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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A Pudding Cat?!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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My copy of The Sorcerer's Cave doesn't have the 'Extension Kit'* but it does have a mini expansion from its original owner - courtesy of the 'blank' cards folks were enamored of including 'back then':
From gallery of tonyboydell

Let us take a closer look at what perils await the unwary adventurer:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Quote:
Wisky (sic) Bottle - If used as Bribe adds 2 to dice score when testing strangers but deducts 1 from its fighting strength for 5(?) turns.
Quote:
Slobbering Goblin nicks up to 100kg of Gold, Silver +/or Gems from Party and buggers off - for ever
Quote:
A Pudding Cat appears demanding yeast tablets. You don't have any so she gets mad and runs away. Lose 1 turn looking for her.
It's a shame they only used three of the half dozen or so blanks as I'm very much enjoying the cynical edge to these effects; what the Hell else would they have come up with if given a bit more time, eh?! Bloody marvellous!

*hens' teeth etc
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Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:20 am
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Treasure Ships

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Having travelled, figuratively, into a Jules Verne-ian Universe of lost-and-nearly-forgotten board games through my Museum curating responsibilities, I'm finding the pleasure of discovery all the sweeter for applying a little more patience to my buying schedule. In the beginning, it was a scattergun approach: hopping from decade-to-decade, from thematic group to thematic group, and gathering "a little bit of everything" to provide a solid foundation. Of course, as the exhibits began rolling in I began to refine my tastes; particular manufacturers and genres, the quality of art and (naturally) the rarity: my Museum must have beautiful things that other museums don't!

The 1930s, 40s and 50s are an angler fish lure to me; hypnotised, I scour my eBay 'Saved Search' emails for a new Geographia map-based affair, a small-but-perfectly formed Waddy card game, something with trains I've not seen before from anyone (frankly) and/or the A-Hoy! Series (Robert Ross & Co./J. Dring Ltd.). Thus, this week's Saturday 'in the shop' saw me protectively-mounting boards for Safety First and Shipping, and cataloguing the contents of this absolute super-rare corker:

From elsewhere, here: "This is a game of Privateers vs. Spanish Galleons. The Galleons, one carrying the Treasure, are attempting to deliver it to their home port while the Privateers are attempting to capture the gold. All ships have equal speed, strength and vulnerability."

As is usual for this period, the box insert is a work of sculpted genius; of glued compartments and ridiculous dimensions:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Preposterous components include:
tiny, wooden beads to 'thread' over the mast(s) of the ships (they represent the health of the ship and, as they're removed due to player/sea-inflicted damage, severely affect its speed and ability to ride the winds efficiently);
six wooden galleons with their (detachable) masts;
the chance to get expert instruction(!);
From gallery of tonyboydell

a plastic tee-totum;
a rolled, map (see below) and a set of brass weights to hold the map flat on the table (one for each corner)!
From gallery of tonyboydell

"...the map, which shows wind direction in each diamond as well as ports, forts (gray areas with letters and gold triangles), calm areas (diamonds containing blue sea serpents), sandbars(yellow diamonds), dry land (gray diamonds), ice flows (icebergs in the diamond) and coral reefs (orange diamonds). The ships move around the map based on the wind direction and are really only limited to changes in wind direction and decisions to change ship direction. Chance only comes into play when you move on to a calm area, the teetotum is then used to determine whether the wind comes up."
From gallery of tonyboydell

Four, neat, brass triangles!

Another day, another wild and intriguing mechanism for simulating movement at sea! Indeed, I also managed to nab a cheap copy of Cape Horn (1999) which, at first glance, certainly seems to have taken some major inspiration from its Ahoy! Ancestor.

