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Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Independent UK games designer, self-confessed Agricola-holic and Carl Chudyk fan-boy. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk What was that beardy bloke going on about?

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I respectfully request that you wind your necks in

Anthony Boydell
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WRT Scythe winning a lot of Golden Geek Awards:
E This wasn't a decision from the Nobel Committee
E You not caring for it means nuthin' and your quickly-taken umbrage means even less
E You are part of a minority that actually engages on BGG; the silent majority form the site's Dark Matter that leads to such perceived injustice.
E Perhaps more deserving titles were not available in large enough quantities to inform the great unwashed who, rightly, got quickly sick of hearing about how great something was without ever being able to get access to it (I'm looking at YOU Terraforming Mars and VAST)
E I happen to like Scythe very much so "Yah! Boo! Sucks to be you!" *thwrrrrp*
E Being nominated in the first place is honour enough; besides, there are plenty of other Awards (DSP, IGA, ICI, MFF etc) better suited to your current 'Favourite Game of Forever' (aka 'The game I like the most - this Month - until the next one comes along', which leads me nicely in to...)

WRT Rising Sun on Kickstarter
E Calm the Hell down, people; the only thing anyone knows about this game is that it comes with pretty plastic pieces (er, see my next point)
E Eric is a lovely man but I'm not funding £100+ on the basis of "Designer Loveliness"; for THAT price I'd want a handjob too! Mind you, some might argue that Geeks willing to spend £100+ just for fancy the minis are well-able to give themselves a handjob (perhaps that's what painting your miniatures means?)
E Ever thought about playing a game, from a few years back perhaps, that is highly-regarded instead of fixating on this shiny NOW-NSENSE and staring at your letterbox until the Postman arrives with a box that's just given the poor bastard a hernia?
E Remember the backlash over Blood Rage? No? Well, then...
E Buy a copy of the excellent Ikusa instead; THAT has minis and is a corkingly-good game that's already proven!

WRT How long I say it takes to play Guilds of London on the box
E It was play-tested over 10 years and the average times come down to those shown on the box; those are MY figures and my estimates. Perhaps we need an extra rubric element representing how long it will take to play 'the first time'...which would need to be further split in to gradations from, at one end: "By a competent group of gamers who read the rules and have a realistic expectation about how proficient they will become after a first play" through to, at the other end: "By a lazy, distracted group of whiners who expected to solve the whole thing after looking at the picture on the back of the box whilst also getting the high score on Crossy Road / Instagram-ing their new trainers."
E Er, this one's VERY specific to me...I think I had one-too-many coffees this morning.

WRT The title of this post
E ...applies to me as well; yes, I am fully-aware.

*sigh*

*breathes deeply*

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Wed Mar 8, 2017 2:54 pm
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(a) Black Sabbath

Anthony Boydell
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Apropos of nothing at all, an hypothetical question:

*ahem*

(deep breath)

When you bring a game along to a meetup and you teach it (as best you can despite heckles and arguments and blank looks) and then you play it and people seem to have ignored the explanation given and/or not listened at all and/or complain you didn't tell them something when you bloody well did and/or they make loads of mistakes which you point out during the first hour but then just give up because it's sodding exhausting and/or they start challenging YOUR moves because you're doing interesting things and you have to re-explain everything again because you're basically being accused of cheating when all you wanted to do was play a bloomin game...is it okay to take out a weapon and kill them?


Poll
Is the above sufficient grounds with which to claim self-defence when murdering members of your gaming group?
No. Now...take this flower and let's hug, you poor angry person, you.
No. Killing is always wrong and, besides, you'll be one Club member down.
Yes. Killing is always wrong BUT you'll be one Club member down...so the range of compatible games for the average attendance will go UP!
Yes. And the justification extends to people who post fatuous Polls on popular websites too.
Er, I'm scared; can we have something about Gerdts & Uwe again, please?
      184 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell


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Sun Mar 5, 2017 6:35 am
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As I laid me down to sleep...

