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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A camera, some beer and some mates...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Leiriacon 2019 from a slightly-different (sometimes-inaudible) perspective;
this - along with the latest 5 Games 4 Doomsday meditation
(https://fivegamesfordoomsday.com/2019/03/21/leiria-con-a-5g4...)
- really illustrates how utterly wonderful this convention is:

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A Quick Note From The United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland

Anthony Boydell
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She's finally, publically gone bat-shit crazy.

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Almost there (Stay on target!)...

Anthony Boydell
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Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:30 am
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Resolution No.9

Anthony Boydell
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After several decades of squabbling, wrangling and general bickery-fuckery, celebrated game designer Marton Willis has sorted it all out with former partner Jim Bahra and despised, cynical publisher Dick Swabbe, (purple) head-honcho at Aquiline-Shite Games. Here is Marton's I wrote this myself freely and absolutely NOT under any duress press statement in full:

Hi Folks,

Good news, Dick and I have made an agreement (and we also made a nice cake). The following is an officially-agreed, gun-to-the-head press release. From my point of view (staring down a barrel), I am now "happy" with Aquiline-Shite Games proceeding with Era of Locomotives.

1) Whatever disputes about Era of Locomotives that may have existed in the past have now been laid to rest in a shallow grave in a remote wood (otherwise it would probably have been me).

2) I will no longer dispute that Aquiline-Shite Games is the proper successor in interest to Aquila Games, the entity I signed a Purchase Agreement with in July, 1988 conveying various ownership rights to Era of Locomotives; Tussle of Kingdoms; and a game to be designed at a later date if I could've been bothered.

3) I have conveyed whatever rights I might have in Era of Locomotives free (as in 'no money' rather than 'without obstruction) and clear (like a handful of mud) to Aquiline-Shite Games.

4) I will not dispute that Aquiline-Shite Games is the sole and exclusive holder and owner of the rights to Tussle of Kingdoms, Locomotive Rich Man (later named Cube-Shunters of the World), and Cube-Shunters of the Isles of Man and Wight (later named Island Cube-Shunters) – games that I donated through gritted teeth in good grace to Aquiline-Shite Games.

5) I also give my permission to Aquiline-Shite Games to use my name in relation to the Era of Locomotives game at ASG's discretion (e.g., on the box cover; on the rules; in advertising and marketing including press releases regarding Era of Locomotives; and specifically in any StartKicker campaign, updates, comments, blame exchanges etc.). I realize that they are under no obligation to use my name on the EOL box or otherwise and that is perfectly okay with my wife me.

6) I will no longer speak or write ill of Aquiline-Shite Games, in public or in private because the oily turds have promised they will come after me with the full force of their morally-bankrupt legal team. I will write no more BGG threads or on any other similar forum negative comments about Aquiline-Shite Games, as I have no basis to continue to do so; though it would give me a well-needed giggle to see someone else call them out for the arseholes they so patently are. ASG has agreed to reciprocate until it suits them. In short, we are both ready to put this behind us and move forward with our respective projects (mine legit, theirs probably stolen).

7) I encourage everyone with an interest in the present Era of Locomotives Prestige campaign running on StartKicker to pledge and support that production and not to feel that some obligation to me prevents them from doing so...especially when the cynical short-changing on the component quality can prevent you from doing so instead.

Yours, absolutely not drenched from a morning's waterboarding,
Marton Willis.
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Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:15 am
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Leiria Control - Town Called Malice

Anthony Boydell
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So the brief respite from normality is over and it's a return to my regular life; to be honest, I am happy to back - all good things must come to an end - so I can start looking forward to next year!

