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Thursday, May 30, 2013

San Guo Sha English Blog and e-shop remains in operation

Posted by Sino-Games Customer Service On 6:08 PM 41 comments
Dear Readers,

The original owner of the blog, Ricky, has moved on to his other commitments in family etc and I will be taking over this blog, as well as the e-shop at www.sino-games.com. I'd like to thank Ricky again on behalf of all the readers that has benefitted from his experience and effort to share the many stories that he has and to grow the community.

We have plans to continue to grow the community and if you have any ideas/suggestions, we would like to hear them.

As for those who have sent queries and/or posted orders, we seek your understanding as we sort out the logistics and get answers for you.

If you have any other queries, the mailbox is always open at sinogames@gmail.com. We look forward to your continued support and hope to hear from you soon. ;p

Thank you
Larry and Friends

Friday, April 12, 2013

Skateboard 滑板 (huá bǎn)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:19 AM 2 comments

Card description:
I never got the hang of this! Despite it being brainlessly easy to learn, i never got my head around being comfortable on a skateboard! Maybe that explains why I was never really cool growing up! I got a lot of respect for kids who can do all sorts of insane tricks on a skateboard, simply because I know i can't do what they can do!

Rollerskates 旱冰鞋 (hàn bīng xié)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:10 AM No comments

Card description:
In the era where ABBA dominated the radio and John Travolta was actually desirable, rollerskates were the bomb. Credits to whoever invented rollerskates, as it really did give millions around the world a fantastic new form of entertainment.

In fact, it's probably not an exaggeration to say that a whole generation of children were born because their parents met each other having fun on skates.

Card description:
If you were a merchant in China between 1970 to 2000 and you were looking for a product to sell, you cannot go wrong with selling or maintaining these 28-inch wheels bicycles. They probably transported more people to-and-fro in China than any other form of man-made transport in history.

Even today, you would still see elderly folk riding around town with one of these, with its signature C-shaped handlebars with a little bell on one side, and a bare metal rack to ferry their grandchildren or carry their groceries.

Card description:
"An accident under your feet". That's what in-line skates are if you use them to get to school everyday. Sooner or later you're going to get into an accident or a near miss. Don't get me wrong, I love in-line skating too and i ride a motorcycle everyday, so i know the probably of an accident isn't any higher than on a bike. But since in-line skating is popular among teens, doesn't need a license, and has a lot less protection, the hazards are higher.

Regardless, in-line skates are awesome means of transport if you got the skills. Put it this way, it's still way cooler than roller skates!

Card description:
You know you're going to get your bicycle stolen if you ride this to school everyday. It's just a bloody show-off item, just like having an iPhone, only less glamorous and a lot easier to nick!

Still, it doesn't stop students from riding to school, especially in a country like China where riding a bicycle is as common as eating innards.

Scooter 电动车 (diàn dòng chē)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 9:28 AM No comments

Card description:
Not everyone can afford one, and for those that can, they usually get a car instead. But for the student population in China, a scooter is a very common form of transport. There are no licenses to worry about if the engine capacity is tiny, and there is also little law enforcement on helmets and carrying capacity.

Seriously speaking, this is probably the BEST form of transport in any city!

Similar SGS Card:
Eight Trigrams Formation 八卦阵

Card description:
The most legal and above board way of being absent from class... get a medical certificate from a doctor! Yes we all know you are fit as a fiddle since everyone heard you and your partner shagging loudly in the dorm. But hey, if you can fake a cough and claim a headache, the doctor probably wouldn't deny you immunity from your most-hated teacher.

Armour ability:
When you need to use or play a PRESENT! 到 card, you can flip a judgement card. If the judgement card is red-suited, it is regarded having used or played a PRESENT! card on your behalf.

Footnote:

"For those without power and riches, to suddenly go from dropout to Direct Masters, leaves a terrifying realization for the rest of us."

"官不大的,“拼爹保送” 更可怕!"


Trivia:
Not all doctors are so accommodating. I remember one of the first things our trainers told us when we were recruits in the army is "if you fake your illness, the doctor will rape you, then send you back here for the rest of us to rape you." That pretty much scared the majority of us. Still, almost 20% of all the recruits came down with bad fevers and flu within the first week as their bodies adjusted to the sharp contrast in physical demands. We never did hear of anyone getting raped by the doctor though...

Number of cards:
1
(2 ♠)

Similar SGS Card:
Ren Wang Shield 仁王盾

Card description:
This is something quite unheard of at the university level in Singapore, but something that all China undergrads are familiar with. To be qualified for direct-entry into a Master's program means that the student is already offered a Master's program slot even before he has graduated from his undergrad studies. What this means is that this student does not need to undergo interviews or entrance exams, etc. Usually these students are the cream of the crop (naturally) and this could simply be the university's way of retaining their best students into post-grad.

