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

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Minnellium 2000!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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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:

Quote:

(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 Labora...by 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?


PAUSE

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





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

-phew-

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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44 Comments
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:05 am
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That's The Way (Ah-ha, Ah-ha) I Lake It

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The sun has been kind enough to attend my visit to North Wales and it's been a pleasure to tootle about in the evenings in shorts-and-teeshirt. It had hotted up noticeably as I rolled the windows down (and the Touran out of the car park) so I was definitely going home via a scenic route but which one? It's a soul-shimmering joy to follow the A55 along the Menai Strait with the terraces and textures of the hillside quarries and that processing station - on top of the mountain outside Penmaenmawr - that looks like an Arakis Spice Harvester! The eclectic and entirely-superb Baby Driver soundtrack was thumping and grooving and ballading at the Holyhead junction so I mentally-flipped a coin and beetled onward, now joining the (old) A5 to Bethesda and Betwys-y-coed along the Ogwen Valley.

I'd bought a sandwich and bottle of fizzy pop in the village, so decided to stop and have a Tony-only picnic on the shore of Llyn Ogwen (llyn = lake); the car park had a fancy stile, so - before going for (another) impromptu paddle - I took my chicken & lincolnshire sausage cob up the combination rocky path / mountain stream:








Up, up and away off in the distance is the summit of Glyder Fawr (1000m, the 5th highest peak in Wales) and this is at the top:



(no - I didn't walk it!)


While perched on an sturdy outcrop, I watched enviously as several motorbikes roared along the deserted road; by God it must've been wonderful to be leaning and rolling along the clean tarmac. Ah, but I couldn't stay up there forever...


Sweaty work, that climbin' bizniz, so a chance to cool off.


The rest of the journey was familiarly-gorgeous as per until I got to Craven Arms (north of Ludlow, on the 'Marches') where a 40 mile diversion was in place due to level crossing works at Onibury. I stopped for another drink and a browse in a favourite charity bookshop...and it was well worth it:


"To you, guv? A rahnd five quid fer dallot!". Sold to the man with the beard and the hat.


Not only did I get more reading matter / railway goodness but a kindly lady came out of the stock room to tell me of a devious country lane shortcut to Ludlow that saved me half-an-hour: the glorious day was a gift that just kept on giving!
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Fri Jul 7, 2017 10:53 am
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Mechs on the Beach

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Ultimately I am a man of routine and will likely end up, foetally-positioned, behind a photocopier, should I divert from the well-worn paths that I know. To this end, a "Wednesday" whilst working away in North Wales must always involve an evening of games in Prestatyn presaged by a trip to Marks & Spencer for a build-it-myself sandwich roll supper; parking up on the seafront is the safety-blanketing full stop. Ed, regular Promethean, was wandering along the promenade and had already clocked up 7 miles (Rhyl was involved) by the time I'd burped down a paté and strong chedder bap and ambled on to the sands:


(from L to R) Ensis arcuatus, fahzans offem, litter the beach; casting all caution to the wind, I went for a paddle.


The sea was surprisingly warm, the skies wisped with vague cloud and the windmills blinked in the reflected sunlight; you could even see the oil platform way out in the Irish Sea which, Ed assured me, was unusual indeed. Still, there are only so many pretty shells to divert one's attention and it was soon time to make our way to The Beach House.

We were a satisfyingly-divisible seven this evening so, with me being conferred honorary chooser status by the gentlemanly Mark (below, bottom-left) - and Jeremy having taken the trouble to lug it along - I plumped for the splendid, wonderful, captivating and addictive Scythe. Thus, me and Jeremy and Daffydd and Yvonne gathered around the red Pool table for Stegmaieric shenanigans whilst Paul and Ed and Mark did something with a Viking game somebody was slagging off in the latest Spielbox (edit:Vikings on Board).



Jeremy was trying a visitor from afar whilst I was Mr Shortcut-to-the-Factory which I exploited very early doors and ended up cashing one of my hidden objectives by (my) turn six; relentlessly, I also built mechs and sent my Leader off to hoover up Encounters. In an odd twist, I 'gained' a worker ('Olga') at the other end of the board and - because she was discovered by my Leader - had no way of getting across the river to join her (new) fellow citizens; the Leader duly buggered off, drawn by the promise of more Encounters, leaving her in solitary confinement! A couple of village production actions later, however, and Olga plus family built themselves a riverwalking mech and made a bee-line for the Factory via a couple of brutally-successful fights with Jeremy and Daffydd along the way! Yvonne, to my immediate right, shot up both the Power and Popularity tracks having set up a lucrative bouncy production/bolster/build combo and even though she'd only placed 4 stars when I triggered the STOP with my 6th, she was 5 points ahead in the final reckoning: 73-68-38-29. Another absolute corker made even more delightful by the quirky narrative of Olga's personal (violent) journey: Scythe got up-close and personal tonight!

