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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A Samson in every limb.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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I think I may have access to the best Charity Shop in the country...or, at least, the one located in the town of some recently-departed maniac railway memorabilia obsessive whose collection is being slowly drip-fed out to the Community (and straight back in to my Library room)!


A snip at just two quid: look at the pedigree of poets included!



A true railway poem classic...read it to yourselves and then:





Left: Someone's a bit angry about it all. Right: RLS is singing along to the rhythm of the rails.



Short and sweet.




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Today 6:15 am
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Tram

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Here's something gentle and visually-stunning to look at on this gloomy Autumn morning (Northern Hemisphere) / sparkling bright Summer's Morn (Southern Hemisphere).



Go left, go right, hear the birds and ring the bell;
the clatter-clatter of the iron wheels and the tippety-tapping of the commuters' feet;
this, here, is mindfulness in a bijou Left/Right scroller!

http://alexanderperrin.com.au/paper/shorttrip/
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Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:15 am
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Some things are better left buried...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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UNEARTHED!!!

From the depths of the Shed's forgotten chambers came the creeping Death that is...the original design notes for Scandaroon!!!



That means we could reconstruct it once more from the original DNA! Sleep well and sweet dreams, people...

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaa!!!

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Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:37 pm
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Five Go Pig-Rearing

Anthony Boydell
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The Cat - Jobbers - was off laughing at political satire in Monmouth which gave the Mice - the rest of us - the opportunity to play Agricola in public for the first time in ages (aside: it was OVER a year ago (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/56571/looks-fish). We were joined - and I was genuinely delighted to see them both - by Herefordian Gary (he's keen as mustard) and West Walesian Phillip (he knows my Dad). Both are greener than a tramp's be-fungused toenail when it comes to The World's Greatest Game(TM) but they didn't object when we arrayed Uwe's magnificent octopus before them. After months of the toiling three player in the Batesons' dining room, it was a proper delight to stretch in to the freer space of the full five player; it's like putting on a baggy, slightly-threadbare sweater after spending the week in a leotard two-sizes too small. Er...

No surprises, then, that the freshly-minted farming noobs were left somewhat out in the cold; Boffo also blocked my Fences action in the final round (I saw it looming in the previous round but was unable to stop it) to deny me 7 (seven!) points and, yes, in the final reckoning, beat me by eight! Gary, as enthusiastic as an incontinent puppy going on it's first walk, managed to keep his chin above Zero (but not by very much) and Phil was glad not to be Gary:



Our temporal guests selected Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, which everyone knows, so there was barely time to adjust one's seat before we were assigning coins and axes. A fine mix of scoring tiles (sets of the three buildings, boats with lighthouses, "squares" and most connected barrels) made for some furious tile-stealing when rare pieces of those point-hoovering criteria appeared. Boffo and I quickly began to stretch away from the others with just a single point separating us at the denouement! Refusing to accept that I'd managed to pip him, Boffo performed that most ungracious of gaming acts: "the re-count".

Poll: The Re-Count
When all scores have been announced, how do you feel when one player - previously confident of Victory and now staring at the prospect of Defeat - performs/demands a re-count?
It irritates the tits off me; 'someone' needs to be a better loser.
It irks me somewhat; enough that I'd express a preference in a Poll.
(stares blank-faced)
Totting up is just as important as the preceding 60 minutes; get it wrong and you might as well tip the table and set fire to the building!
      149 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell




Gary (super-eager) had a long drive home so departed; the four of us, now firmly in 'filler' territory, plumped for my last minute pile addition Eggs and Empires. The golden rule with E&E is "Whenever one has to give bad cards to another player, give them to Becky" because, without failure, she's almost unassailably-good at this game! The rule was ignored during the first round (of three) when she scored 42 to Phil's (nearest) 25 and Boffo/me - flopping about like landed carp - on 10 a-piece! Round two was much better - mainly because we restricted Smudge to a risible 12 points - and Boffo even managed to slip in to second place. I was still, laughably, bringing up a fairly-distant rear at this point; however, a corker of a final round saw me steal a resounding 40+ haul of eggs to sneak ahead of Becky and Phil! Boffo, equally delighted at the twin-prongs of his own win and the foiling of Becky, joined in my whooping cheers.



