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 Miscellany

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [99]

Recommend
63 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

the regular show

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



For the longest time it was just me and Eric Martin spamming the BGG landing page with our daily scribblings and then, four-or-so years ago we were joined by Stu Burnham and ‘It Beats Watching TV’. Stu and I share(d) an eclectic approach to our blogging – games, family, the World and/or whatever flotsam drifts across our Bow – and people seem to like that mixture. In recent months, several bloggers have ‘up’-ed their regularity and are forging forth with their daily posts in a similar vein; this is no mean feat (believe me) and I hope that they settle in to rhythm of it. The first 12 months are definitely the hardest!

Anyway, here are some other regular BGG blogs that I think you should subscribe to:

Browsing the Game World https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/6104/browsing-gaming-world
Alexandre seems to be playing lots of board games every single day and you can read about his experiences, impressions and other bits-and-bobs in his comprehensive posts. The photos are great too!

The Tyranny of Small Decisions
https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/1784/tyranny-small-decisions
John is a Brit (please don't hold that against him) and I am proud to have him as a Snowdonia expansion playtester in the past. Like Stu and me, he's going for a this, that and the other approach and has just completed his second full month of daily posting. Funny and insightful, you should take a look. Please note: he's going on a vacation soon, so his blogging mettle is about to be tested!

Thoughts by Bez
https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/7332/thoughts-bez
I think Bez is a true force of nature and, if you've ever met her at conventions, you'll agree whole-heartedly: she is quite the most exuberant, effervescent - and red! - individual I've met in recent years; Bez is overflowing with ideas and wants a proper conversation about game design. I behooves you to stop by and, perhaps, join in?

Notes from a Frustrated Gamer
https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/6056/notes-frustrated-gamer
(Very) Occasional attendee at the Ross-on-Wye club, Dave 'from Ledbury' Daffin is a lovely man and a big proponent of solo gaming. He loves Cricket and is a 2001: A Space Odyssey fan, so that's too more incontrovertible reasons to browse his musings. He's only just started, so please be gentle!

The Ross-on-Wye Boardgamers
https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/400/ross-wye-boardgamers
This is very much home turf and Ben 'Boffo' Bateson provides the alternative view (to mine) to the goings on at our tiny little club. Sometimes, the differences between my recollections and his are hilariously huge. The blog is usually served with a healthy side of ego-puncturing and good-natured mud-slinging for good measure.

Surya's Game Blah Blah
https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/936/suryas-game-blah-blah
Not prolific by any means but regular enough - with reports and ratings of his game plays - to keep up with the latest trends. Surya plays a LOT of games and is relatively open-minded which means his appraisals are pretty fair. Not much swearing and not many knob jokes here but an informative read nonetheless!

Everything that sucks! And some things that don't
https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/7061/everything-sucks-and-som...
Mentioned not too long ago, Christian loves his 'dudes on a map' and his 'minis' and his video games but, occasionally, likes to stray in to the world of Euros. His recent explanation of German versions of game names translated was eye-opening and utterly hilarious.

A Gnome's Ponderings
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/743/gnomes-ponderings
One of those rarified 1000+ers, Lowell's jottings cover a lot of lighter fayre and a goodly amount of PnP stuff too. This guy is a veteran!

*phew*

Quite a lot to get through, there! Be prepared for a fulsome coffee break catching up with this lot most days

Finally, if you want to hear my thoughts about gaming in 2017 then why not stop by Garrett's Games & Geekiness where Doug and I have our annual rambling chat: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/75921/garretts-games-...

Twitter Facebook
10 Comments
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:30 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
76 
 Thumb up
7.25
 tip
 Hide

I believe the children are our future

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
(prompted by a niggling worry)

When children are brought to 'game things', I am acutely aware that peeps find this uncomfortable and not a little irritating; after all, this a grown-ups environment where grown-ups are playing grown-up things and speaking in a grown-up way - the last thing we want interrupting our chin-stroking and strategic planning is fidgety and inattentive youngsters!