Anthony Boydell
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...I had a quick look on eBay for stuff to spend a little Christmas money on; I made an offer:



*excited* I wonder if he'll accept? *excited*

#noexcuse #bollocks2supplyanddemand #thumbonthescalesmerchant
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Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:30 am
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Santa's SACKED!!!

Anthony Boydell
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It's all fun at work come Christmas time, isn't it? Everyone brings a plate or packet of summat yummy to eat, there's a wheezy old tape player hissing out tinny renditions of Now That's What I Call Christmas 1986 and the office 'joker' has dressed up in a red, furry suit and wants to show all the giggling PA's his bulging sack!

No office celebratory Yuletide buffet-lunch would be complete without Secret Santa either: the annual festival of drawing a random name from a hat and having to buy them something for less than a tenner. Sweet baby Jesus in the fucking Manger but there's more trays of Poundshop chocolates and off-licence beercans than an entire sink estate could consume in a DECADE of Christmases piled up on the desks and spilling in to the photocopier. The office 'joker' has just shredded an entire bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk in the hope he'll get an impressed 'blowie' off of the Business Support Officer.

I'm happy to participate in the clandestine gift-giving and, THIS year, was assigned one of the office's respected elder ladies: a rotund, 'bubbly', 'jolly' type*. I thought that the following was a fun present, not wishing to succumb to cacao/alcohol cliché:



I figured she could assemble it and have it as a desk decoration or, at worst, pass it on to twinkle-eyed grandchild - for she has the manner of a clucking hen matriarch. How bloody wrong I bastard was!

I got in to the office today (Monday) to find myself the lingering subject of not a little disdain: the recipient, painfully single and without any offspring or grand-offspring to her name, had been all over Facebook at the weekend posting up photos of the above and garnering opinions from her friends as to the worth and/or appropriateness of it as a Secret Santa bestowal! And, as is usual with such social media intercourse, it fed itself on umbrage, disappointment and blame: "Perhaps he..." (she'd found out my name from one of the list's organizers - surely a crime more heinous?) "...mixed up a couple of presents and you got the wrong one?"; "How is THAT appropriate?"; "Poor you..." and so on!

I mean, talk about being un-shitting-grateful! Mind you, that 'ice cream' on the left DOES look like a massive dildo. Oops.

*ie. nothing of the sort
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Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:30 am
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Watch The Birdy

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Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:30 am
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Positive Mental Attitude

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Earlier this week I waxed lyrical about the gorgeousness and love in the Geek community; a shining example to the uninitiated. However...

...over on the Boardgamegeek Facebook group, in the last 48 hours, the following discussion threads have appeared:

Most overrated game and why?

What game do you most regret buying?

What game do you most regret playing?

Additionally, someone felt they needed to begin their post with: "I'm not trying to start fights. Please don't get offended if somebody disagrees with you. {QUESTION GOES IN HERE}"

And: "Serious question...Every time I, or someone else, posts something positive about a Games Workshop product, the hate flows. Why is that? " followed by 72 ranting replies.

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Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:15 am
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Twatforce One

Anthony Boydell
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Here's a little curiosity that brushed my hair trigger: five (so-called) gamers have rated A Feast for Odin as a '1' and it's only been out for two weeks. I've neither got it, nor played it, but one thing I know for certain - even now, in this inexperienced position - is that it's definitely not "Awful - defies game description". Also, one of these ratings was logged in May when the files weren't even at the printers yet (probably).



Additionally, unsurprisingly, one particular user has rated this and multiple other Essen 2016 hotnesses as a '1', which suggests that he (it must be a 'he'):
a) has been massively unfortunate in spending €100s on hard-to-get-at-the-time games he found were not subsequently to his taste (ie. a spendthrift twat who doesn't understand what pre-show research means) OR
b) is just a poisonous, hateful twat who loves pissing on people's chips.

The twat.

Now, let's see where this earthy (minor) venting-of-a-little-steam takes us today...
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Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:25 am
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Ay-bloody-Eye

Anthony Boydell
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I work in I.T so, of course, I'm fully aware of bugs in software. Mind you, it's normally just a field that mis-validates or a workflow that fails to fire or an index that drops off and needs recreating; gone are the days of the ubiquitous 'Segmentation Fault - Core Dumped' while hacking your C-way around a Sun Sparc or a PERL script or something in a RDBMS stored procedure. No; all of those things are piggywiffle and 'as gossamer' when compared to the impact of when the Agricola app disappears up it's own electron-bombarded NAND-sphincter...and it mostly does it when I'm about to win "big time"!



