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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Warning: Robust Sense of Humour Required

Anthony Boydell
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Did anyone else pick this up at the UK Games Expo?



(this is some hard satire right here)
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Tue Jun 5, 2018 6:19 am
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A day on which the weariness finally caught up with me but a splendid time was had by all (despite the best efforts of others)

Anthony Boydell
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I really didn't want to get out of bed Sunday morning; the sky was cobalt blue and the sunrise was reflecting dazzlingly on Hall 9 on the horizon. Breakfast was, like Saturday, to be 'taken' in a side-room because although the main restaurant looked half-empty it was evidently being crushed under the weight of sausage demands! The waiting staff were - and I'm being charitable now - catastrophically inept; we were shown to a small table only to find it's prior occupant returning with a laden fruit bowl and a cheery "What the fuck?!". A be-suited flunky with the voice of a hoarse mouse redirected us to another only to have three people in the line for coffee chorus "We're all sitting there!". Mr Whisper then told us to sit down at two spare chairs on a table occupied by a pair of delightful Lady Masons without even asking them if it was alright to do so! Naturally, being the gentleman that I am, I posed the question and they were gracious in their accommodation. We quietly nibbled our repast until I remarked upon my diet and Ben's veganism which elicited a snort of laughter from one lady because Ben was choffing down on a heaped-and-steaming plate of pork products! Ice broken, we then had a marvelous 20 minute chinny-wag about games, traveling with Masons and the Acting profession! Sweet are the uses of adversity!

Before settling in to what would a hugely-busy DEMO day (but a barren wasteland of sales TBH), I had to return my borrowed copy of Agricola (see yesterday's blog) because the game library only ran until 2300HRS despite the Open Gaming rooms running until well after 0200HRS! I wanted my £10 deposit back though, failing that, I could've gained a cheap spare copy of 'Gric!


(clockwise from top L) Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea and Foothills in full flow, first thing on a Sunday morning; myself, Edward and Matt Green discuss something or other; no sooner had we set everything up than we'd packed it all away again; and, goodbye everyone. In the middle is Matt's tres amusant trolling of the nearby Starbucks for our mid-morning beverage!


I was joined by Matt (see back of his head, above) and we chatted and I introduced him to various peeps: Hanno from Lookout, Wolfgang from Kosmos and Edward from Heavy Cardboard (see above also); Matt has been woefully abused by previous publishers of his (tremendous) games and it's about time he got some proper Euro publisher love!

Around lunchtime, my copy of Foothills was packed up and shipped off to foreign lands for further evaluation (yay!) leaving the afternoon for nothing but tea. In order to ensure a timely parking space for the 'take down', I retrieved the van and queued up in the Exhibitor's holding area. Running some obscure logistics algorithm, it was almost TWO HOURS (!) before were actually granted access; if I wasn't on these pills, I may have exploded with frustration and clubbed a Traffic Attendant to death with my snack banana! As it was, I chatted between windows with Martin (Admin of the BGTAC Facebook group) and tried to get some dancing going with a doors open/volume up mix of Elvis Costello and Fishbone. There were no takers. Eventually, we were granted entry and it only took us 10 minutes to decant from Hall 1 in to the Peugeot and high-tail it the Hell out of there!


The Completely-Obligatory Convention Haul shot (COCH) - as in "The facebook group feed is full of COCHS", "Would you like to see my COCH?" and so on.


Home, home again; I like to be here when I can. And, when I get home cold and tired, I like to warm by bones beside the fire.

P.S A big shout out to Joe Browes, Neil Yates, Mark Lewis and Hanno Girke for their extremely-generous gifts!
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Mon Jun 4, 2018 12:41 pm
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A day on which I get all emotional for a variety of reasons (with a variety of results)

Anthony Boydell
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The day begins with another in a long line of healthy breakfast options:



Followed by an early-as-possible browse around the ridiculously-huge Bring & Buy selection:



Sweet Jesu, but it took a while! Happily, I located a selection of old and new goodies for the Princely sum of £74 and then scuttled back to the Stand for "proper work":


The ever-lovely Hanno from Lookout Games pays me a first-thing (time-off) visit and I rope him in to a game of Foothills


The morning flew by full of demos and the first raspings of "convention voice" began to appear; thankfully, the iPhone dinged to announce the arrival of Mrs B and Arthur - a three hour leave-of-absence duly followed. It's been so frenetic that I was stunned in to a tear-eyed stupour when we met in the atrium; only two days yet I was struck by how much I'd missed them!



