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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The State of It

Anthony Boydell
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So it seems young, up-and-coming gaming auteur Jamey Stegmaier has managed to remotely twist the knickers of a great many Content Providers(TM). Again.

Having had the eye-stabbing, lung-collapsing audacity to publish a game that everyone adores so much that all of the Awards are belong to it AND to have failed miserably in expressing just how deeply important to him Fair Representation is within the Industry AND to have shamefully been lacking in the vehemence of his support for Black/Trans lives mattering, the sheer arrogance of the man has now surfaced with regard to timeliness of reviews of free copies of his new game.

Yes, you heard read me! Having responded to many nose-to-the-grindstone/barely-making-their-channel's ends meet reviewers' pleas for free stuff in return for a review, this Disciple of Mammon had the cunting temerity to send them out and ask to see reviews published...at least in some sort of timescale proximal to the launch of said product! Sweet baby Jesu in a Petrol-driven Go-Cart: the titting, sphincter-quivering cheek of the fellow!

Bearing in mind how difficult it is for indie VLOG-ers to stay afloat in this saturated World what with:
a) paying for kit and
b) getting access to products and
c) making time to play them and
d) having to keep the free YouTube hosting well-thumbed to feed the algorithms and
e) finding the right dice manufacturer to make the Patreon gifts and
f) keeping an eye out on Twitter for the call to 'pile on' and
g) doing it all for love and
h) not getting nearly enough exposure out of the whole debacle and
i) having to go through the procedural Hell of finding a buyer for the item after its been 'done with' (and don't talk to me about the Paypal fees!!!)

How is Mr S's mass mail-out of early-access items - that everyone knows everyone else will be frothing at the Anus to learn about as soon as the first Press Release drops - in return for a little priority attention helping the whole, Sisyphean process?! Let me tell you: Not. One. Iota. That's "How?"!

Selfish, self-aggrandizing, ungrateful and unreasonable.
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:21 am
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Endless Plagiarism

Anthony Boydell
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So Endless Games (I) think it's aces to fumblingly, bumblingly plagiarize the work of another designer with their latest project Dropsy.

Dropsy is defined, dictionary-wise, as:

"a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body"

As unpleasant as that sounds, it's preferable to being associated with the knock-off practices of a company of oily turds who decided it would be easy and fun to leech off someone else's hard work.

Buy, instead, Yogi or Yogi Guru by the excellent Behrooz Shahriari; she's an amazing designer and an amazing person worthy of your love and respect. As for the Endless Arseholes, I suggest you react to their wanton chicanery as you might see fit.

I, for my part, am just warning you of this subterfuge.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Cunts.
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Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:29 pm
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Grammar-lama-ding-dong.

Anthony Boydell
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One thing that really nail-scrapes my blackboard is the tiresome habit that bloggers have of portmanteau-ing references to each of the games they have played 'in a session' to make a pathetic, meaningless and contrived title - you know the sort of thing:

Quote:
A report on a Friday spent with Agricola, San Juan, Can't Stop, L.A.M.A and Tainted Grail becomes
Endless Colonists Farming Alpacas for King Arthur*.
Quote:
{Insert Convention Name Here} Day 3 Report for Magic Maze, 1655: Habemus Papam 1698, Aaarg!-tect, Codenames and Feudum becomes
Striped Monster Popes Lost In Words with Inflatable Hammers!!!** (one exclamation fails to provide the appropriate humour emphasis).
Quote:
1846 plus Mottanai plus The Grizzled plus Megacity: Oceania plus Cthulhu Wars becomes
Elder Gods with Big Jugs Go Like Trains and Get Their Wet Cities Out For the Boys***
Why insist on mentioning EVERYTHING? Where's your sense of mystery - of teasing? Why shoot your wad before the link has even been clicked?! I have never seen one that makes any coherent sense as a sentence; they all range from 'a bit shit' to "Fuck me sideways over a rolling donut, that's truly AWFUL!" / "It looks like a toddler made it using random bricks!". You might as well just provide a comma-separated list of the game titles and give up any pretence of Wit, Imagination and/or Capability; and, of course, what inevitably follows 'within' is a dull, sequential stream of segments comprising a photograph PLUS 'impression' PLUS an entirely-irrelevant/fatuous 'rating'.