Too bad though, this is probably quite pointless in Singapore. Why? Read about it in the Trivia section.

Armour Ability: [Enforced Ability] 
Black-suited ROLL CALL 点名 cards have no effect on you.

Footnote:
"For those without power and riches, to suddenly go from dropout to Direct Masters, leaves a terrifying realization for the rest of us."

"官不大的,“拼爹保送” 更可怕!"

Trivia:
Why does a direct Master's not sound appealing in the Singapore system? Simply because in Singapore, there exists the "Direct PhD" system. This is slightly different in the way the word "direct" is applied. In the "Direct PhD" system, there is still an interview process and maybe even an entrance exam. But it is "direct" because the candidate does not need to possess a Master's degree before applying. Yup, that's right! You can go from Degree directly to PhD. Ain't nobody got time for a Master's no more!

Number of Cards:
1
(2 ♣)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chalk Stub 粉笔头 (fěn bǐ toú)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:21 PM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
Rock Cleaving Axe 贯石斧

Card description:
Ahh!! The good old days! Long before students are slowly poisoned day by day through Xylene fumes from felt markers, students were slowly asphyxiated by chalk dust with every scrape of chalk on the blackboard. I'm not sure which is the lesser evil, though i'm still surprised till this day how teachers manage not to die of cancer by 40.

Chalk has a more sinister advantage for the teachers: it can be broken into bits and then hurled as projectiles. We don't see teachers hurling markers, firstly because they would need to walk over to retrieve it back, and also because recent education laws prohibit throwing anything at students. But in the days of chalk, teachers could simply break off a 1cm stub and dart it at any unfortunate student. It was painful, humiliating, but the stain was also temporary and harmless. Boy was it fun to be a teacher back then!

Weapon ability:
When your ROLL CALL 点名 is neutralized, you can discard 2 cards and your ROLL CALL would still cause damage.

Footnote:
"Remember when you were yawning and drifting into dreamland, the chalk stub that flew straight towards you?"

"还记得你在瞌睡,开小差时候空中飞来的粉笔头么?"

Trivia:
The components that make up chalk dust is actually quite safe. Inhalation of chalk dust could trigger asthma attacks, but that's about it. Xylene, on the other hand, is very flammable and can cause brain damage from over-exposure. So which is safer? Chalk, or markers?

Number of cards:
1
(5 ♥)

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new weapon. This weapon has the same ability as Zhao Yun 赵云's "Dragon Heart 龙胆" ability.

Card description:
The first thing that came to my mind when I first saw this card was this line of song lyrics from Bon Jovi:

"Your clothes are still scattered all over our room,
This whole place still smells like your cheap perfume."

I guess if the perfume was cheap enough, it'd smell so bad that skunks would faint. But otherwise, I don't really see how this is a weapon. Perhaps this is just another example of something that students would find familiar. Yet no way does this even come close to describing its ability!

Weapon ability:
When equipped, your ROLL CALL 点名 can be used as PRESENT! 到, and your PRESENT! can be used as ROLL CALL.

Footnote:
"When the use of perfumes rises above simply masking body odour, related problems will follow closely behind..."

"当香水的作用上升到不仅仅是为了遮盖身上的狐臭时,相关的问题也会接踵而来。。。"

Trivia:
I'm constantly amazed at the lack of "calibration" by people when they use their perfumes. If they were between the age of 13 to 18, I can fully understand. But if they are already 30 or even 50, they should have the acuity to realize long ago that their bloody perfume smells like hippo urine. But nooooooooooo!!! They continue to drown themselves in that perfume and help the world population lose weight by killing all our appetites. Perhaps we should all thank them!

Number of cards:
1
(Q ♦)

Similar SGS Card:
Heaven Scorcher Halberd 方天画戟

Card description:
This, I don't understand. There must be some sort of colloquial meaning behind this... or maybe they just decided to put up something that students can relate to as a weapon. In other societies (and i suspect this is also true in China), having an authentic iPhone while you are still schooling is almost a social status passport. It immediately brands the student as being part of the in-crowd.

But a cheap knockoff as a weapon?? I don't get it! No doubt many students buy knockoff iPhones and Galaxy S3's and whatever because their parents control their finances, but i don't see how this gives them an edge over the real thing. Unless... could it be....? More on this in the Trivia section.

Weapon ability:
When your ROLL CALL 点名 used was your last on-hand card, you can simultaneously target up to maximum of 3 target players (you cannot target yourself).

Footnote:
"Creating knockoffs isn't a crime. I love knockoffs."

