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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

Archive for Tony Boydell

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I nearly banged someone up the slammer!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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When I was working in London during the day, and playing Magic: The Gathering during the evening, I made lots of friends in Bucks, Berks and Herts. One club, in Hemel Hempsted, was the regular haunt of young Sports Scientist Joel: he's getting married soon and related, via the medium of Facebook messenger, the following recent 'near miss' story!

Quote:
I recently went to Turkey. My girlfriend (Lauren) and I were departing from Dalaman Airport. We were told on the bus there, that it was a military airport so security was very tight. Before going to official lines, we checked our weight limit and were a little over. We started discarding heavier items and I ended up wearing three t-shirts, a hoodie, etc.

Lauren and I had planned to sit together on the plane but we were at the back of the queue so this was unlikely so I asked a rep if, bearing in mind we had got engaged on our holiday, we could be sat together and they were very helpful and moved us to the front of the queue. The downside was I wasn't quite ready, still sorting my bags etc so when I got to the metal detector, I put my magic box in the security scanner while Lauren went ahead.

I get stopped at the metal scanner. I thought it was the metal from my jeans (poppers/buttons instead of a fly) but no, it's my shorts (belt) underneath my trousers (see weight limit) so have to partly pull down my jeans while I remove the belt. Already this is a bit weird for the customs officers.

Then I look up to see their faces and Lauren's concern: the Magic box contained some cards. Uno cards so friendly but the first card looked at by the officers was from a game you might recognise:



Other officers and supervisors come over, looking more than a little agitated, saying things like 'Sorceria' (the Magic element didn't help) before eventually realising it was just a card game and started to fan through some of the cards, enjoying the art-work etc.

Eventually we got through.


*shudders* Midnight Express *shudders*
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Tue Jul 7, 2015 6:50 am
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...after the fact (SdJ results!)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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And, so, the final results for 2015 are:

SdJ - Colt Express
KSdJ - Broom Service

Yay! to the first and Booo! to the second - a reworking of an old game? Really? Boooo! (again).
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 10:32 am
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...before the storm (SdJ predictions!)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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How I'd like things to pan out today:

SdJ: Machi Koro
KSdJ: Elysium

Reasoning?
- because me banging on about how good MK is was what (apparently) got Wolfgang from Kosmos interested in looking at it 'to license' in the first place!
- because Matt and Brett are gaming pals!

Mind you: Colt Express is a blast and Orleans is drawn by Klemens, so...
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 6:58 am
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*ahem*

Anthony Boydell
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Sun Jul 5, 2015 9:01 am
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FLGS 24 (Clans)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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A Spammy, Sketchy Sunday Snippet


(I was really pleased with this the first time round - 4 years ago - and it fits in to the FLGS series rather seamlessly, so...)

(Once again we find ourselves in the point-of-sale area of a generic FLGS; the counter-top is strewn with WoW booster wrappers, tobacco strands and faded copies of Counter from 2003. There is a huge, I mean HUGE, pile of ‘take one, they’re free!’ Mannequin Pis’s. A punter approaches the FLGS owner, who is behind aforementioned counter wrestling with an inflatable alligator)

Punter: Morning

Owner: Morning (punching the alligator to the ground)

Punter: Well, what have you got?

Owner: Well, there's Fresco…Fresco and Clans…Pastiche, Fresco and Clans…7 Wonders, Clans, Pastiche, Nightfall, Fresco and Clans…Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Navegador, Fresco and Clans…Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Great Fire of London, Ankh Morpork prototype, 1853 and Clans…or

(Other punters browsing the $10 or less bargain bin turn to the counter and begin singing)


Browsers: Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans…

Owner: Shadd-ap! Shadd-appp!

Browsers: (diminuendo) Clans…clans…clans

Owner: (continuing) or Thunderstone: Dragonspire complimented by Furstenfeld, Twilight Struggle and El Grande packaged with Notre Dame, Through The Ages, Alhambra and topped off with Adlungland and Clans.

Punter: Have you got anything without Clans?

