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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

Archive for Jokin'

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Ludocide!

Anthony Boydell
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(Today's blog is brought to you from Shite Games and their new Party Game for Christmas: Just a Cotton-Pickin Minute! The Game of Half-Baked Arguments! In HBA, players draw subject cards and must speak on the side of that subject for 60 seconds while avoiding stringing together an even slightly-coherent/salient point; those that do can be 'buzzed out' and the subject taken over by the buzzer!)

We Are Murderers!



For a community that professes to be enthusiastic, appreciative, supportive and loyal, we are killing our hobby
zombie Dead! zombie

We’re killing games before we play them:

Hype Hypertension: The "I Am Not A Sheep" Excuse
"I'll be damned if I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon with everyone else; I'm a leader not a follower!".
The sheer nose-severing/face-spitedness of this buffoonish position is breath-taking; it's perfectly fine to be part of a wider community of appreciation. Stop being an elitist prick.

zombie Dead! zombie

Hype Hypertension: The Irritable Buyer Syndrome
The ubiquity of a game on Social Media/the Internets begins to grind your gears; it's everywhere and all of the time and you shall not stand for it.
Over-saturation can be a turn-off, yes, but – conversely - the howl of indignation is equally loud when great games are under-sold and become hard to get hold of; is there a happy medium? “No” is the quick, easy answer, so stop getting quite so ragged.

zombie Dead! zombie

Hype Hypertension: The Upside Down
If so many people are saying it's great then it must be, in fact, the opposite! This is because the rest of the community is on a singular mission to dupe their fellows and me, in particular!
We’ve all got a lot more on, to be honest.

zombie Dead! zombie

”I don't like the presentation/artwork/design aesthetic!”.
Liver casserole looks revolting but tastes like Heaven; {Insert Name of Miniature-Heavy Kickstarter GeekPorn Here} looks like a million dollars but is, in fact, a foetid pool of lumpen arse-gravy. And just because Aquasphere looks like a vomit splat doesn’t mean it’s nauseating (not when the mechanisms and processes themselves do that instead).

zombie Dead! zombie

*whine* *whinge* "They’re too expensive!" *grumble* *moan*
What you mean to say is “They cost more than I’m willing to pay”, which is a different thing entirely.

zombie Dead! zombie

"Wahh! Kickstarter is destroying the industry!"
No. It's. Not.

We’re killing games while we play them:

The rulebook is either too big, too small, too brief, too long-winded or just 'bad' (no further justification is given); the tsunami of 'rules clarification' threads on BGG is further evidence of a general malaise in game literature.
Opinions about rulebooks (and the thread issue) is, in fact, clear evidence of a growing laziness in gamers to read the paperwork in front of them and then blame anyone and everyone else when it all goes ‘tits’. It gets even worse when threads are started to clarify rules that were previously-clarified in other threads that, in turn, pointed to a perfectly clear section of the original rulebook.

zombie Dead! zombie

It's explained poorly and/or incompletely by your game teacher; we don’t play the game as designed and/or we just all play it wrong.
We should rely less on ‘teachers’ and do more research/background reading ourselves. Just because ‘Person X’ neglected to explain the Science rules in 7 Wonders doesn’t make 7 Wonders an appalling failure of a game (a purely-hypothetical example). Oh, and it's YOUR fault if you miss/miss-play/mis-read a rule and no-one elses PERIOD.

zombie Dead! zombie

I don't grasp the intentions/subtleties/mechanisms immediately (or at all); if I can't grok everything the first time around then, frankly, I must move on...
Not everything is – or should be – immediately apparent. A banquet is more delicious served in courses than in one, huge, table-groaning dump.

zombie Dead! zombie

I didn’t win the first play so I don't like it (for extra points add "It must be broken", "It's a game of total luck" and/or "The icons are unclear").
Grow the fuck up and stop sulking, you big baby.

zombie Dead! zombie

I have other things on my mind so I am not giving it my full attention.
Give it your full attention NEXT TIME...and that means accepting you are at fault (and not the game) and giving it a next time!

zombie Dead! zombie

We’re killing games AFTER we play them:

Great reviews of Terrible Games
(cue: the sound of cash tills a-ringin')

zombie Dead! zombie

Terrible reviews of Great Games
(see all the reasons above)

zombie Dead! zombie

Standalone unboxing videos
(?Why?)

zombie Dead! zombie

I Rest (In Peace) My Case.
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Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:46 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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Comical

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Saturday dawned clear (if not entirely bright) and I blearily shambled to the kitchen to make the wake-up drinks; the plan was for 'us boys' to nip in to Gloucester to visit Comic Con 2017 and then sweep up a quick visit to the Newent Onion Fayre on the return journey.

