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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9127 steps

Anthony Boydell
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Ziggy needed a walk and, because there's only so much of him staring mournfully in to your soul one can stand, I took him for one. Across the busy main road and off towards Oxenhall and the remains of a railway where (last time) Arthur and I found a large, rusted iron 'pin' of some description.



Ziggy the dog is no use when it comes to 'geophysics' as a stick and a metal bar are equal currency and both pale in interest next to fresh fox-shit or a tree where a squirrel has been within the last 7 days!



Walking along the track bed towards the old Newent station site - a route I'd not discovered before - there was much earth-working in progress (but not today); if I were a car boot seller I could make a few quids selling all of the shovels and pick axes that were strewn about the place. I thought a good workman always looked after his tool?!



Large, gridded fencing barred my way in to the platform area itself but there was just enough room for Ziggy to squeeze under and have a good nose-sniffy around. Neither did he retrieve a comically over-large bone nor did he happen upon some children stuck down a well; indeed, he left a little extra "mud" of his own behind instead.

Home for some chai tea and the pleasing sight of 9127 steps racked up in the Fitbit: steady, hearty exercise for both man and dog.
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Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:45 am
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More Breaking News!

Anthony Boydell
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Hot off the announcement of Mayfair/Lookout/Mayout/Lookfair/whatever being acquired by Asmodee comes the announcement that - in a fit of over-exuberance and mis-filed paperwork, Asmodee has accidentally acquired itself:



The impact on the rest of the industry is, as yet, unknown...
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Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:02 am
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shortattentionspan

Anthony Boydell
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Okay, so...like a teenager whose favourite band has split up with no chance of any further product apart from tiresome solo projects and interminable 'Greatest Hits' compilations, I have transferred my affections to The Next Big Thing. If this allusion is escaping you (well, I am being a bit coy with this long introduction) then I am, of course, talking about the recent "scaling down" of It Beats Watching The TV and my even-more-recent discovery of Everything that sucks! And some things that don't.:



I may be jumping the gun here but Christian has been jotting very regularly since mid-December so fingers crossed, eh? Come on board (like me) and see what the young lad has to say for himself.

"But what about IBWTT and Stuart B?" I hear you intone.

"Stuart, who?" I reply, lip* ever-so-slightly-a-tremble.

*stiff and upper
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Fri Feb 9, 2018 6:40 am
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Stope the Trope!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(ie. anything about having to "clear" purchases with 'the missus' in advance,
having to smuggle boxes in to the house secretly so your partner doesn't notice,
obfuscating Bank statement transactions and/or
'hilariously' being told off for having too many games etc)
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Wed Feb 7, 2018 6:40 am
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Family Life

Anthony Boydell
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After a full week's absence in the North - and a couple of full evenings of game playing - I was hardly in a position to complain about having to miss out on a Friday night in Ross-on-Wye. Judging by the (exceedingly timely) write up from Boffo, they had a corking evening without me...though I do slightly pine at missing out on Nusfjord as it's one of my current "hot faves".

Instead, Mrs B and I popped in to the Pool Hill Village Hall for a Quiz Night: a fund-raiser for Arthur's school. We'd not pre-booked a team, so we took a table close to the door and were joined by an ex-teaching assistant and her jolly (if slightly racist) husband. They were about as useful as a nose on a kite (!) contributing just the one answer to our doodle-strewn (that's what happens when you leave me in charge of the pens) answer sheet. No matter, as we managed a punchy and creditable 2nd Place; we were kept at bay by the Teacher's Table. And Mrs B won a box of chocs in the half-time raffle.

*burp*

Saturday saw the family - the girls having returned this weekend especially - rowdily taking up a corner of the Newent Community School Hall to see middle son Benedict perform one of the lead roles in their production of Fame.


Obligatory selfie.


It was as one would expect from an amateur school production: sometimes inaudible, sometimes out of tune (indeed there seemed to be a small elephant trapped in the Brass section of the orchestra) but chock full of energy and larks. As Benedict mournfully warbled "I want to make magic!", the proud Boydell contingent wept and gasped that we'd never heard him singing like that (ie. that well) before! Arthur saw a slightly-edited-for-language version on a school trip earlier in the week; one of his class reviewed the production as "99% kissing" which is obviously not true but illustrative of how easily young lads can be traumatised!

I'm off back to Llandudno tomorrow (Monday), so normal game-related nonsense will be resuming. Have a lovely rest of the day, do you hear?
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Sun Feb 4, 2018 1:44 pm
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Song

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

So if you want to pledge your moolah thanks to Bloggers and Youtubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss that’s just going live…

You’re too late! Because the campaign’s just closed!
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Sat Feb 3, 2018 6:30 am
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The Help

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Fri Feb 2, 2018 6:35 am
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Best Endeavors

Anthony Boydell
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Far be it from me to shill a Kickstarter campaign...er, well, not very far at all actually, especially when it's for a game I have held in high esteem for many years: Endeavor.


