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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FLGS 54 (Help)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in a FLGS. The hideously-patterned carpet is invisibly-strewn with chits, cubes and ‘chads’ (from ‘punching’); the gaming tables are liberally provided with smartphone charging points – for when the ‘Torch’ app is used to locate a dropped component – and the cashier is sticking a laminated “We Buy Any Kickstarter Pledge” sign on the PoS wall. A young customer approaches, hesitates momentarily, and then enters)

Door bell: *dink*

Cashier: (looking up from blutac-ing a “Please Do Not Ask For a Refund As A Refusal Often Offends” sign) Morning, Chief.

Customer: (nervously) Um -

Cashier: (tersely) Spit it out, Scout; I haven’t got all day, you know.

Customer: Well, er, I recently bought a copy of Ticket To Ride from you and –

Cashier: Tee-tee-are, eh? Lovely game – what’s wrong with it, Champ?

Customer: Nothing, actually, I just have some rules questions.

Cashier: (puts the sign down; places lump of blutac behind ear) Yes?

Customer: Well, um, can I take tickets and then build a line in the same turn?

Cashier: (pauses for a brief moment) Did you read the rules, Buck?

Customer: Er, “the rules”?

Cashier: Yes. The rules.

Customer: What do they look like?

Cashier: Well, they’re a bit like a thin book and they usually come in the box, Friend. Did you get the rules in your box?

Customer: The square, papery thing with writing all over it? I threw it out.

Cashier: That’s the one; threw it out? Why?

Customer: I paid over £40 for the game; I shouldn’t have to ‘read the rules’ as well, surely?!

Cashier: You’re not a millennial, are you, Buddy?

Customer: (affronted) What’s that got to do with anything?

Cashier: Did you check ‘on line’, Mucker?

Customer: Well, I went to the publisher’s web site.

Cashier: And?

Customer: Something was available to download…but it looked exactly the same as the papery thing.

Cashier: (sighs) Have you tried looking on the Boardgamegeek forums?

Customer: Not really, but –

Cashier: But what, Pal?

Customer: I created a post asking the questions.

Cashier: Did you get any replies, Mate?

Customer: I have no idea; I’ve not checked back since. I assumed someone would Geekmail me in due course.

Cashier: How many questions have you actually got, Skipper?

Customer: (pulls a sheaf of A4 papers and a pen from his pocket) Er, about seventy –

Cashier: (incredulous) Seventy?!

Customer: Give or take.

Cashier: (sighs again) Go on then…

(a not-insignificant amount of time passes)

Cashier: - yes, but you have to keep at least one of them. Now, is that all, Amigo?

Customer: (pleased) Wow! Yes, indeed! Many thanks for all your help!

Cashier: I noticed that you didn’t write any of that down

Customer: Why would I do that?

Cashier: So that you can remember all of the answers the next time you play?!

Customer: Oh, I’m not going to play it! Now that you’ve answered all of my questions, I don’t really think it’s the kind of game for me. Shall I give the person who buys it off of me your number?

Cashier: (agog)

Customer: (spies something out of the corner of his eye) Ooh! Gloomhaven! I’ve heard some great things about that! I think I’ll take a copy!

(the cashier collapses underneath the counter; there is the sound of a quacking trumpet)

Customer: Was it something I said?
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Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:45 am
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FLGS 53 (Fake)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in an FLGS; the window is stocked with a variety of family-friendly, mass market fayre blah blah blah. The cashier is wearing jeans and an 'I Love Clamp!' tee-shirt. The shop is still and quiet apart from an aging TCG-er desperately trying to scrye for the rare through shimmering booster packs; the cashier is unconcerned because he knows the packaging is opaque. In the distance, a bell rings.)

Doorbell: (even though there is no ingress or egress) *dingley-dingley-ding*

(the cashier looks up at the door then across to the TCG-er; the TCG-er is assembling a device of some kind on the tile-carpetted floor)

Cashier: (to the TCG-er) Are you ok there, Dave?

Dave: (tightening his nuts) Fine.

Cashier: Need any help with that Scanning Electron Microscope?

Dave: (he pauses briefly - rumbled - then continues) Nope.

Customer: (who seems to have appeared, suddenly, out of nowhere) Good morning.

