Everyone Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.

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A Bird, on the Pavement

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Yesterday, on my way home from the Museum:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Charming!
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Today 6:30 am
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The Gentry Diary of an English Count

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Pun microbadges are the wurst!
Out and about yesterday, for a couple of hours, to escape the doldrums of electronic conferencing applications, Project politics and a growing ennui:

We're going on a long walk
We're going on a long walk
I've got my wellington boots
I've got my waterproof coat
I'm not scared
Zigg's not scared
From gallery of tonyboydell

Ooh, look at that deep, rippled pond
It's so wide
We can't go over it
We can't go under it
We can't go through it
We can't go before it
We're just gonna have to go around it
We're gonna have to go around it
Splish, splash, splish, splash!
From gallery of tonyboydell

We're going on a long walk
We're going on a long walk
I've got my bluetooth headphones
I've got my downloaded 'casts
I'm not scared
Zigg's not scared
From gallery of tonyboydell

Uh-oh, there's a fallen tree
Ooh
We can't go over it
We can't go under it
We can't go around it
We can't go before it
We're just gonna have to go through it
I hope it's not too spiky
Swish, bash, swish, bash!

We're going on a long walk
We're going on a long hike
I've got Zigg's savoury treats
I've got my bottle of water
I'm not scared
Zigg's not scared
From gallery of tonyboydell

Eww, look at all the anthills
Ugh, so ants-y
We can't go around them
We can't go under them
We can't go behind them
We can't go before them
We're just gonna have to go over them
Ugh, if I have to:
Squish, crush, squelch, squash!

We're going on a long walk
We're going on a long hike
I've got Zigg's retracting lead
I've got my full-charge Fitbit
I'm not scared
Zigg's not scared
From gallery of tonyboydell

Uh-oh, what's that?
It's a lane
We can't go over it
We can't go under it
We can't go around it
We can't go inside it
We're just gonna have to go through it
Are you sure?
Step, step, step, step...

It sure is murky here
What's that round the corner?
I hear two loud beeps
I hear two loud beeps
I see two bright lights
I see two bright lights
It's coming quite fast
I know what that is!
What?
It's a car!
Let's get outta here!
Let's run back up the lane
Step, step, step!
OK, quickly, back through the ants!
Squish, crush, squelch
OK, let's clamber thru the tree!
Swish, bash, swish!
And, quick, through the cool pond!
Splish, splash, splish
And, quick, through the yard!
Up the stairs!
Into the house!
Close the door!
Whew!
Uh, we're safe
That was a close one
Let's not go long walking anymore...
From gallery of tonyboydell

...at least not for a day or two.

From gallery of tonyboydell

One letter makes all the difference.
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Sat Jul 2, 2022 6:15 am
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Pocket Money

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Another day, another daft idea for a Museum gift shop product:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Quote:
Please consider becoming a Patron of The Museum of Board Games via https://www.patreon.com/themuseumofboardgames
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Fri Jul 1, 2022 9:20 am
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Tinned Tomatos

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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With a complete lack of responses to my Museum Gaming post, I unlocked the Unit with mild trepidation of a 'no show' and an early bath. I had a few jobs about the place to keep me occupied: stocking up the gift shop with some family-friendly, YAY Games goodies - Ominoes, Sandcastles and my co-design The Gruffalo:Games from the Deep, Dark Wood. I'd chatted with Andrew Harman, at the UKGE, and he'd informed me that royalties were due on 'The Gruff' as there'd been quite the pre-Christmas run on sales...as it turned out - when the Statement plopped into my Inbox - over 8,500 copies! That's more than the entirety of the EN edition of Guilds of London, you know?! Christmas time was also pretty good for Race The Rails and I am patiently waiting for the 2nd printing for the shop too.

All my worrying was for naught, however, as Gary and then Dave and Joe and Paul and Tom and Sandra trotted in - one at a time like the Dwarves at Bag End - all keen for some dobber-shovin' goodness. Dave taught Tinners' Trail to the Henlys, leaving the others to join me for vanilla Snowdonia:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The weather was mostly benign as the three new work parties explored the timing and placement subtleties of my magnum opus: Joe seemed to grok the flow pretty quick but failed to heed my initial 'teach' advice of "Get Contract Cards: you can't win the game without them!" - all of his good work couldn't be converted into end game bonuses. Sandra and Gary, on the other hand, duked it out for second place with a trio of completed cards each and just the single point between them. During the packing away, I showed some of the other scenarios and there were murmurs of 'future play' interest forthcoming.

