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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Wheel Meet Again

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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This copy of Chad Valley's Shunting Race Game is in very tidy condition - albeit missing the die - and employs a wheel, fixed to the board, to change up the usual 'roll and move' route mechanism a little:
From gallery of tonyboydell

A Happy Horse!

Diversion does it with roads and with lots of wheels to really spice up the re-directing.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Of course, games like The Fastest Gun, War of the Daleks and The Sinking of the Titanic turn the whole board into a giant wheel instead.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Nowadays, 'the wheel' has been re-engineered to a more elaborate - but still elegantly-simple - purpose in games such as Ora et Labora, Glass Road, Coloma and The Palaces of Carrara.

What goes a round, comes a round - eh?
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Wed Aug 3, 2022 8:50 am
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A Spicy Gift

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Since formalising my quiet ambition to create a Museum and evangelise my hobby, I have been the recipient of many acts of generosity. Whether it's a Saturday morning 'pop-in' to drop off a couple of dusty, well-worn boxes - the product of a garage or loft clearout - OR an out-of-the-blue message asking "If you would be interested..?". Cue: an email from fellow Geek Perry Waddell:
Quote:
I have some Board games that I am going to donate to my local thrift shop. I want to check first to see whether the Museum of Board Games would be interested in any of them...I checked postage rates and they are not too bad! If you're interested in a couple, I can put them in a box and post to you.
Not realising - despite the use of 'thrift' rather than 'Charity' - that Perry was not located in the UK, I gratefully accepted. When I went into the Museum this weekend just gone, a large box - adorned with various posting and tracking labels - was nestled behind the counter (our Property Services person has a key to all of the Units):
From gallery of tonyboydell

The box sat at the back of the Unit for almost the entire day - distracted, as I was, by reorganising the reference books onto a new bookshelf, making better use of the Gift Shop and sorting a stack of exhibits onto the larger IVARs. I'd also promised Hannah - owner of The Secret Gallery opposite - that I wouldn't open it without her being present for 'the big reveal'!

At the top was resting some D&D bits 'n pieces; no rulebook - luckily my other copy has one - but a time-travelling, uber-nostalgic The Keep On The Borderlands and some un-waxed polyhedral dice:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I was also taken by the intact TSR catalogue: rich in associated desirables:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Underneath, a trio of more traditional curios - US editions all:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

And, finally, the piece of resistance:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Good grief! Just LOOK at that gorgeous map!

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

A-and yet another catalogue!


Out of the blue came this extraordinarily generous offer and followed through to the safety of the Museum's bosom in barely a fortnight; thanks, of course, to Perry for their philanthropy: another name to add to a growing Roll of Honour.

Board game geeks are ace.
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Tue Aug 2, 2022 6:20 am
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Free Parking

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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When the parcels arrive - albeit intermittently - they all seem to be BIG parcels:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Apart from the extremely well-protected main event, Dom - the chap from who the ME was purchased - also included some odds'n sods by way of a donation to the Museum:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

And on-top-of, underneath and surrounded by what looked like half-full vacuum cleaner bags:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Quote:
In 1941, the British Secret Intelligence Service had John Waddington Ltd., the licensed manufacturer of the game in the United Kingdom, create a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by the Nazis. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by fake charity organizations created by the British Secret Service.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Not the first copy of Monopoly in the Museum but, by a decade or two, certainly the oldest: this copy of the 'Gold' edition dates from the mid-1930s - the first time available in the UK:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Replete with the original set of six player markers...
From gallery of tonyboydell

...'luxury', glued insert...
From gallery of tonyboydell

...and resinous, green Houses and - embossed! - Hotels:
From gallery of tonyboydell

A physical thing of great beauty that carries with it so many conflicting emotions: love it or hate it, it's affected tens of millions of lives and entirely deserves a place in the Museum.
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Fri Jul 29, 2022 6:15 am
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Silent Witness

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Last weekend, I decided to break the bonds of the early 20th century game prototypes sent to me by the Designer's granddaughter. Feeling like a proper Curator, I gathered my tools around me and cleared a table!

