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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Place your workers. Do stuff. Repeat.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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A week ago it was bright and hot and nothing much was occurring in the Boydell hooss until a scheduled evening family BBQ so, alone and with a pocket full of change, I trundled over to the Batesons' for a brunch playtest session. The Malta Railway scenario was birthed in the flustered excitement of the KS campaign and it took me but a P.M (under a shady tree) to blast out a first PPTX prototype:



The main points - if you missed them - are:
Makes use of the deluxe set custom -eeples for Water, Daffodils and Dynamite
Has tunnels and regular track - including a parallel track section
Has 'Bus' events in the contract deck that make the work rates progressively better (it's hot in Malta)

I focused on the new elements - particularly the Museum-station's set collection requirements and stole a fine wine over the other two with their trains and their more traditional Contract approach, which bodes well. Some excellent observations - nothing of any major consequence but all helping to polish the scenario.

Its always obligatory - and in no way a chore - to slip in a game of Agricola when at Lilliput*, so we dealt out the Agricola: Bielefeld Deck (a recent gift from me to them) and some standard cards for a draft:


Bingo! One pig successfully propelled in to it's sty!



Another prize-winning farm from Uncle Tony


We paused for a snack lunch; they scoffing crackers and creamy Isle of Wight Camembert while I tucked in to a generous bowl of bulger and veggies whipped up on the spur of the moment by amateur chef Boffo:


Fresh, textural and delicious - yum!


While we munched and crunched, a quick boat trip around the Norwegian fjords happily closed this impromptu session; no photo of my victorious board (a clean sweep!) as I had somewhere to be and my generous hosts were now sick of the sight of me.

*the name of their house.
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Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:30 am
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Skin FTW

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:30 am
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My Family And Other Animals

Anthony Boydell
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It's the Summer Holidays and the kids are kicking around the house; Arthur was crafting tiny Transformer robots out of his collection of Lego hinge pieces while I worked-at-home:



As has now become the habit, we walked the dog along the old canal - Arthur merrily mountain-biking the lumps-and-bumps - suitably be-hatted against the pummeling sunshine. We are promised storms but, as yet, there is no evidence of anything other than a blue sky. And so did the afternoon progress most gently.

At The Plough Inn, later, our newest member - Lydia - made it four weeks in a row and, with a Gloucester-based Gerv also promising an appearance, it seemed prudent to break out the big guns. Our usual pre-session, abbreviated Messenger exchange mooted Peloponnes and Keyflower but a last minute reach-them-from-the-shelf Agricola and Terraforming Mars revealed my true Master Plan for the evening: oh yes.

Having coped perfectly-well-thankyouverymuch with the likes of Glass Road, Nusfjord and Viticulture, there's nothing in the 'Gric/Keyfers arsenal that's likely to confuse or offend*. There was certainly a plan bouncing around the playroom of my brain as I subtly revealed Terraforming Mars to a panting Smudge and Jobbers, safe in the knowledge a (farming) menagerie-a-trois could be established on the semenless corner table. To a background soundtrack of scientific jargon and 'Floater' puns, Lydia and Boffo and myself got down to the serious business of medieval agrarianism:



As you would expect, this was a two man show with the usual huffing-and-grumbling from the Bateson plot and quiet (!) contemplation from mine; Lydia built herself a perfectly-functional Farm and - hopefully - can now see a little more of the beautifully-oiled workings underneath. L keeps her counsel to herself so it wasn't obvious whether she'd enjoyed herself or was screaming an internal monologue! She didn't flip the table or descend in to a Jobbersian sulk so I think we're okay...for now.

Smudge was still amassing a Croesus-esque fortune on the Red Planet (70 cash per round?!), so it was on to The Breesedale's howlingly-magnificent triumph:



The beauty of Keyflower is that playing a straightforward, focused strategy, ie. latching on to one building effect and squeezing it until it bleeds, can reap generous rewards: this Lydia did with a storage tile and an 'everything counts as the thing needed on the storage tile' boat for a pat yourself on the back forty one points. Boffo and I messed about with meeples - particularly green ones - and did lots of things for barely more points (he 54, me 48). Fabulous.

