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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Navvy Say Navvy Again

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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and, in particular, this:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Yes, indeed; this is something I've been musing upon since the first days of the pandemic lockdown and with the support and inspiration of Naylor Games behind me, this is going to be something pretty damn special! So, if you'd like to know more - we'll be teasing out tidbits going forward - then why not sign up today?!
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Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:52 am
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10 Years After

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Ten years ago (!), Surprised Stare Games Ltd premiered the mock-up copy of their first train game at the UK Games Expo. We were buzzing with the thrill of co-publishing with our favourite Publisher and optimistic that this might be an opportunity to sell more than 1000 copies of an SSG product.
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

There was talk, from a (loud) Larry Roznai, of Mayfair Games* buying in to a "minimum 2000" for the US market! This made us very excited indeed but that turned out to be a lot of hot air and swagger. I remember there was a video preview with Paco Jean too:

Gosh! How young they all were!

I wonder whatever happened to that niche, railway-themed design and it's fresh-faced, optimistic Designer?!

*this is a few years before they actually bought Lookout, of course.
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Sat May 28, 2022 6:20 am
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Bros From Another Mo!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Ah, something popped up on eBay last week - under the banner of one of my favourite exhibit sources - and it was a tense week of waiting out the bidding:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Two, mint-condition and still-sealed copies of the 1990s Smallfilms family board games!

In mint condition, I tell you!

And still in the original shrink-wrap!
From gallery of tonyboydell

These, IIRC, were designed by Oliver Postgate himself - good and simple roll-and-movers originally appearing (in various forms) in the earlier 1960s and 1970s annuals (see here for an example)
From gallery of tonyboydell

Obviously, they shall remain sealed* and take their place of Honour amongst the Museum's treasures.

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Sisters from different Misters!


*in their original plastic**
**and, thus, in mint condition!

P.S. There will be NO blogpost tomorrow because of 'timing' reasons...all will become clear in a couple of weeks
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Sat May 21, 2022 6:20 am
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Trefynwy Which Way But Loose

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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: Iain Banks fan
Friday dawned melancholy and I never really managed to pull myself out of the gloomy fug. The dwindling attendance at the daily MS Teams stand-ups (I know have to attend three such start-of-the-morning sessions) due to holibobs means a bit more gas-bagging from the rest of us: me? I just want to curl up in the corner and have a little snooze.

Come lunchtime, I felt the walls closing in around me and escaped to the Shire town of Monmouth - 20 miles down the road and a former, childhood home. Dutifully masked, I parked up on the fringes - no fee for two whole hours! - and wandered along the still-familiar back streets to the centre:
passing The Queen's Head pub, where I took Mrs B for our first date meal back in 1988;
passing Monmouth School for Boys, at which I was a pupil the first three years of secondary education (1979-82) - closed now the Michelmas term is complete;
passing the lane that leads to the garden gate at the back of the Flat we lived in after my parents divorced (1982-1986);
passing the Toy Shop that used to be Dewhurst's Butchers where I had a Saturday/holiday job from 1982-1986; and,
up the hill of shops to The Shire Hall, the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Barracks and the tiny remains of the only castle in the County I've never visited AT ALL in my life*:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Monmouth Castle - barely enough stone to enclose a modest garden.
From gallery of tonyboydell

(Wikipedia) Once an important border castle, it stood until the English Civil War when it was damaged and changed hands three times before being slighted to prevent it being fortified again.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Birthplace of England's most famous King: Henry V.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Edward II was held prisoner in the castle, briefly, before he was transferred to Berkeley Castle - just over the River Severn - and, eventually, killed by my ancestor Thomas Gurney**
From gallery of tonyboydell

It took barely 10 minutes to poke about the rubbly bits because the towers were gated and locked (probably full of military grade lawn mowers and such); I also paused to (wistfully) overlook the old showground field, the trickle that identifies as the River Monnow and the main street's higgledy-piggledy roofscape.

