Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell - Independent UK games designer, self-confessed Agricola-holic and Carl Chudyk fan-boy: www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

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Coming along very nicely...

Anthony Boydell
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The Keeper of the Keys

Anthony Boydell
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This is my favourite time of the year: Richard Breese sets out the whys, wherefores and whatsadoodads of his latest 'Key' game. For 2017, it's Keyper...



(Splendid artwork by Vicki Dalton)




I am, naturally, very much looking forward to picking up my copy of the super-pimped KS edition at Spiel...as, I should imagine, are quite a lot of you loverly peeps.

A new 'Key' game is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
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Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:50 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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A Travelling True Story

Anthony Boydell
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Wed May 10, 2017 6:25 am
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Flash! Bang! Wallop!

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The return journey from Spiel 2016 was a long one and began at 0700HRS (Monday 17th October); by the time I was circumnavigating London, 11 hours later, I was bleary-eyed and aching. The grinding drive was cheered up when I got stuck, temporarily, behind this old thing:



I only mention it now because, this morning, I plugged my iPhone in to my laptop and the last three weeks-worth of photographs spewed down the USB. Here are some more miscellaneous snaps for the scrapbook:


Pano (but no 'chocolat')



Me and Jeroen Doumen chew the fat while a queue forms for unclaimed Guilds of London preorders.



An unfortunate punter failed to avoid a falling stack of A Feast for Odins.
The rescue effort, which mainly comprised trying to stop people running off with 'salvage', didn't reach him in time.



Hunter & Cron: Germany's answer to The Dice Tower, apparently. I was 'up next' after the incomparable Mr Daniel Danzer.



(from the splendid musical Half a sixpence
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Fri Nov 4, 2016 1:08 pm
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Comedown

Anthony Boydell
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At work, yesterday, I began to feel the first effects of the Spiel comedown: the urge to sigh heavily a lot, the thousand yard stare across the field of Hot Desks, the pressure in the temples and the prickling moisture of tired eyes. Tuesday's necessary exertions of car-emptying, game-stacking and shed filling have kept the adrenalin levels up but nothing saps the life out of you like hundreds of unread emails and 90-minute conference calls. Tomorrow is my first chance to go for a middle-of-the-day-nap (Ted Alspach swears by them!) then, a first proper chance to play new things at the Ross-on-Wye club? I bloody hope so as I'm not sure that I can cope with any "I don't fancy learning anything new" nonsense; I may have to get assertive and say curse words and stuff.



Top of my list are Key to the City – London, Colony and Lorenzo il Magnifico, though Lorenzo has already prompted some justifiable Forum-hurrumphing for bad print quality (glue splodges, mis-cut tiles etc).

Let the Ritual of the Punchboards commence...

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Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:30 am
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Resistance is Peurile

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One of the minor (s)hits of Essen Spiel was the half-rhymingly titled Who Soiled The Toilet? (Toire o Yogoshita nowa Dareda?); quirky presentation (a circular box, components wrapped in toilet paper) and a comedy theme about poo and pooing meant it was a natural draw for any-and-every British man in the Messe. Oddly, this one had slipped under my radar (NOT a euphamism) and I expected it to be well sold out by the time I meandered in to Hall 7 on Day 3 (Saturday, my day off). However, there were still copies, upon my entrance, at the Japon Brand booth for €22 a p(l)op so I succumbed to peer pressure and bought one:



So, what's it all about? Well, it's basically The Resistance with dung: the "Clean Freaks" are trying to ensure a sparkling, "you could eat your food off it" lavvy while the dark faeces forces of the 'Dirty Scoundrels' would rather it be overflowing with sodden tissue and bumnuggets.



