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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

Archive for Advent Calendar

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Adventskalendar 10 - How are you pronouncing that?

Anthony Boydell
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Iquazú

Before I get to my rant, let's try and agree what the game is called:



Right!

Now to the promo itself!

...

Oh, crivens - I've run out of ti-
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Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:50 am
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Adventskalendar 9 - Flick 'em Off

Anthony Boydell
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I'm off to my best pal Malcolm's 50th birthday party today and will be riding around the West Midlands on a double-decker bus drinking craft beers and eating pies.

I have just enough time to toss off a 'mouthful', though:

Dexterity games like this and Ice Cool and Catacombs and their cardboard-sculptured ilk are a tremendous amount of fun...for EXACTLY THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES TO GET A DEMO AT A CONVENTION! Then, afterwards - and in the safety of one's own home/club session - you stare at the assembled components and wonder whatever the Hell possessed you to pay good money for poor quality Dolls House furniture / a movie set fit for a flea.

"Oh, but it was hilarious when {insert tiresome you-had-to-be-there anecdote here}!!!" they cry (with too many exclamation marks, probably). No it wasn't. It never works out that way ie. you spend waaaay too much time missing everything, hunting for lost pieces under chairs / pulling them out of pet's jaws and bruising your cuticles. Avoid.
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Sat Dec 9, 2017 6:35 am
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Adventskalendar 8 - A Load of Balls

Anthony Boydell
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Glüx? So unassuming on it's original release that even the designer didn't know it had come out!


They're just not trying now, are they? Queen Games - renowned manufacturers (and birthers-to-the-world) of the glorious Kingdom Builder, Alhambra, Wallenstein and Lancaster - knock up a Festive slab of giant smarties tokens for this bag-centric equivalent of a deck of coloured cards with numbers on them.

I must point out - in the interest of balance - that I'd never heard of this before today, have never played it, have no idea how it plays and have no inkling of whether it's any good or not. I merely judge it by the lame box art, the dull board and the supply of food-dyed Eucharistic wafers included. I'd send it to one of you but, like the Queen Games graphics team on this, I evidently can't be arsed.
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Fri Dec 8, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 7 - O! The Delicious Irony!

Anthony Boydell
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It was the first thing I noticed.

CAN you see it?

It's something (indirectly) to do with me.

Can YOU see it?

It's subtle, mind.

Can you SEE it?

You'll probably miss it altogether!

Can you see IT?

Can you?

Answers below, please (if you can be bollocking bothered).

P.S. I'm obviously not going to shit where I eat on this one.
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Thu Dec 7, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 6 - A River Ranis Through It

Anthony Boydell
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By Zeus' sagging "clock-weights" but this is a proper sturdy sheaf of cardboard and no mistake! Not two days ago was I (rightfully) complaining about the (inexcusable) paucity of some so-called 'gifts' and then the Gods deliver this fountainous load right in to my shocked face! Mind you, the thought of a worker-placing, dice-drafting 'race' game fills me with mortal dread; perhaps we could shoe-horn even MORE mechanics in, eh? All one needs is 'hidden roles' and a bloody deck-to-be-built and you can call "Housey-House!" for that four-slice toaster you've had you're eye on for ages.

A great promo, then, for a Jury's still out game; perhaps I should check out the Designers' pedigree? That's usually a good indicator of quality*.

(scurries off)

Oh.

*(says the bloke who shat Scandaroon on to a rightly-indifferent public)
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Wed Dec 6, 2017 6:15 am
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Adventskalendar 5 - Cities & Chitties

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(press play before reading)


A sparkle-nosed fawn treads tentatively through the underbrush and emerges - the first golden rays of Dawn reflected in it's wide, green eyes - to greet the new morn. The clear, pure waters of the stream tinkle and giggle over glossy pebbles; the deer stoops and sips the cold liquid but there is a CRACK!

The creature starts! Frozen, except for it's ears twitching, it listens; there is another CRACK! and it bounds away in to the dense foliage and the safety of the darker forest. The stream burbles on; the footprints in the silt already washing away.

With a sweep of branches before, something even more majestic has quested its way in to the clearing:


Gentes: New Cities in all of its multi-chitted glory!


The first promo that I have been excited about has been vomited from the cardboard guts of the Advent calendar! Yes! Gentes is a very fine game indeed and this splendid promo pays due respect to its progenitor: new actions and new bonus tiles and plenty of 'em (are you paying attention, Alexandria?! Eh?!). Gotta love those Spielworxx guys.

