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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The Gardens of Earthly Delights

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise



surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise
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Today 6:30 am
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That's why Mum's gone to Iceland...

Anthony Boydell
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My very own Reykholt card! Because I was doing so terribly at the Leiriacon playtest, I suggested to Matthias that one would be able to grow a different veggies simultaneously in a greenhouse (not that it would've let ME perform any less ineptly)...and, lo!, did he (and Uwe) make it so!

If you want one then stop by at Spiel (4-F121) or say 'Hi!' as I'm wandering about and get one (per person) while my stocks last!

(unfortunately, I only saw the card AFTER it went to print so the English is a little broken in places )

#baskingintheglow
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Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:18 am
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Putting the 'T' in to Tuesday!

Anthony Boydell
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More tidbits from the elves working on Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea:


The box with a slight twist (and, yes, it should be 1-5 and 60-90 mins)


More train designs because Alubari has quite a lot 'in the (fire) box'!


A couple of special trains...


weather for the back of the Contract Cards.


The Tea Gardens...


More town 'pop-outs' for the main board!


A sheet of standard icons (and you know how I love icons!)

Comin' along noice, innit?!
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Tue Oct 9, 2018 6:15 am
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Q-Jumpers

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(for those who complain about Spiel's "Family Day" ie. the Saturday)

This year's essen-tial Spiel accessory!

Are you gonna get yours?!




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Fri Oct 5, 2018 6:30 am
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Getting some artistic training

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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After the frenzied Kickstarter campaign in July, the NSKN Games peeps have been awfully busy working on the Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set! They've been laying things out, have engaged young up-and-comer Dávid Turczi to do a solo automa AND a new artist to pep up / remove the copyright infringements of my bloggish promos:



They're releasing them in small batches (and I've seen a lot more than these - ha!), so rest assured there'll be a few more updates like this over the next 6 months!
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Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:30 am
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Can you guess what I'm holding in my hand..?

Anthony Boydell
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...that's right: it's a book*. Not just ANY book, either; no, it's a new entrant in my collection of game-related tomes. In fact, several books have crossed the Boydell transom in the last few days and some are presented below.





Of particular interest, however, is this weighty little beauty from 1876:





Spurred on by a blog comment from West Walesian - and occasional Ross-on-Wye-r - Phil Dennis, I sought the World Interwebs for a copy of The Sports & Pastimes of the English People. Ebay is, simultaneously, a dear friend and a bitter enemy; the whole transaction took less than 10 seconds to complete and now I (tremblingly) hold it in my sweaty palm (still a book).

For the price of JASE, this musty and crackle-paged time machine figuratively drips with charm, earnestness and wit; for the equivalent of a couple of Terraforming Mars expansions, two thousand years of Britannic arsing-about, time-wasting and leisure pleasures have been collected in this joyful package.

















Comprehensively gorgeous, extensively lovely and utterly precious.

*of course, in my other hand is my knob.
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Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:15 am
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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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Newent. Glos
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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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