Stage One:
I parked up and (optimistically, it turned out) paid for the whole day then we walked across a busy late AM city centre to the Stadium venue. The 'Stadium' sounds very grand indeed but, in reality, GCC2017 comprised two thin 400yard conference-room corridors squashed with 100 or so vendors who - in an embarrassing retailer equivalent of turning up wearing the same dress as someone else at a cocktail party - all sold the same selection of TCGs, Alien figurines, Power Ranger/Doctor Who/Star Wars figures and superhero-themed paraphernalia. The occasional Walking Dead 'print' and several tables of artists hawking their wares provided the merest smear of variety but, overall, if you didn't like The Joker or Harley Quinn you were in for a massive disappointment. One might argue that the wide array of oversized pushchairs and people just stopping dead-in-their-tracks to block the thoroughfare lent an air of risk/danger but it's an argument that's gonna get you laughed out of the building. At least we could rely on that Comic Con staple: the Cosplayers! Yes, indeed, it seems that Dramione is all the rage in the region; that and Spiderman who, alarmingly, came in a variety of tall/short/thin/fat/adult/child/infant forms (often exciting multiple combinations from that list). I'll not dignify the squad of Imperial Stormtroopers with a mention: those effers are like rats...you're never more than six feet from a cosplayer dressed up as a bloody stormtrooper. C*nts.


(clockwise from top left) RT-B5 meets R2-D2; crystal clear vision; the obligatory Dalek; he is "Groot", apparently; a few short minutes before nausea, shouting and regret; Seymour has obliged the request for sustenance; a mint condition (and coloured) classic Rover (apropos of nothing, it's just a cool thing)


Arthur had a nice time (that's only because he found himself £25 worth of Transformer for £15) but the rest of it was a crowded, meat-odoured anti-climax. With all the fun of the event now firmly squeezed - and thirty quid out-of-pocket for 4 pasties and 4 drinks - we retrieved the car from it's pissaroma multi-storey and drove home.

Stage Two:
Warm sun on our backs, we wandered in to Newent to browse the streets filled with stalls; yes, it was pretty much an outdoors version of Comic Con but with considerably less 'Batman'. I managed to source some Candyfloss for Mrs B and promised my youngest a go on one of the fairground rides before nipping (smartly) home. Arthur choose 'The Extreme' (see pics) and we were subjected to a long, full five minutes of spinning, harness-straining upside-down suspension and eye-bleeding centripetal pressure before staggering back in to the milieu; as soon as we'd wobbled through the Exit gate, the Heavens opened with a crash and pissed a month's worth of rain on to the crowd in 5 minutes. It was hardly Harvey or Irma but, by the time we'd jogged to Casa Boydella, Arthur and I were both entirely soaked-and-shivering:


Wetter than an otter's pocket!


Thankfully, the day didn't end on that bedraggled note; we saw the evening in with hot chocolate and the breathtaking Kubo and the Two Strings - there was nothing comical about THAT.
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Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:15 am
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Dirty Old Town

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An alternative view of my (almost victorious) game-end tableau from Friday night...



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Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:19 pm
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"If the crowd are behind you, you're facing the wrong way"

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(the quote is from renowned UK comic Simon Munnery; also this post contains pomposity, ill-formed argument and wild generalization in the hope of creating a whirlwind of controversy)

There is much talk, nowadays, of innovation in gaming; the desire, so we are told, is for new and interesting departures from the norm - for the never-before-seen. The old ways are done with; we're in the 21st century and must cast aside childish things; designers should not seek the instant approval of our audience but, instead, confound and challenge them at every turn.



This is scalding horsewater of the yellowest hue because Pandemic Legacy is just Pandemic with permanent marker pens and a 1960s sci-fi plot; 'Exit' et al are just The Adventure Game in a box and anything with an App is Electronic Detective*.

We don't desire (or deserve) innovation, we only THINK we do when - in fact - we just want more of the same of what we know we like as quickly (and regularly) as possible thank you very much.

Familiar,
re-purposed,
re-visited,
re-worked and
re-booted are the true order of the day; everything else is aspirational, pseudo-intellectual hogwash.

Concept cars always look great and exciting but you can't get a week's shopping for a family of 7 in to one of them; this similarly applies to the "groundbreaking"/"revolutionary" Magic Maze - the box is too small, you see, and the condensation from the refrigerated goods always makes the cardboard soggy.

