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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Say Whaaaaaaaat?!

Anthony Boydell
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22:58HRS last night.

The Dragonfire had gone out!
The Clans of Caledonia were scot-free!
Gloomhaven't, more like!
Root had gone underground!
Azul was hiding it's bakelite under a bushel!
The 7th InContinent?!
Great Western Trail had ridden off in to the sunset!
Photosynthesis failed to catch light!
Heaven & Ale needed the barrel changing!

What the jiggins happened?
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Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:15 am
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nee-NAR nee-NAR nee-NAR

Anthony Boydell
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I am delighted to announce that
Surprised Stare Games Ltd
(ie. me, Mrs B, Alan Paull and Charlie Paull)
will be co-publishing the second edition of
North American Railways
(by Peer Sylvester)
with Flying Lemur Game Studio in 2018!



As some of you may recall, I'm a bit of a fan of trains (and train games) so the opportunity to get involved just couldn't pass me by!

We're expecting to have our
300 (three hundred)
'exclusive for the whole of the UK'

copies in time for the UK Games Expo (in June).

The price will be £25 at the Expo
or £25 plus £2.90 P&P (UK only), if you can't make it
(or find a willing mule!)
and it will include a special
Snowdonia 'Shares'-themed promo set
if you pre-order!

Aaaaaaand, how does one pre-order?

Simply send an email to:
feedback@surprisedstaregames.co.uk
with the subject "Gimme some of that NAR goodness!" (or similar) and we'll put your name on 'the list'!

Thank you for your kind attention, as always.

Important Note: This offer is only open to UK folks as Flying Lemur Game Studio are talking with other publishers in other countries as well.

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Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:15 am
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18ELC - Train games just got HARD!

Anthony Boydell
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Follow me as I unbox and, then, try to make sense of my newest train game acquisition!

Part 1:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


Part 2:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


Part 3:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

(apologies for the orientation; I remain befuddled by modern technology)


"Phew!" is all I can say, frankly; I'm not convinced this 18XX lark is really for me. I'm glad I tried it, though - better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all etc.
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:17 am
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A place for everything and everything in it's place

Anthony Boydell
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After a trip to the supermarket and a long walking of the dog through a dusky Newent, I made the mistake of standing at the door to the Library room and mulling over an idea to 'rearrange a few bits and pieces'. The Essen haul has been sprawled over the furniture for nearly a month now and I was determined to find, at last, a home for it all:

Before I began:


I spent two dusty, humid, toe-stubbing hours up to my chin in paperback books and game boxes and decanted a whole bunch o' stuff in to the Hall for selling/charity shop and the bloody place doesn't look any sodding different:

After I'd finished:


It was hardly worth all the bother, to be honest.

(please note the removal of a cardboard box, the rearrangement of a couple of pens, the appearance of a gin & tonic and a chair that has been moved...a bit)
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Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:30 am
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I've got so much to do that I'll have to put off my procrastination until tomorrow

Anthony Boydell
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It's a quiet, calm Sunday morning and I suppose I ought to 'get on' with some game-related chores BUT the bed is so deliciously-warm:

The Guilds of London expansion
i) put names to the final few un-named Guilds;
ii) suggest some Livery shield layouts (not too many as most of the new tiles are buildings/places); and,
iii) put together a formal skeleton of the rules (the 'Wards' tableau set-up/refresh; how to use the coins, veto and extra 2nd place tokens; and, fifth player stuff)

Snowdonia 3rd Edition
i) put together a master catalogue of all the cards that are going to be in the new edition (base game) and the 'Box of Expansions & Promos';
ii) list the rulebook tweaks and clarifications; and,
iii) ideas for the new box art

A Nice Cup of Tea
i) Speak to the PR chap from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society (DHRS) about avoiding any historical pit-falls/insensitivities that might spur the more volatile gamer in to tirades of indignant ire (it should be noted that Indians are fiercely proud and devoted to their railways despite the era of the Raj that first brought them);
ii) Speak to the PR chap from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society (DHRS) about a better name; and,
iii) See how the solo game testing is progressing!

