$3.00

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

[1]  Prev «  26 , 27 , 28 , 29 , 30  Next »  [169]

Recommend
247 
 Thumb up
7.70
 tip
 Hide

Thumbwhore!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
* * * CLOSED * * *


Everyone ELSE is doing it, so I think I'll jump on this particular (crowded) bandwagon on behalf of cute, small-but-perfectly-formed Surprised Stare Games Ltd!

Question: Who wants to have a chance of a real properly-printed copy of Ferroequinologist, the ultra*-rare Snowdonia engine card, for FREE?


(You gain 4 pts at game end for each train in play, including this one)


I thought so! And what does one have to do to earn entry in to the Draw for such a delight?

Simple:
- thumb this blog post (and possibly subscribe to the whole thing?); and,
- LIKE the Surprised Stare Games Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SurprisedStareGamesLtd)**

That's it; that's ALL you have to do! Then, on Saturday, I will get youngest bubz Arthur to help me select THREE (3!) 'Thumbers' - at random - and they shall be awarded a Trainspotter each to dispose of as they wish (in to the gamebox / straight on to eBay / nailed to the wall of their sex dungeon / whatever)

That is all: get clicking, dear friends.

Good day to you.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I said: "Good day to you!"


*but not 'uber'
**It's actually worth a look! Check out the photo galleries!
Twitter Facebook
62 Comments
Tue Feb 9, 2016 6:30 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
44 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Puke green uniform on my back...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Not that I'm obsessed with Food Chain Magnate but, actually, I am; the write-up from Friday with the just for fun Employee card got me to thinking and I came up with a few more over the weekend. Now, I'm no expert at this game so I'd appreciate some feedback from 'those in the know' (especially Mr Jeroen Doumen!).

General Principle: They don't need training because they auto-promote after a couple of uses (the 'thumbs up' icon).

I imagine, too, that there's several more to fit in such a series eg. a mild reduction in wages? An extra round of marketing? Waitress booster*?


God, I love this game.


(added a bit later)


Feel free to tell me they're over-powered, under-powered, 'already in the upcoming expansion' (ooh, let's see if I can wheedle out some gossip!) etc...I look forward to it**

*I was going to type 'Waitress Pumper' but thought better of it -phew-
**-gulp-
Twitter Facebook
11 Comments
Mon Feb 8, 2016 6:30 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
41 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide

Outside of a dog...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb


...a book is a man's best friend:

Ziggy the Lecturn
Twitter Facebook
10 Comments
Sun Feb 7, 2016 11:53 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
44 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

*cough*

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb

Sorry, but I don't feel up to writing a blog post today...



...I'm feeling a little hoarse.

*ahem*
(ouch!)
Twitter Facebook
10 Comments
Sun Feb 7, 2016 8:55 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
65 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

I got a job making money for the man throwing chicken in the bucket with the soda pop can

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Sometimes you just can't fight the overwhelming urge to jump right in, feet first, and see what happens. Since Monday's introduction to the beautifully-punishing, as-smooth-as-Fred-Astaire Food Chain Magnate, I've been thinking about it...and thinking about it...and thinking about it some more. I'd made a mental note that Food Chain Magnate was going to be a Jobbers-breaker and that we should only play it in the safety of a Wednesday night at his place - ie. when we all understood it would be pretty much the only game of the night - rather than bogging down the friendlier, lighter Friday night Ross-on-Wye crowd BUT...when I peeked in to the games for the night bag and saw some fillers, a couple of prototypes and a Rococo promo I've been carrying around for Norm since Christmas (will he EVER return?), I said "Far Kit!" and pulled FCM from the shelf and stuffed it in. Before I could change my mind, I kissed la famille au revoir and got on my way.

Having it 'with' was only the first step to success, however, as I needed to find enough people to join me without destroying the possibility of a second table. Luckily, very (very) occasional attendee Gary plopped himself down with Boffo and Smudge while the bouncy duo of Harry and Suzanna completed the set. Jobbers was up for FCM like a shot - he was worrying at the box like an in-season Terrier - but the Batesons were a little more reticent and with Gary 'out of practice' it was deemed better for them to keep him company. They would have a packed evening, as it turned out, while we would settle for 3 hours of delicious Splotter Spellen pain: it hurts SO GOOD!


Ready to start!

Unlike Monday, my copy of FCM was still unpunched so there followed a good 20 minutes of de-sprewing and card pile sorting; already feeling a little daunted at playing again, I also ran through the rules as I remembered them. Figuring in for a penny, I included Milestones too - none of this 'Introductory Game' crap, folks; time to get exceedingly jiggy with it!


