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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.

Archive for FLGS

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FLGS 41 (Mule)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in an FLGS; the window is adorned with streamers and glitter and those plastic tooty things with the curled tubes on the end; there are signs propped up against be-clothed plinths proclaiming “Essen 2017!”, “Spiel Games!” and “The Hotness from Germany!”. A customer walks in to view from the right-hand side of the window and gets shorter as if descending a hidden staircase; he pauses, looks about and then backtracks: ascending. He stops, looks around curiously and tentatively takes a step forward…down a bit. He rocks back-and-forth on his feet, alternately rising a bit then falling a bit. He disappears along the way he came…there is a pause…then he comes sprinting in from the right and launches himself in to the air! Instead of landing, he completely disappears with a stifled shout.There is a crash and the door bell rings.)

Door bell: *ding-ding dinga-dinga-ding-dong ding-ding*

(the door opens and the customer falls through, executes a spectacular forward roll and stands up straight. The cashier, his nose in a care-worn copy of “Wicked Willy” and wearing a pearlescent paisley waistcoat, looks up)

Cashier: (putting the book to one side) Ah, good morning, Sir!

Customer: (brushing himself down) Er…good morning.

Cashier: Don’t worry, Sir; those imaginary stairs are a bit tricky – especially when there’s been a severe frost.

Customer: But there hasn’t been a frost –

Cashier: Exactly.

(awkward silence)

Customer: Well, um, I understand you’ve just come back from Essen Spiel?

Cashier: (enthusiastically) Yes, indeed! It was an amazing experience! So many games from so many publishers! Great new things for us (gestures to himself) to share with you! (gestures outward). It’s the best chance for your friendly local game store to get the hotness in to your hands in time for the holidays!

Customer: Fantastic! So, I have a list of things I am interested in (pulls paper from pocket) and hope you can help.

Cashier: I can certainly try, Sir!

Customer: Right...Azul has been getting a lot of buzz…

Cashier: Unfortunately sold out on the Saturday morning, Sir; we hadn’t yet made it to Hall 3 with our trollies!

Customer: Oh, then how about The Gaia Project?

Cashier: Available only in German after the first two hours on Thursday –

Customer: - German would be fine –

Cashier: - only we didn’t get to the Messe until Friday by which time –

Customer: It had sold out?

Cashier: - it had sold out. Completely.

Customer: I see. Any luck with Friedemann Friese’s Fast Forward series?

Cashier: Oh yes! -

Customer: - great -

Cashier: - let me finish: Oh yes…we saw plenty of copies, but they weren’t selling to ‘shops’ due to limited stock.

Customer: Hmmmm – Santa Maria

Cashier: Pre-orders only, Sir.

Customer: Noria?

Cashier: (raises eyebrows) I don’t know that one, Sir – was it a popular game?

Customer: Well, it was in many of the top vloggers’ anticipation lists!

Cashier: Really? Oh, well I suppose I should check some of those out next year then!

Customer: (muttering) Yes, you should. (louder) You must have Nusfjord, though?

Cashier: The new Uwe Rosenberg ‘big box’-er?

Customer: Indeed!

Cashier: The one about fishing in Norway?

Customer: Yep!

Cashier: The one with ‘shares’ in it that’s also a bit like Glass Road?

Customer: Surely!

Cashier: …never found it, Sir; I tried ever so hard.

Customer: But it was on the huge Mayfair/Lookout stand in Hall 1!

Cashier: There was a Hall ONE?!

Customer: Heaven and Ale?

Cashier: The queue was very long when I stopped by.

Customer: Gloomhaven?

Cashier: Too big to bring back in my People Mover, Sir.

Customer: Keyper?

Cashier: Um, well, er…let’s just say that Richard Breese and I have had a “falling out”.

Customer: A “falling out”?

Cashier: (coughs) You haven’t asked me about The Sands of Time?

Customer: Is it worth it?

Cashier: It might be.

Customer: (waits) The Sands of Time?

Cashier: Ha! Got you, Sir! It never made it to the show, Sir; it’s had production issues. Just a little joke of mine.

Customer: A Nice Cup of Tea?

Cashier: Prototype only, Sir; not out until 2018.

Customer: Altiplano? Fields of Arle Expansion? Photosynthesis? Terraforming Mars: Venus Next? Trans Atlantic?

Cashier: “No”, “Nein!”, “Nope”, “In the negative” and “Again, no”…Sir.

Customer: The 7 Wonders Anniversary Packs?

Cashier: They were on a very high shelf and I couldn’t reach them down, Sir.

Customer: Charterstone?

Cashier: Yes, Sir! We have Charterstone!

Customer: (warily) In English?

Cashier: Yep!

Customer: With the Recharge Pack?

Cashier: Yep!

Customer: Actually in this very building?

Cashier: It’s right under the desk next to me, Sir!

Customer: Great! I’ll take one, then!

Cashier: (takes it out and lifts the lid off with a spectacular box fart) This is my shop demo copy, Sir; the pallet arrives in a fortnight just as soon as it’s cleared Customs. Will you be collecting or should I pop it in the Post for you?

Customer: (seething) So did you bring anything at all back from Essen Spiel with you?

