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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Minnellium 2000!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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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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Sweary Mary

Anthony Boydell
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One of the joys of getting tipsy, and having a few spare moments in the Evening at UK Games Expo, is I am allowed to crash other people's broadcasts! Here is the Who Dares Rolls 'Room 504'* special from the Expo 17's Saturday night.

I must warn you that there will be robust language:




*(think Room 101 for games and gaming)
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Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:16 am
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NEC Hauls 1 & 2

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Obviously I found enough time to trade/buy during the show DESPITE being nuts-deep in A Nice Cup of Tea tests throughout the three days!

Another great Expo experience: the best yet!






(Mystic Wood includes the expansion too!)


See you all next year!
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Mon Jun 5, 2017 6:35 am
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Ordering a taxi. Waiting for a taxi. F*ck it, I'll walk.

Anthony Boydell
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The National Exhibition Centre complex is enormous and that doesn't get rammed home more forcefully when you've got to walk around it. Due to booking issues, we - SSG - haven't been able to lodge at the Hilton Metropol (has own car park, swimming pool, is 5 mins from the Halls etc) but, instead, have found succour at the Premier Inn (own car park well away from Exhibitors car park, no pool, is a mile - 25 mins - from the Hall); when I say "found succour" of course I mean "found it all a massive pain in the arse". Still, its all lovely and echo-y and calm in Hall 1 before the punters throng (eagerly) and thrust (enthusiastically) forward. A trip to the Bring & Buy rewarded me with a 1998 Kosmos thing with a complicated German name and a very cheap copy of hidden gem (and winner of 2012's Worst Font Printed on Components Award): Al Rashid (£20 the two).

First demo of the day was A Nice Cup of Tea to JVMA Custom Snowdonia Card winners David Moser and Andrew Smith - if only Peter D had stopped by too: I'd have had the set! Here are my gentlemanly opponents:


David (left) and Andrew (right); Andrew pipped me by just 4 points (both of us in the 130s)


A small, diplomatic mission from the Boydell household made it to a sunny Birmingham lunchtime: Mrs B (sporting Ivor the Engine tee-shirt), eldest son Fred (sporting various recent piercings and parent-annoying 'slam metal' gore tee-shirt) and youngest - Arthur - in smart troos and a waistcoat. We wandered, for an hour or so...


(from L to R): Arthur starts with some Rubik's Cube clone basics: a 2x2; "I don't think much of these mirrors, Ethel!" and Arty mugging in a castle.


...and ended up playing Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice with the excellent Mr Mark Rivera:


He chopped, he stomped, he punched and he pinned me: poor old Dad.


All too soon, it was time to wave goodbye and - once more - I was sucked in to an afternoon's vortex of demonstrating stuff and meeting peeps with pre-arranged swaps/buys: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition), Fearsome Floors, Haspelknecht and Nantucket will now be coming home with me. The evening's relaxing routine began with a 20 minute trog across the complex, with Dávid Turczi, to the 'sky train'; down a seedy stairwell and round some back roads (in an industrial estate) to the Ibis Styles. The Ibis is a shiny, new - and horrifically-overpriced - place of residence with an bright open Bar area suitable for much gaming chatter and play; I bought myself a Theakston's Ale and a lime&soda chaser (dehydration, you see) and got a-chattin'. We'd only been there a short while before Paul Grogan - vlogger, podcaster, Mr 'Gaming Rules' and long-time gaming pal - was flogging us raffle tickets for an 8PM draw; all eyes were on the knocked about prototype copy of Codenames Duet but it turned out to be a massive double-disappointment because:
i) he wasn't giving the prototype away, just promising to give someone a new copy when it arrives; and,
ii) I didn't win. Anything.

Woes doubled and doubled: I was to miss the Ice Fisher World Champs...again!!!


I had to leave early on account of being a guest on the Who Dares Rolls live podcast record (Room 504 ie. Room 101 for us lot) and just had enough time to grab a Subway for supper (bread to absorb the beers I'd chugged like lemonade) before going in. I _think_ it went OK; it was almost two minutes in before I dropped the C-bomb but everyone else were quickly on to wanking euphemisms, so I sat back and let 'em get on with it.