Owner: There’s 7 Wonders, Clans, Pastiche, Nightfall, Fresco and Clans…that’s not got much Clans in it

Punter: I don’t like Clans!

Owner: Why don’t you have Troyes, Glory To Rome, Clans and Erosion

Punter: That’s got Clans in it

Owner: Not as much as 7 Wonders, Clans, Pastiche, Nightfall, Fresco and Clans

Punter: Couldn't you do me Troyes, Glory To Rome, Clans and Erosion without the Clans?

Owner: (dry retching) Eurgghhh!

Punter: What do you mean: "Eurgghhh!"! I DON'T LIKE CLANS!

Browsers: (starting up again) LOVER-LY CLANS, WONDERFUL CLANS ETC

Owner: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Bloody browsers! You can't have Troyes, Glory To Rome, Clans and Erosion without the Clans

Punter: I DON'T LIKE CLANS!

Shelf-Stocker: (overhearing, stepping up to the counter) Shhh, love, don’t cause a fuss - I’ll have your Clans – I love it (especially the cute little huts)…I’m having Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Merchants & Marauders, Clans, Clans, Clans and Clans!

Browsers: LOVELY CLANS, WONDERFUL CLANS etc

Owner: Shaddap! Shaddap! (to the shelf-stocker) Sold out of Merchants & Marauders…

Shelf-Stocker: Can I have her (pointing to the punter) Clans instead?

Owner: You mean you want Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans, Clans and Clans?

(starts the Browsers off again)

Browsers: LOVELY CLANS, WONDERFUL CLANS…CLANS, CLANS, CLANS, CLANS…

(in harmony, repeat to fade)


END
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Sun Jul 5, 2015 7:00 am
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There's a Ghost In My House

Anthony Boydell
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Thank Christ we didn't have a potter's wheel to hand because the thought of Boffo getting clayed up and sexy to the sound of Unchained Melody is making my stomach churn as I type! Last night, in the relatively-deserted fireside nook of The White Lion, was Seance Night: five eager Spiritualists assembled to probe the mysteries of the Afterlife, unravel their clairvoyant dreams...and try to get Smudge, who was 'the Ghost', to STOP! BLOODY! TALKING!



Hapless Investigators over-analyze to the Nth Degree, yesterday.


In Summary: It's Dixit meets Cluedo with a dash of Mastermind (the ubiquitous 1970s guess the four colour pegs million seller). A number of ITEM, LOCATION and PERSON cards are selected to be in the game (the others are put back in the box) and arrayed in the middle of the table. One player is 'the Spirit', who gets an identical set of the selected cards (from their own copies of the decks) and assigns one-of-each to each player. Players must correctly guess their Item then Location then Person (one per round maximum) AND enter the endgame before 7 rounds are up. How do they guess? Well, the Spirit WITHOUT SPEAKING OR GIVING OTHER PHYSICAL CLUES gives each, in turn, a number of Dream cards from their hand of 6 (replenishing between players); a player must - with the help (or hinderance) of the others - interpret the card(s) given, decide what message the Spirit is NON-VERBALLY communicating and then select the appropriate card. Correct deductions are 'flipped over' and the player can proceed to their next card type, otherwise Dream cards remain in play to be supported by more card(s) in the next round. This goes on until players have nailed their 3 things and solved the final round OR time runs out and everyone loses. The final round is more Dream cards doled out WITHOUT A SOUND OR GESTURE to identify, from the 5 Person cards remaining (those attributed to, and guessed by, the players), who the true criminal is.

Dramatis Personae:

Viscount Daniel De Vaporizo
A vigorous and enthusiastic believer, though
his fulsome beard is a howling sceptic. Failed,
impressively, to identify his item - a Cricket
Ball - from three Dream cards depicting round
things, red things and round red things.

Jobbers, Butler & Amateur Psychologist
Often correctly suggested the card from the Dream
clues - for himself and others - and then let him-
self get shouted down by ridiculously-circuitous
over-analyses from the Table. His personal maxim
of "Say what you see" was a valuable, if
shunned, one. At one point, after his 'Dream', he
loudly complained of "waking up with ectoplasm
all over his face...
" which nearly actually
killed me.

