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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He can get both an 'Amen' AND an 'Hallelujah'

Anthony Boydell
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My podcast feed is regularly updated with comedic, gaming and political episodes and it's always a pleasure when I see something short but, invariably, sweet from Mr Ben Maddox and his post-Apocalyptic cabin.

This week his dissembling eye turns, Sauron-like, to commercial concerns and how one particular 'bit of family fun' triggered an erudite rant of magnificent, lexicographical proportions. There's no shouting but there's an awful lot of spot-on emotion.

Enjoy:

https://fivegamesfordoomsday.com/2018/11/15/kacka-alarm-a-5g...
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Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:22 am
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Green or Red? You choose...

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Sometimes it's a struggle to write a blog, sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's simplest of all to put my feelings down in pictorial form.

If you've noticed a cynical undercurrent to my recent posts then that's deliberate; it's a consequence of my current levels of worry. This is not 'anxiety' - as it might've been before - but a genuine, brow-furrowing concern that the World is running away from us and there's little we can do.

I seek to keep myself informed and, so, my comedy and/or boardgaming podcasts have been taking a back-seat to political rhumination, commentary and discussion: Mueller, She Wrote, The New Statesman, Fake The Nation, Smartest Man In The World and What's Happening..? to name but a handful.

I don't much care what anyone thinks about Feudum or Root or {insert this minutes top-o-the-hotness}. Did something nice arrive in the Post today? Have you got a cat that sits on your games? Good for you. I'm more concerned about whether half of the Kickstarted items due after March 2019 are suddenly going to cost me 50% more; about how Surprised Stare Games is supposed to function with the English Channel between us and our best friends; about whether the Pension and savings that I have conscientiously set-aside over the last 25 years will be destroyed by a Government Hell-bent on the appalling 'Brexit'.

Equally, I am appalled by the vampiric cabal grinding the United States under it's rotten thumb; foaming, faecal waves of their misogyny, racism and corruption are washing across the oceans and soaking our shores.

And, Jesus, am I despairing of the bruised intolerance of the populace: blind to the bigger nonsense but electron-microscopically 'on' every semantic ambiguity, every verbal 'trip', every perceived slight, every 'upsetting' comment or image. Yes, I'm getting all political here but a) it's my damn blog and b) no-one needs to think of the children because they deserve to think for themselves and not be blinkered by this mental incontinence. Whether you like it or not - whether you care to think about it or not - this is an important and dangerous time that demands your best attention and your warmest reachings-out to others.

Losing yourself in board games is great as a respite but you've got to surface for a breath of real air some time.
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Sat Oct 6, 2018 6:15 am
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Suspicious Minds

Anthony Boydell
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A recent FB post by esteemed blog-meister Stu Burnham snapped a long-time niggle to attention in my forebrain: why do perfectly-competent and experienced gamers announce the progress of their turn to ‘the table’?

Stu marked out worker placement games as a particular source of this behavior but I certainly remember the constant drone accompanying Dominion’s card-flopping “back in the day” too! Indeed, any turn that involves more than a simple action tends towards to the narrated and if you should be fortunate enough to be playing with Byll at the Ross-on-Wye club, you’ll also be treated to a burbling soundtrack of thoughts, reactions and non sequiturs too.

To assist those less familiar with a game by illustrating the implementation of a particular rule and/or the sequence of processing combinations;

As a check to one’s own interpretation and application of the rules, as you understand them;

To keep a general level of conversation going lest the table fall in to a gloomy silence for the duration; and/or,

To show everyone else that you’re not cheating.



While all of the above are most-certainly true, it is the last item that niggles me because of what happens if you DON’T say anything: “How did you get those?”, “Where did enough money come from? / How are you able to out-bid me?!”, “When did you get that effect/bonus?” and so on. Not a gaming evening can go by without someone – usually someone who thinks they're going to win OR someone who is pissed off at doing so badly - challenging the veracity of the board state, a personal tableau state and/or the successful completion of an excellent turn. I’m not calling anyone out here as I believe this is a Universal issue: we are suspicious of our mitspielers – especially when they’re doing better than us!

What do you think? What should we do about it (if anything)? And can someone please help me get this satsuma off my thumb?
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Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:15 am
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"The Postman's been!" she said.

