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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You Little Tees

Anthony Boydell
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Bin sortin' aht the old "uniform" for Essen Spiel and decided to get some Lux Aeterna tee-shirts printed:


Everyone say "Cheese!"



Look! An aeroplane!


If you like, you can get your own from here:
https://www.teepublic.com/user/tonyboydell
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Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:40 am
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Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Anthony Boydell
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Have you ever listened to 'Christian Rock' music? It's absolute tosh; it's monumental, tiresome arse: anodyne, cringeworthy, bland. Truly, the electric guitar is the Devil's instrument and all the best stories are His: Praise Be*.

And what of Christian board games? If you'd ever wondered what the answer the question "Is there anything worse than a roll-and-move game?" is, then just add a Heavenly theme to one and there's your reply. I'm'not suggesting that religious themes are shit - look at that Pope game (Habemus papam yadda-yadda) and Rajas of the Ganges' - just that Christianity-pushing themes are: self-flagellating, demeaning, prissy, bigoted and smug.

Follow the path of Redemption in to the clouds or slide down the greasy, sin-pole to the underworld? Candyland for the perpetually-terrified. Sanctimony is not a good vibe for an evening's entertainment; I'd rather not spend my gaming sesssions being told I'm an appalling Being - and a massive Cosmic let-down to my 'Father' - by a bloody board game! Boring, preachy, scripted; if a Christian board game were to be a true reflection of our spiritual travails, it should begin by espousing the mantra of Free Will and then increasingly punish you for exercising it as the rounds go on: multiple paths to Defeat, preferably lined, with good intentions. No, indeed; if I am to lose my self-esteem then I want to do it attempting to establish a lucrative railway network, a sustainable medieval farm and/or the judicious manipulation of the Art markets.



So with my cynicism dialed up to eleven, here's a starter-for-ten list of pun-tastic Christian board games:

Fiddlytwinks / Popeline / Nonce Upon A Time (Vatican special editions)
Terraforming Mary / Anachronysm
Gloomheaven / Dam-Nations
18{Cross}{Cross} / Railroad Revelations
At The Gates Of Sheol(ang) / St. Peter's Burgh
Holy Ghost Stories
God Of Love / ...and then we nailed hands...
Hey That's My Fish! (and Five Loaves)
Pope John Company / An Infamous Maffick /
@Habits / The Cassocks Are Coming!

Oh well; rant over. Go about your business.

*and Blessed Day, Under His Eye etc
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Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:21 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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The Rough With The Smooth

Anthony Boydell
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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.
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Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:55 am
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Oh, Matron!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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While the weather is still clement, journeys home from work on a Thursday PM continue to feature a brief shop-wandering stop-off and this week it was the town of Lydney that was graced with my tat-browsing presence.

Lydney has a proud history of industry what with being a major river-side train stop, proximal to the now disappeared Severn Railway Bridge, possessing of Docks and coal/iron arteries in to the Forest of Dean. All that, of course, is now gone leaving it a grumbling, litter-strewn home for hairdressers, nail bars and takeaways. Indeed, my entry to the AGE UK shop was heralded with the loud moans of an elderly lady who asked "Why do I get up in the morning? What's the bloody point?" in response to "What do you think of the new Turkish Barbers?". Honestly, missus; take a bloody chill pill; having a coronary about a male grooming sub-let is hardly worth it! She must've been in one of those moods, however, as no matter the placatory bon mots from the kindly PoS (point of sale) Volunteer, she disagreed with every retort: so much so that I believe she both agreed strongly and disagreed vehemently with her own position. Ah, but I digress; what you really want to know is what I found!

And here it is:


What could possibly be ailing this patient?
His foot is in plaster, so it could only be:
Pancreatic Failure or a Brain Tumour, surely?


Languishing in a top-shelf, dusty corner of a rather scruffy outlet - no sorting, just thrown - this 1970s throwback waved to me and - for the price of pocket shrapnel (a quid) - it was soon mine. I expected it to be missing a few pieces and well-loved but was happy to have it as a wall adornment in my future museum; imagine my Joy, then, when peeling away the dry and crumbling period-authentic sellotape I found it used...but absolutely complete:



You slot an holey illness card in to the 3D bed piece and use the thermometer to Yes/No at various body parts; check the answers off your clipboard and boil the options down to one illness before everyone else. Genius!


The wonderful inventiveness of the 'illness cards' (right)!