Yesterday, I was all set to round off a particularly-satisfying, on-work-time comfort break with a 50+ win when Mr So-Called 'Green' decided he couldn't decide between plowing a field and sowing his one grain or plowing a field and sowing his one grain and a wood he didn't have. His little collar just spun and spun and spun and spun while the phone got hotter and hotter. And the worst thing is the rage one feels; the pointless, impotent, glaring-at-the-screen fury at being gyped: A.I? F.O!
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Tue Oct 4, 2016 6:23 am
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What a state to get into.

Anthony Boydell
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Back in the late Spring my eldest boy bought himself Fallout 4 but, after a couple of days trying to keep the (so-called) 'Broadband' alive while it downloaded, the thing just wouldn't work on his laptop. Patches, mods, tweaks, updates, driver re-installs and an awful lot of effin & jeffin failed to get the bloody thing doing whatever it is that it does. Due to my eldest's anxiety issues, May-into-June-into-July wasn't exactly a barrel of early-evening laughs but - thanks to a windfall inheritance from my Grandmother's passing last year - help was at hand: he was finally able to buy a new, better-specification laptop, Fallout 4 installed and (after some patch synchs) ran without a problem! Huzzah and Hallelujah! So, I come home last night and find that he's NOT, in fact, spent the day immersed in a post-apocalyptic world but - instead - been lying about in bed and generally mooching the place up. Why, then, after all that hassle and tension and frustration, hasn't he been permanently glued to the LCD smacking seven shades of Scheisse into dread beasts? Could it be that, after all this time, he'd lost his enthusiasm and excitement?

We board gamers (or, at least, those of us who don't have Playboxes or X-Stations) can sometimes get a similar feeling of crushed expectation when crowdfunding...and I have experienced many of the varied states of Kickstarter:


"Placated": I am a fully-subscribed and badge-wearing Glory to Rome:Black Box-er but have yet to let the protracted arse-wittery of it's "fulfillment" tarnish my love of the game itself. I don't actually play with the BB edition - as it us much too valuable to contaminate with human contact - but the older editions suffice, and it's a relief to see it on my shelf.




"Turned Off": I have the worn patience, the bowing-shelf and the abject indifference of the Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth!-er. Any excitement or tension I may have felt upon initial funding has leeched away to a flat, uniform end-of-the-universe-particle soup of insouciance. I don't believe I shall EVER want to play this and, ashamedly, I don't care. Oh dear.




"Schrodinger's Pledger": Coming soon! - as it has been for 15 months+ now - are the Knot Dice and if they popped up in a campaign TODAY I wouldn't back them. Not really an end state but more of a crossroads, I can probably only end up 'Placated' at best now: too much water has flowed under the (resin) bridge.




"Regretful": The creeping realization that your optimistic financial support for REDACTED has morphed into a cash-for-ordure transaction and the only way back is to throw it in to the UK Games Expo Bring-and-Buy and hope someone will give you a fiver for it.




"Pleased": ...is, of course, both a (universal) Start State AND an eagerly-assumed End State. Oh, the humanity! How wide-and-dewy-eyed we all are when the green 'button' is clicked; how tum-tinglingly trepidacious! Thankfully, MOST of the 44 backed projects maintain this state throughout their life-cycle; it must be my judgement and good sense.

What State(s) have I missed?

Should there be a special one for 'Never Fulfilled', or is that an eternally-unresolved "Schrodinger"?

Does anyone want to buy a copy of Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth!?
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Fri Sep 2, 2016 6:30 am
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I love lamp.

