Everyone Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.

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nnnnnneeeeeaaaaaoowwwwwwwwwww!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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James Hunt's Grand Prix Racing Game is another Denys Fisher Toys licensed IP curio from the mid-1970s based on the (fleetingly successful) career of Brit Formula One 'gentleman hero' (and 1976 World Champion) Chris Hemsworth James Hunt*.

From gallery of tonyboydell


The genre is, of course, mightily-stuffed with product and seems to have developed from/morphed out of the pre-1960s obsession with animal (horse, greyhound) racing: roaring engines, testosterone and fabulous speeds being the order of a young lad's gaming day.

From gallery of tonyboydell


The wrinkle with JH is the playing out of the 'speedometer' cards which also have tie-break/forced pit-stop elements in the smaller dial combinations.

From gallery of tonyboydell


Sequential playing out of an appropriate card at the right place on the course - avoiding the clich├ęd snakes and ladders - and tucking inside / tactical blocking being the key.

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The only BGG comment is rather cruel:
"Car boot 50p acquisition. Not very impressive"

There seems to be a little bit more than the usual roll-and-move - despite being held to the luck of one's draw - in that speed is just the tie-break for who moves between 1 and 6 spaces: so you can 'win' the round with a 60MPH 'play' and move the same as winning it with a 170mph play. And 50p is pretty good value for a smartly-presented piece of history from the UK's infamous "long, hot Summer"**.

*also, for the longest time, a key element of Cockney rhyming slang.
**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_British_Isles_heat_wave
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Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:36 am
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war is stupid and people are stupid and love means nothing in some strange quarters

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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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
A trio of fighty things for the Museum's stock this week:

Confrontation - numbered just 2341 in the BGG database, so one one of the earliest residents here - has large hex tiles and all-the-rage 1970s plastic pieces (including the 'bullets' familiar from other games in the same period):
From gallery of tonyboydell


For a fuller overview, I'll point you HERE but, in summary, it's a written order area-controller with a pre-programming element: Robo-rally meets Diplomacy!

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

(Dad joke incoming) The 'continent' seems to be modelled on Australia.

This one has a pretty good reputation and even has an article to itself in The Games & Puzzles Book of Modern Board Games - I already have the book but a photocopy of the article came with the game as well.

More recognisable - but not the one you might think it of - is this 1980s movie tie-in from Parker:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Dune (no.680 in the db!) is a family-friendly beat-each-other-up summarised as follows:

Quote:
Based on the movie, this version of Dune features photos of the stars on pawns divided into teams of three. Each character has its own strength and guile values.

Players can move around the outer desert spaces to harvest monetary units of spice or can move around the inner castle spaces to build up strength.

Players can use spice to buy random equipment cards, spice harvesters, or extra boosts of guile when under attack. Players can also invest in the craps-like commodity markets that pay off on certain dice rolls.

The artwork is slick, the rules are relatively simple...and games go fairly quickly since all fights are to the death
Like Confrontation, this looks to be eminently-playable by a modern audience; indeed, 'The Contrarian' provides an optimistic review HERE.
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

This copy is a very clean copy - likely never played - and still has a publisher's advertising leaflet (likely never unfolded!):
From gallery of tonyboydell

Look at what else the discerning sci-fi fan could get their hands on - Part 1: Care Bears?! Cabbage Patch Kids?!

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Look at what else the discerning sci-fi fan could get their hands on! - Part 2: More 'traditional' on this side.

From gallery of tonyboydell

The leaflet with a recent 'History' of Parker Games acquired from not Amazon.


For the last item, I was pointed to an eBay auction for the board, only, for the Dennis Wheatley game I'm missing: Invasion. A second copy, sans pieces, is also currently 'on its way' to Newent (thanks to the generosity of blog reader Alexander Freudenthal), so I have a backup as well:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

A deliciously-detailed map; however, the city names cheapen the "serious military atmosphere" somewhat:
Manur? Lizzie? Spit and Polish? Canobier?!


All told, here's one for the (look but don't touch) display cabinet and a couple for 'open table play' shelves in the MoBGaG.
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Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:10 am
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Exhibit - A

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Yesterday, I nipped into Newent during my lunch break to finally get a look inside my preferred location for the Museum in The Shambles 'arcade':
From gallery of tonyboydell


That splendid display window:
From gallery of tonyboydell

...from the outside...

From gallery of tonyboydell

...and from the inside.

From gallery of tonyboydell

The other corner - the pointy bit.

The unit is the first thing you see when you enter the courtyard from the main street - this is a Good ThingTM - and is plenty big enough to get started. At the moment it's full of all sorts of survivalist gear and Vape refills...but that's all going to be moved out by the end of the month, making way for me to:
a) tidy up;
b) re-touch the paintwork;
c) open up the display window to be a mini exhibit room; and,
d) move my shit in!
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Now the search is seriously on for some display cabinets or - at the very least - sturdy, level shelves that I can affix perspex sheets to! And, of course, I must return my attention to the Patreon pages...
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Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:20 am
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What A Lovely Pair!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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If there's one thing worse than chasing after a very rare board game, it's realising that there are TWO versions of it available! More often than not, it's a different implementation/skin for the US and UK markets though (sometimes) a tweak to the theme itself leads to the separation.

I'd already known that Astron had an aeroplane version and a space version:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Recently acquired from a recently-departed gentleman's collection with the blessing of his wife & daughter.

From gallery of tonyboydell


In the case of Ship Ahoy, it was hard enough finding the UK edition...to then discover there was a US version too:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Aside from the packaging, the boards themselves were unique:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The Isle of Wight for the UK

From gallery of tonyboydell

Long Island Sound for the US


The presence of all of the player pieces is also a scarcity measure: still retaining full sets of yachts, planes and Buck Rogers-esque spaceships after 60-80 years? Wow!