Cashier: (startled) JESUS CHRIST ON HIS MOTHER-THUNDERING DONKEY?!

Customer: Oh dear; I'm sorry but your bell seems to be broken.

Cashier: (patting his chest) Can (steadies his breathing) I help you, Sir?

Customer: I certainly hope so; I was wondering if you might have a copy of Gloomhaven?

Cashier: (smiles) Of course, Sir; I'll just get it for you.

(the cashier goes to a far corner - stepping over the stooped form of Dave the TCG-er who is calibrating a grainy monitor image - and returns with a large box)

Cashier: Ta-dah! One copy of Gloomhaven; that will be £129.99, please.

(the customer looks at the side of the box where it reads Refuge of Obscurity by Zak Children)

Customer: (confused) Um - this isn't Gloomhaven?!

Cashier: (regards the box) To all intents and purposes it is Gloomhaven, Sir.

Customer: Er - then why does it say "Refuge of Obscurity" on the box?

Cashier: Printing error, Sir; it's a translation overlay problem.

Customer: And 'Zak Children'?!

Cashier: That's the Author, Sir; he's 'Zak' to his mates.

Customer: No he isn't! This is a counterfeit copy, isn't it? A forgery?!

Cashier: (feigns a look of complete surprise) Surely not, Sir? I have it on good authority that this is simply a misprint situation.

Customer: Well, I'm not going to spend over a hundred pounds on a fake product!

Cashier: (removes the box from the counter and tucks it underneath) Oh dear, Sir; is there anything else I might help you with?

Customer: Well, I was looking for some Keyforge decks -

Cashier: Well, Sir; you're absolutely in luck (pulls several boxes from a display rack behind him). They're £7.99 each.

Customer: (reading from the packaging) Quayforge - Call of the Urchins?!

Cashier: Yes -

Customer: (still reading) "from the designer of Magi Gatherings"

Cashier: Yes -

Customer: (waves a pack in the cashier's face) This is a bloody knock-off too, isn't it?

Cashier: Is it?

Customer: Yes of course it is, look! "Urchins" should be "Archons", for goodness sake!

Cashier: But "Magi Gatherings" is ok?

Customer: (sighs) I'm not taking these.

Cashier: What if I give you 20% off?

Customer: Absolutely not!

Cashier: Anything else, Sir?

Customer: How about Wingspan? Surely you must have a bona fide copy of that?!

Cashier: Wingspan, you say? I'll just look...

(goes in to the stock room then comes out a few seconds later)

Cashier: Will Birdy-Combo-Lines do?

Customer: Terraforming Mars?

Cashier: Cold-to-Hot Planet Adventures?

Customer: Have you got any genuine board games in here at all?

Cashier: Of course -

Dave: (interrupting) Bloody hell, this is a repacked Pokemon booster!

Cashier: Um -

(the doorbell rings and a young man enters; he is carrying a bottle of water and a sandwich)

New Person: (addressing the cashier) Who the Hell are you? And what are you doing behind my counter?!

Cashier: I -

(he scarpers, followed by the visitor, the customer, Dave and a tinkling/tonkling piano soundtrack)
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Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:55 am
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FLGS 52 (Doris & Dave)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(a customer approaches)

Bell: *dingle-dingle-ding*

(a customer enters)

Customer: (cheerily) Good afternoon, shopkeeper!

Cashier: (ruminating) Is that all?

Customer: All what?

Cashier: (shortly) No-one ever says 'Hello' to the door bell, you know.

Customer: (brought up a little short) Eh?

Cashier: Every day you folks wander in and out with your greetings and your needs and your faces -

Customer: - the door bell?

Cashier: Yes. The door bell. It's always there for you - rain or shine.

Customer: But, it's only a -

Cashier: (tersely) Only a what? A piece of musical furniture? An utilitarian metallic soundwave generator? A top-of-the-architrave tinkle-dome?

Customer: Well, yes -

Cashier: Typical.

Customer: (splutteringly) I hardly think that - um - er - do you happen to have any Keyforge decks in stock?

Cashier: Don't try and change the subject! (he points) Look at it!

(they both look up at the door bell over the entrance)

Customer: I don't see any -

Cashier: (peeved) Can't you see that it's been crying?!