There was still 75 minutes of good eatin' to be had from this buffet of gaming comestibles, so Yvonne and Paul and I took ourselves to the dark corner for some Grand Austria Hotel.



Pretty darn perfect with three, the new-to-it Paul struggled to build any momentum and was left - lapped - behind. Yvonne ploughed ahead with some VP-awarding staff and guests to challenge my three-for-three fifteen point bonuses on the Politics cards but it wasn't enough and - satisfyingly and justly - I managed to eke out a four point win: revenge for the Scythe 'pipping' served cold (like the slices of sweaty cheese that provided a delicious snack on the dark trundle back to Llandudno).
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Thu Jul 6, 2017 6:30 am
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Narrow Gauge/Wide Smile

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The debacle of Wednesday's opaque vapour was replaced, the following morning, by a hot clarity that promised - once the usual employment duties had been dispatched - a lovely drive home. As I scoffed my breakfast poached eggs on toast, I gazed meditatively through the window at the dawning Llandudno:



It said '28.5 degrees' in the Touran as I tortured the air-con and rolled up to that big A55 Llandudno Junction roundabout; as ever, the exit I chose would determine the quality of my journey: quick and boringly-backdropped or long but a Gin-and-Tonic for the eyeballs. I, naturally, given the hotness and gorgeousness of the day, chose the latter.

Through the Conwy tunnel and along the coast road to the Menai Strait and left, in to the mountains, headed for Betwys-y-coed. Approaching Corwen, I eschewed the usual Llangollen option and spun right on to the road to Bala - a cheeky little lakeside town that leads in to the Martian landscapes of Montgomeryshire (and the Tanat Valley) but NOT before skirting adjacent to a heritage railway; 'heritage railway', you say? Don't mind if I do...

The Bala Lake Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid) is a narrow gauge railway along the southern shore of Bala Lake in Gwynedd, North Wales. The line, which is 4 1⁄2 miles (7.2 km) long, is built on a section of the former standard gauge Ruabon - Barmouth GWR route that closed in 1965. The Bala Lake Railway, which runs on 2 ft (610 mm)-gauge preserved rolling stock, is a member of the Great Little Trains of Wales.

I parked next to a cove on the cobalt-blue of the inviting lake and wandered through a field of sheep to Bala station; well, I say 'station' but it was more like a nicely-mown lawn with a ramblers' bridge over the narrow track! There was much chuffing-and-huffing (not unlike Ross-on-Wye's Boffo when introduced to something 'cult of the new') as the crew - two oily-faced volunteers and the conductor - prepared for the 2PM trip.

Here's a lovely short video of the engine 'coupling' that I took (please note the fat amateur finger intrusion):





The driver told me there was a café at the terminus, so I bade him a cheery "See you at the other end!" and followed the back road to Llanuwchllyn...


...via Llangower


It was particularly delightful to follow this route because the Bala Lake Railway features as one of the nine lines available in my (and Boffo's) prototype 2-player Snowdonia spin-off: Foothills:


On paper and in real-life!


With a Walls Feast deteriorating rapidly in the scorching PM blaze, I wandered along the platform in time to see the train rolling in from the heat-hazey horizon:





The driver recognised me (after all, it had only been 30 minutes or so) and waved as they hissed to a halt and the small, but smiling, passenger manifest disembarked directly in to the Tea Shop for fizzy drinks, tea and cake!

Alas, Time's winged chariot coughed gently in my ear and I resumed my beetling across the wilds once more; approaching Shrewsbury - via the village of Llynclys - I noted a tiny sign for "The Cambrian Railway Museum", FFS! Not this trip however, my friends; gotta keep something in the back pocket for the next one.
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Sat May 27, 2017 6:35 am
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Breezy Rhaeadr

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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I thought my car had splendid air conditioning but, as I wended my post-employment, dazzled-eyed way toward Prestatyn in a refreshingly-cool cloud, a bloody great tractor pulled out in front of me and bounced along (on its fat wheels) with its trailerload of shit scattering in all directions:



While it is easy enough to 'throttle back' to avoid windscreen splatter, what was suddenly-intolerable was the gagging stench of dung: dear Christmas, the smell! Once in the clear, I opened all the windows and gusted the sickly odour away though (psychosomatically) the ghost of a whiff remained. A brief walk before supper would help clear the passages, so I diverted to the Dyserth Waterfall (about 3 miles from Prestatyn):


Rainbows and a refreshing mist.