I couldn't get back to the Premier Inn without crossing paths with the Hilton Metropol, so we pulled up another beer and a chair and played something to close the evening in one of the huge open gaming rooms:


Temp Worker Assassins: Worker placement meets Thunderstone - simple, fun but wholly-unremarkable.


We'd moved in to Sunday 4th June, so I attempted to get a taxi to save my aching feet and cramping thighs but nothing was happening apart from minibuses and branded Audis loudly pulling up and pulling off in clouds of Vape smoke and geekish B.O. In the end, I decided to risk the ghostly tarmac of the bleak, endless car parking acres and walk back for some sleep: "And, now, the end is near...." (sing loudly along at the back!)
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Sun Jun 4, 2017 6:20 am
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Bhaji, bhaji, bhaji, bhaji, bhaji, bhaji (mushroom, mushroom)

Anthony Boydell
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Up-and-at-em, Surprised Stare elves! 'Tis Day 1 of th'official UK Games Expo extravaganza for 2017 and the sun fair-blinded us as we emerged from a lumpen 'English Breakfast' in to splendid June 2nd. The Paulls decided to drive us all the mile-or-so to the Exhibitors' Car Park - within swearing distance of the Hilton Metropol - and, thence, Hall 1 of the NEC:


Hasn't changed since last year but it's nice to see the big sign again.


The Press show was 9AM-ish and it was hilarious to watch them being marched through Hall 1 by marshalls in a hand-holding crocodile! Meanwhile, Charlie P and I were brushing up on our The Cousins' War rules and demo spiel before the public scurried in at 11PM: 50% scuttling to the booths with 'limited numbers' of things, the others sprinting and shoving and vaulting-the-fallen to get to the fabled Bring & Buy.

And, lo!, did the punters come and they spent - in a most profligate manner - for to secure 2-player, War of the Roses-themed goodness.


Steve, Iain, Chris, Steve: long-time gaming pals from the South East of England.Our paths crossed many, MANY times from 2005 thru 2013; now we only meet up at the big shows :-(


Giles, organiser of the Snowdonia Puffing Billy fund-raising promotional postcard, popped by to drop off 100 for signing (when I finally found a decent pen); Dávid Turczi dropped off my super-pimped Anachrony and I also got a gratis copy of Bärenpark from the splendid Mr Alex Yeager at Mayfair. Add in my upon-arrival Pocket Mars, Nimbee and a long-awaited Beyond the Gates of Antares: The Dice Game and my take-home goodies crates are filling up very nicely indeed!

We could've sold 50+ copies of Snowdonia today but, instead, I whetted appetites with talk-throughs of A Nice Cup Of Tea (which I really should get in to the BGG database sometime)...and then the weather took a turn for the worse and a shower from North Wales moved in:



Taking a late lunch around 3PM (!), I managed to find a coffee and no food whatsoever; I paused for reflection, and to relieve my aching 'plates', in the company of UKT&C stalwarts Chris (The Guv'nor) and Mick (who provided me with a printed-up version of "The Little Engine Who Said Fuck It!") before setting off to annoy Nick Case for a bit.



I can't remember much about the rest of the day, only the klaxxon going for the "Go away!", and emerged from the grey halls to see torrential run coming down over the Park complex and hundreds huddled - mackintoshes in absentia - as it micturated. Smugly, for I had packed a coat anyway despite the Bahamian A.M., I covered myself in the red waterproof and plodded to the Hilton for supper (a plateful of Becky's delicious bhajis), chatting and - eventually - some actual games:




...with Efka, Elaine and Patrick. Nice microgame.



Magic Maze: It's Escape: The Curse of the Temple without the dice and, consequently, lost most of the appeal and drama after about 15 minutes: is that all there is..?



Sagrada: pleasant-enough dice drafter.