Customer: (resolutely) That's just condensation.

Cashier: (folds his arms across his chest) Hmmmpph.

Customer: Look - have you got any Keyforge decks or not?

Cashier: (mouth tight, he nods toward the bell) Hmmmpph.

Customer: (exasperated) Now, really -

(the cashier glares at him; the customer folds)

Customer: (sighing) Oh, alright! (turns to the door bell) Good morning, Door bell.

Cashier: (handing over a handkerchief) You could wipe her tears away.

Customer: (taking the cloth) Very well.

(the customer reaches up and cleans the moisture from the bell's surface)

Customer: (cooingly) There, there; it's alright. I'm sorry that I ignored you.

(the cashier visibly brightens as the customer hands the damp cloth back to him)

Cashier: That wasn't so hard now, was it?

Customer: (contritely) No.

Cashier: Forty years Doris has been in this shop: cheerily tinging her way through Trivial Pursuit, 'Pogs', the birth of Magic: The Gathering; chiming in the rise of the Eurogame, the deck-buiding craze; Pokemon Go came-and-went and all the while she plinked her plonk and doinked her dinkle without complaint -

Customer: Doris?

Cashier: (continuing) - she served my Father and his Father before him (but not here, of course; she was brought in from his Grocery Store in the High Street) -

Customer: (interrupting) I'm sorry to interrupt but do you have any Keyforge decks for sale?

Cashier: Oh...yes; sorry. I'll just check...

(the cashier leans down, clicks a button on an intercom and speaks in to it)

Cashier: Dave? Dave?

Voice: Hello?

Cashier: Dave - have we got any Keyforge decks in stock?

Voice: (there is a pause) No, sorry.

Cashier: Ok - thanks a lot.

Customer: Couldn't Dave have another look around the Stock Room?

Cashier: (bursts out laughing) Ha-ha-ha! What? Dave?! You want Dave to go looking around the Stock Room?!

Customer: Well, actually, yes please.

Cashier: (presses the intercom button again) Ha-ha-ha! Did you hear that, Dave?

Voice: Ha-ha-ha! Yes, I did! That's hilarious!

(the laughing continues for an uncomfortable period)

Customer: Dave is the intercom, isn't he?

Cashier: (chuckling) Yes; yes, he is.

Customer: (departing) For fuck's sake.

Bell: *dingle-dingle-ding*

Customer: Oh piss off, Doris.

Bell: How rude!
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Thu Apr 4, 2019 6:40 am
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FLGS 51 (Chess)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in a friendly local game store; the shelves are well-stocked with enticing new releases, staples and the occasional intriguing oddity. The cashier is sat on a high stool behind the PoS counter; he rests his hands upon his knees, is straight-backed and completely still. He has his eyes closed while listening to a classical music soundtrack on the shop's tannoy. A customer can be seen approaching the display window and is looking at it's contents with a bewildered expression)

Cashier: (with eyes still closed, whispering) You can come in, if you like?

(the customer removes his woolly hat and presses the shop door; it opens silently but, of course, triggers the bell)

Door Bell: (the sound of sparkles) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(the customer steps up to the counter cautiously)

Customer: (nervously) Um -

Door Bell: (the music of the spheres) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Customer: (trepidatiously) Er -

(there is a moment's silence)

Customer: (turning on his heels towards the exit) I think I've made a mista-

Cashier: (opening his eyes, he speaks gently) - Welcome.

Customer: (turning) I'm sorry but I can't remember why I've come here.

Cashier: (looking around) Perhaps to buy a game, Sir?

Customer: (confused) No, er - yes; perhaps that was the reason? I'm afraid my memory is a little fuzzy.

Cashier: (patiently) There is no hurry, Sir; please - take your time.

Customer: (relieved) Thank you; I think I'll have a look around.

Cashier: Of course, Sir.

(the customer wanders for a bit then picks up a copy of Spirit Island and starts reading the base blurb)

Cashier: (kindly) Do you enjoy playing games, Sir?

Customer: (looking up) I do; co-ops, mainly - nothing too confrontational.

Cashier: You're in it for the Social side rather than the competitive one, right?

Customer: (nodding) That's right, yes.

Cashier: And are you a 'good gamer', Sir?

