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Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Independent UK games designer, self-confessed Agricola-holic and Carl Chudyk fan-boy. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

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I got a job making money for the man throwing chicken in the bucket with the soda pop can

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Sometimes you just can't fight the overwhelming urge to jump right in, feet first, and see what happens. Since Monday's introduction to the beautifully-punishing, as-smooth-as-Fred-Astaire Food Chain Magnate, I've been thinking about it...and thinking about it...and thinking about it some more. I'd made a mental note that Food Chain Magnate was going to be a Jobbers-breaker and that we should only play it in the safety of a Wednesday night at his place - ie. when we all understood it would be pretty much the only game of the night - rather than bogging down the friendlier, lighter Friday night Ross-on-Wye crowd BUT...when I peeked in to the games for the night bag and saw some fillers, a couple of prototypes and a Rococo promo I've been carrying around for Norm since Christmas (will he EVER return?), I said "Far Kit!" and pulled FCM from the shelf and stuffed it in. Before I could change my mind, I kissed la famille au revoir and got on my way.

Having it 'with' was only the first step to success, however, as I needed to find enough people to join me without destroying the possibility of a second table. Luckily, very (very) occasional attendee Gary plopped himself down with Boffo and Smudge while the bouncy duo of Harry and Suzanna completed the set. Jobbers was up for FCM like a shot - he was worrying at the box like an in-season Terrier - but the Batesons were a little more reticent and with Gary 'out of practice' it was deemed better for them to keep him company. They would have a packed evening, as it turned out, while we would settle for 3 hours of delicious Splotter Spellen pain: it hurts SO GOOD!


Ready to start!

Unlike Monday, my copy of FCM was still unpunched so there followed a good 20 minutes of de-sprewing and card pile sorting; already feeling a little daunted at playing again, I also ran through the rules as I remembered them. Figuring in for a penny, I included Milestones too - none of this 'Introductory Game' crap, folks; time to get exceedingly jiggy with it!


Going!


It's not a complicated game, it's just difficult and - as expected - the start was tentative: H and S decided to beef up their middle management capability and trainers, while Jobbers and I warmed up the hotplates to prototype some pizza recipes. Within a couple of rounds we were all smiling contentedly at our personal collections of varied Milestones; I was particular pleased at my Freezer and my Eternal Marketing.

Jobbers got in to burgers to compete with a burger-obsessed Harry and the latter's friendly Business Manager cultivated (pun intended!) a lucrative series of gardening projects to help pump up the income. Suze, rattling about the suburbs on her drinks-laden Carts, decided that EVERYONE needed to know about her bubbly waters and built an aeroplane (see below); this, of course, diversified the requirements of the residents for which Harry and Jobbers were both late to the party...frantically scrabbling about to recruit errand boys but it was too little, too late. Suzanna's luxury artisan beverages and some cheap meat 'n carbs earned her a fine fortune in the final rounds while I fulfilled (or should that be 'filled full') the customers that she couldn't!


These folks have eaten so much food in the game that they can no longer
fit back in their houses and must now reside, permanently, in their gardens!



CocaEbola gives you wings! And stomach ulcers.


The Batesons and Gary were finishing another (they played a few) Glass Road, with Concordia avec Salsa already under their wings, as we bled the Bank a second time and totted up the final scores:
Suze 306 (a smooth glide to victory aided by being the only one in liquids for most of it)
John 248 (high churn, beaten off by expanding customer demands)
Anthony 216 (better than Monday and only one serving off Jobbers!)
Harry 141 (lots of Corporate activity that ground somewhat to a halt)

Universally hailed as a big success, FCM will be back again at The White Lion; I'm extremely pleased to have taken that last minute packing gamble after all!


A bijou satirical swipe: gain an Employee of the Month token when you use the University
Graduate. On receipt of the second, s/he promotes to a Junior VP immediately.
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Today 11:20 am
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Waxing Larrycal (All Presents & Correct)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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As I pulled out of the Car Park at the Llandudno Junction offices and up to the Jn 19 roundabout, I was presented with a navigational quandry:
- do I take exit 1 to follow the A55?
- do I take exit 2 to Llanrwst, Betys-y-coed and (eventually) Llangollen? or
- do I take exit 3 through the Conwy tunnel and South to Llanberis/up the side of Snowdon?