Jobbers escaped in to the cool Ross-on-Wye evening leaving the five of us to plod through Port Royal; actually, it was to be four of us with Smudge sitting this one out. It was the usual series of push-your-luck successes, preposterous failures and Pinasse jokes but Boffo never seemed to be without at least six cash and crossed the 12VP line with appalling ease.

I left these good people in deep reminiscing - despite it being 2315HRS - as, it seems, Smudge and Lydia grew up in the same part of the Wye Valley. I drove home in near-silence (the tinnitus was particularly whiny) and then fell asleep in front of the TV.

*apart from one's fellow players (as L would find out during a filth-ridden Port Royal!)
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Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:48 am
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Aaaaaaaaaaaand rest!

Anthony Boydell
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Me and Mrs B were watching a BBC iPlayer episode of Who Do You Think You Are with gender-bending, 1980s pop sensation and renowned heroin addict Boy George. Well, she was watching it while I was relentlessly-refreshing the Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set Kickstarter page to see if we'd break the $450,000 milestone. We didn't quite make it - or the 1000% of funding target goal - but we came DAMN CLOSE and (I hope) we'll edge closer/over it when the Pledge Manager goes live in September. My audible sigh of relief, when the status changed, made Mrs B miss a spoken comment and we had to send iPlayer back 15 seconds to catch it properly.

Naturally, my emotions are a bit all over the place at the moment; it's been quite the ride over the last 3 weeks. The campaign - planned and executed by the biggest, most bear-like individuals (NSKN) I have ever had the pleasure to meet - has been exemplary: quite the best KS campaign I've had the pleasure to follow. The wit and quality of the promotional videos, the delightful thematic side-arms of translated-to-the-Welsh phrases and Wales-themed recipes and that wonderfully-breadcrumbed trail of brilliant stretch goals...

just WOW!

Let me try a summarise exactly what one would get for one's $100 (£75) incl. P&P:
the game
ALL of the published scenarios
Five NEW scenarios
Custom meeples with double-sided printing on
Custom -eeples for Daffodils, Water, Dynamite, Oxygen, Goats and an Abominable Snowman
A double-sided board big enough to lay the cards on too
A new Automa solo variant
EVERY promo card I ever designed/donated for the game - EVERY SINGLE ONE!
NEW promos from TWELVE designers!
NEW promos from TWELVE players!!
Custom wooden markers for the Excavation (shovel and axe) and Track work rates
Custom insert in a double-sized box
New box art

And over four-and-a-half thousand pledgers have come aboard according to the campaign, but it's actually more because of the hundreds and hundreds of group buy participants.

We even made the Welsh news:


What the actual strawberry-flavoured, gluten free, low-calorie FUCK?!

The adrenalin is slowly ebbing but the work goes ever onward: I've already had a design conversation with Dávid Turczi about the automa, the Malta Railway is being play-tested and the competition winners (12 of them) are finalising their designs with me on the Geeklist (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/243738/snowdonia-desi...).

I've never been so happy to be so busy in my life: bring it on, my friends!
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Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:47 am
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#gamerbehindthegame 2

Anthony Boydell
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#gamerbehindthegames

Hi everyone! My name is Shooi O'Foot and I love board games. I don't belong to a games club - at least for very long anyways - coz people get really hung up about the way I look. I know it's silly but folks can't cope with my weird hats!

My favourite games are Lewis & Clarkes, Ganz Scholl Clever, Bunion Pacific, Felix: The Cat In The Sock, Pummicestone, HalLuxor and Toe-ra-jamming Mars.

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Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:25 am
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#gamerbehindthegame

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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#gamebehindthegamer*

I am an 11 year old that gets a lot of verbal abuse (not least from my Father) which has made it difficult for me to find my place in the gaming world: I didn’t ask to be born, you know!

Growing up was tough; when my siblings came on the scene, I spent more and more time in the attic while they (Donny, Ivor and Golly) got all the attention.