I seem to have wandered off the point, somewhat, so rage hard in the comments section then go about your business. Thanks.

*a friend and I wrote a version of this on his Dad's Commodore Pet 80 (in 1980, oddly), printed it all off and typed it in to the school's Pet 40. It never ran properly after that, so we just went on to the playing fields for 30-a-side football.
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:20 am
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Consolation Schmonsolation

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Spare a thought for those designers and publishers that were nominated for the SdJ but simply rolled in as runners-up. Not for them the glorious celebrations and dancing-in-between-the-seats on announcement day nor the much-dreamed of spike in sales that will see them transformed as an entity. Not for them the giant, themed booths at Essen Spiel or the fountain of praise (sparkling, fresh water) and admonishment (rusty brown and tangy) in the geek forums. Instead, the shaking head and the what might have beens. Ah, well.

Did you know, for instance, that the designer of 1987s also-ran My Monkey Is On Fire was so disenchanted he spent the next 25 years tracking down all of the copies sold, bought them back and then buried them in a landfill site?! In 2000, the horribly-overconfident publishers of the year's third-placer Würfel Zäpfchen (trans. "Dice in the Pipe") had to print 25,000 cardboard sleeves to make it look like a copy of Torres in the hope they could offload their over-printed stock. In 2007, a Reiner Knizia lookalike streaked across the stage - during the handing over of the giant dobber - in a protest against battery chicken farming or something or other. And we ALL remember what Stefan Feld had to put up with in 2013, don't we (it was three months before he could put on a hat)?!

So, while Bruno Cathala (above) takes a well-earned champagne bath - and Blue Orange Games talk to their financial advisors as to how to offload the forthcoming avalanche of cash against tax - just remember that the Ravensburger offices will be filled (to ear-puncturing volume) with weeping and the folks what done Magic Maze will be angrily - but non-verbally - hammering their big wooden knobs on the trestle tables until they splinter.

It's cruel, I know, but that's what we all signed up for I'm afraid #themsthebreaks
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Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:25 am
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A space-hogger, see?

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Don't you just HATE it when things don't quite line up?



Spoiler (click to reveal)


Aaaarrrrggghhhhhhhh!!!!


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Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:20 am
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Minnellium 2000!

Anthony Boydell
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Click [Play] and...




It hardly seems like three years since I crossed the magic 1000 posts line only, now, to find myself - chest thrust out against the shiny tape - pressing home the 2000! Only one other BGG blog has been this way before me and that's Eric's BGG News which had a head start, to be fair (but I'm catching him albeit very slowly).

Qn. Is there anyone who's been with me since the beginning*

I've laughed, cried, ranted, travelogued, designed (and designer diary-ed), japed, "session reported", surreal-ed, rumoured and generally muscled my way in to your mornings (or your last thing at nights) since 2011 and yet I still can't get any love from The Geek Weekly! I get (much) love from you folks, though, and that's the (second) best kind of Love of all.

Qn. Why don't people thumb humorous posts with Polls/Quizzes in?



Just like when its one's birthday on a work day, it is I who have brought along some treats!

First up, for those of you who are still having - or who just got the game and are about to have - problems with Guilds of London's iconography, I've done a couple of helpful markup sheets. Simply print on to A4 sized labels, cut out and then affix to the bottom of each card before sheathing in the branded sleeve of your choice:




(If my GoL expansion ever sees the light of day, I'll be sure and get these done on transparent, sticky plastic)




Qn. What is your favourite post evva?

Secondly, I have been awfully selfish in my persistent banging on about "having a shed" (and the need thereof/therein/wheretofore), so I've made some up for Snowdonia and they come in a variety of first-come first-served flavours:


Costs are varying (there is no defined order, just choose the one you want). Your 3rd worker costs 1 coal, but if you pay an extra coal you get your 3rd worker AND you may take a contract card from the selection - if you do take a card, replace it immediately from the top of the deck. During train maintenance you must discard a contract card you possess or lose the train Shed.




Finally, here's a special edition from Boydell's FLGS:

Quote:

(we are in a FLGS; you can tell because it smells of stale farts and pizza dough even though you’re just reading a description of it on-screen. There are a variety of new releases in the display window along with a sign that says: “Don’t ask because we don’t have: Gloomhaven, any 7 Wonders Dual promos, that game with the ‘tits’ in).”. The cashier is stood behind the counter trying to release his hand from the counter-top, to which it has been stapled)

Doorbell: Ding-dong-dong-ding. Dong-ding-ding-dong.

