Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

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50% Proof.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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One of those magical occurances happened yesterday, as I was clearing my work Inbox of 'FYI' holiday spam: a WeTransfer notification from Mr Klemens Franz (qv my microbadge line)! This means only one thing: items are ready for proof-reading!



What with everything Lookout Games is piling up for release, Klemens has been attacking the graphics for The Wards of London - further adventures in iconography* for lovers of Guilds of London - piecemeal and the above was the second batch of components. All that's left is to see what he's done with our June brainstorm of box art ideas and the rulebook. I say 'all that's left' but, of course, that's a fuckton** of intensive labour on his side and, to a far lesser extent, on mine and Andy's***.

Apart from a couple of transposed icon flags, the whole thing is ticketty-boo and gorgeous! Continuing this Art-y strand, I may even have some Alubari goodness to show you soon too. Maybe.

*there are a couple of new icons but nothing to get in a pickle about: honestly!
**British Imperial Measure of Quantity; there are three hundred 'pocketfuls' in a 'shitload' and fourteen 'shitloads' in a 'fuckton'
***Andy Van Z: my erstwhile collaborator at the Tasty Minstrel Games end!
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:15 am
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A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

Anthony Boydell
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It’s traditional for us to leave our mark in a holiday cottage Visitor Book; a potted summary of the wonderful time we’ve all had in pictorial form. It’s a lot easier than writing swathes of narrative and puts everyone elses’ entries to utter shame. This, here, is the 2018 effort:


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Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:20 am
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Chores

Anthony Boydell
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Ho-hum: no rest for the wicked, eh? This weekend there are a mountain of chores that need doing so I made a list and started crossing them off, one-by-one:


Fetching 'Mushroom' the Guinea Pig from the most excellent care at the Bateson's Hotel



Fetching 'Nagini' the Corn Snake from the most excellent care of Rainforest Exotics in Ross-on-Wye



Running errands about Newent Town




Tidying Arthur's room.


It really wears you out!
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Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:20 am
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Fish Rising

Anthony Boydell
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The unloading of the car took but moments - only slightly frustrating after the monumental game of TETRIS that it takes to pack it in the first place - and I managed to sneak in to town for 10 mins, fist clutching a sheaf of 'red Royal Mail dockets'! Only one of them was for me (see below), the others being Fitbit-related items after Mrs B lost hers to the West Shore at Llandudno:



A school pal and, during the years in-and-around Liverpool Polytechnic/my sandwich year, gaming irregular Ian was having a clear-out and offered the above for the princely sum of £20 plus postage. I believe, when we were all RPG-ing a lot, that it was THIS copy that our group played a couple of sessions with! I remember very little apart from it being a deeply-thematic and atmospheric campaign; free from many of the typical dungeon-crawling tropes, we were steeped in Gaia-esque spiritualism and some intriguingly opaque aliens. I am, naturally, delighted to revisit this 30+ year old curiosity in the comfort of my own reading chair!

Basking in the delights of proper Broadband - after the snail-crawl of the Welsh valleys - I caught up on the holiday snaps iCloud upload/download dance before realising it was nearly 7PM and I really ought to leave for Friday night gaming! Yes, indeed; a two hour speedy pack-and-depart followed by a four hour drive is nowhere nearly enough to stop me from getting my fix!

Jobbers was parked up at a jaunty angle adjacent to The Plough Inn waiting for the rest of us to be bloody bothered. He has, increasingly, been taking the piss WRT the painted parking bays given
a) it's free after 6PM, and
b) we're pretty much the only ones using it.

Tonight he was almost sideways across three sections and gently nodding along to Steve Hillage:




Two players hit £million and I came fifth (out of six) with £840K (!) in a rather pedestrian-paced go at this classic.



Despite Jobbers' busy plate-serving, a timely REFOREST kept me two points ahead.



Harbour: often cited as Le Havre-lite, this thinky filler can run almost as long if you're not careful!