Anthony Boydell
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WRT the Ross-on-Wye club, there was some doubt as the presence of Boffo and Smudge this week on account of them moving house: from the 'earthy' delights of the 'slightly-neglected housing estate' box-terrace to the rural pleasures of a countryside bungalow (or should that be 'FUN-galow'?). There was a distinct possibility that - thanks to the standard form dickery of Solicitors/Conveyancers - they'd not have anywhere to rest their heads come Friday and have all their belongings parked up in a Herefordshire lay-by until the Legal-types managed to pull their well-manicured thumbs out of their bleached arseholes. Fortunately, this was not so and there would be no consequent need for me to go on any kind of triggered rant: *phew*

(for some reason I imagined their moving process to be somewhat akin to Messrs Hardy and Laurel - see the end of this blog - and it pleased me greatly to imagine Boffo wheezing his giant trolley of board games up a precipitous stairway only to have a 'Treasure Chest of Dominion' slide off and clonk him in the conk to the sound of a clown's car horn)

As it turned out, I arrived at the White Lion at the absolute optimum moment to grab a spacious parking space and found both Boffo and Smudge, tired-but-happy, slumped in the events room wingback armchairs. With nothing but half of a chicken and bacon pie in the fungalow, they needed to come out for food anyway and, though Smudge would be nipping off soon (she wanted to say 'hello'), at least one of the Batesons would be gaming: huzzah! Boffo's weary pseudo-snoring suggested that this might not go the full distance, however, as the poor chap was completely tuckered out: we'd take whatever we could get, then! Gary and Jobbers joined the fray - I really need a nickname for Gary* - and the four of us ('the lads') settled down to the serious business of running a comedy TV company:



Gil Hova's card-drafting, tableau-building distraction is appealing, hilarious and extremely simple to pick up: you basically have four types of card to pick from in order to create and run VP-earning shows. Shows can have their viewership improved by Actors and/or Advertising and everything can be jiggered about with the aid of the 'short cut' Network (bonus) cards. It's all about timing, of course, in all senses: getting the right shows in the right timeslots, for preference, and getting the right cards from the available pool before the other players get to them! It's a breezy, jolly and engaging puzzle where you need to keep a good eye on your aging (and viewer-declining) shows and have the next big thing ready to go and KEEP THOSE DAMN NUMBERS UP!


The ratings war: Aftermath - Moo TV (and Chief Exec 'Tiny' Boydell) reign supreme!


The Networks ended with a satisfying Boydellian victory after Jobbers had got a Seasons 1 & 2 flyer only, like Garrington, to lose momentum in the mid-game. Everyone - including Boffo (who seemed to have dropped off for forty winks on occasion)) - pronounced themselves impressed by this media-themed treat!

Jobbers had, for the first time in ages, brought along a (tatty, plastic) bag of games including Modern Art (Gazzup doesn't 'do' numbers), Blokus (Tony doesn't like abstracts much) and Cosmic Encounter (not at this time of night, FFS!); but it was his well-loved copy of Puerto Rico that caught the eye and made it, without any objection, to the table:



For some reason, Boffo seems to think I have taken agin P.R but this is not so! I often find myself involved in every other game of it that's played in the Club, so always feel in need of a quick rules refresher ie. let's just get started and it'll all come back! As very much usual, the game was pushed forward by Boffonian and Jobbersian stratagems - and tactical advice to P.R noob Ga-Ga - but I kept myself on a steady (if unremarkable) path to edge in to a comforting second place behind the John: 55-43-42-42. Garrup pronounced himself 'well impressed' by this indisputable classic and will probably - because that's what he does when he likes a new-to-him game - buy himself a copy in the next day or so!

Although it was only 22.15, Boffo could fight his fatigue no further and departed; this also signaled 'going home time' for the rest of us. We may not have packed the session to it's nooks and crannies, but two deliciously-diverting Euros were enough to keep us more than happy for a few more days.

Now...scratch out the next 30 minutes and settle in to this timeless work of genius:



*Gaz? Gonzo? Garibaldi?

Poll
What should Gary's nickname be in the Shed blog?
Gaz?
Gazzington?
Garibaldi?
Gonzo?
Gary?
Garforth?
G-Dog?
Gasmask?
Teddy Ruxpin?
Other (please specify in the Comments)?
      115 answers
Poll created by tonyboydell
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:13 am
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