Cashier: (gestures to his waistcoat) I got this rather natty waistcoat, Sir?

Customer: You didn't go to Spiel at all, did you?

Cashier: (blushing and ashamed) No, Sir; I overslept and missed my flight. I'm sorry.

Customer: (leaving) What a disgraceful waste of my time!

(the customer departs, slamming the door behind him; a moment later he rises - as if on a lift - in view of the middle of the shop window, shakes his head and walks off)

Cashier: (calling after him) I apologise again, Sir! (he looks down at the open box on the counter) He didn't ask me where I got my copy of Charterstone from...

(the cashier begins to giggle; it develops in to a belly laugh and, quickly, to maniacal roaring. He walks over to the Stock Room door and swings it open: inside are stack-upon-stack of Spiel goodies - all of the major products are there, glistening in their shrink-wrap!)

Cashier: All...Mine!

(Fade Out)
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Wed Nov 8, 2017 6:00 am
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FLGS 40 (Rules)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in an FLGS; there is a painted logo on the window which reads Friendly Hobby Games & Cards)

Door bell: *ding-a-ling-a-dong ding dong ding*

Customer: (cheerfully) Good morning!

Cashier: (tersely) 100% incorrect because it’s on or after 12PM, so: “Good afternoon”

Customer: Er –

Cashier: Can I help you? I’m really rather busy.

Customer: (looks around the obviously-empty shop) Um – I was wondering if you had a copy of 7th Continent; I hear it’s very good!

Cashier: 38% irrelevant as to whether it’s good or not, 33% inaccurate because it’s called “The 7th Continent”. And: “No”, we don’t have any retail copies.

Customer: Oh, bugger; that’s disappointing.

Cashier: I am issuing you with an official warning for profanity; please do not reply to me directly but you may contest the warning with the Manager.

Customer: What?

(the cashier, stoney-faced, stares silently back at the customer)

Customer: Can I pre-order 7th Continent, then?

Cashier: 88% unclear: I cannot make out any details of a preferred timescale. And you've missed out the 'The' again.

Customer: (peeved) Look, mate, I’d like to pre-order (interrupting himself) – paying a 10 percent down payment on – a retail copy of THE 7th Continent – published by Serious Poulp – giving you advanced notice of up to 3 months after which –if still unavailable - I’d like the pre-order to be cancelled and my deposit refunded. Within 30 days.

(the customer pauses, mildly-triumphant)

Cashier: (makes to reach under the counter; there is an interminable pause) One –

Customer: - Yes?

Cashier: - hundred percent –

Customer: - Yes? Yes?

Cashier: (slams hand down hard on the counter) – INCORRECT because The 7th Continent is a Kickstarter-only item and not (yet) available in retail; consequently, your order has been refused! (pulls air to punctuate the sentence) Additionally, we are not 'mates'.

Customer: (angry) You bloody imbecile!

Cashier: (interrupting) This establishment will not tolerate personal attacks and you have been served with a 30 day ban; you will be unable to enter this shop during that period or interact with it’s staff and/or products in any way. The ban is effective immediately.

Customer: Wha?

(the cashier leads the customer to the door, opens it for him and waits until he walks through)

Customer: This is an outrage!

Cashier: Thanks for understanding (closes the door and returns to his position behind the counter)

(the telephone rings)

Cashier: (picking up) Good afternoon?

Voice on Phone: (audible but tinny) Good afternoon – is that “Friendly Cards & Hobby Games”?

Cashier: Only a 60% match: rejected (puts the phone down). Rules are rules, after all.
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Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:23 am
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FLGS 39 (Interrupt)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Door: *ding-a-ling-a-dong ding dong ding*

Cashier: (he is watching a woodlouse crawling slowly across the desk - a Carcassonne meeple is balanced on it’s segmented, chitinous back – and muttering) Go on, my beauty!

Customer: Good morn-

Cashier: (looks up and interrupts) Oh good morning, Sir!

Customer: -ing, shop-

Cashier: (continuing) How can I help?

Customer: -keeper. Um…

(there is an awkward pause)

Customer: Er, yes; I was wondering if you had a copy of King-

Cashier: (jumping in) King of Tokyo?

Customer: No, er, King -

Cashier: King Brick?

Customer: No, um, King -

Cashier: ‘King get to the point?

Customer: Kingdomino

Cashier: Kingdomino?

Customer: Yes; the game that’s just won –

Cashier: (jumping in) of a series like those Escape room games?

Customer: No, just won –

Cashier: - tired Euro mechanic after another?

Customer: No, just won –

Cashier: - derful?

Customer: Just won the Spiel des Jahres!

Cashier: Oh.

Customer: Have you got it?

Cashier: No. Sorry. Was there anything else I could help you with?

Customer: Well, I was hoping I might pick up –

Cashier: (interrupting) – the local radio station?

Customer: No, pick up –

Cashier: - a penguin? (points to a display of chocolate bars and biscuits)

Customer: No, pick up –

Cashier: - a pretty, young gentleman to spend the evening with?

Customer: Pick up something else.

Cashier: Oh.

Customer: Can you recommend anything?