It was still drizzling when I decided to call it a night and thought a taxi would be useful; none, however, seemed to be about the place, so I trudged the mile back to the Premier Inn - singing loudly to myself (the traditional defence against serial killers and foliage-dwelling monsters) across the vast car parks in the soggy gloom. Tomorrow brings a much-reduced family visit and a 'party' at the Ibis: it's no rest for the wicked at the Expo...
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Sat Jun 3, 2017 6:25 am
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"You're not allowed to play games in the Bar"

Anthony Boydell
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As is usual this time of year (ie. pre-UK Games Expo), here's a shot of the fat, full arse of my car:



There! Stacked full of gaming goodness: about 550 x The Cousins' War, 60 x Ivor the Engine, 50 x Bad Grandmas and miscellaneous protoypes, bring&buy fodder and swapsies. I purposefully left a rear passenger seat in place so Arthur could be safely transported for a rendezvous with his mum and little big sister to go and fetch his big big sister from the airport: yes indeed, my eldest daughter is returning from nearly two years of travels to spend the Summer with us before her final year of University:


Together again after SO long #happyasdadcanbe


While they were all off "international airport"-ing, me and Benedict were twatting about in the sunny back garden setting up the Alien: Scandaroon nonsense (see yesterday) and have a fine old giggling time of it. A work conference call interrupted the (quite literal) 'sauce'-y shenanigans for an hour allowing the dog to clean away any traces of tomato ketchup from the patio.

There was time for tea when the whole clan were a-gathered and then I bimbled up the hot M50, the scorching M5 and the baking M42 to Jn 6 and Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre. Following the usual road to where all the loading bays are located, I was seen off from a 'checkpoint' by a skinny, bespectacled jobsworth who - after having an incomprehensible five minute chat with his walkie-talkie - turned me away for "not having a pink slip"*. Given that getting the aforementioned meant driving 400 yards back the way I came to get some bloke in a booth to write my Registration Plate Number on a bit of (pink) paper, it all seemed a bit unnecessary; still, it's a bloody good job we've all managed to keep on 'as normal' in these terrorism-filled times, isn't it? 'Not letting it get to us" as in "increasing petty - and pointless - bureaucracy" *tchoh!*

Anyway, I found the loading bay and decanted the Goods in to Hall 1 and left the Paulls to finalising the stand while I found the Exhibitors' Car Park.






All-important space for the storage of purchases!


Er...the car park turned out to be about half a mile away...on the OPPOSITE side of the complex to our hotel (about a mile in the other direction); a security guard took pity upon me and my trolley suitcase and gave us both a lift. I then, of course, needed to get BACK to the NEC to finalise my stuff and got lost in the middle of huge peripheral Halls with a delightful couple of ladies on their way to the Take That concerts (also at the NEC this weekend).

I dropped off my donations to the "Bring & Buy" and ended up spending £27 on The Mystic Wood with the The Mystic Wood Extension Kit thrown in (!) - ACQUISITION No.1

To break up the return (bedtime) journey, I stopped off at the Hilton hotel - where all the shit happens - for Guinness and fun chats with David J. Mortimer, Dávid Turczi, Katalin Nimmerfroh, Chris Marling and Andrew Harman. We were going to have some fun with protoypes (we all rattled our variously-bestickered, re-purposed boxes in simultaneous glee) but were seen off by a sour Bar Manager who told us off: "You're not allowed to play games in the Bar; you must go to the Arden room". So, we went to the Arden room but it was full so we went back and drank more beer instead.

The sunset was lovely as we traipsed across the tarmac and concrete, wandering the giant estate like we were survivors of a zombie apocalypse; my feet howled with ache as the Premier Inn welcomed me to it's bosom - Alan and I retired to the restaurant for more alcohol and a good moan about the state of the world today.

It begins: UK Games Expo 2017!

*I was, naturally, wearing it under my tee-shirt and shorts.
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Fri Jun 2, 2017 6:15 am
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Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Anthony Boydell
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Ah, just a few final checks before setting off to the Expo:



Goodness...what's this? It...moved?!


Spoiler (click to reveal)

Its alive! Noooooooooooooooooooo...