As 2019 dawned, it seemed as if I was heading for sparse prototype presentation: a revamp of Fzzzt! that, after playing it's progenitor at Leiriacon, seems like too much hard work PLUS the first iteration of the 1950s train traveller party game that certainly survived it's 'porting' to a tabletop visual-dexterity thing. At the risk of repeating myself, the rapid emergence and coming-together of Attention All Shipping has left me trembling with excitement: the reception by, and resilience to, serious players giving it a solid hammering has been overwhelmingly positive. Indeed, I have little doubt that we could be putting this out for 2020 - previously, only Paperclip Railways went from inspiration -> prototype -> production in a similarly-rapid time frame (and that, too, may be making a 2021 Tenth anniversary 'deluxe' re-appearance)!

I am missing my Leiriacon friends already but if you break down the next twelve months in to milestones - as you would a long journey - then there's more than enough going on to make it fly by:

- UK Games Expo in June (10 weeks away)
- Snowdonia KS Holiday (4 weeks after that)
- Family Holiday (4 weeks after that)
- Essen Spiel (11 weeks after that)
- Gathering of Chums 3 (2 weeks after that)
- Bastion 2020 (7 weeks after that) AND
- Leiriacon 2020 (7 weeks after THAT).

All this and a mailbox full of artwork, proofs and contract negotiations: it doesn't get much better than this!

Postscript: the blog title refers to my general feelings about passing through UK border controls - always tetchy and unfriendly.
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:30 am
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Leiria Control - Strange Town

Anthony Boydell
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The last full day (Christ it comes round quick!) of Leiriacon 2019 began - after a must-shrouded breakfast - with a play test of a new, non-Gloomy Isaac Childres Boardgame:







It’s worker placement with resource collection and recipe fulfilment BUT the WP element is bonkers great: parallel universes where the placement of workers gets more restrictive as the game goes on; you have two turn order markers, one for each universe and placement gets more rigorous between stages. The core - very sweet and original - mechanic works beautifully but Isaac is still refining some of the courser elements: this is a good one, people.

Next, Bruno V and Meeplepeat had separate runs at Lux Aeterna:



Both survived (in easy mode) but, for Peat it was a close thing.

I managed to corale a pre-supper group for Attention All Shipping. I am SO pleased with how much this has moved on over the weekend; for a Project that’s barely a month old, it feels almost ready to pitch! I shall be mocking up the next physical iteration ASAP.


(Karthik beats me by a point AGAIN; Ella got disoriented in the North Sea.

Next - because it wasn’t time for supper yet - a round of Diamonds (taught by Ben Maddox) in which I managed to have a killer hand that won me all the bonuses and garnered me 25+ points alone!



Gaming Rules!’ impromptu live video stream drew a large crowd on the 2nd floor lift landing (a lift I nearly fell backwards in to - prime comedy moment). I first arrived with a tray of beers having navigated a crowd of jovial head-down phone watchers only to nearly be bowled over by a 10 year old racing around the atrium: “FUH-KIN ‘ELL!!!” I ejaculated, only to be given a Paddington Bear hard stare by Paul - GR is a curse-free zone. Oops!



Half-cut on the evening meal’s free wine, a pack of us returned to the table for Trade on the Tigris: Ben, Jana, Ella, Richard, Uli B and me...


Old man struggles with the tiniest of tiny icons.


A fine spread.


We filled in the TotTy decompression with the dogshit PYL Deep Sea Adventure and then finished the game session properly with Modern Art:


Ben watches as we fumble about in a vain attempt to catch his total of half a million.

The ridiculously-generous whiskey shot took us to the Bar and an hour of righteous ranting; I would’ve written this all up in the early hours but I fell asleep the moment I lay on the bed. Now, at the airport with everything signed off, stowed and/or otherwise accounted for I can tippy-tap the tiny phone keyboard with a large coffee and a cheesy bap.

Amazing.

PS props to Bruno, Ella, various Paulos, Jana, Ben, Uli, Richard, Nuno, Costas, Luis and many more for a fantastic weekend; you all really MUST come next year - we could hire a minibus?!
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:04 pm
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Leiria Control - That’s Entertainment

Anthony Boydell
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Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, what a beautiful mornin’; oh what a beautiful daaaaaaaaay! Yes indeed, dear hearts; I set myself a longer lie-in and snoozed until a decadent 8.30am. Aside from an aching knee, it was a comfortable sleep made all the more satisfying by the glorious A.M weather.