The view across Colwyn Bay from the top of the waterfall.


As is now my routine, I took my comestibles to the Beach and sat in the car park listening to podcasts. The tide was just on the turn, long and foamy waves crashing against the promenade steps, so I'd just have time for a sandy amble before games too. Being a creature of habit meant that Ed, from the club, knew where to find me at such an hour, pulled up beside the Touran and waved; we chatted over a bramley apple turnover (I had a spare to share) then coated up for a quick walk: shells, seaweed and sunshine.



As for the actual games? Well, Yvonne and Ed and me played through A Nice Cup of Tea and then La Granja while 'the boys' (Jeremy, Mark and Daffydd) did marauder-related things with (J's exquisitely self-painted) Blood Rage. We certainly had fun: me getting a thumping 'no train' win in ANCoT (its all about those chai-boosted actions, folks!) and then Yvonne pipping me by the infamous 'single-point' in La G (71-70-57).



My North Walesian, Spring holiday has now come to an end; no doubt I will be back but, probably, not before the UK Games Expo has come-and-gone. Its been an absolute joy gaming with such generous and genial folk: "Thanks, guys! See you soon!"
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Thu May 4, 2017 6:45 am
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Jean Genial

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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*phew* Another week bites the dust.

Finally able to extricate myself from the attentions of nervous and needy staff, I pulled away from the Llandudno office and - at the 'big roundabout' - decided that today (Thursday) I'd go straight on down the A5 through Llangollen. It's a green and pleasant route that's mercifully quiet this time of year and, about halfway along, rumbles past the Rhug Estate:

Quote:
Rhug Estate, Corwen in Denbighshire is the main estate and home of Lord Newborough. The present house was built in 1799 and extended by Charles Henry Wynn when he reached 21 years of age when he became absolute owner. In 1911, Rhug Hall had 60 rooms with 14 servants living in. The present Lord Newborough, the 8th Baron inherited the estate on the death of his father who, by all accounts, was a rather eccentric character: a Boy's Own war hero who made five trips to evacuate troops from Dunkirk, blew up the German docks at St. Nazaire and ended up in Colditz! After the war he returned to farming; he died in Istanbul in 1998 and his ashes were shot out of an 18th-century cannon.


I mention this in passing because, through my paternal line, Lord Newborough is a distant cousin (!); I am related to a country nob and no mistake*. Thus, stopping off at the Estate is really just a 'family visit', isn't it?

The Estate, as you would expect given the way British history works, has it's own Chapel and - with cramping calves - I pulled in to the grounds for a leg-stretching nosey. The Chapel is now maintained by Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environmental service, and for the princely sum of £4 I was granted admission:


From the outside, it's small and tidy and unremarkable...



...but on the inside...



...the roof is incredible...



...the panels on the walls, all unique, are sublime...



...the paintings...



...the ceiling panels...



...and the Angels!


I was the only person on the site apart from 'Jean', the Liverpudlian receptionist, who nipped off - as soon as I'd paid - to the Vestry for a warmed-up chicken tikka masala. When I'd soaked my eyes to saturation with the ornate, medieval beauty (see above) I returned to the gift shop whereupon 'Jean' started a conversation that looked like it would never stop! Hardly able to get a word in edgeways, 'Jean' narrated her life story to my polite nods and 'hur-hum's; the poor flower, trapped eight hours a day in a silent pre-Seasonal tourist attraction, was evidently starved of human interaction...and she wasn't letting me go without a (verbal) fight!

Eventually, with still a good three hours of travelling ahead of me, I took my leave and bade this genial prisoner farewell. Looking back on the photos, there are many worse places to be stuck in for one's job! Rhug Chapel is a real gem.

*awaits inevitable Boffonian/enoonian interjection
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:00 pm
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Ice Cold In Llandudno

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Work colleague Craig, and myself, returned from a day's system support to glorious sunshine at the B&B. Ah, how we basked in the Spring glow as we ambled up the stepped gardens, admired the tadpoles wriggling through the quiet-fountained pond and aurally-delighted in the twittering of birds.

Half an hour later, as we set out to hike to the Iron Age village promontory, we were caught in a blizzard of hailstones and a wind cold enough to freeze the piss in your bladder! Cursing, we scuttled to the Cottage Loaf pub for a warming burger and pint of fizzy, fermented apple juice. Finally feeling our fingertips and toes once more, we determined to exercise our full bellies with a walk along the Llandudno pier, hoods up and teeth a-chattering, in the chill sunset.