D minus.

Why not try proper puns? An artistic reference or an emotional expression? How about something that stands alone in its language as having actual sense and meaning? If you can't be bothered, then you might as well start eating wax crayons in front of your Kallax on YouTube****.

External image


*I'd go for: "Dennis? There's Some Lovely Filth Down 'Ere"
**I'd plump with: "Smoke and Milieus" (it's too varied for a common thread, so going 'utterly obtuse' works too)
***I quite like this one; it's just the right side of 'filthy'
****100% MUST Watch.
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Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:25 am
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das Fett kauen

Anthony Boydell
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan

Me and one of my favourite ever Germans, Mr Ulrich Blennemann, chew the fat:


(Uli is very quiet - uncharacteristically - in this one)

Here's fun: how many times do I side-eye my live 'room next door' stream from Dominic Cummings?

I do miss my European friends so very much.
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Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 am
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Vent

Anthony Boydell
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The sun was back out in glorious heat and light today: no grey clouds to separate us from a good ol' English globally-warmed Summer! I made use of a convenient break between meetings to drop off a stack of parcels and, as I drove through the town, it was like a regular, balmy Monday. Folks gathered in the shops, chatting outside the Library, kids huddled under the Market Place, an orderly - socially-distanced - queue for the Post Office and Mums returning from the Primary School drop-off; a queue for the bus and masked OAPs out for a stroll and a bottle of milk from the supermarket. To be completely honest, I'm not clear whether we're out of lockdown now or not - it's been over a week since I left the boundaries of Chez Boydell to do anything except take the dog for a walk in the empty fields.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Bread-and-circuses for the 21st Century: queue for Primark!


Most children won't be going back to school until September but the zoos are open; the R-number is only just below 1 but the beaches are open. Tens of people are still dying each day - well, some number are because we don't get informed of the figures with any regularity anymore - but at least that statue of Winston Churchill is safe (feel free to piss over any Police memorials, though).

Black Lives Matter, unless you lived in Grenfell Towers or are part of the Windrush generation. If you're a farmer, or a fisherman, then you've got six months to retrain before the hammer comes down: chlorinated, hormone-soaked tariffs for everyone!

Every little bit of good that happens in the World is, almost immediately, obscured and/or belittled by the relentless imbecility of those who profess to serve us. Consider the United Kingdom: currently under the tutelage of a lolloping, tousle-haired whoopee cushion of liquid turds and his merry band of Beano horrors (all the clich├ęs are here); it's like a sitcom but the laughter is canned because the audience is, in fact, dead. If I hear the phrase "doubling down on the lie" one more fucking time, I may scream and never stop.

For the Boydell household, the lockdown has seeded boredom, resentment, frustration, rage, emotional retreats and emotional outbursts; it's a bit like walking on eggshells...while they're still coming out of the chickens. There's nowhere for anyone to go, no-one to offer any help. Arthur barely holds interest in anything away from the XBox or YouTube and is just buffeted about in the wake of the older kids' outbursts; he has bags under his eyes, isn't eating or sleeping properly, misses his pals and is prone to sudden tears. I. fucking. hate. this. country.

I can't trust the news, so I retreat to gaming BUT a quick glance at boardgame Twitter and - Jesus in a tin-foil Mankini! - you're castigated for not believing enough in X or complicit in the persecution of Y or simply enabling the perpetuation of Z by your 'inaction': fucking hell, I've got quite enough to worry about within the curtilage of my property without being flamed-then-blocked for not being part of the foam-mouthed mob at every. fucking. sleight!