The Great Air Race
Activity has dribbled, somewhat, to a halt with this and I'm keen to get it moving again!

Lux Aeterna
i) See how the remote play-testing is progressing; and,
ii) Delving a bit more in to realising the Art and Design vision.

New Projects
i) Turning my beloved Black Overcoat Game (BOG) in to a Legacy-style story-telling Euro;
ii) Snowdonia: The Bluebell Line (for my friend Peter)
iii) Snowdonia: Rolling Stock #2;
iv) Finalising the Mount Hakone (Hisashi Hayashi) and China Tibet (Matt Dunstan) scenarios for publication;
v) "North American Railways"; and,
vi) A new small-box game from Mr Alan Paull in the vein of Cousins' War.

AND the dog needs a proper walk

AND my work shirts need ironing

AND supper needs cooking

*sigh*

(rolls over and buries head under pillow)

Just five minutes more.
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:43 am
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We go live, now, to Brexit - 1

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:11 am
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Every Monk Needs a Shed

Anthony Boydell
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Friday got off to a miserable start with the news that Boffo - who is currently "on retreat" in Derby for Midcon 2017 - awoke from a rousing night of games, beer and curry to find his little car had been broken in to:



His big bag of games was half-inched: the casualties include his Keyflower-with-everything, Key Harvest and the much-beloved Glass Road. There is a whisker of a sliver of a slender chance of the thieving scum dumping the bag in a nearby hedge on account of it containing nothing but weird bits of wood and paper (and not the treasure trove of electrical consumables he might've first imagined).

For those of us remaining in the damp, leaf-strewn 'South', the day promised much by way of nothing at all ie. no dramas, crises and/or errands; the hours drifted by in a cloud of toast crumbs and coffee vapour until it was time to go and play games. I had promised - earlier in the week - to bring The Voyages of Marco Polo along for Smudge's benefit (Boffo will not stomach it to be mentioned in his company, let alone be actually played) but then forgot and brought along the ubiquitous Calimala, a newly-purchased Valletta and one of the repeatedly-played Essen releases from last weekend's party: Heaven & Ale.


A spacial puzzle combined with the need to maintain a tight Peloton of scoring markers.


In summary: each round, players take a number of actions by hopping around the rondel board: buy 'crop' tiles, buy monk tiles, initiate a scoring or claim bonus tiles (barrels). Crops and monks go on either the Sunny (cost more) or Shady (cost face value) side of your player board (garden); scoring tokens trigger the 'production' of your claimed tiles: all of one type (there are five types), all of the same number OR all monks of a type. Triggered tiles gain you money (shady side) or advancement of the appropriate resource token (and/or your 'Brew Master') on your garden's main 'Track'. Surrounding 'no entry' site spaces on your board gets you SHED TILES (!) and initiates a scoring in the same way. At the end of the game, how far your Brew Master has advanced affects how you are able to bring together your resource markers: you will be scoring off the LOWEST POSITIONED MARKER and using the Brew Master's ratio to spend higher resources to catch the lowest one(s) up.

Aside from the (initially) befuddling 'scoring rules', it didn't take us long to get going and we were soon elbowing each other for the juicy spaces. It reminded me a little of Suburbia in that you're trying to keep a fair balance between your Shady garden to keep the money supply up and the Sunny garden to get those all-important markers moving up the track (if any of the latter are still in the 'starting dead zone', you'll be scoring a miserable ZERO come game end). The opportunity to step on eachother's toes is much more obvious, much easier and much more effective than in Suburbia; you've also got to keep an eye on those barrel bonuses too as you can claim as many as you satisfy when on the Barrel space - this can lead to a satisfying sweep of veeps accompanied by a chorus of curses from your fellows!

