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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In Logo Parentis

Anthony Boydell
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How about this for a new Surprised Stare Games Ltd logo?

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Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:15 am
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The noise that a train makes?!

Anthony Boydell
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A couple of weekends ago, in that moment just after waking, I wiped the 'sleep' from my eyes and scanned the bedroom. I stopped at the Steam Railways 2018 wall calendar (which was still on August, of course) and as my gaze passed along the sleek, shiny length* my mind transposed the carriages and the track to a line of cards with carriages upon them and then, immediately - because the brain's algorithms for memory retrieval are astonishingly-indexed and optimized - I whispered one word: "Fzzzt!". Fortunately, my sudden ejaculation failed to arouse a softly-snoring Mrs B** and I slipped out of the tangled duvet and down to the library room to retrieve my prize.

It's a constant source of vexation that Surprised Stare Games doesn't have more of a general retail presence - especially given we have a game about Ivor the Engine that seems to be like pulling teeth to get in to the Heritage Railway circuit! My Dawn inspiration offered me a smaller, lighter and more accessible avenue in the form of a trains version of Fzzzt! and, so, Fweeep! is born:



Conceptually, the 'conveyor belt' becomes the track; the robots become train carriages; the 'set icons' become 1st Class, Luggage, Dining and Freight; and the 'zaps' become 'guineas'. Easy-peasy, so let's send the files off to the printer tootie-sweetie! But, wait! Belay that impetuous order! There is still much work to be done!



You see I don't want just a straight re-theme; equally, I don't want to over-complicate things too much either - I just want to give it a vigorous polish. So, I made some tea and had a good think:



Fweeep! is absolutely-recognizable as a Fzzzt! variant albeit with a couple of minor adjustments e.g. the lower 'bid power' carriages will also come with a helpful 'When bought...' effect and I've adjusted the VP allocations a tad. I also dug out the 12 card expansion that only made it to the Russian language edition to really mix up the auction rounds. So, in a way, it should be 80% "re-issue" and 20% "re-think".

The next step is to try it out with some non-gamers to see if the theme helps engage them with the mechanics - ah, the game is afoot afweep!

Aside: I had a quick search for alternative 'whistle' onomatopoeiae for the title and was simultaneously delighted and horrified with the results:

Obviously, someone told 'em I was coming.***


*FFS, people!
**Behave!
***Infants!
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:15 am
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Tome; Toyou

Anthony Boydell
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Browsing the World Wide Internets, as I do on occasion, I happened upon a Twittering mentioning the Rt Hon General Sir Lord James Wallis - the loveliest and tallest designer in the known World - that snagged my attention glands:

"Georgian and Victorian Board Games: The Liman Collection book review: A beautiful coffee-table celebration of games from a bygone age" accompanied by the following link: https://www.tabletopgaming.co.uk/board-games/reviews/georgia...

I am, naturally, a complete-and-utter stooge for anything gaming that is old (I still rue not pushing ahead to win the original Diplomacy prototypes on eBay a few years back) and have accrued a bijou collection, particularly in book form. Reading James' review and then scouting through the fleshy, $Trillion folds of The Great Beast Online, I located a copy for the princely sum of £34 (cheaper than a base set of Terraforming Mars and only slightly more expensive than Terraforming Mars: Prelude - all 15 cards of it). Let me reveal, to you, some of the delights contained therein:












Crivens! Surely 'tis an early Fighting Fantasy?!



Inside Out: Das Brettspiel?!



That’s one Hell of a Start Player marker!



Crumbs! That's a bit grim!



Victoria was a bit of a hottie, eh?





I live near the bottom-left of the 'E' in 'GLOCESTER'



Brass: Birmingham can eff right off!









40 tiny cards used in one of the games...



...one of which tickled my fancy.



Scuffed, but beautiful.


Fancy a copy for yourself? I highly recommend it:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1938461436/ref=oh_aui_de...


Er, hang on a moment?!

...let us return, again, to 'the Giant'...



*Ouch!*


wow
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Fri Sep 7, 2018 6:10 am
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Any portmanteau in a storm?

Anthony Boydell
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Goodness! This just 'plopped' in to my Inbox!



"New Game Announcement

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is one of my favorite board games. So I was intrigued when the designers of Between Two Cities, which I'm proud to publish, were working on a game that combines a partnership mechanism with a twist on elements from Ludwig. We worked out a licensing deal with Bezier Games (developer/partner), and now Stonemaier Games is publishing Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig!

Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, designed by Ben Rosset and Matthew O'Malley, is a tile-drafting game for 2-7 players (45-60 minutes). You work with the player on your left to design one castle, and with the player on your right on another castle. But there is only one winner...

This game features hundreds of unique tiles with art by Agnieszka Dabrowiecka, Laura Bevon, & Barlomiej Kordowski. It also includes 7 custom wooden castle tokens, a double-sided scorepad, and a 4-piece Game Trayz insert that ensures a super fast setup. Click here to view photos and rulebooks in a number of languages.

The retail release date for this $45 game is October 19, 2018. However, if you pre-order it from us as Champion by September 6, you'll get the game in mid-September
"

If it wasn't the end of August, I'd be checking the calendar for this being an April Fools' prank! I fear that Ted (more than Jamey) may actually - as a consequence of this 'cut-and-shut', re-imaginarious and recursive exercise - disappear up his own backside...and emerge with One Night Ultimate Scythe Factions, a custom Age of Steam: Euphoria 'fan' map or some other sommelier (see what I did there?*) nonsense!

