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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The Tim of Our Lives

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Tim Minchin is a poet, a stand-up comedian, a virtuoso musician and a fierce, rational intellect in the body of a 1990s grunge star: the bastard child of Noel Coward and Jerry Lee Lewis. His songs capture the frustrations of family life or the loneliness of touring; he can eviscerate religion and make a miniature rock opera about cheese. He can break your heart with plaintive melodies or fill your ears (and bones) with a thumping, jumping tornado of jazzy rock-and-roll.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Merch! (you will also notice that the journey home was extended a little by a tyre-based incident)

Supported by a joyful - and equally versatile - band, he powered his way through two hours+ and utterly delighted the large, Cardiff crowd.

Among the already-fabulous aural treats, his improvised backing of long-standing favourite Mitsubishi Colt, the gorgeously-harmonious Leaving L.A and the balls-out thunder of Fifteen Minutes stood out. And when he closed with Carry You, there wasn't a dry eye in the house...





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Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:57 am
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Getting Away From It All!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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https://www.spielportugal.org/leiriacon/2022

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The best 4 days of games and gaming outside of Essen Spiel!
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Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:52 am
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Dazzling points of light breaking through the dark cloud.

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
I'm afraid this is one of those 'personal' posts that, from time-to-time, find their way into the blog. I've long espoused that E(M)NAS is also part-diary; something to add a human layer to all the swearing and lovely hobby nonsense - a glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak.

Yesterday we buried my dear cousin - two weeks younger than me - and quietly Wake-d her memory in the Wootton Bassett Conservative Club; the family tragedy - no parent should have to bury their child - naturally brought issues with my own parents to the fore. I think that, with the gift of hindsight, my weekend indolence was simply anticipation/dread of the strain of this grief-stricken day. This rare, too sad, reunion also offered the chance to reconnect with my Mum: long locked-in these last 18 months, yesterday was the first time I'd seen her in person since an emergency groceries delivery last April. Though she has been 'away' from the paternal branch since my parents' divorce in 1982, she definitely wanted to come along; she and my Aunt were first-time pregnant at the same time and Gill was as much apart of her "new Mum" life as I was. As it turned out, she and I and Mrs B were the only representative of 'my side' of the family - everyone else stayed hidden away in West Wales - so any awkwardness carried over from last year's falling out was, thankfully, avoided. We sat together in the draughty church, considerately-masked, then walked together through the bright, clear and frozen November P.M to say our farewells. Later - over pork pie and breadsticks, tonic water and cola - the warm relief that the worst emotional moments had now passed began to permeate the room; for the first time you noticed how everyone was wearing something in Gill's favourite colour, hear the comfort in shared stories and the giggling of the toddlers of the newest generation joyously pushing Life ever forward. During the long, at-Dusk drive home - the skies flushing with pastel colours over the Severn Bridges - my Mum told me more about her early years - arriving in the UK, aged 7, with no other language than Italian - than I can ever remember her telling before: dazzling points of light breaking through the dark cloud.
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Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:45 pm
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@shitgamerpuns 146

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

From gallery of tonyboydell
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Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:25 am
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Restday

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
From gallery of tonyboydell

There are plenty of things I could be doing/reading/writing but I find myself frozen by indecision; I can’t pick one so I’m not doing any. It’s good to stop for a while though, right? The World spins on regardless.
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Sun Nov 21, 2021 3:21 pm
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Workday

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
Today, Saturday, is my day in the Museum; sorting out donations (see below) and participating in the Newent Christmas Fair (the festive lights go on this evening):
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Gift ideas in the Gift Shop!

The organiser has selected a rather lovely compilation album of Seasonal songs and hymns that are making the cold day warmer in spirit. Now, if you’ll excuse me, someone has just tinkled my bell…
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Sat Nov 20, 2021 12:28 pm
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Digging out some old relics.

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
There was a definite nip in the air as I made my way - Shanks' Pony-wise - to the Museum for Wednesday gaming; fortunately, as I would discover later, I was equipped with a chunky jumper and a thermally-insulated hat.

The Newent Knights numbered six thanks to the occasional appearance of old M:TG pal Martin who - as threatened promised - trundled up from Swindon to partake; also in attendance were the usual suspects. Happily splitting into two tables, Martin and Tom and Dave plunged into the 'cult of the old' and Last Will while Gerv and Paul and myself went all Lara Croft/Indiana Jones* with Lost Ruins of Arnak:
From gallery of tonyboydell

It may look fiddly on the table but play is very straightforward.

LRoA is pleasant melange of deck-building, worker placement and ladder-climbing mechanisms glued into an appealing adventurous archaeology theme. The ancillary components - the assistants, 'guardians', resource types and card types/effects - revolve easily around these central tenets to make the whole thing very intuitive and - gasp - fun! Given that Paul has played this a few times already, it was no surprise that he won - mostly down to an extended final turn (after Gerv and I had passed) where he gathered, converted, climbed and cashed-in like a bastard; however, I think a second run would see Gerv and I presenting much more of a challenge, now that we've seen all the gears working.

