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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Winter Is Coming

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Two so-called 'friends' are conspiring to remove all spare cash from my pocket by sending me links to this and that and the other; if it's not Richard and a variety of excellent, essential books, it's Phil Dennis and some vintage products that either he has already (most likely) or isn't particularly interested in.

Phil, you see, curates his collection of vintage games and has nurtured great discipline over the years. Me? Well, I'm at the "Wow! that looks so cool so I'll have it!" stage; a withering space for storage may temper this addiction but, perhaps, the exit of several children to "places of their own" may just exacerbate it!

The most recent of Mr D's recommendations was a select of Chad Valley 1900s games that I lost out to in an online auction despite auto-bidding the selling price:

From gallery of tonyboydell


However, the one prior to that I managed to bag and immensely pleased I am too:

From gallery of tonyboydell


This is a roll-and-move affair but - great scott! - what a beautiful arrangement!

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Battered and bruised

I _did_ find another part-copy on eBay this week but the bidding went from a sedate £5-£10 up to the £50 mark in the last 30 seconds (!) - thankfully, I backed away from the frenzy with a cool head.

From gallery of tonyboydell


So, without lamenting what I could've had, let's enjoy what I actually got:

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From gallery of tonyboydell


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From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell
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Wed Jul 1, 2020 6:20 am
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We Didn't Start The Fire...Yet.

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Waaay back in the mists of Time - almost a million BGG image uploads ago now - I hosted a gaming weekend and it was attended by everyone's favourite wheezy games club host (Boffo Bateson) and my arch MTG nemesis and all-oval good egg Mr Matt Green.

We constructed a series of train games using nowt but matches and some paper and this became FIREBOX:

From gallery of tonyboydell

Boffo’s Splendid Tomfoolery


In a fit of generosity, I offered to provide some FIREBOX copies to generous donors to the Ugandan Chrysalis project as thanks for their well-needed cash. And then time passed.

And then MORE time passed.

And then we had to get ready for Spiel'19.

And then we had The March of Progress and The Ming Voyages kickstarter.

And then Covid-19.

So now, naturally, those benefactors are worried their tiny bundles of inflammatory joy are going the way of the Kingdom: Death Monster crowdfunder...or - qu'elle horreur! - Up Front.

Fear not, Ben (the other one) and fear not most worshipful backers for progress is almost imperceptibly-slow but progress nonetheless:

From gallery of tonyboydell


I have huge bags of non-ignitable matchsticks, dice and train-eeples in the Shed and we are trying to source someone to print all the paperwork (see above); then it won't take long to hand-assemble to bits and everyone will be happy!

Huzzah!

Good things come to she who waits...just as long as Tony pulls him thumbs out of his ass, eh?!
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:45 am
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das Fett kauen

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Me and one of my favourite ever Germans, Mr Ulrich Blennemann, chew the fat:


(Uli is very quiet - uncharacteristically - in this one)

Here's fun: how many times do I side-eye my live 'room next door' stream from Dominic Cummings?

I do miss my European friends so very much.
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Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 am
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Interference

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Aleph Null continues at a phenomenal pace; indeed, the last week has seen Matthias and I exchanging messages throughout and - at last count - I've played it over 50 times in seven days. With it sat on my library room table - all set up and ready for a run - it goads and tempts me from Dawn to Dusk.

Having beaten the living daylights out of the main deck, darkpact (appropriate name) and myself have been testing out the interference cards: a relentless catalogue of obstructions to make a difficult job even more impossible (if possible):

From gallery of tonyboydell


We've just graded them in to three levels to match up with my proto-campaign model (see below); depending on how high up you want to sit in the Echelons of the Inferno, these levels of meddling become greater and greater:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Think you can cope with some mid game tampering? Well, why not up the Eternal stakes and suffer hourly intrusions from the Vatican and its conclave of 'white' wizards?!

Gosh, but this game drips theme like a dribbly, ceremonial candle.
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Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:20 am
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Are you feline lucky, punk?

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level V - My God! It's Full of Stars!Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
During Spiel'19, I doodled a promo card idea for Lux Aeterna based on Alien's Jones the cat. Having re-connected with Alex Lee (on a work basis, for exploratory Aleph Null stuff), he was reminded of this too and sent over his works-in-progress:

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


Feel free to PnP: every time a system collapses, put its die on the CAT...if there are two (hard) or three (easy) die on the CAT, the cat mutates and you lose the game immediately.

Good luck.
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:23 am
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I Never Baphomet A Wizard I Didn't Like

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Ok - so here's a video illustrating the gameplay of Aleph Null. It's taken me MANY attempts to get a whole game done; ideally, I'd like to show a victory BUT my ineptitude often gets in the way. Additionally, I keep finding little edge cases mid-game and try and rationalise them in to the general framework as I go along!

Anyway, here's the (flawed) video:



BTW - here's a little (spoilered) post-game analysis:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
This game should've been a probable LOSS rather than a (low score) WIN because the Brazier generated three power in a single turn - around 16 mins in - and should've destroyed itself at the end of that turn; the resulting confusion about Brazier triggers in the last few turns wouldn't have occured after all.