It was time to go BUT we'll be seeing Phil again next Friday - he's in the area for Castlecon: a week-long exercise in medium-to-heavy Euros and 18XX in the shadow of Goodrich Castle. Indeed, we're hoping he might bring along some extra peeps to beef up The Plough Inn's back room: fingers crossed!
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Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:45 am
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It's the End of the World As We Know It...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Twocunts Play At That Game


Death will, shortly, be raining from the skies; so, because it's good to be prepared, I'll be packing the family, food and board games (in that order) off to the Secret Underground Bunker(TM). It's important to keep oneself occupied as the hot plasma aftermath boils and sizzles the Earth's atmosphere, so my current draft list of board games is:

Agricola - the greatest board game of all time and an excellent reminder of the techniques we'll be reverting to when the first rays of natural sunlight return to the barren ground after the two-year tropospheric blockage clears. We might even manage to play Farmers of the Moor again too (but probably not).

Spot it! - this handles the seven of us pretty well plus we can be reminded of items that would now be forever lost to us: trees, birds, dolphins, carrots, hands with just four fingers and a thumb on, spiders without 6ft-across abdomens etc

Keyflower - perceived (by my lot) as lighter and less-stressful than Agricola, Mr B & Mr B's Pilgrim Fathers-themed magnum opus takes us to a gentler, more rural age; to the real-life expedition that (ultimately) set us all on the path to planetary oblivion. With lovely pictures by Juliet.

Glory to Rome - what better way to anticipate the monumental task of rebuilding Civilisation than starting with this garish nod to the rebuilding of a single City. This would also be something I'd be guaranteed to win at...at least for a little while.

Scrabble - with our restricted diet - and our tongues corroded from our mouths by contaminated water - we will be forced to invent a new, gutteral language; Scrabble will allow us to preserve a semblence of written beauty...especially given all those extra arms we'll be growing.

Copies of all of the rulesbook of my games PLUS the top 100 games on BGG not already-referenced - it's highly unlikely most of the other designers will survive the End Of Days, so I'd be well-equipped to design these gems for the future generations; ubiquitous, I'd emerge from the charred ruins a shining (that'll be the Uranium, I expect) gaming Archangel - a prophet to lead us in to a better future.

Have a great rest of the day, y'all!
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Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:30 am
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Who? Meme?

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Just jumping on the 'on the' bandwagon:


Spoiler your answers, please!
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Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:40 am
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lux art-erna

Anthony Boydell
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Between me and Mrs B, we've got a large extended family (98% of them are on HER side TBH) and there are a lot of talented peeps amongst them. One particular cousin has been doing a daily doodle (not really the right word to do them justice) on his Instagram feed:


Want to see more? Take a look here:
https://www.instagram.com/storyofalex/


Recent posts have involved space and sci-fi elements and they immediately got me thinking about the art style for my Lux Aeterna prototype (solo, sci-fi themed card game). In between (bollocks) work meetings, I mocked up a couple of the cards to see how they looked/felt:



I think I might need to explore this a little further because they're crisp and evocative! And maybe he'll give me a discount for being related?!
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Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:46 pm
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Captain Underpants

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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naturally leads to:



In any Round when it's raining, your Surveyor moves an additional Station for free when taking the Surveyor action
(cannot be used in the Necropolis Railway scenario...for obvious reasons!)
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:23 am
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Brett-spieling

Anthony Boydell
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I mentioned the weekender guest attendance of Mr Brett J. Gilbert in my write-up of Friday night’s session but neglected to explain what the Fellow was doing at Boydell HQ in the first place. This was, of course, a deliberate tactic to elicit curiosity and increase tension which – perusing the response to the post – achieved neither, in the final analysis. Never mind, for I shall tell you more whether you want me to or not because – as you might imagine – it’s a real bugger putting something together day-after-day:

Brett and I have been noodling about with a light-to-medium weight card game with an Air Race theme (qv. Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines) for about a year now and, to be honest, Brett’s been far too busy getting his games published and garnering SdJ-type award nominations to give it his fullest attention: thus, it seemed a wholly sensible idea to trap him in invite him over to the hoose (rhymes with ‘moose’) and properly sort it out. And, goodness, ‘sort it out’ we did! To aid us in our quest, I invited the Friday night attendees for a spot of Saturday lunch and some play-testing, sprinkled with the intimation that some published games might get a look-in too. So, around/about lunch time the Batesons and Jobbers scowled through the front door, eager for ingress, and the latter laden with as much low-alcohol Stowford’s Cider as he could carry.