Spoiler (click to reveal)



Spoiler (click to reveal)


Spoiler (click to reveal)
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Thu Jun 1, 2017 12:36 pm
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Five Years / 1825 days / 43800 hours / 2.628e+6 minutes

Anthony Boydell
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Five years ago, my life in the gaming world changed; the UK Games Expo, previously a jolly bijou opportunity to sell a couple of hundred quids worth of our meagre stock, was our first opportunity to demo/preview our biggest offering yet and one being co-produced with my favourite of game companies: the chaps wot dun made Agricola, no less! I had no idea what to expect, to be honest; I hoped that we would get solid interest and maybe sell a few more copies to Brits come the Essen release. Oh to send a message back in time, eh?

Here's a great archive photo from (Hemel Hempstead M:TG and board gamer) PhilP that stirs particularly-nostalgic feelings; therein are great pals that I've seen many times since...and you can just make out my hairy arm and "I'll give you a clip round 'ere" Paperclip Railways t-shirt.


Spinning two tables of the prototype...


And here's my first video for Snowdonia; can you detect an smidgeon of my excitement?



With my dear gaming pal: Paco


And here, dearest of dear lovely chums, is my blogpost summarising the whole experience:


Friday 25th May, 2012
It was hotter than ‘mah lurve’ this afternoon when I finally managed to load up my VW Polo (sunroof open, seats down) with Totemae, Coppertwaddles, Scandaroons, Sur Les Cartes (L’Edition D’Anglaise) and my precious, hand-rubbed preview copy of Snowdonia.

Bidding a wobblytummed for-the-weekend farewell to the Mrs and Arthur (the others were in school/college), it was off up the M50/M5 in bright sunshine equipped with the requisite cold energy drink and a brace of comedy podcasts (Tim Minchin being interviewed by Richard Herring = trouser accident).

The drive was unremarkable, if baking, and I rumbled into the dusty Clarendon Suite car park circa 3PM calling a hearty ‘Hallooooo’ to my Wycombe comrades unloading the emptyings of their attics for re-sale; with my own cargo decanted, I left my Teutonic hatchback (my trusty steed) to boil quietly with its Exhibitor Pass.

Our game for sale this Expo is a small-box affair - On The Cards by Sebastian Bleasdale - so it didn't take long to pile everything up for arrangement. Alan and Charlie Paull had beaten me to the stand, so I eschewed the usual mildly-tetchy conflict of opinion about how everything should be set up to, instead, finish off making up a third Snowdonia demo set (MY focus for the coming weekend!

Shortly after that I had to find my way to the UK Gaming Media Network’s umbrella + videocam corner for a 16.15 appointment with broadcasting stardom! I am, of course, a bit of an old lag at the streaming demo malarkey - happy to prostitute my wares at Essen and Expo alike! It's kind of fun, in a masochistic way, to have my so-called friends point out my every stumble, stammer and fumble in great BGG-based forum debate afterwards. The demo went well, I thought – though as of today (28th/29th) the fruits of my public speaking have yet to surface.

Our Stand:


Not having eaten anything since a couple of slices of Marmite toast in the early A.M, I was feeling the magnetic draw of Johnny Wongs (delicious restaurant, 200yds from the show) and paused briefly to post up the signs for our ‘giveaway games’ competition (on the hour, a lucky punter could claim a free copy of either Coppertwaddle or Scandaroon - insert comment about UN-lucky punter having to claim TWO copies of Scandaroon instead HERE).

The food didn't really touch the sides on the way down and as I was leaving to find the so-called ‘Quality’ Hotel (pah!) I bumped into Mr Hanno Girke, esteemed director of Lookout Games and erstwhile North Wales landscape fan; Hanno is, of course, co-conspirator in the publication of my precious Snowdonia. His exhausted family were eyeing the menu like lions at an all-you-can-eat Christian buffet, so I took my leave (“Ah”, he says, “We arrive and you go!”).

I checked in with a surprisingly less-disinterested member of the desk staff than usual (she may even have looked up at one point), and was handed the key to 97 which – after the ‘walk’ – turned out to be in a different County! Luckily, my room was equipped with a purring air-conditioning unit and even though I had an appointment with ‘valuable gaming time’ at the Strathalan (opposite), I took ten minutes pause to dance naked about the accommodation enjoying the chilly blasts and the soft, cool towels.

