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Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Independent UK games designer, self-confessed Agricola-holic and Carl Chudyk fan-boy. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

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Eleven 4 Eleven Twelve Sixteen

Anthony Boydell
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Goodness! I haven't done one of these cryptic things for absolutely ages, so here you go: clues to the names of games...

1. Mother's fear of the merciless (in a roundabout way)?

2. Finished in Paris? But I haven't started!

3. About to lean on…

4. Punctuating the vertical axis

5. Afraid of stone?

6. Zeus, Hera, Ares, Janus.

7. Monk shredding a totem

8. Chromium Goddess

9. Sherlock's "Mind Palace" is one of these

10. Confused about email for colonizing!

11. Culminates within!

Remember: please don't spoil the answers for others!

goldencamel



Aside: Yes, I know that I missed showing the Crisis Advent Calendar promo yesterday; I had more important FLGS gubbins to relate and I haven't got the game anyway, so the teeny-tiny designer tiles are now on top of 'the right hand (giveaway) pile'.

Today: Mysterium.
It has a very specific card-back which means it's incompatible with my copy of the earlier, purer edition: Tajemnicze Domostwo. I adore this spooky team Dixit but the separator-screen/blizzard of chits over-engineered Asmodee 'update' nonsense leaves me cold:



goldencamel

Finally, to finish:


*sob*sniff*weep*

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FLGS 35 (Good Will)

Anthony Boydell
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(we are in an FLGS; the shelves, groaning with colourful boxes and cartons, are be-decked with sparkling Festive decorations and richly-scented foliage. A gently-audible soundtrack of traditional carols, sung by the Choir of some Cathedral or other, fills the space from a tinselled ghetto blaster. Expectations of increased foot-fall means there are two Cashiers on duty today; both are wearing humorous jumpers with a Christmas theme)

Door bell: *ding-dong-merrily-on-high*

(a customer enters; he is dressed in a greatcoat, a superscarf and an absolutelyfabuloustophat)

Cashier 1: (straightens his reindeer-with-a-glowing-red-nose jumper and speaks cheerily) Well hello there! And a very Merry Christmas to you!

(a couple of customers enter)

Customer: (removes hat; underneath is a small child reading a pop-up book) Merry Christmas to you, too! Don’t mind her... (points to infant) ...”babysitting issues”.

Cashier 2: (chipping in) …just like Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, had – eh?

Cashier 1: (frowning slilghtly) Well, quite -

Customer: Anyway, I don’t suppose you have a copy of –

Cashier 1: (interrupting; holds up a plate) Mince pie?

Customer: (delighted) Ooh, yes please! (takes a bite)

(Cashier 2 sells a copy of Inis to another customer)

Cashier 1: I made them myself, you know?

Customer: (talking with his mouth full) Mmmf ree-ee?

Cashier 1: Yes, from my own flaky skin

Customer: (gags; spits pastry in to his hand) Oh –

Cashier 1: Now, how can we help?

(customers leave, others enter)

Customer: (wiping mouth on scarf) Ah, yes; have you got a copy of -

Cashier 1: (holds up a bright, cardboard tube) Would you like to pull a Christmas Cracker with me?

Customer: Um, er...okay.

(they pull the cracker; there is a disproportionately-loud bang and the customer is left with most of the cracker and soot on the end of his nose)

Cashier 1: Ah splendid, Sir! You’ve won! Let’s see what your prize is!

Customer: (pulling something from the open-ended tube) It's...a resource-eeple shaped like a Satsuma (holds it up)

Cashier 1: (disposes of rubbish) Don’t forget your party hat, Sir!

(the customer opens the paper crown and carefully lowers it on and around the small – still reading - child)

Customer: So, please, a copy of –

Cashier 1: (pulling out a decanter) A sip of sherry, Sir?

Customer: No thanks, just –

Cashier 2: (chipping in) How about some Gluhwein? Or a snifter of Port?

Customer: No, thank you, no; I’m driving; now, could I please get –

Cashier 1: (puts his finger to the customer’s lips and makes a soft shushing sound) Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. (points to the ceiling; there is a large sprig of mistletoe hanging above the Till)

Customer: Really, I –

(Cashier 2 sells a copy of Inis to another customer)

Cashier 1: It’s just a little peck, Sir – and it is Christmas, after all?