Given the current Industry obsession with cranking out the same turgid Euro mundanity, miniatures-based borefests and "more interesting things to do with dice", I feel like I've got a real head-start on finding new-and-interesting directions for my games - what with having unfettered access to a motherlode of historic design creativity that's been largely dismissed and forgotten. The Museum, it seems, is morphing into a laboratory!
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Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:15 am
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In-FISA-ble

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Last night I received an email from the Head of FISA (Fédération internationale de safari animalier) - MrShepp Blatter - alerting me to the recent reporting of a new Coronavirus variant, B.1.1.529.
From gallery of tonyboydell

The World Championships were, of course, cancelled in 2020 and run under strict social distancing rules in 2021 so I was initially bemused at there being an official notice when the whole Competitive Play infrastructure had already closed down for the Winter.
From gallery of tonyboydell

The 2021 Semi-Final 'A' in Bucharest.

As it turns out, MrShepp was outlining the Federation's P.R response to the new strain's nickname: the 'Botswana Variant'. MrShepp, and official spokesperson Sohn von Bate, want to avoid the situation that saw Corona Beer suffering a dip in sales at the start of the pandemic, and asks the Affiliated Members (us) to ensure the general public understand Botswana has been a renowned, abstract strategy game with an enormous global subscription well before it was a mutated strain of a respiratory tract-affecting RNA virus:
From gallery of tonyboydell

So I’ve put this in my front window.
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Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:35 am
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Maps of the Heart

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Geographia Ltd. were started as a map-production company and continue in that vein to this day; however, during the middle of the 20th century, they branched into board games and - naturally - I've managed to gather almost a complete set of their catalogue. As you would expect, the boards are almost entirely map-based:


Lose yourself, for a short while at least, in the tiny dots and routes and labels!
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Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:20 am
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The Small Faces

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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When browsing the online world for those harder-to-find exhibits, a number of titles keep popping up in the 'Premium' division. By Premium, I don't mean expensive because it's old - which seems to be the laughably-default status of many online Charity Shop sellers - but very expensive because they're very rare and/or unusual (even if they're relatively modern e.g. those 70s/80s, plastic-heavy/elaborately three-dimensional diversions such as Ghost Castle, Dark Tower, Escape from Atlantis, The Sinking of the Titanic and so on).

In the field of 'old' things that are also 'premium', Physogs - from Waddy Production - was on my Acquisition Wish List should a copy become available for a non-idiotic price and, dear pals, after 18 months of waiting I found one!
From gallery of tonyboydell

For slightly-less than the copy of Horseless Carriage I recently pre-ordered*, it is complete and in marvellous condition:
From gallery of tonyboydell

It's Rummy with identikit parts.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Lovingly-packaged in that pre-War style of separately-assembled trays and inserts (80 years ahead of the 'Folded Space'/{the company we no longer mention}' fad); embossed gold lettering; crocodile skin-textured cardboard combine to make a luxuriant presentation that would've graced the shelves of the finest F.L.D.S.**
From gallery of tonyboydell

Thematically, this is delightfully high-brow (pun intended): assemble eyes, nose and mouth to match a given (sensible) facial expression': a rather over-engineered Parlour Game, then.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Once again, the myth that we're currently living through some hitherto unexperienced explosion of gaming is skewered: until we all got televisions (and stopped fighting World Wars), board games were far, far more popular and diverse than they are today.

*Why, after my recent Root-related Customs/Brexit complaint would I then commit to a £120 of Splotter Spellen goodness - especially when 40 quid of it is customs and postage?! Well, I'm not going to be able to avoid 3rd party taxes and scalping, so I'm taking to curating my commitments a little more carefully - remember that almost ALL of my current KS pledges were made prior to 2021 when Brexit/single market suicide uncertainty was still a thing what with a raging Pandemic and all.
**Friendly Local Department Store


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Tue Nov 9, 2021 6:20 am
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Nants ingonyama bagithi baba Sithi uhm ingonyama!

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: Klemens Franz fan
Wow! Sometimes you can come across the most marvellous items when questing through the history of board games! This week, I happened upon a brief eBay Lot for a late Victorian parlour game called "A Wildlife Safari" (not in the BGG database) and was stunned to find that it's the ancestor of a bona fide modern day gaming classic:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I wonder if the original Patentor Doctor is any relation?!