The largest of the reserved rooms at the tiresome franchise monstrosity that is ‘the Strathalan’ was full to prolapsing: sweaty punters, fizzy apple-flavoured micturate dispensed by the pint and the be-haloed objects of our affections...GAMES!

Games: how they sing to us!

Games: how they beguile!

Games: a coy smile, the subtlest parting of their cardboard lips and we’re smitten!

Mssrs The Royal Society of Gamers » Podcasts and The Little Metal Dog Show were keen as English mustard for a game of Snowdonia, so I obliged by rounding up three more takers and set them off with the (newly-minted) demo spiel!



Once I’d directed them in the Navvy Arts, I took myself to an adjacent table to give Ace of Spies a tickle – a just and appropriate thing to do seeing as I’ve subscribed to the Kickstarter campaign. I am, and have been since fertilized eggform, a HUGE fan of James Bond and the James Bond school of spying and ‘ting – recent exposure to the excellent ‘Tinker Tailor’ movie and the teste-stimulating Skyfall trailer have piqued my interest in this light affair. It plays smoothly, the rules are straightforward and there is a satisfying amount of ‘take that!’ back-stabbery which befits a game themed to subterfuge. The art is great, as is the flavor text and general atmosphere. It shares elements of Ticket To Ride card drawing and set collection mechanics but plays quite differently. I took the ‘hoard interrupt cards’ approach with the intention of stealing everyone else’s hard-earned Missions only to be hammered by a 1-2-3 retributive salvo from the guy in last place (who I JUST HAPPENED to have nicked a huge – 19 point – bonus from!). It’s not going to trouble the thinky tables at all but will MOST DEFINITELY get play from me and my boys!




The evening was slightly blighted by a 10 minute, one o’clock in the morning allergic reaction to SOMETHING on my pillows that lead to streaming eyes and a sneezing fit! I’d been dozing for an hour only to be woken by this bizarre episode.

Saturday 26th May, 2012
For some reason only HALF of my iPhone recharging apparatus had made it to Birmingham, so I used up the last 2% of power calling for text-based help from Mr Alan Paull – he duly arrived first thing this morning to deliver leccy-draining salvation.

“It’s great having air-con, isn’t it?” I asked cheerily.

“We don’t have air-con” came his despondent reply. I now feel inwardly-ashamed of my nocturnal nude-y prancing.

A quick coffee and a bacon buttie at the Stand, phone sucking up charge balanced on a pot plant, and almost immediately the doors opened I was into FULL Snowdonia demo mode. That’s the way it stayed for the rest of the day (5PM) and all of the next (until 4PM) – a pair of preview games on-going at any given time with a third popping up to evict an On The Cards or Totemo or two!

Polytechnic pal Malcolm and his two boys arrived and greetings were exchanged (he would return later for a game himself), other ‘early-doors’ attendees included the N/A fellows – their nominal overlord, Mike, fresh from a wholly-inaccurate and border-line defamatory so-called ‘summary’ of Snowdonia on their latest podcast! Mike and Paul had already played it (though you’d never have thought it from Mike's audio-descriptive desecration of my life’s work) and were enthusiastically introducing it to the third leg of their waffling tripod: ‘Si’.

Aaaaaaaaaand this was pretty much how the day progressed – me having to shout out the rules summary in the crowded, rhubarbing Halls of geek magnificence. I paused for breath and a quick chat with visiting pal Neil only to find there was 15 minutes to the ‘Designer Panel’ upon which I was to sit. I failed to even grab a bottle of water on my way up to the Purple Zone (that is NOT a euphemism). The seminar room was crowded and overflowing – wow! I thought, so many people here to listen to our rhuminations? No, as it turned out, THEY were all there for Steve Jackson and promptly removed themselves when his lecture was finished. We were in danger of having more panelists than public...

What makes a good game? “No-one really knows – design for yourself”

What’s your favourite new game? “Eclipse, au naturellement” (though Sticky Stickz emerged the true victor)

What do you think of Kickstarter? “Don’t provoke me…”

Is the Wheaton Effect a good thing? “Yes” etc

It was a fun hour and I delayed my return to the SSG docking bay to go chat with Hanno on the Lookout stand and watch pals Richard ‘The Beard’ and Steve ‘Wrightcon’ Wright play the Le Havre 2pl prototype.