Both tables finished at the same time, so a swap of delegates saw London with Tom, Gerv and Dave while Paul, Martin and I broke out Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea. Unfortunately, my Museum copy of 'Lubes is the French language edition and I didn't fancy spending ages (re)interpreting all the cards...so I plumped for Guilds of London instead (!)

(Please insert you own deciphering French vs deciphering GoL iconography joke here)

From gallery of tonyboydell

To be honest, it's been so long since I last played GoL that I needed to download the rulebook from the Geek (the shop copy was missing the rulebook) to check 'setup'; I also re-purposed a War of the Daleks Dalek as 'the Beadle' because that was, also, missing from this copy. The rules of GoL are not complicated but the card-utilization/hand management can be; both Martin and Paul suffered from the 'icons' but not as much as some folks have claimed in this Parish (tales of seizures, sudden severe weather phenomena etc) and, for my own part, I had to look up just the one card.

With everyone bidden farewell and departed, I performed the closing ritual; the car park was twinkling with a light frost as I secured the gates so I quick-marched through the Town and home, breath plume-ing in front of me. A warm Living Room, and the Great British Bake-Off semi-final, served to warm my frozen bones.

*actually, it was more "Time Team"
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Fri Nov 19, 2021 6:30 am
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Nobody here but us chickens...

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
Having complained vociferously - last week - about my own personal sandbox Hell in the form of Coloma (hi, Johnny!), I found myself launched into a similarly-sprawling but far more cooperative world of Mr Richard Breese's Keyper:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The overall philosophy of the Key universe is that it is conflict-free which doesn't mean that it can't be devilish in the same breath; however, Keyper - presenting more options than a Takeaway Menu that's mated with A Feast For Odin - is an eye-watering universe of animal types, resources, worker types and worker-placeable actions. It's fair to say that I find Keyper intimidating and even though Dale, Jack (the gurning buffoon, above) and myself had agreed to Jeric's urgent need to play, I wasn't at all comfortable about what lay ahead.

For context, my two prior outings were:
i) a howling drubbing by the Batesons at a Ross-on-Wye session (they'd been playing it at 2 for weeks prior) and
ii) play-testing Keyper at Sea when I did quite well but only by ignoring all of the expansion bits (LOTS of new animals, a weird Season-warping time dilation effect etc).

Having remembered that, in both of those games, using the Boats was rather important, I focused on boat-related buildings and just enough animal storage to keep livestock sheltered before I shipped them away for VPs:
From gallery of tonyboydell

By thunder, but it worked! Stacking up extra actions and bonus VPs every time one of my sailors exercised his rollocks, I missed a couple of Fair tile bonuses but kept ahead of Jeric by a single point to win: 84, 83, 78 and 78! It was a long game, though, as Jack's recent absence of several weeks - and his need to let us know what he'd been up to (denting newly-repaired cars in his local garage, fighting at his Fight Club* and the ongoing development of his MMA deckbuilder design) - served as a banter-tastic BUT very distracting, diversion.

Feeling suitably exerted by all that working, 'joining' and 'laying down', we were joined by the Kingdom Dice table for Oink Games' Durian:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Think Hanabi, but backwards: each player has a card they cannot see and this, in combination with everyone elses' card, represent our 'Total Fruit Stock'. In turn, players draw a card and must add it to a growing line - choosing which half of the card (they're domino-like) forms the customer's "order". Using the info we can see, players hold out until someone thinks there is a larger line total than those held by players whereupon a tinkling bell is rung and the player of the last card out is challenged: if there are more orders than stock, the card player takes a penalty token otherwise the challenger must take the token instead; when someone has 7+ points of angry manager penalty token points, the player(s) with the fewest penalty points is/are declared the winner.

Odd.

*(waits)
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Thu Nov 18, 2021 6:20 am
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Pedigree Chums - 4

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 mild headache and tremendous thirst woke me in the early hours of Sunday morning - for the life of my I don't understand why?! - before returning to a fitful sleep filled with Nomination Whist nightmares. There was just enough time for a strong coffee before ambling down to The King's Arms and that long-awaited Chums session of medieval farming:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The best game ever designed played by the worst gamers ever.

My game progress reflected my slightly-tender, physical condition as I was left to prod my hoe in a distinctly-average Farmyard while Richard and Ben and Matt got on with proper agrarian business. It ended with a bollock-dropping 60 point win for Ben (with me on exactly half that and Richard/Matt in the mid-40s); we shall, probably rightly, never hear the end of this!