Cashier: (glances down at the woodlouse) Not really, no. You see: I don’t normally work here. I’m just standing in –

Customer: (interrupts) – the local by-election?

Cashier: No, standing in –

Customer:– a pool of your own urine?

Cashier: No, standing in –

Customer: – “Stan Dingin”? That’s your name: Stan Dingin?

Cashier: No, standing in for a friend.

Customer: Oh. Well, in that case, I think I’ll go somewhere else (he leaves)

Cashier: Fair –

Customer: - Enough?

Cashier: No. Fair cough then, yuh bastud.
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Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:30 am
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Minnellium 2000!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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badge my Shed!

Click [Play] and...

It hardly seems like three years since I crossed the magic 1000 posts line only, now, to find myself - chest thrust out against the shiny tape - pressing home the 2000! Only one other BGG blog has been this way before me and that's Eric's BGG News which had a head start, to be fair (but I'm catching him albeit very slowly).

Qn. Is there anyone who's been with me since the beginning*

I've laughed, cried, ranted, travelogued, designed (and designer diary-ed), japed, "session reported", surreal-ed, rumoured and generally muscled my way in to your mornings (or your last thing at nights) since 2011 and yet I still can't get any love from The Geek Weekly! I get (much) love from you folks, though, and that's the (second) best kind of Love of all.

Qn. Why don't people thumb humorous posts with Polls/Quizzes in?

Just like when its one's birthday on a work day, it is I who have brought along some treats!

First up, for those of you who are still having - or who just got the game and are about to have - problems with Guilds of London's iconography, I've done a couple of helpful markup sheets. Simply print on to A4 sized labels, cut out and then affix to the bottom of each card before sheathing in the branded sleeve of your choice:

(If my GoL expansion ever sees the light of day, I'll be sure and get these done on transparent, sticky plastic)

Qn. What is your favourite post evva?

Secondly, I have been awfully selfish in my persistent banging on about "having a shed" (and the need thereof/therein/wheretofore), so I've made some up for Snowdonia and they come in a variety of first-come first-served flavours:

Costs are varying (there is no defined order, just choose the one you want). Your 3rd worker costs 1 coal, but if you pay an extra coal you get your 3rd worker AND you may take a contract card from the selection - if you do take a card, replace it immediately from the top of the deck. During train maintenance you must discard a contract card you possess or lose the train Shed.

Finally, here's a special edition from Boydell's FLGS:


(we are in a FLGS; you can tell because it smells of stale farts and pizza dough even though you’re just reading a description of it on-screen. There are a variety of new releases in the display window along with a sign that says: “Don’t ask because we don’t have: Gloomhaven, any 7 Wonders Dual promos, that game with the ‘tits’ in).”. The cashier is stood behind the counter trying to release his hand from the counter-top, to which it has been stapled)

Doorbell: Ding-dong-dong-ding. Dong-ding-ding-dong.

Customer: (brushing dry leaves from his shoulders) Good afternoon.

Cashier: (looking up; covers stuck hand with a tea-towel) Ah, yes. Good afternoon, Sir! Can I help at all?

Customer: (chuckling, he takes a piece of folded paper from his breast pocket and opens it) Yes, indeed; I very much hope so! Do you have...Whorer Et Labora?

Cashier: Do you mean Ora Et Uwe Rosenberg?

Customer: No, I mean Whorer Et Labora by Duvet Rosenbonk. It's about building and running a place of ill-repute.

Cashier: We haven't got any games by Duvet Rosenbonk

Customer: It's about placing your workers in to empty action slots...mostly.

Cashier: That's as may be, sir, but we don't have it.

Customer: You must have heard of Fields of Arse?

Cashier: No, sir.

Customer: A Fist for Odin? (the cashier glares at the customer) - I see. How about games by Richard Breese?

Cashier: Why, yes, we DO have games by him.

Customer: Deflower?

Cashier: Key-flower, sir.

Customer: No, Deflower. Or Inhabit My Berth?

Cashier: (confused) How are you spelling "Breese", sir?

Customer: B - R - I - E - F - S. The 'F' is silent.

Cashier: (annoyed) Of course it is.

Customer: (looks at list again) I'll try another des-

Cashier: (catching on) Before you ask, "sir", we don't have any games by "Stiff 'un" Feld or Anal R. Moon or Ign-arse-y Trevijerk or Reiner Ker-tits-ia or Alexander Fister or Phil Wanker-Harding or -

Customer: (interrupting) Eric Wang?

Cashier: (fed up) No, sir; and now I am going to have to ask you to leave -

(the cashier tries to walk around the counter but his hand his still stuck to the countertop; he tugs extra hard and the hand is freed - the staple pings off and hits the doorbell)

Doorbell: ting!

Customer: Wait! Wait, I want to buy -

Cashier: (hustling the customer toward the door) Out!

Customer: Tony Boydell?

Cashier: What? (he pauses his pushing)

Customer: Tony Boydell - do you have any games by Tony Boydell?

Cashier: Not "Boney Toydell"? Not "Tony Bordello"?

Customer: No.

