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 »  [90]

Recommend
90 
 Thumb up
1.25
 tip
 Hide

A Meditation

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...borne of a chance encounter. Dark times swirl around us, dear friends, and if we don't stick together then we'll be sucked in to the vortex. I met a friend from our Church earlier this week - well, I say 'our Church' but my belief system has been somewhat shattered in recent years and I'm now a stay-at-home spiritualist: one man simply in awe of a cosmological Universe. My friend looked gaunt and bewildered as he wandered the supermarket aisles; his wife of 45 years died of cancer recently and, by all accounts, it was a bitterly-painful passing. She was a kind, gentle and loving woman; the manner of her death is dizzyingly cruel when you would have hoped (expected, even) that it should be dignified and merciful. As I murmured my wholly-insufficient condolences by the cheap biscuits, he said something that shocked me: "My only consolation is that she's now with Jesus..."; he paused and, looking at me through rheumy eyes, added: "...otherwise what was the point of her life?". How could I respond to such a plea; to such doubt? I looked down at my shoes and then back up at him and replied with my best platitude: "You are both in our thoughts and prayers". He sighed, and smiled; there was a brief, hand-clasped, farewell and he shuffled off towards the canned goods, stooped and suffocated by his grief. It's no mean feat to hold on to your Faith nowadays; it's all I can do to stop the long, agonized scream from escaping. I hug my wife and children more and more because, well, who knows?
Twitter Facebook
13 Comments
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
45 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Sweet Charity

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Another weekend, another trip in to Newent for some supplies; initially, our goal was:
i) grated mozzarella cheese, and
ii) some sweets for Arthur.

I did, however, make the fatal mistake of glancing down at the plastic containers outside the biggest Charity Shop in the town and found beaucoup de livres sur les trains (la droite) and board games (la gauche)!


An unwrapped, 1st Edition Fzzzt! for 75p? Pretty useful given I seem to have given away my Library copies!
Magician's Night is a hoot, I recall, provided you can police the cheeky sods who clack the table with secreted wooden discs and claim it's YOU what done it.
There was also a Scandaroon - unwrapped FFS?! - but I've spent 10 years trying to get them OUT of my house and I'll not start bringing them back home now.

Elsewhere, for a princely single 'round' pound (no longer legal tender after 2359HRS tonight), I picked up this curious 1980s fayre:



I'll not be cutting any of those pieces out any time soon BUT its nice to look at: has anyone played these and, if so, are they any good?

Happy Sunday to you all.
Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:50 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
85 
 Thumb up
4.00
 tip
 Hide

It was twenty (three) years ago today...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...Henry Burrows taught us Devs to play!

Twenty [EDIT] three [/EDIT] years ago, I was working as a Civil Servant in Cheltenham and we were a small team working on a juicy little IT project. We were supported by a team from an external supplier and I remember the morning that I popped in to their Dev room - at the (far) end of the corridor - for our traditional start the day caffeine brew: Henry was fart-arsing about with an brownish, oblong box:



"What's THAT?" I queried, shoving another McVities Ginger Nut in to my mouth. He proceeded to give me a brief overview of a new trade-able card game called Magic: The Gathering.

"Oh that sounds interesting," I replied, "perhaps I'll stop by FORMAT* after work and pick one of those gift boxes up."

By the end of that very same week, I had bought a gift box for myself (Plateau was one of the rares) and one for my mate Rob (he got a Taiga); I'd scraped up enough spare change to pull out a few extra booster packs AND learned the "see through the thin white plastic" trick.

Within a month, we - me and Rob and Henry and Steve and Paul - were attending a weekly Monday-evening meetup at The Three Crowns pub on the opposite side of Cheltenham. There I met a chap called Vic who traded his shit rares away for our (unknown to us) much more valuable dual lands and - most importantly - Mr Alan Paull and Mr Mark Stansfield who, in conversation, revealed themselves to be "game designers".

Co-located for work, Mark and I began playing prototypes during the lunch hour and from this fecund period came "Bloody Legacy", "Coppertwaddle" and "Ivor the Engine".

I chucked in the life of a permanent employee and became a Contractor; staying in Reading, Monday-to-Friday, and now - fully addicted to M:TG - motorbiking weekly to Swindon and Hemel Hempstead and Maidenhead for Drafts. I met Peter and Russell and Richard and Jimmy and Martin and Brett and Jamie and Matt and Alice and Paul and Phil and Dave and Hazel and Claire and Keef and a hundred other gamers.

During the 15 years that I was a Magic fiend, I possessed the Power Nine on two separate occasions, got a paid gig writing comedy articles for a US web site and managed to reach the dizzy heights of 54th at the UK Nationals; it also put a strain on my marriage as well as my wallet. When, in 2008, I sort-of gave it up forever and - like giving up smoking - it has not troubled me since.

Of course, I can't (and shouldn't) hate it nor should I try and blur/rewrite the history of something that quite literally changed my life; without Henry's mundane, workplace introduction, I'd never have set out on this incredible, rewarding journey: Every Mana Needs A Shed?!

