Everyone Needs A Shed

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

Archive for Advent Calendar

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Two Thousand Miles

Anthony Boydell
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Today's gift is for a game that I don't have (if I had a pound for every time I'm going to be saying THAT I'd have fifteen quid etc).

What strikes me is what a wasted opportunity this is; I mean, not only are the tiles EXACTLY THE SAME but they've left the sixth slot blank!
Whilst I have no idea whether West of Africa is any good or not, this so-called promo seems luke-warm to the point of being actually chilly!

From gallery of tonyboydell


I'm curious: if any of you HAVE West of Africa, does this item make you happy?

When I designed Snowdonia: Wagons Expansion for the 1000th blogpost, I put a lot of effort in to make it a full and valid addition; revisiting it for the Brettspiel Easter Basket 2016 I checked and double-checked that I could get the most wagons on to the sheet as I could. For this year's Advent Calendar, the Guilds of London: New Guilds – Cheese- and Papermakers (Day 7, I believe) are a proper pair of new Guilds with new mechanisms; I judged what to put IN by what I would like to pull OUT if I were not Tony Boydell!

Ultimately, the Calendar - which is a glorious concept and beautifully-realised - will stand or fall on the quality of the bits we publishers submit!
It would, indeed, be a brave Matthias (Frosted Games' cuddly meister) who stood up to some providers and said: "This is not good enough, frankly!".

I'm sorry; I seem to have wound myself up a little there; so, finally, a song:

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Fri Dec 2, 2016 6:30 am
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The First Nowell

Anthony Boydell
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Last year I set myself the daft goal of doing a regular blog and an Adventskalendar-related post for the first 24 days of December; I managed it BUT it was a hard slog! So, this year, I'm turning it down a little and making the AK stuff a coda to my usual burbling. Probably.

I got the vacuum cleaner out and dallied around the Library room; dusting off the mantel in preparation for the cardboard Holy of Hobbygame Holies and rearranging the various piles of yet-to-find-a-place-on-the-shelves detritus. The decorations have yet to go up; in fact it's somewhat remiss of us as we've normally heaved the Xmas DVDs and CDs out of the attic in readiness b'now: all restrictions are off from December 1st! Still, with the help of the trusty Mosaic PRISMA filter, I can bring you a jolly Christmas Card:


From gallery of tonyboydell



As for the Day's promo goodness, things gets off to a pleasing 'high profile' start with The Oracle of Delphi by Stefan Feld:

From gallery of tonyboydell

Smashing little boats! Though calling this an 'expansion' is stretching things a bit; I mean the ships replace the woodwork and that leaves two tiles - not so much an "expansion" as a "semi lob-on". Still, I can't complain as I'll likely never play this - Feld doesn't get much love in Ross-on-Wye - so on to the "Pay me the postage and you can have it" pile it goes (for the end of the year clearout).


And finally, a song:


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Thu Dec 1, 2016 6:25 am
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The Lamont Configuration

Anthony Boydell
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"It's in the trees, it's coming!" said Kate Bush and well she might've given what time of year it is! Yes, it's early September...which means we're about to be hit with Essen Spiel 2016's Fragor Games offering! Hold on to your bladders, folks, because the pre-ordering is about to OPEN! The supermarket shelves have been raided; the detritus of the panic-buying of TENA pants litters the shiny, polished floors: torn wadding and up-turned nonagenarians - sometimes you just have to stuff an unbroken toilet roll down your troos and hope for the best, eh?

So, after 10+ years, I think I've sussed out their modus operandi and humbly offer my prediction of what's going to get you spaffing in your grundies within the next week or so!

HOCUS POTUS!
(c) 2016 Frodo and Grazer Lamont


It's gonna be all about Trump and Clinton, isn't it? How could those jolly North-of-the-Border Boys resist the lure of this end-of-the-world Horrorshow? I envisage a cross between Snow Tails and Poseidon's Kingdom, with the dice being replaced by blonde toupées and the sleds being life-sized statues of the two candidates:

From gallery of tonyboydell

Rollin' off the production line!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Liberty Frightening the World


With catapults (ie. Arbalests!), players attempt to flick a variety of 'scandals' and hairpieces at each other whilst racing around the 'Campaign Trail'...but watch out for Bernie the Dinosaur and Cruz, The Gunbarrelbacon Boy!

Weighing a little more than 'your Mum', Hocus Potus will be available for a Spiel pickup only (for which you'll need three mates and a forklift); I believe Funagain games may be shipping two copies back to the States...or just the one if they buy anything else at all whatsoever.

You heard it here first!
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Thu Sep 8, 2016 6:25 am
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Having a Christmas Breakdown!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 has been a LOT of fun! So, many thanks to Matthias Nagy,
Klemens Franz and Frosted Games for all their hard work getting it made!

(Hear! Hear!)

Of course, thanks also to the companies that donated the promos in the first place!

(Hear! Hear!)

And thanks to the Boydell family; without their patience and support, I'd never have had the time
to write 24 pages of bollocks about it!