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And left me one of these:


As my most-excellent gaming pal Ulrich Blennemann would exclaim:
"You bloody bastards!"
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Wed Aug 1, 2018 6:20 am
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The Birds

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This tweet popped up in my view yesterday:



Goodness! That's a rather glib and sweeping statement, does one not think? I posted this to my FLFG (Friendly Local Facebook Group) and got the usual 50% split in opinion; most of it, admittedly, directed at my response (see below) rather than the OP. As a personal preference, I abhor tie-breakers but try and pop one (max) in to my designs; other designs seem as profligate with their tie-breakers as they are with the contents of the rules themselves! I'm sure there's a fine and worthy discussion to be had...but not "opened" in such a manner.

My response (SP-tagged to lend a mild air of mystery) was:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


I believe I was justified, to-the-point and - yes! - restrained. The World spun on, naturally, despite the priggish huffing, the counter-trolling and the back-slapping; best to get it out of your system before the working week starts again, eh?!


One of the FLFG responses: provocative much?

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Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:20 am
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horror show (not horrorshow)

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The designer’s name is ‘Green’ and it’s spelled fine in the rulebook but - hey! - misprinted on the front cover?! Imagine my horror should Ivor the Engine have rolled off the presses with ‘Tiny Boydell’ or ‘Pete Firmin’ or, Lord love us, ‘Mallfilms’ on the box! Useless.

You may remember that time I opened a new copy of Extra! Extra! and the rotten glue stink nearly asphyxiated me? Didn’t anyone notice the stench on the proof copies or did something shit in the ink feeders on ‘run day’? Hopeless.

(Clarification: this next bit is not specific to a particular game) Bland theme? Naff art? Shoddy components? Lazy proofreading? Zero marketing? Defaulting on royalties? We may be entering a Golden Age of gaming but there's still enormous scope for amateur hour, eyes-on-the-profit bigger than their stomach-to-put-the-effort-in (so-called) "publishers" to really fuck up a Designer's dreams. Disgraceful.
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Fri Jun 8, 2018 6:15 am
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'Sup? Time 'sup, that's what'sup.

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It's the straw that broke the camels back.

It's a bridge too far.

Enough is enough (is enough. I can't go on no more, no more etc).

Its the final turd in the punch bowl.

Game over, man; game over.

With immediate effect - and that includes this post so you won't actually see it - I shall no longer be posting in my BGG blog; someone said something nasty about one of my games (it was probably about Guilds of London. It usually is) and it upset me so much that I slammed my fingers in the door. Do you know how painful it is typing this up? Ruddy painful - and that's proper swearing and everything. Also - coincidentally, therefore significantly - the dog was sick over my original Scandaroon prototype (the one I was saving for the V&A Museum of Childhood tribute exhibition that's happening soon*); though, to be honest, it plays better (if anything).

No more blogging.

Not ever.

Never, never, never, never, never. Never.

Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveA, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveP, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveR, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveI, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveL, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveF, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveO, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveO, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveL, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveS, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never.

NEVER!

Same time tomorrow, then?


*I dreamed this.
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Sun Apr 1, 2018 6:35 am
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I finally made it on to the Geek Weekly?!

Anthony Boydell
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Woo-hoo!



(cue: popping of champagne cork)

Let’s follow the link because it was my blog post, now with 100+ thumbs, that brought the campaign to (some bits of) BGG...



(cue: fountain of champagne reducing to a dribble, undrunk)

...eh? What the..?! But that’s Christian’s blog; his post that said he’d seen MY post and was doing some excellent cross-promotion! Either ‘Brad’ didn’t read Christian’s post in full (which makes him ill-suited to picking “the best of” content) or he did and roundly ignored my foundation post deliberately (which makes him a bit of a [redacted]).

*hurrumph* with an extra helping of *sulk*

(makes self a cup of tea, muttering) geekweeklyisrubbishanywaystupidbloodyquizzesandallkickstartershillsanywaybluddyphukkin)


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Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:16 pm
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a bit of your data are belong to facebook

Anthony Boydell
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The whole 'Facebook has stolen your life' controversy - something we all knew but has suddenly been made hyper-Newsworthy because of Cambridge Analytica - sent me scurrying to a remote corner of my FB profile to take a closer look. Sure enough, after one whole click and 4s of searching, I found the 'Download your Profile' link and kicked off the remote job. Shortly afterward I was notified of it's completion and promptly filed to .ZIP prior to having a nervous shuffty:


Only half a gig for 11 years of Social Media-ing?!


