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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Ordinary Day

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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A quiet-ish Saturday in the Museum tickled along with general curation duties such as
tidying and glass-cleaning
cabinet (re-)arrangement:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Aerito finds its place with its siblings

Gift Shop additions thanks to an early visit to the Charity Shops
Mounting game boards for better visibility:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Fox-Hunting from Glevum Games

Donation checking, cleaning and positioning:
From gallery of tonyboydell

LUDA - Subbuteo on Springs?!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Another high-ranking Military personage designs a board game?!

New book acquisitions into 'the Library
From gallery of tonyboydell

and
A whole box of misc. bits for Meccano's House System Bayko
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell


In between these periods of earnest, proprietorial endeavour were visits from the general public including a lovely lady from Cardiff whose Father bought her loads of the 3D games in the 1970s/80s and which they played together - more, apparently, at his behest than hers (though she loved playing them); we're talking about those now-highly-collectible games like Escape from Atlantis, Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs, Ghost Castle, War of the Daleks, Treasure of the Pharaohs and more! Indeed, she said many of them were still tucked away in a woodland cabin and she'd be happy to donate them..!

A couple of strays mooched in, pronounced themselves as having no love or interest in games and promptly departed - why do people do that?!

Later, with the drizzle clouds threatening but staying outside the Town's boundary, I enticed several families into a dib of Froschkönig and a dab of Dobble. As closing time approached - the town now very much deserted of shoppers - an elderly couple popped in to wax lyrical about the Pepys (Castell Brothers) card games and running home to play Rummy with Mummy during school lunchtimes. A full Museum experience day, in retrospect, and i managed to sell a second-hand copy of Risk to one of the Dads.

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Sun Oct 2, 2022 6:20 am
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The Wright Stuff

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
Yet another missing from the BGG database item from a company of yore: this time it's Aerito from C.W. Faulkner & Co:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

The keen-eyed amongst you will notice this is another one of those Faulkner roll-and-move games and, yes, it sits wonderfully with its display cabinet-ed siblings Upidee and Bikee:
From gallery of tonyboydell

And LOOK at those player pieces:
From gallery of tonyboydell

What is particularly-enchanting about this treasure from 1906 is the art style as a whole - and the progression from sectional art (in predecessors) to full art on each of the track cards:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Colourful, futuristic and entirely delightful:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Of course, this is proximal to the first aeroplane flights (1903) and the rapid excitement associated with the whole industry! Context is wonderful.
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Unhelpfully, there are at least two other games in this series I have yet to acquire - Pip-Pip! and Flyto - so a few more pennies need to be saved yet.
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Sat Oct 1, 2022 6:20 am
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The Kebab As A Metaphor for Game Night

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
Eh up, it were fair chilleh in't courtyard o'tut Shambles tha e'en yon but gamin' were reet gradely in't end - I'm so sorry, I seemed to have switched 'Sean Bean' mode ON somehow; gimme a tick.

Tha's bettuh...

(fettles about with switches)

That's better! Now, what was I saying?! Oh yes, we had eight for games in the Museum this week - Ben relegated to the outside while he finished his vast and messy kebab. We split exactly in half and the proceedings commenced with Tinners' Trail (Paul, Tom, Sandra, Joe) and The Witches: A Discworld Game (Dave, Ben, Steve and me).

I'd been demo-ed/taught The Witches at its Spiel launch without the important Rule of Three rule - that auto-wins any problem you care to face - so I made sure we understood that from the start. It was a teach from the rulebook, however, as I couldn't remember anything from 2013 and the others had never played it before at all; this is new-to-the-club Steve's copy and he was keen as the keenest of mustards to try it out - he's a big Pratchett fan but less of a boardgamer (for now), so he was looking to us experienced old lags to help him work it all out:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The wilted, withered lettuce?

Play was relatively straight-forward - particularly when we remembered to put Crisis markers on sites already holding a Problem tile - but we seemed to find an enormous quantity of duplicate cards and quickly filled up the board with crisis tiles (and ending the game) before we'd barely had two turns each!

To be honest, we were so stunned by the sudden end (and lack of actual turns) that we packed it away with me taking an action to raise the issue here: any feedback?! Is this normal? Did we do something wrong?!

With the Tin mining still going on, Ben produced a 2107 'Star Buy' for us to enjoy:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The spicy sauce!