My favourite game is Splendor because it gets almost as much flack from my Dad as I do. I also like Flux and Monopoly and Candyland because it makes him go red in the face.

I’m not going to win any beauty contests but I think that if I lost my excessive fat people might find me more approachable. That’s my dream, at least.



*a trending thread on my local FB group whereby members reveal a little more about themselves than just pictures of newly-arrived stuff on their mats.
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Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:15 am
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Trainy McTrainface?!

Anthony Boydell
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The results are in:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/243738/snowdonia-desi...

Man, it was a real struggle picking the winners from all the great entries!
So much, in fact, that we'll be printing TWELVE of them instead of SIX!!!
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Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:20 am
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Optical Allusions

Anthony Boydell
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For the first time in (probably) 10 (ten) years, I went to have an Eye test. Not for any pressing reason apart from, maybe, because I need something less scratched, corroded, grease-stained and bent*. Thus commenced an entertaining half hour of lens-swaps, letter recital, colour and peripheral vision evaluation, retina scrutiny and background chatter about board games ("Ah, so you're the man with the board games!" he deduced, having had Mrs B in a similar ocular interrogation the previous day):



The new specs should be with me next Friday...


*my glasses NOT my actual eyes, thanks.
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Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:50 am
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Wonders will never cease.

Anthony Boydell
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After a week of background reading and first attendance at a variety of ad-hoc and regularly-scheduled meetings, I came to Friday's WAH* with a nice self-contained piece of work: enhance a list of Non-Functional Requirements. This I did...from 30 to 288 (!). By way of a reward, Ziggy the dog and I went to the canal for some sun-basking, heart-pumping exercise:



Mutley and I mooched about the remains of Newent's railway station until a delivery driver hared up the lane and started honking his horn at the gates. Once again, as we set off for home, I mused upon nicking one of the 'Old Station Road' street signs (best time of day, how to brazenly walk it back etc). Later, The Plough Inn soggily-greeted our happy band of cube pushers with it's usual blend of passive tobacco smoke, syprupy fizz and the distant sound of manly, roaring Skittlers. Remarkably, Lydia joined us for a third week on the bounce so Boffo and I duly clicked in to our 'real gamer personas' and merrily punned, swore and sous entendu-ed our path through the evening.

We were aware that, perhaps, we were chucking some intimidating fayre at our newest, keenest member so agreed to throttle back a little: first was vanilla Hansa Teutonica:



Okay, so the rules are straightforward but the choices less-so and despite all of our best efforts - including me staying (pretty) quiet and constructing a spider's web of connections - Boffo romped away again; this time with enough clear water between him and the rest of us to film a new series of Blue Planet! We're still early doors in learning how this all fits together; indeed, this session saw only ONE bonus token taken and only a couple of cities with >1 player marker in - the latter meant that one person was gaining exclusive 1VP bonuses on builds when we really should've been swapping the priorities. Next time, then...

A true-and-honest classic next by introducing Lydia to Modern Art; even better, it was Boffo's £20 bargain-basement copy of the Oink Games edition (the one that was flying off the stands for 40 euros a pop last-Essen!).


Jobbers, Why so serious?!


The fourth round ended in a thrilling double 'double' and I was pipped to victory by 8 points by Jobbers. I had confounded their mocking of my offers-and-purchases with a carefully-nurtured plan; indeed, going in slightly too aggressively in an auction against Jobbers with one more turn to go probably cost me those 8 points - I should've incremented the bids by ones-and-twos rather than fives-and-tens! A beautiful game!

To close, we Wondered x 7. Ignoring/rejecting ALL requests from Boffo to help sort out the cards, I sat back and let them fuck up the deal all by themselves. Ah, bliss! When we finally got going, we managed three games in the remaining 75 minutes; Lydia picking it up quickly for a comfortable win in Game 2 and only Smudge exiting the evening without a top-of-the-podium finish:



*new job = new acronym for homeworking!
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Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:20 am
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Oops! I did it again. Again.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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*sigh*


Spoiler (click to reveal)

7 days for what most would regard as a Public Service.
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Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:57 am
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