Going!


It's not a complicated game, it's just difficult and - as expected - the start was tentative: H and S decided to beef up their middle management capability and trainers, while Jobbers and I warmed up the hotplates to prototype some pizza recipes. Within a couple of rounds we were all smiling contentedly at our personal collections of varied Milestones; I was particular pleased at my Freezer and my Eternal Marketing.

Jobbers got in to burgers to compete with a burger-obsessed Harry and the latter's friendly Business Manager cultivated (pun intended!) a lucrative series of gardening projects to help pump up the income. Suze, rattling about the suburbs on her drinks-laden Carts, decided that EVERYONE needed to know about her bubbly waters and built an aeroplane (see below); this, of course, diversified the requirements of the residents for which Harry and Jobbers were both late to the party...frantically scrabbling about to recruit errand boys but it was too little, too late. Suzanna's luxury artisan beverages and some cheap meat 'n carbs earned her a fine fortune in the final rounds while I fulfilled (or should that be 'filled full') the customers that she couldn't!


These folks have eaten so much food in the game that they can no longer
fit back in their houses and must now reside, permanently, in their gardens!



CocaEbola gives you wings! And stomach ulcers.


The Batesons and Gary were finishing another (they played a few) Glass Road, with Concordia avec Salsa already under their wings, as we bled the Bank a second time and totted up the final scores:
Suze 306 (a smooth glide to victory aided by being the only one in liquids for most of it)
John 248 (high churn, beaten off by expanding customer demands)
Anthony 216 (better than Monday and only one serving off Jobbers!)
Harry 141 (lots of Corporate activity that ground somewhat to a halt)

Universally hailed as a big success, FCM will be back again at The White Lion; I'm extremely pleased to have taken that last minute packing gamble after all!


A bijou satirical swipe: gain an Employee of the Month token when you use the University
Graduate. On receipt of the second, s/he promotes to a Junior VP immediately.
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Sat Feb 6, 2016 11:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
37 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Waxing Larrycal (All Presents & Correct)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
As I pulled out of the Car Park at the Llandudno Junction offices and up to the Jn 19 roundabout, I was presented with a navigational quandry:
- do I take exit 1 to follow the A55?
- do I take exit 2 to Llanrwst, Betys-y-coed and (eventually) Llangollen? or
- do I take exit 3 through the Conwy tunnel and South to Llanberis/up the side of Snowdon?

All three routes converge at Oswestry but they each give a very different flavour of journey. In the end I took the first exit because I wanted to be able to stop in Leominster for a thrift shop browse and a coffee; this is the only route that won't end up taking me 5 hours and distract me with railways, stoneworks, castles and/or other archaeological curiosities!

The A55 route is tediously bland BUT provides a couple of miniature chuckles along the way:
- the previously-mentioned vehicle recovery garage with the huge A55 Repairs sign (!), and
- the offices of Crime Prevention Services where someone has stolen the C and the R from their enormous frontage (!!).

The weather was unremarkable, the visibility fine, a new bag of Wine Gums was open at my side and the iPhone was loaded up with podcasts: I was happy as a Pig in Shit as the Touran chewed up the be-tarmac-ed miles (or 8/5 KMs for you metric types). Eventually, time having passed in a giggling fruit-flavoured fug, I was striding through Leominster with a coconut latte and a shopping bag full of vinyl:


A couple of the grooved, and groovy, treats: the soundtrack to a rather good
Disney sci-fi movie and a sampler compilation of early 70s navel gazers.


At Casa Antonio, the rewards of a recent shed purge were waiting: the sale of stuff I don't want anymore covering the purchase of stuff that I must have at all costs!


I loved the books...



...now there's more background...



...and I love that there's a full-blown Errata section PROPERLY-PRINTED in one of the source books!


Finally, to add a measure of cold-blooded reality to my homecoming, the cat left me a little present by the car port:


If only I could get her to catch that Bastard Mole!*


*Bastard Mole - Yes...I am noodling about with a quick card game around this very subject (thanks for prompt, pdrseuss!). I'm thinking of a memory game where failure to find the mole amongst the molehills adds more molehills to the tableau. Or something.
Twitter Facebook
14 Comments
Fri Feb 5, 2016 9:34 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
50 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Work, Prestatyn and Play

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Reader: Ah! My handy subscription indicator has flipped up 1 more red numeral and it's a Tony numeral! (muttering under his/her breath) I hope it's not a session report; I bloody hate the session reports.