*the only place in Cheltenham to get board and card games in 1995
Twitter Facebook
14 Comments
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:04 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
45 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Make Love Not War(games)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


If you were able to make sweet, sweet love to a board (or card) game then which card (or board) game would it be and why that game?

I would choose Cubiko: it only has one ball (though that is very bouncy) and it's soooo satisfying when one plops it in to a soft pocket. Or maybe I would choose Carcassonne: Catapult because who wouldn't want an impressive weapon beating down their ramparts? Or, perhaps, Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) because you could (comfortably) spoon with it afterwards? Then again, there's always Baseball Highlights: 2045: when you've finished playing with your deck, you could get to 3rd base? Gosh! Is it me or has it gotten hot in here all of a sudden?

#woodforwood

#iheartboardgames

#everythingyouwantedtoknowabout4Xbutwereafraidtoask
Twitter Facebook
14 Comments
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:10 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
81 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Beer Goggles

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The tummy tremble that accompanies every fleeting thought of an approaching Essen is tempered by the sheer clarity of my memory of catching the Ferry to Dunkerque for the last bloomin' one!

I ask myself "Where has the year gone?" and sigh in to my foamy Latte, but the thing is I do know where the year has gone and it scares the bee-cheeses out of me: life? It will get you in the end!

My 50th birthday approaches (November) and I'll be having an extended gaming weekend from the 10th to the 12th*: Friday night through to the Sunday afternoon at a local (real ale-serving) Pub with a reasonably-big back room and it'll be all back to mine for through-the-night gaming, if needed.

Actually, I'm even MORE excited because I'm working with a local brewery (http://bespokebrewery.co.uk/) to get 144 bottles of their Going off half-cocked beer delivered with a custom label:


What do you think?


Slllllp, aaah! Delicious! I may have to get another batch in time for 2018's UK Games Expo and Spiel too, no?

*if you're in the area, why not stop by?
Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
49 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I remember those halcyon days when podcasts had just become popular and we were delighted, and still are, to download hundreds of hours for nothing more than a passing fraction of our monthly broadband charge (for free, of course, if you made sure you did it using the Work Wi-Fi or went round to a mates to piggyback off her/his bandwidth). There was a brief moment when some of the more famous content providers slapped a 49p/99p charge on each iTunes episode and we exploded in a stinky bottom-cloud of bleating outrage...but it didn’t last long and we were soon back to moaning about how infrequently the episodes were rather than having to stump up actual cash for them.

In the last year-or-so, the subject of remuneration for podcast/vlogger services-rendered has surfaced again but – this time – it’s been rebranded so that in return for paying, out-and-out, for our favourite voices we also get extra stuff as well: nothing excites our voracious need and greed more than 'reward levels'!

For some, Kickstarter provides an annual injection of moolah but is fraught with the risks of initial or subsequent campaign failure: (internal monologue) "Can I afford $30 this time around?". For others, the Patreon model is better: smaller amounts but regularly and – like a standing order to your Electric Company or Local Church - it’s an “always on until you switch it off ” mechanism.

I indulge in both but the latter option is obviously better for the Patreonee BUT I won’t (can't) adopt it for everyone: access to my Bank Account, on a monthly basis, is not a privilege granted lightly. Currently, there are two gaming-related projects that I feel strongly-enough about to commit a direct debit to (though I am trying to free up resources for a couple more):



If you don’t already support a project then I strongly urge you to give a monthly dollar or five to, and / or support the annual fundraiser for, something equally dear to you. I would also urge you to look at, and seriously-consider, the two campaigns above: they really ARE top notch.

It certainly gives me a warm feeling, during playback, to know that I am doubly-invested (time and money) in something that gives me so much pleasure.
Twitter Facebook
10 Comments
Mon Oct 9, 2017 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
55 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

(sweet, sweet memoirs you gave a-me)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Boffo and Smudge were intending to be in Newent for a bit on Saturday: Smudge to browse a brace of excellent 'Sewing' shops, Boffo to pick up a consignment of Memoir '44 that I had (obligingly) couriered back from North Wales.

With the kettle on, they 'halloo'-ed their ingress and we decamped to the library room to pack and label various bits (Boffo had pre-sold some of the items already); this would be a matter of just a few mins and we could then - perhaps - fit in a quick game of something Agricola-shaped? Unfortunately, the prior owner of Borg's Finest had - through general love and play - mixed and matched terrain tiles, cards and minis so the whole thing was going to need a proper sort-out:



Ninety minutes later and - with the aid of EXCELLENT 'manifest summaries' on BGG - Boffo and I had sifted, collated and baggy-ed two base sets and five miscellaneous expansions; all that remained was a restorative amble in to the Town and the Post Office. Oddly, despite missing out on some Farming gorgeousness, there was something rather satisfying about resolving the component Chaos in to Order. Or maybe that's just me?

Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Sun Oct 8, 2017 6:30 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
55 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

-y vs -ist

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



It has been brought to my attention that the title of this Blog is sexist, discriminatory and a typical everyday-reinforcement of the unjust dominance of a persistent patriarchy. This is a shiny new millennium and there should be no place for such backward thinking.

Of course every man should have a shed but so should every woman, every man who identifies as a woman and every woman who identifies as a man and everyone in-between who refuses to be pigeon-holed by such narrow definitions of physiognomy: sheds are gender-fluid and are for everyone!

I agree 100%. I have no excuse for this insensitive oversight beyond "I never really thought about it" which is, of course, the biggest problem of all: lack of thought.

So, with the help of you good persons, I'd like to address my failing and am open to suggestions for a NEW Blog title; my initial suggestions include:

Poll
Which of the following titles should become the new title for this blogular distraction?
Every Gamer Needs A Shed?
The Universally-Accessible Shed?
Tony and His Amazing Technicolor DreamShed?
A Shed For All?
Something else - see Comments below
      184 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell


Thoughts?
Twitter Facebook
84 Comments
Sat Oct 7, 2017 6:50 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
53 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Yet Another True Story

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


(Spiel, 2016)

The Hotel man, who writes things in a special Breakfast Book, looked very grumpy as I put the hard-boiled eggs in to my rucksack for day snacks; the bowl was heavy so I had to use both hands to lift it, bracing the lip of the bag with my chin as I poured them in. Some of them were cracked and crushed and when I zipped it up, the bag puffed an eggy cloud over my face.

The Messe security guards gave me a similar grumpy look when I showed my exhibitor pass and wandered in to Hall 1; lying down in the back of the van for the journey across Essen meant I had accidently squashed a few more eggs; the fabric of the rucksack was damp with yolk, as was my branded Stand tee-shirt. I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t miss out on the new Concordia expansion, so I stopped by Mr Gerdts’ and paid for 200 of them – I’m pretty sure I’ll be guaranteed a copy now if I stop by early tomorrow.

I was the first person to get to the stand and was horrified to find that everything had been stolen - the games, shelves, boxes, tables and chairs – and replaced by someone else’s games, shelves, boxes, tables and chairs! I ran to the Administrator’s office in an awful tizzy and waited for 20 minutes until it opened; by that time, I’d forgotten what I’d gone there for and had to come away again. I met Alan by the entrance and he told me there was egg-white leaking down the back of my trousers; he also told me that we were in Hall 2 and not Hall 1: “Does that mean you caught the robbers?” I asked. He walked off, holding his nose.

It was very busy just after they opened the main doors; several people wanted to try out Guilds of London, so I poured the contents of the box on to the table. I reached in to my rucksack and offered them each a handful of crushed egg; one of them was a bit sick in the back of their mouth.

Alan suggested I take a break and “get some coffees”; he gave me a 20 euro note and pointed to the far corner of the Hall at a restaurant booth: “There’s a branch of Starbucks in the town centre” he continued, “it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to get there-and-back.”. It is very confusing to be in a foreign city, so I played it safe – navigation wise – and followed the U-Bahn rails back to the Hauptbahnhof; I only had to duck against the wall twice to let a train passed. My mission was a bit of a failure because the coffee, which I had put in to my rucksack to keep warm with the eggs, had all leaked out by the time I returned to the Messe. My back was sticky and, to be honest, the smell was making me gag.

I met a friend from Boardgamegeek who told me that the International Gamers Award was about to be presented at their booth and would I like to come and watch? I thought this would be nice but it was very crowded; I nipped around the back and stood next to a man who looked a lot like Stefan Feld. I put my rucksack at my feet - which took the weight off my shoulders – and put on my serious listening face when the speeches started. When the IGA Man said “Mombasa!”, everyone began clapping and the man next to me stepped forward with his arms waving; he hadn’t noticed my rucksack and caught his feet in the white chocolate mocha-dribbled straps and plummeted off the podium – face first – in to the carpet. The noise his head made was like the sound of the eggs being crushed from the morning. I began laughing, then, because I remembered that I often mixed up Stefan Feld with Alexander Pfister and that I had, ironically, been stood next to the latter famous designer all along!

All this excitement had obviously made him tired because he had fallen asleep where he fell; it’s nice to have a ‘power nap’ in the middle of the day (Ted Alspach does it all the time, I hear), so I did that too with the help of the IGA Man. He used the trophy on me as a soporific.
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Wed Oct 4, 2017 6:25 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
35 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Swirling in the Heavens

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was recently put on to a new podcast by, incestuously, a different podcast and it's been a bit of an addiction these last few weeks; just like when I first discovered 'Perfect Information' or 'Heavy Cardboard', I've been rootling through the iTunes archives and digesting as much as possible.

It's not board game-related but, instead, is a fiery and ferocious mix of politics, rage, improvisation, obituaries and raw emotion that carries you along with its eloquence, wit and zeal:



I suggest you start with the most recent episode ("Curries") and, perhaps, the one with the Jerry Lewis retrospective ("Deans"); it's very, VERY fine work indeed.
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Sun Oct 1, 2017 6:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [90]

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.