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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What.The Actual.Fudge?!

Anthony Boydell
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Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:10 am
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Better Out Than In

Anthony Boydell
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angry


Jesus Suffering F*ck. The world needs another Lord of the Rings game like it needs a volcano breeding program. Or a kite the size of Cumbria. Utter horseshit, all of it. In an already crowded market (eg. The Hobbit: Goblin Legacy of Mirkwood, Lord of the RIngs: Frodo's Quest For A Quiet Wanking Place, The War of the RIng, The Battle of the Ring, Fight for the Conflict of the Skirmish of the RIng ,The One Ring: Cockroach Battle Simulator, Reiner Knizia's "Lord of the Rings Co-Operative Game", Gollum's Quest, Aragorn's Quest, Eomer's Horse Racing Game, Ave Elrond, Forging On: The Trouble Aeons of Sauron Kerr, River Deep/Uruk High: Das Kartenspiel, Gandalf's Staff Has Got a Knob On The End (CaH spin-off) and Kingdom: Death Franchise), this is a further turd on the generous tread of our gaming welly-boots.

angry


Dice City, Dice Settlers and Dice Hospital have been recent publications 'on a theme' from entirely-different sources and because the World can't just spin on to something new-and-interesting, the bandwagon is being well-and-truly hijacked: Dice Farmers, anyone? Dice Aztecs? Dice Medieval Merchants? One Night Super-Ultimate Dice Werewolf: Legacy Season 1?

angry


Roll-and-write games, too, are hurrying through the Ludomentary Canal like a rotten batch of oysters: {whatever} schon clever? Railroad Ink? Castles of Burgundy, Quixx, Shitzxxxx etc.

angry


I'd put money on us seeing a r&w Azul (Azul: The Liths Of Papyria), 'Dice Terraforming Mars' and Century: Spice Road Lite with custom polyhedra and a scoresheet pad within the next 12 months (and, I bet, Codenames: Cubes just to rub me right up the sphincter).

angry


The convention previews will be deluged by a b*kk*ke of 'likes', a proctologist-shocking quantity of thumbs. Long queues of panting content providers - the groupies of the gaming world - figuratively blowing any-and-everyone to be the first to post their gurning, effusive and ultimately-valueless reviews. Five years ago, 'dice' were the scourge of the industry: rightly scorned, derided and exiled. Then folks came up with 'interesting ways' of using them (ie. one way copied then changed ever-so-slightly by all-and-sundry) and now you can't walk across Hall 3 of the Essen Messe without slipping on to your bony arse on a carpet of hexahedral dogdirt.

"Oh, but these are excellent gateway games, Tony; why are you being so negatively-inclusive?" you wail, teeth gnashing in silent fury at my presumption. Because no-one else is saying it and I can't stomach the niceness of it all any longer!

angry
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Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:15 am
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It's YOUR fault, you know; time to dig a bit deeper in to those pockets, you misers!

Anthony Boydell
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Maybe they're getting lazy and, just maybe, we're finally seeing through their pretty plastic/naff actual game bullshit?
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Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:23 am
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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...

Anthony Boydell
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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.

Anthony Boydell
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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

Anthony Boydell
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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)

Anthony Boydell
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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.

Anthony Boydell
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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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