The evening began with MORE Johnny Wongs wok-tossed deliciousness (and copious glasses of iced pineapple juice and lemonade), followed by simpler fayre back at Hell’s Stinky Backside (the Strathalan): Agricola (but of course!), Glory To Rome (how could I NOT?) and Cubiko (the thinking man’s Loopin’ Louie) – all of which I won *smugface*



Other highlights of the day included ‘The Student’ coming 3rd in the Agricola competition and former M:TG co-drafter Claire being pipped to the Settlers of Catan title FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING!

I returned to my cool, refreshing lodgings in time to see the Deity-awful Swedish thumpetty-thumpetty cod rave anthem “Euphoria” pulling a 100 point+ win over the gerontophiles’ Russian dream in the Eurovision - Britain’s twanging twee-ballad sagging like Englebert’s octogenarian scrotum in second-from-last place. I think I’d rather pipe Porcine abattoir screams into my bleeding ears than subscribe to any of this catalogue of aural ruin and anal gas expulsions masquerading as a ‘Song Contest’. Michael Fox (II) is a bit of an expert on the competition, apparently – don’t tell him I mentioned it, though.

Sunday 27th May, 2012
Woke with croaky voice – an Essen Saturday (Day 3) level of croakiness! Lots of loooooooow singing (Lee Marvin – I was born under a wandrin’ star etc).

Ignoring the extortionately-priced breakfast at my (laughingly called a) hotel, I diced with death crossing the Hagley Road with Hanno before the repeat (gratifying) attention in Snowdonia continued! I now play the game for the pure pleasure of it and, having mentioned (in passing) during an explanation that ‘you don’t need a train to win the game’, I decided to try and prove this. On this occasion I missed out by 5 points with the other (three) players all chuffing happily up and down the great Peak – so I think the point still stands :-)

The day passed in a blur: chatted with various industry types; got my complimentary copy of Divinare from the amiable Mr Brett J. Gilbert (wait! That was YESTERDAY); some Take It Easy’s from the venerable Mr Peter Burley (legend!) and a (demo) copy of Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small from Mr G.

An old workmate from a project in the early 2000s played Snowdonia while his 11 year old daughter played – AND BEAT – Alan Paull at Coppertwaddle. Of course, the gauntlet was thrown down to me (the BEST player of the game IN THE WORLD!) and I was forced to pull out every ‘Twaddling trick in the book to beat her – which I did, narrowly: 3-2.

Current workmate Vinny arrived with his cousin and played Paperclip Railways and it all blurs into an exhausted fug from that point onwards.

The show closed without me noticing; the takedown was relaxed, quick and trouble-free and I stopped off for the usual coffee and Surprised Stare debrief at Frankley Services.

Next year the Expo moves to posher climes...in the meantime, I’ve got a Summer’s pause before what will hopefully be the most awesome Essen Spiel to date!

Here’s to the 2012 SSG Expo Team: Alan, Charlie, Sebastian and Caroline! And here's to Richard Denning and the brilliant organizational Team!

PS. I couldn't tell you how all the other SSG-related stuff went, as I never got a breath of time to find out!
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Thu Jun 1, 2017 6:36 am
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Anthony Boydell
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We have a first batch of 500 of these beauties arriving on Friday!
(I'll have to wait by the door to load them safely in to the Shed)

The Cousins' War by David J. Mortimer

The Cousins' War by David J. Mortimer

They will be available at the UK Games Expo (next weekend!!!) for the bargain, convention-special, price of just:

£12!!!!

(and, don't forget, you get Snowdonia and Guilds of London promos in the box for FREE)

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Wed May 24, 2017 1:49 pm
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Look what arrived at Surprised Stare Games HQ yesterday:


Our 2017 promo pack 'Rolling Stock #1'!

It will be available at UK Games Expo and Essen Spiel and, probably, through other channels at some point (yet to be confirmed).
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Wed May 3, 2017 6:35 am
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