Customer: (brushing dry leaves from his shoulders) Good afternoon.

Cashier: (looking up; covers stuck hand with a tea-towel) Ah, yes. Good afternoon, Sir! Can I help at all?

Customer: (chuckling, he takes a piece of folded paper from his breast pocket and opens it) Yes, indeed; I very much hope so! Do you have...Whorer Et Labora?

Cashier: Do you mean Ora Et Labora...by Uwe Rosenberg?

Customer: No, I mean Whorer Et Labora by Duvet Rosenbonk. It's about building and running a place of ill-repute.

Cashier: We haven't got any games by Duvet Rosenbonk

Customer: It's about placing your workers in to empty action slots...mostly.

Cashier: That's as may be, sir, but we don't have it.

Customer: You must have heard of Fields of Arse?

Cashier: No, sir.

Customer: A Fist for Odin? (the cashier glares at the customer) - I see. How about games by Richard Breese?

Cashier: Why, yes, we DO have games by him.

Customer: Deflower?

Cashier: Key-flower, sir.

Customer: No, Deflower. Or Inhabit My Berth?

Cashier: (confused) How are you spelling "Breese", sir?

Customer: B - R - I - E - F - S. The 'F' is silent.

Cashier: (annoyed) Of course it is.

Customer: (looks at list again) I'll try another des-

Cashier: (catching on) Before you ask, "sir", we don't have any games by "Stiff 'un" Feld or Anal R. Moon or Ign-arse-y Trevijerk or Reiner Ker-tits-ia or Alexander Fister or Phil Wanker-Harding or -

Customer: (interrupting) Eric Wang?

Cashier: (fed up) No, sir; and now I am going to have to ask you to leave -

(the cashier tries to walk around the counter but his hand his still stuck to the countertop; he tugs extra hard and the hand is freed - the staple pings off and hits the doorbell)

Doorbell: ting!

Customer: Wait! Wait, I want to buy -

Cashier: (hustling the customer toward the door) Out!

Customer: Tony Boydell?

Cashier: What? (he pauses his pushing)

Customer: Tony Boydell - do you have any games by Tony Boydell?

Cashier: Not "Boney Toydell"? Not "Tony Bordello"?

Customer: No.

Cashier: (dusts himself off; notices there is a huge hole in the middle of his staple-less hand) Er...well I've got a copy of (reaches down to pick something up and shows it to the customer) this?


PAUSE

Question: What game did he show the customer?**





So, there you have it: two bloody thousand posts***.

-phew-

Can I stop yet?

*excluding anyone who has died or been imprisoned, naturally.
**there shall be a prize for the best answer
***Of course, I'm expecting peeps to thumb the 'flip' out of this post!
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Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:05 am
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Talk about mudflaps..?

Anthony Boydell
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(this is another blast from the past - almost two and a half years! - which tickled me then and tickles me now. One of my finest moments - even if I _do_ say so myself!)



Oh, my, god, Uwe, look at his board! It's so big, he looks like one of those sheet glass movers! But, ya know, who understands those game-guys?
Ugh! They only talk to him because he looks like a total war gamer, okay
I mean, his board, is just so big, ugh, I can't believe it's got eight folds!
It's like, out there, I mean, ugh, gross!
Look! It's just so...flat!


I like big boards and I cannot lie
You other gamers can't deny
That when a geek walks in with an itty-bitty wrap
And a Quarto folded map you get sprung

Wanna pull out dice
‘Cause you noticed the board was twice
Size of the box he’s holdin’
I’m hooked and I start unfoldin’

Oh baby, I wanna get playin’
With Tzol’kin Mayan
My homeboys tried to warn me
But them cogs you got makes m-m-me so horny

Ooh, Grid of Power
You play for over 2 hour
Well hey, man! Way, man!
‘Cause you got so big of a Spielplan

Hamburgum’s better
To hell with Love Letter
It’s large, fine
Got it goin’ like Wallenstein

I'm tired of microgames
Sayin’ no boards are the thing
Take the average Geek, man, and ask him that
It gotta pack much back

So, Gamers!
(Yeah!)
Gamers!
(Yeah!)
Your collection got the board?
(Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to shake it!
(Shake it!)
Shake it!
(Shake it!)
Shake that healthy board!
Gamer got board!

18X with a A3 Hexprint
Gamer got board!
18X with a A2 Hexprint
18X with a A1 Hexprint

I like ‘em square and thick
And when I’m Terra Mystick
I just can’t help myself, I’m actin’ like an animal
Now here’s Imperial!