Customer: 'Good'? Do you mean in a skilled sense?

Cashier: Is there another kind, Sir?

Customer: Well there's 'good' as in 'virtuous', I guess?

Cashier: Very true. Are you a virtuous gamer, Sir?

Customer: Most of the time, I think.

Cashier: (a little surprised) Most of the time, Sir?

Customer: Well, I do get impatient with people when they take a long time on their turns or make moves I wanted to make. Nothing terrible, though; just letting off a bit of steam.

Cashier: Goodness me!

Customer: (pausing, he massages his temples and gives a pained expression) It's not like I've killed anyone.

Cashier: Isn't it, Sir?

Customer: I don't suppose you have a paracetamol, do you? Only I have a blinding headache.

(the cashier hands the customer a glass of water and a box of tablets)

Cashier: Found anything yet, Sir?

Customer: (pulling a box, at random, from the shelf beside him) What's this like?

Cashier: Scythe? A lot of drama in a short time, Sir; a striking presentation, certainly.

Customer: (taking another) And this?

Cashier: Skull King? An absolute classic, Sir; one of my personal favourites.

Customer: This?

Cashier: Ah, now: Perdition's Mouth? Let's not go there, Sir; a deeply unpleasant experience.

Customer: Oh. (he pinches the bridge of his nose)

Cashier: How's your headache, Sir?

Customer: No better. I - um - I -

Cashier: Is there something you want to tell me, Sir?

Customer: (looking around the shop) Is this really an FLGS?

Cashier: What else could it be, Sir?

Customer: (hesitantly) Only -

Cashier: Yes, Sir?

Customer: - Only I think I did actually kill someone. During a game of Pandemic and no-one was listening to my suggestion for dealing with the imminent Milan outbreak. They never listened and then we drew Milan and the whole continent chain-reacted and then someone blamed me for not swapping the right cards and I knocked over my drink by mistake and it soaked the game and all of the components. And then he laughed at me.

Cashier: I see, Sir.

Customer: So I hit him with the giant pepper mill. (coming to a realisation) Oh, Lord. Where am I?! What have I done?!

Cashier: (more serious but, still, kindly) You're in the Ultimate FLGS, Sir: the "Finished Life Game Store", if you will; the "Friendly Last Gasp Store". God's Workshop. "Essence Spiel".

Customer: 'Was'modée?

Cashier: (chuckling) Sort-of, Sir.

Customer: (nervous again) So - what happens to me now?

Cashier: Well, that's entirely up to you, Sir.

Customer: Has the man I killed been in yet?

Cashier: He's waiting over there in the open gaming room, Sir (he points) You could go and apologise..?

(a closed door appears in the far wall where a display carousel of Adlungspiele decks had been; a bright light is shining through the gaps between the door itself and the architrave. The customer walks slowly towards it, reaches out for the handle and pulls; there is a blinding flash and, at once, both the customer and the doorway are gone)

Cashier: (sighing) How nice.

Door Bell: (the sound of sparkles) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(someone walks in)

Cashier: Welcome -

Customer: Fancy a game of Chess?
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Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:15 am
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FLGS 50 (Egg)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in a friendly local game store; it is split according to a third/two thirds ratio of games and gaming space. The tables are only minorly occupied - a couple of couples playing Fog of Love, ...and then, we held hands..., Roll For The Wet Patch and games of that ilk. The cashier is idly revving a garden mower engine which has a flexible hose leading to a propped-open skylight. Outside it is snowing heavily; drifts have formed against the presentation window and deep troughs - marking pedestrian traffic - lead along where the pavements probably are, breaking in to branch trenches in front of every shop door. A customer enters, brushing fresh flakes from his shoulders.)

Doorbell: (muffled, as it's outside apparatus is covered in snow) *mmmph-mmmmmmm-mmmph-mmmmmmm*

Customer: (patting himself down) Goodness, but it's treacherous out there!

Cashier: (looking up from the engine) Indeed, Sir?

Customer: (blowing on his hands) Oh yes! The coldest July since records began, apparently!

Cashier: (discretely switching the engine off; it sputters to a halt) ...and they say there's "global warming" eh, Sir? Ha! Seems pretty cold to be "too warm" to me!

Customer: (looking askance at the cashier) That is a deeply offensive thing to say!