"山寨无罪。我爱山寨。"

Trivia:
Did you know that the knockoffs in China can actually be better than the real thing? Take the iPhone for example. Before SIRI was a reality in iPhone4S, the Chinese knockoff iPhones already had it pre-installed. Of course, it only understood if you spoke Mandarin, and even then it was full of problems, but SIRI was not without its problems too. Furthermore, when 16GB phones were all the rage, the knockoffs were already boasting 64GB space with pre-hacked iTunes store access. In that sense, i guess the knockoffs could actually outgun the real deal!

Number of cards:
1
(6 ♠)

Stiletto Heels 高跟鞋 (gāo gēn xié)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 12:28 PM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new weapon. It is vaguely similar to Gender Double Swords 雌雄双股剑.

Card description:
I'm a sucker for ladies in high heels. There's just something about the whole elegance and sex appeal that drives me crazy. I'm probably not alone, as evolutionary theory would say that if high heels didn't work, they wouldn't have stayed around so long. Of course, the perspective might be completely different from the other side. Ladies would say they wear high heels to increase their confidence and self-esteem, and hence their elegance and sex appeal increases. Some even go so far as to say that the increase in elegance and sex appeal isn't meant to attract the opposite sex, but just a feel good factor. Doesn't matter from a guy's point of view. We still love what we see!

Weapon ability:
When equipped by a female character, you can immediately discard one on-hand card from a male character when you use a ROLL CALL 点名 against him.

Footnote:
"A women's high heels is an accessory that increases their appeal. Of course, it is also a tool that increases your pain when you relive those memories."

"女生的高跟鞋是增添他们魅力的装饰品。当然也是增加你痛苦回忆的道具。"

Trivia:
I specifically chose to use the word "Stiletto" instead of simply high heels, since the stiletto is a very deadly and silent killing weapon. I feel that it is really fitting for this weapon translation.

Number of cards:
1
(Q ♠)

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Similar SGS Card:
Serpent Halberd 丈八蛇矛

Card description:
It's tough enough simply keeping up with tutorials and just scraping by to graduate. Then there are those repulsive smarties who somehow find the time to do double majors and graduate with double degrees. Don't you just hate those show offs?! Gahh!!!!

Weapon ability:
When equipped, you can use any 2 on-hand cards as ROLL CALL 点名.

Footnote:
"While others are in misery matching their specialization to the job market, you successfully obtain two job offerings using two different specializations."

"当别人苦于就业专业不对口时,你却可以同时胜任两项专业对口的工作。"

Trivia:
Is doing a double degree worth it? Based on personal experience, the answer is it depends on how you define "worth it". From a job hunting perspective, it may not give you any advantage. Some companies consider a double degree a form of poor prioritization and indecisiveness on your part. On the other hand, if your parents want you to do law, while you always wanted to study culinary skills, that sort of double degree can be worth it to you since you satisfy all parties involved.

Number of cards:
1
(5 ♠)

Acoustic Guitar 木吉他 (mù jí tā)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:13 PM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new weapon. It is vaguely similar to Gender Double Swords 雌雄双股剑.

Card description:
This was the EASIEST way to get a girl's attention. Not everyone has a good voice to sing, not everyone can run 100m under 12 seconds, but with a decent amount of effort, any pimply bum-of-a-teenage-male can play the guitar.

Of course, that's when they realize that the really hot girls are just after their wallets, the mildly hot chicks think you're as sexy as Eric Clapton, and only the socially crippled females find you somewhat more charming.

Technically, this card is meant to be gender specific, meaning its a weapon that guys use against gals. But from the bottom of my heart, rock chicks who can play the guitar are simply irresistible! \m/

Weapon ability:
Activated only when equipped by a male character. When you use ROLL CALL 点名 on a female character and she does not respond with PRESENT! 到, you can draw 1 card from the deck.

Footnote:
"Regardless of the era within a university campus, there will always be the scene of a guitar serenading at the ground floor of the female dorm."

"不管是哪个年代的大学校园里,总会上演女生寝室楼下吉它送情的一幕。"

Trivia:
If boys mostly learn to play the guitar to get female's attention, then what is the song that they all have to learn some time or other? No it's not Sweet Child of Mine, Tears in Heaven, or Enter Sandman (Oh God, no!). The song would be More than Words by Extreme. Why? It's very simple... because chicks love that song, and its decently difficult to play so it's has some Wow factor in it.

But if even that doesn't work for you, ask your dad to drive you to school in a BMW 10 series.

Number of cards:
1
(2 ♠)

Heating Coil 热得快 (rè dé kuài)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 4:55 PM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new weapon. It is somewhat similar to Feathered Fan 朱雀羽扇.

Card description:
We don't use this very often in Singapore, but I hear that this is a very common item in China. The heating coil I am familiar with is buried deep inside an electric kettle, and that's it, but the heating coil that this card is referring to is easily portable and you can stick it into a pot of milk or coffee. I wonder if the folks reading this in other countries think i'm an idiot for even having to describe this, but believe me its probably impossible for find a heating element in this form in Singapore. Find out why in the Trivia section.