Uli greeted me cheerily with his fabulous ‘Tony Scream’ tee...as did Ben with his ‘Can You Not Cheat’ one: I made $4 profit from those two.









Above: I managed to get thru five tests of Attention All Shipping today and VERY damn useful they were too; indeed, the game at 10AM had been smoothed significantly come 7PM.

Just prior to supper, we (Ben, Meeplepeat, Bruno & I) fit in a quick Fzzzt!; hashtag ‘bad teacher’ as I was merciless in my crushing.



And, so, to the main event: An Infamous Traffic. Playing a serious game while getting pissed with Uli B is now an essential convention date and, like last year’s John Company debacle, AIT did not disappoint! A full and eager five pumped opium into China and had an hilarious riot of a time doing so. I may have arsed my finances for the sake of a 3VP peerage but it garnered me second place! Incredible game.



We closed with Arboretum (awful) and then 6 Nimmt (sublime) and then, ploddingly/wearily to bed.



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Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:40 am
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Leiria Control - In The City

Anthony Boydell
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The tiny phone must serve as this evening’s conduit of blogular chronicalisation because I’ve left my laptop in the UK. The journey was pretty unremarkable until we approached Lisbon in glorious sunshine - see the photos above!

It was an upsy-downsy journey North what with me getting used to manual transmission again AND left-hand drive! The sea front was warm and windy with huge waves breaking on the sandy beach.

There was time, after the generous welcome, to fit in Attention All Shipping before supper with Richard and my official Leiriacon minder (!) Bruno. Joined by many pals, we scoffed and then returned to the main room for Jumpdrive, Glory to Rome and Skull King. Ben M joined Richard and me for GtR and - because we were guiding him - he win with a whomping 42 points!

Cheap beer and jolly banter saw us all to the ridiculous hour of 3AM and here: tapping the screen of my iPhone when I should be sleeping.
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:30 am
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Leiria Control - Start!

Anthony Boydell
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This is me today: a travellin' man. Car then plane then car to take me - and pal Ricardo - to the North-Western shores of Portugal: LeiriaCon 2019 awaits.



As well as being a hub for an expected 400 or real gamers, a great many of us publisher and media peeps are making the trek too: 'locals' Bruno, Nuno, Paulo, Vital, Mariano and Veronica PLUS 'internationals' Ben Maddox, Matthias Nagy, Matthias Cramer, Markus and Inka Brand, Paul Grogan, Isaac Childres, Uli B, Stefan Stadler, Citie Lo and Ella Ampongan. Goodness, I need to take my autograph book!



I've already been invited to a game of Tales of the Northlands: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog on Saturday plus all of the playtesting I want to get covered; which reminds me: I must remember to get enough 'social beer' euros out of the SSG expense account before Stansted Airport.

Like last year, my posts for the next few days shall be mainly pics with the barest of commentary (no laptop, just the tiny iPhone keyboard, little-to-no-sleep etc).
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Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:06 am
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FLGS 51 (Chess)

Anthony Boydell
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(we are in a friendly local game store; the shelves are well-stocked with enticing new releases, staples and the occasional intriguing oddity. The cashier is sat on a high stool behind the PoS counter; he rests his hands upon his knees, is straight-backed and completely still. He has his eyes closed while listening to a classical music soundtrack on the shop's tannoy. A customer can be seen approaching the display window and is looking at it's contents with a bewildered expression)

Cashier: (with eyes still closed, whispering) You can come in, if you like?

(the customer removes his woolly hat and presses the shop door; it opens silently but, of course, triggers the bell)

Door Bell: (the sound of sparkles) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(the customer steps up to the counter cautiously)

Customer: (nervously) Um -

Door Bell: (the music of the spheres) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Customer: (trepidatiously) Er -

(there is a moment's silence)

Customer: (turning on his heels towards the exit) I think I've made a mista-

Cashier: (opening his eyes, he speaks gently) - Welcome.