Cashier: (dusts himself off; notices there is a huge hole in the middle of his staple-less hand) Er...well I've got a copy of (reaches down to pick something up and shows it to the customer) this?


Question: What game did he show the customer?**

So, there you have it: two bloody thousand posts***.


Can I stop yet?

*excluding anyone who has died or been imprisoned, naturally.
**there shall be a prize for the best answer
***Of course, I'm expecting peeps to thumb the 'flip' out of this post!
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Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:05 am
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FLGS 37 (Public Information Film)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in your everyday, run-of-the-mill, plain-and-simple FLGS; the cashier is operating a forklift truck and elevating a single copy of Gloomhaven to the top of the ‘New Arrivals’ shelf; he is sniggering, profusely, as the pallet rises, in anticipation of the larks that shall surely ensue when a customer eventually tries to retrieve it for purchase. In the window display, unopened Star Wars Destiny booster packs are being fanned out in an elaborate and decorative manner by the store assistant who has also, that morning, cleaned and polished the front window’s glass so that the display is clearly visible; spot-lights and ‘flash’ signs further emphasise the availability of these sought-after products. Thin slivers of razor blade are being affixed to the rim of the display’s back so that any customer invited to “lean over and pull them straight out of the window” will inevitably receive horrific chest and/or stomach wounds. A pyramid of Anachronys shines from the far corner and is signalled by a line of floor tiles with bright “Follow me!” arrows pasted on; each so-decorated tile is several millimetres proud of the overall flooring level because anti-personnel mines have been secreted beneath. The assistant meets the cashier at the Sales Desk and they take, examine and prime a pump-action shotgun each; the barrels of both weapons sport the stencilled phrase “Free Rising Sun Kickstarter Stretch Goal Inside!”. The Stock Room door has, itself, been re-decorated with an enormous 3D PoS standee for Terraforming Mars and a banner announcing 'Self-Service Inside'; if you were to listen, briefly, at the portal you would hear the unmistakable growling of a large cat or cats. A guillotine, primed and horribly-sharp, provides the frame and frontage to a shelf of Santorinis. By the Till, a mass of slithering, writhing and spitting Cobra are contained within a 'Pledge Jar' inviting customers to "Post Your Pandemic Legacy: Season Two Pre-Orders HERE!")

Door Bell: Ning-nong-nang: clang!

(a customer enters)

Cashier: (rubbing his hands, he speaks under his breath, to the assistant He we flipping go!

Cashier: (brightly, cheerfully) Good morning, Sir! Can I help you? (he waves his arms as if receiving adulation from the room)

Customer: Yes, indeed; I wonder if you might have a copy of -

(both the cashier and the assistant lean in a little closer)

Cashier: (excitedly) Yes?

Customer: - a copy of -

Cashier: Yes?

Assistant: Yes?

Customer: (innocently, without a trace of irony) Monopoly?

(the scene freezes; a smartly-dressed Narrator type wanders in front of the image and speaks)

Narrator: Little did that Customer know how close he came to his doom; let this be a warning to you all: the cult of the new is The. Cult. Of. Death.

(fade to black)
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Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:20 am
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Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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badge my Shed!
(I wrote this way back in 2013 and re-discovered it this morning on a "Your Memories" feed of somesuch or other; I'm really rather pleased with it and present it for your delectation again. It still feels more apposite than ever!)

Once upon a time there was a village. In the village there lived a Farmer who had a large orchard. The orchard, every year, produced fruit for the Farmer and, every year, he would bake many apple pies, load his cart and draw them along the dusty road into the nearby Town. The Farmer liked a variety of apples in his Orchard and there was always something new growing in one of the corners.

The Farmer had just finished setting out his stall in the Town Square, and had written a number of simple signs to inform and delight his customers, when the first visitor of the day arrived. The first visitor was carrying a basket with a mouldy pie in it and a deep frown: "I bought this pie from you last month and when I had it for my breakfast this morning it tasted awful - I want my money back!"

The Farmer replied: "The pie was fresh when I sold it to you, Sir; did you not read the instructions about storage, serving suggestions or note the 'Use by' date?"

The man responded, angrily: "The instructions? Why would I need to read instructions? I've eaten food all of my life and have been known to partake of apple pie on occasion - what use have I for instructions? I think I can work it out for myself."

The Farmer, a reasonable man, explained that he couldn't give a refund but offered a replacement pie by way of good will.

"I'd rather have my money back" said the customer, "because I already have lots of fruit pies in my larder and I'm not sure I need another one."

The Farmer smiled: "But my apple pie contains my own blend of spices and sweetenings that you won't find in other pies."

The Farmer handed him a new type of pie made with a variety of apples, some of which were unfamiliar to the citizens of the town.

"Spices?" sneered the customer, "Spices? My neighbour says spices and apple are an awful combination - he heard it from his cousin, who heard it from a traveller at the Inn"

"So you've never actually tried spices with your apple pie, then?" asked the Farmer.

"No, certainly not." said the customer, "and I'm not about to start now! I regard myself as an adventurous eater. I applaud innovation in baking, I'm all for experimentation - but I just don't want to try anything new - especially if someone else says it's rubbish anyway."

