$22.00
$18.00
$24.00
$25.00
$32.00

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

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [155]

Recommend
64 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide

Eff Eff Ess

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Hours, I spent; hours and hours pouring over the proofs:


For your Reference: is there an echo in here (in here in here)?
Twitter Facebook
30 Comments
Tue May 24, 2016 6:30 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
43 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Alternative SdJ

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Blah blah Codenames yadda yadda Imhotep rhubarb rhubarb Karuba; once again, the so-called 'committee' has announced it's 'alleged' short-list 'apparently'; once again, more obvious choices have been shoved to one side! Here's what _I_ would've chosen (and my pick is the ):

(but, hey, what the Hell do _I_ know?)

Ignore the Yeti: A variant on that internet meme from a few years back, this lavishly-illustrated (that Fremens Klanz guy again!), is - in a kind of twist the Jury loves - all about 'not playing'! If you look at the Yeti: you're eliminated. If you mention the Yeti: you're eliminated. If you hear the word 'Yeti': you're eliminated. This means that if you suggest to play it or you read out the rules or you just happen to be in the room, you're all out. Comes with compatibility rules for over 100 other games that feature a Yeti. You're eliminated, by the way.

Codernames: The party word game for IT developers! Yes, hilarious 'microseconds of processing cycles' ensue as one tries to link 'malloc', 'CPU binding' and 'Segmentation Fault - Core Dumped' with one word clues from an 'on the spectrum', bearded Cheetos addict.

The: specifically named to mess up Search engines, 'The' - from Shite Games - is like Cards Against Humanity but without the tact. Players dare each other to perform escalating 'boundary-challenging' forfeits in exchange for VPs eg. 'Call a stranger a cock to their face', 'Drink a pint of your own urine', 'Laugh at a disabled person', 'Drink a pint of someone else's urine' and 'Play a full game of Bora Bora'. Shite Games are releasing a celebratory SdJ nomination expansion pack called The: Legacy, which adds 'Grievous Bodily Harm', 'Inappropriate Touching/Public Nudity' and 'Running for the Republican Presidential Nomination' to the gumbo of laddish fuck-wittery.

And for 'the Kenner'?

Not Elysium (but it is really) - Having been pipped to the grand prize last year, Dunstan & Gilbert try again to snaffle the big ticket.

Isle of Curry: a fantastic auction-led tile-layer where players add up the total of their tiles and then try and split the difference by dividing the total of all tiles by the number of players. Whomever gets the most for the least (eg. by sneaking in a cheeky extra beer or eating someone else's starter instead of ordering your own) is declared the winner!

And for the 'Kinder'? It's figuratively - and literally - a 'no brainer' for Dora The Zombie Flesh-Eating Explorer. The evergreen cartoon favourite leads players on a fascinating (and educational) culinary journey through the Human Body: starting with the removal of the scalp giving access to the living brain, the body cavity & internal organs and ending with a chew on a fat calf. Visceral, dice-rolling fun (6 and over).
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Mon May 23, 2016 10:35 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
46 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

N.S.P.C.C to see you, to see you N.S.P.C.C

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Adam from the Hereford gamers, known for a while now to the Batesons, has been running an annual fundraising 'family game day' (12 until late) in aid of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (N.S.P.C.C). Last year I was invited but unable to attend on account of running around the Forest of Dean with my boys shooting eachother with paintballs! However, _this year_he asked me a bit earlier and so I was able to mark it off in the old diary; well, mostly, because I still had to get back late afternoon to organise Fred's birthday curry supper. Still, four hours of gaming is not to be scoffed at, especially in the light of Friday's tempestuous débacle, so I packed up some more accessible fayre and drove the 20-or-so miles to Hereford.

There was much to-ing and fro-ing as I'd found a cosy nook in the car park and narrowly-avoided stepping in an enormous canine turd; this is not going to be a 'Convention' scale event but Adam and his crew were fussing about most diligently to ensure that a fine time should be had by all. Thus, the hot water urn was already a-bubbling, snacks were laid out and even the prize tables for the Auction/Raffle were beginning to sag under the weight of generous donations. For myself, I added a recently-acquired German Snowdonia with English upgrade pack and a pre-Expo Snod: Seasons - someone is going to snaffle up a bargain in the auction later!