From gallery of tonyboydell


To distract myself, I watch videos of Magic: The Gathering booster packs being opened; of combo-decks being combotastic on MTG Arena; of ornate, wooden puzzles being solved by a man with heavily-tattooed hands; of movie trailers for films I can't go and see because the cinemas are closed; of theories behind HELLRAISER and the ALIEN franchise; of a bloke lathing tree-trunks in to marbles; of a fake BBC TV News presenter ranting at the ugliness of it all.

I designed a game where you're trying to successfully summon a Demon; why did I bother? There's plenty here already.
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:15 am
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There Can Be Only One!

Anthony Boydell
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In light of MrShep's recent blog post (HERE) revolving about this statement in the Repos manual for Just One -

From gallery of MrShep


- I, humbly*, present a free alternative in the spirit of 'Fuck you!' to the Great Legal Minds(TM)** who request this sort of unenforceable shite spoil everyone's day:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Setup:
a. Give each player a sheet of paper and a writing implement; encourage players to write small enough to make the sheet last for the whole game in an attempt to be more environment-friendly.

b. Throw your copy/copies of Concept and Just One (and any other tiresome, derivative tat that Repos have spunked out in order to avoid taxation) in to the recycling (separate the cardboard from the plastic components according to the rules of your local authority).

c. Nominate a player as the GUESSER; the player seated to the left of the GUESSER is the NOMINATOR. All players should decide, at this point, how many 'lives' are allowed (I recommend three with six players, adding one for each two players beyond that) - you are ready to play!

Playing the game:

1. The NOMINATOR announces a Subject Category and then writes down an example of something in that category; it can be any category you like but it should be general enough to provide good choices eg. films, vegetable, books and so on.

2. The GUESSER closes their eyes and/or performs some other operation of obscuring (dependent upon visual/aural impairment etc). The NOMINATOR shows, in silence and ensuring the GUESSER is not privvy, their selected example.

3. All players - except the GUESSER 'excluded' - must write down a single word clue to the 'example'.

4. When all players have written their word, the NOMINATOR removes any duplicates from play ie. if there is more than one instance of a word, ALL instances of that word are removed. Plural and singular forms together count as duplicated.

5. The GUESSER returns to play and is shown the remaining, valid clue words and must guess the example of the selected category. If they are correct, the team scores one point; if they are incorrect, the round counts as the loss of one life - if there are no lives left, the game is over and proceed to checking for victory OTHERWISE repeat the round structure from step 1, with the NOMINATOR now becoming the GUESSER and the player to the left of the new GUESSER becoming the new NOMINATOR.

Checking for Victory:
If your final score, as a group, after all lives lost is greater than the number of players then you have WON! Huzzah! Record your winning margin ie. the score minus the number of players on a league table, if you like.

If your final score, as a group, is less than or equal to the number of players then you have LOST and should be thoroughly-ashamed of yourselves.

(c) 2020 Tony Boydell
Important note: do what the fuck you like with these rules.

I love you x

*not in the slightest bit
**cunts
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Sat May 30, 2020 11:25 am
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Am I The Only One To Think...2

Anthony Boydell
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...that this year's 'virtual cons' are going to be nothing more than a thousand variations on BGG's live Con streams?

From gallery of tonyboydell


I mean there's nothing wrong with showcasing new products etc but that's NOT a "virtual con", that's just doing the usual, seen-it-before media shilling. Take a step away from the enthusiastic re-branding / re-paint job we're being sold and GenCon 2020 is going to comprise the same variable quality of industry guests being gamely chivvied along by Beth, Eric and that bloke with the massive chin.

I have questions and I have doubts:

The Demo experience?
Obviously, the huge increase in interest for Tabletop Simulator/Tabletopia is a viable channel for exposure to the new hotnesses BUT how much of a cut of sales would these platforms want/force if they're being actively promoted as demo venues by the publishers?

Promos?
The 'P'-word; the thing that we all adore ie. being rewarded for our being bothered to schlepp to the Halls with a card or a chit or a chewy sweet? I can see 'live giveaways', perhaps? But I hope they're all ready for the howling bleats of 'The Denied' because timezones preclude timely attendance.