"You can have a pie baked to the same recipe as the mouldy one, then - if you like?" smiled the Farmer.

The customer sighed: "How dull!"

The Farmer continued: "So you don't want something the same as before but you definitely don't want to try something new?"

",, yes" spluttered the customer.

"Take a look at this menu" offered the Farmer. The customer took the menu and scanned it...

" and honey? I don't like bees so that pie will be utterly disgusting!"

"Here...try some" said the Farmer.

The customer took a mouthful of the apple and honey pie and spat it straight out again: "Euurrrgh! It's got a crunchy bit of apple in it!" he exclaimed.

"Oh," said the Farmer, "that sometimes happens - just set it to one side and try another bite."

The customer pushed him away: "No, thank you! If I have a crunchy bit of apple in my first bite then I'm bound to have another crunchy bit in the next one...and a maggot...and probably some stones. Someone in the Tavern said that all apple pies will, on average, be 78% likely to contain uneven levels of crunch in the apple. Do you have anything else?"

"I've got small rhubarb pies" replied the Farmer.

"Rhubarb? That's popular in the neighbouring countries, isn't it?" said the customer, "Not sure I care for that...AND I don't like small pies - small pies are pointless and unsatisfying as everyone who knows about pies knows; give me a large pie every time! Preferably one I can divide up into equal shares."

The Farmer sighed.

Cheerily, the customer asked: "By the way, how you tell the different types of pie apart on your stall?"

The Farmer took a couple of delicious-looking dishes from the shelves and pointed to their tops: "I label each one with a pastry alphabetic character..."

The customer grimaced: "Euurgh!" he coughed, "I don't like the font you've chosen!"

The Farmer reached into his jerkin and pulled out a shiny sixpence; he placed it firmly in the customer's hand then closed up his stall and went home to his village.
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Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:03 am
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FLGS 36 (Die)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in a Friendly LG Store; the shelves are blah blah rhubarb rhubarb, blither and blather. The cashier is behind the counter and holding a tall house plant in front of his chest and face. He is sniggering)

Doorbell: *My ding a ling, my ding a ling. I want to play with my ding a ling*

Customer: (looking around, confused) Hello?

(the Cashier continues to snigger)

Customer: (wandering about, lifting the occasional box) Hello? Hellooooooooooo?

Cashier: (still behind the Chlorophytum comosum) Good morning, Sir!

Customer: (jumps in surprise then looks about, panicked) Who said that?!

(the cashier lowers the plant and smiles)

Cashier: I’m over here. (he waves) Just my little joke, Sir!

Customer: (holds hand to chest and breathes deeply) Gosh! You really had me worried for a moment!

Cashier: (contritely) I’m so sorry, Sir; I didn’t mean to startle you quite so much. Now, how can I help?

Customer: (reaching in to his pocket, he retrieves a regular d6) Well, I’ve been recently having problems with this (puts the d6 on to the counter and points to it)

Cashier: (lowers his face so that his nose is almost touching it) What's the issue, Sir?

Customer: Well, I was playing a game of Eclipse with several of my gaming associates and, during the combat resolution for control of a key ‘1’ sector – it was a crossroads for multiple potential enemy player incursions - I needed to roll greater than or equal to a ‘4’ to destroy his Star Base but, instead, rolled a ‘2’

Cashier: (sympathetically) I see. That must’ve been quite distressing for you, Sir?

Customer: Indeed it was; I ended up failing to take the sector as a result.

Cashier: And did you lose the game, Sir?

Customer: That’s not yet clear because as soon as I failed to roll the ‘four or more’, I resolved to get it checked over and came here immediately.

Cashier: So the game is still “in progress”?

Customer: Yes.

Cashier: I see (scratches his head) Well, before I book the die in for evaluation I just need to take a few details –

Customer: Go ahead.

Cashier: Name?

Customer: The same one I’ve had since Birth -

Cashier: Great. Address?

Customer: Yes, thank you.

Cashier: Approximate date of purchase?

Customer: Of my address?

Cashier: No, Sir; of the die.

Customer: (chuckles) Actually, there’s a very amusing story behind that!

(there is a long pause)

Cashier: (moving along) Well…that all seems to be in order. If you could just go to the Service Desk over there (points to a pile of charred copies of The Big Book of Madness)

(the customer picks up the die and walks over to the service desk)

Service Operative: Good morning, Sir. (a paper aeroplane thrown by the cashier hits him in the face; he unravels the plane and reads) Ah, I see you’re having trouble with one of your dice?

Customer: (putting it on to the counter, which is still smoking slightly) Here it is.

Service Operative: (inspects it) Ok...let’s try a few things out: please name an integer between 1 and 5.

Customer: A three.

(the Service Operative rolls the die and it comes up ‘6’)

Service Operative: And again, Sir?

Customer: A two.

(the Service Operative rolls the die and it comes up ‘4’; this is repeated eight times more – on each roll, the number is greater than or equal to the number suggested by the customer)

Service Operative: Well, that all seems to be in order, Sir -

Customer: How odd.

Service Operative: - and with it being out of Warranty, it would be quite a bit more expensive to take a more detailed look, Sir.

Customer: So what do you recommend?