Cashier: (holding up his hands, palms facing the customer) Only joking, Sir! Just joshin' with you!

Customer: (serious of face) Well, we should have less of that if you please; pollution and wastefulness on such a catastrophic scale is no joking matter, young man!

Cashier: (takes a step back) Um, I would prefer it if you referred to me as 'young puggle', Sir

Customer: (confused) Why?

Cashier: (straight-facedly) I identify as a Duck-billed Platypus, Sir; and seeing as I am yet to reach my 'age of maturity' -

Customer: Oh, I see -

Cashier: - it won't be until my thirties before I will be able to lay any eggs.

Customer: But, how can you lay eggs? You're a male

Cashier: (presenting a marsupial-splaining expression) I never announced my puggle gender did I, Sir?

Customer: But you don't have a cloaca?!

Cashier: Granted; neither do I have a sousaphone but that doesn't preclude me from joining a marching band.

Customer: Um -

Cashier: (reaching under the counter) I do have a 'bill', though! (proudly afixes the plastic bill to his face by its elastic strap)

Customer: (backtracking furiously having realised the ice is thin) Er, have you got a copy of Discover: Lands Unknown, perchance?

Cashier: (relaxing) Indeed, Sir; over there by the discounted copies of Founders of Gloomhaven

Customer: Is it a game that's been produced ethically?

Cashier: 'Ethically', Sir?

Customer: You know, young puggle: manufacturing processes, materials, distribution etc?

Cashier: Still not following you, Sir

Customer: For example, is the cardboard recycled?

Cashier: Don't know, Sir.

Customer: Is it manufactured by fairly-paid staff in a healthy factory environment?

Cashier: Don't know, Sir.

Customer: Were they produced in Europe or further afield thereby increasing transportation costs and pollution?

Cashier: Don't know, Sir.

Customer: What is the designer's carbon footprint? Has it been tested for colour-blind players? What is the gender pronoun in the rulebook? Has the rulebook been properly authored and tested? Are the wooden pieces sourced from sustainable forests? Did anyone use profanity in close proximity to the printing machines? Were Prayers offered up before, during and after the manufacturing process? Is the pricing calculated to apportion a fair royalty to the designer and fair profits to the distributors and the retailers? Is there an open and transparent exchange program for errors discovered after purchase?

Cashier: (taking a deep breath) Don't know, Sir. Don't know, Sir. Don't know, Sir. Don't know, Sir. Don't know, Sir. Don't fucking know, Sir. Don't know, Sir. Don't know, Sir. Don't know, Sir.

Customer: I see.

Cashier: (optimistically) It has got nice artwork, Sir.

Customer: Are they natural inks? On acid-free paper?

Cashier: (opens his bill to speak) -

Customer: (interrupting) - let me guess: "I don't know, Sir"?

Cashier: Yes, Sir.

Customer: (irritated, he gestures to the outside) It's that kind of attitude that has led to all of this nonsense!

Cashier: (affronted) It's hardly my fault; I'm only a young Anatinid, Sir!

Customer: (angry) Oh for Heaven's sake! Stop this platypus nonsense and find me an ethically-sourced, sustainably-manufactured, low-carbon-footprint, fairly-tradeable board game immediately!

(the Cashier leaps over the counter, grapples the him to the floor and then plunges a large ankle spur in to the customers calf. The customer cries out in increasing agony, rolling around and clutching his leg)

Cashier: (triumphantly) That is a deeply offensive thing to say, Sir! (stoops and picks something up) Oh, and in all this excitement you've made me lay an egg!

(the cashier holds up a Cadbury's Cream Egg, upon which the camera eye now zooms)

Narrator: And, thus, did Christ's Easter sacrifice save all Mankind for all Eternity:

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Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:10 am
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FLGS 49 (Repeat)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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After yesterday's Parliamentary Vote, the future of the UK still hangs in the balance; perhaps, then, it's time to re-present my take on this from 30 months ago. God Help Us.

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(we are in the open gaming area of an FLGS and there are many tables ‘on the go’: see four two people playing Hanabi while the other two sit, bemused, watching them argue about the best way to give clues; see Game of Thrones, full to capacity - but stalled – because someone mentioned, in passing, that “the books are better than the TV series”; see a five player game of Agricola where three of the players have stood up and pushed their chairs back...things are getting heated)

Player 1: I think we should be allowed to leave this game.