All three routes converge at Oswestry but they each give a very different flavour of journey. In the end I took the first exit because I wanted to be able to stop in Leominster for a thrift shop browse and a coffee; this is the only route that won't end up taking me 5 hours and distract me with railways, stoneworks, castles and/or other archaeological curiosities!

The A55 route is tediously bland BUT provides a couple of miniature chuckles along the way:
- the previously-mentioned vehicle recovery garage with the huge A55 Repairs sign (!), and
- the offices of Crime Prevention Services where someone has stolen the C and the R from their enormous frontage (!!).

The weather was unremarkable, the visibility fine, a new bag of Wine Gums was open at my side and the iPhone was loaded up with podcasts: I was happy as a Pig in Shit as the Touran chewed up the be-tarmac-ed miles (or 8/5 KMs for you metric types). Eventually, time having passed in a giggling fruit-flavoured fug, I was striding through Leominster with a coconut latte and a shopping bag full of vinyl:


A couple of the grooved, and groovy, treats: the soundtrack to a rather good
Disney sci-fi movie and a sampler compilation of early 70s navel gazers.


At Casa Antonio, the rewards of a recent shed purge were waiting: the sale of stuff I don't want anymore covering the purchase of stuff that I must have at all costs!


I loved the books...



...now there's more background...



...and I love that there's a full-blown Errata section PROPERLY-PRINTED in one of the source books!


Finally, to add a measure of cold-blooded reality to my homecoming, the cat left me a little present by the car port:


If only I could get her to catch that Bastard Mole!*


*Bastard Mole - Yes...I am noodling about with a quick card game around this very subject (thanks for prompt, pdrseuss!). I'm thinking of a memory game where failure to find the mole amongst the molehills adds more molehills to the tableau. Or something.
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Fri Feb 5, 2016 9:34 am
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Work, Prestatyn and Play

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Quote:
Reader: Ah! My handy subscription indicator has flipped up 1 more red numeral and it's a Tony numeral! (muttering under his/her breath) I hope it's not a session report; I bloody hate the session reports.

(clicks on Next)

Reader: Oh shitbags, it's a session report! (aware that his/her internal monologue is audible) Er...yes! I meant to say: "Huzzah! A session report!"

(scrolls down; is skim-reading for rude words)

Reader: (disappointed) No sign of a 'cock-juggler', 'fucknozzle' or 'thundercunt' today; it must've been a quiet night...



A Castle, by Twilight.


Three fifths of the way through the working week and my final course was delivered in record time; time enough, indeed, to scoot back to the B&B for a costume change and a charge of the seriously-depleted iPhone before a scenic evening bimble along the coast - 20 miles or so - to Prestatyn and the Prometheans@Archies Bar.


A Burger, by Barlight.


Everything is pleasant enough at Archie's: the food is nice, the staff polite and cheerful but the lighting is awful - odd choice, then, for a board gamer evening venue? Needs must when your previous venue behave like massive pricks, however, so Prometheans' head-honcho Paul improvised and got himself some bendy, high-power lamps and an extension cable. This entrepreneurial D.I.Y was curiously apposite as Louis cracked open a minty-fresh KS copy of Spaceteam to warm us all up: a game for 3-8 about a failing spaceship that the players need to repair in a limited time-frame (think of a co-operative version of Pit set 'in the future'):


Spaceteam, by Lamplight.


