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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That's why Mum's gone to Iceland...

Anthony Boydell
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My very own Reykholt card! Because I was doing so terribly at the Leiriacon playtest, I suggested to Matthias that one would be able to grow a different veggies simultaneously in a greenhouse (not that it would've let ME perform any less ineptly)...and, lo!, did he (and Uwe) make it so!

If you want one then stop by at Spiel (4-F121) or say 'Hi!' as I'm wandering about and get one (per person) while my stocks last!

(unfortunately, I only saw the card AFTER it went to print so the English is a little broken in places )

#baskingintheglow
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Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:18 am
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Nog Nog Noggin on Heaven's Door

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Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:30 am
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What I am looking forward to getting at Essen Spiel 2018

Anthony Boydell
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Sun Oct 7, 2018 6:56 am
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Q-Jumpers

Anthony Boydell
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(for those who complain about Spiel's "Family Day" ie. the Saturday)

This year's essen-tial Spiel accessory!

Are you gonna get yours?!




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Fri Oct 5, 2018 6:30 am
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Being un-conventional

Anthony Boydell
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The excellent Tabletop Together convention preview tool is already squeaking at the seams with the fecund crop of Spiel 2018 releases; of course, there are no surprises in the top 20s (top games, top expansions) but with 614 (at time of blogging) items already catalogued - with a couple of months still to go - I foresee an unstoppable explosion of product before those magical doors open on Thursday the 25th! Once again, the urgent avarice for well-supplied, shiny, new mainstreamers is algae-ing up the pool for the lesser-publicised diamonds-in-the-rough. When the effervescent corporate arse-trumpets have ceased their honking, it's these bijou treasures that hold their places in our hearts.



Hence: this - my annual foray in to the Essen sleeper releases you should concentrate your attention on:

Yeast for Odin (Oliver Rosenbake, Flourlandspiele) - forget all that raping and pillaging, the Vikings were incredible patissiers; those weren't horns on their helmets, they were forerunners of croissants! Played over 7 rounds, players employ their workers (Brödmenn) to make the most delicious (lucrative) comestibles at the pre-Ragnarok buffet: cobs, breads (leavened and unleavened), pastries (not Danish, obviously) and biscuits fit for the Norse pantheon!

Teohuawucahuaquetzewacahuoquntisopititiwuanq (Conquistador Games) - It is the time of the Aztecs: a time of colossal architecture, chocolate, gold statuary, alien visitation theories and those fantastic hats with lots of feathers on. And baby-eating. Oh, and decapitation.

Does anyone have a Pen? (M'Lame Games) The hilarious party word game that takes all the fun out of Codenames, Taboo and the like and leaves it back in the box. Players are required to write secretly on a dry-wipe sheet that - just to make things difficult - is so smooth that the ink won't even come out of the pen in the first place. Scoring - and the plush felt 'wiper' cloths - are totally redundant.

The Colour of My Piss (Shite Games) "The first game to ever make use of Litmus Paper!", screams the press release for perennial 'challengers of convention' Shite Games; "Urine for a real surprise!". Limited to 1000 litres copies.

Kingdominatrix (Autoasphyxiation Orange Games) Double-sided tile-laying, area scoring and testicle clamps. Demos in a closed booth only.

Defective: A Modern Trading Standards Board Game (I Want To Complain Games) A co-operative, story-telling world-builder where players seek to gain redress for their 'customers' who have been mis-sold products and services. Can you get compensation for a poorly-built conservatory? Can you shut down a takeaway with insanitary working conditions? Uses Smartphone and Internet interaction to supplement the rich narrative; you'll never be the same after you hear Old Mrs Mint's tale of 'seven sausages in the pack instead of eight'!

You'll thank me for these, you know.
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Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:00 pm
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Any portmanteau in a storm?

Anthony Boydell
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Goodness! This just 'plopped' in to my Inbox!



"New Game Announcement

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is one of my favorite board games. So I was intrigued when the designers of Between Two Cities, which I'm proud to publish, were working on a game that combines a partnership mechanism with a twist on elements from Ludwig. We worked out a licensing deal with Bezier Games (developer/partner), and now Stonemaier Games is publishing Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig!

Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, designed by Ben Rosset and Matthew O'Malley, is a tile-drafting game for 2-7 players (45-60 minutes). You work with the player on your left to design one castle, and with the player on your right on another castle. But there is only one winner...

This game features hundreds of unique tiles with art by Agnieszka Dabrowiecka, Laura Bevon, & Barlomiej Kordowski. It also includes 7 custom wooden castle tokens, a double-sided scorepad, and a 4-piece Game Trayz insert that ensures a super fast setup. Click here to view photos and rulebooks in a number of languages.