The problem, though, is not the fidgeting and inattentiveness and the near constant demands for fizzy pop; no, the the problem is that they just don't have the experience in this style of game: the analysis, the forward planning, the assessment of risk, the necessary focus and the 'to-and-fro'. Drop them in to something medium-weight and the whole thing is skewed by their sometimes random and/or inefficient actions. People get fed up grumble phrases like "I came out to get away from the kids!" or "I'm not the bloody babysitter!". How, then, are they going to learn by actually doing if they're not given the opportunity to actually do?

The problem for a club such as Ross-on-Wye, as an example*, is that the attendee numbers are so small that there's generally no space for choice for anyone - there can only be one game at a time so it's going to be a heavier one...then the inexperience can take it's toll.

What, then, should one do? As a game player, designer and publisher my children have had their childhoods saturated in boardgames and yet they've not found the process any easier than 'the great unwashed'. The only answer is to keep bringing them along, to keep playing and playing and playing these games with them until they either decide it's not for them OR the gears click in to place (which they will and do and have done).

All of the above issues are faults with adults too; younger players don't have the monopoly on poor concentration, dumb moves and/or small-minded tit-for-tat retaliations!

Ultimately, I regard our child/children and us as an indivisible unit - if those around you can't support that concept then someone's gonna end up leaving. And that's no fun for anyone.

*please note that, for the record, the guys in Ross are an amazing group of tolerant and supportive gamers...at least they are to my face!
Twitter Facebook
20 Comments
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
62 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Under The Sea

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When my eldest daughter was about 4 years old, I took her to see The Little Mermaid at the cinema; it was the first time she'd ever been to a cinema and she was absolutely blown away. So much so that she decided, there and then, to "have a job working under the sea"; nineteen years later and she's just about to finish her Marine Biology Degree in Plymouth. The sea hasn't been of particular interest to the three 'middle' Boydell children but it's come back in to prominence with Arthur in the form of Subnautica.

We don't have the game itself but, instead, we enjoy watching DanTDM explore and play through this alien world:


Subnautica: It's a beautifully-rendered, well-plotted survival game with Minecraft-esque resource collection and 'building'.


We love the scenery, we love the creatures (and we love that Dan is scared of some of them), we love the quests and we love the over-arching storyline but - most of all - we love Dan! Having discovered him through his Minecraft videos, DanTDM is a Dad/Arthur favourite; whether he's under the sea, digging through blocky landscapes or howling at Happy Wheels/Hello Neighbour, his cheerful banter and charming personality have won us over. Again, as life sweeps us ever forward and Arthur grows (almost visibly) taller from day-to-day, something that he and I can share is priceless!

It seems appropriate, given Alice's impending graduation and my current (re-discovered) love of The Deep, that I close with this particular song. And don't pretend that you don't know the words!


Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
76 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide

Choppers Out

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb




Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
61 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Game Designer

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ziggy the dog - who is making an excellent recovery, thank you for all your good wishes - woke me far too early this morning with a frantic yipping; this is unusual and, given his medication has made him constipated, I feared he was calling for urgent release so he could effect an 'urgent release'. Cursing under my breath (so as not to awaken the rest of the household) at the ungodliness of the hour, I walked him around the drizzling garden and - in the wet gloom - I had an epiphany while Ziggy had an (if you will) epoophany...

We've only just finished putting away the dishes from the Easter Sunday lunch and we're already haring towards May like a Coopers' Hill cheese roller hares towards a crushed face and twisted limbs. May contains a couple of our children's birthdays (a 19th and a 21st) so when the dust icing sugar settles on the partying it'll be June and the UK Games Expo! The Expo looks like it's going to be bigger, brighter, louder and more wonderful than ever; we're gonna meet up with loads of gaming pals, sell some stuff and we've managed to get (cheaper) rooms in the main hotel so the end of a looooong day doesn't involve a looooong walk to bed! Why, then, when I think about it, do I feel dread?

Last year I wandered the free play rooms in a bewildered daze; hundreds of people playing hundreds of games, sound-tracked by the dull roar of the chattering crowd. There were queues at the Bar, queues at the food concessions, queues in the corridors for the LARP specials and pre-booked seminars and sitting-on-the-floor room only for gaming.

