Everyone Needs A Shed

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

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And so it begins...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Up until now, there has been the occasional 'catch' for a bollocks Customs/Postage Handling charge on Kickstarter/externally-sourced games but - finally - the miserable, clown-operated world of racist/thick-as-dogshit little England is putting up proper, pre-despatch barriers to my Kickstarter pledges:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Given I've not played ANY form of Root since Bastion 2020, I realised that I didn't actually want the expansion as much as I'd originally thought - especially now that it was going to cost me extra AND still not be wholly guaranteed against Post Office scalping when it finally landed in the UK.

The folks at Leder Games offered a full refund so I'm taking it; though trying to get into Backerkit to look up some other info proved impossible - it kept telling me I needed to login before I could login and, as usual, the 'Contact Us' links simply led to a succession of useless FAQs with no chance of seeming resolution.

Of course, this is but the thin end of the Tory Wedge that's been hammered into the arse if this Country; I've got about 20 campaign items still on the not received yet list and I guess I'll need to decide if I'm going to fall into this broiling money pit or cut my losses and tell the PO they can keep whatever parcel they're holding to ransom. I've just cancelled my Small Railroad Empires pledge too; no sense in stocking up even more heartache for the future.
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Wed Nov 3, 2021 9:34 am
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Quit yer complainin'

Anthony Boydell
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So I gets this letter from the Parcelforce people and, like, they want to fleece me for 45 quid and such in the name of "Customs Fee" and "Handling Charge" and I'm thinking "Bucking Frexit" and go online to pay it coz what else choice do I have?
From gallery of tonyboydell

Lucky it's a Thursday which means I can get it Friday provided I've paid - which I have - coz getting it on the Saturday would cost an EXTRA 12 quid on top: what the factual uck? More scalping than a ropey, 1960s Western my friends! And what, exactly, am I getting for this unexpected outlay of cash and a free side-order of arse-ache?

Well, dear pals, I'm getting all of this:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

God is in his Heaven and this saucy collection of (heavy - phew!) delectable, delicious and desirable items is now mine! I should emphasise that my good pals at Lookout Games sent me these free and gratis so - in the grand scheme of things - that 45 quid in EU-Exit extorted fees is a bloody bargain! Thus and henceforth I shall quit my complainin' and thank my lucky (Hanno and Grzegorz-shaped) stars!
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:20 am
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What the 'C' stands for in T.C.G

Anthony Boydell
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I've played many, many instances of many, many games in my life but I've never come across a more rude and reprehensible community than Magic: The Gathering players. A superlative game design with a continuingly-inventive life...and a dickhead-to-non-dickhead participant ratio that would make the Lawrence Fox Fan Club blush. Of course there are lovely Magic players but - dear Christ - there are so many bad ones: so very many.

The Predatory Trader:
When I first discovered M:TG, someone printed off a list of the Revised Edition cards and I made it my goal to get a complete set. This meant, of course, that I would be trading with every and any member of the local Cheltenham/Gloucester groups; there was one chap - let's call him 'Vic'* - who noted the noobs' completionist fervour and would happily hoover up our 'spare Dual Lands' in exchange for arse-water rares like Ebony Titting Horse and Arma-fucking-Geddon Clock and The Shit Hive. Only later did we realise we were handing over £10 cards, for chaff, to someone who knew exactly what they were doing.

The Organizers & Their Mates:
It was always fun to travel two hours each way to a Grand Prix OR major Pre-Release Event and participate in the cruelest of all M:TG variations: the Sealed Deck. In the early 2000s, much cheatery ensued at these events with 'circuit' players cutting their sealed product with powerful extra single cards they'd brought with them. WotC initiated deck logging and the randomization of opened decks to solve the issue ie. open the cards and note down all contents then pack 'em up and hand them in - you were never sure which deck you were going to get back. However, most regional event organizers were feckless and lazy and would often give the good decks back to their mates/local players if asked to; leaving the rest of us to blink back the tears at having spaffed a tenner on 75 unplayable rectangles of cardboard. And the petrol to get there. And being away from doing something far more rewarding for the day instead.

The Table Bully
Several high profile Brit players were doing the rounds in the mid 90s and, loudly, shoving their opinions and their 'trash talking' where they were - most definitely - not welcome. Young teenagers paired off against 'the Top 100's would regularly be told - straight up - that they, and their decks, were shit. Welcome to the hobby, son...now auto-concede the match and fuck off to the Pokémon tables.