The twist for this sweetcorn in the jobbie diamond-in-the-rough game is that those selected to 'go on a mission' do so by walking to a different part of the room/building and 'open the toilet door' (lift the card with a toilet door picture on it) and either leave it clean (it's initial state) or turn it to the solid soiled side. When all those who need to see a man about a dog have done so, the door/toilet cards are returned to the playing area and the condition revealed; discussion ensues and a new queue of sphincter-clenchers is formed. As if this weren't enough, there is an alternate way for a round to resolve which is, basically, tossing poo-chips 'from a distance' (Piddlywinks, anyone?) on to the game box where the 'arse proud' need a requisite number of chips to winnit win it.

When either side - the Glitters or the Shitters - succeed in the toilet being clean/fudge-bound 3 rounds out of 5, they win.


About as subtle as a traffic cone up the jacksy.


It's childish, tacky, rudely-illustrated and crass; it's going to be a lot of fun (for a short while).
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Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:30 am
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The Easiest Blog Post of the Year

Anthony Boydell
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So, how many things can YOU spot?
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Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:28 pm
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Go Home, young man!

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I'm done. It's over. I am very much looking forward to being in the bosom of Chez Boydell.

From a social perspective, this was undoubtedly the best Essen Spiel that I have ever attended: meeting up with old friends and making (lots of) new ones - it's been spectacular! It is a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with all of these excellent and generous people; I can only pinch myself as I remember the intoxicating (literally and figuratively) 'Heavy' Friday, Saturday's lunch and (later) gentle, genial supper. I even had Eric Lang stop and say 'see you soon' as he passed by the booth (WTF?!) yesterday; and CGE's Filip brought me a care package of gorgeousness (and some gossip too!). This isn't me, is it? I must be watching a live-feed from somebody else's eyes!

From a business perspective, I am in awe of the enthusiasm of our customers and fans and find myself coming home with only 30 Snowdonias from the 130 I brought (not bad for a 4 year old game!) and a handful of uncollected Guilds of London pre-orders! The car is packed for the 500 mile drive home tomorrow (today) and the auto-posting function will pop this in to BGG reality at the same time as I pull out of the Ibis budget Nord car park. The windows will be a little bit open, most of the journey, and the heating off (once the windscreen has demisted) to prevent me daydreaming in to a Dutch cornfield. The iPhone has been podcast-synced so I have plenty of hours of yadda-yadda to fill the morning as it stretches ahead of me.

At the Karawane restaurant last night, the Surprised Stare Games end-of-show supper was bloatingly-fleshy and succulently protein-rich. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrored wall and saw an exhausted, bag-eyed and thousand-yard-staring bloke looking back.

I'm done. It's over. I am very much looking forward to being in the bosom of Chez Boydell.


Pre-Road Trip selfie: gorgeous!
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Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:07 am
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Go Forth, young man!

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When you're in Essen doing Spiel-type things, it's fair to say that sleep eludes you; whether deliberately - thanks to foaming, amber Pilsner and new toys - or to being too ill and/or hyped up to settle down. Friday night was beer, shouting to be heard and roaring with laughter and it was very late by the time the buzz had subsided. Saturday dawned grey and rustle-leafed chilly and even though it was my day off, an 0615HRS dual-carriageway-outside-the-window honking match put pay to any ideas I might've had of being woken by the actual alarm.

So, dressed and ready to roll 'early doors', I managed to scrounge a lift with a generous fellow Brit staying at the Ibis budget Nord; shamefully I cannot remember his name but, then again, I spent the day trying to remember where my Passport was so it's definitely a fading memory thing.


It's been four years now and they've still only managed to blow the bloody doors off.


