Board Gamers of Singapore #6: Manyata Lal (The Tabletop Assassin)
In this world, there are people who are "More than meets the eye." So it is with Manyata, who upon initial meeting presents you a friendly, demure but outgoing personality.
The above being all true but do beware as once you play a board game with her, you will find her beating you in games with a satisfied smile more often than not.
Manyata came to Singapore to advance her career in the electronics industry with her husband Mayank in 2012 and like many others, she was first introduced to the modern board gaming hobby via an Irish friend of hers called Ashely.
She started by playing games such as Catan, Dominion, Carcassonne and found that she indeed liked this activity of matching wits over cardboard as a hobby. This led her to a gaming group organised by Dion Garner, who we have covered here on TOYTAG too.
Through several gaming sessions, she found that she preferred strategic games better. Her attraction to these games not hindered in any way by her winning more than a few of these games.
That being said, she is not invincible as this penchant for victory did not manifest itself when she tried to convince her husband to indulge in the board gaming hobby regularly, showing that she is indeed just human.
Manyata's recommended game of the day is Terra Mystica. In Terra Mystica, you are leading your race against others to grow and populate the land by terraforming terrain into those that only your race can prosper in.
Gameplay for Terra Mystica is complex and there is too much to explain but in summary, you pay money, mana or resources to do actions such as terraforming, building structures and so on.
The structures once built giving you income in some form for future turns. Each of the races changing this web of actions into points differently. The player at the end of 6 rounds with the most points is the winner.
The reason why Manyata likes Terra Mystica is because she feels it is an intense game with a complex strategy that punishes badly thought out plans and rewards good ones. The satisfaction of victory and the disappointment of defeat all largely dependent on one's own actions during the game.
The downside for Terra Mystica for her is it is a game that has many components and thus takes a while to setup.This and the more detailed rules makes Terra Mystica not very suited for newer gamers.
That being said, once a player is used to the mechanics of the game. It is very satisfying to know that you have earned your placing and every point you got in the game. So give Terra Mystica a try as it is easily worth 100 victory points of excellence for Manyata.