In Summary: Each player has a random deck of malfunction cards and a hand of tool cards; the tools have amusing names like 'Throbbing Ballcock' and 'Greased Vibradriver' and a simplistic, colourful illustration. The malfunctions depict two or more tool icons or a tool name(s) that the player needs to have 'in hand' to 'fix'. Also in your deck may lie one or more randomly-seeded 'ship part' cards; when these are 'out' and 'together', they make up an image of a spaceship. The players have 5 minutes to mill through their deck of malfunctions, reveal any ship parts and complete the ship between them. Of course, the noisy bit is provided by the mechanism for GETTING the tools you need in hand: you shout. If you know the name of a tool from it's picture then call for it, otherwise describe what the image looks like ("an acorn house!", "a ribbed, pink dildo!", "a question mark with a trumpet in it's back!" and so on); if someone else has that tool (which they will) then it has to be passed from player-to-player around the table. Simple. Ooooooonly there are also 'anomalies' - these are *ahem* "hilarious" forfeits that must be performed before the player(s) can continue eg. they "cannot use their thumbs for the rest of the game", "everyone must move to a different seat", "pass your tools hand to the left" etc.

You get the idea. It's noisy, stupid, frustrating and a lot of fun! We lost game one and proceeded, immediately, to lose game two and - without shame - to lose a third before accepting the inevitable and breaking up for something with more heft (and less bellowing).


Agricola, by the light...of the silvery moon (etc)


I suggested 'it', Paul brought 'it' and he, me, Jeremy and Hev (short for Heather) played it. Suffice it to say that my almost 10 year affair with this orneriest (and horniest) of games put me in a different league and - despite offering sage pointers in the first third - it was no surprise to find me WELL ahead in the final tot-up. The others may have dragged on the points but each had interesting combo-foibles to their farms: Paul had a free Occ-playing engine triggered by other people playing Occs, Hev survived a begging card misplay to build up a VERY farmy-looking farm and Jeremy went crazy-ape-shit-and-bonkers with his plough, carved up most of his board and filling the lot with grain!


Sail to India, by Flashlight.


We closed with Sail to India, the AEG version, which is pretty and everything; Lee went ahead and explored (which gave him the edge), I founded lots of Churches (second place), Louis pursued big sails, sales and Strongholds while Jeremy paid (too) dearly for Tech. A neat, chewy filler that rounded the evening off a treat.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'll set this to auto-publish tomorrow (today) at GMT07:11AM. Goodnight. Sweet Dreams. God Bless. See you in the morning. I hope the bedbugs don't bite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
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Thu Feb 4, 2016 7:15 am
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More Joy of Hex

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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You all seem to like these, so here's a few more:

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Wed Feb 3, 2016 6:45 am
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I ain't gonna work for no soul-suckin' jerk!

Anthony Boydell
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I'm back in the windy wilds of North Wales for a week of training delivery and, naturally, the first thing I did after confirming the hotel booking was check to see if the game clubs are on AND if someone could teach me to play Food Chain Magnate. Let's not beat about the bush here, folks: Food Chain Magnate is a total bastard! Admittedly it is a beautifully-presented, superbly-streamlined, elegantly-interconnected, wholly-interactive bastard...but it's still a bastard nonetheless.


We're about to begin. I am feeling incredibly trepidatious. I have been warned about this...


In summary: You start with an action card (a CEO) that will get you a second action card (a member of Staff) which you can't use until next turn. You can choose from a number of basic level Staff types, some of which are leaf-nodes with no further development potential while others offer a varied and tempting technology tree.

The staff have distinct functions within the world of Fast Food and, as each round progresses, you're seeding your company structure with food producers (albeit still trainees), marketing and pricing peeps, newly-graduated executive material, waitresses (who can be profitable tip earners!) and other sundry bits and bobs. Marketing people generate demand for products in the Town which your kitchen staff may fulfil...or you may end up generating suburban hunger and see the benefits - ie. the CASH - flow in to your rivals' pockets. Get used to that; it happens a lot.

Thus the quickfire rounds flow: assign staff who will work this time and which staff are 'on the beach' (or being trained: progressing up that Tech tree!), 'run' the people (perform their actions), satisfy the unhealthy dietary demands of the neighborhood and then pay out for the high flyers.

