Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [291]

Recommend
43 
 Thumb up
1.07
 tip
 Hide

Innovations

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Essen-tial Equipment for the Gaming Connoisseur:

Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Today 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
91 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Save One For Meeeeeeeee!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another Autumn, another Essen Spiel and so the usual Geekmails and post comments asking "Can I pre-order {INSERT_NAME_OF_GAME_HERE}, please?". Pre-orders seem, on the face of it, to be a marvelous thing: a steady flow of guaranteed sales that calm the nagging fear of having to bring as full a van home as that with which you set out in the first place. They are, in reality, a monumental pain in the ass.

In the 2000s, taking pre-payments was less straightforward so one would need to ensure a List Monitor was around to tick off the names and ensure that we didn't sell reserved stock by mistake. If things were successful, you would find yourself turning customers away while boxes were still on display - oh the complaining and the injustice! - and then find - come the last day - that 20 people changed their minds and were no-shows: that's 20 copies that could've found an alternative home had we been told. Taking money up-front mitigates absenteeism - as does the 'It will be sold after Sunday lunchtime' caveat - but all that only eases the mind of the pre-orderer; we, the publisher, still have the admin and stock control overhead (what happens if someone DOES lose a box of set-asides by mistake?!) the disgruntlement/abuse of The Denied is a litany of woe to drown the very Messe Halls.

An example: In 2016, we had 290 Thursday/Friday collection pre-orders for the Spiel release of Guilds of London - that's 290 out of our 330 copies of the delivered game. By the end of the third day, we still had over 70 of the pre-orders unclaimed. We had sold the forty 'spares' by lunchtime on the Thursday and were sending people away for the rest of the time. On Sunday, we sold the remaining 70 to first-come/first-served but then received complaints from unlucky punters who had somehow been doubly-denied (unlucky on both the Friday and the Sunday!): as if I was exercising a personal vendetta.

I've heard all the pleas and excuses:
"I can't make it this year - could you save me one for after the show?" (no)
"I have to work so won't be coming until the Saturday" (should've taken some holiday)
"A friend said you would keep a copy for me as well" (so what?)
"I don't know why I am not on the list as I did send you an email...Are you calling me a liar?!" (yes)
"My cat just died and it would make me really happy to get a copy" (I hate cats)
"Why didn't you print more then?" (then I wouldn't be able to annoy people like you, would I?)
- and so on.



My Essen brain is full of hotels, transport, paperwork, money, fees, storage, security, food, sleep, meetings, anxiety, health and friends - banes and boons (of my own making) that I accept willingly, of course; what I don't need is to have to take on everyone else's emotional baggage too!

"But we pay your wages, Tony; you have a duty..."
I won't even dignify this particular strain of entitled dogshit with a response. Oops, I already did.

And don't get me started on being asked to 'mule a few things for me': all the hunting, all the money paid out in advance and then all the grumbling when you come back with gaps in the request list. "What do you mean it was sold out by Friday morning; why didn't you get up early on Thursday?!", "You should've paid the extra 10 euros, for God's sake!", "Whaaaaat?! You LOST the promo card?!" and "This is the Standard version but I wanted the Deluxe version!" etc.