From gallery of tonyboydell

This would've been available in the Zoo Gift Shop, I imagine?!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Look at those marvellous, hand-carved wooden animals!

From gallery of tonyboydell

A sample of some of the fragile - but in excellent condition - cards!

This one will go in pride of place in one of the prestige cabinets, I think: what a glorious find!!!
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Sat Nov 6, 2021 6:20 am
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Cursèd.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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From gallery of tonyboydell

I'm making slow, but steady, progress through my collection of 2000AD comics - the first 520 Progs (1977-1987). Some issues take a little longer if the stories are good and/or peripheral bits - the letters page or the adverts - knock be into a childhood flashback, like this one did:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I remember going to see this VERY clearly...(cue: eyes glazing over once again)

Now that I'm knocking on the the door of its second year, with Judge Dredd in full ascendence to the Golden Age, the please buy me! tacky, front-mounted free gifts have gone and are irregularly replaced by cut out and keep games of various stripes. I've covered a couple already (see HERE and HERE) but, today, in the middle of the magnificently-stupid Cursed Earth Saga is (perhaps) the Grandest attempt yet:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The Cursed Earth Game
(that's the whole eye-watering, mind-bending board!)

To make things worse, a couple of my back issues were missing the game parts because the original reader had, indeed, cut out and kept them; this sent me on an eBay quest to get complete versions as I cannot abide my complete, ten year collection being incomplete in any way!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Just the one page of rules...

Unfortunately, issue 77 - featuring the sweetcorn character Jolly Green Giant - is one of the 'banned' progs: expensive to find because of the copyrights that it - and the 'Burger Wars' episodes - violated*. Completing the game for the sake of this blog (and my collecting sanity) was not cheap, my friends. Not cheap at all.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Unsurprisingly, the game itself is not worth the money (but the stories most definitely are): roll and move and give up things and collect things and race to the finish. Not even the mercy of arriving at Mega City 2 will grant a blessed release from this dire fayre: you have to wait until everyone else has also finished before comparing Vaccine Credits etc etc gods help us all.
From gallery of tonyboydell

It's a good job folks are making a much better fist of 2000AD-themed games in the 21st Century!

(scuttles off and pulls out another sheaf of plastic-bagged progs from the storage crate; sits, cross-legged, on the thick carpet with a fizzy pop to hand and continues reading...)

*I believe the episodes were fully-restored for a recent, 21st century collection but that's no consolation if one is dealing with original printing!
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Tue Nov 2, 2021 6:40 am
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The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The Museum of Board Games isn't all about board games, you know; I have handful of delicious RPGs from the 80s that would catch the eye of many a gamer too!

There's something wonderful about the effort that went into designing these systems, most of which are variations on the same, core mechanisms but twisted to fit the story and detail of their subject matter. The player guides, the referee guides, the 'monster' lists and maps - oh, good Lord: the maps! The opportunity to live, breathe and actually participate in a favourite fictional world is splendid thing; movies are fun, but it's passive consumption only.
From gallery of tonyboydell

When this packaged Lot appeared on my eBay feed, there was no way in Hell that I was going to let this pass me by. As I have remarked, previously, I grew up a HUGE James Bond fan - the films and the novels. Since The Spy Who Loved Me, I've made certain to see each film in the cinema first to fully appreciate the daft, exotic nonsense on the biggest screen with the loudest sound. Our first - and only - post-lockdown cinema trip was, of course, to see No Time To Die and I felt 9 years old again: wide-eyed and excited.
From gallery of tonyboydell

I've sneaked a few of my acquired-as-an-adult Fleming First Editions 'just because'

NPC lists, vehicle controls, shooting skills, a catalogue of villains, investigations and a huge book of scenario snippets (a la Fighting Fantasy) liberally-spiced with illustrations of fighting men, fast cars and beautiful women.
From gallery of tonyboydell