A solitary, drizzle-anointed amble down the length of the Messe to the Hall 1 side entrance afforded me some 'clear the head' time, ably-assisted by half a packet of Trebor Extra Strong Mints: this is not an accepted breakfast, per se, but it cleared the tubes. I prepared a few empty boxes at the Stand for the goodies that I would undoubtedly retrieve this day and kicked off with Cottage Garden and my Taiwanese pre-orders (Round House, The Perfumer and Coffee Roaster). Real coffee, aimless wandering and euros hemorrhaging from the wallet occupied the next couple of hours until it was time for the first of the three 'milestone events'; ladies & Gentlemen, I give you:


The Essen Spiel small-but-perfectly-formed (Late) Breakfast Club

(from left-to-right: Ben (Perfect Info) Maddox in 'sultry' mood; my favourite Frenchman Monsieur Cédrick Chaboussit; the one-and-only Player of Games & blog phenomenon Ms Mina Guberinic; Alexander Pfister; some ligger; Patrick; Andreas Pelikan and Miranda. Photo taken by Peter (Mina's famous but - as yet - unseen partner)


For a couple of hours, while the mental waves of eager gamers washed and eddied around us, we chatted about stuff (games, families, life) and ate things and laughed and had a perfectly delightful interlude. We had to go and get our food in shifts to avoid table-loss, however, which meant Alexander and Andreas grabbed the last two currywurst in the building; I guess the Kennerspiel des Jahres opens MANY other, non-gaming, doors too, eh?

All good things must, unfortunately, come to an end; amidst the cheery waves, handshakes and hugs, Mina presented her arms for signing:


Mina's 2017 tattoo templates: designer sigs!


Aside: Mina would shortly add Matthias Cramer before joining us in Hall 4 to play my 2016 fringe obsession Mondrian: The Dice Game:



Recommended to me the previous night by Ben at the Heavy Cardboard do, Mondrian: The Dice Game is a dexterity card-claiming set collector for 2-4 players. Each player has a palette with five 'actions' on; these actions are methods of propelling the dice around - or on to - the playing area: throw with left, throw with right, throw with eyes closed, flick from the edge OR drop from a height. The aim is to claim cards with various coloured segments and point values on; if your die on a card is >= the card value, you can claim it to your hand. Obviously there are rules for ties and dice on edges/borders.

In Round 1, you use two of your five dice (choose your preferred two methods); in Round 2, you use three of your five dice...then four...and, finally, five. At game end, the player with the fewest cards rounds down to the nearest EVEN number and then everyone else must discard cards to that minimum too (in secret). Remaining cards are then revealed - making a nice psuedo-Mondrian piece - and points are awarded to the player with the most Yellow segments, the most Red, the most Blue and the most Grey (ties = no points awarded); card values are also added and the player with the biggest total wins.


Another parting of the ways saw me returning to the swelter of Hall 2 whilst Mina and Peter were last seen heading for Vital Lacerda's stand and a preview (hopefully) of his next heavyweight masterpiece Lisboa!

Having failed to find Ted Alspach and finalise our Guilds-for-Colony exchange (for the third day in a row), I realised my lackadaisical meandering left me but scant moments to get a cold drink and nip to the Hunter & Cron booth for another promotional appearance:


A couple of down-on-their-luck chancers...


H&C are vloggers and, I suppose, analogous to The Dice Tower (or should that be 'The Deutsche Tower'?*) or the Eurogame equivalent of DanTDM (or should that be 'DanBMW'?**); the booth was rammed full of tech and an audience of 'real people' behind a demarcating ribbon (for their protection or ours?).

It was all downhill from there and, come 7PM and the parping indiscernible tannoy telling us all to auf-enzee fuch (I _think_ that's what it said), we - Doug & Shelley Garrett (Garrett's Games & Geekiness), Surya, Myriam and me were traipsing to the Atlantic hotel for supper and our first ever game together (in 4 years of meetups!):


The evening closes with a gentle hour of Fabled Fruit


Aside: I briefly bumped in to the Tyrland brothers who had just come back from eating NINE pig's knees at a famous steakhaus; Olle, in particular, seemed to be having a massive protein rush!

Weary, wobbly and emotional, I butchered what little German I know to get me taxi-ed back to the suburbs for blog-write-uppage and bed. Tomorrow (today) is the final day of Spiel 2016, dear friends and - right now - I think I'm quite glad; it's been intense, overwhelming, wonderful and exhausting.

*no.
**no...and, also, racist.
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:10 am
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