Peering up the Pier: no fisherman, or jellyfish, at the end.


Oddly, in the far distance, through the forest of windmills, I could see Rhyl and Prestatyn bathed in a Summer's glow of their own - in stark contrast to our Arctic ambulation. Bugger.

The beach, shadowed by the Great Orme, laughed coldly at our frozen faces as the tide rolled in:




Still a beautiful vista, though.
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:15 pm
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Whales in Wales

Anthony Boydell
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After such a lovely weekend, basking in the sunshine and mooching about the garden, it was a proper chore to have to drive back to North Wales for work; the Easter holidays are over for the boys too so, luckily, I got to drop Arthur off at school first. No sightseeing on the journey, it was as quickly as possible to the office to support the latest 'go live' and deliver (even) more training. Ho-diddley-hum; money may make the world go around BUT rhubarbing on to business support staff about task queues and RAG statuses certainly hoovers up the afternoon in the blink of an eye so, as is my routine, it was back to the B&B for a quick-change then supper watching the fat gulls scrounge on the Conwy quayside. Blazing and blue the great Arch may have been above me but there was one Hell of a breeze gusting in off the Irish Sea; the Touran was a-rockin'*

The board gamers were squeezed in to one half of the restaurant bar because - shock! horror! - now that the weather had brightened up, everyone and his Father-in-Law/Boss/Probation Officer had come out to twat white balls around 100 acres of reclaimed silt. No matter, Ed and Aaron and Tim and myself bagsied the window seats and set up Mr Alan Paull's criminally-overlooked (but highly-regarded by those in-the-know) Confucius:


Halfway through clear-up, I remembered I needed to snap the board state: note me (purple) in a criminally picked-on last place.



My action: sail to distant lands for this fabulous Emperor's reward card.
Aaron's action: send his army in to the last Invasion tile space.
My action: Swear and sulk and curse and moan and grumble.


I know how to play it in my head but stumbled through letting everyone else know; Aaron remembered bits from a while back too so, between us, we managed to piece things together for the other two. Playing pace was brisk and there was much giving and receiving of gifts which lead to the inevitable "What? I have to pay for YOUR candidate in the examination rather than mine...because you slipped me this f**king gift?! Damnit!" and so on. Aaron ran away with it all, in the end, but it was fun to give the old hoss a new airing. Funnily, Confucius was recently higlighted as "a hidden gem of board gaming" on Geek and Sundry (!):

http://geekandsundry.com/3-hidden-gems-of-board-gaming-you-s...

(time to give it a Twenteens facelift and a reissue, surely?!)


Ed and Tim lagged behind for a chat and then we suddenly found ourselves the only ones not 'in a game' so, naturally, we put ourselves 'in a game' and I chose the "something in about an hour" New Bedford:


I managed to 'land' three of the four KS promo tiles, thanks to my 'furthest out' little ship, plus a sack load of cash (from stolen goods via the Chemist Shop) and a VP-rich Seamen's Bethel for a (first ever) game-winning 26 points!


I meandered about the room, after Tim left, and managed to blag a three-player Linko! with Dewi and Denise. Apparently, Dewi has only lost at this once so it was extra-pleasing to hold him to a 40-40 tie after three rounds! My seven 1s were followed by, yes, _his_ seven 2s and he let me take them back (!); I played them again next turn, unchallenged, leaving me four 8s to end the round and steal his almost-certain victory away from him: huzzah!

I needed a toothbrush, so drove around for a bit in the hurricane until I found a 7-11; confusingly, when I parked up at the B&B - in the shadow of the Great Orme - the air was as still as a mouse's millpond. Where had all that angry air gotten to? I'll be blowed if I know.

*consequently, no-one came a-knockin'
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Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:35 am
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As is my wont...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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...I'd finished blah-blah-de-training-blah and took myself, last Tuesday, back to the B&B. The Deganwy road to Llandudno, in preparation for the coming holiday season, was stop-and-bloody-started with roadworks (as seems to be most of the North Wales coast). Trying to find a short-cut, I ended up in the middle of an Estate and proximal to a 'Public Right of Way' path squeezed between two houses.

"There be big hills in that direction" I mused and, ignoring the bruisy sore pain in my left heel (that I've had since Sunday morning), I went for a climbing walk in the beautiful late afternoon:


(clockwise, from top left, around a Google map snapshot: a glinting Conwy; a prominent up-swelling of land; a prominent up-swelling of a human (with the Great Orme in the distance); "I remember when all of these fields were just fields..."; have panorama function on iphone, will travel; up my secret passage.