Player 2: (confused) Why?

Player 3: Because I’m deeply concerned about the number of Occupations that are coming in to this game that aren’t ours (points to the others who are standing)

Player 2: So why don’t you take the Start Player and go on ‘Lessons’ yourself?

Player 1: Why should we have to? It’s my game…

Player 3: (supportively) Yeah; it’s his game!

Player 1: (continuing) We should carry on playing the family game rules; it will be less unfair...

Player 2: What about the occupations we’ve already played?

Player 4: Put ‘em back to the game box.

Player 2: But...

Player 3: Yeah! Though we get to keep the resources we’ve already collected, right?

Player 1: Of course we should; it took me ages to accumulate all this wood and stone...

Player 2: If you want to restart the game from scratch then that’s fine but you can’t just change things half way through!

Player 1: Why not?

Player 2: Because it’s a different game with different rules!

Player 1: (clicks fingers and points because he’s just been reminded of something) Oh yeah! About that...

Player 2: About what?

Player 1: The rules: I fundamentally object to being told what to do on my own farm board by a German!

Player 2: (speechless) Er...

Player 3: Yeah! Where does (looks at the rulebook and reads aloud) Uh-wee...Ross...enn...berg get off telling me what I can and can’t do?

Player 2: He designed the bloody game!

Player 1: (outraged) So? Just because his name’s on the box doesn’t mean we have to cow-tow to his every demand! And talking of cows, why can I only have ONE baby even if I’ve got more than one pair of parents? That’s imposing quotas, that is!

Player 2: Those are the rules, mate.

Player 3: (pointing around the table) Doesn’t matter! The three of us think that we should change so you’re out-voted!

Player 2: But you’ll break the game!

Player 1: We don’t know that for sure...

Player 3: ...No-one knows that for sure...

Player 1: ...and, anyway, we could spend the extra food we get from the extra animals on more family members!

Player 3: (under his breath) We could, yes; but I won’t...

Player 2: (exasperated) This is madness!

Player 3: You’re just a sore loser!

Player 1: Yeah – call yourself a democrat! You should accept the majority decision and move on!

(the three standing players move to another table, taking their farm boards and resources with them)

Player 2: (turning to the other, remaining, player) Fancy a game of Isle of Skye? I hear Scotland’s lovely this time of the year...

(there is a shout from the other table)

Player 1: Why won’t you let me put my worker on the ‘Plow 1 Field’ space?

Player 3: Coz that worker was ‘born’ when we were over there (points back the original table); here it’s "new table actions for new table family members", mate!

Player 1: You bigoted bastard! (tips the table and storms out of the shop)

Cashier: (feigning surprise) Well! I never saw THAT coming!
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Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:10 am
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FLGS 48 (Business)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in an FLGS; the cashier is sat behind the counter reading a dog-eared copy of “Accountancy for Dummies”. The shelves are empty, the window is empty; there is nothing in the shop. A customer walks passed the window, does a double-take, kicks the door open with his feet and comes in)

Doorbell: *di-

Customer: Morning!

Cashier: (looking up from his book) Oh, hello.

Customer: (scanning the spacious emptiness) Have you shut down?

Cashier: (puts book down) Oh no, Sir.

Customer: (sweeping his arm around the room) But, you’ve got no –

Cashier: It’s my new business model, Sir

Customer: Business model? Based on what?

Cashier: The Cult of the New, Sir.

Customer: How so?

Cashier: Let me explain: everyone, nowadays, is obsessed with games before they’ve been released – whether embedded in a Kickstarter campaign – or previewed at a major show. Unfortunately, by the time the games are physically-available, the buyers have lost interest and are now anticipating the next big thing.

Customer: But won’t you actually go out of business?

Cashier: Oh no, Sir; you see, we take deposits on the pre-orders of these games and when the player inevitably gets bored they ask us to sell the games they’ve not got yet on their behalf and put the proceeds towards The Hotness...for which they also pay a ‘top up’ fee.

Customer: Um...