The retail release date for this $45 game is October 19, 2018. However, if you pre-order it from us as Champion by September 6, you'll get the game in mid-September
"

If it wasn't the end of August, I'd be checking the calendar for this being an April Fools' prank! I fear that Ted (more than Jamey) may actually - as a consequence of this 'cut-and-shut', re-imaginarious and recursive exercise - disappear up his own backside...and emerge with One Night Ultimate Scythe Factions, a custom Age of Steam: Euphoria 'fan' map or some other sommelier (see what I did there?*) nonsense!

Gah!

*sommelier sounds a bit like ''similar'. Ahem.
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:51 pm
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Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

Anthony Boydell
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Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea is delayed until Summer 2019. There's no need for details because there's no malicious intent (no shenanigans) at work here; just 'reasons'. I am content with this sequence of events because it takes some of the hassle out of the forthcoming show; you see, we already have the launch of the 2nd edition The Cousins' War plus North American Railways and Arthur is coming with me, this year, as well! Actually, I think I'm slightly relieved that I'll get a year's respite before fully committing to a 2019 'Tony Explosion' i.e. the Guilds of London expansion, Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set, Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea, Foothills and (possibly) Lux Aeterna!

Winding my excitement back a little to 2018, Essen Spiel will now see us with more preview time for 'Lubes (as I should be ashamed of calling it) and have been promised some stand decorations from the fine Matagot folks; to whet my appetite - and now yours - I was presented with some samples of the art 'so far'.

I am loving the pastel, traveller's notebook atmosphere:



























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Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:15 am
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Death of a Gamer - 5

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Essen Spiel, {insert year here}

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Fri May 4, 2018 6:15 am
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FLGS 41 (Mule)

Anthony Boydell
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(we are in an FLGS; the window is adorned with streamers and glitter and those plastic tooty things with the curled tubes on the end; there are signs propped up against be-clothed plinths proclaiming “Essen 2017!”, “Spiel Games!” and “The Hotness from Germany!”. A customer walks in to view from the right-hand side of the window and gets shorter as if descending a hidden staircase; he pauses, looks about and then backtracks: ascending. He stops, looks around curiously and tentatively takes a step forward…down a bit. He rocks back-and-forth on his feet, alternately rising a bit then falling a bit. He disappears along the way he came…there is a pause…then he comes sprinting in from the right and launches himself in to the air! Instead of landing, he completely disappears with a stifled shout.There is a crash and the door bell rings.)

Door bell: *ding-ding dinga-dinga-ding-dong ding-ding*

(the door opens and the customer falls through, executes a spectacular forward roll and stands up straight. The cashier, his nose in a care-worn copy of “Wicked Willy” and wearing a pearlescent paisley waistcoat, looks up)

Cashier: (putting the book to one side) Ah, good morning, Sir!

Customer: (brushing himself down) Er…good morning.

Cashier: Don’t worry, Sir; those imaginary stairs are a bit tricky – especially when there’s been a severe frost.

Customer: But there hasn’t been a frost –

Cashier: Exactly.

(awkward silence)

Customer: Well, um, I understand you’ve just come back from Essen Spiel?

Cashier: (enthusiastically) Yes, indeed! It was an amazing experience! So many games from so many publishers! Great new things for us (gestures to himself) to share with you! (gestures outward). It’s the best chance for your friendly local game store to get the hotness in to your hands in time for the holidays!

Customer: Fantastic! So, I have a list of things I am interested in (pulls paper from pocket) and hope you can help.

Cashier: I can certainly try, Sir!

Customer: Right...Azul has been getting a lot of buzz…

Cashier: Unfortunately sold out on the Saturday morning, Sir; we hadn’t yet made it to Hall 3 with our trollies!

Customer: Oh, then how about The Gaia Project?

Cashier: Available only in German after the first two hours on Thursday –

Customer: - German would be fine –

Cashier: - only we didn’t get to the Messe until Friday by which time –

Customer: It had sold out?

Cashier: - it had sold out. Completely.

Customer: I see. Any luck with Friedemann Friese’s Fast Forward series?

Cashier: Oh yes! -

Customer: - great -

Cashier: - let me finish: Oh yes…we saw plenty of copies, but they weren’t selling to ‘shops’ due to limited stock.

Customer: Hmmmm – Santa Maria

Cashier: Pre-orders only, Sir.

Customer: Noria?

Cashier: (raises eyebrows) I don’t know that one, Sir – was it a popular game?

Customer: Well, it was in many of the top vloggers’ anticipation lists!

Cashier: Really? Oh, well I suppose I should check some of those out next year then!

Customer: (muttering) Yes, you should. (louder) You must have Nusfjord, though?

Cashier: The new Uwe Rosenberg ‘big box’-er?

Customer: Indeed!

Cashier: The one about fishing in Norway?

Customer: Yep!

Cashier: The one with ‘shares’ in it that’s also a bit like Glass Road?

Customer: Surely!

Cashier: …never found it, Sir; I tried ever so hard.

Customer: But it was on the huge Mayfair/Lookout stand in Hall 1!

Cashier: There was a Hall ONE?!

Customer: Heaven and Ale?

Cashier: The queue was very long when I stopped by.