So, with that all said, if you want a copy of Lux Aeterna, Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea, Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set, Foothills and/or Guilds of London: Wards of London then you're just going to have to visit 4-F121 sooner-rather-than-later on your Essen visit...even if we've sold out, it will be nice to say 'Hello' (and maybe give Attention All Shipping a try? As long as the session is not already fully booked up, that is!)
Twitter Facebook
15 Comments
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
55 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Come on, baby.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I first noticed we had a problem at the games club when the table caught fire. It was the second round of auctions and I had significantly less than my initial allocation of funds and a poor abstract by Karl Gitter; as I waited for the next piece, the table loudly combusted taking a double ‘Lite Metal’ - and my eyebrows - with it. Someone screamed: “What the Hell did you do that for?!” and, looking down, I realised I had brought the petrol can in from the car (I worry that the fumes will make it dangerous for me to drive so never leave it in there on it’s own); the still-burning match sizzled against my finger nail and went out. There was a lot of smoke in the room and it was getting difficult to see the playing area what with all the firemen; it must be one of those work’s parties or something. I was forced to set up Nusfjord across the trolley in the ambulance but the fish kept slipping out of their storage boxes when we went around the corners too quickly; also, the crinkled hose from Jobbers’ oxygen mask kept snaking across the action board, scattering the worker discs, so I unplugged it; Jobbers seemed a lot quieter after that. Someone started coughing so I opened the back doors to let some fresh air in (it was getting stuffy) and Jobbers’ trolley slid out, bounced once on the tarmac and then disappeared under the van that was following us; the siren was very loud indeed but you could still make out people shouting so I covered my ears for a bit. At the hospital. I sat next to a policeman that I’d seen outside the Pub when it had got to burning a beautiful shade of autumnal orange and gold; he needed the loo at the same time as me, so I held the door open for him and then he was behind me in the queue for the vending machines: that’s a funny coincidence. I think I must’ve passed out because someone suddenly started shaking me and slapping me across the face; they were obviously worried because they looked like they had been crying – I have such lovely gaming friends. Apparently, Jobbers going home early meant we were now one player short for Princes of Florence (which was a bit thoughtless TBH) but at least he’d left us his folding table: it’ll only take a quick wipe with a soapy cloth to get rid of the blistered plastic and the soot. I had plenty of good, four-player fayre in my bag (especially since Ben’s bags had both disappeared from the Back Room in all the ‘heat of confusion’). It was late and the excitement had made me very tired, so the crowd in A&E helped me grab a quick nap by holding my head down and kicking me repeatedly in the temples.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
61 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

The Rough With The Smooth

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After a veritable drought of audio-visual media intrusions - I think my last foray was with Garrett's Games & Geekiness back around Easter? - I plucked up the courage to visit Ben Maddox in the Post-Apocalyptic Compound for a chinny-wag. Unfortunately, I committed a bijou faux-pas and we ended up in the Latrine complex shoveling Scheiße at the groaning undead for the duration:



But hold! Stay your click 'pon the [Next Subscribed Item] icon because Ben has a little more to add with his review of Guilds of London: Wards of London:



Not as complimentary as his Alubari review but, sometimes, you've got to take the rough with the smooth. Of course, I still love listening to him.
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:55 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
88 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide

Ferris Wheelers' Day Out

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The signs for the Newent Onion Fayre pronounce it "The Last Day of Summer" and - fair play - that's been brightly, hotly and bee-buzzingly true for about 80% of the time that I've been an attendee; of more note have been the catastrophically-stormy Fayres with mini-tsunamis, sewerage overflows and sparking electrical equipment but - hey - that's not so good for bizniz.

Anyway, I used to be an active participant in the Catholic Church's book stall - the best in the show by a country mile - but my recent conversion to Athiesm has put paid to that. It seems that the only other parishoner who gave a stuff has also moved on - hopefully not in that way - so this year, as Arthur and I wandered the barely-populated street, there was a clearly-noticeable lack of decent jumble stalls. Even the charity shops - once-a-year keen to open their sorting rooms to public scrutiny - were kettling us in the front-of-shop spaces; the Aladdin's Caves closed by pinned curtains and 'No Public Entry' signs.

All that was left to me and the boy were a handful of lonely-looking fairground rides - again, an obvious reduction on previous years' car park-hogging population:


The Ferris Wheel - as old as the rekindled Fayre itself (25 years or so) - affording three minutes of Newent rooftop views for £3 per person.



Top of the Wheel-ed, Ma!



Scream if you wanna go faster? Arty takes it in his stride.


We also went on a centrifugal thing that made me feel sick and break out in a cold sweat (I needed marmalade toast and a coffee to stop the nausea) and Arthur hung around with some school pals for a shot at a rolling chair-thing.

So now, orange-y breakfast filling the belly, I am writing up the tale of our morning; the rest of the (fayre-free) day lies ahead of us and, seeing as the cloudless sky and the suncream are beckoning, much of it will be basking in the garden.