There was one more round of Cornish diggery still to go, so I continued the railway theme with Mini Express: the gloriously uncomplicated rules belying it's nasty, crunchy nature:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The first game - with the Snowndonians - was pretty cagey, though much enjoyed; the second, with me and the Henlys, was even cagier - avoiding share purchases and bleeding the train stocks down to nothing. Tom and I were neck-and-neck for WOOD influence and kept trying to sneak extra bumps with the smallest possible route builds; in the end, however, my spread of high-value IRON and WOOD, regardless of '1st', sailed me off the end of the score track for 61 points. If only I had a copy of my United Kingdom map* as we really should play this fabulous filler more!

As the second game of Mini-Express started, the others were settling in to another Dave teach - this time Reykholt:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Young Joe played a blinder to finish two tables ahead of the others!

This would take them to the finish; meanwhile, after Tom had to go, Paul and I rounded off this most excellent evening with some historical warfare:

Though both rusty in the ways of this small-box big game, we were soon niggling and bluffing. I had it all my own way until the final (fifth) round, though: winning each Battle and always close to controlling all three regions. However, in the final round Paul moved some troops into the North - my bastion - and set himself up for a TOTAL WIN if he could beat me in the last Battle! I almost snatched my defeat from the jaws of victory - not even Paul equaling my triple 5s could stave off my assault entirely: a close and thrilling denouement!

*see Paul Grogan's teach/play-through here: https://youtu.be/VCIrlbblzVI
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Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:30 am
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The beautiful, briny sea

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Pun microbadges are the wurst!
With a mild threat of rain, I meandered down to the Newent Library to wait for my lift in to Gloucester for another Tuffley Tuesday; though the dark clouds stayed away long enough for me to shelter in pal Ian's 'new' second-hand car, I would get caught in a "big shower" later anyway...ha-ha! I am referring to the board gamers as a 'shower': that's proper wordplay and such!

Anyway, it was another splendid, bustling session nestled between the 'hammer-ers' and the skittle alley: fifteen pushing through cardboard and plastic in the forms of Western Legends, Endeavor: Age of Sail, Spirit Island, Xia: Legends of a Drift System, Crokinole, Ponzi Scheme and Nusfjord!

There was mild discussion on our table - Nick, Jack, Tom and me - as to the 'opener': Tom scoffing his Pringles in a shower of corn shards and salt crystals, Jack swirling his D'Artagnan moustache and Nick refusing to even entertain the hearing of the name of a Boydell prototype let alone play one. In the end, Nick pulled out Endeavor to better see the contents of his bag and I latched onto it immediately - for 'tis a superlative game:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The new edition includes a 'tighter' board for 4 players, so we went for that; being the first outing for Jack and Tom, we ignored the many-and-various expansions (mini and not-so-mini) to follow the perfectly-marvellous 'Base Game'. Struggling to keep all of the cards I'd collected - a couple of shields on the Shield Track short each round - I was left in the colonialisational dust by the others; Jack and Nick, in particularly, quickly sweeping up the European Ports and the latter finding India entirely to himself, property-wise. I'm not sure I liked the 'tighter' board but Endeavor is yet another example of an older game, revisited, that puts most modern fayre to shame: elegant, thoughtful, challenging and fun.

Talking of 'fun', we decided that game#2 should avoid any kind of fun whatsoever - the painful, stressful and appalling Ponzi Scheme:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Tom had a right mare and quickly set himself up for a Round 4 collapse - much to the delight (and relief) of the rest of us! The naff tie-break gave Nick the win but just making it to the end without tanking is victory enough for me - all of my 3rd place '4' points coming from a stack of unspent cash.