After a snack lunch - camped out in a far corner of Hall 1 - we met up with our dear pal (long not-seen) Neil and his eldest to play some games in the excellent Family Zone:


Pikoko (Hanabi meets Whist) was fun - if confusing for Arthur - but the hit was (naturally) Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers


All too soon, it was 4PM and time to return to the booth; deep (and held) breaths stopped me getting all daftly weepy as they disappeared across the plaza toward the Car Park.

I managed to catch the Bring & Buy when the Public had been hustled from the building (or in to Hall 2 for the Open Gaming) and 'cashed out' my fecund earnings. I am always amazed at the stupidity of those who expect a secondhand - easily available - game to go for almost it's MSRP; the line of twelve TI3s all for a minimum of £60 was especially-hilarious!

And so we transition from the Day of Business to the Night of Play. First was Paul Grogan's charity raffle:


The BGTAC crew!


The auction raised a magnificent £2700 (!); unfortunately, I'd forgotten it was a raffle rather than an auction and neglected to buy any tickets! No matter. Next, in the depths of the Conference workshop rooms of the Piazza Suites, was the Who Dares Rolls 'Sparring Bants' podcast:



From the sublime to the ridiculous: we were, one stage, in real danger of outnumbering the audience in what was a rude, silly and (hopefully for both of them!) entertaining hour. Having expressed a melancholic side with friends and family, I now expressed a rude and stupid side which can only be described by listening to the 'record' when it's released. One of the panelists, Charlie, soldiered gamely on with eminently-sensible and well-considered answers while the rest of us swore and told knob jokes. I was particularly pleased with pitch for 'The Oscar Pistorius Game': a dexterity 'flicker' where you were trying to propel a wooden disc through a 3D cardboard bathroom doorway at a 'girlfriend' standee. I'm going straight to Hell for that one.

Weary, and with the Fitbit calorie counter comfortably over the 4000, it was back to the Hilton for a game of - well, how could I pass it up as it called for me in the Boardgame Library? - Agricola.



I was fucking furious to find that I'd been booted out of a boiteajeux game on account of being 60 mins late on taking my move; I'm at a fucking CONVENTION, you tedious twats!!! I took my revenge - playing against pals Richard, Ben and Phil-the-Sheep - by getting a highly-respectable 48 points and a lead so comfortable you could put your friends up on it for the night! Sometimes it all comes together perfectly! Such a delightful way to end a long day: glowing with satisfaction in my special gaming place.
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Sun Jun 3, 2018 9:07 am
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Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

Anthony Boydell
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I've had to rent a van at the last minute on account of the VW being unavailable*; this, as it turns out, is no bad thing because I wouldn't have been able to fit everything in anyway. Behold, my 'to do' list:

Quote:

Clothes
Phone & Charger
Laptop & Charger
Book
Money etc
Pills
Parking Pass thing

Foothills
Alubari
Nusfjord and other things to play
Bring & Buy Stuff

Posters
NAR – all
Snod expansion – 16 boxes
Ivor the Engine – 4 boxes
Bad Grandmas – all
Rolling Stock#1 - lots!
Trolley


Yes, I do need to remind myself to bring clothes - not for nefarious nudity-prone reasons but because it's a sort-of superstition thing. Aside from the physicality of loading, other details of preparation occupied my attention over the long Bank Holiday weekend:

On Sunday, I'd arranged a consultation with Boffo to get Foothills up-to-date; it's making it's public debut and we both want it looking its best! That didn't take as long as I'd expected (who said collaborative design is difficult?!) so we had some minutes to spare:


The only 'mode' I've yet to try (and win at!) is 'Solo'


Leaving the boys to mow the lawn and strim the borders, much shed time was expended putting a second copy of Alubari together, seeing as my other is currently in Germany:





Packing the 'admin' stuff (pens, passes, gifts etc) and Bring & Buy booty:



Finally, after a mandatory day at work, Thursday 31st May dawns and it's time to fetch, and load up, the van:



Ready to go (and it's not even midday yet!)



*I think it is truly dead; already looking at a replacement...
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Thu May 31, 2018 11:42 am
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Boring Game Work-Related Post

Anthony Boydell
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There’s no way to really spice up this kind of post apart from, maybe, liberally littering it with expletives but - because I’m wearing my nipple-teaser Surprised Stare Games Ltd pissyfishing hat today – I’m going to rein myself the fuck in. Some of you, of course, will be cocking well aware that the UK Friggin’ Games Expo (UKFGE) is next weekend (1st – 3rd Shitting June) and I’ll be hip-grinding my way up the M5/M42 with a bollocks car load of North American Railways (with a special show price of £20)



and these promotional (chest)puppies:



In addition, we’ll bastard have Snowdonia: The Siege of Petersburg / The Channel Tunnel 1881 for a titty tenner (£10) and – so I am ASS-ured – a few copies of the Tsavo Lions charity postcard (also for a tenner, all proceeds to the Ugandan Games Club fund!).