Be(e) seeing you.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:43 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
111 
 Thumb up
75.00
 tip
 Hide

Not happy; not happy at all.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Today’s post has been deleted because I’m seriously fucked-off about Snowdonia: the moaning from all quarters is exhausting.
Twitter Facebook
63 Comments
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:10 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
79 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Blogging 101

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
(posted 'early', just in case I need the preparation time)

Yes, there are 101 blog posts - after this one - before I hit the magical 3000 posts milestone and I wondered if anyone had any special requests for the celebration thereof? If it is within my gift, I will attempt to comply with zero, one or more of the suggestions provided.




Aside: do NOT spoil this until AFTER Boffo Bateson has commented below:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I predict that he will suggest that I celebrate...by stopping.
Twitter Facebook
15 Comments
Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
57 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Consumer Rights

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Poll: Money-back Guarantee
When a game is not welcome, for whatever reason, it's time to send it back from whence it came (preferably ALL the way back to the scumsuckers that published it) but - bloody hell! - you, apparently, need a valid reason(s)
Have you ever sent a game back to the Publishers? If not then "Good day to you!" (don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out etc) OTHERWISE tick the reason or reasons that you presented.

(this data will be printed out, shredded and used as bedding for Mushroom the Guinea Pig)
The Start Player marker is shaped, provocatively, like a penis.
The rules were coherent and decipherable.
It is not possible to score over 100 points / it’s possible to get a negative score ie. a score worse than if you’d not bothered ever playing it in the first place!
It doesn’t support nine players.
Poor box fart.
The Start Player marker is not shaped, provocatively, like a penis.
There is no App for it.
There are too many paths to victory.
The yellow counters don’t taste like lemon.
The Mediterranean trader on the box front’s eyes follow me as I walk around the room.
The cardboard smells like cheese.
The art / iconography triggered a fit in my hamster.
It took four hours to play rather than the 90 minutes it said on the box.
Bought under the influence of FOMO.
I rated it a 1 on BGG.
The monochrome abstract game is not colour-blindness friendly.
The central currency is £ instead of $.
I cannot fit my cat in to the box lid.
I cannot fit the box lid in to my cat.
It wasn’t flame-proof.
My friend picked up a cheaper copy so we’re keeping his instead.
Twilight Imperium 4th Ed is not pocket-sized.
It wasn’t made available on Kickstarter; it was a general release exclusive.
It’s made of recycled paper rather than fresh, new tree-pulp..
I don’t like the Theme.
I didn’t see the bad reviews until after I’d bought it.
There aren’t enough promos.
The meeples are not anatomically-correct.
I had to pay MSRP.
I found a typo and, therefore, demand proof-reader remuneration.
It won’t fit on my spare shelf properly.
It contains paper money.
      87 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell
Twitter Facebook
16 Comments
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
125 
 Thumb up
28.25
 tip
 Hide

