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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 What was that beardy bloke going on about?

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Relatively Awesome!

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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Last Night an SdJ Saved My Life

Anthony Boydell
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Many profuse and effervescent and heartfelt congratulations to this year's nominees for the Spiel des Jahres:

Kingdom In O
The Maze one
Something from Knizia that no-one's heard of before*!

Well-deserved, I'm sure of it! Yes, indeed: marvelous stuff!

Though I've not played any of them; in fact, I don't think I've even SEEN any of them played in my company OR on any shelves in shops I have visited OR mentioned in any social media circles in which I harass frequent but I am certain that they're absolutely top-hole, ticketty-boo and stonkingly-tonking!

Now, while these shining stars in the Germanian firmament belch forth their atmosphere-stripping ion clouds** of family-friendly fun, of lightweight ludological laffs and kinfolk-komforting keine-komplexity, it's easy to overlook the other fine (FINE!) products hovering (daintily, coyly) on the Recommended list:

Pass The Bum: Shite Games have finally made the big time! PtB is a simple little pick-up-and-deliver-er where a city map layout is randomly seeded, during set up, with bums (pink-as-a-cock cubes), hobos (corpse grey cubes), tramps (piss-yellow cubes) and mendicants (vomit green cubes); each is given a 'need' indicated by their location: ethanol, 'some smokes', Donkey Porn, a cardboard box and/or "a good shoeing". Players score veeps for supplying the need with the appropriate resource(s) and wild card "Why don't you just fuck off and die?!" chits are also available. A bold choice in the list, for sure, but one that chimes with modern times.

Wooooooh: Shake the Table and Rattle the Lamps!: Hilarious Psychic-themed dexterity game - I suppose you could call it "Medium Weight" (!) - where players compete to be the first to accidentally summon Beelzebub and his Hellish Lieutenants (pronounced 'left-enants') before being covered in Ectoplasm***!

Herr Blockade und seine magischen Anus von Worten: (translation: "Mr Block's Magical Word Box") Token word game for the grandmothers; a bit like Scrabble but with suppositories.

What a wonderful time to be a gamer and no mistake!





*well, at least not with this name and art work.
**Er...probably NOT the allusion I intended...
***not to be confused with "The Big Bukkake of Madness", also from Shite Games
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Wed May 24, 2017 6:40 am
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Git orf moy lahnd!

Anthony Boydell
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I can't remember if I've showed you this before, dear thing, so I'll show it to you again just in case.

Back in the mists of the noughties, Agricola was brand new and had a couple of small expansions (probably the Cz and the X decks); as a game designer, bolstered by the incalculable success of Copperwtaddle, Bloody Legacy and Scandaroon, I looked at these small-but-perfectly-formed thematic add-ons and thought:

"I can do that!"

The arrogance is astounding, isn't it? Anyway, this was pre- play-agricola.com pumping out the playtesting of what would subsequently be World Champs, Gamer and Pi decks, the Fr deck et al and also waaaaaay pre-railway-up-a-mountain stuff. I thought it would be tres amusent to put together a GB (Great Britain) deck: lots of in-jokes about Tea, Stephen Fry, Crap Tennis, Doctor Who, Rain and so on.

How I (and only I) laughed.


Sundry mimps.



Miscellaneous Occs.



O! Martin, Martin...


Of course, nowadays, it's probably more appropriate to come up with the following:



*sigh*
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Mon May 22, 2017 6:25 am
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Better with Beef!

Anthony Boydell
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Board Game boxes made better with beef?





Now you..?

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Wed May 17, 2017 6:05 am
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He's unitary perfect and highly composite

Anthony Boydell
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Today 'Congratulations' are in order to Mr Alan Paull because his corporeal self is
60 (sixty)
years old!



Well done, that man!

It's been 20 years since we first met up at the Pub in Cheltenham to play Magic: The Gathering and I found out that you were a bona fide "game designer" (Siege, Thunderin' Guns, Starship Tycoons, City of Sorcerers, Tara, Seat of Kings and Confucius)!
How time has flown and how much we've all achieved with Surprised Stare Games Ltd; chapeau, monsieur!

Love from Tony.
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Tue May 16, 2017 6:30 am
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You know that thing about Terraforming Snowdonia I did a few days ago..?

Anthony Boydell
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Well, here ya go:



Cost = 1 Steel (!).
Whenever you excavate, you excavate like Events do ie. one space per point of Work Rate rather than one cube.
However, you cannot further affect the number of cubes you take with Contract Card effects.
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Sun May 14, 2017 6:30 am
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Rollin'

Anthony Boydell
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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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W.I.P.2

Anthony Boydell
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(whispers) It's very, very early but I'll already be on the road to North Wales AGAIN; so here's something to look at until tomorrow.

I have been working with someone, rather intensely, these last few weeks on revisiting and revamping my Snowdonia spin-off big-box game A Nice Cup Of Tea. It was intended as a bigger, grander expansion for Snowdonia but has morphed somewhat in to it's own beast! With many alarming similarities to the 'final tweaking' process that I went through with the original Snowdonia, we have been playing and fine-tuning various elements and - this weekend - looking at a full shuffle of the components and, in particular, the board itself:







It is, to its ancestor, as Age of Industry is to Brass but kind-of/sort-of in reverse ie. getting more specific rather than becoming more 'generic'. ANCOT is coming along a treat; hopefully more news soon!
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Tue May 2, 2017 6:05 am
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Fill My Slot

Anthony Boydell
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I am trembling with anticipation to see the final, 'for real' version of The Cousins' War in my sweaty little 'surprised' hands but...did you know there were a couple of spare card slots that needed a-fillin'? Well, we at SSG - like Nature - abhor a vacuum so I set to work with Mr David J. Mortimer to design this cheeky (and thematic) double-sided promo:



For the other slot, I took myself out for a quiet ale and convinced myself to design something for Guilds of London too:



Can you work out what they both do from just the images and the (dreaded) iconography?
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Wed Apr 5, 2017 6:30 am
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The Little Train That...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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This is an actual, fondly-remembered, misty-eyed childhood nostalgic thing:


So, naturally, someone 'meme'-ed it thusly:


And, consequently, I felt it my duty to extrapolate further:
Spoiler (click to reveal)




Happy Sunday!
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Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:30 am
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