Thankfully, it was enough to blow away the ennui and - more importantly - kindle an appetite for coffee and cake; eschewing the numerous franchise outlets, I grabbed both from the family Bakery near the school - we, me and my classmates, used to go there in school breaks to buy chelsea buns 'back in the day'.

*until today
**by way of a red hot poker up the bum-bum, apparently.
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Sat Dec 18, 2021 6:15 am
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Tunnel Vision

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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You might remember these images from the ramblechat but I include them here as a fixed document of a most-excellent afternoon out walking with pal Gerv.

We two met at Gerv's childhood home - now inherited - and traipsed through the fields at the end of the road and down to the old trackbed of the Wye Valley railway line. Just a couple of 100 yards from where'd I'd explored the previously-closed tunnel years passed, it's all opened up and re-surfaced and available for exploring!

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

The other side of the 1km Tidenham tunnel - previously unseen.


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

Through the trees, a glimpse of...


We were so enjoying the bright, hot mid-April weather - and chatting rather a lot - that we realised we'd walked almost to Tintern and determined to finish the job, with lunch close to the famous Abbey.

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


The pitch was melting on the piles of discarded sleeper and track, great door-stops of iron tempted free retrieval and - after four hours - we were back up-and-away from the line and staring over the River Severn in a late afternoon haze: only a 10 mile round trip but, taken at a sedate and genial pace, it provided an utterly splendid four hours of restorative, physical and mental therapy!
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Fri May 14, 2021 6:30 am
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Rare Welsh Bit

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Hot off the Sunday PM session a week (or so) ago, Friday night at the Ross-on-Wye gamers comprised something 'in the flesh' for a change. Well, I say 'in the flesh'; it was more like having a bacon bap in front of the telly watching a medieval banquet - physical interaction "of a sort":

From gallery of tonyboydell


I opened with a large gin-and-tonic, to help warm up a chilly evening, and a games room table laden with the latest Bones of Offa materials. Boffo had sent over a new link to the source files with the brief covering note "The Stewsman effect has changed" - all good, then!

From gallery of tonyboydell


As it transpired:
- a third of the professions had received name tweaks
- as had about 20% of profession effects

There followed a rather haughty Boffonian reaction to the simple request of "Tell us what has changed - just list 'em out".

"But I've sent you all the new files!" he protested.

"Yes, but then we have to read everything and try and work out what's changed!" we replied.

"But I've sent you all the NEW files!" he continued - emphasis not really helping to firm up his argument.

"..." we sighed.

"I'm not coming up with a full-blown document management system!" he wailed.

(pause to think about what Google Docs could provide, should it be used)

*collective sigh*

From gallery of tonyboydell


Anyway; bickering - wonderful, joyous bickering - aside, it was an absolute STONKER of a game! Settling in to perhaps NOT training up a Goldsmith from the off AND not going first for once, I spent the game trotting up and down the middle Marches claiming Noble titles and filling up the scoring tracks. I was especially pleased with my (planned for) last-action-of-the-game domino rotation in the RELIGION line that docked Becky of 6 valuable points and relegating her (for once) to the ignominy of 3rd place while staying - powerfully, triumphantly - in 1st with a thumping 66 points!

From gallery of tonyboydell


With the whole thing still buzzing in my brain, I spent most of Saturday afternoon - broken up by a long walk - formatting a bigger, single game board:

From gallery of tonyboydell


I even managed to convince Ben we needed our 'raiding Welshmen' element (lost from an early version); they now show up when a scoring track hits a given value to snaffle the juicy VP professions (not so much 'raiding' as 'opportunistic' or 'gazumping')
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Tue Feb 9, 2021 8:42 am
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das Fett kauen

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
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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Lok Again

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Back in 2013, when I was picking up the original art for Ivor the Engine from Mr Peter Firmin's actual house, he showed me some of the licensed goodies in his archive. One thing that stood out was a copy of Die kleine Lok Ivor - a German roll-and-move edition from Noris Spiele.

