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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Coming along very nicely...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:25 am
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Oh yeah, baby!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Scythe makes me happy.

This makes me happy.



It's good to be happy.
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Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:18 pm
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The Art of Farming

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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I'm loving this idea of the (current) BoardGameGeek Artist Series (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1829941/boardgamegeek-a...) where the box art for classic games is re-imagined by new artists. First up was Blood Rage followed, a week later, by this wonderful piece for Agricola:


(Jacqui Davis - https://jacqui-davis.squarespace.com/)


Luscious and lovely, I shall certainly be putting an order in for one of these; but, in my travels I have come across other pieces / styles that I think would make equally-scrumptious re-skins:





(Pisarro)



(Pieter Bruegel)


Though, frankly, another Bruegel sort-of sums up a lot of peoples' Agricolean experiences:



The Triumph of Death


But, in the final reckoning, I think this last piece - by a favourite artist of me and Mrs B - is the one _I_ would choose:



(Jo March - https://www.facebook.com/JoMarchArt/)

Gorgeous!
Gorgeous!
Gorgeous!


Of course there will always be a special place in my gamer heart for Klemens' original:


Did I ever mention that I f*cking LOVE this game?
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Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:28 am
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Boomerang

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Courtesy of my favourite (only) Facebook-based gaming group, a couple of packages landed on the Monday doorstep.

The End of the Triumverate, apart from being a Lookout Games game (already a seal of quality), emerged from my memory of a session at pal Richard's house during the late London-working noughties where he - and a brace of Uncle Steves - where playing it as I came in from a hard day at the office. There was a map and several types of wooden piece - some stacked one upon the other, some not - and a trio of furrowed brows and stroked chins; it looked intriguing then and equally-so last week when it popped up for a tenner (incl. P&P)!

The second parcel - Hawaii - is a game I sold off a while ago in a fit of cleaning pique only to miss it when it had gone! Not that I've played it much when I had it the first time around BUT I do recall a pleasing Yokohama-esque travelling worker vibe, very pretty aesthetics and it's Hans im gluck, for goodness sake.

Talking of Hans im gluck: isn't it about time someone formally recognised the long-running consistency and excellence of this publisher? I mean, their (back) catalogue is inspiring.

Anywho. Enough of this distracting banter; I've got a mountain of work emails to catch up on and our Dev/Test environment is down for the fourth day in a row...I wish I'd brought some games with me!
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Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:20 am
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...but I only just got BACK!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Pulling in to the drive after the long haul down the M6, I let out an enormous sneeze and - it's official - the holiday is over and now I've got a cold. I made myself a cold drink and then, nose-dripping between further sternutations, I unpacked the car. The second vehicle in the Boydellian convey rumbled on to the gravel about an hour later by which time I'd lain on the bed to check emails and couldn't get up again! Ouch!

Today, the 'resting up' day, is surprisingly full of stuff-to-do before I'm back in to the I.T / real work phase tomorrow; here's the (current) check list:

(edited for progress!)

Send 48 x The Cousins' War to Mr Alan Paull (DONE)
Post out some dribs-and-drabs of The Cousins' War orders (DONE)
Sign the publishing contract, just received, for A Nice Cup of Tea
Finalise the Guilds of London expansion ready for artwork
Look at the proofs for the new Snowdonia expansion as they're finalised between (aforementioned) Mr Paull and Klemens
Sort out a box of games for Uganda for dispatch to PIP HQ (Germany) (DONE)

There's no rest for the wicked.
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Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:06 am
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Training Day

Anthony Boydell
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It wouldn't a Yorkshire holiday without my traditional 'Rail Trail' walk and, once more, a grey-but-dry morning dawned in readiness. I have often threatened - as the teenager grumbling has increased over the years - that I'd be quite happy "to do the walk on my own" but there was no need for the Solo variant on Friday as I was ably supported by a party of six others!


The red line, black dotted route




We took our time, wandering along-and-around the cinder path and skimming stones underneath the stout remains of the bridges; there was no particular hurry as I was aiming for the 1330 Pickering departure and so we had hot drinks and cakes in the Grosmont School café. We had a diesel for the down trip and a couple of steamers on the way back so 50% of the journey was smuts-free, at least. The others played Shithead and Dobble while Arthur and I hung out of the window, grinning from ear-to-ear.



Choo-choo! huffettypuffettyhuffettypuffettyhuffettypuffettyhuffettypuffettyhuffettypuffettyhuffettypuffettyhuffettypuffettyhuffettypuffetty
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Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:00 am
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The Keeper of the Keys

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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This is my favourite time of the year: Richard Breese sets out the whys, wherefores and whatsadoodads of his latest 'Key' game. For 2017, it's Keyper...



(Splendid artwork by Vicki Dalton)




I am, naturally, very much looking forward to picking up my copy of the super-pimped KS edition at Spiel...as, I should imagine, are quite a lot of you loverly peeps.

A new 'Key' game is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
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Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:50 am
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Bridestones Revisited

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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We promised everyone a lie-in yesterday morning, followed by a colossal fry-up brunch...only they took the mick a bit and peeps were still emerging from their hibernations around 11AM: good God but the best part of the day was escaping us! I used the opportunity to finish off my second book of the holiday (Nod by Adrian Barnes) and sip a massive mug of coffee on the patio in the baking mid-morning sunshine listening to the steam train in the distance (that's Friday's - today's - singular joy!).