The solitaire box, especially, piques my interest; I wonder if I might occupy a quiet Winter Museum afternoon with some action adventure - all laid out on the display table for visitors to observe/scrutinize?!
From gallery of tonyboydell
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Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:15 am
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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: Klemens Franz fan
A remarkable spin-off from establishing a small, but concentrated, exhibition space for my beloved hobby is that folks' generosity is brought to the fore. Gerv gave of his time to help with the logistics of setting up, local fellow 'Shamblers' have been welcoming and exhibit donations both generously-given and happily-received. Prior posts have already noted gifts of rare boards - and even a VERY early edition of Buccaneer - and last week saw a triple-whammy of bequeathals:

From fellow collector of the dusty and ancient, Phil Dennis, came a trove of Pepys/Chad Valley-ian delights, most of which I didn't yet have copies of:
From gallery of tonyboydell

(I think) that'll be my seventh complete copy of Housing Drive

Horsie-Horsie, I Spy and Grasshoppers proudly continue my quest to complete their Publishers' catalogues and quickly found their display places during last Saturday's quiet, rainy P.M.

From fellow Ross-on-Wye gamer Dave W, a small stack of 1970s staples in excellent condition, albeit the occasional lost piece or card (easily substituted nowadays):
From gallery of tonyboydell


And from a previously-unknown local, Steven, who just stopped by to have a look, this collection of Gibsons' classics ('The Big Four') that used to belong to his Father:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I now have several copies of each but none of the other editions came with provenance: under the boards and the cloth bags of tin-base standees, were sheaves of scribbled notes, grids and cartoons from a young man fully-engaged with his gaming hobby.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Trying to date them is a bit tricky as, certainly, L'Attaque and Tri-Tactics bear the art and form of the 1930s printings while the other two have a more modern artistic sensibility (Dover Patrol and Aviation are the 1960 editions).
From gallery of tonyboydell

As tempting as near-mint copies might be, it's the scribbled and annotated games that provide the most pleasure; a tangible, emotional connection between the form and the function whereby the games are brought to life, once again, even if the original players are long gone.

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Fri Oct 8, 2021 6:20 am
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The Thrill of the Chase!

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: Klemens Franz fan
The life of the Museum of Board Games tickles along at a calm pace as the nights draw in and the weather cools. Ever wary that the gift shop needs a good supply of unique-to-the-Mu items to catch a visitor's eye, I've taken a (welcome, TBH) breather from things to do with matchboxes and tiny dice and finally put together a board game themed version of my favourite parlour game: Railway Riot...
From gallery of tonyboydell

Museum Race is the first of my Race to Find games* and every game featured (there are 144) is present in the Museum...somewhere!
From gallery of tonyboydell

On the flip-side of each the 12 list cards will be a picture of one its games - it's a souvenir AND a game in one, postcard-sized package!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Now, in order to get the cards made, I've been looking at online printers and economies of scale naturally apply; thus, while I'm quantifying what I'll need for the Gift Shop, I figured that I should open up pre-orders for Museum Race to you lot too (and your friends, family, workmates etc)!

I've done some quick finger-in-the-air postage enquiries for those of you lucky enough to be nowhere near The Dogshit Republic of New Englandia (and those of you, like me, who are neck-deep within it):
Within the UK: £8 + £2 P&P = £10
the EU: £8 + £3 P&P = £11
America/the RoW: £8 + £5 P&P = £13

If you'd like to reserve a copy (at this stage) then email me at themuseumofboardgames@gmail.com - add the subject 'Race you to...' and append your location (see emboldened, red words above).

I'll have a good idea of the first print run, delivery times etc and be able to contact you all for monies and postal addresses when it's a proper, physical thing!

How does that sound?

*next year I hope to have a Forest of Dean-spanning version that takes in the beauty spots, architecture and tourism of this stunning region
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Wed Oct 6, 2021 6:20 am
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