I sat out of the first game (to let Brett dip in for his first multi-player experience); my job being to observe (natch) and, as is traditional, make snarky comments about Boffo’s play choices. Though our RoW pals have played ‘MagMen’ before, Brett and I had already – over a strong coffee and an early-AM ‘two player’ – tweaked and clarified the card play/resolution sequence and several card effects. It was pleasing to see the drafting phase (‘the Practice Race’) merge seamlessly in to the main Race phase though Jobbers’ violent outburst during final scoring - when he, as ‘the most villainous’, was penalised by 5VP – threatened to bring the afternoon to an abrupt “I’m going home and taking my crisps with me!” end! It was clear, when we’d talked him down off the highest gable, that:
a) ‘most villainous’ was better converted in to ‘every one loses VPs based on how villainous they have been’; and,
b) this should only be applied in the advanced mode of the game ie. not the ‘intro’ game.

Catastrophe-averted, we reset the board and swapped seats and started again (removing ‘most villainous’). Jobbers, obviously adrenalized by his previous outrage, drafted a solid deck that garnered him a heady pot of free-to-play wildcard tokens and whizzed in to Paris while we were still admiring the Kent coast! Both Brett and I had spotted some card effect quirks but there would be too much of a delay to do that thee-and-then (it would take us a goodly couple of hours later and on the Sunday morning) so, strong cheese and crackers in hand, we gathered our testers in the library room for their ‘proper games’ reward.

First up was a belter – and another one unknown to Mr G (what the Hell does he do with his gaming time, eh?!):


It looks a bit like a vomit-strewn table but - unlike Aquasphere - Notre D is not a massive pile of Arse.


I am usually pretty good at ‘the Dee to the En’, but it was Boffo’s turbo-charged Carriage/ignoring the Church that pushed him comfortably to a win.

Second up, Libertalia, was under the G-meister’s belt already BUT he’d had (another) sour experience and remained trepidatious and unconvinced (WTF? Someone seems on a mission to cloud the poor chap’s eyes against the good stuff!); not that he let this spoil his first week’s performance, ending with an astonishing total of FIFTY-THREE doubloons whilst the rest of us were well-chuffed with our own ‘in the 30s’ totals!



Arrrrrrrrrrr! Etc


That 20 point gap looked unassailable but, then, this IS Libertalia and the second week played out with CURSES EVERYWHERE tomfoolery and Brett wheezed to the Sunday with just 12 doubloons, the rest of us able to catch back up. Week three, always tense, came down to a head-to-head of Me vs Boffo and there were just a couple of points in it; my saved-until-the-very-last Monkey (pass all your curses to the left), kept me safe from penalties and a Blackbeard-y whisker ahead of Ben and a late-sprinting Smudge!

In other news, Brett and I managed to brainstorm a lovely Trad-feeling children’s game design for a pitch next week AND he played Lux Aeterna without tearing it to pieces at the end!




Setting all of that incidental stuff aside, it was an excellent couple of days where important work was completed and excellent progress was made; Brett even found time, in the stillness of a Newent Sunday morning, to mock up some new MagMen card layouts (courtesy of Google clip-art, for now):


Beautiful, aren’t they?
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Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:20 am
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Wot? No Runcible Spoon?

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(With apologies to everyone, really)



I
The Feld and the Rosenberg went to Spiel
In a beautiful Berlingo
Dressed up to the nines, they packed their designs
And drove up the Ee-four-and-Oh.

The Feld looked over the Messe beliebte
And sang to a small guitar
"O lovely Rosie! O Rose, meine Geliebte
What a clever Spielautor you are, you are, you are
What a clever Spielautor you are!

II
Uwe said to the Feld, "You are good as Geld"
How charmingly sweet is your Hymn
Let us further delight in zusammenarbeiten
But what shall we take as the Theme?

They toiled away, for a year and a day
In the land where the Rhine and Ruhr wend
And there to Göttingen the mock-up did bringen
And tested it set-up to end, to end, to end
And tested it set-up to end.

III
"Dear publishing bureau, we will sell for 5 euro
Per copy?" Said the Späher: "A pact!"
So they took it away, it was printed next day
By respected A.G. Ludofact.

They dined on steak, and slices of cake,
Which from royalty cheques they did pay,
And, hand-in-hand, they conquered the land
And accepted the Kenner-D.J, -D.J, -D.J,
They accepted the Kenner-D.J.
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Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:24 am
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