Eventually, though, we were off in to Dalby Forest to seek out a favourite walk combined with some fabulous climbing opportunities: the Bridestones, weather-worn and -beaten fat fingers of rock thrusting from the thick bracken sea:






Ziggy had a whale of a time scampering up-and-down the 'big rocks'...as did the rest of us, of course!


There was a minor drama on the final leg of the walk - knee-deep in grass by an iron-rusted stream - when Ziggy the dog disappeared with a "Yelp!" for five anxious minutes; no response to our calls and whistles, the party grew quickly-and-genuinely worried for the pup's safety. He then emerged, scampering down a muddy bank, panting in the heat with blood dripping from his cut tongue: oh, but the fuss that followed! He was alright, though, and we calmed the group down with cold drinks and ice-creams at the Dalby Forest Visitor Centre. A minor drama in a major panorama.
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Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:00 am
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Forbidden Pleasures

Anthony Boydell
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Every holiday has its signature day and, this year, it was a visit to The Forbidden Corner. By advanced booking only, entrance to this wonderland of mazes, follies, dead-ends, gardens, tunnels and curious architectural artifacts is a two hour drive from our Whitby-proximal lodgings and the journey traverses sweeping moors, gold-and-green valleys and the plummeting steep of Sutton Bank: its a delightful pastime just to travel there.

Once you're parked up - and have passed through the genome scrutiny and codeword verification system - you set off on your bemused trek through the grounds:


The green man points the way; a welcoming poem and in to the monkey's mouth!


You can spend a good three hours losing yourself in this piece of eccentric, three-dimensional nonsense and that's exactly what we all did: wandering together, then getting split up and losing each other and, finally, bumping in to each other in Caliban's grotto. Or at The Rat's Underground Schoolhouse. Or in the haunted mausoleum. Or getting drenched in the stepping stone waterspout. Or any number of other splendidly-bonkers Alice-in-Wonderlandesque scenes!


Bears cheatin', boars and our pals, the Warners, sent in to a fountain trap!



(cue: "That's a big chopper etc" gags)



An attractively-painted statue and, well, "Ooops!" #caughtintheact #enterthedoghouse



Underground...



The Frog Fountain


Despite having failed to find all the (quest) brasses that needed a-rubbin', we congregated in the gift shop for obligatory souvenir purchasing and then a snoozy return.

Bliss.
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Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:35 am
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It were wetter than a dolphin's armpit

Anthony Boydell
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2000 acres of sky.


Monday was a day of wide vistas, blustering beauty and a boiling sunset.


It was all much more red than the iPhone could discern


As the traditional saying goes: "Red sky at night is a shepherd's delight.." which, basically, means the next day will be sunny and bright...only this particular Yorkshire Tuesday made a liar of centuries of Old Wives and greeted us grey and sodden. No matter; Arthur and I, the only ones up-and-about circa 8AM, made good use of the time to get some 2-player Kingdomino in - we played the 7x7 rules and I was pipped by just 4 points by an increasingly-adept youngest lad. Kingdomino is proving to be a proper hit with everyone in the holiday house (there are 14 of us in all) and is pretty much only off the dining table when the meals are on! All this tabletoppin' is beginning to piss the dog off; Ziggy wanders forlornly from person-to-person seeking tickles (and wants his balls thrown) only to find us all busy. His previously 'cute' face now seems to have taken on a more sinister edge:


Soon..! #ziggpocalypse


The group split up and shuttled to Whitby; Arthur and I were on a mission to hunt down Transformers and secondhand books - he managed BOTH in the form of a Decepticon figure AND 6 consecutive issues of Marvel's Transformers comic from 1986. Me? I found a couple of steak-and-gravy pies and a badly-illustrated DC Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series (which I put back on the shelf for someone else to be also disappointed by). All the while, the sky steadily wept fat raindrops on us until chilly rivulets started seeping through to the insides of our coats! We bedraggled home for hot tea and an afternoon snooze.

Later, while the kitchen buzzed with bodies preparing a Latin American Dances Pun Supper ('Cha-cha-charred' chicken with salsa, merenges and cream for dessert - no rumba-bahs, though etc), some of us managed to sneak Scythe on to the table: Ian (fellow 'adult'), Adam (Ian's eldest) and Arthur (my youngest) all given the rules run-down (a refresher for the latter) and we were away.


Tahm t'build t'mech, lad (etc)


Much coaching and coaxing was required to maintain momentum (and enthusiasm) as the scrummy smells of chilli begin clouding from the cooker; add two more Scythe fans to the list, though, and Arthur was well-pleased to be playing the Togana Shogunate (purple)...though he got a bit over-fixated on stealing The Factory from Adam (which he did, before the end).

A visit to The Mallyan pub (by all of us 'olds') rounded the soggy day off nicely enough; having survived the torrent, there was no way being told to 'keep the noise down' by a posse of sour-faced locals watching the satellite coverage of Man Utd vs Real Madrid would dampen our spirits. We laughed loudly and bollocks to the football.
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Wed Aug 9, 2017 6:30 am
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