To add an element of 'unfair!', there are also some milestone goals that can be achieved and gift bonuses to the one-or-more players who match them eg. "first to produce a burger" gives you extra revenue on burgers you sell for the rest of the game; "first to market a product" gets eternal marketing for the rest of the game; "first to have one or more goods perish" (which they all do, at the end of the round) gets a Freezer so they can keep 10 goods between rounds when the other players CAN'T etc.



Talk about 'targeted advertising'! It's a wonder any light gets in with all those looming billboards!


Three of the five of us had played before: Aaron (his copy), Dean and Tim; myself and the effervescent Carla being in our first blush, listened patiently to the short - but fulsome - explanation from Aaron.

It starts all nice-and-easy with short rounds and simple recruiting decisions...EXCEPT IT BLOODY DOESN'T! The old lags were off-and-running with Management Trainees and Trainers while us noobs assumed a game about fast food was more suited to prioritising cooks and marketing. Within 15 minutes, everyone's tableau was different and - yet - A, D & T seemed to be fair sprinting in to the upper boughs of the tech tree whilst Carla and I were fart-arsing about by the roots pasting up adverts. I had that sinking feeling: the one where you think the tiny decision in round 2 - to get a waitress instead of training up your Burger Flipper - was going to come back and violate you later. However, it would be DAFT to concentrate on such an trivial decision when pretty much EVERY decision you make is going to bitch-slap you in to submission at some point: I loved it!


An hour or so in and there's one HECK of a lot of things going on!


It's a devious fecker of a game too, oh yes. If you think you'll sit down at the beginning and follow 'The Radio Advert' strategy or 'The Open a Lot of Branches' strategy or 'The Gardens and Beer' strategy then think again; as Aaron rightly pointed out, this is a game about adapting! It's about switching demands and, if you're cruel enough, it's about cutting your own throat (price-wise) to cut everyone else's more! The first time I saw someone steal my guaranteed pizza-burger-beer order by undercutting on price (despite being way off up town) was the last bloody time I was going to let it happen: more attention duly paid to turn order and who was recruiting what. I was still loving it!


Late game I've eschewed the 'carbs' in favour of 'the carbonated'


Aaron began turning the screw around 100 minutes in with a radio broadcast campaign that transformed to environs in to a beer-swigging mob...one that he was on hand (as was I) to satisfy. Somewhere along the line young Tim found himself boxed out of every sale and stopped generating any money: no income = losing your trained staff = little to be done = out of the game.


Tim? He will be remembered.


The rest of us danced a more focused dance as the second 'Bank' began draining away; all of us earning regularly - to wildly-varying degrees - but earning nonetheless. By 21.20, about 2.5 hours after we'd started, the five player (now a four player: In nomine patre etc) came to an exhausted close:

Aaron - 373
Dean - 301
Anthony - 208
Carla - 133
Tim - requiescat in pace

I'll say it again: Food Chain Magnate is a total bastard. A beautifully-presented, superbly-streamlined, elegantly-interconnected, wholly-interactive bastard...and, consequently, a tremendous amount of fun!

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Tue Feb 2, 2016 6:50 am
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Alt dot Games

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Inspired by the superb Scarfolk concept (see here: http://www.scarfolk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/1970s-games-vario...),
I thought I'd have a go at re-doing some games in a similar fashion:







Please add yours below.
(negative points shall be awarded to Scandaroon jibes)
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Mon Feb 1, 2016 6:40 am
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Ox Tales

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Today (Saturday), the Planets aligned to form a happy conjunction of a) me wanting to go and play board games at the weekend and b) Mrs B happy to let me go. Now, please don't read this the wrong way because Mrs B is no ogre and (a) is not quite as clear cut as it seems!

I _love_ playing board games (obvs) BUT anything outside of routine 'evenings' ie. something during - and lasting - the actual DAY is very difficult. I suffer a mild form of separation anxiety which means the moment I'm actually 'away', I start feeling like I should be getting home again - a sort of flight reflex! Back in the days of playing Magic: The Gathering, I'd often bim-bim-bim up the motorway to some GP or PT or Nats qualifier with great excitement only to find that a couple of (usually unsuccessful) rounds in I was hankering to get back on the motorbike...and in cases that's what I did: home for tea and crumpets.