Weapon ability:
When equipped, you can regard any of your on hand cards as being re-suited.

Footnote:
"This little copper tube that produces both hot water and short-circuits the entire block, truly deserves a love-hate relationship with us."

"这个制造热水同时也是制造全楼停电的小铜管,真的让人又爱又恨。"

Trivia:
In 2008, four female students in a Shanghai university jumped to their deaths while escaping a dorm fire. Investigations reveal that the fire was started by a malfunctioning heating coil. The instances of "power-trips" and "short circuits" are very common when these heating coils are used. This is the reason why something like this would never appear in Singapore, because the authorities are very stringent on safety standards for electrical appliances. I'm not complaining though, since I really don't see how such a heating coil can bring me much more convenience than my regular electric kettle. Ho hum!!

Number of cards:
1
(A ♥)

Friday, April 5, 2013


Similar SGS Card:
Blue Steel Blade 青釭剑

Card description: 
Bearing in mind that this game was created in a country where English is the 3rd most spoken language (1st is common Mandarin, followed by geographical dialects), getting a "Grade 6" certificate in English is something that is done only at the university level.

Think of it as getting taking a Japanese language elective, then finish beginner through to advance courses. You get the idea. Now how this translates into a weapon that allows you to ignore your opponent's defenses requires a stretch of the imagination! See Footnote section below.

Weapon ability:
When equipped, you can ignore your target player's armour when you use ROLL CALL 点名.

Footnote:
"In your undergraduate years, obtaining a good score with your Grade 6 English certificate is enough to allow you to disregard your competitors."

"本科阶段,一张分数理想的六级证书足以让你有底气无视你的对手。"

Trivia:
Bear in mind that the written English of the mainland Chinese could be quite stellar, with grammar more proper than some of us. On the other hand, that very same Chinese might not be able to string together a fluent English statement verbally. This is nowhere more obvious than when you have Chinese classmates who can barely communicate with non-chinese speaking folk, yet can write technical essays that would make your eyes pop. Well, you win a little, you lose a little!

Number of cards:
1
(6 ♠)

Similar SGS Card:
Zhuge Crossbow 诸葛连弩

Card description:
This is a tough one to translate. In my schooling days, i've never needed a bloody certificate for the use of a computer. Apparently this is the case in China if you were an arts major. Getting a computer certificate certifies that... well... you know how to use a goddamned computer.

In terms of game mechanics, they decided to use this to replace the Zhuge Crossbow because the calculator can precisely and accurate replicate a calculation multiple times without error (see Footnote). Otherwise, how is damn piece of paper supposed to help you get the teachers fired?! Hmm...

Weapon ability:
When this weapon is equipped, you can use unlimited number of ROLL CALL点名 calls during your turn.

Footnote:
"Humans will never be able to cyclicly repeat 1 single task without fatigue like a computer. Therefore all that humans need to master is the computer."

"人是永远做不到像计算机一样周而复始地重复一项工作而不衰竭的。所以人要做的只是学好计算机。"

Trivia:
This computer certificate is sort of like a symbol of computer literacy. It's similar to people going for Windows 8 courses to learn how to use it better. But don't get the idea that the Chinese population are computer illiterate though! My mother-in-law is nearing 60 and is your typical Chinese retiree with only secondary education. It's amazing how she very quickly learnt how to use the computer (typing Chinese characters with a QWERTY keyboard, no less!) barely 2 years ago. Now she regularly uses the webcam to chat with other retirees in the neighborhood and also with in a different country!

Number of cards:
2
(A ♦
A ♣)

CHOPE! (Seat-Hogging) 占座 (zhàn zuò)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:58 AM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
ACEDIA 乐不思蜀

Card description:
If there is one Singlish (Singaporean colloquial english) expression that I would like proliferate around the world, it would be "CHOPE!" (pronounced "ch"-"oh"-"p"). It's our way of saying "this seat is reserved", though it has evolved into a uniquely Singaporean phenomenon when used in conjunction with a packet of tissue paper. More on that in the Trivia section!

Now back to Seat-hoggers... I GODDAMN F*CKING HATE SEAT HOGGERS! The whole bloody library is half empty but every seat is occupied with a bag, a textbook, or something else. For all I care, they might as well used a used sanitary pad for hogging those seats because it is just as repugnant!

Card ability: [Time-delay Tool Cards]
Used during your action phase on any player except yourself. Place this card horizontally in that player's area. That player needs to make a judgement during his turn. If the judgement is not , skip that player's action phase.

Footnote:
"The unspoken rule in university life."