Felch.

Apologies, again, for the humbumdrum nature of this jizz.

Oh, BTW; yesterday's cartoon was taken by some on Facebook as a veiled announcement of the passing of my own parental and was followed by some very kind wishes. Ho-hum.
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Thu May 24, 2018 6:31 am
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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Game Designer

Anthony Boydell
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Ziggy the dog - who is making an excellent recovery, thank you for all your good wishes - woke me far too early this morning with a frantic yipping; this is unusual and, given his medication has made him constipated, I feared he was calling for urgent release so he could effect an 'urgent release'. Cursing under my breath (so as not to awaken the rest of the household) at the ungodliness of the hour, I walked him around the drizzling garden and - in the wet gloom - I had an epiphany while Ziggy had an (if you will) epoophany...

We've only just finished putting away the dishes from the Easter Sunday lunch and we're already haring towards May like a Coopers' Hill cheese roller hares towards a crushed face and twisted limbs. May contains a couple of our children's birthdays (a 19th and a 21st) so when the dust icing sugar settles on the partying it'll be June and the UK Games Expo! The Expo looks like it's going to be bigger, brighter, louder and more wonderful than ever; we're gonna meet up with loads of gaming pals, sell some stuff and we've managed to get (cheaper) rooms in the main hotel so the end of a looooong day doesn't involve a looooong walk to bed! Why, then, when I think about it, do I feel dread?

Last year I wandered the free play rooms in a bewildered daze; hundreds of people playing hundreds of games, sound-tracked by the dull roar of the chattering crowd. There were queues at the Bar, queues at the food concessions, queues in the corridors for the LARP specials and pre-booked seminars and sitting-on-the-floor room only for gaming.

Away from the safe and familiar confines of our Exhibition Stand, there's so much to do and so many people doing it that I find it almost impossible to process and end up fleeing to my room instead. At the Expo, you never really leave the crowds - they've just piled OUT of the N.E.C and IN to the hotel. If I wasn't the custodian (and transporter) of 300 copies of North American Railways, I think I'd be disposed to close the curtains and stay at home!

I think, therefore, that I need to fill my evenings beforehand - just like I've settled in to doing for Essen Spiel - and that includes pre-planning specific games. So, who's going to the UKGE and wants to play some games/hang out with a neurotic, sweary 50 year old?
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Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:37 pm
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NAR? Well...

Anthony Boydell
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I, once again, have a Hallway full of board games and, once again, I managed to not be there when they arrived!
Thankfully, the house is replete with offspring so they formed an orderly line and shuttled 300 copies of North American Railways to their temporary, pre-UK Games Expo home:




Of course, the reason so many now languish upon well-trod terracotta is Surprised Stare Games took a minor investment punt on the reprint and we're officially the main source of copies in the UK (!):







BTW, yesterday's post was the first noodlings for the Expo NAR pre-order exclusive bonus - Sharedonia (aka 18SNOD) - which will come with a train of some kind on the other side too (which one from my notepad has yet tbc).

If you want to pre-order a copy for Expo (circa £23) then please send an email to feedback@surprisedstaregames.co.uk coz there's still plenty o' copies available. And now they're an actual real thing too. All along my bloomin' Hall.

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Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:35 am
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Share and Share Alike

Anthony Boydell
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Whenever you would place a scoring marker on a station (either by excavating the last rubble in a space or building), you may choose to take any other single player's scoring marker and place it on to the station space instead of yours. If you do, immediately place a number of your scoring markers on that player's SHARE PORTFOLIO (a card) based on the value of the donated space:
- 4 to 9 points = place 1 marker;
- 10+ points = 1 or 2 markers (you choose).

You have shares with as many other players as you choose. You cannot have shares in yourself (!)

At game end, after normal scoring has been totaled, for each player with whom you have 'shares', gain 1 point for every 10 of their final score multiplied by the number of shares you have with them. Add each to your score.


For example:


Does this make any actual sense?
(eg. digging/building in crap spots and 'donating' them for a better return later )
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:18 pm
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Minnellium 2000!

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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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