The (almost) empty Hall; I say 'almost' because...


Within minutes, Ben and Becky had turned up: Ben, 'as per', heaving an enormous canvas bodybag stuffed with games. It didn't take long before they were drafted in to a quick couple of games of Blokus:



For myself, I partook of some dextrous frippery in the shape of Toc Toc Woodman.
In summary, it's a visually-pleasing Jenga variant where you have 'two taps' against any part of the stacked, plastic trunk; if you knock the central core 'out' enough, then the bark pieces - slipped on like jigsaw bits - will slide off and on to the table...and score you points! If you should also dislodge core pieces then these will score negatively against you.


"Tony? You're only supposed to knock the bloody bark off!". My first tap had all the subtlety of an aubergine up the jacksy! Setting the unlogic of lumberjacks wanting 'just the bark and none of the actual wood' aside, this is a daft and fun filler in the manner of God's own Loopin' Louie.

With new-to-the-scene Emma joining us for a while, we started off easy with a visit of one of my own favourite designs: Totemo.



One day I might find a way to redo it with much cheaper-to-produce pieces but, until then, I'll continue my personal quest to beat Boffo at it; yes, in six years of playing with the wheezing one I have failed to conquer him at my own game! Today would
see me breaking that particular duck BUT finding the Bateson honour still intact because Smudge edged in front FTW! (impotently shakes fist at the sky)

Having broken Emma in to our way of playin', it seemed appropriate to go from one 'building things in 3D' visual treat to another and I didn't need any persuading to get stuck in to the EXCELLENT Cubist:



I'm rather adept at Cubist and, once again, managed to exploit some cheap artworks and fortuitous rolls to force the end the game and fill up the central museum with four of my dice. I think Emma enjoyed it; the rest us certainly did!

It seemed a bit early for Spot it!, what with it being just after 2PM, but there was a rowdy crowd of punters already full-throated into Codenames at the beverages end of the Hall so we snapped open the tin and said 'What the heck!'.



The Hall was filling up and those that weren't already in a game were gathered round a table of hand-made Dice Towers and there was much happy clacking. We had not yet frightened Emma off so, in for a penny / in for a pound, I slapped my plums on the table and invited her to admire them.



Like Cubist before it, my natural aptitude saw me to a comfortable win (47) but the game was more remarkable for Smudge FINALLY seeming to understand what-the-jiggins is going on (41). Always a pleasure to give 'em an airing, plums remains one of my absolute favourites!

The clock was a-ticking and there was just enough time to introduce John, our replacement for a wanderlusting Emma, to the superlative Glass Road; this has rocketed up the Ross-on-Wye charts like a recently-dead rock star's back catalogue - rightly so because it's a LOT of game in a rich, never-outstays-its-welcome package:



In a satisfying change from the norm, I managed to play this competently, and with some kind of plan, which netted me a career best 21.5 points! Luckily, I delayed any embarrassing 'in your face!' victory celebrations having noticed Smudge still
with things to tally having muttered '21' under her breath! There was just 1/2 a point in it...in HER favour! (again, powerlessly, shakes fist at the sky)

A spicy Birthday tea awaited my attention, so it was a fond farewell to our cheery hosts and full volume on the car stereo and homeward; recently, I have rediscovered the pure pop mastery of Jellyfish's second album: Spilt Milk. It's The Beatles, Queen, 10cc and The Beach Boys all rolled in to one glorious package; here's one of the singles from that record!

You're very welcome.