Aside: It gets a brief picture in my original blog post of that day: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/25292/canterbury-tale

Five years of keeping an internet eye-out finally came up with the goods...and what minty-condition, perfectly-formed goods they are:

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


For the price of a new copy of Pandemic, this simple but utterly-charming treasure has been well worth the wait. Now, I just need to get the rulebook translated.
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Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:50 am
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a rare and noble sight

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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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: Iain Banks fan
It was hot and we weren't going to spend the day hidden away in the musty atmos of Casa Boydella when there was fresh air and UV rays to soak up, oh no!

Packing water for the dog - and sure that we all had hats of some kind - it was a short hop down the roads to Monmouth and, then, Raglan for some monumental (!) castle-age:

From gallery of tonyboydell

Pulling in to the car park...


This is one of the best castles around and - given the glorious clarity afforded by the sunshine - one of the most photogenic; it amazes me, as I think back to the days of 36 snaps on a roll of film, how easy it is to capture the best moments nowadays. And no waiting 48 hours for the film to be developed either!

Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the talking; if you're ever in the area and, Gods willing, the weather is anywhere near as spectacular as on Sunday, then get yourself in to Raglan Castle: stunning!

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

Is this an oubliette? I forget...


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

Very neat: keeping this enormous pile of rubble in trim requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work!


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

That's Arthur waaaaaay up there; my legs always go to jelly in these situations!


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

Look at the texture!


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

Naturally framed: it's like a Jo March painting, but real...


From gallery of tonyboydell

Seeking cooler sanctuary - 1


From gallery of tonyboydell

Now THAT'S a big chimney.


From gallery of tonyboydell

Seeking cooler sanctuary - 2


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

This pic sums up our superb afternoon.


"Not farre from thence, a famous Castle fine,
That Raggland hight, stands moted almost round:
Made of Freestone, upright as straight as line,
Whose workmanship in beautie doth abound.
The curious knots, wrought all with edged toole,
The stately Tower, that lookes ore Pond and Poole:
The Fountaine trim, that runs both day and night,
Doth yeeld in showe a rare and noble sight.
"
- Thomas Churchyard, The Worthiness of Wales (1587)
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Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:20 am
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Do not climb on the walls

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Beetling down the dual carriageway to Abergavenny in Mrs B's Micra, me and Arthur and Fred were caught in a mother-fudging thunderstorm that threatened to turn the A449 in to a river and the Nissan in to a boat! As luck would have it, Abergavenny itself - surrounded by splendid mounts (Skirrid, Ysgyryd Fach, Blorenge, Sugar Loaf) - seemed to have caught and held the Sun, so the spur-of-the-moment trip to the Castle was a Sunday afternoon delight!

Abergavenny castle is the only castle in South Wales/the Marches that I've never visited before - that's a lot of crumbling stone that's passed under my feet over the years. Delaying the pleasure, we lunched in a local café then ambled back up the hill to the ruins:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Arthur was somewhat narked by the copious supply of 'Do Not Climb On The Walls' signs and pushed his luck as to what counted as a reasonable 'masonry clamber' versus the full-blown Chris Bonington! I'm not one to spoil his fun just as long as he wasn't taking the piss...which is how I would describe ending up ABOVE that pointed arch in the pic (middle, right) above! Fortunately, the only 'staff' on site was a miserable old lady in the museum building who could barely see over the formica point-of-sale counter!

We drove home via the old country lanes of my distant youth: passed The Walnut Tree (famous epicurean venue of the 1970s and 80s), the Hendre (hill), Barley House (simultaneously the house of my parents' dreams and the venue of their divorce a few years later), Skenfrith Castle and The Broad Oak pub (ah, those heady days of young romance). The rain - in all of its lumpen, watery glory - was waiting for us as we crackled on to the driveway and scampered inside for hot tea and biscuits.
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Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:35 am
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