(the Customer and the Cashier have a little kiss)

Cashier 1: (straightens his jumper; the nose lights up with a tinkling sound) There, that wasn’t so bad, was it, Sir? Merry Christmas! Now, how can I help?

Customer: I want to buy a copy of Inis, please.

Cashier 1: (looking concerned) Indeed; that is proving to be a very popular choice, Sir!

Cashier 2: (apologetically) Um, I just sold the last copy.

Customer: (crest-fallen) Oh dear...

(Cashier 2’s jumper, which has a three-dimensional pudding on it, makes a farting noise in time to Jingle Bells; the child begins to cry)

Cashier 1: (mournfully) Oh goodness; what a sorry state of affairs in this Season of Joy and Goodwill

Cashier 2: (pointing) Don’t you want to finish your mince pie, Sir?

Customer: Well...(sighs)...thank you anyway (turns to leave; puts top hat back on and walks to the door)

Cashier 1: (calling out) Hold on, Sir! Hold on a December moment!

(the customer turns round and looks expectantly at the Cashiers)

Cashier 1: (reaches under the desk for a gift-wrapped parcel; it is exactly the same size as a copy of Inis) Please accept this (holds the package out) as a token of our VERY good will, Sir.

Customer: (moved almost to tears) Why *gulp* thank you; that’s lovely!

Cashier 1: Our pleasure, Sir. May you have a peaceful time (emphasises) “INIS” Yuletide period (he winks, theatrically, at Cashier 2)

Customer: (a sparkle in his eyes) Oh! I...see! Thank you! Thank you so much!

(the customer departs; the sound of the child’s sobs are barely audible now – muffled, as they are, by the Hat)

Cashier 1: (hugging Cashier 2) I bloody love Christmas!

(cut to: Christmas Day; we are in the home of the Customer. Excitedly, the small child struggles to carry the enormous FLGS parcel to her Father. They unwrap it and find an Inis box underneath! The shrink is removed and the lid lifted to reveal...a solitary, bubble-wrapped copy of Scandaroon)

Infant: Oh.
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:30 am
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Can I Get A Witness?

Anthony Boydell
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(with apologies to Gilbert Shelton)



Spoiler (click to reveal)

I know nothing of this:



And, finally, a song:


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Fri Dec 9, 2016 6:27 am
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Thirty two feet and EIGHT little tails

Anthony Boydell
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Not before time, Mina Guberinic is Geek of the Week:



https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1684522/geek-week-583-m...

In fact, given the sheer, eye-dazzling beauty of her weekly 'What I have played' blog (and the attendant jealousy that she has played quite so much of quite so many precious objects), I think she deserves Geek of the Year, if there ever were a thing. Ah, but I'm biased, of course, having met her - and the silent Rock of Ages that is the shadowy 'Peter' - in October!

Go on, then; pop over and ask her a question or two!





I haven't played Zooloretto 'for real' in many years and, yet, whenever that German convention comes around, I make sure to get the latest promo tile and slip it, tenderly, in to my box. Yes, I know there's an awful lot of unused cardboard in this sheet BUT that's always been the way with Zooloretto extras - you get used to it. This makes promo 3.5 for which I have the associated game...

"But, what's the 0.5?" you might ask. Well, I'm very much tempted to find a copy of Hansa Teutonica after what peeps have been telling me! I _did_ get some cash off my Dad for a birthday pressie, so...

Christmas is a time for reflection, for reconciliation and - naturally - for cheese; apologies, but I have no biscuits to go with this:


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Thu Dec 8, 2016 6:17 am
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The Seven Joys of Mary

Anthony Boydell
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Today it's all about me, oh yes! Having missed out in 2015, I finally get my Christmas Wish:



As soon as I knew that Guilds of London was rolling through the Panda printing presses, I was straight on to Matthias at Frosted Games and offering to design some exclusive tiles for it! In reality, there was already, in one of my work notebooks, the scribblings born of a particularly dull 'team progress meeting' that would do very nicely indeed: 2nd place tile-based rewards. On their own, however, that's not really enough of a prize for having to spend pairs of cards to get a liveryman on them so I added the 'Lord Mayors Parade' bonus of choose your Guild's colour too. If you're unlucky, you might get a double 1VP offering - in which case that Guild may remain unloved for the entire game (not even worth stealing for the colour choice option!) BUT, conversely, how about 8VP? Or, when the expansion comes out, some even juicier 2nd place token bonuses? Proud of myself, I mocked 'em up in Powerpoint and drafted an email...hovering over [Send], I realised - in a moment of reverse dolly-ing horror that the treasures of the Cheese- and Paper-Makers could be rudely undone by those evil neutral liverymen and the No Abstainers Allowed icon provided the final protection.