Professor Boffo 'Boffo' Bateson
Cynical, hectoring bystander whose hearty derision
of the Party's deeply-involved conspiracy theories
and tortuous meanderings provided much mirth. We
can't wait until he's dead and the spectral
boot is on the other mouldering foot!

Mrs Rebecca 'Smudge' Bateson
Competent investigator but abso-bloody-lutely use-
less silent Spirit: she wouldn't stop talking and/or
gesticulating despite continued (rude) admonishments
from Yours Truly. Provided clues towards 'shaving
razor' bearing no resemblance to shaving, beards,
cutting things or bathrooms whatsoever (I think there
was a sandy beach in the original set somewhere). Her
opening gambit as ;the restless undead' was to make a
'Wooooooooooooo' noise that was rather more RENTAGHOST
than POLTERGEIST. To be fair, the Professor was chiding
us throughout for choosing her to be the Ghost in the
first place.

Lady Suzanna, Mysterious Traveller from the Orient
Enthusiastically threw herself in to the proceedings but
suffered, like Jobbers, from being sent off on wild goose
chases by the others.

Sir Anthony (A bit too) Blunt
It was his idea to hold the seance and, after protesting
his way through the first (Smudge-led) investigation, was
roundly murdered and came back as the Spirit to guide the
second. The party agreed that it didn't really matter if
they won or not because he'd have to shut up for the next
45 minutes anyway! He led the group to a final 'who could
it be?' round BUT was genuinely-exhausted by the whole process...
especially when clear-and-simple indicators were turned into
Da Vinci Code-like labyrinths of intrigue, symbology
and complexity!

Quote:
Exhibit A: One card looks like a Dali painting, the other
shows a brush...so how come the deduction is 'The Garden' as
opposed to 'The Artists Studio'? FFS.


Seriously, though, Mysterium is (literally) FANTASTIC FUN and the 100 minutes were FULL TO BURSTING with player interaction. Brilliance, sheer genius!


Clockwise: Opening with Linko!, closing with Libertalia - Wednesday doesn't look too clever!


We finished off with Spot it! following a full-to-bursting Libertalia; after the first week, it was clearly a dust-up between myself and Dan: both of us edging 30 points a time. Suzanna, in her first game of this Club-favourite superbluffer/groupthinker, scored a very creditable 67. Dobble, as always, was a riotous way to close proceedings: I honestly don't recognise the grumpy, churlish Tony that derided it for so long.

All-in-all, that was quite the night!
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Sat Jul 4, 2015 10:46 am
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Make it snappy

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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With the weather continuing on it's balmy path, this week I've been making the most of the sunshine and the gorgeous options for commuting. I could follow the various As and Ms in their asphalted, beep-beep and catastrophoically dull routes OR I could hang a hard left and find something a bit more B*.

...and while you're admiring the views, why not play THIS in the background? It's mellow, man:



Here's what I've been seeing or stopping-and-then-seeing:

Contradicting my introduction: the A road in to Abergavenny provides a
wonderful vista of the Blorange, Skirrid and Sugar Loaf (above) mountains
and - as one approaches Merthyr Tydfil - the Brecon Beacons. You should
see 'em all snow-capped in the Winter: it's lovely.



If I keep driving along the motorway and take the Chepstow junction, I end
up in the thick of the Wye Valley (subject of something Snowdonian next
year, I hope). This is from a picnic stop 'at the entrance', having just
climbed out of Chepstow passed the racecourse.






Library image, yes, but Tintern Abbey is just stunning as you drive out of
the trees and see the river and village open up before you!



Approaching Redbrook: having crossed over the Wye at Monmouth using the splendid
Viaduct (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/39819/view-bridge), the Wye Valley
railway crossed back again at Redbrook - a gorgeous village leaning over the
riverside. When I got out of the car to get a drink from the Shop, I was hit by
the baking air of the afternoon - air conditioning be damned!