"大学生活的“潜规则”"

Trivia:
The CHOPE! phenomenon in Singapore is ridiculed by people around the world because of one thing... packets of tissue paper. If you have never visited Singapore, this might sound like utter rubbish to you, but it's true. When Singaporean's want to reserve a seat at a food court or public eatery, we have a weird habit of placing one packet of tissue paper on the table. It's like a sign that says "this seat is taken". No, the packets of tissue paper do not have our names on it.

It gets stranger still. You might think this phenomenon is common among the elderly, rural, or lowly educated, but it's quite the opposite. The people who use packets of tissue to CHOPE seats are mostly white collar females! It's not uncommon to see an empty table with 5 seats with 5 packets of tissue paper on the table. Those seats are taken alright, and you'd be ruffling lots of feathers if you didn't understand what those packets of tissue mean!

Number of cards:
3
(6 ♥
6 ♣
6 ♠)

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new card ability. It has the opposite effect of RATIONS DEPLETED 兵粮寸断.

Card description:
Well, well, well! What do we have here! By sheer luck you stumble upon a ball of waste paper that happens to be the answer script for the upcoming exams! This is way better than striking the lottery... ok perhaps not. Still, this would put you and your friends way ahead of everyone else, and that is just what this card is all about!

Card ability: [Time-delay Tool Card]
Used during your action phase on any player except yourself. Place this card horizontally in that player's area. That player needs to make a judgement during his turn. If the judgement is ♠ or ♣, that player can draw 2 more cards during his/her drawing phase.

Trivia:
From an educators point of view, letting an answer script get into student's hands is as good as getting yourself fired. You will not believe the amount of checks and counterchecks put in place just to prevent something like that from happening. The paranoia is just suffocating!

Number of cards:
1
(A ♠)

Punishment 处分 (chǔ fèn)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:27 AM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
LIGHTNING 闪电, however the judgement criteria is different.

Card description:
Caught stealing? Public caning for you! Caught upskirting that incredibly hot new female teacher with your camera phone? The headmaster confiscates your phone first THEN public caning for you! Probably the scariest thing to happen in school is public caning, however the disincentive used to also include "public humiliation and embarrassment". Nowadays it is still scary but a disturbing sense of martyrdom is replacing humiliation. Public caning is almost helping the kids gain respect. The world sure is changing!

Card ability: [Time delayed Tool card]
Used during your action phase on yourself. Place this card horizontally in your area. The card takes effect during your next turn.

Players with PUNISHMENT in their area must make a judgement during the judgement phase of their turn.
- If the judgement is a PRESENT! 到 card, that player loses 3 units of attendance.
- If the judgement is any other card, move this card to the next player's area.

Trivia:
There might be a typo in the card ability because it says "需在回合开始前进行判定". This means the judgement for this occurs even before the turn begins (as opposed to after the turn begins and during the judgement phase). The manual seems to indicate otherwise and points to the judgement being made the usual way during the judgement phase (and I have translated it as such).

From a debugging point of view, the manual should be the more dependable version.

Number of cards:
1
(A ♠)

Scholarship 奖学金 (jiǎng xué jīn)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:08 AM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
DRAW2 无中生有

Card description:
A source of pride among the smartie pants, an object of endless bragging on the parents part, and a title of envy for the rest of us. Not everyone is cut out for scholarships, and only the rare few who put in the effort get them in the end. The media loves to make a story of the hardworking kid from a broken and penniless home who worked his slippers off to make the scholarship. Good for them! But we also know of other students who get scholarships without having studied a single second in school... how the heck??

Card ability:
Used during your action phase on yourself and draw 2 cards.

Footnote:
"The re-sitting fee paid by the miserable inferior student pays for the scholarship of the joyful superior student."

"苦闷的差生的补考费就是快活的优生的奖学金。"

Trivia:
There are irritating geniuses out there who needn't study a day and still ace all the exams. They also grab all the scholarships, which inflate their egos further and reinforces their belief that they can ace through life without hardwork. Of course, we all know how the story ends for them...

... they become highly paid ministers of state.

Number of cards:
2
(4 ♥, J ♥)

Romance 恋爱 (liàn ài)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 9:55 AM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new card ability, although it is vaguely similar to Sun Shangxiang 孙尚香's "Marriage 结姻" ability.

Card description:
The BIGGEST event in school life! Whether you are the school belle who has dated over 30 different guys in school, or you are the social-zero who stalks your crush from afar, everyone has had memorable (but preferably forgettable) romances during our school days. It's cool that High School Sha put this card in the game since the high school experience would be incomplete without some BGR!

Card ability:
Used during your action phase on any player.

If that player has X units of attendance more than you, you regain 1 unit of attendance and that player draws X cards.

If that player has X units of attendance less than you, that player regains 1 units of attendance and you draw X cards.