Rumble Nation is a lean, mean, dice-chucking and area majority machine: a sort of Blur's Song 2 in boardgaming form ie. it's brilliant, plays quickly and when it's done you want to do it all over again! Which is what we did: Dave streaking ahead in the first and Steve thumping us all in the second! There wasn't time for a third, however, as T.T. was wrapping up its final Round, so Ben jokingly suggested Froschkönig - nestled on the Childrens' Games shelf - and so that's what we did:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The soft and tender pitta.

Steve proved to be the best amphibious estimator leaving us to the murk of our figurative Pond.

It was that sort of time (after 9PM), so a couple of early departures left five of us to Ride the Rails:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The meat!

You gotta love a cube rails game and we did this one: unfortunately, somewhat generous play (by the others, I should point out) in the early rounds gifted two-red-shares Dave with an unassailable lead; the lesson about considering a shorter route (rather than an end-to-end) to prevent such leeching was only learned in time to keep passengers from using Mr Four-Blue-Shares Bateson's railway network.
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Fri Sep 30, 2022 6:10 am
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Ships, Pips & (Local) Politics

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
For the first time in a long time, I was able to convene a crop of (some of) the finest Brit game designers and hold a formal 'Playtest Weekend'; day 1 was in the Museum, day 2 in the Boydell Sitting Room.

In attendance were Messrs Breese, Green and Bateson with a trio of 'core agenda items': Spiral Keys (Richard), Calstock (Ben & Tony) and Jerusalem (Matt & Tony). First up - because he was only with us for Saturday and because it's a new 'Key' game (!) - was Richard:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Spiral Keys is a much simpler affair than the last official Key releases - Keyper/Keyper at Sea - notably lacking the enormous quantity of wooden resource and - despite being multi-coloured - no colour-depended worker ability complexity.

In summary, you're deploying boats and then docking them along your river travels (central spiral board), venturing into the open sea to fish for 'sea creatures' and then sailing down the river of your personal island to deliver and dock Keyples, buildings and sea creatures. Each turn both the central and (if you have at least one ship there - your own spiral island boards will 'spin': sending your river boats 'out of' and 'in to' Harbour respectively!

On your turn you can choose one of these options:
'Fish' (fishing gets you fish for bonus actions and sea creatures);
'Dock' as many of your boats as you wish to perform 'worker actions' (collect buildings, Keyples, bonus scoring tiles, skill tiles - action modifiers - buildings and/or fish orders) (docking also allows you to deliver ship cargoes to your personal island);
'Undock' as many of your docked boats as you wish; or,
'Upgrade' a ship (it carries more buildings and people).
From gallery of tonyboydell

After your main action:
each other player may follow that action OR take a fish; then,
each player may spend two fish to take any one of the above actions just for themselves.

So: actions on your turns and actions on other peoples' turns keeps everyone engaged. The playing of the prototype took a rather horrifying 3 hours but, of course, was down to many question, interjections, complaints and suggestions. Richard seemed entirely pleased with the whole exercise and packed it all away with a sheaf of notes. The only sticking point, for me, is the name: Spiral Keys. I'd prefer something beginning with 'Key' like 'Keyhaven' or 'Keyharbour'...what do you lot think?!

Poll: What should this new 'all about ships and sailing' Key game be called?
What SHOULD this new, ships-and-fishing-and-sailing Key game be called?!
      181 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell




With a short break to retrieve further drinks and a late lunch, we resumed with the Bateson & Boydell domino-based, brain-twisting Calstock (previously Bones of Offa but stripped of several layers of distraction):
From gallery of tonyboydell

This was a much more stressful play-thru courtesy of me having used the wrong reference file to produce an iconified/bigger (and non-Ezcel) playtest copy: death by a thousand 'That's not what it should say there' Boffonian snipes almost had me fleeing into the surrounding countryside and leaving them all to it. We navigated our way to the end, though, and I am more convinced than ever that
a) the Domino Action System is robust, excellent and innovative;
b) all of the work is going to be sanding off the rough corners against the Craftsman abilities and the Goods Market score ranges; and,
c) a touch more repeated iconography to clarify zones/pieces will make the whole 'grokking' thing far easier!