With my beverage, I ambled over to take a closer look at the rusty splendidness.
The bridge itself - as you will see in a moment - has virtually no 'bed' but
someone has bolted on a pedestrian bridgette to the underside.



More of the underside. It's only a bit of a drop to the (shallow) waters below.



...and now the TOP. The path rises to follow the main bridge and a simple 'lean
over' shows you the state it's all in.






The view from the other side - conveniently adjacent to a Pub *slllp-ahhh*



Now the obligatory cycle path, the track bed runs off through the woodland to Brockweir,
Llandogo, Tintern, Tidenham and Chepstow.



I stopped halfway across on the journey back to the car and snapped the view up the
Valley towards Monmouth (around that bend on the left). It all looks bigger and
more impressive with the naked eye!


Thank you for your kind attention.

*This is all a rather clumsy allusion to UK road 'types': M being Motorway, A being 'A' (major route) and B being 'B' for country lanes.
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Fri Jul 3, 2015 11:04 am
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Keep on keeping on!

Anthony Boydell
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If you're making regular contributions, it's a constant source of frustration when it seems you're howling into the Void. Recently, a good gaming pal considered quitting his excellent, small-but-perfectly-formed podcast (Gaming Rules!) because he wasn't getting any social media interactions ie. Retweets, Guild thread comments, Likes and the like. Another new gaming pal is making serious, committed - and very readable - in-roads into a daily Blog (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/4563/it-beats-watching-tv) but that solitary indicator of appreciation, 'the thumb', mostly eludes him in the greater-than-single-digit form...at least, for now! You may also have noticed that the un-savoury kitchen of BGG bloglife is littered with the crispy cockroach carcasses of give-up-after-the-first-intro-post because those wide-eyed, sugar-rushing excited prologues didn't get the wave of attention they felt they deserved.

But, of course, it all takes time!

Patience, young Padowans/Padowani!

I've been hanging around this Shed for nearly five years and, Lord Knows!, it's sheer obstinate determination that's carrying me through! Even with all my huckstering, shameless self-promotion, stupidity and occasional thoughtfulness, I can barely claim a 30 thumb average (which, I believe, is actually a REALLY BLOODY GOOD average actually!). And despite Rap pastiches, self-depracating fitness regimes and a hundred other japes, you won't find 'What Tony's Been Up To' gracing the rather sterile page of The Geek Weekly: I don't know what I've done to upset 'the compiler', but he's wearing Boydell blinkers while plugging his 'scout around the Geek' ears and shouting 'Lah-lah-lah!' (and that last gripe won't have done anything to decrease that animosity, for sure!). Mind you, he never mentions Ignacy either, so I'm in excellent company!

No, but it's a long and slow and gradual process; if you're looking for instant accolades then more fool you; put in your Gladwellian 10,000 hours and maybe, just maybe, the World will sit up and take note. Stick with it! Persevere! Put the Hammer down and drive right through that wall! It ain't gonna happen overnight...but there's always a few of us watching from the sidelines: wishing you well and willing you up that steep learning curve!
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Thu Jul 2, 2015 6:59 am
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Japon Brand - Preorders for Essen Spiel up NOW!!!!!

Anthony Boydell
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http://japonbrand.myshopify.com/

Go!

Drop everything and GO!

Edit: I got these:
1x Reidemeister
1x Sheep & Thief
1x MINERVA
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Wed Jul 1, 2015 9:23 pm
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A Quick Question

Anthony Boydell
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There is
an option
for this years
Snowdonia expansion
to include a pseudo-reprint of
the Snowdonia: The Daffodil Line
ie. stations, canal track cards and the
C action overlay. Since we sold the 750 copies
in no time at all in 2013, I've been getting a fairly
constant inbox stream of requests to see it again. However,
I remember Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland
and the furore when Switzerland filled up 50% of the deal so, if I promised
to tweak things just a little, do you think this would be acceptable?
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Wed Jul 1, 2015 7:15 am
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