Footnote:
(English) "Before graduation, what's mine is yours, what's yours is mine. After graduation, I am no longer yours, and you are no longer mine."

(Singlish) "Haven't graduate that time, my one is your one, your one is my one. Graduate liao, I'm not your one, and you are not my one."

"没毕业,我的是你的,你的是我的;毕业了,我不是你的,你不是我的。"

Trivia:
One detail is missing from the mechanics of this card, and I wonder if this was intentional on the game-makers part. Did you notice that this card has no gender restriction? Perhaps they are subtly hinting at the growing prevalence of homosexualism in Chinese culture.

Number of cards:
2
(A ♥
A ♣)

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. However this ability is similar to Da Qiao 大乔's "Displacement 流离" ability.

Card description:
Aah... the old "Bros before Hoes" ethic that lasts only as long as her clothes stay on. Men, we've been there before. On one hand cursing your childhood buddy for skipping your weekly SanGuoSha session to take his new girlfriend shopping for knitting material. On the other hand proclaiming how little your bros understand your situation when your Jennifer Aniston-lookalike girlfriend wants you to stay home and make love all day to her.

Ok so maybe not all of us have been in that latter situation... darn it!

Regardless, it's always nice to have a bunch of bros who will cover your back no matter what, and that's what this card is all about...

... right up till the point where they are screwing your gal behind your back that is.

Card ability:
When you become the target of ROLL CALL 点名, play this card and choose 1 player within your attacking distance (except yourself and the player who used ROLL CALL). This chosen player will become the new target of the ROLL CALL card.

Footnote:
"The buddy who shared his cigarettes with me. The nostalgic past that brought me happiness."

"分给我烟抽的兄弟,分给我快乐的往昔。"

Trivia:
It's odd being an objective 3rd party to this "Bros before Hoes" phenomena after we have grown up some. On one hand, we'd love to tell the younger kids how having close buddies are a wonderful and important part of growing up. Yet we also know that the inevitable fallout would occur once either party starts dating girls. It would probably take a couple of bad experiences before a proper balance is found, and based on some recent news articles about old men stabbing each other over their lovers, some people never find that balance altogether!

Number of cards:
2
(Q ♣, K ♣)

Exam Tips 划重点 (huà zhòng diǎn)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 9:13 AM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
PEACH GARDEN 桃园结义

Card description:
The most "useful" lecture of the entire semester is usually that very last lecture before the self-study break. That's when lecturers will pretty much do a summary of the entire module and, whether on purpose or by accident, the lecturer drops hints as to what might appear in the exams. It is also during these last lectures that many students come out of hibernation and you suddenly realize the module cohort is three times as large as compared to the usual lecture attendance!

Of course, not every lecturer is so benign. I have heard of lecturers who so despise students who rely on "tips" that they drop incorrect tips on purpose. So how do the good students escape this malicious trap? It turns out that the lecturer has mentioned over and over during his routine lecture sessions that they should not trust his tips!

Card ability:
Used during you action phase, all players regain 1 unit of attendance.

Footnote:
"There is a type of examinable boundary known as "the entire textbook", there is another type known as "everything I've mentioned before are important for the exams".

"有一种范围叫“整本书都考”,有一种重点叫“我讲过的都是重点”。

Trivia:
Being an educator by profession puts me in an interesting perspective in terms of examinations. For one thing, the school REALLY wants the students to pass. Some times we as educators cringe at the very low standards of exam questions the school is forcing us to set, yet they are adamant that we must be considerate to those who really can't understand the syllabus.

In simple English, it means even if you don't understand, you don't come to class, you don't deserve to pass, but the school still WANTS you to pass, and makes life difficult for the teachers if we set exam questions anything harder than is insulting to your intelligence. And we wonder why the standards of education is dropping year after year?

Number of cards:
2
(4 ♦,
A ♥)

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Similar SGS Card:
NEGATE 无懈可击

Card description:
Just the very thought of such people is enough to infuriate! He robbed you of you iPhone in brought daylight, slapped the teacher in front of her students, and pee-ed on the principal's car. He knows no fear, simply because he's got his back covered.

Nobody dares to mess with him, not even the principal, because his dad has the power to make things very difficult for the school, even shut it down!

Card ability:
Before a tool card takes effect, negate the effects of the tool card on one player.

Footnote:
(English) "If you've got the balls, go tell on me. My dad's the bureau chief!"

(Singlish) "Ler wu ji, ler complain lah! Wa lao bei si tao eh!"

"有本事你告我去,我爸是局长!"

Trivia:
This card is a comical twist on a real-life tragedy that occurred in Hebei, China, in October 2010. Li Qiming drove his car through Hebei University campus and ran down 2 students, ultimately killing one of them. Not only did he not stop his car, he proceeded straight to the female dorm to drop off his girlfriend. When stopped by security, he proclaimed "Go ahead, sue me if you dare. My dad is Li Gang!" (我爸是李刚!)