Now: go out there and have a bloody lovely day, dear friends!

Go!
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Tue Dec 5, 2017 6:15 am
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Adventskalendar 4 - Burn It With Fire!

Anthony Boydell
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Now this one I had heard vague mutterings about while in Germany; I believe we were queuing for a table at the "Pigs Knuckle Brew House" and I overheard someone mention there was a game about the Library of Alexandria to be had: think Downfall of Pompeii but collecting books at the same time?



An amusing little chitty, it seems that >1 player in this room will make everyone lose time - ho! ho! ho! Us boardgamers, eh - what are we like? A good joke well implemented then but, wait, there's an elephant in the room here - can you see it?

LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE PROMO COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE KALENDAR CARDBOARD SHEET?!

FFS, how hard could it have been to come up with at least three more 'fun' rooms to make this a worthwhile promo, eh? I mean, I came up with SIX tiles for the Isle of Skye Kennerspiel-winner celebration set and it only took me one boring ICT Team meeting to do so! Lazy, that's what it is; sheer bloody laziness!

Next time ask me; I'll do it for a cup of nice coffee and some free stuff.
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Mon Dec 4, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 3 - The Noise That Annoys?

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Today we see the first non-cardboard promo - ie. a card - for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure, a classically-themed, multi-nominated flavour of the several-months-now.


Sneak in, steal stuff but don't wake the Dragon


Clank is a push-your-luck deck-builder with some cute twists but my deck-building gaming taste-buds have been forever-tainted with the sour tang of "the Dominion years". Dominion is now a game so overwrought and so overladen that one might-as-well play it like Dobble ie. set out ten random piles and whoever spots 'the combo that will win' first is the winner; if there is a tie, roll a d6 to see who would've got that combo going first. Besides, its only had 659 plays this month so far...and 626 were some joker logging his mobile app sessions: that's basically defunct, innit?!

(insert a sad face emoji here to lend an air of authenticity)

Whilst I have no particular axe to grind either way with Clank!, it IS pleasing to see this promo going for circa 10 euros in the Geekmarket - that's an infinite %-age profit on my original Adventskalendar investment of "Free und gratis to you, mein guvnor!"

(insert a smug emoji here)

(oh, and don't forget to delete the placeholder prompts, you knob!)
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Sun Dec 3, 2017 6:30 am
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Adventskalendar 2 - The Arse of Eternity

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The English side of the rulesheet calls this 'A Column of Fire' but that's not what the German side calls it, oh no! 'The Arse of Eternity' (literal translation) is a complete mystery. I don't recall any fuss or bother in 2017 for this 2017 release; there was no Essen Spiel stampede, no hotness-bothering hovering: nothing...other than a vague indication that it's Part 3 of a Follett-based series. The first Follett ('Pillars of the Earth') is utterly fantastic, the second ('World Without End') I have heard is utterly fantastic and this - of which I have heard nothing at all - looks like it might be utterly fantastic but that's no guarantee nowadays.

Still, it is Christmas, so if I don't buy anything for myself then I'll not get anything at all...

(scurries off to the BGG Marketplace)

Oooh, there's one for £25!

(presses [Add to Cart])
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Sat Dec 2, 2017 6:45 am
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Adventskalendar 1 - The Most Passive/Aggressive Game Since Hanabi?

Anthony Boydell
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Picture Grandma's face as you slam the dobber down repeatedly - and hard - in front of her because she can't work out a) which tile she's supposed to be looking at and b) what the little 'role' chit in front of her means again. You'll vibrate the false teeth right out of her mouth!

Picture little cousin Jimmy - his crisp new Beano annual in one hand and a Lego Star Wars figure in the other - as you slam the dobber down repeatedly - and hard - in front of him because he can't work out a) why everyone is shouting at him when he was perfectly happy sat in a mountain of wrapping paper in the Dining Room five minutes before and b) can he watch the Christmas cartoons on CBBC yet? You'll make him cry so hard he'll be sick!

Magic Maze is an appalling platform for shouty, pompous twats to get all on your dick about "paying attention" and "working together" and shit. Here's your Adventskalendar Day 1 so-called 'gift': you're f*cking welcome to it.
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Fri Dec 1, 2017 10:21 am
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