(Hear! Hear!)

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


Roll on the Easter Basket!
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Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:11 am
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The Power & The Glory

Anthony Boydell
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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: Klemens Franz fan

(for the duration of this Festive countdown I have been opening a window on the awesome
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 daily (no advance peeking), presenting my opinion on it's contents and
(because what lunatic would have an Advent Calendar without processed cocoa?), I found
something chocolate-y to witter on about too)


...it's here!

From gallery of tonyboydell

(that's the girl from the Poltergeist movie on the right, isn't it?)

(rummages)

DAY TWENTY FOUR:
From gallery of tonyboydell

It's a Power Grid thing - hip-hip-hip-hooray!
It looks like you're making use of Santa's sleigh!
Those links now cost zero! Those long routes are free!
So...who will come and play Power Grid with me?

Günün şokolad:
There is none, because...THIS:


From gallery of tonyboydell


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was gaming, not even a mouse;
The boosters were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some promos or Mythics be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While Castles of Mad Kings spun in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down with Waterdeep app,

There came such a racket from down in the cellar
We both thought, at first, "it's Imperial Settlers!"
Away to the Games Room I flew fast-as-able
Tore open the cupboards and unfurl’d the table

The moon on those shelves of some new-varnished pine
Gave lustre of mid-day, made all boxes shine!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a tiny wheeled truck, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so quick to manouvre,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Uwe!
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, in German, and called them by name:

"ROADER-GLASSER! DIE MACHER! now, SHEPHY and DIXIT!
On CAYLUS! CAVERNA! on RA and T-MYSTIC...Ah!
To the shelving for Euros! To the section for dice!
To the carved wooden box for Agricola (nice!)

As punched cardboard sprews that fill rubbish bins high
When caught by the chill wind, mount up to the sky,
So up through the ‘fillers’ the coursers they flew,
With a trolley for games, and St. Rosenberg too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard o’er the peace
The prancing and pawing of Friedemann Friese!
I let out a cry at his brightly-green quiff!
Down the chimney he came and, then, with a sniff.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to the floor,
And the holes in his belt numbered five hundred and four
A bundle of map boards were flung on his back,
And he named himself ‘Greench’ as he gave me a smack!

His eyes – how they twinkled with mischief un-hid
For he carried a minty Deluxe Power Grid;
His droll little mouth opened wider and smiled
As a new Book of Worlds this green goblin compiled.

And Die drei Gebote was alight...in his teeth!
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he coughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
The Greench that stole Christmas, in spite of himself;
But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a twerk,
And smiled – yes! He smiled! No longer so stern -
Gave me Friday and Folder and Fremde Federn;

He sprang to the sleigh and St Uwe gave whistle,
And away they both flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, though I felt pretty whacked:
"Frohe Weihnachten euch allen, und allen eine gute Nacht!"

From gallery of tonyboydell

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Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:30 am
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Countdown to Christmas 23 - Who put the 'ass' in Carcassonne?

Anthony Boydell
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(for the duration of this Festive countdown I shall open a window on the awesome
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 daily (no advance peeking), present my opinion on it's contents and
(because what lunatic would have an Advent Calendar without processed cocoa?), I shall find
something chocolate-y to witter on about too)


From gallery of tonyboydell


(rummages)

DAY TWENTY THREE:
From gallery of tonyboydell

What did Carcassonne ever do to me, eh? It's been minding it's own globe-bestriding
business for 15 years now without any help from yours truly and, yet, it pines to
the very marrow of it's soul because it cannot claim me as a fan. I don't dislike the game
- please don't get me wrong - and I certainly admire the design (and subsequent cosmic
inflation-like emergence of expansions). It's just that I feel nothing at all for it; no
emotion of any kind...it's occupying the blind spot in my gamer-brain.

Does that make me a bad person?

I got hold of Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, which I played once about 10 years ago
and quite enjoyed, but that's now acting as a dust trap: I look at it, shrug and pass my gaze on
to something else.

Does this make me any less a gamer?

Choc-o-lutt Hob...knobs:


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Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:30 am
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Countdown to Christmas 22 - I Love Sky!

Anthony Boydell
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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: Klemens Franz fan

(for the duration of this Festive countdown I shall open a window on the awesome
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 daily (no advance peeking), present my opinion on it's contents and
(because what lunatic would have an Advent Calendar without processed cocoa?), I shall find
something chocolate-y to witter on about too)


From gallery of tonyboydell

He's making a list: https://youtu.be/lk_0k1n5uXw

(rummages)

DAY TWENTY TWO:


and
From gallery of tonyboydell

This is the one I've been waiting for! No, not the smug prog-classicists and their
virtuoso twiddle-wank BUT the mini-expansionette for my favourite new (to
me) game of 2015: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King! This is one of those
more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts triumphs that comes along so rarely and - like last
years 'Top of the Tonys' Libertalia - fits in SO snugly with the Ross-on-Wye
board gamers that you'd think it was designed just for us!