All the player markers were present and intact; even the X-Ray machine's red plastic sheet - if crumpled - was there:



I will take this to the Ross-on-Wye club tonight and push my luck in getting it played. I mean why not? This is exactly the kind of thing that wiled away a rainy Saturday afternoon when I was barely in to double-figures.

Postscript: And, yes, I was tempted to make reference to the 1980s shite-haired, blandness-personified popsters "The Thompson Twins" but they're so rubbish I just couldn't be arsed.
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Fri Sep 6, 2019 8:45 am
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Facelift

Anthony Boydell
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Me, Mrs B and Arthur have been playing a lot of The Black Overcoat Game this Summer and - as I have done many times in the Past - I kept promising to give it a bit of an overhaul. I've forgotten a number of the mechanics and (it turns out) I've had v0_8 of the cards in the box this whole time while the fully-coloured-in v0_9 cards were tucked away in the Shed's archives!

Biting the bullet, I started on the card templates the weekend-before-last and had been adding text and tweaking effects since. By Friday, with the receipt of a new batch of Spielmateriel goodies, I was ready to start cutting-and-sticking. Sunday and Monday was all about the updated board and Monday evening was the first session using v0_10:













Some of the previously-OP objects have been toned down and I've separated the 'Take That!' stuff to make 'The White Overcoat's Nastier Than A Maggoty Cheesecake Expansion'. So, when the sun had set behind the silver birches, we three took it out for a spin.

Arthur cheekily stole game one from a seething Mrs B after trapping her in the attic with an Elephant, stealing her anti-grav boots and floating in to the Vegetable patch where both the fortune and my first character's remains lay buried! Game two had me painfully abusing time travel to have three turns in a row and take my place in the Sitting Room with a capacious legacy.

I've already ear-marked some board changes (it IS a bit too huge - see below) and all of the art needs to be redone/transferred across, but it's lovely to see it in a fresher skin:



Now, it seems like the perfect time to resurrect this (from 2014):

(with apologies to Chris Spedding)



Proto typin’ – proto typin’
Proto typin’ – notes a-writin’
Sleeving up a deck to play
Working out a way of fightin’
If you gotta roll roll gotta roll plastic dice - excitin’
Listen to me and I'll tell you no lie
Go first to choose, go last to scrye
I built a new mechan-ical way
It means the game will play.

Proto typin’ – proto typin’
Proto typin’ – notes a-writin’
Jotting down the rules of play
Working out a way of fightin’

Oh baby wont you come with me
I’ve got a board and cubes, you see
Well here I am again I’m playin’ black
I got my crowdie he’s a riding the track
And we’re scoring about ninety five
Whoo! It’s got hex tiles like Hive!

Proto typin’ – proto typin’ - Proto typin’ – notes a-writin’
Jotting down the rules of play, making sure they're good and tightin’
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Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:20 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.

angry
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:08 pm
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railways look like lying-down ladders

Anthony Boydell
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I was searching the filesystem for some old Bloody Legacy art files but came up with zilch. The nearest thing was a first .PPT attempt at a version 2 - ie. more cards, more powers - and in one of the 'Archive' directories, buried in the ruins of a hundred failed-to-get-even-a-paper-version ideas, was this:



I've been mulling over doing a Snowdonia: Das Kartenspiel for a while but (obviously) I'd been thinking about it 10 years ago. Naturally, I neither remember doing this nor do I recall how any of it might get played out! It does look like a shared deck, ladder-climbing affair - which would make those who draw the trains or stations seem to have a big advantage? Maybe?

Anyway, I've printed the slides out and set them aside for a drizzly afternoon; I still have to find a way of bleeding those heritage railways for the filthy Gift Shop lucre!
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:15 am
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The 30 year old W.I.P

Anthony Boydell
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A long time ago, in a 24hr Petrol Station far far away*, I was doing the Night Shift while waiting for my job vetting to be completed; once all of the sweeping and re-stocking was done, there was precious little to do until the dawn fuel rush except listen to local radio OR read OR do my Black Overcoat cartoon strip.

Tucked away in a scrapbook folder behind a stack of board games in the Library room were several pages of the started-but-not-finished episodes for Book Six: first penciled on the cheap countertop of the Ross Spur Services in 1990/1:



I can't remember any of the intended panel scripts though the overall story - from the nine-or-so finished inks - seems to have been a Blade Runner / Alien piss-take with a splash of V For Vendetta for good luck. Perhaps, if I ever get around to game-ifying my B.O.G. prototype, I'll need to resurrect the muscle-memory behind the cartoons and bring Mr O to life once more?


*in Ross-on-Wye, actually
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Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:45 am
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