Customer: (turning) I'm sorry but I can't remember why I've come here.

Cashier: (looking around) Perhaps to buy a game, Sir?

Customer: (confused) No, er - yes; perhaps that was the reason? I'm afraid my memory is a little fuzzy.

Cashier: (patiently) There is no hurry, Sir; please - take your time.

Customer: (relieved) Thank you; I think I'll have a look around.

Cashier: Of course, Sir.

(the customer wanders for a bit then picks up a copy of Spirit Island and starts reading the base blurb)

Cashier: (kindly) Do you enjoy playing games, Sir?

Customer: (looking up) I do; co-ops, mainly - nothing too confrontational.

Cashier: You're in it for the Social side rather than the competitive one, right?

Customer: (nodding) That's right, yes.

Cashier: And are you a 'good gamer', Sir?

Customer: 'Good'? Do you mean in a skilled sense?

Cashier: Is there another kind, Sir?

Customer: Well there's 'good' as in 'virtuous', I guess?

Cashier: Very true. Are you a virtuous gamer, Sir?

Customer: Most of the time, I think.

Cashier: (a little surprised) Most of the time, Sir?

Customer: Well, I do get impatient with people when they take a long time on their turns or make moves I wanted to make. Nothing terrible, though; just letting off a bit of steam.

Cashier: Goodness me!

Customer: (pausing, he massages his temples and gives a pained expression) It's not like I've killed anyone.

Cashier: Isn't it, Sir?

Customer: I don't suppose you have a paracetamol, do you? Only I have a blinding headache.

(the cashier hands the customer a glass of water and a box of tablets)

Cashier: Found anything yet, Sir?

Customer: (pulling a box, at random, from the shelf beside him) What's this like?

Cashier: Scythe? A lot of drama in a short time, Sir; a striking presentation, certainly.

Customer: (taking another) And this?

Cashier: Skull King? An absolute classic, Sir; one of my personal favourites.

Customer: This?

Cashier: Ah, now: Perdition's Mouth? Let's not go there, Sir; a deeply unpleasant experience.

Customer: Oh. (he pinches the bridge of his nose)

Cashier: How's your headache, Sir?

Customer: No better. I - um - I -

Cashier: Is there something you want to tell me, Sir?

Customer: (looking around the shop) Is this really an FLGS?

Cashier: What else could it be, Sir?

Customer: (hesitantly) Only -

Cashier: Yes, Sir?

Customer: - Only I think I did actually kill someone. During a game of Pandemic and no-one was listening to my suggestion for dealing with the imminent Milan outbreak. They never listened and then we drew Milan and the whole continent chain-reacted and then someone blamed me for not swapping the right cards and I knocked over my drink by mistake and it soaked the game and all of the components. And then he laughed at me.

Cashier: I see, Sir.

Customer: So I hit him with the giant pepper mill. (coming to a realisation) Oh, Lord. Where am I?! What have I done?!

Cashier: (more serious but, still, kindly) You're in the Ultimate FLGS, Sir: the "Finished Life Game Store", if you will; the "Friendly Last Gasp Store". God's Workshop. "Essence Spiel".

Customer: 'Was'modée?

Cashier: (chuckling) Sort-of, Sir.

Customer: (nervous again) So - what happens to me now?

Cashier: Well, that's entirely up to you, Sir.

Customer: Has the man I killed been in yet?

Cashier: He's waiting over there in the open gaming room, Sir (he points) You could go and apologise..?

(a closed door appears in the far wall where a display carousel of Adlungspiele decks had been; a bright light is shining through the gaps between the door itself and the architrave. The customer walks slowly towards it, reaches out for the handle and pulls; there is a blinding flash and, at once, both the customer and the doorway are gone)

Cashier: (sighing) How nice.

Door Bell: (the sound of sparkles) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(someone walks in)

Cashier: Welcome -

Customer: Fancy a game of Chess?
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Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:15 am
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