Customer: Gloomhaven?

Cashier: Too big to bring back in my People Mover, Sir.

Customer: Keyper?

Cashier: Um, well, er…let’s just say that Richard Breese and I have had a “falling out”.

Customer: A “falling out”?

Cashier: (coughs) You haven’t asked me about The Sands of Time?

Customer: Is it worth it?

Cashier: It might be.

Customer: (waits) The Sands of Time?

Cashier: Ha! Got you, Sir! It never made it to the show, Sir; it’s had production issues. Just a little joke of mine.

Customer: A Nice Cup of Tea?

Cashier: Prototype only, Sir; not out until 2018.

Customer: Altiplano? Fields of Arle Expansion? Photosynthesis? Terraforming Mars: Venus Next? Trans Atlantic?

Cashier: “No”, “Nein!”, “Nope”, “In the negative” and “Again, no”…Sir.

Customer: The 7 Wonders Anniversary Packs?

Cashier: They were on a very high shelf and I couldn’t reach them down, Sir.

Customer: Charterstone?

Cashier: Yes, Sir! We have Charterstone!

Customer: (warily) In English?

Cashier: Yep!

Customer: With the Recharge Pack?

Cashier: Yep!

Customer: Actually in this very building?

Cashier: It’s right under the desk next to me, Sir!

Customer: Great! I’ll take one, then!

Cashier: (takes it out and lifts the lid off with a spectacular box fart) This is my shop demo copy, Sir; the pallet arrives in a fortnight just as soon as it’s cleared Customs. Will you be collecting or should I pop it in the Post for you?

Customer: (seething) So did you bring anything at all back from Essen Spiel with you?

Cashier: (gestures to his waistcoat) I got this rather natty waistcoat, Sir?

Customer: You didn't go to Spiel at all, did you?

Cashier: (blushing and ashamed) No, Sir; I overslept and missed my flight. I'm sorry.

Customer: (leaving) What a disgraceful waste of my time!

(the customer departs, slamming the door behind him; a moment later he rises - as if on a lift - in view of the middle of the shop window, shakes his head and walks off)

Cashier: (calling after him) I apologise again, Sir! (he looks down at the open box on the counter) He didn't ask me where I got my copy of Charterstone from...

(the cashier begins to giggle; it develops in to a belly laugh and, quickly, to maniacal roaring. He walks over to the Stock Room door and swings it open: inside are stack-upon-stack of Spiel goodies - all of the major products are there, glistening in their shrink-wrap!)

Cashier: All...Mine!



(Fade Out)
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Wed Nov 8, 2017 6:00 am
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Azul Like It

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If proof were needed that something is brewing in the wider Universe (stars aligning, portentous omens writ large across the sky, the mewling of base animals etc) then Friday night at The Plough Inn with the Ross-on-Wye board gamers provided it: Boffo liked the three new Essen releases I brought along!

Let me write that out again: Boffo liked the three new Essen releases I brought along!

First, to get this started, colourfully and gently, I presented Azul - a game I have now played six times since the weekend and my first tip for the next Spiel des Jahres (so soon?!). After the first game, which I won by just a couple of points with a personal best, Smudge immediately demanded we play again; the rest of the table smiled, nodded and hem/hurr-ed their approval and so we did.

Ready for the next course, Boffo pointed at Mini Rails in my compact stack o' product and gurgled "I very much want to play that". Within the first few, tentative actions he was muttering variations on "This is clever", Smudge was pronouncing it "...very hard for such a simple game" and Jobbers' 'Analysis' was certainly stiffening (if not completely paralyzed)! I managed to squeak out the win thanks to piggy-backing on Jobbers' well-protected Yellow and the rest of us mutually interested in White: this is a triumph of a game, Mr Mark Gerrits; a bloody TRIUMPH!


We should really get a cloth to cover Jobbers' painting table.


By way of a change of pace - and with not enough time to get Calimala going - I suggested we crack open Boffo's new copy of Fast Forward: FEAR. Given the club is mostly just the four of us, we will get plenty of opportunities to run through the deck and see what awaits at the end.


Remove the cards from their shrink and read the top card: proceed from there.


Four games whizzed by and we'd delved about a fifth of the way through the deck; we decided to 'save' it there and move on. I was, again, on pick-up duty, and the only fillers left to us were High Society and Port Royal; Smudge turned her nose up at HS so emphatically that I imagined she could smell the back of her own neck! And so it was Pfister's corking push your luck-er:


Tres amusant - how we laughed! Boffo (left) much-pleased after I shared my big Pinasse with him and (right) the Church singularly-unhelpful in my quest for claiming either Bonus card!


No 'big Euro' this time but I do have my 50th birthday bash next weekend! I should've gotten through most of the rule books by then so it's going to be Trans Atlantic, Keyper, Calimala, Heaven and Ale, Nusfjord (and more) ahoy!
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Sat Nov 4, 2017 11:00 am
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