Service Operative: Well, you could go back and finish the game and keep an eye on it; or -

Customer: Or...?

Service Operative: - or: we could roll it a few times here, make notes and you could take them back and use those predetermined numbers instead?

Customer: I think I’ll go for that last option…

(the Operative takes out a clean piece of paper and rolls the die repeatedly, writing the value down each time; when done, he hands the die and the paper to the customer)

Service Operative: There you are, Sir; that will be £25 plus VAT

(the customer pays and leaves)


Doorbell: *My ding a ling, my ding a ling. I want to play with my ding a ling*

(the same customer from before enters and scurries over to the Service Desk)

Service Operative: (recognising him) O! Hello, Sir! Is everything alright?

Customer: Yes, except -

Service Operative: Except what, Sir?

Customer: (confused, he holds out the paper) Do I use the numbers starting from the ‘top’, or just pick them from the list at random?

Service Operative: Oh, for Fu -

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Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:01 am
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FLGS 35 (Good Will)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in an FLGS; the shelves, groaning with colourful boxes and cartons, are be-decked with sparkling Festive decorations and richly-scented foliage. A gently-audible soundtrack of traditional carols, sung by the Choir of some Cathedral or other, fills the space from a tinselled ghetto blaster. Expectations of increased foot-fall means there are two Cashiers on duty today; both are wearing humorous jumpers with a Christmas theme)

Door bell: *ding-dong-merrily-on-high*

(a customer enters; he is dressed in a greatcoat, a superscarf and an absolutelyfabuloustophat)

Cashier 1: (straightens his reindeer-with-a-glowing-red-nose jumper and speaks cheerily) Well hello there! And a very Merry Christmas to you!

(a couple of customers enter)

Customer: (removes hat; underneath is a small child reading a pop-up book) Merry Christmas to you, too! Don’t mind her... (points to infant) ...”babysitting issues”.

Cashier 2: (chipping in) …just like Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, had – eh?

Cashier 1: (frowning slilghtly) Well, quite -

Customer: Anyway, I don’t suppose you have a copy of –

Cashier 1: (interrupting; holds up a plate) Mince pie?

Customer: (delighted) Ooh, yes please! (takes a bite)

(Cashier 2 sells a copy of Inis to another customer)

Cashier 1: I made them myself, you know?

Customer: (talking with his mouth full) Mmmf ree-ee?

Cashier 1: Yes, from my own flaky skin

Customer: (gags; spits pastry in to his hand) Oh –

Cashier 1: Now, how can we help?

(customers leave, others enter)

Customer: (wiping mouth on scarf) Ah, yes; have you got a copy of -

Cashier 1: (holds up a bright, cardboard tube) Would you like to pull a Christmas Cracker with me?

Customer: Um, er...okay.

(they pull the cracker; there is a disproportionately-loud bang and the customer is left with most of the cracker and soot on the end of his nose)

Cashier 1: Ah splendid, Sir! You’ve won! Let’s see what your prize is!

Customer: (pulling something from the open-ended tube) It's...a resource-eeple shaped like a Satsuma (holds it up)

Cashier 1: (disposes of rubbish) Don’t forget your party hat, Sir!

(the customer opens the paper crown and carefully lowers it on and around the small – still reading - child)

Customer: So, please, a copy of –

Cashier 1: (pulling out a decanter) A sip of sherry, Sir?

Customer: No thanks, just –

Cashier 2: (chipping in) How about some Gluhwein? Or a snifter of Port?

Customer: No, thank you, no; I’m driving; now, could I please get –

Cashier 1: (puts his finger to the customer’s lips and makes a soft shushing sound) Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. (points to the ceiling; there is a large sprig of mistletoe hanging above the Till)

Customer: Really, I –

(Cashier 2 sells a copy of Inis to another customer)

Cashier 1: It’s just a little peck, Sir – and it is Christmas, after all?

(the Customer and the Cashier have a little kiss)

Cashier 1: (straightens his jumper; the nose lights up with a tinkling sound) There, that wasn’t so bad, was it, Sir? Merry Christmas! Now, how can I help?

Customer: I want to buy a copy of Inis, please.

Cashier 1: (looking concerned) Indeed; that is proving to be a very popular choice, Sir!

Cashier 2: (apologetically) Um, I just sold the last copy.

Customer: (crest-fallen) Oh dear...

(Cashier 2’s jumper, which has a three-dimensional pudding on it, makes a farting noise in time to Jingle Bells; the child begins to cry)

Cashier 1: (mournfully) Oh goodness; what a sorry state of affairs in this Season of Joy and Goodwill

Cashier 2: (pointing) Don’t you want to finish your mince pie, Sir?

Customer: Well...(sighs)...thank you anyway (turns to leave; puts top hat back on and walks to the door)

Cashier 1: (calling out) Hold on, Sir! Hold on a December moment!

(the customer turns round and looks expectantly at the Cashiers)

Cashier 1: (reaches under the desk for a gift-wrapped parcel; it is exactly the same size as a copy of Inis) Please accept this (holds the package out) as a token of our VERY good will, Sir.

Customer: (moved almost to tears) Why *gulp* thank you; that’s lovely!