Gah!

*sommelier sounds a bit like ''similar'. Ahem.
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:51 pm
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Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

Anthony Boydell
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Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea is delayed until Summer 2019. There's no need for details because there's no malicious intent (no shenanigans) at work here; just 'reasons'. I am content with this sequence of events because it takes some of the hassle out of the forthcoming show; you see, we already have the launch of the 2nd edition The Cousins' War plus North American Railways and Arthur is coming with me, this year, as well! Actually, I think I'm slightly relieved that I'll get a year's respite before fully committing to a 2019 'Tony Explosion' i.e. the Guilds of London expansion, Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set, Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea, Foothills and (possibly) Lux Aeterna!

Winding my excitement back a little to 2018, Essen Spiel will now see us with more preview time for 'Lubes (as I should be ashamed of calling it) and have been promised some stand decorations from the fine Matagot folks; to whet my appetite - and now yours - I was presented with some samples of the art 'so far'.

I am loving the pastel, traveller's notebook atmosphere:



























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Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:15 am
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50% Proof.

Anthony Boydell
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One of those magical occurances happened yesterday, as I was clearing my work Inbox of 'FYI' holiday spam: a WeTransfer notification from Mr Klemens Franz (qv my microbadge line)! This means only one thing: items are ready for proof-reading!



What with everything Lookout Games is piling up for release, Klemens has been attacking the graphics for The Wards of London - further adventures in iconography* for lovers of Guilds of London - piecemeal and the above was the second batch of components. All that's left is to see what he's done with our June brainstorm of box art ideas and the rulebook. I say 'all that's left' but, of course, that's a fuckton** of intensive labour on his side and, to a far lesser extent, on mine and Andy's***.

Apart from a couple of transposed icon flags, the whole thing is ticketty-boo and gorgeous! Continuing this Art-y strand, I may even have some Alubari goodness to show you soon too. Maybe.

*there are a couple of new icons but nothing to get in a pickle about: honestly!
**British Imperial Measure of Quantity; there are three hundred 'pocketfuls' in a 'shitload' and fourteen 'shitloads' in a 'fuckton'
***Andy Van Z: my erstwhile collaborator at the Tasty Minstrel Games end!
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:15 am
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Today, I shall be mostly...

Anthony Boydell
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...walking.

And walking.

And walking.

And walking!



I haven't been up since 1974.

I brought my Surveyor with me.

I am so excited I could, literally, puke!

gulp
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Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:30 am
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I heard it through the grapevine?

Anthony Boydell
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It seems that I am always the last to know.



Trying to find out more, but...if it ain't (print) ready then it ain't (print) ready.

soblue

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Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:45 am
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Big Yellow Taxi

Anthony Boydell
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Now, I may be reading things into it and seeing things that aren't there but watching Gary's intro to the Ragnar Brothers' latest promotional video - titled in the YouTubes as "The Romans - The last roll of the dice for the RBs" - made me feel enormously sad. Especially when he opens the overview with "...to tell you a little bit about what may be our least game..."



Perhaps most famous for the classic History of the World, many people have never realised that it's actually an autobiographical game: they have been around for THAT long - civilizations have risen-and-fallen while they got us all mania-ed about canals and moulded up those amusing 'flashing' monk-eeples in Monastery. It matters not whether your donkey is steam-powered or 'au naturelle', the 'Rags' (as no one calls them ) have been fighting the good gaming fight for almost three millennia and the thought of not having their I.K. Brunel-costumed personages cheerfully halloo-ing one across the Trade Halls fills me with melancholy.

In today's noisy, chrome-obsessed hurricane of puffery and short attention spans, the RB's brand of 80s-style chit-and-die histories-in-a-box / gentlemanly Euros have been receiving short-shrift. So, here's the deal: if you like medium-weight Euros with a classical fight-y edge, why not give them a shout and see if you can scrounge a play-test copy/a demo and give The Romans some of your time and love?

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...
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Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:35 am
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The WTF?-le Brothers

Anthony Boydell
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To me, to you...to WHERE?!


Still no news on Fraser, Gordon and their magnum opus* of Aardmanian proportions and we're fast approaching what will be the third Essen Spiel without the Lamont bros. With the rate the Spiel is expanding - almost in proportion with the Fragor Games' game boxes themselves - they'd be hard pushed to find a space in Duisberg let alone Essen itself...unless that ENORMOUS new Messe frontage is being custom-built for the display copy?

As someone who blog-blurts out any piece of news at the drop of a hat (because I get so excited I just can't help myself**), it feels an oddly self-eviscerating move to go for nigh-on two years without a single peep, press release or micro-update; there's no game entry in the BGG DB and it was 2015 that their website last got a refresh! A loyal following they have, for sure, but are they enough to power a Kickstarter campaign to splendid fruition? Is the (Oscar winning) Wallace & Gromit license strong enough to attract an international crowd in sufficient quantity?

In short, where the Grand Day Out-ing, Wrong Trouser-ed, Closely-Shaved, Matter of Loaf and Death fuck are they?! The silence (like that mountain from A Game of Gnomes) is crushing!

*almost EVERYTHING is 'magnum' from the boys TBH
**in hobbygame circles, this is known as 'Premature e-Circulation'
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Thu Aug 9, 2018 6:35 am
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