Thankfully, at least on the surface, my personal telephone list and Sexting scripts were NOT including in the archive...mainly because I never divulged that info to Farcebook in the first place. However, I did re-discover a Tweet-style FB status update sequence from 2010 when I was stuck in the Newent Tandoori waiting for a takeaway; we (Mrs B and I) had just come back from an all-afternoon School Reunion where I didn't know anyone because it was Mrs B's school reunion and not mine and she's several smooth-skinned years younger than me.

The scene: the local takeout
The time: mid-evening; it is crowded due to some delay in the kitchens. Our protagonists await their spicy pleasures...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:52 UTC+01
Great! Spent last few hours in a room with people I don't know and now stood in an unmoving queue of people I don't know for an indeterminate time. :-(

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:57 UTC+01
Still it could be worse: Ed 209 Miliband could be Labour lead..er...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:58 UTC+01
There's an occasional burst of muffled swearing from the kitchen but no curry has yet emerged for any of us...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:59 UTC+01
If I complain will I end up as Special Bhuna?

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:01 UTC+01
Ah! Curry! But not for me - oh, now the customer is complaining he's not got enough nans...more delays :-(

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:03 UTC+01
Some bloke called Lucan has just asked if his Korma is ready yet, only he's just killed the nanny and he REALLY ought to be making a getaway...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:04 UTC+01
At least I can see the telly now..QI XL FTW

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:07 UTC+01
Finally feeling that warm, spiced scirocco on my chilled cheeks...three orders back, though.

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:08 UTC+01
If I don't make it back: to my darling wife and children..I LOVE YOU *sobs*

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:10 UTC+01
The first 'child of the curry queue' has been born, we've discovered fire and developed rudimentary tools..if we wait long enough we'll invent takeaways and finally BE FREE!

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:12 UTC+01
A bloke who popped in for some pilau rice has just formed a religion: we now worship an old copy if The Sun as sacred text...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:15 UTC+01
The prophet Tiffany, 19, has got great Tablets...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:17 UTC+01
Nearly at the front...I feel so weak, though...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:25 UTC+01
Currently distilling moonshine from sweaty socks and discarded takeaway menus...our soothsayers predict the Second Coming is imminent

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:28 UTC+01
(choirs of angels) The light...walking toward the light...all my loved ones are waiting for me...and they're carrying foil takeout trays and pots of damp salad...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:30 UTC+01
A stumpy old lady with a squeaky voice has just pulled me back from oblivion...now I'm covered in either ectoplasm or mango chutney...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:34 UTC+01
(dramatic music) War is breaking out here...something as innocent as a missed Peshwari has led to terrible casualties - there's masala everywhere (vomits)

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:38 UTC+01
The horror! The horror! Torn pirahta, severed chicken wings and rhita...if I should die think only this of me: that in some corner of a foreign restaurant lies a piece of England *sniff*

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:39 UTC+01
Allelulia! Allelulia! I have curry! I'm coming home, my darlings - daddys coming home (emotional swelling of music, hankies out)


then, finally:

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:41 UTC+01
Oh bugger - it's gone cold
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Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:20 am
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embargo farrago

Anthony Boydell
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This tweet popped up in my browser and I immediately spat out a mouthful of tea: "embargo"?!

I am trying to visualize the circumstances in which our beloved Eric was fed this particular tidbit and then told he wasn't allowed to reveal details on pain of...well, on pain of WHAT? Never letting him get privileged info about a gaming product at a very well attended Public trade show ever again? Eh?! The guy from the Industry's most voluminous and influential media presence is gonna be shunned ad infinitum for bleating out details of "Codenames: Legacy" or the "Rising Sun iOS App" or "Pandemic: Flu Outbreak at the Old Folks Home"?! Get bloody real, you twats; you're not the effing NSA. Was he told this Gaming Extinction Level Event (GELE, pronounced 'Jelly') in front of other punters as part of the general publicity ie. is this info freely advertised at the Toy Fair BUT every single attendee is now under this %$@#! embargo? (unlikely) OR was he led in to a booth in the bowels of the Stand and shown this particular Fart Of The Covenant in secret? What the actual, low-calorie, vegetarian friendly, gluten-free FUCK do these publishers think they're doing? This is a shitnugget game/toy NOT the discovery of a new quantum particle or confirmation of communications from extra-terrestrial life!!! Still; it's a good thing these pills I've been taking are keeping me at a low anxiety level otherwise I might've really let rip.

Cunts.
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Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:30 am
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