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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

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Adventskalendar 14 - Once was Lost but now I am Found

Anthony Boydell
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There has been a steady buzz about Mr Peer Sylvester's search & rescue solo/co-op and it was recently announced to be re-themed in the Judge Dredd universe (double win for Uncle Tony, then!). I'd picked it up while shopping for birthday/Christmas presents but popped it back on the shelf after seeing a £5 cheaper online option (thus depriving the Cardiff shop of £22); don't feel too sad because I spent £50 with them anyway!

Thus, today's good-lookin' Advent promo is a welcome delight:



My copy has yet to arrive, however, as the weekend's snowy spell has ground the British infrastructure to a complaining halt #karmabites #revengeoftheFLGS
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Promo, Promo - Wherefore Art Thou Promo?

Anthony Boydell
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Some people will do ANYTHING to get themselves an exclusive Scythe promo, won't they?!

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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Today 6:20 am
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Alone Again (Naturally)

Anthony Boydell
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It would be churlish not to have a go at my own Snowdonia 'Set Challenge' for December so - after OD-ing on 'Hello Neighbour' YouTube videos with Arthur - I cleared the detritus from the Library room's coffee table. The challenge - as you may recall from a couple of weeks back - is Base Game Solo with NO train and no means of getting a train; thus, one's third worker will languish in the Pub for the duration and coal is only good for a specific contract card.

After the initial setup, I realised quite a lot of my components were missing: purloined for prototypes (ANCOT, the ongoing 2 player design with Boffo etc), so I had to venture in to the dusky, snowbound garden (in my flimsiest shoes) and raid the chilly shed.



In summary: I took the 'Stock Yard' and 'Office' whenever a card of use popped up and that left me with 8 steel bars and only a handful of rounds remaining: double-doubled excavate followed by track+track+track and a sneaky Yr Wyddfa 'build' for 14. Managed to make a nice rockery out of the 17 unused rubble...but, unfortunately, rockeries aren't worth any points.

Thirty minutes later - soundtracked by sides 1 & 2 of Kiss "Alive" - I was 121 points better off and placed Eighth in the League Table: no too shabby, to be sure!

It's fun to spectate as players learn from earlier mistakes and begin to tag the secret of a higher score in this limited scenario: one makes a breakthrough and then others begin to exploit it. Fan-bloody-tastic!

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Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:45 am
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Adventskalendar 13 - Pig Ignorant

Anthony Boydell
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Nope; me, neither.


By way of a distraction - and because it's been a while since we did some punning - any suggestions for properly-Porcine pastimes? Let me start things off:

Sucklingdomino / Hams Of Caledonia
Heaven & Ale & Pork Scratchings
Apples to Apple Sauce / Styfall
Gloucester Old Spot It! / Tammanyworth Hall / Boara Boara
Snowballdonia / Susfjord*
Blood Pudding Rage
Massive Porkness / Gammon Death: Monster
Baconcordia / Hamburgum (obvs)
Wooly Belly / Pig of Love
Through The Sausages (of course)
Great Western (Curly) Tail

*this is VERY clever indeed.
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Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:20 am
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And the winner of the Internet today is...

Anthony Boydell
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Punk Beetle!
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Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:42 pm
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Adventskalendar 12 - A Diamond in the Roughage

Anthony Boydell
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My general distaste for Splendor is well-known around this blog, for sure, so it won't come as any kind of surprise that today's Advent gift - a new thingummyperson tile - causes me to remain wholly indifferent:



Perhaps I should try and verbalise the reasons why this undoubtedly popular, multi-award nominated heavy box of tosh elicits such strong feelings from me? As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am an unprejudiced gamer with a peaceable demeanor and an open mind so it is anathema to many that I, of all people, should have such a strong opinion.

i) it's a set collection race, perhaps the most turgid of all game 'goals'; forever being at the mercy of 'the draw' and/or 'the spitefulness/stupidity of the other players' does not make it challenging or skillful, just a time-chewing exercise in frustration;

ii) the chips are a ridiculous over-production element that lead to postage weight problems and, naturally, an excuse to ramp up the MSRP for what is just a fancy card game at it's heart;

iii) the (so-called) clever 'oppositeness' of jewel costs vs 'permanent free jewel bestowed' is not clever at all; it's just a speed-bump to make the whole tiresome affair dribble onward toward doomsday. You gaze around the table seeing everyone is still a couple of cards away from ending the torture but other groups are already starting new things on the other tables: look! You're gonna be stuck with 'gem trading' for the rest of the night and you know it in the pit of your sinking stomach.