(image courtesy of Hammock Backpacker)


In summary: worker placement with the objective of 'exploring' (ie. removing themed chits from) a central board to allow your four themed tracks to advance; the tracks increase your ability to build (personal action spaces for your workers), your available workers, allow you to retrieve 'working' workers (thus freeing up your personal action spaces to use again) and increase your capacity for holding attribute-boosting cards - all to get the most VPs. The buildings let you explore (see above), boot other players out of spaces you want, colonize regions and draw cards as well as providing 'when taken' boosts to those all-important tracks.

I was away on my working-in-London phase and our happy group, having foregone Magic: The Gathering, was meeting at a cheap-and-mostly-nasty Harvester carvery restaurant (in Maidenhead) to play board games. We'd all heard of Endeavor and one of our number had snagged a copy: that Monday we played it three times in a row. We played it again on the Tuesday at the Hemel Hempstead TCG club and again on the Wednesday at Richard's house. We played twice more on the following Monday and so on for the next week until we'd racked up NINE games in 10 days. It's no surprise to find that we loved it. A few more games dribbled in over the following months but, of course, new and shiny things began to distract our attentions. Its found it's way on to a Ross-on-Wye table a couple of times since but, largely, it's reclined - gathering dust - in the assured safety of my "Shall Never Leave The Collection" shelf.

At Spiel, 2017, I stopped by a stand manned by blogpal (and gifter of a most excellent hand-made bottle opener) Bruce who was hawking the up-coming Kickstarter campaign for the Endeavor reissue; he showed me the gorgeous new presentation AND whetted my appetite with promises of 'extra stuff' - I'll be wanting one of those, I remarked, and yesterday I put my moolah where my mouth is:



It funded within 5 hours because, as many of you probably already know, Endeavor is quite the grail game; it's fantastic, highly-regarded and was impossible to get hold of for a reasonable price...until now!


Go on; you KNOW you want to..!


Serendipitously, on the same day I made my pledge I saw the latest edition of the UK's most Middle Class TV Guide - the Radio Times - bragging about the forthcoming televisual return of 1960s-set Oxfordian detective drama 'Endeavour', the highly-wonderful and evocative prequel to 'Inspector Morse':



Verily, my cup doth runneth over!
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Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:35 am
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Off The Rails

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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It's approaching the cusp of one-month-in-to-another which means Auction time in the sleepy Forest of Dean town of Newent. As if the Charity shops weren't burgeoning enough with Tony-attracting goodness, the converted Chapel down Culver Street seemed to house the for sale collection of an avid Ferroequinologist: there was bits of model railways everywhere!

I take the working-from-home opportunity to bid online on such occasions but I forgot to set an alarm on the Auction Rooms website and, consequently, missed a tasty set of Hornby Dublo (in original packaging too); however, I did snag a box of 'clockwork miscellany':



The sun had come out around lunchtime (Sunday) so I got us in the railway mood by taking Arthur plus Ziggy the Dog down to the old canal / former Daffodil Line remnants:



I found a great lump of iron on the track bed path though only a tiny fringe was sticking out of the mud (see above); I think it's a fastener of some kind - any one else know?

When we got back, we were enthused enough to have a play with the (above) box of tin things:


Fshh-te-cuff.



Whsssssssssssssssh etc.



Loverly detail, guv'nor.


And here it is in action:

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Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:30 am
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Screen Test

Anthony Boydell
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Arthur gets up relatively early on the weekend - relative to us grown-ups, that is - and will take himself downstairs after giving us a 'Good Morning' hug. The dog is let out in to the garden to ablute while Arthur settles himself down in front of the TV and/or his Kindle.

It takes a nice cup of tea and a biscuit to get me and Mrs B to properly wake up, so that sees me wandering down a bit later to put the kettle on. The problem with empty weekends is that Arthur will stay in front of screens for as much of it as he can get away with; this means it's a carefully-orchestrated campaign to stop him getting square eyes!

Item one is to go for a walk in to Town; this serves multiple purposes on any given Saturday in that I can post Surprised Stare post, buy the good lad some sweets and browse the Newent charity shops. We can get a bit of fresh air and kill a couple of hours if I also take the long, scenic route home.

Item two is to take the dog for a walk; this is a more problematic one but - with persistence - I can conspire to get us on top of May Hill or (at least) a long spiral around the Arboretum!




Item three is to play some board games. Now this may seem to many of you as a shoo-in for item one but with nobody else in the building up for such, we have to limit ourselves to quick setups. This weekend, already, I've managed to delay CBBC/CITV zombification with Jaipur and Best Treehouse Ever, as well as a lengthy listening to LPs session in the library while he looked through my Judge Dredd comics!

It's an ongoing battle against 'the screens' but we're gaining ground: little and often!
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Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:36 am
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