Hoping to make up for my card-induced outbursts of the previous (late) evening, Richard Breese joined me and Richard C for Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

It was a long game - interrupted by Sunday Lunch - and, to be honest, offered nothing more than the experience you can already get from Terraforming Mars and it's obvious (and FAR superior) structural inspiration Race for the Galaxy. Indeed, I say 'inspiration' but Ares Expedition is a straight out clone - like Thunderstone to Dominion - but not in any way that I could see was useful or better (apart from the artwork, which is lovely and stylistically-consistent). It comes with almost as many bits as TM, plays in pretty much the same time (ours was not the only play during the weekend) and, well, that's about all I can say about it.

Post-lunch, the Chums began departing; many have made significant journeys to be here and it was sad to see everyone going when they'd seemingly just arrived. For most of us, this is the first time in nearly two years that we've seen each other: parting is such sweet sorrow.

When we started SRT (see above), there were three other tables running; by the time we'd wrestled the slightly-fuzzy rules and finished our ribbon-laying japes, we were the only ones left in the room! It behooved me to thank our generous Landlord host, Wayne, for the quality of his beer, the deliciousness of his food and - most importantly - his warm welcome to a group of board gamers; indeed, he was equally complimentary and has already reserved the room for next year's event:

The Gathering of Chums 5:
Friday 11th November, 2022 - Sunday 13th November, 2022.
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Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:20 am
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Pedigree Chums - 3

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
I popped over to The King's Arms early on Saturday to check in with the Landlord, help set up tables and let those already in-place know that I would down in the Museum until 1PM if anyone fancied having a look around?!

Thus, while they were making early in-roads to the barrel of Titanic Plum Porter, I was chewing a bacon butty and doing my best impression of a Curator! I dug out a 'shooting' game from a musty corner and set it up for visitor participation: a couple of tin pistols sending elastic bands and two racks of pivoted animal shapes FTW! I also took the opportunity to look through an enormous box of old card games gifted by fellow antique-obsessive Phil Dennis (more on these some other time). Phil, himself, stopped in for a lengthy look - as green with envy at some of my acquisitions as I am with (plenty of) his! Chris and Jess, Richard Breese and Penny, Steve and others also made good use of the morning to participate in a 'proper' browse!

Hungry for both The Arms' excellent cornish pasties AND games, I locked the unit on the dot of 1300HRS and plodded up to the Pub:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Mr Shep (of this Parish) and Nick 'Tales of the Northlands' Case construct perhaps the greatest PitchCar ever*

From gallery of tonyboydell

The forthcoming (Q1 2022) Pilgrim gets a workout courtesy of Mr Shep, Tim (poet, writer, gamer), Phil P and myself.

My first game was in at the deep end with Nick's fabulous mancala-driven Pilgrim: send your acolytes in-and-around the city to gather resources; perform good works (donating to the Community); construct roads, shrines and powerful buildings; and, wherever possible, keep your Piety up.
From gallery of tonyboydell

Thanks to my own generosity toward the good people of the City (and impressive devotion to prayer), I managed second place (which is two better than the last time I played), which was just one point behind Tim and his chain of roadside shrines. Phil managed an early 'deal' with the City's tax official but it didn't quite translate into VPs - it only goes to show that Jesus was right about all of that money-changer shit. I can't remember how John got on as I was, by this time, well on my own road to plum porter oblivion.

With a queue of birthday beers lined up on the table nearby, I officiated while the pilgrims stayed on for some more passive-aggressive and wicked interpersonal shenanigans - Nick taking my playing place at the round table:
From gallery of tonyboydell

More Jerusalem!

There was just time for the regional semi-final before the massive curry would be delivered to Chez Boydell. Unfortunately, my refreshed state led to some outrageously-stupid play in Round four (of five) which not only tanked my chances of qualification BUT ALSO those of Mr Matt Green who - quite rightly - was deeply unimpressed.


The entire back room emptied, then, as I led the Chums (pied piper-like) up the hill to Appleton House and the hot, savoury and delicious delights of the Newent Tandoori restaurant! Plates were piled high with bread and rice and richly-coloured sauces, poppadoms smeared with pickles and the whole place fogged with mouth-watering spice odours. By the time we'd all wiped the last smears from our platters and set the gaming world to rights with various discussions, there was barely ninety minutes' pub gaming time remaining:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I hate trick-taking games.

My own evening of play ended - somewhat ignominiously - with Skull King and Fool!; I am by my own admission - but more obviously by my actual 'play' - utter shite at trick-taking games. Completely useless. Indeed, during 'Fool!' (which I'm not sure has much agency within it, anyway) my group would have been better served by a hamster shredding the cards in its cheeks and shitting them out onto the table than by any kind of supposed 'decisions' on my part. I hated it and I hated myself more for all of my subsequent complaining; I think I'd best avoid this category in future.

On a more sentimental note: as I was taking stock of gifts and other received deliveries at the end of the day**, I spotted this heartfelt and touching message in my Essen-muled copy of Shinkansen: Zero Kei:
From gallery of tonyboydell

I think I've got some sovereignty grit in my eye...sniff!

*in Newent Town, at least.
**Goodness; already there's just the one more day to go and I've not played Agricola yet!
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Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:30 am
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