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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Adventskalendar 25 - Roasting On An Open Fire

Anthony Boydell
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Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:05 am
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Adventskalendar 24 - Cottaging

Anthony Boydell
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Whether this promotional item works in the game or not, it's a HOT Kalendar promo and no mistake; with a bit of luck I can find a keen Uwe completist eager to part with a substantial wad in exchange for it (going rate: 10 euros!). You've also got to admire the wit of putting an Easter-themed micro-expansion for a Summer-themed game in to a Christmas-themed product: genius!

It's presence on the Eve of the Day that the World was Saved coincides with the posting of my traditional annual Poem too (the one I tweak a little bit each time to keep it 'fresh'): a Festive spit-roast of Uwe Rosenberg!

A proper high, then, upon which to end this my third annual "Daily delivery of December Diary Diatribes"*; apart from the Gamenight! folks (and the recently-stuttering Perfect Information Podcast) I've not found anyone else doing such a thing! Most Internet-al Kalendar posts came in late November demanding 'no spoilers!' OR were just pictures of the unopened sachets with the words '£5 each including postage' or similar.

One more sleep..!

*Adventskalendar reviews
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Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:55 am
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Hail Friese Uwe

Anthony Boydell
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(this is now, in my mind at least, an established Christmas tradition: read it yourself, to your neighbours, to your children, to your collection of Keyper character meeples and/or your gaming group. Just the one more sleep!!! Oh, and read the blog title aloud: I'm quite pleased with it)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was playing Terraforming Mouse
The boosters were hung by the chimney with care,
With hope that some (7) Wonder-ful promos be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While Indian Summer played out in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down with T.T.A app.

There came such a noise from the Study below
We both thought, at first, "We're Finished, you know!"
Away to the Games Room I flew fast-as-able
Tore open the cupboards and unfurl’d the table.

The moon on those shelves of some new-varnished pine
Gave lustre of mid-day, made all boxes shine!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a tiny wheeled truck, and eight tiny reindeer,



With a little old driver, so quick to manouvre,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Uwe!
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, in German, and called them by name:

"BOHNANZA! LE HAVRE! now, PATCHWORK und ORA!
LOYANG! CAVERNA! HANDEL, TEE, ET LABORA!
To the shelving for Euros! To the section for dice!
To the Lookout edition of Nusfjord (nice!)

As punched cardboard sprews that fill rubbish bins high
When caught by the chill wind, mount up to the sky,
So up through the ‘fillers’ the coursers they flew,
With a trolley for games, and St. Rosenberg too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard o’er the peace
The prancing and pawing of Friedemann Friese!
I let out a cry at his brightly-green quiff!
Down the Fortress-like chimney he fell with a sniff.



He was dressed all in fur, from his head to the floor,
And the holes in his belt numbered five hundred and four
A bundle of map boards were flung on his back,
And he named himself ‘Greench’ as he gave me a smack!

His eyes – how they twinkled with mischief un-hid
For he carried a minty Fabled Power Grid;
His droll little mouth opened wider and smiled
As a new batch of Fast Forward games he compiled!

And Die drei Gebote was alight...in his teeth!
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he coughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
The Greench that stole Christmas, in spite of himself;
But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a twerk,
And smiled – yes! He smiled! His ankle-bells chimed
Gave me Friday, Flee, Fear and Fabled Fruit: Limes;

He sprang to the sleigh and St Uwe gave whistle,
And away they both flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, though I felt pretty whacked:
"Frohe Weihnachten euch allen, und allen eine gute Nacht!"
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Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:50 am
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Adventskalendar 23 - Is there anybody there? Knock once for 'yes' and twice for 'no'.

Anthony Boydell
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Mysterium is a really clever game indeed; like Codenames - sort-of simultaneous with it - it's a game that is handed over 100% to the responsibility of the players...and may God have mercy on it's soul!

Terrible players = Hilariously inept game!
Great players = Hilariously inept, if awfully po-faced, game!
A mix of Terrible and Great players = Hilariously inept (and blame-ridden) game!

It's a Win-Win for everyone...apart from 'the Ghost', that is! Locked behind a steely, implacable exterior the ghost's mind is an hurricane of frustrated howling as the 'dreamers' take clear signals and bend them in to elaborately-intricate series' of confusions:

Clue given for 'Cricket Ball' as Player X's 'weapon' is a tree with twenty circular, red fruits upon it. Player responses may include:
"Trees are made of wood so it's the baseball bat, yes!";
"Trees are chopped down with an axe, surely?!"); or,
"The fruit could be cooked in to jam and, therefore, you need a frying pan? Or maybe you'd chop the fruit up with the scissors?!"
...and so on. Who'd be one of the restless dead, eh?

Nice card for a great game.
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Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:35 am
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Adventskalendar 22 - Simultaneously Present and Absent

Anthony Boydell
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Like those who put together this promo, I'm severely lacking in giving a shiitake mushroom today. I am in shock, I am in grief because one of my favourite wastes of time has - in it's current form at least - come to an end:

https://infoperfected.com/2017/12/21/a-letter-to-say-good-by...

There's a little less love in my gaming world today and it makes me sad; there also seems to be a LOT less in today's promo, which just makes me grumpy. Bah! Hum-buggering-bug!
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Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:30 am
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Adventskalendar 21 - Top of the World, Ma!