Away from the safe and familiar confines of our Exhibition Stand, there's so much to do and so many people doing it that I find it almost impossible to process and end up fleeing to my room instead. At the Expo, you never really leave the crowds - they've just piled OUT of the N.E.C and IN to the hotel. If I wasn't the custodian (and transporter) of 300 copies of North American Railways, I think I'd be disposed to close the curtains and stay at home!

I think, therefore, that I need to fill my evenings beforehand - just like I've settled in to doing for Essen Spiel - and that includes pre-planning specific games. So, who's going to the UKGE and wants to play some games/hang out with a neurotic, sweary 50 year old?
Twitter Facebook
15 Comments
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:37 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
78 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

The Whooshing Sound

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So*, I got an email on Wednesday evening, last, just as we were laying out Terraforming Mars all just so; it was from Grzegorz at Lookout Games imploring me to give some rules a quick sanity check for English grammar, spelling and wotnot. Imagine, then, my joy upon finding it was an MS Word document containing the re-vamped rules for one of my favourite expansions of all time: Agricola: Farmers of the Moor!

I couldn't really give it my attention then-and-there, what with the complete lack of atmosphere, so I stowed it for the morning - the gap between arriving at work and the time everyone turns up for the Course I'm delivering...which is, naturally, twenty minutes after the time the Course was scheduled to start. However, just before I settled my weary head back at the Bed & Breakfast, I noted that it was 'going to the printers on Friday' so, actually, there was no time to be wasted with such piffling details as rest and recuperation! No, indeed, it was straight on to the laptop for some late night proof-reading...

...it was nearly 1AM when I finally clicked 'Send' and the satisfying Mail whooshing dispatch noise broke the Llandudno night (BTW that bloody owl was back). Come Friday morning - 36 hours later - 'the pretty version of the rule book' plopped into my Inbox and I gave an audible whoosh of pleasure myself:



Farmers of the Moor is an exceptional expansion and well deserves it's makeover; those new to it have yet to discover the joys of eating Horses (!), 'cutting peat' and 'slash and burn'-ing - by Jehoshaphat, it sounds more like a serial killer movie. I, particularly, like the way the Special Action cards naturally elbow their way in between the worker placement actions which completely changes the rhythm of the game - making it even better. Time to dig out the original edition before this shiny new piece of gaming scrumptiousness steals my Agricolean heart...

*I apologise for beginning a paragraph with 'So'.
Twitter Facebook
14 Comments
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:35 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
68 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Swag

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It may have been cool and not-a-little damp outside but mine and Arthur's jaunt in to a sleepy Newent Town proved fertile indeed:



With 1853 (the Lookout reprint) now (safely) under my roof and Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea on its way, the 'Railways of the Raj' book was an 'Eeek!'-inducing £1.50 purchase. The 1975 Bagpuss book - at the Hen's Teeth level of scarcity - was another:


It's those fellows Postgate & Firmin again*!


We were just paying for a small item in one of the Charity shops when Arthur noticed a plastic bag containing 50p each parcels of Transformers; eagerly he began to decant them on to the PoS counter for sorting and purchase when a Lady politely coughed up: "Excuse me, but that's my shopping!". Oh, goodness how we blushed! Keen to avoid any more embarrassments, the young boy and I skedaddled back home for a red-faced repast.

*Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog etc
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Sun Apr 8, 2018 6:55 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
80 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Incontinent

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our Postman is an annoying bastard: he tries to be helpful by opening the door and depositing parcels directly on to the terracotta tiling and skedaddling the Hell out of the place before one can put one's toast back on the plate and address the issue of someone knocking at the door*. All we hear of it, from our end of the transaction is a latch clatter, a package thump and a final slam! Is that the Postman again OR is that an opportunist burglar half-inching my car keys from the shelf and making off in to the Forest? Today, fortunately, it was the former - as the rambling build-up suggests, and he'd deposited my 'first wave' copy of The 7th Continent which Arthur has, helpfully, un-boxed for us:



After closing up my WFH for the day around 4.30PM - true to our words - Arthur and I decanted to the kitchen (with a fresh tablecloth) to get stuck in to some exploring and shit:



Without spoilers, it took us a hefty three hours - including a pasta supper break - to complete the first part of the first Curse (The Voracious Goddess) and a delightful time was had by the both of us.