Patrick Mahony was a teacher, a boxer and had a wonderfully-vivid imagination - as I discovered looking through the rolls of maps and rule-sheets - I blogged, briefly, about receiving them here: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/133292/tube-or-not-tube

Having made space for myself to take a proper look - to fix any tears, flatten any crumples etc -  it became apparent that Patrick had developed himself a fictional County - replete with a full colour map and paintings of villages - and, it seems, was setting his various designs WITHIN that world eg. a golf game set in the 'Links', an Athletics/Sports Day set in one of the village's schools (see the table of competitors?/winners? in the various 'schools athletics' events below) and so on!
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

First for review was Racehorse Transactions; hardly the most inspiring of titles, I know:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

There are several versions of this board, including reshuffles of the runners and riders in the six 'groups':
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

And two versions of the rules:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

As I mentioned, graphic pieces representing the County also survive:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I'm convinced I'm missing the top section of this map

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

In this Mahoney-invented world, I've yet to fully review the Cricket and Golf games and an alternative (simpler) Racing design set in the Ashmead Racecourse.

And there's even more:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Patrick composed a Parish magazine that recorded play results and full narratives surrounding the games. There is a lot more to unpack - both literally and figuratively - and I may have to travel and see some of the family-retained treasures that were too valuable to be part of the donated materials.

Watch this space because this story is going to get more intriguing!
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Sat Jul 23, 2022 6:05 am
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All I got was a bellyful of English Channel!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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I've been a much-reduced lurker on eBay in recent months and only bid on items I think will be of particular importance and/or interest to visitors. The following item - Battle of Britain from 1975 (Berwick's Toy Co. Ltd.) - is notable for several reasons:
From gallery of tonyboydell

It has swastikas a-plenty as part of game material - now pretty much scorned - and incorporates a simple-but-elegant mechanism for simulating flying at altitude:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The planes - spitfires (the players) and bombers (NPCs) - move up and down according to the players' action preference OR randomly using a spinner (the 'FPI' - flight path indicator).

The rules are very much about 'The first player to shoot down X' as a win condition but, naturally, it would suit a co-operative mode of 'When all players have shot down Y between them' as well/instead - certainly, a co-op approach is very much more on theme.

In other news, Museum sponsor Chaos Cards* have very kindly sent me a 'Draft' booster box of the new, much-drooled-over Double Masters 2022 set:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I'm hoping to hold an 8-player draft event, the funds from which will go into buying a couple more RADSTA cabinets for our small, but slowly-growing, backlog of exhibits.

*https://www.chaoscards.co.uk/
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Fri Jul 15, 2022 6:15 am
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A Tragedy, In Three Acts.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Act I
Over the weekend, this rather splendid item appeared on a Facebook marketplace:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Near-mint with all of the plastic items still on the sprews!
Wow!
The OP wanted £250-£300 but several replies suggested that, while it was a beautiful thing, the recent reprint somewhat removes the 'scarcity' angle and a reduced price might be better for a sale.
From gallery of tonyboydell

I pitched in with an offer for £130 - on behalf of the Museum, as this would come out of hard-earned Museum funds (it's not quite the V&A yet) - because it's such fine example of a gaming history milestone*. Naturally, it was refused. Hey - and indeed - ho.

Act II
From gallery of tonyboydell

As I ruminated on this beauteous artifact, it struck me that such a thing falls between all of its stools:
it can't function as a game because popping everything out would immediately slash the inherent value
unless the buyer had a means to put it on display, it would never be seen by anyone.

What remains is a purely-financial investment transaction: the fact that this is a 40 year-old toy with a huge, nostalgic following that was part of an explosion of the fantasy hobby is irrelevant and, thus, makes the whole thing rather tragic. It is just box that has value, yes, but no worth.
From gallery of tonyboydell

I appear to have greatly upset the OP as I started debating these thoughts within the thread: they fear I may be trying to sabotage the sale. For them it is an entirely commercial thing as they have (quote) "no sentimental attachment" to it in any way.

Act III
After this exchange - during which they called me a knob** - they deleted the entire post and re-posted the images (and accompanying sales info) as a new thread:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I offered them £150. The thread has now disappeared altogether.