We could've done with any soundtrack at all to pep up the evening's proceedings TBH: it was a 'pensive' session that even the normally-frenetic Chinatown couldn't inject adrenalin in to! Much board-staring and chin-stroking and "Whose turn is it?"-ing took us to 2330HRS and a grateful, yawning departure. Despite the house reeking of garlic bread upon my return, I retired to my boudoir and enjoyed the memory foam delights of our matress by falling instantly asleep.

Home again, home again jiggetty-jig...
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:05 am
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Pob beth da

Anthony Boydell
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I always joked that working for the Welsh Government was, when escaping the moribund clutches of Merthyr Tydfil or Cardiff, like a holiday: the Vale of Neath, Cardigan Bay, Snowdonia, Anglesey and Colwyn Bay to name but-a-few.

During my time as chief BA, and over-emotional smart-alec, I visited mountains, passes, viaducts, aquaducts, canals, heritage railways, beaches, bridges and castles; even the odd 'curiously-named village' failed to escape my attention. I've eaten supermarket sandwiches overlooking a black lake, gasped at resplendent valleys and sweated my way up to hilltop obelisk. I went to the cinema, the theatre and the end of a couple Victorian piers. I have stayed there in snowy January and sweltering August and every month else and it has had something soul-warming to offer every time.

And, of course, I played so many board games in a golf club, in pubs and restaurants, and in people's homes. Sooooo many with so many excellent people!

Now that that chapter in my working life has ended, so too has that outstanding fringe benefit. How marvellous, then, that this Summer we'd elected to spend our family holiday in this astounding environment - just one last literal and figurative throw of a North Wales' die! We rented a cottage in the middle of the hills and spent the fortnight on beaches, in forests, amongst the rubbled-ruins of castles and - finally - reaching the summit of the most important mountain in my life.

You have followed me on this adventure throughout and - hopefully - enjoyed it vicariously; I'm not sure that the daily commute to Bristol is going to offer anything near as remarkable but - hey - there are plenty of ways of getting up and down there so we'll wait and see!

Diolch, indeed.
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:17 am
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He marched them up to the top of the hill...

Anthony Boydell
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We congregated at the Snowdon Mountain Railway station (Llanberis) though, of course, we would not be availing ourselves of it's steam driven delights this time.



Setting off on the path - all unknowing of what was to come.



Right: this is the official start...after a thigh-weakening uphill road climb #alreadytired



The map of our route!


From the sunshine in to the clouds!





Eerily silent near Clogwyn.






You saw the main summit pics yesterday...



Here we all are IN the cafe at the top: hot pies, sugary drinks and steaming the mist off of our coats.


...now we're making our way back down:






Trains! Yes, there were TRAINS!!!



THE Moel Siabod!



"Yeti" (apparently)




And, finally, a majestic closing shot:


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Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:45 am
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21 Points!

Anthony Boydell
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More pics soon because I am absolutely knackered!



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Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:30 am
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Today, I shall be mostly...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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...walking.

And walking.

And walking.

And walking!



I haven't been up since 1974.

I brought my Surveyor with me.

I am so excited I could, literally, puke!

gulp
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Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:30 am
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But soft?

Anthony Boydell
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Yesterday we went to a ruined castle*.

It was ace.

The original layout is utterly perfect for my re-engineering of The Black Overcoat Game.

Did I say it was ace? Because it was!












But soft, what light from yonder window breaks?
It is the East and Juliet is the su-

Er, no; hang on...
it’s just a cock-and-balls.
Oh.
#shakespearewouldloveit #statelygraffiti #hedgehogcastle

http://gwrychtrust.co.uk/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwrych_Castle


*early 19th century castle-style home aka a monstrous, elaborate and wonderful fairy-tale folly
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:50 am
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I heard it through the grapevine?

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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It seems that I am always the last to know.



Trying to find out more, but...if it ain't (print) ready then it ain't (print) ready.

soblue

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Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:45 am
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