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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"I don’t think that my prostate can take this!"

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
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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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"You're supposed to put the animals in front of you, Shaun; not shove them up your arse!"

A small snippet, there, of the table bants at the Tuffley Community Centre last night (Tuesday) as I introduced four players - the only boardgamers for the evening, as it would transpire - to the joy that is A Wildlife Safari. This is a game that comes with a lot of (animal-hide) baggage and Tom, Dale, Shaun and Jeric were naturally trepidatious about taking on a true classic; indeed, that the levels of tension (from the very start) should induce glandular spasming is testament to the enduring power of this gaming behemoth: simple rules that take a moment to learn / stratagems that take a lifetime to master and so on. It should be of no surprise that the forthcoming Netflix mini-series "The African Queen's Gambit" is going to do for the popularity of A Wildlife Safari what 2020's "Tiger King" did for cat food!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Round One: The penny has yet to drop but the discomfort is already evident.

In between Shaun's complaints about pelvic muscle stress, each took to the challenge in their own way: Dale imitating someone who knew what the Hell they were doing, Jeric employing his Poker skills to great hand-deducing effect, Shaun shifting uncomfortably in his chair and Tom - all "elephants" - cursing my disruptive drafting. For my part, I opted for Green*'s 2019 strategy of 'No Leopard Shall Go Unpunished' which kept me a single point ahead of Jeric after the fifth round's savannah dust had settled:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Round Two: Brutal, I know; this round ended in carnage.

Taking pause to adjust the seating after my win, the others press-ganged me into teaching them Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set which I had just happened to bring out of the back of Ian's car:
From gallery of tonyboydell

In the best tradition of teaching, I outlined the Snod processes fully-and-completely then proceeded to wipe the floor with all of them: utterly, totally, entirely and comprehensively. I fear that the physical stresses of our opening game had bled - like Shaun's back passage? - into this gentle tale of Welsh Mountains and Railways. However, despite Tom's utter disbelief at my unchallenged hoovering up of resources and points, he pulled in a very creditable second place. Jeric, seemily haunted by his loss of train to the maintenance event exactly one round after a) I suggested he NOT build it and wait for the event to pass first and b) he bought it anyway - half-suggested they play it again BUT WITHOUT ME. Dale remained silent while Shaun, a pained expression on his face, seemed happy to have scored over 50, regardless.

Tom would inflict cold-hearted and swift revenge upon my Botswana-/ Snowdonia-n hustling - and end the evening with the last laugh - by introducing me to the point salad horrors of Coloma: a Wild West-themed gumbo of everything and the kitchen horse-trough:
From gallery of tonyboydell

In true Feldian style (but it's not a Feld), an 'unusual' action selection mechanism (secret, simultaneous setting of a dial) was surrounded by 101 different things to do: all giving stuff and points and figurative paths to victory. If you love this sort of thing - and I don't, really - then I'm sure that navigating its rich world of wagon moving, gunfighting, building/bridge construction, river fording, card drawing, tent erecting, dude and horse recruiting, cash-earning and avoiding being in the same action as someone else will give you an enormous rush of endorphins. I found it confusing and directionless and, just like Shaun three hours earlier, bemoaning that I might as well shove the whole thing up my backside for all the good it would do me.

A fabulous evening, however; and an excellent pre-cursor to the Gathering of Chums, which commences on Thursday!

*Mattwell Sesamestreet Green (1971- ) European Champion (3 times), Polish Champion (once, he got on the wrong train in Koln) and World's 2021 Top 16 ("Double Lion, rampant").
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