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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...beeeeeeeeep...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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We would like to assure you that as
soon as the blog resumes a-postin'
announcements will be made on all
fashionable websites, bulletin boards,
magazines and colour supplements, when
our readers will once again be able to
select from all that’s best in surreal
musings, session reports and general
hogwash, piffle, bunkum and balderdash.
Meanwhile we thank our readers for their
kind interest and would ask them to leave.

Now.
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Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:30 am
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After the Beep...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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This is a recorded announcement
as I’m afraid we’re all out at
the moment. The Boydell family
thanks you for your esteemed
'page visit' but regrets that
the Shed is temporarily closed
for business. Thank you. If you
would care to leave your name
and the address of a blog where
you can be contacted, kindly type
when you have clicked [Comments]
below.
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Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:30 am
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A Very Merry Snowdonia Christmas (again!) - Part 2

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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MERRY
CHRISTMAS - AGAIN!!!




Remove this from the game at the start of G: Each other player gets a piece of coal (from the bag, in turn order) and must place one fewer worker during the next Round


MERRY
CHRISTMAS - AGAIN!!!
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Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:39 am
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A Very Merry Snowdonia Christmas (again!)

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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MERRY
CHRISTMAS!!!


I did this last year and it seems appropriate to do it again this year!




When you build this train, search the Contract Card deck for a card of your choice and take it. Shuffle the deck afterwards.


MERRY
CHRISTMAS!!!
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Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:00 am
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Advent 24 - One More Sleep...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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It's now, officially, a 'tradition'...and I tweak it every time


FRIESE-ING WEATHER

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was gaming, not even a mouse;
The boosters were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some promos or Mythics be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While Castles of Mad Kings spun in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down with Waterdeep app,

There came such a racket from down in the cellar
We both thought, at first, "it's Imperial Settlers!"
Away to the Games Room I flew fast-as-able
Tore open the cupboards and unfurl’d the table

The moon on those shelves of some new-varnished pine
Gave lustre of mid-day, made all boxes shine!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a tiny wheeled truck, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so quick to manouvre,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Uwe!
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, in German, and called them by name:

"BALDERDASHER! DIE MACHER! now, SHEPHY and DIXIT!
On CAYLUS! CAVERNA! on RA and T-MYSTIC...Ah!
To the shelving for Euros! To the section for dice!
To the carved wooden box for Agricola (nice!)

As punched cardboard sprews that fill rubbish bins high
When caught by the chill wind, mount up to the sky,
So up through the ‘fillers’ the coursers they flew,
With a trolley for games, and St. Rosenberg too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard o’er the peace
The prancing and pawing of Friedemann Friese!
I let out a cry at his brightly-green quiff!
Down the chimney he came and, then, with a sniff.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his paws,
And his clothes? He had none – he was beastly of course!
A bundle of map boards were flung on his back,
And he named himself ‘Greench’ as he gave me a smack!

His eyes – how they twinkled with mischief un-hid
As he carried some boxes: Deluxe Power Grid
His droll little mouth broke at once into grins
Three copies of Fresh Fish, attach-éd like fins!

And Die drei Gebote was alight...in his teeth!
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he coughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
The Greench that stole Christmas, in spite of himself;
But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a twerk,
And smiled – yes! He smiled! No longer so stern -
Gave me Friday and Folder and Fremde Federn;

He sprang to the sleigh and St Uwe gave whistle,
And away they both flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, though I felt pretty whacked:
"Frohe Weihnachten euch allen, und allen eine gute Nacht!"
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Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:24 am
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Old Hobbits die hard

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies?

Given that I dislike the closing third of the original book
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(ie. AFTER the Dragon has been killed, a natural climax to a journey story if there ever was one)
then I was always going to be less than impressed by the 'plot' of BotFA - after all, the 'interesting stuff' has been-and-gone in movies one and two. And while I love to be immersed in the lore and locations of Middle Earth, it was all getting a bit tiresome - exhausting even - come an hour (or so) in.

Three children and their Father seemingly surrounded by an impenetrable force field?

Thousands of heavily-armoured orcs brought down by a single, unfocused swing of a Dwarven short-sword?

Thorin Oakenshield, Emo sulkmeister?

Elvish bowmen who didn't seem to fire a single shot during the entire conflict?

Sandworms?

People riding big animals?

The Hobbit: On Ice, the mountain top climax?

And clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang! after clang!

*sigh*

And will someone PLEASE smack Gandalf in his smirking, smug face?

Oh and let's be clear: there is no peril, no extreme danger or imminent demise that cannot be prevented by the last minute turning up of something ie. a thrown sword, a stone, a dwarf...whatever.