Anthony Boydell
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Ok, so if you thought yesterday's promo was the mutt's nuts / the dog's bollocks / the schnowser's trousers, then today's Snowdonian advent gift is the equivalent of the testicles of an elephant: the Pachyderm's Knackers - Jumbo's Joggling Juicebags, if you would be so kind.

Once more not a square millimeter is wasted in the pursuit of artistic splenditude, mechanical robustfullness and a playability to make the flintiest navvy blush and gasp!


If you want to know what BOTH sides (!) do, then pop over to https://www.snowdoniacentral.co.uk/


I'm just so bloody good at this game design lark it makes my pants ache!
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Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 20 - Guildy as charged!

Anthony Boydell
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Of those that make their opinions known many absolutely adore this, many utterly detest it and there's not many that hover in-between! Obviously, I have previously - on this blog - railed and shaken my fists at the sky; wept fat, inconsolable tears; and, shaken myself off and gotten on with the expansion in a no-nonsense, go get 'em manner.

Today, however, I'm just going to sit back and admire my work on this singular but pleasingly-crafted and compulsorily playable promo:



Every corner filled with colour, every detail carefully considered: note, if you will, the tile colour requirements synchronised with the recruited liveryman's scarf?! See how the 'tile majority icon' has been festively transformed! And just marvel, wet-trousered, at that astonishing for-the-rest-of-the-game ability:

"During Negotiation, no player can use more than one neutral liveryman each against you in any resolution where you have at least one liveryman."*

Powerful stuff, indeed; that, ladies and gentlegeeks, is how to design an Adventskalendar promo!

*and if you want to go one step further, you could tell the other (unsuspecting) players that the ability is actually: "During Negotiation, no more than one neutral liveryman can be used against you in total in any resolution where you have at least one liveryman.". I won't tell anyone if you won't...

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Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 19 - Riga Mortis :-(

Anthony Boydell
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I didn't get out of bed the wrong side or anything but I do feel a tad grumpy about this promo. Not because I have anything against the designer (the EXCELLENT Mr Risthaus) or, indeed, the game itself BUT because - in my opinion - it's a horrible looking promo all round. Especially when you compare it to yesterday's pretty King's Will affair. Tiny pictures and icons on a huge rectangular expanse; and the pictures, where they can be bothered to be present, look like Rights-free clipart: a beardy man in a flat cap?! A solitary helmet? Some stacks of shitty little coins?! If one takes a peek at the actual base game, it looks clean and brisk (if a little plain) but at least it looks like something on the table!

Am I wrong? Is this just Grumpy Old Man Syndrome?

Poll: Grumpy Old Man or Wisdom-stuffed Sage?
1. How was it for you?
Tony is 100% correct in his disdain and contempt
"Plain but functional" floats my gamer boat every time!
Are you blind? This is Da Vinciian in it's grandeur!
Is it Christmas morning yet, Pappa?
2. What would you change about it?
A bloke with a scroll is always welcome.
Not enough icons, mate; I'd add even MORE icons.
Chesty, dagger-wielding Amazons bestridding terrible serpents FTW!
It should be spot-varnished with an invisible QR code that links to 360 degree panoramas of thematically-linked city-scapes and costumed mannequins.
Muuuuuuuuum! The cat's been sick in my Christmas stocking!
      119 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 18 - Weary

Anthony Boydell
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As this post pops up it's festive little bonce over the Yuletide parapet (approx. 0600HRS), I shall be blearily going through 'The Three Esses' in prep. for the murky, drizzle-borne drive down to Cardiff and work. Today's promo looks good, dunnit? Lots of chits and stuff! Only a couple more days and then its Xmas Hols time...well, mostly, as I'm hoping to scavenge a few overtime hours 'testing' during the dead week between 'The Day' and 'New Years'. Games? Well, yes, probably but - of course - not as many as one would imagine or hope; in all likelihood, I shall stand ready with some bijou card games or something like Azul or Meeple Circus only to find everyone "don't really feel like it at the moment" or "is feeling a bit tired, actually" or "can't take learning lots of new rules" etc. Is The King's Will any good? Bleurgh, it's going to be a veritable drought of gaming in reality, isn't it? Mind you, I can surely count on the generous hospitality of the Batesons over the holiday? I hope so otherwise I may start strangling the neighbourhood's cats one-by-one...
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Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:20 am
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Adventskalendar 17 - He's making it up as he goes along

Anthony Boydell
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Dead Santa.


Nope; not one idea or recollection about this one; am I supposed to know more? Did I miss a particularly-important memo? To be fair (to me), this is a 2015 game which is - for all intents and purposes - "Ancient fucking Egypt" in gaming relevance terms: kids today, eh? No attention span.

(*sigh* I suppose I ought to make an effort and describe what's going on here)

This is a great tile and no mistake and is well worth paying the 50 euro cents plus 10 euros P&P from the BGG Marketplace! I mean, on just the one location tile you have:
the ability to trigger ANY keyword effect (under the name, see?) eg. Swamp, Treasure, In vitro fertilization
the adventurer who discovers this location gets TWO Shouting Chests (the associated tokens) and a Level 4 Cleric Lover
Shouting Chest tokens can be traded for 1000 gold each at the next Trading House OR used to scare the Storm Dragon off any Mountain Stronghold terrain.
The Clerical Lover (see icon) is Level 4 which means they can't carry Treasure Items but they DO generate Food tokens every Initiative Phase. And prevent the Adventurer's morale dropping below "Disillusioned".

Overall, an EXCELLENT gift on this chilly December morning.
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Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:45 am
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