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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Innovations

Anthony Boydell
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Essen-tial Equipment for the Gaming Connoisseur:

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Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:20 am
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Save One For Meeeeeeeee!

Anthony Boydell
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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!)
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Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:20 am
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A Shopping List

Anthony Boydell
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Things I want and/or have already ordered from Spiel, 2019:

All of the new stuff from Lookout Games ie. Expedition to Newdale, Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears, Agricola: Corbarius Deck and Mandala.

Throne of Allegoria - playtested this at Leiriacon in 2018 and it's a great twist on worker-placement combined with blind bidding!

Assembly (& associated expansions) - looks quirky and interesting and it's sure to be a hidden gem: something I am increasingly looking for on my Spiel wanderings.

ベルーガ (Beluga) - I used to hoover up one of everything from Japon Brand but have now toned that down a bit; being a bit more selective got me last year's superb Airship City.

Cooper Island - been following this through it's development and, given that this is an Ode game and Mathias at Frosted is chief developer, I think this will be thinky and ace.

Crystal Palace - something heavier for the weekend, Sir? Yes bloody please!

DANY - all aboard the 'different' train!

Deckscape: The Curse of the Sphinx - I love this series so a new entry in the catalogue is a must-buy.

Deep Blue - A new Asger & Daniel game? Count me in!

Geometric Art - A party drawing game with geometric shapes? Sure to draw a Barber Shop Quartet of WTF's at the Ross-on-Wye club!

Lovelace & Babbage - Unashamedly want from the name alone.

Montmartre - Set collecting card game, you say? Happy memories of Plums draws me to this instantly.

MegaCity: Oceania - Got. To. Have. This. In. My. Life.

Pandoria expansions (x2) - because, even though I haven't played the base game yet, I need all the extras.

Skytopia: in the circle of time - instantly sold on the Laputa: Castle In The Sky vibe.

Reworking of Dadocheng wot I saw in playtest on Instagram - because Dadaocheng is fantastic.

Through the Ages: New Leaders and Wonders - because you can never have too much of a good thing. And because there's FINALLY been an expansion made!

There you go; how did I do?
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26 Comments
Sat Sep 7, 2019 6:55 am
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Punterbaitin'

Anthony Boydell
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Something a bit special for the Spiel launch?!
#promos #tonyisdoingitagain #fomo #punterbaiting
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Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:05 am
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Bad Lux Brian

Anthony Boydell
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You know, it's always a joy when your manufacturer - with seven weeks to go until Spiel 2019 - comes out with a facepalm-ing issue AND that joy is further enhanced by having had peeps work like bloody Trojans to get everything print-ready in time in the first place.

Quote:

I’m really sorry to bring some bad news but the card supplier we had lined up for this project has, despite pressure our side, indicated that he can in no way supply in time for Essen. I already went to other suppliers and found one that can ensure delivery in time and against the desired quality but if they were to produce the cards on the same size (105x75mm) it would be app. 1,- per game more expensive. And as that is too big a price gap for us to cover I need to discuss this with you to see how best to proceed.

What I don't understand is why there is a 'card supplier'; I always thought they'd print decks on large sheets of casino board and then cut, stack and pack 'em?! Mother Theresa on a Dogshit Bicycle but this is a fucking pantomime, ain't it?! Who knows if we'll get it sorted in time now.

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Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:08 pm
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Ah, Dougal; you'll have had your tea?!

Anthony Boydell
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The gorgeous and erudite Mr Ben Maddox has reviewed my game...and he rather likes it:



https://fivegamesfordoomsday.com/2019/08/14/alubari-a-5g4d-r...

And no money changed hands so the children shall eat tonight!
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Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:14 pm
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Processing the weather for the round? Rain (again)

Anthony Boydell
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In 2014, twelve hundred copies of Ivor the Engine arrived on our doorstep while a) I was away at work and b) it was pissing down with rain. Fortunately, the Paulls were around to help with getting the stock off the driveway and in to the dry.

Fast-forward to 2019 and, micturate in attendance / both felines and canines together in their precipitation, I get a phone call at work from 'the driver' asking where he might find my house as I'm next on the schedule: he has a palletized delivery for me. There is only one thing that I am expecting that involves pallets and that's my 105 copies of Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set; oh dear...

A quick phone call to Mrs B - still asnooze - to prepare her for the incoming and now it's out of my hands until 'going home time'. Arthur offered to help with getting the boxes out of the rain.

By making her a cup of tea.

And then sitting back down on the sofa to watch his TV programme.


(the tea looks a bit 'white', don't it?!)








We're a gender parity household and no mistake. Now, who - in the UK - needs a copy?
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Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:43 am
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But, yesterday, you were complaining..?!

Anthony Boydell
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(Yep. I was. I'm nothing if not a flip-flopping hypocrit: a 'flypocrit', if you will. Anyway, this is too bloody gorgeous to keep to myself)

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Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:55 am
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de-lux-ified

Anthony Boydell
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Your ship has sustained massive damage and is falling apart around you; it is drifting toward the ultimate catastrophe, a Black Hole. You are alone.

Alex, cousin to Mrs B and a very fine fine artist indeed, has been sending me a growing number of pieces for the upcoming Lux Aeterna (our Essen 2019 release); to say that I'm 'pleased' really doesn't do justice to the tummy-flips and jaw-drops I experience on first sight:



The simple, crisp Jean Giraud-like lines and the silk screen-esque effect of a single colour flash are utterly gorgeous, haunting and evocative.

Wow.
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:18 am
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Insert Money Here

Anthony Boydell
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A brief Essen anecdote for a Sunday morning:

"Directly-opposite the A-Muse-Ment booth (noble purveyors of the excellent and beautiful Tales of the Northlands: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog) was a booth for laser-cut, wooden box inserts. I can't remember their name because there's at least two 'famous' ones and keep getting them muddled; it's not an important detail.

Anyway, I noted they had one of those huge Scythe 'box for everything's with it's own insert etc. So, I approached the kindly Lady at the POS and enquired of the cost; the reply went along these lines (I'm paraphrasing):

Me: How much is the big box, please?
Them: 40 euros.
Me: And how much is the insert, please?
Them: 50 euros. Do you have the original game insert from us?
Me: No.
Them: Oh, well you would need one of those as well. That would be 50 euros.
Me: 140 euros for everything?
Them: Yes, that's right!
Me: No discount for buying everything in one go?
Them: No, sorry.
Me: 140 euros? (chuckling to myself) I love Scythe but I don't love it THAT much! Thanks. Goodbye!
"

Make (or not) of that what you will.
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Sun Nov 4, 2018 10:06 am
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