I wanna get it home
And ugh, set it up, ugh, ugh!
I ain’t lackin’ in hordes
Coz I got me a set of Samurai Swords

I want 'em real thick and massive
So find that massive flatsheet
Blog-A-Lot is upbeat
Beggin' for a piece of that sweetmeat

So I’m checkin’ Rahdos videos
One-piece playmats only for shmoes
You can have them no-goes
I’ll keep my table-sized tableaus

A word to the Euro sistas: I wanna get with ya!
Kanban, Vinhos, Madeira
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna
(Jeu!)
Til the break of dawn

Gamer got it goin’ on
A lot of Geeks won’t like this song
‘Cause them punks sho’ collec’ it and deck it
And I'd rather stay and play
'Cause I'm long and I'm strong
And I'm down to get some Arkham on

So, playas!
(Yeah!)
Playas!
(Yeah!)
If you wanna roll polyhedras
(Yeah!)
Then bring ‘em in! Fold ‘em flat!
Leavened cardboard’s where it’s at!
Gamer got board!
Gamer got board!

Yeah baby, when it comes to boardgames
Spielbox ain't got nothin' to do with my selection
€46?€54€66? Ha, ha, only if it’s 5’6”

So your game-group likes the Bauza?
Playin’ all-night 7 Wonder?
But Wonder ain't got a board in the box I can plunder
My purple dobber don’t get placed
Unless you got eight ‘plates’

You can do home tiles or mats, oh,
But please don’t lose that ‘plateau’
Some brothers wanna make that "hard" role
And tell you that the board aint gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it

So, cardgames hate the flat?
Well, I ain't down with that!
'Cause your Zed is small but X-Y are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'

To the pocket games in the magazines
You ain’t War Of Ring
But Indonesia, I can’t resist her!
Roads, Boats and, ugh, Et cetera!

Some knucklehead tried to diss
Waterdeep, and Dominant ‘Spiss’
He had game but he chose to Trade 'em
And I pull up quick and I played ‘em

So playas, if the board is vast
And you want a tabletop bomb-blast
Dial 18-XX-C-2-C
And kick them TCGs!
Gamer got board!
Gamer got board!

Lacking in the packing but s/he got much board
Lacking in the packing but s/he got much board
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Mon Jul 3, 2017 6:20 am
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Ain't gonna spiel...

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I got a club, meeting Fridays in the town,
Playing Euros in the corner
Drinking beer and pop down.
Huge black carry-all on my back
I had to sit on it *zip*
Just to get the bugger packed!
I leaped in the motor
Let 'my bird' get us there
Driving through the country roads trying not to swear.

We got late round town
Couldn't find a car space
Sun went down cyclists sittin' in our place.
'Til a stranger let us share
His tay-bull-top
When I started to unpack
He didn't tell me to stop.
I tried to explain
Puerto Rico to this dud
I knew I maybe shoulda
Picked a filler game instead

He said:
'So, bud; is it like Monopoly, mun?'
I whistled through my teeth and I bit my tongue
And I sipped on my beverage
Left another Puerto player
'Splaining all the roles
From the Captain to Mayor

Get shippin', get shippin', you know it

I ain't gonna spiel with no soul sucking heel
He gonna take his move back
And I ain't scoring jack!
I ain't gonna spiel with no soul sucking heel
He gonna take his move back
And I ain't scoring jack!

Sitting right here with a beer in my hand
And we’re breaking out El Grande
Which he don’t understand
Fifteen minutes I been running thru da rules
Better get an easy one, this blokes a fool
Breaking out Dixit with the Dixit Quest deck
When it comes to his go
He's a pain in the neck
Big fat fingers bending all of the card
Telling me to go easy
Coz the clues are too hard

I got mad so I went for a slash
And he's calling after me
"Can we play Balderdash?"
Writing on the scorepad, reading out words
That chap's crap coz his answers are turds

Pencil in my leg and I'm trying not to beg
Taking turns being dasher
With this total nutmeg
Well he got me in a corner
Flapping my jaw like a fish
In the dark just waiting for 'Time!'
So give me what I got to get so I can go
Cause I ain't playing boardgames
In this Pub no more

I ain't gonna spiel with no soul sucking heel
He gonna take his move back
And I ain't scoring jack!
I ain't gonna spiel with no soul sucking heel
He gonna take his move back
And I ain't scoring jack!
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Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:31 am
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