In recent times, the implementation of Magic Online and MtG: Arena have provided a whole, new range of Shitty Strings to add to the Turd Bowman's ARSE-enal:

The 'Roper'
There is a 'time out' mechanism that directly responds to the old lag's trick of 'not doing anything at all and just waiting for the opponent to concede'. Always employed by the rankings-hungry semi**-pro, you'd be doing just fine and about to deal a victorious blow when the other side of the table would go digitally silent. In MTGA, a 'burning rope' appears to warn you that you're about to be timed out: unfortunately, if the early game between players has been relatively brisk, there will be about 2 minutes-worth of 'timeouts' to be exhausted (by the 'bot now managing the self-absented opponent) before the game officially stops. You _could_ concede to play again somewhere else BUT the vanished other would receive 'the win' in that instance.

The Roper is a very common sight indeed:
- when they didn't get the right initial card draw? Go roping...
- when their super-duper deckTM is outclassed by yours? Go roping...
- when they're simply being out-played? Go roping...
- when their Mother has called them out from Wank HQ for supper? Go roping...

The Oops!-er
There is no free-text interaction with players in the online MTGA platform and, given the fecundity of ropers and other Magical low-lifes, that's a deliberate and fortunate thing. One is able to communicate using a tiny set of generic pop-outs: "Hello!", "Thanks", "Thinking" etc AND the beautiful, velvet-fisted "Oops!". Now, I am an 'oops' user when I misplay and want to show my opponent that I know I misplayed and that I am not a total Sphincter Wit. The Oops!-er, however, is using the term sarcastically ie. "Not oops! whatsoever. Look at this deliberately brilliant thing I have done/contrived to achieve! You should probably concede right now because this move is - and I am - utterly amazing.". One might, of course, be tempted to 'go to the rope' in such a scenario - never do it! Never become them to beat them!

The Look-At-What-I-Would-Have-Done-r
Of course, it's great that you've put a lot of time and effort into copying the latest YouTube deck but you're not going to win all the time. When it is completely obvious that they've lost AND YET they insist on running through an entire turn playing out card-after-ineffectual-card, it's their own time they're wasting: I am SO thrilled you managed to pull a Phyrexian-runed Vorinclex from that Virtual Booster Draft BUT I am on 30 life and you are in 2 life: you don't win just because you put out a 'posh' card. Showing me you HAVE the posh card(s) is a bit like showing me your dick: I know what it looks like but I don't want you to show it to me without a good reason.

So, there you have it: examples of how (some) Magic: The Gathering players really ARE arseholes of Olympian quality.

*his real name was 'Vic' too, coincidentally.
**short for 'semi-on', as in "a partially-erect penis"
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Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:15 am
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Hub-bub

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Last week I recorded 'a thing'; this week it's made it to the YouTubes:



Please watch: it's rather good, actually.
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Thu Sep 3, 2020 6:20 am
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Endless Plagiarism

Anthony Boydell
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So Endless Games (I) think it's aces to fumblingly, bumblingly plagiarize the work of another designer with their latest project Dropsy.

Dropsy is defined, dictionary-wise, as:

"a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body"

As unpleasant as that sounds, it's preferable to being associated with the knock-off practices of a company of oily turds who decided it would be easy and fun to leech off someone else's hard work.

Buy, instead, Yogi or Yogi Guru by the excellent Behrooz Shahriari; she's an amazing designer and an amazing person worthy of your love and respect. As for the Endless Arseholes, I suggest you react to their wanton chicanery as you might see fit.

I, for my part, am just warning you of this subterfuge.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Cunts.
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Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:29 pm
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Grammar-lama-ding-dong.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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One thing that really nail-scrapes my blackboard is the tiresome habit that bloggers have of portmanteau-ing references to each of the games they have played 'in a session' to make a pathetic, meaningless and contrived title - you know the sort of thing:

Quote:
A report on a Friday spent with Agricola, San Juan, Can't Stop, L.A.M.A and Tainted Grail becomes
Endless Colonists Farming Alpacas for King Arthur*.
Quote:
{Insert Convention Name Here} Day 3 Report for Magic Maze, 1655: Habemus Papam 1698, Aaarg!-tect, Codenames and Feudum becomes
Striped Monster Popes Lost In Words with Inflatable Hammers!!!** (one exclamation fails to provide the appropriate humour emphasis).
Quote:
1846 plus Mottanai plus The Grizzled plus Megacity: Oceania plus Cthulhu Wars becomes
Elder Gods with Big Jugs Go Like Trains and Get Their Wet Cities Out For the Boys***
Why insist on mentioning EVERYTHING? Where's your sense of mystery - of teasing? Why shoot your wad before the link has even been clicked?! I have never seen one that makes any coherent sense as a sentence; they all range from 'a bit shit' to "Fuck me sideways over a rolling donut, that's truly AWFUL!" / "It looks like a toddler made it using random bricks!". You might as well just provide a comma-separated list of the game titles and give up any pretence of Wit, Imagination and/or Capability; and, of course, what inevitably follows 'within' is a dull, sequential stream of segments comprising a photograph PLUS 'impression' PLUS an entirely-irrelevant/fatuous 'rating'.