Simple rules - tile-laying and auctions
Accessible to all
Great variability - those scoring tiles
Looks fantastic - it's that Klemens Franz man again!
Packs a lot of fun and decisions in to 45 minutes
Pfister & Pelikan - these are the new giants on the block!

To put the kirsch-soaked cherry on top of the cake, Andreas Pelikan has sent
me the prototype expansion to play with too!
surprise


一日のチョコレート:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Al Nassma manufactures its own chocolates from cocoa beans. The milk from which the
chocolates are produced comes from camels at the Camelicious Farm in Umm Nahad, Dubai.
The farm houses over 3,500 camels. The camels are milked twice daily, yielding around
5,000 litres of raw camel milk. Al Nassma makes use of around 150 ml of fresh and pasteur-
ised camel milk in one bar of whole milk chocolate.


Yummy.

http://www.al-nassma.com/
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Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:30 am
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Countdown to Christmas 21 - Hidden Code

Anthony Boydell
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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: Klemens Franz fan

(for the duration of this Festive countdown I shall open a window on the awesome
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 daily (no advance peeking), present my opinion on it's contents and
(because what lunatic would have an Advent Calendar without processed cocoa?), I shall find
something chocolate-y to witter on about too)


(amusing Santa picture goes here)
From gallery of tonyboydell

The True Meaning of Christmas

(rummages)

DAY TWENTY ONE:
(photo of the Kalendar gift goes here)
From gallery of tonyboydell


(commentary/back-story about the Kalendar gift's game goes here)

Ok, I hold my hands up and confess to having not a clue as to this promotional item.
The amusing use of a cow motif, and the fact that all of the chits are identical, is not
only unhelpful but just a bit boring (as it was for Bohnansa, Abyss and the massive Las
Vegas
Omnichit). Only three more days to go and, to be honest, the 21 open slots give a
pretty clear glimpse of what's to come! I think I'll dismantle the box to admire it's inner
workings when we're done!

Chocolate of the Day in a Google-translated language goes here:
(something to do with chocolate goes here)
From gallery of tonyboydell

Actually, while we're on the subject of 'lemonade'...

Mmmmmmm...sweet lemonade!

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Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:30 am
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Countdown to Christmas 20 - Passport to Pimlico

Anthony Boydell
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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: Klemens Franz fan

(for the duration of this Festive countdown I shall open a window on the awesome
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 daily (no advance peeking), present my opinion on it's contents and
(because what lunatic would have an Advent Calendar without processed cocoa?), I shall find
something chocolate-y to witter on about too)


From gallery of tonyboydell


(rummages)

DAY TWENTY:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The group I played games with in High Wycombe (2006-2012) picked up a copy of The Castles of Burgundy
and our homework for the weekend was to listen to the How To Play podcast. I remember the
sinking feeling in my stomach when the presenter, Ryan Sturm, rattled his way through the toolkit
of action options: "This sounds bloody awful!" I exclaimed, the M40 motorway dragging, endlessly,
ahead of me. Thus, for about a year, my nose remained resolutely separate from my face until
boiteajeux.net implemented an online version and I succumbed! Admittedly, it took actually playing
it
to open my eyes but, then, that's a typical prejudicial trait we all share - isn't it? It's
a happy ending, then; for which Stefan Feld is no doubt breathing a big, Teutonic sigh of relief.

Chocolatier of the Day:

One of the best children's stories - and movies - that has ever been made; charming, bright, hilarious
and with a deliciously-wicked streak.
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Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:30 am
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Countdown to Christmas 19 - Brown Eye

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
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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: Klemens Franz fan

(for the duration of this Festive countdown I shall open a window on the awesome
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015 daily (no advance peeking), present my opinion on it's contents and
(because what lunatic would have an Advent Calendar without processed cocoa?), I shall find
something chocolate-y to witter on about too)


From gallery of tonyboydell


(rummages)

DAY NINETEEN:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Translation: Once you have a train, each round you control Hawkeye you can give yourself an
electric shock. If you do, you can reach over and give target opponent an electric shock too.'


Hmmmmmm...unless I've misinterpreted something, this is quite an aggressive and un-
necessary card. Mind you, all these superhero-type games hold no interest for me whatosever
and dice-rolling / dice collecting games interest me even less (ie. going in to the negative).
Just on a matter of principle - and with the dog's arse seepage that is Quarriors in
mind - I might just use this promo to start the next bonfire rather than sacrifice ANOTHER Scandaroon.

Chocolate of the Day:
External image

A few years back, a most excellent chap - my long-time gaming pal & Magic: The Gathering
Nemesis - Matt Green won a competition to design a packaging-homed game to go on every
Cadbury's chocolate selection box! Yummy-scrummy, indeed! Here's the story of that competition
http://www.spaaace.com/cope/?p=272
and here's the rules:
http://d13games.com/dropfaq

Enjoy some Present Drop!-ing fun!
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Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:30 am
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