Cashier 1: Our pleasure, Sir. May you have a peaceful time (emphasises) “INIS” Yuletide period (he winks, theatrically, at Cashier 2)

Customer: (a sparkle in his eyes) Oh! I...see! Thank you! Thank you so much!

(the customer departs; the sound of the child’s sobs are barely audible now – muffled, as they are, by the Hat)

Cashier 1: (hugging Cashier 2) I bloody love Christmas!

(cut to: Christmas Day; we are in the home of the Customer. Excitedly, the small child struggles to carry the enormous FLGS parcel to her Father. They unwrap it and find an Inis box underneath! The shrink is removed and the lid lifted to reveal...a solitary, bubble-wrapped copy of Scandaroon)

Infant: Oh.
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FLGS 34 (Meta)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in a typical friendly local game store; the front window is stuffed full of shiny, still-shrinkwrapped products fresh from Essen Spiel 2016: there is something huge and unwieldy from that bloke who did the farming game, there's something surprisingly unpoint-salady from the point salad bloke, there's the latest effort from He Who Wins All The Awards and a copy of "the surprise hit of the show" (as voted for by a secret cabal of five industry moguls). The Cashier is browsing the internet on a laptop and smoking an enormous Lord of the Rings clay pipe. A customer enters...)

Door Bell: *ding-a-CLONK!*

Cashier: (looking up at the door) Oh, gollocks. (notices the customer) Ah -

Cashier: (taking a huge puff) Goo g'norning, Sir!

Customer: (pointing) Are you supposed to be smoking in the workplace?

Cashier: (notices he is holding the pipe and does an elaborate double-take) Bloody Hell! (the pipe drops from his mouth and he kicks it away from him)

Customer: That's better.

Cashier: Can I help, Sir?

Customer: Yes, I wonder if you might have a copy of 51st State Master Set?

Cashier: (leaning closer) I sorry, I didn't quite catch that.

Customer: A copy of 51st State Master Set?

Cashier: (leaning closer still) Why are you speaking so softly, Sir?

Customer: I'm not - I simply asked if you had a copy of -

Cashier: (interrupting) - of 51st State Master Set?, yes.

Customer: So you did hear me, then?

Cashier: Well, yes and no, Sir.

Customer: (confused) Yes _and_ no?

Cashier: It's written down, Sir; there - (points to the computer screen)

Customer: (tracing his finger along a line of text in a blog post) Why, so it is -

Cashier: - and so is everything we're saying.

Customer: (reads a bit more then steps back in amazement) It says that I "step back in amazement"

Cashier: Which, indeed, you just did, Sir.

Customer: What's going on?

Cashier: I'm not quite sure, Sir, but I believe that we may - in fact - be constructs in a playful sketch narrative, Sir!

Customer: But that's impossible; I'm as real as the next man!

(a man instantly-materializes next to the customer)

Man: (chirpily) Did someone call?

Customer: (astounded) Wha?! -

Cashier: (typing) I wonder... (under his breath) The newly-appeared man walks backwards...

(the newly-appeared man walks backwards out of the shop)

Customer: (warily) Er...

Cashier: (still under his breath) The Customer...

Customer: (drops his trousers and shuffles around the shop, singing) "You can stand under my umbrella (Ella ella eh eh eh) Under my umbrella (Ella ella eh eh eh)" -

Cashier: (sniggering as he types) Then he...

Customer: (begins dry-humping a stack of Great Western Trails) "Oh for the wings, for the wi-ings of a do-ove!"

Cashier: The Customer picks up...

Customer: (picking up a copy of Fabled Fruit) Do you have this in orange? I have a tiny penis. Here! (opens wallet and starts throwing notes) Have all of my money!

(the Customer suddenly lunges across the shop and slams his hands on to the laptop's keyboard. The Cashier immediately straightens up, stiff as a board and motionless, a look of abject horror and surprise on his face)

Customer: (avenged, he departs) Enjoy your 'thumbs up', you prick.

(the Cashier painfully, carefully, taps once once on the keyb -
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FLGS 33 (More Cheese)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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With apologies to Monty Python

(A customer walks in the door; a bell rings)

Doorbell: Tingley-tingley-tingley-ting!

(musical ambience, provided by some Slam Metal, plays softly in the background)

Zev: Good morning.

Dan: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to Myriad Games!

Zev: Ah, thank you, my good man.

Dan: What can I do for you, Sir?

Zev: Well, I was sitting in the public library just now, skimming through a copy of '50 Shades of Lady Jane Gray' when I suddenly came over all 'Hobbyist'

Dan: ‘Hobbyist’, sir?

Zev: Gamer-y!

Dan: Eh?

Zev: (whining): 'Ee, I wanna play games wi’ cards, meeples and dice, loike!

Dan: Ah! Board Games!

Zev: In a nutshell. And so I thought to myself: "A considered browse through multi-shelved exhibitorial facilities will do the trick." So I curtailed my studying activities, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some desirable Kennerspiel des Jahres-es.

Dan: Come again?

Zev: I want to buy some new games.

Dan: Oh, I thought you were complaining about our Chelsea Grin soundtrack!