While it may be too windy to catch my meditative commentary, perhaps, you get the general idea:

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Sat Apr 8, 2017 6:25 am
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Blaidd Spirit

Anthony Boydell
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Mrs B has got a rather splendid alarm clock on her side of the bed: its light fading up from glimmering first twinkle of dawn to fully-over-the-horizon sun burst over an unhurried 10 minute period. Gone are the eye-popping ding-dongs, klaxons and panicked honks of traditional alarms to be replaced by the relaxing, Vaughan Williams-esque emergence of day. Ah, bliss-upon-bliss because this morning was not to be a stupid o'clock rumble down to Cardiff but - instead - a take-your-time-and-get-there-by-lunchtime quest to Llandudno; thus, with my suitcase packed and an iPhone stuffed with podcasts, I bad farewell to Mrs B and Arthur and sallied forth up the Marches.

It was bright and brisk all the three-and-a-half hours; not even a roadworks traffic jam in the last 20 miles - nor a drunkenly-swerving recovery truck - could spoil the shimmering sea view from the stoodstill A55. I wound the window down and turned up the stereo (Kamakiriad by Donald Fagen) and breathed deep of the salty air. Lovely. The sun was contrastingly, thickly be-clouded six hours later as I watched the gulls screaming over the Conwy estuary (and the trains trundling through the Deganwy level crossing) - stuffing cheap chicken in to my slavering maw. Seasoning my fingers with lemony freshness, I made my presence known to the most splendid people you could ever hope to meet in the top left-hand corner of Wales: the Snowdonia Dragons.

Aside: Whilst beveraging a massive OJ&L, I was surprised and delighted to see Mr Phil Dennis - lurker and sometime commentator on The Shed - amble in to the Bar. He usually haunts the Aberystwyth (Western) region but (like me) is up here for a handful of days; oddly, he will be returned South East before the end of the week and we shall see him all-over-again, Friday, at The Prince of Wales in Ross-on-Wye!

My table for the evening would comprise Dafydd and his fiancee Yvonne (both harkening back to my very first visits in 2013) and an earnest young gentleman called Tim; the latter clutched a Settlers of Catan box that contained all manner of multi-coloured cards and plastic tokens and represented a 'new game prototype' which was pitched to me as "Dead of Winter meets Agricola"! Intrigued and, as is often the case when I'm at the Golf Club, happy to acquiesce to someone else's game choices, we were treated a slightly-muddy overview and rules explanation. In the general 30 minute-or-so session, it turned out less like Agricola and more akin to a co-operative New Bedford with DoW sprinkles, a slightly-wonky traitor element and a defiantly non-zombie re-theme: werewolves attacking a medieval village, the occupants of which were trying to dig enough silver out of a mine to forge monster-defeating weaponry. It had the stilted flow and overly-complicated rule-set of an early prototype but had the spark of something intriguing; we sent him off with some layout clarification suggestions, component improvements and logic tweaks - I look forward to seeing what he does with it at the next iteration, certainly.

In return, Tim - and the happy couple - agreed to another play test, this time for Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. It went well, I think, though Tim seemed to have lost his way during the Practice phase and drafted himself an appallingly inflexible deck. Dafydd, on the other hand, delighted in playing the damage-happy German Count and revved over the finishing line to be the sole pilot to reach Paris that round; despite being the most villanous, his armor-clad special power gave him a five point victory over myself even after taking all of his Infamy in to account. Sometimes the bad guy(s) win

To close, albeit much earlier than I'm used to because of the erratic Golf Club opening hours, Yvonne pushed a current favourite to the fore: The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire.





It's a pleasant enough worker placer that reminded me of Lancaster (sort-of) mashed up with, well, pretty much any other WP game you care to name and a dash of 20th Century (but no auctions). The only way to really work out what was going on and what to do about it was to play, so that's what we did. Mind you, now that I've seen it rumbling along, I might do a little better the next time...if there is a next time, of course, as no-one Down My End has a copy (and I wasn't startled enough to want to go hunting for one myself).

Final Note: I really should remember to dispose of my supper detritus before spending a spiffing evening elsewhere; the cloud of stale oil and secret herbs-and-spices almost knocked me off my feet when I opened the driver's door come 10.15PM! The windows were open again, then, for the dark drive up the peninsular.
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Tue Apr 4, 2017 6:30 am
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