This incident sparked such fury that the news spread like wild fire. Even thousands of miles away in Singapore, this incident received media attention in the daily news. Ever since then, the statement "My dad is Li Gang" became a joke of sorts. To give you an idea of how prevalent this statement is, the predictive text for typing Chinese characters W,B,S,L,G produces 我爸是李刚 as the top predicted text.

Read more about the Li Gang incident here on Wikipedia.

Number of cards:
3
(Q ♣, K ♣
J ♠)

Similar SGS Card:
BARBARIANS 南蛮入侵

Card description:
Clean up the campus! Put up the welcome banners! Rehearse your welcoming drills again and again... and again... and again! Someone very important is coming, and the school's highest management wants to give that VIP a gleaming impression that everything is under control... which is, of course, utter bullshit.

It is exactly because there has been little control that the management is taking extreme measures to enforce discipline. Roll calls every single day!

Card ability:
Used during your action phase on every player except yourself, every player must play a ROLL CARD 点名 card or lose 1 unit of attendance.

Footnote:
(English) "When a minister comes to visit, even the most benevolent teacher would vie against each other to do roll calls."

(Singlish) "When minister come and walk walk that time, even the gam cheng teachers also need to wayang wayang."

"当领导视察的时候,再仁慈的老师也都会争先恐后地进行点名。"

Trivia:
I've never experienced any governmental minister come visit during my school days. Ironically, we did have a Hong Kong heavenly star, Leon Lai, come visit us one day, which pretty much turned the whole school upside down. No, we didn't need to do spring cleaning in preparation for Leon Lai.

Things were completely different while i was serving in the army. High level visits were rather common, and the tight measures taken to ensure we give the best impression was simply retarded. I remember using a jacknife to scrape the yellow stains from the urinal... yes it was THAT insane. Did the VIP get anywhere near the damn urinal? Of course not! Not even 100m close! pfft!!!

Number of cards:
3
(7 ♣
7 ♠, K ♠)

Thief 小偷小摸 (xiǎo toū xiǎo mō)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 9:49 AM No comments

Similar SGS Card:
STEAL 顺手牵羊

Card description:
Probably one of the most common exclamations you will hear in class after "That lecturer sucks!" is probably "Who took my ________ !" Fill in the blank with an item that you've probably had stolen, or as some would say "grew legs and took a hike". Pencils, rulers, water bottles, iPhones, underwear, sanitory pads, lunch sandwiches... you name it, someone would probably steal it. Goddamned desperados!

Card ability:
Used during your action phase on a player within physical distance 1, other than yourself. Acquire 1 card from your target player.

Footnote:
"Despite keeping an eye out all day and all night, its hard to prevent an insider theft"

"日防夜防,"家" 贼难防"

Trivia:
My female friend used to get her bra and undies stolen while she was staying in hostel, and she always said "You men would never understand what it feels like when ladies get their undies stolen". Well, i disagree. If someone were to steal my underwear, I understand exactly how that feels... i'd laugh myself to death!!

Number of cards:
4
(3 ♦,
3 ♠,3 ♠,  4 ♠)

Tattle-Tale 检举 (jiǎn jǔ)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 9:23 AM No comments

Similar SGS card:
DUEL 决斗

Card description:
Don't you just HATE that little snitch? So what if I was smoking in the toilet? So what if I spread wasabi all over your lipstick? How the heck is that your goddamned business?

So you want to go tattle-tale on me, huh? Then you ought to be prepared for the consequences! You, me, outside, right now!

Card ability:
Used during your action phase on any player other than yourself. Starting from your target player, take turns to play ROLL CALL 点名 cards until one of you no longer does so, and that player loses 1 unit of attendance.

Footnote:
Nil.

Trivia:
I know it's all part of fitting into the mechanism of SGS, but the consequences of this tattle-tale confrontation is... being marked absent?? What an anti-climax! Or perhaps they mean to say the loser gets beaten up so bad he stays home sobbing away and misses class.

Number of cards:
2
(Q ♥, 
Q ♦)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Similar SGS Card:
DISMANTLE 过河拆桥

Card description:
"SPOT CHECK! What's that magazine you got there?! Aha!!!! Playboy Magazine!! Don't you know this isn't allowed? I'm confiscating this!" Then he sniggers away and heads directly to the washroom with a packet of tissue. Be prepared for your favorite belongings to be taken from you forcefully!

Card ability:
Used during your action phase on any player except yourself. Discard 1 card from your target player.

Footnote:
"Sometimes, the inspector would silently walk into your dorm room, grab your cooking pan, then gently leave after locking back your door."