In summary: your deck of action cards is your party's total health and it contains one-off effects and items to be crafted; it also allows you to make Success checks against a variety of activities which dig cards out of the VERY MANY in the storage compartments.

I'll not say any more; suffice it to say that Arty and I were heartily pleased with our efforts though - saving the game state for our next session - I fear we may be in a little trouble during the next bit.

gulp

*OR somebody’s ringing the bell, naturally.
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Wed Apr 4, 2018 6:25 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
67 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Then it's back to work: Ay. Gee. Ay-eye-en!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another long weekend over and I find myself working from home (odd, for a Tuesday) and off to North Wales until the end of the week: this is almost like a holiday in itself! In between the testing and training-slide preparation, the momentum in my game designing seems to show no sign of easing and I am - frankly - lovin' it! Scribbling notes, mocking stuff up on the laptop; my brain is constantly fizzing with ideas and I feel fidgety if just sat in front of the TV doing nowt. Today it's Cricket: more specifically, it's how I'm going to get Cricket in to The Bluebell Railway Snowdonia scenario:


eg. I draw ore, ore, stone, ore, stone, Event cube in that order; this translates to a score of 1+1, 1-1=0, +4, 1-1=0, +6 (total of 11 runs) and a wicket.


Currently, my thinking runs along these lines:

When at least the number of players' worth of Surveyors and/or 3rd workers (paid for and allocated on to the Cricket Pitch) and it's SUNNY, play a match.

You have a number of wickets = number of peeps on the card minus 1 and 'the game' has a fixed score that you need to beat with just those wickets in-hand.

Draw six cubes from the bag and lay them on the six 'ball' spaces in order drawn - score appropriately - note that stone/ore score better if come out in the right order...and you lose TWO wickets if you're very unlucky (see below). Cubes go back in the bag before the next over - the match is five Overs long.

Do this until all wickets gone OR you've beaten the score; if you win, each cricketer (Surveyor or 3rd worker piece) earns a number of veeps based on the starting (target) game score eg. a game score of 20 might give each piece 2 points, so if I have a Surveyor AND my 3rd worker on the Pitch, I'll get 4 extra points.

You may play multiple games of Cricket in a given Bluebell game depending on a) the predilection of the players and b) the sunny weather.

The only problem is that - at the moment - this is totally a random cube-draw-from-bag affair so would like to add some element of player control. It could be argued that players should plan for the contents of the bag to be 'good' before playing a match but I can already hear the whining!

Actually, Boffo Bateson has just messaged me with a suggestion that we might be able to dump player cubes in to the bag too! Almost there, but not quite. Time to break for Tea, I think.
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Tue Apr 3, 2018 6:10 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
80 
 Thumb up
6.01
 tip
 Hide

'Sup? Time 'sup, that's what'sup.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

It's the straw that broke the camels back.

It's a bridge too far.

Enough is enough (is enough. I can't go on no more, no more etc).

Its the final turd in the punch bowl.

Game over, man; game over.

With immediate effect - and that includes this post so you won't actually see it - I shall no longer be posting in my BGG blog; someone said something nasty about one of my games (it was probably about Guilds of London. It usually is) and it upset me so much that I slammed my fingers in the door. Do you know how painful it is typing this up? Ruddy painful - and that's proper swearing and everything. Also - coincidentally, therefore significantly - the dog was sick over my original Scandaroon prototype (the one I was saving for the V&A Museum of Childhood tribute exhibition that's happening soon*); though, to be honest, it plays better (if anything).

No more blogging.

Not ever.

Never, never, never, never, never. Never.

Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveA, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveP, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveR, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveI, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveL, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveF, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveO, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveO, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveL, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveS, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never.

NEVER!

Same time tomorrow, then?


*I dreamed this.
Twitter Facebook
12 Comments
Sun Apr 1, 2018 6:35 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [99]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.