P.s. Thanks, and congrats to Adam and the team for raising £400!
Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Sun May 22, 2016 7:10 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
43 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

In Which My Brain Refused To Provide Traction

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Today's write-up of Friday night in Ross-on-Wye is going to be relatively short, but not so sweet. With the welcome return of Dan came the continuing absence of Byll and the last-minute dropping out of Becky so, once more, it was Four Arsey-Men of the Apocalypse (me, Dan, Boffo and Dan) perched at the fireside nook. To commence proceedings, I handed over Boffo & Smudge's complimentary play tester copy of Guilds of London, making him the first 'customer' in The World(TM) to get it; he was suitably 'in awe':


More awe, Ben! (cue) "Awwwwwwwww..." etc


The chosen 'first game' of the evening was Dominare, yet another entry in the Tempest concept and - so Boffo has been extolling these last few months - the "most highly regarded of the bunch":




In summary: It's a card-driven, area control game and you are dealt a hand of 'people' cards and select three for the first part; you can, and will, get access to more during the game. Each card has two sections:
- the income/area control tokens bit, and
- an effects section.

Each round, one card will be added to your tableau (from your hand) at the end of the line and the position of a card is important for accessing the card's effects. The effects are numbered from 1 to 7 and they scale in power like wot Innovation does ie. low number powers are 'okay', high level powers are preposterous. An effect can only be used if it is equal to or lower than the position of the card in the line eg. a card with a power level 7 effect cannot use that power unless in position 7; a card with a power level 3 effect can use it in positions three and above.

The round proceeds in a fixed sequence:
- choose - and simultaneously reveal - a card from hand to go in to the line
- resolve a random event (which is usually a niggling pain to the round's Start Player plus a chance to boost the final scoring value of a District)
- gain money and distribute your cubes to take control of spaces in districts, and
- use your cards for actions (as long as they have a number equal to or less than the position of that card, remember!).

Halfway-ish through, there is mini-draft of 8 cards to help 'top up' your flagging hands and then the final rounds are played through before final scoring. Points are gained for certain spaces within Districts and for having the majority of spaces in a District (according to how that District has been boosted/penalised by Events); you also lose points via a penalty mechanism that I really can't be bothered to explain.


All-in-all, this was a deeply-frustrating experience; mulling it over on the way to picking up eldest Son, I boiled it down to these reasons:
a) It took over two-and-three-quarter hours and massively overstayed it's welcome; this is not just down to me and Jobbers having a couple of slow turns because - of course - as one's line of cards grow, so do your options. Getting the momentum up also wasn't helped by...

b) Boffo's rules explanation which, tonight, ran along the lines of "I explained that earlier so if you didn't hear it or understand it the first time then tough". So, while I'm trying to get a grip on what's happening, whole paragraphs are being hummed, hurred and agreed upon without me having paid attention!

c) Placement of cubes is one-card-at-a-time-in-turn-order, which leads to repetitive tit-for-tat exchanges (bounce outs) of cubes; this is not 'interactive', it's just 'tiresome'. The monotony is only broken by...

d) the variability of card effects (from a random draw); there are lots of "Aha! Take that!!!" superpowers that you can do absolutely nothing about...apart from waste actions frantically searching the draw deck for a combo that's stronger

e) the draft, after round 4, feels wildly out-of-place with the rest of the mechanisms; there is no drafting at any other time, so why not have another 'draw X and keep Y' like the initial setup?

f) the difficulty in seeing what everyone else can do - the icons are blurred, the text scrawling and there are a happy fistful of italicised keywords - combined with an inability to do anything about it anyway.

*sigh*

I hate feeling like this but there we are; if only there were a card-driven, area control game that played in half the time and with a more fluid card system?


*sigh* (again)
Twitter Facebook
14 Comments
Sat May 21, 2016 6:50 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
86 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide

Unboxing Guilds of London

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb


Top o' the Box, to ye.



Right Back (of the Box) atcha.



Rules rule.



Tiles! And, yes, they punch out beautifully (and on the marks!)



A couple of excellent References.



Board yet?



It's a game about card-managed area control, you know?



The Sprues of London.