The bigger shows don't offer the same tummy-wobbling perturbation because it's completely-and-totally like being at work: meetings, demos and sales etc! At Spiel or at the Expo I'm in SSG employee mode...so I survive (unless, of course, it's 2007 and Scandaroon is stinking up the stand like a dumped corpse and I just want to curl up and die in the comfort of my own living room). Anyway, I don't want to harp on about this because today - with my approved Pass to go to OxCon - it was nowhere near as bad because I had some very good friends to keep me company.

A trouble-free trundle up on to the old A40 and along a still-familiar route (it's been nearly 3 years since my London-working days!), the fan in the VW Touran's engine had barely rattled to a halt before I was taking my place on the Park-and-Ride bus in to the town centre. Remembering to bring my woolly hat, it was a five minute walk to The Mitre; passing the 'Covered Market' on the way, I made a mental note to pop in lunchtime for an all-day breakfast (cafés in Brit 'market halls' always do a great fry-up) and maybe a browse of some secondhand books.

Upstairs at the Pub was already buzzing with the early gaming birds, two of which were pleasingly-familiar; my trepidation immediately dispelled, I joined Messrs Stuart and William Burnham (see that other blog) at their sun-drenched table where they were stuck well in to a game of Oh My Goods!. Having a copy of this in the original first (better named) edition, I was keen to learn how this played and (un)helpfully broke up the flow of the second half of the game by constantly asking questions. It looks good, though.

As a consolation prize for Billikins, losing to his papa by just three points, I presented him with a copy of Bad Grandmas; some might regard this as simply adding insult to injury, but I...we...have been led to believe (via the medium of his Father's jottings) that Billbill enjoys getting stuck in: "a Bond villain of gaming" quoth an unknown source. An early paternal lead was quickly overhauled by Bill-dog, who hoovered up cookies like a truffling hog. Pater suitably crushed, something more substantial - and involving me - was required and I left them to choose summat from my Bag For Life while I nipped off for a comfort break.

I'd packed Paperclip Railways because I'm quietly very pleased with it and felt like giving it an airing: it's not complicated, it would provide young Ill-with-a-Bee with some great screw-age opportunities and it looks so damn fine on the table when it's all finished:


All that pink in the bottom left is mine...and they (almost ALL) score off pink stations


In summary: Cards in hand are either stations for 'building to' (instant benefits, game-end bonuses) or currency for buying paperclips when 'building to'. Spread yourself over the playing area, cross tracks (and be crossed) and rack up the points while doing so.

I concentrated on Suburban stations and bonuses that cared solely about them; this meant in-game scoring was barely a trickle - compared to Bilko and Stu - but I managed 50+ points in final scoring to overtake them both for a rare PCR win. Inevitably, Burnham Jr drew-and-played the Abandoned Mine: a station that drops any one Industrial station down a sinkhole (removing it completely from play) - naturally, he chose one of his Dad's in an attempt to cut him off completely (a fate that, if not spotted early, can well-shaft the unwary clipper!). We were joined, during the final 25% of our stationery shenanigans, by the Batesons (Ben and Becky)...though I feared for young Boffo's welfare as he had dragged a game-bag of coffin-sized proportions through the streets and was wheezing like a blacksmith's bellows, leaning on the table and clutching his be-stitched sides.

Boffo, quickly-recovered, honoured his promise to teach the Burnhams Troyes leaving me, Smudge and a newly-appeared Robin (an old gaming pal from the London-on-Board days) to get stuck in - at the request of both - to Snowdonia: Trans-Australian Railway & The Daffodil Line! How utterly delightful to play with a full compliment of experts and we whisked through droughts, floods and various rail gauges in about an hour. Despite just the one fulfilled contract, I had accrued enough high-value station spaces to pip Robin by a handful of points and end the game the obligatory one round too early when both of their nefarious plans would've netted many, MANY points. 'Bwa' and, indeed, 'ha-ha-ha'.