Quote:
P.S. Please consider sponsoring the Museum so it can afford this kind of thing in the Future!
patreon.com/themuseumofboardgames
*the phrase 'Museum-quality' is often coined in eBay lots of this nature
**perhaps, in written form, I might have been construed as "Mr Logic" about it all; it's hard to portray a philosophical discourse as a 'Reply'
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Mon Jul 11, 2022 6:20 am
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Tube or Not Tube

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Opening a Museum has been like opening a treasure chest: it's becoming less about emptying a house that's too full of games and more of opening the door to other people's lives. Marked-up/personalised copies of family favourites (score pads, house rules and strategy pages included), donations from generous locals, bequests from recently-departed pals and - now - the donation of a Grandfather's game designing legacy. His granddaughter, Eileen, messaged me via the Museum's Facebook page:
Quote:
I have been clearing my attic and I have a suitcase with 13 tubes with board game plans (on paper/card with instructions) all invented by my grandad in the 1920s until 1950s. My understanding is that he sent these to Waddingtons over the years but never got commissioned. There are titles such as Prime Minister, Shopkeepers, Cricket, Racing, Athletics, Pools and several others. I wonder if yourselves at the museum would be interested in seeing these and giving them a home?
This is the result - freshly-couriered from one end of the country to the other:
From gallery of tonyboydell

And here is the gentlemen in question:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Patrick Peter Mahony (1900-1965)
School teacher, Olympic-level Boxer and Game Designer!

Once I've sorted out how best to store and display these gems, I'll blog about them in more detail: in the meantime, I've got some wonderful hours ahead of unrolling and admiring this rare catalogue!

Quote:
Aside: please consider becoming a Patron via https://www.patreon.com/themuseumofboardgames
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Sat Jun 25, 2022 6:20 am
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The first dibs are the best dibs.

Anthony Boydell
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I was made an offer I couldn't refuse when gaming pal Giles sent me a preview list of a recently-acquired game collection. A first 'skim' alerted me to a number of desirable bits to add to the Museum's exhibitry which I sent back tagged as 'Interested'. There followed a further 'special stuff' menu...
From gallery of tonyboydell

...which had me pulling out the abacus and doing the finance sums: they weren't cheap but, for the Museum, they were an unmissable opportunity:
From gallery of tonyboydell

My Doctor.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Good Lord! 2nd edition (A)D&D Goodness!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Spicy!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Aa-and the rest.

Giles was generous enough to apply a 'donation' discount to the whole consignment and the deal was done. The main problem I now have is one of display space: does anyone have any IKEA glass cabinets they'd be willing to donate? RADSTA are best...
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Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:10 am
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Mourning Maureen

Anthony Boydell
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Maureen Hiron, one of the gaming world's true greats, died yesterday at the grand age of 80. Maureen was best known in the 1980s for a variety of mass market, abstract games such as Continuo and Cavendish - but, if you're a Bridge player, was much more famous in that field: an International level player, writer and newspaper columnist. If you want to know more 'facts' then wander over to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maureen_Hiron ; however, I have Maureen stories of my own to tell:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I first met her at a presentation of some kind at Essen Spiel in the late noughties; this short, be-baseball-capped old lady huffed into an adjacent seat and started telling me about her upcoming meetings with Hasbro, a million selling project with US retailers, how great living in Portugal is and that she drives an Aston Martin. I think, for about 2 minutes, I tried pitching Bloody Legacy to her as something for a big supermarket brand but she was too busy telling me how much money she made to help me pay off my mortgage.
From gallery of tonyboydell

We'd often see her pass by the booth, year on year, and we'd give her a hearty halloo in that 'She is someone important so be nice...' kind of way; I think we were quite intimidated, like we were whenever we bumped into Francis Tresham.

Maureen was, undeniably, an outstanding - if eccentric - force within the Industry; exasperating (the conversation was usually pretty one-sided) and admirable in equal measure. Hailing from a bygone era of our hobby, she seemed rather nonplussed by most modern day 'Euro' output - too complicated and too fiddly. She preferred, instead, the elegance of a pack of cards or a colourful grid with simple mechanisms rooted in the traditional; this, of course, is how most of the people in the World regard games whereas we - with our resource management, worker placement, dice drafting, deck building, miniature-heavy and over-involved bunkum - are an aberration. This - the general market approach - is why she had a home in the Sun and drove an Aston Martin and why I don't.
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Tue Jun 14, 2022 7:39 am
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On My Radio

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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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

My interview, yesterday, with BBC 6 Music's Lauren Laverne:

Fame at last?!


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Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:20 am
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