(clicks on Next)

Reader: Oh shitbags, it's a session report! (aware that his/her internal monologue is audible) Er...yes! I meant to say: "Huzzah! A session report!"

(scrolls down; is skim-reading for rude words)

Reader: (disappointed) No sign of a 'cock-juggler', 'fucknozzle' or 'thundercunt' today; it must've been a quiet night...



A Castle, by Twilight.


Three fifths of the way through the working week and my final course was delivered in record time; time enough, indeed, to scoot back to the B&B for a costume change and a charge of the seriously-depleted iPhone before a scenic evening bimble along the coast - 20 miles or so - to Prestatyn and the Prometheans@Archies Bar.


A Burger, by Barlight.


Everything is pleasant enough at Archie's: the food is nice, the staff polite and cheerful but the lighting is awful - odd choice, then, for a board gamer evening venue? Needs must when your previous venue behave like massive pricks, however, so Prometheans' head-honcho Paul improvised and got himself some bendy, high-power lamps and an extension cable. This entrepreneurial D.I.Y was curiously apposite as Louis cracked open a minty-fresh KS copy of Spaceteam to warm us all up: a game for 3-8 about a failing spaceship that the players need to repair in a limited time-frame (think of a co-operative version of Pit set 'in the future'):


Spaceteam, by Lamplight.


In Summary: Each player has a random deck of malfunction cards and a hand of tool cards; the tools have amusing names like 'Throbbing Ballcock' and 'Greased Vibradriver' and a simplistic, colourful illustration. The malfunctions depict two or more tool icons or a tool name(s) that the player needs to have 'in hand' to 'fix'. Also in your deck may lie one or more randomly-seeded 'ship part' cards; when these are 'out' and 'together', they make up an image of a spaceship. The players have 5 minutes to mill through their deck of malfunctions, reveal any ship parts and complete the ship between them. Of course, the noisy bit is provided by the mechanism for GETTING the tools you need in hand: you shout. If you know the name of a tool from it's picture then call for it, otherwise describe what the image looks like ("an acorn house!", "a ribbed, pink dildo!", "a question mark with a trumpet in it's back!" and so on); if someone else has that tool (which they will) then it has to be passed from player-to-player around the table. Simple. Ooooooonly there are also 'anomalies' - these are *ahem* "hilarious" forfeits that must be performed before the player(s) can continue eg. they "cannot use their thumbs for the rest of the game", "everyone must move to a different seat", "pass your tools hand to the left" etc.

You get the idea. It's noisy, stupid, frustrating and a lot of fun! We lost game one and proceeded, immediately, to lose game two and - without shame - to lose a third before accepting the inevitable and breaking up for something with more heft (and less bellowing).


Agricola, by the light...of the silvery moon (etc)


I suggested 'it', Paul brought 'it' and he, me, Jeremy and Hev (short for Heather) played it. Suffice it to say that my almost 10 year affair with this orneriest (and horniest) of games put me in a different league and - despite offering sage pointers in the first third - it was no surprise to find me WELL ahead in the final tot-up. The others may have dragged on the points but each had interesting combo-foibles to their farms: Paul had a free Occ-playing engine triggered by other people playing Occs, Hev survived a begging card misplay to build up a VERY farmy-looking farm and Jeremy went crazy-ape-shit-and-bonkers with his plough, carved up most of his board and filling the lot with grain!


Sail to India, by Flashlight.


We closed with Sail to India, the AEG version, which is pretty and everything; Lee went ahead and explored (which gave him the edge), I founded lots of Churches (second place), Louis pursued big sails, sales and Strongholds while Jeremy paid (too) dearly for Tech. A neat, chewy filler that rounded the evening off a treat.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'll set this to auto-publish tomorrow (today) at GMT07:11AM. Goodnight. Sweet Dreams. God Bless. See you in the morning. I hope the bedbugs don't bite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Twitter Facebook
15 Comments
Thu Feb 4, 2016 7:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
55 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide

More Joy of Hex

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
You all seem to like these, so here's a few more:

Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Wed Feb 3, 2016 6:45 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
77 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

I ain't gonna work for no soul-suckin' jerk!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm back in the windy wilds of North Wales for a week of training delivery and, naturally, the first thing I did after confirming the hotel booking was check to see if the game clubs are on AND if someone could teach me to play Food Chain Magnate. Let's not beat about the bush here, folks: Food Chain Magnate is a total bastard! Admittedly it is a beautifully-presented, superbly-streamlined, elegantly-interconnected, wholly-interactive bastard...but it's still a bastard nonetheless.