Also, I was outrageously lucky using the Cursed Hourglass when one of the three cards available was a major piece of the Baphomet-summoning puzzle and a managed to NOT draw it - normally, I wouldn't gamble on it!
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:30 am
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Dream House

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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I'm a vivid dreamer; I don't think a night has ever gone by without me having been drawn through a narrative of some kind. Diaries and notebooks are peppered with first-awoken scribblings trying to get the whole episode down before it evaporates. I love dreaming; it's always something to look forward to. In recent weeks, houses - large, labyrinthine houses - have been a major theme; indeed, as any amateur psychologist kno, the Covid pandemic and associated lockdown must be the key trigger here: rattling about Appleton House, its garden and the Shed and (pretty much) nowhere else.

However, I've always loved 'big houses' and often designed my own as a teenager: peppered with the usual 19th century staples like a dedicated library, a billiard room, an orangery and so-on, there would also be an excessive number of secret passages, false walls, tunnels and hidden chambers. I can trace this mild obsession back to my grandmother's cottage in East Anglia (I say 'cottage' but it was pretty huge): "Kettle Hill". Stables and a stable-yard abutted the back of the house along with greenhouses, a walled vegetable garden and miscellaneous sheds; while the core of the building was four rooms up/four rooms down, Kettle Hill had been built upon - and the "builded upon"s further built-upon, such that the Boot Cupboard in the Hall led to a utility room led to a walk-in cupboard led to a side porch on to the garden. The sitting room linked a small dining room, my Great Grandmother's sewing room (south-facing to catch the morning Sun) and a bijou conservatory. In the outbuildings, a staircase 'up' linked a length-long corridor and a return 'down' staircase at the other end: how utterly entrancing for a young child to get lost in the dusty spaces.

My best (early secondary school) friend, Paddy Martin lived in a Vicarage in a village outside Monmouth; he and his two brothers each had enormous rooms, his Father had a converted stable-cum-garage in which to keep his vintage cars (he had a particularly-gorgeous Wolsey with flipper indicators, an MG-B and a frog-eyed Sprite) and - best of all - the house had an Attic that was open across the entire footprint of the building: the detritus of their lives scattered away from the step-ladder in to the pitch black of the gables. We shot air rifles at Action Men filled with tomato sauce across the Christmas decorations.

Having recently re-vamped The Black Overcoat Game's central board, it now illustrates this architectural preoccupation most succinctly:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Alas, nothing short of a National Lottery win (I don't participate) OR a spectacular Bequest would let me bring my grand dreams to reality so - instead - I get to wander its ever-shifting Halls, nightly, pursued by a dinosaur / trying to leave and get to work on time / wondering why I am naked and where on earth are my trousers?
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Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:38 am
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In good (Worshipful) Company

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Long time ago - well, around 2008-ish, I noodled with the idea of becoming a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of the Makers of Playing Cards: one of the oldest (1620s) Guilds of London. I went to a Company banquet, partook of The Loving Cup ceremony* and took the Master out for a bijou luncheon by way of an interview. It all came to nought in the end; it sort of fizzled like a 'not out' game of Solitaire.

As part of his ongoing campaign to bleed me of every last pound, pal Richard messaged me a link to a Worshipful Company charity fund-raising project:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Naturally, as self-appointed curator of the largest and most comprehensive fictional boardgaming museum in the United** Kingdom, I ordered four copies: this won't be in the shops, you know and it'll be done when it's done:

https://makersofplayingcards.org/covid-19-playing-cards-lord...

Any interest in this from you lot?

*I assure you that this is not a variation on 'soggy biscuit'
**Yeah. Right.
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Sat Jun 6, 2020 9:37 am
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We have a Situation...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Long time ago - back in the days when I was a Welsh Govt Contractor (that's AT LEAST two years, now!) - you may recall me picking up a weird 4 player drafting/jigsaw-building game (see HERE). Well, from the (relative) comfort of my library armchair I happened upon this:

From gallery of tonyboydell


A real-time, jigsaw-mechanism-ed area control curiosity from the late 1960s! As if happening upon such a wacko and, yet, strangely modern idea wasn't enough: I also found out, in my research, that it has a sequel (Situation 7)!

From gallery of tonyboydell


Each team (or player) has a full set (there are two) of identically-cut pieces that form the whole gridded cityscape and they race to construct sections that complete squares in the grid for end-of-game scoring; to help, if you build your Tank compound, you can deploy tanks to stand-off your opponent's approach and an airbase that lets you drop paratroopers in to empty (non-adjacent to your pieces) zone.

From gallery of tonyboydell


It sounds mental - like Galaxy Trucker or Factory Fun mixed with Patchwork, or something.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Bridges to cross the river too - and flags to indicate your territory.


From gallery of tonyboydell

Even the insert is an elaborate, multi-segmented thing of cardboard beauty!


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


The sequel - Situation 7 - is rarer than hens' teeth to get ones hands on (in the UK, at least) - unless any of you beautiful people can help feed my continuing questular addiction?!
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Fri Jun 5, 2020 6:30 am
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global interpreter lock swedish locality

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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So I received my brandly-spankly-new copy of the KS High Rise pack the other day and noticed - almost immediately - several rulebook quirks*:

From gallery of tonyboydell


If I was 'a mainstream gamer', I'd be back on to the forums demanding a full reprint of the whole thing (to correct errors) AND a short YouTubes vid of Gil Hova apologising profusely AND some free things to en-smoothen my furrowed brow and calm my justifiable anxiety.

But I'm not one of those twats* so I won't; I'll just dress up my disdain and confusion as a jocular blog post seething with passive aggression. Oh, did I type that last bit 'out loud'? Damn!


*Grogan is gonna be ALL. OVER. THIS.
**I am an entirely different kind of twat.
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Thu Jun 4, 2020 6:20 am
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