I've been sitting on these tiles for most of the year, so it's fantastic for them to finally see the light of day: more icing (frosting!) on the tasty cake that's been Guilds of London's 2016!


Finally, something stirringly medieval:
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Wed Dec 7, 2016 6:25 am
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Thy Kingdom Come

Anthony Boydell
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Well, who'd have thought it? I have to admit to being very intrigued by/attracted to the new edition Kingdom Death: Monster currently hoovering up vast quantities of cash on Kickstarter.


Well, goodness!


More specifically, having watched a couple of promotional and unboxing videos, I am excited by the thematics of the thing:
- the minis are astonishing
- the concept is immersive
- the story is rich and odd and scary and dark.

In some sense, it feels like a box set TV serial that everyone else has gotten in to and is telling all their friends about; most of these I can take-or-leave but some, like The Returned or True Detective just hooked me from their first moments and had me utterly-gripped. Will Kingdom Death: Monster have the same effect?


It looks like a lot of stuff, doesn't it?


Maybe I'm harking back to my early gamer days when Roleplaying was all I knew (and cared about/looked forward to)? Maybe I'm becoming jaded by Euros and this growing feeling of longing is the visible symptom of this internal malaise?


The KS campaign vid.


There are a few days left yet so I may decide to jump in at the Lantern (core game 1.5, $250) level. That's a LOT of money, though. A very much lot. An awfully, yes, lot.


In the meantime, here is a more accessible - i.e. free! - (Festive) monster:


Now THIS is an EXCELLENT promo!

And, finally, another song:


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Tue Dec 6, 2016 6:09 pm
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Saint Nicholas' Eve

Anthony Boydell
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Yesterday started cold and frosty, but warmed up with a visit from (Uncle) James and a kettle seemingly-perpetually on-the-boil from 11 'til 3! Alice needed to get her packing sorted - as I would be driving her to Heathrow, late afternoon, ready for her 10.30PM flight back to New Zealand (via Guangzhou) - but we were able to pause for a last bit of gaming:


Those Magnificent Men...coming along very nicely.



Villainous Alice wins the Race...


This particular play-test was an important one: my lot are tricky when it comes to learning new games as they don't enjoy the rules explanations! You can see my quandry BUT 'MagMen' is a relatively-simple pitch: draft and play cards to get you ahead in the Practice race THEN use the drafted cards in a draw deck for the 'real' race. Alice managed to avoid filling her deck with quite as many 'Distraction' cards as the rest of us and pulled away to land in Paris as the victor, despite being almost 100% villainous - where the Hell were the good guys? Phut-phut-phutting along at the back staring dreamily at the clouds! Figurative, as well as actual, forward movement continues to be made with this prototype: think FLAMME ROUGE meets 7 WONDERS (so far).

We had, temporarily, a complete set of Boydell children in the house - come tea time - so, while I loaded the car, there was a final round of farewell hugs, kisses and tears and then me and my eldest whisked ourselves Eastwards for the 3 hour journey to the airport:


Queue for baggage deposit selfie!



Whose flight is THIS? A Robin joins us for a latte...


I maintained a jolly demeanor as we checked-in Alice's huge rucksack and paused for a perking-up coffee but there was no avoiding the goodbye; we hugged, for ages, and I kissed her head like I did when she was newborn and when she skipped through the gates at Primary school and when we left her in her student digs in Plymouth in 2013 and when we sent her off to the other side of the world last year. I watched her zig-zag the empty queue path to Customs & Security and through to Departures until I couldn't see her any more; I coughed out the lump in my chest and the tears in my eyes and trudged back to the car. Only 7 months until she comes back.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Yup! Concealment ongoing:


Yay! I actually have Broom Service! Five days in and a first relevant Adventish gift!