My driver was still showering a pretty table of moulded and painted scenery with polyhedra, so we finished a fecund evening with the second-best Uwe game:
From gallery of tonyboydell

First time for Tom, he did very well to get joint second place with Jack on 29 points; Nick tied himself in knots pursuing a building/Elder combo for 27 but - almost inevitably - I sailed through the hour hoovering up points via share gold, fish-serving* and a tidy tableau of generous buildings:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Nussy is, truly, one of my happy places


*Whenever I thought of fish I was reminded of the escapades of The Deep in The Boys: Arthur and I are making our way through Season 1 and not-Aquaman's gloriously unlucky attempts to rescue sea creatures (the dolphin, the lobster) make me chuckle.
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Wed Jun 29, 2022 8:48 am
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Chariots ON Fire?!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Pun microbadges are the wurst!
Saturday was Playtesting Day at the Museum: an open invitation for folks to come along and try out their own, or others', designs. I'm trying to stack the calendar with events like this to bring folks into the Town: heavens know I understand the anxiety of 'going out' rather better than before the Covid times!

Joining me for the duration were Paul and Tom, Newent Knights and - in Tom's case - a rather prolific inventor: he brought a trio of delicacies - all different from the last session we held in early Spring! After stocking up with drinks and breakfast nibbles, we kicked off the proceedings with Tom's Christmas-themed card drafting/set collection affair:

Players draft gifts to satisfy your letters to Santa for VPs. The core mechanisms are smooth enough but everything needed a bit more "oooomph!"; there was also a painful 'Coal for -3VPs' penalty for unrequited lists that needed addressing. We tried a variety of tweaks to pep-up the process: extra cards, multiples of the most common card ('sweets') usable as wild gifts ("swapsies"), more benevolent coal and a higher throughput of Lists. Plenty of notes for young Thomas to chew upon!

Next was something entirely opposite in both theme and complexity: Rome Sweet Rome - my hand-management, ladder-climbing, multi-use cards monstrosity: "Guilds of London with Tech Trees". Much more to their gaming tastes, R.S.R. was a hit with the Henly lads - Tom thumping us with a dazzling array of synergistic buildings - and I took away just a couple of minor amendments; this one feels ready to be put properly in front of a Publisher now.

For the first 'pictured' game - I'd left my iPhone on the counter as we immersed ourselves in play - Tom offered the co-operative F.O.R.E.S.T:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Inspired by Forbidden Island, it also shares a goodly amount of DNA with Flash Point: Fire Rescue. Another lighter game; family friendly, certainly, apart from the thematically-troubling "Arsonist" event cards, which we nix-ed upon drawing as just being wrong . We 'won', albeit with barely an "adequate" score, and there seemed to be nothing left to do on it: smooth, fun and complete.

Pausing for sandwiches, Tom tried to survive just one night of the Zombie Apocalypse in Triskaidekaphobia:
From gallery of tonyboydell

He came a cropper with the appropriately-named "A Dangerous Gamble" card, barely making it a third of the way through; this one tickles along very nicely as the third in my Solo Trilogy - I was even inspired, during the chatter, as to the thematic arc for them all...and it's proper Planet of the Apes-ish:
Quote:
"...you are attempting to repair your spaceship (Lux Aeterna), you realise that you are also being pulled into a Black Hole; unfortunately, you fail to escape and are sucked into a Hellish dimension where you participate in the release of Demonic forces (Aleph Null) and must survive the consequent armageddon (Triskadekaphobia). You manage to escape the zombie horror in a spaceship, but it is seriously damaged during transit; while..." (loop back ad infinitum)
To close, another run-through of Jerusalem but - this time - time-limited as I was exploring the new scoring tweaks. Previous outings have demanded a better flow of footprints (VPs) and I'd adjusted a large proportion of the Town's buildings effects to include more, and varied, ways of getting them:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Playing long-ish (90 mins with the three of us), both Paul and Tom (and, indeed, I) very much enjoyed the surreal and sarcastic nature of the tableaus that were constructed, including:
a B-road-surrounded sector of goat-worshipping, brothel-keeping monks (the brothel became a Womens' Institute):
From gallery of tonyboydell

Jerusalem's Porn Hub

And,
a dangerously-high children's slide that grew a tourist village of food, drink and medical(!) facilities around it!

Happier with the buildings, I am now resolved to remove one of the actions that tends to slow down most buildings getting into play: 'laying a foundation', as well as beefing up the vanilla 'Draw' action.
DRAW - draw two cards, one each from two different decks.
BUILD - put a building into play
UPGRADE - replace a building in play with a building of the same type OR, if you're allowed, replace a building in play with a MUNICIPAL building (the 'blue', special buildings that promote over each other to the 'big shapes' like The Reservoir, Golf Course OR Cathedral!).