We're about to begin. I am feeling incredibly trepidatious. I have been warned about this...


In summary: You start with an action card (a CEO) that will get you a second action card (a member of Staff) which you can't use until next turn. You can choose from a number of basic level Staff types, some of which are leaf-nodes with no further development potential while others offer a varied and tempting technology tree.

The staff have distinct functions within the world of Fast Food and, as each round progresses, you're seeding your company structure with food producers (albeit still trainees), marketing and pricing peeps, newly-graduated executive material, waitresses (who can be profitable tip earners!) and other sundry bits and bobs. Marketing people generate demand for products in the Town which your kitchen staff may fulfil...or you may end up generating suburban hunger and see the benefits - ie. the CASH - flow in to your rivals' pockets. Get used to that; it happens a lot.

Thus the quickfire rounds flow: assign staff who will work this time and which staff are 'on the beach' (or being trained: progressing up that Tech tree!), 'run' the people (perform their actions), satisfy the unhealthy dietary demands of the neighborhood and then pay out for the high flyers.

To add an element of 'unfair!', there are also some milestone goals that can be achieved and gift bonuses to the one-or-more players who match them eg. "first to produce a burger" gives you extra revenue on burgers you sell for the rest of the game; "first to market a product" gets eternal marketing for the rest of the game; "first to have one or more goods perish" (which they all do, at the end of the round) gets a Freezer so they can keep 10 goods between rounds when the other players CAN'T etc.



Talk about 'targeted advertising'! It's a wonder any light gets in with all those looming billboards!


Three of the five of us had played before: Aaron (his copy), Dean and Tim; myself and the effervescent Carla being in our first blush, listened patiently to the short - but fulsome - explanation from Aaron.

It starts all nice-and-easy with short rounds and simple recruiting decisions...EXCEPT IT BLOODY DOESN'T! The old lags were off-and-running with Management Trainees and Trainers while us noobs assumed a game about fast food was more suited to prioritising cooks and marketing. Within 15 minutes, everyone's tableau was different and - yet - A, D & T seemed to be fair sprinting in to the upper boughs of the tech tree whilst Carla and I were fart-arsing about by the roots pasting up adverts. I had that sinking feeling: the one where you think the tiny decision in round 2 - to get a waitress instead of training up your Burger Flipper - was going to come back and violate you later. However, it would be DAFT to concentrate on such an trivial decision when pretty much EVERY decision you make is going to bitch-slap you in to submission at some point: I loved it!


An hour or so in and there's one HECK of a lot of things going on!


It's a devious fecker of a game too, oh yes. If you think you'll sit down at the beginning and follow 'The Radio Advert' strategy or 'The Open a Lot of Branches' strategy or 'The Gardens and Beer' strategy then think again; as Aaron rightly pointed out, this is a game about adapting! It's about switching demands and, if you're cruel enough, it's about cutting your own throat (price-wise) to cut everyone else's more! The first time I saw someone steal my guaranteed pizza-burger-beer order by undercutting on price (despite being way off up town) was the last bloody time I was going to let it happen: more attention duly paid to turn order and who was recruiting what. I was still loving it!


Late game I've eschewed the 'carbs' in favour of 'the carbonated'


Aaron began turning the screw around 100 minutes in with a radio broadcast campaign that transformed to environs in to a beer-swigging mob...one that he was on hand (as was I) to satisfy. Somewhere along the line young Tim found himself boxed out of every sale and stopped generating any money: no income = losing your trained staff = little to be done = out of the game.


Tim? He will be remembered.


The rest of us danced a more focused dance as the second 'Bank' began draining away; all of us earning regularly - to wildly-varying degrees - but earning nonetheless. By 21.20, about 2.5 hours after we'd started, the five player (now a four player: In nomine patre etc) came to an exhausted close:

Aaron - 373
Dean - 301
Anthony - 208
Carla - 133
Tim - requiescat in pace

I'll say it again: Food Chain Magnate is a total bastard. A beautifully-presented, superbly-streamlined, elegantly-interconnected, wholly-interactive bastard...and, consequently, a tremendous amount of fun!

Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Tue Feb 2, 2016 6:50 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
42 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Alt dot Games

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Inspired by the superb Scarfolk concept (see here: http://www.scarfolk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/1970s-games-vario...),
I thought I'd have a go at re-doing some games in a similar fashion:







Please add yours below.
(negative points shall be awarded to Scandaroon jibes)
Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Mon Feb 1, 2016 6:40 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

[1]  Prev «  26 , 27 , 28 , 29 , 30  Next »  [169]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.