Zev: Oh, heaven forbid! I am one who delights in all manifestations of the 'gutteral roar' and the 'piggy squeal'.

Dan: Sorry?

Zev: 'Oooo, Ah lahk a narse toon, 'yer forced to!

Dan: So they can go on bellowing, can they?

Zev: Most certainly! Now then, some releases from the last twelve months if you please, my good man.

Dan: (lustily) Certainly, Sir. What would you like?

Zev: Well, eh, how about a little Orleans Deluxe? Or the new map for Concordia?

Dan: I'm afraid we're fresh out of those, Sir.

Zev: Oh, never mind. How are you on Star Realms boosters?

Dan: We never have them at the end of the week, Sir; we get a fresh batch in on Monday.

Zev: Tish, tish, no matter. Well, stout yeoman, a Colt Express with all of it's attendant expansions, if you please.

Dan: Ah, they've beeeeeeeen on order, Sir, for two weeks. Was expecting them this morning.

Zev: 'T's not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Guilds of London?

Dan: Sorry, Sir.

Zev: Scythe...ANY edition will do?

Dan: Normally, Sir, yes. Today the van broke down.

Zev: Ah, My First Stone Age?

Dan: Sorry.

Zev: Mombasa? La Granja?

Dan: No.

Zev: Any German language 7 Wonders Duel, per chance?

Dan: No.

Zev: Patchwork?

Dan: No.

Zev: 504?

Dan: No.

Zev: Captain Sonar?

Dan: No.

Zev: Agricola - the new edition?

Dan: No.

Zev: Blood Rage?

Dan: (pauses) No.

Zev: Deus?

Dan: No.

Zev: Keyflower?

Dan: No.

Zev: Inis? El Grande Big Box? Via Nebula? JamSumo? Arkwright? Eminent Domain? Mega Civilisation?

Dan: No.

Zev: Pandemic Legacy, perhaps?

Dan: Ah! We have Pandemic Legacy, yessir!

Zev: (surprised) You do? Excellent!

Dan: Yessir. It's ...ah...a bit scuffed...

Zev: Oh, I like it scuffed.

Dan: Well, it's very weather-beaten, actually, Sir.

Zev: No matter. Fetch hither the new darling of co-operative, permanently-evolving 360 degree gaming experiences! Mmmmmmmmmwah!

Dan: I...think it's a bit scruffier than you'd like it, Sir -

Zev: I don't care how fucking scumbled it is: hand it over with all speed.

Dan: (regretfully) Awwwwwwwwwwwww...(pauses)

Zev: What now?

Dan: The Saturday Assistant has played the first two months, Sir.

Zev: (despondently) Has he?

Dan: She, Sir .

(there is a pause)

Zev: Great Western Trail?

Dan: No.

Zev: Cry Havoc?

Dan: No.

Zev: Secret Hitler?

Dan: No.

Zev: Wooden box edition of Viticulture & Tuscany?

Dan: No, Sir.

Zev: You do HAVE some games, don't you?

Dan: Of course, Sir. It's an FLGS, sir! We've got...

Zev: No, no - don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.

Dan: Fair enough.

Zev: Uuuuuuuuuuhhhh, Yokahama?

Dan: Yes?

Zev: Ah, well! I'll have one of those!

Dan: Oh, I thought you were talking to me, sir. Dave Yokahama, that's my name.

(there is another pause)

Zev: Millenium Blades?

Dan: Uh, not as such.

Zev: Glory To Rome?

Dan: No.

Zev: Puerto Rico?

Dan: No.

Zev: Bausack? Thunderstone: 12th Edition?

Dan: No.

Zev: Ticket To Ride: United Kingdom?

Dan: No.

Zev: Cheapass Games print-and-play version of Kill Doctor Lucky?

Dan: Not TODAY, Sir, no.

Zev: How about Codenames?

Dan: Well, we don't get much call for it around here, Sir.

Zev: Not much ca - it's the single best party board game in the world!

Dan: Not 'round here, Sir.

Zev: (slight pause) And what IS the most popular party board game "round hyah"?

Dan: (proudly) Wits & Wagers, sir.

Zev: Is it?

Dan: Oh, yes. Staggeringly popular in this manor, squire.

Zev: Is it?

Dan: It's our number one best-seller, Sir.

Zev: I see. Wits & Wagers, eh?

Dan: Right, Sir.

Zev: All right. Okay. "Have you got any?" he asked, expecting the
answer "no"

Dan: I'll have a look, Sir. (pause) Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-no.

Zev: It's not much of an FLGS, is it?

Dan: Finest in the district!

Zev: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.

Dan:'s so clean!

Zev: It's certainly uncontaminated by games...

Dan: (brightly) You haven't asked me about Seafall, Sir!

Zev: Would it be worth it?

Dan: Could be...

Zev: (slowly) Have you got any copies of Seafall?

Dan: No. Sold out at Gencon in less than an hour, Sir.

Zev: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me:

Dan: Yessir?

Zev: (deliberately and carefully): Have you ever, or have you now, in fact got any board or card games here at all?

Dan: Well, I suppose we'll have to let the Judge decide that one, won't we?

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