A good reworking of the rulebook to include some nice pictures will also be a huge boon - this one keeps moving, pleasingly, forward; when we finally reach those dark, satanic mills this is going to be a bloody corker!
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Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:05 am
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@shitgamerpuns 175

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Mon Jun 27, 2022 6:05 am
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Ambushed.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Pun microbadges are the wurst!
Yesterday (Saturday) morning, I nipped into the Post Office to 'Drop & Go'* a couple of small packages to the US/Canada - they were Snowdonia: Isle of Mans with an extra 'exclusive from Tony' promo card.

Just barely scraping the Royal Mail's pretend letter box, they were pronounced too large for the usual £5 postage fee and would need to be at the £10.80 level instead. Caught somewhat off-guard by the doubling in price, I mentioned how previous items - no more than a couple of weeks back - had gone through at the £5 level...it turns out that the 'Drop & Go' service had, in fact, been charging me the £10 all along.

Given that absorbing the cost increase would make this entire transaction 'Net Zero' to the Museum, I scurried away, with a pounding heart, in a cloud of surprised indignation. It took me a while to bring my heartbeats down to a normal level - breathing away the panic attack.

Alerting the recipients of the situation, one was happy to 'top up' the postage fee while the other requested a refund (duly provided). Now, of course, I feel that I cannot realistically offer Isles of Man or, indeed, the Museum goodies overseas because the price point is ridiculous: neither do I have a distribution 'deal' with anyone nor a "special deal" with the Royal Mail to smoothen the process - it's just me with a roll of sellotape and a sharpie.

I hate surprises because, most of the time, they feel like an ambush!

*leave the item(s) with the staff and bugger off - they will sort it when they have a quiet moment, debiting your online account accordingly.
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Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:00 pm
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Tube or Not Tube

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Pun microbadges are the wurst!
Opening a Museum has been like opening a treasure chest: it's becoming less about emptying a house that's too full of games and more of opening the door to other people's lives. Marked-up/personalised copies of family favourites (score pads, house rules and strategy pages included), donations from generous locals, bequests from recently-departed pals and - now - the donation of a Grandfather's game designing legacy. His granddaughter, Eileen, messaged me via the Museum's Facebook page:
Quote:
I have been clearing my attic and I have a suitcase with 13 tubes with board game plans (on paper/card with instructions) all invented by my grandad in the 1920s until 1950s. My understanding is that he sent these to Waddingtons over the years but never got commissioned. There are titles such as Prime Minister, Shopkeepers, Cricket, Racing, Athletics, Pools and several others. I wonder if yourselves at the museum would be interested in seeing these and giving them a home?
This is the result - freshly-couriered from one end of the country to the other:
From gallery of tonyboydell

And here is the gentlemen in question:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Patrick Peter Mahony (1900-1965)
School teacher, Olympic-level Boxer and Game Designer!

Once I've sorted out how best to store and display these gems, I'll blog about them in more detail: in the meantime, I've got some wonderful hours ahead of unrolling and admiring this rare catalogue!

Quote:
Aside: please consider becoming a Patron via https://www.patreon.com/themuseumofboardgames
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Sat Jun 25, 2022 6:20 am
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The first dibs are the best dibs.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Pun microbadges are the wurst!
I was made an offer I couldn't refuse when gaming pal Giles sent me a preview list of a recently-acquired game collection. A first 'skim' alerted me to a number of desirable bits to add to the Museum's exhibitry which I sent back tagged as 'Interested'. There followed a further 'special stuff' menu...
From gallery of tonyboydell

...which had me pulling out the abacus and doing the finance sums: they weren't cheap but, for the Museum, they were an unmissable opportunity:
From gallery of tonyboydell

My Doctor.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Good Lord! 2nd edition (A)D&D Goodness!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Spicy!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Aa-and the rest.

Giles was generous enough to apply a 'donation' discount to the whole consignment and the deal was done. The main problem I now have is one of display space: does anyone have any IKEA glass cabinets they'd be willing to donate? RADSTA are best...
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Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:10 am
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