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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Death of a Gamer - 8

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Sat May 19, 2018 6:20 am
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Flag Hippo

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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A bit of classic Tim Vine for you (dabs tears from eyes):


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Fri May 18, 2018 10:40 am
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All Along The Watchtower

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Wednesday, 4PM. I'm done for the day, having shoo-ed the last of the training delegates from the tiny presentation suite and shut the projection system down. Outside it's hot and bright and I've got four hours to fill before attending a comedy gig at the Venue Cymru. It's not helping that my car's grumbling engine issues have been getting more audible, ie. worse, so there's no possibility of going for an explore for fear of conking out in a country lane; so, wincing at every cough-and-splutter, I take the shortest route back in to town. As I rattle up the rise from Deganwy railway station with the remains of the Castle to my high right, I spot the distant Bryniau Tower. I've been seeing this stunted turret - an 18th century watchtower - every day that I've stayed in Llandudno over the last four years and have only recently deduced how to get access so, sick of the metallic complaining, I parked in a cul-de-sac and took across the fields:



It was a good walk indeed and, like the one a couple of weeks ago, I was rewarded with a stiff breeze upon summiting. Next to the cracked cylinder is an overgrown quarry with a couple of precipitous sides so I took extra care in my slippy-soled work shoes. I patted the stone and said out loud: "Hello, old friend; we finally get to meet, eh?".

Sweating, and with another 5000 steps on the Fitbit, I seek out my new home for the night (having been denied a room at my preferred domicile due to the key figure in tonight's gig - see earlier this blogweek): "The Manor Hotel" sits at the end of a sweeping curve section of Llandudno's promenade but a section that's on the way OUT of the town - nearer the Little Orme rather than the Great one; it's a bit, how shall I put this, "functional"? The TV had no aerial or power supply (or remote control), there was an Iron-shaped burn on the carpet and the WiFi was so poor that I could barely get BGG to refresh without having enough time to go for a walk along the sea front!



So that's what I did - figuring I'd have more luck checking Twitter on the iPhone 4G while hunting for pretty shells and foot-dragging obscenities in to the pristine sand:



The sailing club came out to play as the sun set over the Great Orme; chugging down the ramp on their quad bikes towing the boats on flimsy trolleys behind them. Talking of sunsets, it was - by now - time to find my alloted seat and enjoy the quickfire comedy of Tim Vine's Sunset Milk Idiot tour:



It was achingly-funny; it was childish and hilarious; it was groan-inducing and rib-ticklingly daft. Here's a little sample of his oevre:



One of the best Wednesdays in a long time!*

*apart from the bloody car!
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Fri May 18, 2018 6:50 am
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A Glorious Evening

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Ah, bliss!
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Thu May 17, 2018 6:41 pm
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The Wisdom of Wiener 2

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Despite being so prolific for so long, Wiener was forever the Bridesmaid and never the Bride at the prestigious Spiel des Ohres until, finally, in 2008 he managed to reissue the second edition of a reworking of an original idea that he'd cloned from his earlier catalogue and sweep the stage; that game was, of course, Kolitis: The Way Of The Stools, and would see several lucrative spin-offs in subsequent years.

Today, Wiener is deeply-interested in the integration of the latest technology in to his designs: app versions of his classic products, virtual machines on desktops running iOS and Android emulators so you can play the apps on your personal computers - and, naturally, board game adaptations of those apps (emulated and/or not, I'm a bit confused TBH).

Anyway, here are a few more absolute smashers of wisdom from this most singular and valuable industry resource:









Edit: Oh dear. It seems that folks can't take a joke. Some sacred cows are just a bit too sacred.
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Thu May 17, 2018 6:20 am
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The Wisdom of Wiener

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Everyone knows Wiener Kictzartia - with his collection of comedy cufflinks and his bright-green beard - and you've probably got at least one of his games in your collection; the man is a game-designing machine!

You Phat Tigers! (tile-laying in the jungle), Amen, Ray! (also known as Culties (Church-building in the Wild West), The Great Whale Vagina (dexterity), Lost Settees (furniture set collection) and, of course, I Don't Know Much About Art, But I Know What I Like: The Board Game of the Card Game of the Dice Game!

Despite having a name that sounds all foreign and that, Wiener was born in the UK and designed his first game while still a toddler! Apparently, it was a Chess variant utilizing cuddly toys and his grandmother's patchwork quilt: Zebra takes Noddy; Rupert Bear to Big Bird-4 Check! and so on. Recently, one of his nephews told him about the Internet and he's been taking his first (tentative) tweeting steps by offering some bite-size advice to other budding designers; with his kind permission, I shall be replaying some of the invaluable nuggets in this blog:




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Wed May 16, 2018 6:20 am
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Camelid Up

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Well, I wasn't expecting to be driving about the countryside so soon after my last holiday placement but a combination of late coding deliveries backing up against the need to gather new requirements has meant I'm in both 'Trainer' and 'Business Analyst' mode this week. Some blah-blah in Carmarthen early doors was followed by a trip to the coast (the sea as flat and still as a bath that's been left to go cold overnight) and a lunch-time chat with my Dad, brother and sister.