Amidst the PS4/Xbox 1 advertising montage, there were some scenes to enjoy, however: 'that Sauron business' with Galadriel et al, Smaug's assault on Laketown and absolutely-every-scene-with-Martin-Freeman in! The rest, however, was a mess of (at times dodgy) CGI and cliché. I'm not disappointed, particularly, because I don't think I expected much more anyway...not after the middle one; time for Mr Jackson to get the Hell on with The Dambusters, I think, and leave this Hobbity tosh behind once-and-for-all.
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Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:53 am
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Advent 23 - Nativity

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:30 am
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Advent 22 - They're in the trees! They're coming!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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As the sun set in the chilly mid-afternoon, the Boydell family beetled off in to a darkening Gloucestershire in search of an enchanted woodland. Thanks to my Ma- and Pa-In-Law, the lot of us were treated to a cloudy-breathed, pitch-skyed, hot-chocolatey, magically-illuminated couple of hours in the creaking company of Westonbirt Arboretum's arborial residents...and about a thousand other people questing for that same Christmas tingle!








A well-earned break at the walk's half-way point: hot chocs with EVERYTHING for EVERYONE, please!


"They're in the trees! They're coming!"


The eerie, giant smoke rings...you can feel the cool are of the mini-cyclone as you reach for it overhead!


"Aren't you a big BIG for a Fairy?" and "Isn't Santa lucky? He got to meet Arthur!"
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Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:30 am
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Advent 21 - 'Dash away, 'dash away, 'dash away all!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Everything proceeded according to plan as the light faded on the Friday afternoon: daughter + boyfriend & various other scattered Boydell children successfully retrieved from Gloucester, supper sourced from Newent's finest takeaway vendors (including a free deep-fried Mince Pie) and an ultra cheap Tree (a tenner - see Picture Six) dragged, in a minor shower of needles, across the threshold.

I even made it out of the house at a languid, lazy pace and still managed to reach The White Lion in Ross-on-Wye with plenty of time to spare. The spiced, Muppet Christmas Carol atmosphere of Appleton House was replaced, however, by a rowdy office party drink-a-thon at the Pub; the plum Fireside tables were draped in lolling boozers and a thousand almost-empty glasses! The company were braying like donkeys, swilling foamy lagerpiss and throwing the C-word around so liberally you'd have thought they were being sponsored! Even Dave the Landlord, a man with self-made tattoos and more 'good drinking time' stories than you could shake a shitty stick at, looked like he'd "had just about e-fucking-nuff, to be honest".

In the overspill room, a young couple awkwardly finished their desserts and disappeared - nay, 'evaporated' - as Boffo, Smudge and myself nursed our first drinks of the evening. Compared to last week's standing room only floor-filler, the grand Christmas Gaming Festivities was going off like a Stilton on a hot veranda ie. very badly, very quickly - not so much a 'Party' as a 'Cock-up'. Not even the appearance of our International Visitor 'Flat' Stanley (Picture One) was helping much; Stanley has traveled over from the USA on an extended Grand Tour of Europe and is spending some time with the Batesons; the circumstances of his current compressed State are unclear, but the right-hand injury is down to Smudge's guinea pig apparently.

Our unhappy trio, quickly careering headlong into disappointed melancholy, plumped for an opener in Taboo and were fudging a workable three-player variant when (as with Dan last week) a fourth player - and then a fifth! - arrived and lifted our spirits immensely! Moustachioed Captain Byll and the long-absent, and much-missed, Dave from Ledbury. Dave has been 'working away' since the Autumn and, the last we'd heard, was unavailable for games until the next week...we were quorate at last!



Without further discussion, and with a brief rules explanation for the virginal Byll, we started a long-anticipated Beyond Balderdash! It's been a year, for me at least, and this most mighty of party games did not disappoint in the slightest...in fact, I'd go as far as saying that this was possibly the BEST game of Balders that I have EVER played! It was monumentally-ridiculous, uproarious, hilarious and chest-achingly superb; despite Byll's noob status, he streaked off to a seemingly-unassailable early lead with 'old hands' Boffo and myself still languishing on the Start space! We all threw ourselves figuratively, and in Stanley's case physically (Picture Two), in to the proceedings (and, in Stanley's case: the 'pork scratchings' also, Picture Three). I refused to be so easily out-done, however, and began a relentless claw-back, slip-streaming Smudge for some of the way and satisfyingly luring Boffo to choose my bogus definitions with point-hoovering regularity! With all of us red-faced and breathless with the lung-busting mirth of the previous 90 minutes, I finally hopped over the finishing line to remain UNDEFEATED at the Club (Picture Five - note Boffo's contemptuous gurning )!

How does one follow that? We tried something in a similar vein: Cyrano (Picture Four), the random criteria Poetry writing game, which was amusing and diverting enough for me to go on to the BGG Marketplace and purchase a copy, but we were exhausted...spent...drained to husks: Flat Ben, Flat Becky, Flat Tony, Flat Byll and Flat David to join young Stanley. I've been needing a serious jolt of Joy to lift me from a difficult few weeks and this intimate little Yuletide gathering did the trick, in spades! The other, absent, club members missed out on something very splendid indeed...

Merry Christmas!
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Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:15 am
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Advent 20 - Stocking Fillers!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Here are some last minute gift ideas for the special gamer in your life:


Merry Christmas!
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Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 am
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