Anthony SimonsUnited Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
I bought a copy of Workshop of the World, Ragnar Brothers' take on the British Industrial Revolution, at last year's UK Games Expo. I had played a demonstration game first; and despite a clear component issue, I was very keen to get a copy. Workshop is one of those games which manages to strike an excellent balance between theme and playability; something, I am happy to say, the Ragnars have a good reputation for. I'm looking forward to their next title; of course, Angola has been resurfacing (and it's something I'd like to try out), but I mean their next "new" title.
Yes, I said "component issue". It's probably not something you haven't heard or experienced already, if you know Workshop. There are three types of coin; small copper-coloured counters which represent £1, mid-sized silver-coloured counters which represent £5, and HUGE saucer-sized gold-coloured counters for £10. Those saucers are all well and good until you try to make an in-the-fist blind bid; then everybody knows you have at least £10 in your hand because you can't make a fist properly! Women are particularly at a disadvantage, with their (generally) smaller hands.
This weekend, I thought to myself, "How can I possibly put this game on the table in the presence of females and expect them to play?" You see ladies; I'm always thinking of you (and not necessarily in the way you thought I was thinking of you - although I am undeniably a bloke of the most masculine order). So I decided to find a way to save women the embarrassment of trying to close their delicate hands over a dinner-plate.
I keep a lot of spares out of old games; as I suppose most obsessive compulsive gamers do. Amongst these, I found a set of counters; a slack handful in various colours and of the same size. Clearly, it just wouldn't look right if I threw in a load of green, red, white, blue and yellow counters to replace the gold Frisbees; so I had to find some way of colouring them.
I checked my paints and found the gold was lacking severely. Bronze worked fine, but that, the copper and silver just wouldn't have looked right. I sat down and thought about ways of getting the gold to look better; painting on undercoats in white or yellow, buying a can of spray paint, perhaps using different components altogether. I went off to Chippenham town to see what I could get.
As I wandered the clothes shops with Mrs S, answering tactfully when she asked questions such as "Which colour do you think suits me best?" or "Will this go with my leggings?" or "Does my bum look big in these wellies?"; I suddenly saw the perfect solution - nail varnish! It's durable, it's relatively inexpensive, and it comes in gold!
I could see the prices were a touch high for the good stuff in the shops, so I made my excuses and left for a nearby market stall. As I rummaged through a bucket of discount nail varnish pots, I could feel the stall-holder's eyes on me. Actually, I could hear him thinking too; thoughts like "Either he's a transvestite, a glam-rocker, or he's under-the-thumb."
Alas, there were a number of different golds, so I had to approach the stall-holder. I said, thoughtlessly, "Which gold do you think is best?"
"Oh," said the stall-holder, "you should take the one on the right with your dark complexion." I hurriedly snapped up the silver and bronze pots I was looking at, and took the gold on the right.
So you see, the sacrifices I make so that all players can have a good game experience have no bounds. Two to three coats later, I now have a lovely, gold set of counters to replace the Ragnar's town hall clock-faces; but will I ever be able to show my face in Chippenham town again?