Finally, a song for my heavy Yuletide heart:


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Mon Dec 5, 2016 6:30 am
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Four (Advent) Candles!

Anthony Boydell
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(I know this is cheating a bit but I liked it the first time around AND there's a loose Christmas link with the word 'candles' *ahem*)





Spoiler (click to reveal)
Ok, I'm still hiding this bit:


Now THIS is more like it! SIX board-filling tiles that are UNIQUE and they're an ODD SHAPE too! Effort has, indeed, been made...it's a pity I don't have Hansa Teutonica


Finally, a song:

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Sun Dec 4, 2016 6:30 am
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I Saw Three Ships

Anthony Boydell
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There were four for games in Ross-on-Wye yesterday! Yay, the magic number with an extra little bit of sparkle; finally, a chance for Flamme Rouge (newly-arrived from the most excellent and generous Mr Mike Barnes: curator of the Who Dares Rolls podcast and a fine Leonidian beard) and a retro (long overdue) visit to Magnum Sal!

Alice is in Plymouth visiting Uni-pals (using our other car), Daisy and Benedict are with friends on a Christmas Retreat, Fred is at his favourite club in Gloucester (pick up duties required later); so this leaves me, Mrs B and young Arthur with some quiet, chip-scoffing time together. The mysterious judder in the Touran came back, annoyingly, as I rolled in to Ross but I soon spied Jobbers' silhouette (backlit by the streetlamps) in his idling BMW in the Prince of Wales' car park. There was the faintest suggestion of a Rush/Black Sabbath/Rod Stewart album playing from his stereo as I reversed in to a space...and then my phone rang:

Fred: I'm not feeling very well...can you come and get me now, please?

With no-one else able, or available, to help I had no option but go. I might be able to salvage it, however; there and back again within the hour? It was do-able, so I phoned Smudge and got weaving. The judder was gettng more pronounced (front passenger side) and a quick check of the tyres while dropping Fred off at home had me touch the hubcap accidentally: whoooooaaa, that's hot! I'm not going anywhere else tonight.

Cue a wobbly fade: last week, I had to emergency brake in a slip-lane due to the person in front just stopping in their tracks: I think I've fucked the brake calliper as a consequence so it's 'on' all the time and heating up the disc.

"Sweet are the uses of adversity", init? With the full evening ahead of us, Mrs B and myself finally got the chance to watch the Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!":


Brilliant.


So, that was my Friday night.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Ok, so I'm going to hide this next bit because any mention of that seasonal quotidian item seems to be the kiss of death for any interest in the blog post:


I refer you to what I was moaning about yesterday, m'lud.


Finally, a song:

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Sat Dec 3, 2016 9:16 am
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Two Thousand Miles

Anthony Boydell
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Today's gift is for a game that I don't have (if I had a pound for every time I'm going to be saying THAT I'd have fifteen quid etc).

What strikes me is what a wasted opportunity this is; I mean, not only are the tiles EXACTLY THE SAME but they've left the sixth slot blank!
Whilst I have no idea whether West of Africa is any good or not, this so-called promo seems luke-warm to the point of being actually chilly!



I'm curious: if any of you HAVE West of Africa, does this item make you happy?

When I designed Snowdonia: Wagons Expansion for the 1000th blogpost, I put a lot of effort in to make it a full and valid addition; revisiting it for the Brettspiel Easter Basket 2016 I checked and double-checked that I could get the most wagons on to the sheet as I could. For this year's Advent Calendar, the Guilds of London: Cheese and Papermakers (Day 7, I believe) are a proper pair of new Guilds with new mechanisms; I judged what to put IN by what I would like to pull OUT if I were not Tony Boydell!

Ultimately, the Calendar - which is a glorious concept and beautifully-realised - will stand or fall on the quality of the bits we publishers submit!
It would, indeed, be a brave Matthias (Frosted Games' cuddly meister) who stood up to some providers and said: "This is not good enough, frankly!".

I'm sorry; I seem to have wound myself up a little there; so, finally, a song:

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Fri Dec 2, 2016 6:30 am
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