It was time for supper and I suggested a whopping Chinese Takeaway solution; everyone agreed and I set off into Ross-on-Wye to order and collect (no-one was answering the telephone). It turned out the restaurant of choice was closed until mid-October, so I needed to find an alternative: nearly two hours later (it was a LONG wait!), I returned to Appleton House laden with savoury goods. I, then, had to nip into Gloucester to pick my eldest lad - with my food only just decanted onto my plate - so I missed a further playtest of a Breese-ian abstract AND the eating banter



Sunday morning saw Matt and myself be-caffeined and scribbling adjustments onto Jerusalem buildings before welcoming Arthur to our twisted and sarcastic English village:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The previous iteration of simplifying (and, thus, powering up) the core action choices - PLUS this early mornings beefing of the Level 2 Municipal buildings - gave as a brisk, exciting and joyful experience; Arthur picked it all up in good order and combo-ed off a splendid turn to catch up with me and threaten the win! All of us, indeed, despoiled this once Green and Pleasant corner of the Land with a Motorway Junction (hence all of those string 'B-roads'), a bureaucracy-inducing Golf Course and sundry other impediments to happy and prosperous Community living: it was fabulous!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Arthur thought the whole thing was excellent while Matt and I felt that a proper (figurative) corner had been turned, at last: a pleasing end to a long and intense couple of days!
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Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:30 am
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One Steppe Beyond

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
Lawks a-mercy! Even with two last-minute absences, the Newent Knights - and Unit 16 of The Shambles Retail Village - saw a buzzing 10 (ten) this mid-week evening; indeed, had the others been able to come, I fear we'd have spilled out into the Courtyard. Many were there on a promise of another MEGA-Scythe sesh but we were also graced by temporary (Castlecon-ing) local Mr Phil Dennis, local designer Vilnis Vesma, brothers Liam and Aaron* and a new Newenter, Steve**.

In anticipation, I decided to make table access a bit more equitable and rigged up my patent 'Double-header' configuration to support two five-players-using-the-big-board:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Splitting the brothers up and having most of the Scythe debutantes on my teaching side, the steampunk Cossack shenanigans commenced:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Sandra's Saxony set off on its single-minded quest to assert its dominance across the Map with a Mine build. a quick succession of Mechs and being the first one into The Factory. She was quickly deposed by a patient-and-plotting Liam (Rusviet) and they would stay at loggerheads for the rest of the game - tying for the ultimate Victory. Both Steve and Vilnis found themselves on a cautious-but-steady development path only to have Sandra (in Steve's case) and me (in Vilnis' case) trample into their territory, oppressing their workers and stealing their hard-earned resources - a typical game of Scythe, then?!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Saxony doing exactly what it says on the tin...

I cemented my #goodteacher credentials by hanging back 6 points in the final reckoning (45-45-39-something-something***). Everyone seemed to have an utterly-splendid time (even Vilnis, who is used to much lighter fayre) and folks hung about to scout Phil's bags of 'for sale' gaming goodies before melting into the night.



Next week, a gentler arrangement with cosier tables...

*those splendid fellows who inducted us into that uproarious game of Eldritch Horror
**he popped into the Museum last weekend and expressed a keenness to play his copy of Martin Wallace's The Witches
***sparing blushes, here
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Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:55 am
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I Saw Four Ships...

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
Robert Ross & Co. are one of the publishers that I have discovered (and become obsessed with) thanks to the Museum and - slowly, but surely - I am now very close to having one of everything from their short-lived catalogue. It all started with two versions of Ship Ahoy and one of Flotilla - from J. Dring Ltd. - which, I discovered were, in fact, reprints of earlier games from R.R.& Co. - part of something called the 'A-Hoy Series'.
From gallery of tonyboydell

It is in remarkable condition: almost 'mint'!

The smallest item in the inventory, Sister Ships is Snap with some enchanting paintings of sea craft by Gregory Robinson:
From gallery of tonyboydell

A first scan of the standard rules suggests an Alternative Rule...which turns out to be just a different thing to say when a 'Snap!' is observed.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Sister Ships is never going to find a place at the modern gamer's table but this pocket-sized jewel is balm to my completionist soul!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Only an original edition of Ross' Ship-Ahoy and The Great Air Race to go!

Of course, a cursory online search for more info revealed that there is a version of this with an alternative cover showing a Tramp rather than the Full-rigged Ship. Damn! It's always one step forward and two steps back in this (game) collecting game!
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Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:20 am
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Last Chance...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Just two of these left for Essen pickup on the Thursday/Friday:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Just 40 euros.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Any more for anymore?!
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Fri Sep 16, 2022 3:20 pm
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We Plough The Fields...And Scatter

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
Though Liam and Aaron were diverted to a club in the Forest of Dean this evening, the return of Sandra, Joe, Paul and Dave pushed us back up to a happy 'two tables' eight*.