D minus.

Why not try proper puns? An artistic reference or an emotional expression? How about something that stands alone in its language as having actual sense and meaning? If you can't be bothered, then you might as well start eating wax crayons in front of your Kallax on YouTube****.

External image


*I'd go for: "Dennis? There's Some Lovely Filth Down 'Ere"
**I'd plump with: "Smoke and Milieus" (it's too varied for a common thread, so going 'utterly obtuse' works too)
***I quite like this one; it's just the right side of 'filthy'
****100% MUST Watch.
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Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:25 am
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das Fett kauen

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Me and one of my favourite ever Germans, Mr Ulrich Blennemann, chew the fat:


(Uli is very quiet - uncharacteristically - in this one)

Here's fun: how many times do I side-eye my live 'room next door' stream from Dominic Cummings?

I do miss my European friends so very much.
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Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 am
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Vent

Anthony Boydell
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The sun was back out in glorious heat and light today: no grey clouds to separate us from a good ol' English globally-warmed Summer! I made use of a convenient break between meetings to drop off a stack of parcels and, as I drove through the town, it was like a regular, balmy Monday. Folks gathered in the shops, chatting outside the Library, kids huddled under the Market Place, an orderly - socially-distanced - queue for the Post Office and Mums returning from the Primary School drop-off; a queue for the bus and masked OAPs out for a stroll and a bottle of milk from the supermarket. To be completely honest, I'm not clear whether we're out of lockdown now or not - it's been over a week since I left the boundaries of Chez Boydell to do anything except take the dog for a walk in the empty fields.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Bread-and-circuses for the 21st Century: queue for Primark!


Most children won't be going back to school until September but the zoos are open; the R-number is only just below 1 but the beaches are open. Tens of people are still dying each day - well, some number are because we don't get informed of the figures with any regularity anymore - but at least that statue of Winston Churchill is safe (feel free to piss over any Police memorials, though).

Black Lives Matter, unless you lived in Grenfell Towers or are part of the Windrush generation. If you're a farmer, or a fisherman, then you've got six months to retrain before the hammer comes down: chlorinated, hormone-soaked tariffs for everyone!

Every little bit of good that happens in the World is, almost immediately, obscured and/or belittled by the relentless imbecility of those who profess to serve us. Consider the United Kingdom: currently under the tutelage of a lolloping, tousle-haired whoopee cushion of liquid turds and his merry band of Beano horrors (all the clichés are here); it's like a sitcom but the laughter is canned because the audience is, in fact, dead. If I hear the phrase "doubling down on the lie" one more fucking time, I may scream and never stop.

For the Boydell household, the lockdown has seeded boredom, resentment, frustration, rage, emotional retreats and emotional outbursts; it's a bit like walking on eggshells...while they're still coming out of the chickens. There's nowhere for anyone to go, no-one to offer any help. Arthur barely holds interest in anything away from the XBox or YouTube and is just buffeted about in the wake of the older kids' outbursts; he has bags under his eyes, isn't eating or sleeping properly, misses his pals and is prone to sudden tears. I. fucking. hate. this. country.

I can't trust the news, so I retreat to gaming BUT a quick glance at boardgame Twitter and - Jesus in a tin-foil Mankini! - you're castigated for not believing enough in X or complicit in the persecution of Y or simply enabling the perpetuation of Z by your 'inaction': fucking hell, I've got quite enough to worry about within the curtilage of my property without being flamed-then-blocked for not being part of the foam-mouthed mob at every. fucking. sleight!

From gallery of tonyboydell


To distract myself, I watch videos of Magic: The Gathering booster packs being opened; of combo-decks being combotastic on MTG Arena; of ornate, wooden puzzles being solved by a man with heavily-tattooed hands; of movie trailers for films I can't go and see because the cinemas are closed; of theories behind HELLRAISER and the ALIEN franchise; of a bloke lathing tree-trunks in to marbles; of a fake BBC TV News presenter ranting at the ugliness of it all.

I designed a game where you're trying to successfully summon a Demon; why did I bother? There's plenty here already.
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:15 am
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There Can Be Only One!

Anthony Boydell
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In light of MrShep's recent blog post (HERE) revolving about this statement in the Repos manual for Just One -

From gallery of MrShep


- I, humbly*, present a free alternative in the spirit of 'Fuck you!' to the Great Legal Minds(TM)** who request this sort of unenforceable shite spoil everyone's day:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Setup:
a. Give each player a sheet of paper and a writing implement; encourage players to write small enough to make the sheet last for the whole game in an attempt to be more environment-friendly.

b. Throw your copy/copies of Concept and Just One (and any other tiresome, derivative tat that Repos have spunked out in order to avoid taxation) in to the recycling (separate the cardboard from the plastic components according to the rules of your local authority).

c. Nominate a player as the GUESSER; the player seated to the left of the GUESSER is the NOMINATOR. All players should decide, at this point, how many 'lives' are allowed (I recommend three with six players, adding one for each two players beyond that) - you are ready to play!