alone in the dark

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


...I wake: it's 0400HRS and I lie there - duvet-snug - in the Autumnal dark and stare up at the barely-discernable ceiling. Just four weeks ago, I'd have been legs-stuck-out-the-side / cooling fan buzzing in the light of a bright Summer dawn: what a difference 28 days makes. My work calendar shows Essen Spiel looming on its be-grid-ed horizon and thoughts, in the gloom, turn to unboxing my first Lux Aeterna; I close my eyes and picture my favourite artwork pieces and the tummy flutters with excitement. An electric spark and this train of thinking chuffs instantly to how the Stand (4-F121) will look with all of its various boxes and cartons stacked; this is the first Spiel since 2016 in which I - personally - have a design to sell and in a Kiesling-esque homage, I'm actually pushing five (FIVE!) new releases this time! Synaptic-spark: What will I be doing in the evenings? Heavy Cardboard and supper with the Swedes and the Garretts and, gosh, maybe a trip to the Ice Hockey with the irrepressible Ulrich Blennemann. Synapse-fizz: Will I get any time off during the day? I might be demoing with Lookout and hanging out at Studio H Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea enclave - ooh, I suggested they get a real Chaiwala serving real Chai Tea and I wonder how that's getting on.There is a rattle outside as an early-bird traveller revs too-fast down the residential street and Dopplers away; it's very quiet again - no Dawn chorus - and I can hear the tinnitus whine in my ears and I remember that I am getting old. Our eldest daughter is coming back from Australia in a few weeks and we were reminded of that first pregnancy - oddly during an episode of The Handmaid's Tale - when me and Mrs B would just sit and watch Alice's knee/foot/elbow push up Mrs B's belly as she spun around in the womb. I had long hair back then - a big pony tail falling down the middle of my back and looking like it was trying to drag my fringe along with it. We decorated our first home throughout: striping away the old paint and paper and adding our own. I remember we came back from the maternity hospital - just down the road (and now a site of Student Accommodation for thousands - no original bricks remain) - and put the sleeping babe on the sofa and just stared at her for 10 minutes: "What the Hell do we do now?", we laughed. And then we hugged each other and we wept. I still can't drift off but am resisting the (very strong) urge to pick up my phone and check the news: every day is a will-sapping, rollercoaster ride of cautious optimism, frustration, rage, pessimism and confusion. I refuse to get drawn in to the lurking anxiety and fluff up the pillows instead; this has given me enough of a distraction and I decide I need a pee. It's amazing how cold your feet can get in the two minutes it takes to nip to the toilet and back; I wrap them in the duvet, rubbing them together, to regain the previous soothing warmth. Arthur seems to be enjoying his new School; my melancholy at his inevitable 'growing up' is tempered by the fact that he and I are spending an average of 90 minutes a day playing with Lego: he's building an Optimus Prime model from an indie book of designs while I'm pushing forward on ever-smaller and ever-more-intricate puzzle boxes: the air is alive with the near-constant scrattle of us sifting pieces. We managed to slip a Lego card in to The Black Overcoat Game - an obstacle that makes passing through a location painful - at the request of the children; we played it last night and Karen won. It was the first time in ages that Daisy joined us: she's been very low recently but seems on the mend at last - my thoughts turn to Daisy's story-of-the-last-few-years and I feel sad in the gloom. What's in store for all of the children? How is the madness going to resolve itself? Could we / should we just move somewhere else and start all over again? I feel like I've been walking on egg-shells for so long now: even my regular anti-panic medication seems to be buckling under the stress of everything. Shaking the morbidity off, I force myself to imagine how Spiel will be again: this is a happy place, indeed. Those Lux cards are going to look soooooo sweet...
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:35 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
71 
 Thumb up
7.05
 tip
 Hide

Mash

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Board game mash-ups are becoming a lot more popular: tried-and-tested, familiar mechanisms spiced with a refreshed theme equals Hotness VIP Pass guaranteed. So, with that in mind, here are some of my own ideas for board game mash-ups - of course, add your own in the comments if you can be bastard-bothered.

Kiesling's tile-selection super-hit meets TMG's Scoville in My Azul Is On Fire!.

Don't forget to get your hands on the Essen promos for Underwater Cities - Underwater Cities: Oh Shit Who Left That Porthole Open?!

Crossing Speak Out with Dragon's Breath to give us the strange (and smelly) Kingdom Breath: Monster.

Cathedral building on the Indian subcontinent in The Pilaus Of The Earth.

Enter the world of male genital piercing through tableau building and card combos in Wang's Pin (the art is incredible).

Longing for another Pfister game with the thematic / racial controversy of Mombasa? Why not try Black Up: Hong Kong (two-for-the-price-of-one!)?

Fancy some deck building in a Cambrian landscape? Then you need to get A Few Acres of Snowdonia. And speaking of Wales, how about Welsh baking takes on Feldian point salad in Bara Bara Brith? Or the woes of being stuck in the UKs most miserable town in 1966: Tears To Many Merthyrs.

Deeper narrative in gaming has also become a major selling point so I propose Kneading On: The Troubled Loaf of Baker Illy. Or The 7th Incontinence: card-based, wet-your-own adventures?

Aside: Will the Fr version of Letter Jam be called French Letter Jam?

BTW did you know that Mr Knizia has a new game about Skydiving and he's working with a mutual developer? yes, indeed: Reiner drops Keep Falling on my Ed(itor).


Er..this was another of those 'long meeting at work' doodles; it started with the old lady's nose and developed, organically, from there:


Twitter Facebook
10 Comments
Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:46 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [291]