It was now lunchtime and I kept that promise to myself to seek out a plate of 'full English' goodness in the Covered Market; shoveling bangers, black pudding, bacon, beans, fried egg, toast and mushrooms in my face, I stared out of the window and watched the Saturday shopping world scurry by.


-burp-


'Reinvigorated', it was the perfect time for Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King with Ben, Becky and Robin (Will and Stuart were off for food themselves). As per, I managed to build myself a splendid landscape of point-devouring Scottishness:


Lots of stuff to really take advantage of those scoring tiles...and a delightful 'ring road' in to the bargain!


Terry, friend of Stuart and B-to-the-eye-to-the-double-ell, cheerily bounced in to the room and - with just about an hour left on my Pass - it was totally-and-absolutely time for Glory to Rome.



We needed to bring the youngster up to speed but we were soon away. I struggled to get a first building built after foolishly filling up my clientele with non-Craftsmen but managed to set up an Aquaduct and a possible Forum insta-win - this explains my miserable 17 point last place and I'm sticking to that excuse! The boy B came a creditable joint 2nd with his Pa on 27 but Terry's merciless vaulting carried him to a comfortable victory. No matter; I still love it.

It was now 4PM and time for Uncle Tony to get his pumpkin back to Newent. Game convention farewells are brief, hearty-but-distracted affairs because everyone's already unpacking the next thing; I said my goodbyes accompanied by the rustling of ziplocs, the clatter of chits and the hubbub of mumbled setup instructions. As much as I wanted to stay and play in to the evening, the invisible umbilical was a-tugging once more.

What a silly, sentimental old sausage I am.
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Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:30 am
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I can't think of a witty title. Sorry.

Anthony Boydell
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It was a particularly-hectic Friday chez Boydell: getting Arthur to school, signing for (and then storing) 300 copies of German language Snowdonia in to the newly-cleaned Office Shed, sorting out two crises at work (lots of fuss-and-bluster about not-so-very-much), posting a bunch o' promos to FB peeps, making it to Cinderford for my annual dental appointment, making it back in time to fetch Arthur from school, getting the chip supper, taking Fred in to Gloucester for his Friday evening social and then - only then! - packing up some bits for the Ross-on-Wye boardgamers. *phew* I'm exhausted just reading that back!

There was a mild drama on the main road when two dick-swinging Audi/BMW drivers decided to race the other to the turn towards Ledbury and ended up breaking eachothers' vehicular noses. If it wasn't for the stupid, school-run traffic jams that clogged as a result, I'd have wound the window down and laughed my arse of at the twats. Not a good example for young Arty, sat in the back, though.

An early-bird Dan, Byll, Boffo, Benedict and myself were to be everyone for Friday 29th and we sat in oddly-stilted conversation giving 'it another five minutes'; an off-the-ale-tonight Boffo sat in aloof silence at one end of the table - he interjected a criticism at my lack of Oxfordian geography and resumed his coke-sipping.

Knizia's Too Many Cooks was put forward as a pleasantly-evil starter* by Dan...


...only for him to fall victim to the Soup curse (which is, basically, everyone else stitching you up...not really a curse, as such, just more of the way it should be played). Boffo was just the single point ahead of me going in to the final round and - for the first time in, like, FOREVER - I wasn't stuck with 'No Soup' as my goal! It couldn't last, however, and Benedict's generous plumping of piles to 'within Boffonian range' (and a mean twice-round-the-table Pea gatherer from the wheezy one himself) put him comfortably in to the mid-20s.

A brief dance for the main course ensued and the unresolvable dispute between Agricola and The Princes of Florence brought in Chicago Express on the tie-break. Boffo, desperate to avoid CE at any cost (even though it was in HIS bag), turn-coated for Agricola and nothing further needed saying.