Playing the game:

1. The NOMINATOR announces a Subject Category and then writes down an example of something in that category; it can be any category you like but it should be general enough to provide good choices eg. films, vegetable, books and so on.

2. The GUESSER closes their eyes and/or performs some other operation of obscuring (dependent upon visual/aural impairment etc). The NOMINATOR shows, in silence and ensuring the GUESSER is not privvy, their selected example.

3. All players - except the GUESSER 'excluded' - must write down a single word clue to the 'example'.

4. When all players have written their word, the NOMINATOR removes any duplicates from play ie. if there is more than one instance of a word, ALL instances of that word are removed. Plural and singular forms together count as duplicated.

5. The GUESSER returns to play and is shown the remaining, valid clue words and must guess the example of the selected category. If they are correct, the team scores one point; if they are incorrect, the round counts as the loss of one life - if there are no lives left, the game is over and proceed to checking for victory OTHERWISE repeat the round structure from step 1, with the NOMINATOR now becoming the GUESSER and the player to the left of the new GUESSER becoming the new NOMINATOR.

Checking for Victory:
If your final score, as a group, after all lives lost is greater than the number of players then you have WON! Huzzah! Record your winning margin ie. the score minus the number of players on a league table, if you like.

If your final score, as a group, is less than or equal to the number of players then you have LOST and should be thoroughly-ashamed of yourselves.

(c) 2020 Tony Boydell
Important note: do what the fuck you like with these rules.

I love you x

*not in the slightest bit
**cunts
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Sat May 30, 2020 11:25 am
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Am I The Only One To Think...2

Anthony Boydell
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...that this year's 'virtual cons' are going to be nothing more than a thousand variations on BGG's live Con streams?

From gallery of tonyboydell


I mean there's nothing wrong with showcasing new products etc but that's NOT a "virtual con", that's just doing the usual, seen-it-before media shilling. Take a step away from the enthusiastic re-branding / re-paint job we're being sold and GenCon 2020 is going to comprise the same variable quality of industry guests being gamely chivvied along by Beth, Eric and that bloke with the massive chin.

I have questions and I have doubts:

The Demo experience?
Obviously, the huge increase in interest for Tabletop Simulator/Tabletopia is a viable channel for exposure to the new hotnesses BUT how much of a cut of sales would these platforms want/force if they're being actively promoted as demo venues by the publishers?

Promos?
The 'P'-word; the thing that we all adore ie. being rewarded for our being bothered to schlepp to the Halls with a card or a chit or a chewy sweet? I can see 'live giveaways', perhaps? But I hope they're all ready for the howling bleats of 'The Denied' because timezones preclude timely attendance.

Food?
Okay - this is much easier: scoff a couple of rancid chicken mcnuggets then throw 20 euros in to the bin.

Pitching One's Game(s)
Oh, and don't get me started - oops, you did - on the latest trend in arsewittery from the hipster game companies (or do we have to call them "Design Studios" now?): "Speed Pitching". Fuck you all with your smug, self-satisfied, self-important con-artistry. How fortunate we must feel that you deign to give up 2 minutes of your incalculably-valuable time to dwell with us mere mortals; how we be-shit our trousers at the undoubted privilege you afford us as you pretend you know what you're talking about - wheedling and judge-ing and criticising (but constructively and with sincerity, OBVIOUSLY?!) over Zoom, or whatever else lactose-free collaborative-platform is making you all jizz in your trendy undercrackers this week. Fuck you in to the Sea for reducing the hard work of designers to a series of patronising soundbites and platitudes; making a tawdry reality show out of our dreams. Fuck. You.

The Getting Drunk With Pals You've Not Seen For 12 Months
Impossible to reproduce.

Buying, buying and MORE buying?
If there's one "good" thing about no Spiel is that I'll save myself about 1000 euros of game purchases - even with the generosity of industry pals enabling me to get oodles of free stuff, I still adore trawling the lesser Halls for curios and rarities. Speculative purchases, too, are an 'in-person' thing and can't be cloned for virtuality.

We are being told of 'lots of things in store'; organisers are 'working on a full itinerary' and we're to expect 'surprises galore!' but I don't want empty promises, I want details and I want them now! You'll not get me hunched over my laptop - melting the motherboard with 12 hours of live streaming for four days - with non-specifics. If you know what you're doing then tell us; if you don't know, then shut up and tell us when you do.

I want my 2020 back, please; this isn't the year I signed up for.
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Sun May 24, 2020 6:40 am
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