As previously-promised, my proffered choices were mainly 're-plays' - though I threw in Goa (as a classic offering), which we'd played to death in the quest for Boffo's H-40 (see: the entirety of 2019). After a long break, I was quite happy to bring this to the Newent Knights' attention. As it was, the club's relatively-heavy focus on worker placement this year meant that both Sandra and Joe were happy to whet their Agricolaian whistles:
From gallery of tonyboydell

#badteacher

Paul, now regarded as a Journeyman in the medieval farming arts, got off to another combo-building flyer: he's got an excellent knack of pulling pieces together and exploiting them. In this case, it was a plow/grain food and bonus point engine that powered him in to a mid-30s second place; he was, however, a little stymied by competition from Sandra and myself for the Sow/Bake Bread space.

Joe dedicated himself - via a couple of Reed acquisition effects - to building a big Clay farmhouse; he did this at the expense of almost everything else - rapidly growing his family late but leaving his Farm bereft of animals and crops: classically set up for a great build but the game had already ended!

Sandra, her goal being to at least beat a gloating Joe, did a much better job: animals, crops, fields, pastures and a comfortable four-room house for an excellent 33 point debut:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Someone is pleased with the result.

To reward their hard work, I taught the table Mr Chudyk's superlative Innovation which turned out to be more like a punishment TBH:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Innovation is a work of overwhelming genius and I'm not sure the others really followed along: beaucoup d'icons, it's own quirky glossary and the insane, swinging pace of it all. Paul double-achieved using his monumental score pile to end everyone's confused torment.

With an English examination in the morning, it was time for the Markey's to depart; Tom, too, with his long drive across the countryside. We five remaining tucked into a couple of games of the marvellous Sushi Go! before the black night took us to its bosom:
From gallery of tonyboydell


*Indeed, with Autumn routines settling in, we could be up for a twin Scythe session at some point - each with the best number: five!
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Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:31 am
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I have something to sell...

Anthony Boydell
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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
And, so another occasional, Internet-located treasure makes its way to the Museum and I can admire the simple beauty therein.
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

This week it is The Auction Game - a little auction card game with a nice 'I won't tell you everything about the thing you might want to buy' wrinkle:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

It's always the illustrations that captivate me and I can imagine the children playing it in the 1880s - if they're anything like I was at a young age - having particular favourite objects that they would dearly love to complete!
From gallery of tonyboydell

My favourite is the Lobster!
From gallery of tonyboydell

When you put something up for auction, you announce its 'Type' but not what it is: thus, you may triumph by selling the tail end of the 'Shock of Corn' to someone who really wants the rest of their 'Plate of Strawberries'!
From gallery of tonyboydell
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Tue Sep 13, 2022 6:20 am
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Patagonia Jones and the Tobacco Vending Machine of Doom

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
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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
In a break from our usual feast of Euro sustenance, the arrival of two new (local) members - Liam and Aaron clutching a small, stuffed box of Eldritch Horror - heralded an evening of Lovecraftian horror, co-operative planning, monster-bashing, sanity loss and (in Richard's case) chain-smoking:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Richard's intrepid explorer spent the entirety of the game bouncing between the rainforests of South America and the jungles of Africa - a sort-of Patagonia Jones - where he killed Leopard folk, robbed corpses, stole tribal artifacts, burning villages and - by the end - went entirely mad and seemingly establishing his own cult of crazed followers! He did all this with the able support of a Spirit Dagger, beaucoup d'henchmen and his infinite Pack of Cigarettes.

Tom - the beefy soldier in the party - couldn't roll a success if his life depended upon it: the only player to start with a pretend Curse card in play, apparently! He made up for it, later, by dispatching both himself and a giant spider in the Arctic just as it was about to bring about Azathoth's ascension. Aaron's psychic character would nip up there to drop off a couple of clues to solve part of our final mission but left the poor chap's remains to rest in a nearby glacier.

Liam, our most experienced player, did a great job of martialing our focus whilst suffering internal injuries, curses, amnesia, crippling debt and a host of other afflictions.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Gary, the Professor, seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time encounter-ing academics at lectures. My own Jazz Trumpeter* survived several close calls with both insanity and the cold embrace of Death thanks to a Lucky Rabbit's Foot**; indeed, this left me chipper enough to very nearly deliver the winning blow: cashing in two, carefully-won clues to dispense the third mission's final Eldritch token...but the Mythos phase for the round ran down the Doom counter to a catastrophic, apocalyptic zero! Ah, so close!

Being my first go at EH, I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the incredible amount of interplay between players; all six of us were absorbed, grinning and excited for the entire three-and-a-half hours that it took us to lose. Occasionally, it's really great to leave those resource-eeples to one side and just live an adventure together: wonderful!

*not a euphemism
**not so lucky for the rabbit, eh? Eh?!
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Thu Sep 8, 2022 9:25 am
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