Jobbers and Smudge both had completely full boards but were at opposite ends of the final scoring (the former having successfully hiked his components to the top), while Gary and I were more economic in our purchases with me hoovering up VP barrels like some kind of giant barrel-eating VP-hoover (though it was not enough to catch J). I think Boffo will rather like this one (goodness knows the poor chap needs some cheering up!).



We closed with Cubist, a lighter club favourite, and made our separate ways in to the Herefordshire/Gloucestershire night: Winter-lovely, frosty with the tang of wood fires.
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Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:42 am
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Away In A Manger

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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This is a very British outrage:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/41997936/greggs-sorry-...



It's also bloody hilarious!

Naturally, I am given to wonder what a sausage roll could contribute to board game boxes:



or, perhaps:



Edit: I have started a Geeklist!
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/232969/away-mange-boa...

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Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:30 am
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...and another thing...

Anthony Boydell
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Day Two of ‘scribbling difficulties’ and I find myself in a branch of Subway in Cardiff and assailed by a server who (it subsequently seems) has not had a good day so far:

Tony: (cheerily, despite low blood sugar) “A foot-long Italian Meatball sub with extra cheese on Italian Herb bread, please”

Assistant: (as if I’d called her a fat cow) “We don't have Italian Herb bread; we have Italian Bread OR Italian Herb & Cheese bread?”

Tony: “Er…herb and che-“

Assistant: “We don’t have Italian meatballs…”

Tony: (hungry and befuddled) “Um – you have meatballs though, right?”

Assistant: “Yes. But it’s called Meatball Marinara”

Tony: (thinks to himself)I’ve been coming to Subway for 15 years and it used to be called an “Italian Meatball Sub

Assistant: (fed up that this is taking so long ie. about three elapsed seconds) “So. Is it Meatball Marinara you want?”

Tony: “Yes please. With extra cheese, please.”

Assistant: (NOT adding the extra cheese) “Toasted?”

Tony: “Yes please. With extra cheese.”

(The assistant sighs audibly. I wander over to the drinks cabinet which is, confusingly, NOT by the counter but right next to the front door)

Cashier: (calling out) “Excuse me! Are you going to pay?”

Tony: “I’m just getting a drink – “

Cashier & Assistant: (simultaneously, angrily – after all this has now taken about 90 seconds) “Do you want any salad?!”

Tony: “Yes please.”

The sub is warm in my hands and my cheeks are flushed with embarrassment and a growing rage: corrected on my mis-speaking and accused of attempted thievery when all I wanted was a meat roll and a peach tea!

What the actual, strawberry-scented, reduced sugar, two-for-the-price-of-one fuck?!
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:07 pm
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Well, here's a thing...

Anthony Boydell
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There's not going to be a blog post today because I can't think of anything to write about. Yesterday's bizniz with the shelves and all managed to eke out another 24 hours but that white rectangle mocks me, daring me to fill it. Work is a wholly-unwelcome stress after such an amazing weekend; not even a wander in to the unhappy pit that is Merthyr Tydfil could reap any charity shop treasures by way of comfort - there is a rumour going around that copies of Colonisation are appearing in a Remainder Store chain for just £15 a pop...but not the branch I visited yesterday. Mind you, I've been binge-watching Stranger Things Season 1 over two nights, so I don't imagine that's been helping; it's the usual "One more episode and we'll call it a night..." and then it's 1AM before you know it syndrome. I tried making a start on glossing up the final notes for the Guilds of London expansion but then I got wrapped up in Google searches for medieval bargemen woodcuts and then it was supper time and then it was settling Arthur time and then it was Blue Planet 2 and bed. So, apologies for the lack of any content; I'll just post a Geekmail to the chap who won my Jack Vasel Memorial Auction Lot (the usual 'Custom Snowdonia Card') - he paid $500, you know? Wow. Maybe I don't need to write anything at all after THAT?! I'll just pour myself a cup of tea, slice an extra large slice of (remaining) birthday cake and let it sink in. Again: apologies.

soblue
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Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:21 pm
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