iv) everyone finishes with pretty much the same score at the end; it's just that "Bob took a blue when he shoulda taken a green" or "...the flip of that card - with you as the next player - was a total gift!" or "I was never able to pick up a diamond card" or a million other niggling, pissant excuses reasons.
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Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:30 am
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a shoulder to cry on

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One of the constant (and undeniably valid) gamer complaints about this time of year on BGG / Social Media is that while the Internets makes us fully aware of all the good new games to get our hands on, there are never any copies of those good new games available!

As a growing community, it is essential that we - the fortunate few - maintain a dignified and supportive stance to comfort our fellow enthusiasts in their time of need. For example, there has been a bit of a run of 'want to buy's on the UK trading groups for the excellent Azul; doing my (albeit small) bit for partners-in-gaming-crime, I recently posted this reassuring message:

Spoiler (click to reveal)


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Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:25 pm
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Sitting up straight on the back of a bus

Anthony Boydell
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It's been barely a month since my own semi-centurious celebrations but, of course, its that time for many of my pals too; thus, Saturday night saw a Beer Bus tour of the Stourbridge area (!) in honour of my goodest pal Malcolm.

Firstly, as I have remarked before, I pretty much owe ending up as a game designer/player to this short, ginger dwarf from Dudley; he introduced me to my first D&D session (Rocky Lane, Liverpool - 1987) which led to roleplaying during my sandwich year which led to board gaming in my sandwich year (a lot of Ikusa and Diplomacy) and thence, ultimately, the progression to Magic: The Gathering, Coppertwaddle and so on and so forth.

Secondly, by 'Beer Bus Tour' I mean a motorised pub crawl around the industrial West Midlands: doesn't sound very salubrious BUT every damn Pub we ended up in had a wonderful, wide-ranging selection of real ales and craft beers.


(clockwise from the top) The naughty kids (including Mrs B) at the back of the bus;
the birthday boy (that's NOT his real moustache); and,
our (bloody freezing!) carriage on this snowy evening.


Friday and Saturday had seen a healthy dump of snow in the region and we were warned of more for early Sunday AM; thus - with a nervous tum - we dispatched Arthur to his grandparents, Benedict to a friends and Fred was going to enjoy the entire house to himself...albeit for less than 24 hours. I feared less for the well-being of the contents of the Boydell Drinks Fridge than I did for me and Mrs B getting stranded in the midst of a Brummie blizzard! Thankfully, we were vigorously-refreshed and full of pie and mash by midnight and sat in front of a blazing fire in Malcolm's 'local' and cared not a single jot!


(clockwise from the top left) Plum porter at the Severn Valley Railway terminus;
Too Many Santas;
safely home at the end of a long journey home; and,
a lunchtime (teaching game) of Codenames: Pictures


Beer of the night was, for me, 'Enville' - a delicious, light and honey-tanged gluggable amber - whilst the biggest thumbs-down was a rank 'Coffee & Vanilla Ale' that made everyone who sipped it gag and retch!

We greeted a snow-silenced Sunday with paracetamol, hot drinks, bacon and black pudding and - after a session to teach the Halls how to play Codenames: Pictures - slow-drove the slushy roads back to Newent. We picked up Benedict (travelling a worrisome, hardly-thawed lane) but had to leave Arthur with his Gee-Peeps on account of them all being snowed in amongst the hills of Lydbrook. He'll be absolutely fine, of course: snow, no school on Monday and able to drink his own weight in Hot Chocolate.

Me? Well I'll be working from home today (see the drift-blown Touran above) and maybe get a couple of runs at December's Snowdonia Solo Challenge (see last week's post) - I can hardly let all of that proceed without having a pop myself, can I?
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Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:55 am
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Adventskalendar 11 - A proper State to find oneself in!

Anthony Boydell
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51st State: Master Set

Ignacy is a top bloke.

You'll find no negative feelings here.

You can go about your business.

Good day.
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Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 10 - How are you pronouncing that?

Anthony Boydell
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Iquazú

Before I get to my rant, let's try and agree what the game is called:



Right!

Now to the promo itself!

...

Oh, crivens - I've run out of ti-
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Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:50 am
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