"查寝的人有事会一声不响的走进来,拿走你的锅,还轻轻带上们在离开。"

Trivia:
Have I ever got my dorm room inspected suddenly? Yup! But that was really weird. No doubt I did sneak in a few *ahem* people into my room, they leave bright and early so I had never got caught before (in fact rarely does anyone get caught). But this one inspection kind of freaked me out. The inspector came knocking at my door at 9am, asking me if a had seen my roommate. I haven't actually seen him in our room for over a month by then, and I told them so. Next thing they told me was that if my roomie does come back, call the cops on him!!

Like... whaaa???

Apparently he missed out on module selection completely, took no modules for the entire semester, got himself expelled from the university and he's suspected to be working illegally (he's a foreigner) on his student visa. Within 5 minutes, they changed the lock on my door, then they were gone.

Did i ever see my roomie again? No. But his belongings did mysteriously disappear one night. What happened to him, i never found out. But hey, i guess he didn't play his cards right that time.

Number of cards:
6
(3 ♣, 4 ♣, 4 ♣
3 ♠ 4 ♠, 4 ♠)

Similar SGS Card:
HARVEST 五谷丰登

Card description:
Pick and choose the modules you want to take. It's as simple as that! The "pick and choose" mechanism is probably why this card is chosen to replace the old "HARVEST" card in SGS. But game mechanisms aside, the module selection process brings back tons of bad memories! Read about it in the Trivia section.

Card ability:
Used during your action phase. Display as many cards from the deck as there are remaining players, faced up. Beginning from you, every player picks one of the displayed cards and keeps it into his/her hand.

Footnote:
(English) "Module selection is a major battle that an undergraduate student will fight every half a year. The results directly affect your truancy rate and module failure rate."

(Singlish) "Module selection is sibeh important ok? It will affect how often you pontang and whether you da bao the module. Don't pray pray!"

"选课是大学生半年一次的大战,其结果直接影响下学期的逃课率和挂科率。"

Trivia:
Module selection period was probably one of the TOUGHEST periods during my studying time. No, i'm not referring to exams or tests, but the very fact that we had to go into a mental state of war to shove our way through the system and fight for that slot in the module was just insanely difficult. It was complete chaos!! Hundreds (if not thousands) of students in that year will need to logon to the system at the very second it is available and click away! The surge in traffic alone used to cripple the system within seconds and the damn page would just hang for the next 5 minutes. When it finally refreshes... all the slots are gone. F*CK!! I wonder if they still use the same stupid system today...

Number of cards:
2
(3 ♥, 4 ♥)

Similar SGS Card:
RAINING ARROWS 万箭齐发

Card description:
This card sounds a little odd to me, because the roll calls i'm used to always involve the entire class' name list anyways. The literal translation of this card is "Roll call for the whole class", which is pretty redundant if you ask me. Oh well, since they are putting this in for game mechanisms sake, let's just play along.

Card ability:
Used during your action phase. Everyone, except you, needs to play a PRESENT! 到 card or lose 1 unit of attendance.

Footnote:
(English) "When you meet a crazy teacher, you're gonna have to be mentally prepared for mass roll calls for every lesson."

(Singlish) "When your teacher sibeh siao on, you better get ready every lesson confirm tio mass roll call"

"但你遇到一个变态老师时,你就要做好他堂堂课全班点名的准备"

Number of cards:
1
(A ♥)

Similar SGS Card:
Nil. This is a new card ability.

Card description:
Your dad is a good-for-nothing drunkard and your mum is needs to stay home to take care of your 4 younger siblings. You don't have a choice!! Between books and survival for your family, the choice is obvious... albeit painful!

Skipping class to go to work shouldn't be encouraged, but it's a sad reality for some. The consequences are poor attendance and, ultimately, poor grades. But hey, grades in school don't determine our grades in life! Here's a salute to all those who have needed to put work first before studying. Our hearts are behind you!!

Card ability:
During the action phase, use on yourself and reduce your attendance by 1 unit, then flip over a judgement card. If the judgement is ♥ or ♦,draw 4 cards.

Footnote:
(English) "To work while schooling, you need to make a choice between education vs livelihood. If you juggle these two poorly, you walk away with neither."

(Singlish) "You want to zo gang while you tak chei, you better balance the 2 properly. If not gei goh simi mah boh."

"上学打工你必须面临学习和生计的取舍,拿捏不当则两空。"

Trivia:
In my full-time work, I teach in an institution where students are aged between 16 to 22, and I am quite disturbed by the number of students who need to work to support their families. I grew up in a middle income family where I never needed to contribute to household income throughout my studying years, so it's terribly difficult to put myself in their shoes and see things from their perspective. It's like a wake-up call for me! There are many families in Singapore in financially dire straits, and i feel i can only do my best to push these students when they DO come to class.

Number of cards:
2
(7 ♥, 8 ♥)

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