It was an odd game, all told: Dan and myself forging ahead in a traditional manner (family growth, farm building, a selection of mild scoring cards); Boffo seemingly lost within a Perpetual Student occ-playing frenzy; Byll sailing terribly close to Begging Card territory and Benedict just 'doing the oddest things'. For the latter, the farm board remained resolutely empty apart from a sturdy stone house but 24 bonus points on cards brought him up to a highly-respectable score (of 24, natch). Inevitably, though, it was always the D-B-T show and I pleasingly (satisfyingly) pipped the Temperance Society model of Boffo by the most singular of points (46-45). The game featured a notable play from Boffo who utilized a combination of Occs - including a Pi deck card that allowed the fencing of his house for family growth space - to develop his board from sparse acreage to bee-busy smallholding...TWICE! (Still not enough, though - ha!)

A text arrived discharging me from having to beetle off back to Gloucester to fetch eldest son so there was just time to beg the chaps to indulge a 5-player test of Danse Macabre:



Boffo drafted Church-heavy and rode through a card-discarding whirlwind to victory; every play is an improvement and it feels well on the Road To Viability.

It's an early start in the Bateson household tomorrow, so we all closed up shop just before the pips of Eleven; he and Smudge are off to the Oxcon games weekend - in Oxford - and I shall be joining them, the Burnhams and untold numbers 'other' just for the day myself.

Middle son and I braved the torrential wind-and-rain on the drive home, comforted by the hilarious blitherings of the Pappys Bangers and Mash podcast. The weekend has officially begun!

*why can't Knizia design more games like THIS?**
**FFS don't start THAT again, Tony!
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Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:55 am
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Locomotion

Anthony Boydell
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(recorded earlier this week)

Oh, hello.

Today you find me in more spacious and palatial lavatorial surroundings sitting, as I am, in the secret basement of the main Welsh Government building in Cathays Park, Cardiff. Well, I say secret but it's really just hard to get to, there being just the one down staircase hidden amongst the corridors and partitions of the Ground floor. It took so long for me to find this place that I'm determined to hang around for a bit - exploring and such. With a bit of luck I've got upwards of an hour before someone might need this cubicle! Dammit! I should've brought my book...

I'm reading the Railway Detective series by Edward Marston at the moment - slowly working my way thru the volumes of 1850s intrigue - and am currently engrossed in The Stationmaster's Farewell: a well-loved Stationmaster's body is discovered battered and burnt in the embers of a November 5th bonfire!



They're evocative fayre, riddled with sooty smuts and steam and murder and howling mad Bishops; they're also tremendously easy reads...I find that I can devour a couple of whole chapters along with my meat pie / salad bar salad / sausages (delete as applicable, according to the day of the week). They have that wonderful 'just a couple more pages' addictiveness about them and I've still got at least another 10 in the series to catch up on!

By way of an tiny impression, here's a splendid extract from the previous volume I read (The Railway Viaduct):


I should've put THIS on the back of THAT box...


The Stationmaster's Farewell, like The Railway Viaduct, introduced me to a delicious piece of eclectica...the Atmospheric Railway:
"An atmospheric railway uses differential air pressure to provide power for propulsion of a railway vehicle; the air pressure, or partial vacuum (i.e. negative relative pressure) can be conveyed to the vehicle in a continuous pipe, where the vehicle carries a piston running in the tube. Some form of re-sealable slot is required to enable the piston to be attached to the vehicle. Engine houses were built in Devon, England, to power the atmospheric trains on the South Devon Railway between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth Millbay railway stations. Three of the engine houses (Starcross, Torquay and Totnes) are still standing and the location of two others (Turf and Dawlish) are clearly visible." (culled from bits of Wikipedia)

Pipes?
Vacuums?
Engine houses?

You know what I'm likely to say/do next, don't you?!

Sweet Benson & Hedges, there's just not enough hours in the designing day...and now the fire alarm has just gone off! Evacuating while still evacuating? I hope I can find that staircase in time (lest I perish in the bowels of provincial governmental power)!
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Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:40 am
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The Joy of Hex

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
As a companion piece - or should that be comPUNion piece? - to last weeks 'Joy of D6'
(see here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/50194/die-freude-von-...)
today's post gets all six-sided...or should that be SEX-sided?

Eh?

Eh?

Eh?


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Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:35 am
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