Cashier: Those on eBay – and similar platforms – commit to a purchase and by the time the auction is over – usually 10 to 14 days - they’ve changed their minds and the cycle begins all over again. In this manner, I can ‘roll forward’ game sales without ever needing to handle physical product and I make a quid or so on each ‘touch’.

Customer: Gosh!

Cashier: Indeed. I’m almost at £30,000 income (gross) per month in pre-order/re-sale commission and I’ve not seen a real board game since February!

Customer: Wow. But what if someone actually wants their game?

Cashier: Oh that's easy - I just direct them to our online store..and the whole cycle starts over again! Now, can I help you at all?

Customer: Well, I was actually looking for a Keyforge Starter box if you had one?

Cashier: You’re in luck, Sir; we do have a couple left –

Customer: (interrupting) Great! I’ll take both of them, then!

Cashier: They’re actually in our other shop, Sir; it’ll take a couple of days to get them sent over, if that’s ok?

Customer: That will be fine; how much are they?

Cashier: That’ll be forty pounds the pair, Sir.

(the customer offers his credit card which the cashier swipes and processes)

Cashier: All done, Sir!

Customer: Many thanks! (picks receipt and starts to walk out of the shop) See you next week!

(he departs)

Cashier: (to himself) I think that very unlikely, Sir.

Doorbell: -ing*
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Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:10 am
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Whut?!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:15 am
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FLGS 46 (Pitch)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in your friendly local game store and it's "Designer Open Mic Night"; not, of course, involving stand-up comedy or musical 'chops' but, instead, a chance for budding game designers to 'pitch' their ideas to the indie Owner/Publisher. There is a rectangular table set-up adjacent to the PoS and the Cashier is sat behind it with a notebook, a pencil and a fresh cup of steaming coffee. There is a queue of people snaking away from the table and around the store; the participants are holding a variety of boxes, cartons and packages - one of them is holding a small dog)

Call Bell: (upon being roughly-palmed by the Cashier) *Ding*

Cashier: Next!

Designer: (nervously taking seat) Um, hi; I'm Fiona. How about "You ARE the Dice Tower?"

Cashier: (curious) Speak -

Designer 1: Well, you eat a bunch of dice and wait unt-

Cashier: (interrupting) Next!

Designer 2: (taking the seat) You didn't ding the bell.

Call Bell: (upon being roughly-handled by the Cashier) *Ding*

Cashier: Proceed -

Designer 2: Thanks. Well, I'm sure that you are as worried as I am about (makes air quotes) "accessibility in gaming" -

Cashier: Colour me interested -

Designer 2: - so I've come up with revolutionary technique for a Universal Accessibility Tool for any game.

Cashier: (impressed) Wow! Let's try Keyflower, then, for starters!

Designer 2: This is the method for the hearing-impaired...(SHOUTING) THERE ARE TWO RED MEEPLES ON THE WOODCUTTER TILE! THERE IS A SINGLE GREEN MEEPLE BIDDING FOR THE FIRST-PICK OF THE BOATS!

Cashier: Er -

Designer 2: It works for the vision-impaired too: close your eyes and I'll show you.

Cashier: (closes his eyes) Er -

Designer 2: (shoves the Cashier hard on the shoulder and shouts) OI! THERE ARE TWO RED MEEPLES ON THE WOODCUTTER TILE! THERE IS A SINGLE GREEN MEEPLE BIDDING FOR THE FIRST-PICK OF THE BOATS!

Call Bell: (upon being roughly-fingered by the Cashier after several eyes-closed attempts slapping the table) *Ding*

Cashier: Next!

Designer 3: (is holding several ears of corn) Hello, I -

Cashier: Magic Maize, is it?!

Designer 3: - yes, but -

Call Bell: (upon being roughly-palmed by the Cashier) *Ding*

Cashier: Next!

Designer 4: (shuffles forward, shyly) Hello.

Cashier: (a little impatiently) Yes? Sit down. Get on with it, then!

Designer 4: (starting to take something from his bag) Well, this is -

(the designer immediately behind him in the queue leans in and starts taking things out of the bag too)

Designer 5: - Tell him about the dice drafting mechanic!

Designer 4: Well, it's a dice drafting mech -

Designer 5: It's really great and it means you're not hammered by bad rolls!