Ready. To. Play!
Twitter Facebook
23 Comments
Fri May 20, 2016 3:54 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
83 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide

Good things come to those who wait...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb




Twitter Facebook
22 Comments
Fri May 20, 2016 12:22 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Use Your Allusion II

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Fri May 20, 2016 12:17 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Use Your Allusion I

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Fri May 20, 2016 8:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
44 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

M.I.A.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Have you ever lost a GAME PIECE? Of course you have! No matter how reverentially one treats the things, there's always an over-slippery cube that finds it's way on to floor. Or a wandering chit that bounces off the side of the Ziploc as you're palm-pouring everything during 'take down'. Not a week goes by at the Ross-on-Wye club without Dave the Barman holding up a coin, gem or token - on our entrance - with the brow-furrowed question: "Is this from one of yours?".

Have you ever lost a whole GAME? With a shed like mine, it's entirely possible that a fourth or fifth copy of Glory To Rome lurks under the On The Cardses; I thought, for ages, that I'd sold my copy of Five Tribes until I shifted some recycle pile boxes and it slipped out on to the floor, at my feet!

Have you ever lost a whole GAMER? I have, on several occasions! Back in the halcyon days of Magic: The Gathering we regularly socialized with a crew from (exotic) Swindon. One of their number, let's call him 'Tom'*, disappeared from our RADAR for several years and it turned out he was being detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. A couple of years ago, 'big' Carl came to Spiel with me (in the van) and failed to be seen for the entirety of the Saturday morning, leading me to fear that the gargantuan beast had perished in his bed; it may be a coincidence, but he's currently being detained at Her Majesty's pleasure too.

My current worry is that it's been at least a month since we've seen or heard from Cap'n Byll at the Ross-on-Wye club; no 'not this week' replies to the weekly calling circular, no doffing of titfers or wry narration to his own play - he's not even been commenting on this blog in that surreal, tangential way of his. I fear - given my history with lost gamers - that he, too, may be 'doing bird' due to some vehicular misdemeanour or, perish the thought, chalking off the days on the walls of a foreign prison after a failed espionage mission!

If you see Byll, could you tell him we just want him 'ome in one piece? Thanks.

*because that's his name
Twitter Facebook
16 Comments
Thu May 19, 2016 8:50 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
72 
 Thumb up
12.00
 tip
 Hide

I sense something; a presence I have not felt since…

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb


I'm trying to finish off the Designer Diary for Guilds of London and it seems to be taking forever; mainly because
I can barely remember what happened at the start, it's been so long! Mind you, that's probably just old age creeping in
to the neurons. It's coming on okay, though, and I've removed nearly ALL of the abuse about Intrafin.

I had a dream about Guilds of London last night too. I had a minty copy in my hands and I savoured the plastic-
stripping and the opening box fart...but it had weird dinosaur pieces inside and -eeples that were nothing to do
with the game and everything was 'loose'; whenever I tried to take a photo of it - to post on the dream version of this
blog - something would go wrong ie. out of focus, someone photobombed or whatever. The more I tried to concentrate on
it, the less like a copy of Guilds it became. Stupid bloody dream.

The reason for my conscious, and unconscious, selves paying more attention is that the UK Games Expo is only two
weeks away and I'm drifting in to planning mode: stupid behaviours like stacking everything that's coming with me
at one end of the Shed, packing my suitcase with SSG tee-shirts and other pointlessly-early shit.

With Guilds in particular, my anxiety levels are increasing because - if the email I received yesterday is correct - 215
copies of Guilds of London are now in the UK, having landed (air freight) at LHR sometime in the afternoon!
They're probably in a warehouse being 'cleared' as you read this. Take away the long-overdue play-tester rewards and
our 'archive' copies, that's basically TWO HUNDRED available to Mr & Mrs Joseph Public in Birmingham.

Two hundred copies - the first copies available anywhere in the World.

For those of you 'elsewhere', I believe a hundred or so copies have also flown in to the U.S, whilst the remainder -
almost 3000 in the first wave - are taking the slower, saline route to America. You can pre-order it at funagain.com,
if you so choose. I like funagain.com, they've always treated me real nice.

O! The sweet agony of anticipation!

O! The delicious pain of waiting!

O! The tingling torture of expectation!

(yes, I think a cammomile tea might be in order)
Twitter Facebook
19 Comments
Wed May 18, 2016 6:19 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [155]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.