like Scrabble, the game was largely dependent on your luck with your given tiles. This was probably why after two matches against the other three houses, my (Cheryl) points tallied up to a 5, which was exactly the same as all my competitors. It was extremely frustrating, especially after the careful thought given in to each move which, was what made the game so intriguing in the first place. 

The KEVA planks games came in 4 categories. Skyscraper, building the tallest structure possible. Contraption, where students create a course for a ball bearing to run. Transportation, where this year, students were told to recreate the famous Red Baron World War II plane. Architecture and sculpture were both events where students work together recreate the structure depicted in the picture, namely of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and of an Eagle, as accurately as possible. Students worked in groups of three and performed the above mentioned tasks using only KEVA planks. The delicate structures were judged and the balls were sent tumbling down (or in some cases, off) their tracks, students to watch anxiously on the sidelines. 

By 5:00pm the games finally came to a close, and peace was restored. The holiday mood was back albeit for a short while until the next day, we relished in the last few moments we had for now. Of course, not to be ignored were the overall standings of Thinkcon 2015. Rumah Helang came in first place, Rumah Seladang following closely, Rumah Beruang in third and Rumah Harimau in fourth place. Ultimately, it was a great effort by all participants to fight for their houses, regardless of the outcome.

by Cheryl Loh 01:22 98 comments
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