Designer 4: - you get special tokens to mitigate the -

Designer 5: It's a co-operative game too; all of the players have to achieve the same, single goal or they lose collectively!

Cashier: And what is that goal?

Designer 4: It's a game about pi -

Designer 5: Pitching games to publishers and getting them signed!

Cashier: Next! (as designer 5 rocks up) and Next! immediately!

Call Bell: (upon being roughly-pummeled by the Cashier) *Ding* *Ding*

Designer 6: Doctor? My puppy won't stop pooing.

Cashier: I'm not actually a veterinarian.

Designer 6: No but you know how to handle a relentless flow of shit, don't you?!


Now THAT'S satire!
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Thu Aug 2, 2018 6:30 am
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FLGS 45 (Box)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(we are in a friendly, local game store; there is no-one in here apart from the Cashier and a customer browsing the Chess sets. The cashier is chuckling along to YouTube movies of people who fail to see holes in the ground and comically come to a sticky - and painful - pass. An early 20th century police box materializes in the middle of the Family Favourites section; a copy of Carcassonne is knocked to the floor as the door opens. An urgent-seeming man steps out and on to the fallen game box: he slides across the floor, waving his arms about erratically, until he comes to rest against the Roleplaying Supplements. An assistant follows him out of the police box and hands him a game.)

Cashier: (looking up from his phone) Can I help, Sir...Madam?

Urgent Man: (holding out a colourful box in the direction of the Cashier) I wish to complain!

Cashier: Oh yes, Sir? What seems to be the problem?

Urgent Man: (shaking the box roughly) I bought this (points) from you six months from now and it's got a whole player's worth of components missing!

Cashier: (remaining calm; he's had all the proper training, you know) Goodness but that's a shame, Sir; I'd be happy to check things over and arrange for a replacement? When exactly did you buy this from us, Sir?

Urgent Man: (pulls a receipt from his pocket) Here!

(the cashier takes the receipt and looks it up and down)

Cashier: Oh yes, I see: this coming Autumn. (looking at the game box) That's interesting...how many players were you expecting, Sir?

Urgent Man: Five, of course!

Cashier: Hmmmm...this game doesn't support five players, Sir; though there's a rumour of a five player expansion next year -

Urgent Man: (seems to have an idea) Er - Hold that thought!

(the urgent man and his companion run back in to the Police box; it de-materializes.)

Cashier: *sigh*

(the police box re-materializes; it's too close to a copy of Feudum that's sticking out of it's shelf; leaning, off-balance, against the colourful twaddle, the police box topples backwards to the floor with a lazy thump. The urgent man and - this time - two companions emerge, flopping about on the linoleum like a trio of freshly-landed fish; the man is carrying a small box and seems less urgent than before)

Less Urgent Man: (brushing himself and stepping up to the counter) I wish to complain!

Cashier: Still?

Less Urgent Man: (perplexed) I beg your pardon?

Cashier: You were already complaining about this (he gestures to the box already resting on the counter)

Less Urgent Man: But that (gesturing to the box already resting on the counter) is what I want to complain about -

Cashier: I know -

Less Urgent Man: I ordered that on your web site two years from now but was sent this instead!

Cashier: (looking from one box to the other and back to the man) And do you want a refund? Or an exchange?

(the customer in the Chess corner steps in to the glare of the point-of-sale lights: it is the Urgent/Less Urgent Man and he seems quite calm)

Calm Man: Don't give him a refund; you've already given him a refund once!

Cashier: When?

Calm Man: Last Thursday.

Cashier: (momentarily struck silent) -

Calm Man: He gave you a receipt; take look in the till.

(the Cashier looks in the till and finds a receipt that he'd not noticed before; it is, indeed, for a refund.)

Cashier: (pointing to the games on the counter) And what am I supposed to do with these?!

Calm Man: Well, the small one is not due to be released for 18 months; you could always steal the idea and publish it yourself first?

Cashier: (indignant) But that would be immoral!

Less Urgent Man: To be fair, how do you know you're not going to design it in the first place anyway?

(both men nod and walk back in to the same police box, followed by the companions; the box de-materializes. The copy of Feudum falls off the shelf.

Cashier: (inspecting the small box in detail) Well, I never!

FIN

(we are in an FLGS...)
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2 Comments
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:20 am
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