All the shades of blue, Welsh sky.


The car was wheezing a bit as I dragged it up the Cader Idris valley but various podcasts drowned out its simultaneously deeply-worrying and effing-annoying (g)rumble; don't worry, I've booked it in for a check-up on Friday.

I'm only at my preferred B&B for two of the three nights this week thanks to the local Theatre playing host to UK comedian (and all-round silly person) Tim Vine; as it turns out, the B&B itself is also playing host to Mr Vine - I wonder if they've alloted him my (current) room? I'll have to leave a note. Dropping my suitcase off, there was barely time to unpack my toothbrush and give my aching toes a good, breezy airing before it was Snowdonia Dragons time:



To break the ice, Aaron and Ed and Tom and myself ploughed eagerly in to Hansa Teutonica: Britannia; with but a few moments required for a rules refresh, we were off and immediately laying cubes in eachother's ways. The Britannia map has Wales and Scotland only accessible if you're 'in control' of London (granting access to both), Cardiff (to Wales) and/or Edinburgh (to Scotland), which is a bit of an arse-ache, and some new scoring bits-and-pieces. The pic above is slightly inaccurate in that Tom and I were overlooked in our Wales and Scotland 'dominance' bonuses; we were all a lot closer in the end. HT is an odd game that really needs to be played more to really start getting it; in our session, Ed won despite only having two actions per turn (Aaron and I were on 4) and Tom was gifted far more 'bumped off' bonus placements than the rest of us but still languished in last place ie. two situations that you would've predicted leading a player in one direction led them in the opposite!

I'd brought mine and Aaron had brought his, so it was a shoo-in that Altiplano was going to get an airing:



I was utterly perplexed and bewildered with the options presented to me and I spent the first half of the game trying to work out where the 'islands' were for the actions I had on my board! In the end I settled on collecting and scoring contracts, which kept me just ahead of Tom but still waaaaaaay behind Aaron and Ed. My warehouse was half-empty compared to the bulging lock-ups of glass and silverwear sported by our hustling hosts! I'm very much not at all sure about Altiplano and it may well get passed on like Orleans was: too fiddly for anyone in the Ross group to want to play it.

We closed with a quote "daft Japanese card game" called Sly Knight Seekers:



It's like 'go fish' crossed with 'rummy' and some deduction thrown in for good measure; I am singularly terrible at this style of card game, so I stumbled from one confused and ill-played hand to the next - somehow, Tom and I (paired across the table) managed to end up tying with uberspielen Ed and Aaron which - given our risible performances for the rest of the evening - counts as some sort of victory.
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Tue May 15, 2018 6:30 am
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Colour By Numbers

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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I like to play ‘red’ but, when in North Wales, young Daffydd managed to snatch the red pieces the first time we played a game together and (ever since) I have nobly deferred to his preference. Smudge must always play green, if green is an option, on pain of picking someone else’s pieces up instead of her (non-green) own. Boffo couldn’t give a bugger’s stuff but will take on a more Patrician-y air should he be gifted purple.

Games like Scythe throw such comfort blankets to the wind; wilfully tying asymmetric powers to specific hues raises one’s hackles, muddles decision making and provokes tics, fidgets and twitches. Of course, not everyone suffers from this affliction: the colour-blind rejoice in their simpler visual world and, without rancour, choose between the ‘grey’ pieces, the ‘differently-grey’ pieces and the ‘brown’ ones.

What's your experience?

I feel a poll coming on...

Poll: Colour by Numbers
1. Which colour would you prefer to play?
Red
Green
Yellow
Blue
Purple
Black
White
Pink
I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too!
2. Talking of colours...is it "colours" or "colors"?
Colors
Colours
I demand to know under the new GDPR rules what you intend to do with this information?!
3. If someone snatches the pieces of your preferred colour* before you get the chance, what is the acceptable next course of action?
*this is the correct spelling, of course
Simply chuckle and select an alternative colour?
Produce your own personalized set of pieces from your bag instead?
Ask for the return of the pieces / try and strike up a pre-game bargain?
Snatch them back (accompanied by an audible 'tut!')?
Break your chair, set fire to the game board and throw a small child at your opponents?
4. Should player colour selection always be randomised to put a stop to this obsessive bullshine?
Yes!
No!
Er, I think you'll find there's a 'z' in randomized actually?!
      336 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell
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Mon May 14, 2018 6:20 am
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B.O.G

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(converted from the Facebook Live video)
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Sun May 13, 2018 11:38 pm
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Tales of the Swamplands: The Sagas of Knobber the Knob

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(I'm so sorry)


Knobber, King of the Knobs; Prince Knunt; and Queen Nookie.
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Sun May 13, 2018 6:40 am
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