Food?
Okay - this is much easier: scoff a couple of rancid chicken mcnuggets then throw 20 euros in to the bin.

Pitching One's Game(s)
Oh, and don't get me started - oops, you did - on the latest trend in arsewittery from the hipster game companies (or do we have to call them "Design Studios" now?): "Speed Pitching". Fuck you all with your smug, self-satisfied, self-important con-artistry. How fortunate we must feel that you deign to give up 2 minutes of your incalculably-valuable time to dwell with us mere mortals; how we be-shit our trousers at the undoubted privilege you afford us as you pretend you know what you're talking about - wheedling and judge-ing and criticising (but constructively and with sincerity, OBVIOUSLY?!) over Zoom, or whatever else lactose-free collaborative-platform is making you all jizz in your trendy undercrackers this week. Fuck you in to the Sea for reducing the hard work of designers to a series of patronising soundbites and platitudes; making a tawdry reality show out of our dreams. Fuck. You.

The Getting Drunk With Pals You've Not Seen For 12 Months
Impossible to reproduce.

Buying, buying and MORE buying?
If there's one "good" thing about no Spiel is that I'll save myself about 1000 euros of game purchases - even with the generosity of industry pals enabling me to get oodles of free stuff, I still adore trawling the lesser Halls for curios and rarities. Speculative purchases, too, are an 'in-person' thing and can't be cloned for virtuality.

We are being told of 'lots of things in store'; organisers are 'working on a full itinerary' and we're to expect 'surprises galore!' but I don't want empty promises, I want details and I want them now! You'll not get me hunched over my laptop - melting the motherboard with 12 hours of live streaming for four days - with non-specifics. If you know what you're doing then tell us; if you don't know, then shut up and tell us when you do.

I want my 2020 back, please; this isn't the year I signed up for.
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Sun May 24, 2020 6:40 am
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As if the gaming world hasn't already suffered enough?! pt 3

Anthony Boydell
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More news...
From gallery of tonyboydell

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Fri May 22, 2020 6:30 am
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Am I The Only One To Think...

Anthony Boydell
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
...that GenCon 2020 (due the last weekend of July) is remarkably tardy in finally declaring that it's been cancelled? This is so late to the fucking party that only empty Pringle's tubes and a tin of expired Fosters lager remain.

From gallery of tonyboydell


I mean, the UK Games Expo - led by a medical practitioner FFS - tried the hopelessly-optimistic postponing thing ten weeks ago then recognised the reality of their surroundings* a month-or-so back; Essen - distantly shining on the October horizon - gives up the ghost yesterday after consideration of Governmental advice. Coincidentally, conveniently - SHOCK and bastard HORROR! - the GenConMen suddenly decide, the next day, that it's 'up' for them too. Had they been a shared Autumn festival then - perhaps - I might cut them a little slack BUT hanging on Spiel's coat-tails (like they are forever doomed to do) in such a cynical fashion is, well, deeply cynical...or, again, is that just me?

I say "Boo-fucking-hoo!" to their reluctant, corporate bandwagoning; I smell regret, but isn't it just regret for the loss of buckets of cash? No-one's going to be trousering wads of green from a virtual Con - apart from fucking 'Zoom', obviously.

As for The Gathering of Chums in mid-November? Well, you'd think I'd be taking advice from MY Government but that would be a 'hard pass' from me; instead, I shall keep in touch with the most excellent Landlord of The King's Arms in Newent (the venue) and take my lead from him: he makes a mean beef-burger AND serves the best beer selection in the County - I trust him over the scarecrow-haired, Mr Blobby arse-wit...
Every.
Day.
Of.
The.
Week.

*great Fishbone album
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Wed May 20, 2020 11:28 am
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As if the gaming world hasn't already suffered enough?!

Anthony Boydell
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An exclusive - from BoardGameNews' very own Randy Baumwadds:
From gallery of tonyboydell


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Tue May 19, 2020 12:35 pm
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