Finally, both games are BIG buggers to store and display, even before you consider doubling each one up!
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:42 am
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Sold as seen

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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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
The problem with acquiring a game that is almost 100 years old is that, oftentimes, it's going to demonstrably show its age; only on the rarest occasions will something designed for leisure - for being played with by children! - have been used carefully, stored safely and make it down the decades relatively un-scathed. More usually: corners will be impacted, flaps torn, water stains on the cardboard/layer separation, box warping, missing inserts, snapped lead pieces, creased cards and dust - lots of dust.

If you're lucky, each piece will tick some of these signs of maturity; if you're not, it'll tick the whole bloody lot:
From gallery of tonyboydell

In this instance, for my fifteen quid, I've got a shed/garage/attic-stored copy of The Game of Tilting the Bucket from Glevum Games that sadly displays all of the put-aside-and-forgotten tropes:
From gallery of tonyboydell

It's even got the wrong rules (with a layer of dried mud upon them) and those Disney character cut-outs are deffo not part of the original component list.

From a repair perspective, a good box-top wash with some alcohol/lighter fluid might bring the wonderful cover art back to life; a damp cloth to get rid of the detritus and throwing away the 'wrong bits'. The box-bottom is the wooden board, so that's unscathed but the top may require judicious pruning: save one good corner, then, and remove the rest to stop continued 'snagging' and tearing. It's not possible to save it all but, I am sure, we can save the best bits of it!

One wonders how many more lofts and outbuildings remain with items like this hidden away in them; certainly folk are more savvy nowadays when it comes to antiques - and, mortality-reenforcingly, objects that would've been regarded as modern tat (and, therefore, only suitable for the bin) when I was a child are now the realm of the 'serious collector'.
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Fri Jun 4, 2021 10:13 am
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Strictly Come Exterminating

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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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
Ah: War of the Daleks - one of the harder-to-find Strawberry Fayre (Denys Fisher Toys) 1970s outputs and, if we're honest, pretty much the only Doctor Who-franchised game that anyone gives a Timelord's Ticklish Testicle about*.

From gallery of tonyboydell


It comes in a bloody huge (rather heavy) box; most of its heft seemingly-attributable to a giant rotating disc under the board - see the video at the end!

From gallery of tonyboydell


Roll and move and spin the 'Control Centre' and exterminate your fellows and then have a pop at the CC to win.

From gallery of tonyboydell


It's Ludo with a sprinkle of Pacman's ghosts; if the Dalek's exterminating rod touches your standee, you must go back to the Start.

From gallery of tonyboydell


And, like The Fastest Gun, it's the spinning board that adds the saving wrinkle. No matter how rubbish your luck with the dice, at least you can make the whole apparatus pirouette like the Bolshoi! There's also a couple of 'gun' chits you can deploy as 'Immunity spaces' ahead of you OR, in direst need / most fortuitous circumstance, as Dalek-destroying one-shots.

From gallery of tonyboydell


The epic physicality of games of this period lend them a real affection in our memories; while millions wish to forget the ill-temper of Monopoly, many others go misty-eyed at the thought of the sinking Titanic in Abandon Ship, navigating a Haunted House, the viewer in Up Periscope or the floating weather system in Bermuda Triangle!



How delightfully-silly: a bit like Doctor Who themself.

*apart from, perhaps, the collectible card game from the 1990s that ended up in a remaindered bookshop outlet in Cheltenham. By the time I'd seen the bits in the window display someone had bought THEIR ENTIRE STOCK - we're talking a couple of pallets' worth!
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Wed Jun 2, 2021 6:20 am
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The Progress of The Pilgrim

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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It's been a couple of weeks since Ziggy and I circuited the fair town of Newent - preferring, instead, the sheltered-but-slippy woodland topography - so, with the sun hidden-but-still-baking behind a thin layer of cloud, we set off on a favourite course: up to Acorn Woods (at the bottom of May Hill), across to (and behind) the International Birds of Prey Centre, following the stream between the endless orchards and home again.

From gallery of tonyboydell


Obviously, the familiar paths have become trenches amid the swaying crops. Ziggy chasing a bird or an imagined rabbit into the green wheat and then yipping/bouncing his way back to me for a biscuit and/or a refreshing rollabout in the soft grass.

From gallery of tonyboydell


The bare hedgerows, the muddy ponds in the fields and the skeletonized trees have burgeoned with vegetation and present new horizons; I force-march the gradients to get the heart pumping and the legs working.

From gallery of tonyboydell


Long walks are good for the soul but, according to Chad Valley Co Ltd., they're not quite everything:
From gallery of tonyboydell


CV - like Gloucester's Glevum Games - were pretty damn huge in the early-to-mid 20th century; the tail-end of their story - the modern bit - is rather cheap and plastic-y, though. Still, I'm sure my own collection of their desirable wares us but a scratch.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Keep walking, champ; it's good for the Immortal Ledger, you know?!


From gallery of tonyboydell

The chunky spinner is a surprise - I'd have expected a die or two - and, given this edition isn't in the BGG database, it's likely it is a replacement for lost components:

From gallery of tonyboydell


A different Pilgrim's Progress entry, here, mentions a spinner with multiple results on each 'edge', which reminded me of the WW2 dice replacements you can find:
From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


I fear I may have lost the Moral Compass necessary for successfully-traversing this map; I'll stick to fields and trees and streams, thanks.

Quote:
Aside: Having recently become re-obsessed with The Beatles' white album ('The Beatles'), how serendipitous that Mother Nature's Son has just popped on to play as I wind up this post!
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Tue Jun 1, 2021 6:25 am
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The Devil Rides Out - to play boardgames!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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From 'the Pedia':
Quote:
Dennis Yeats Wheatley (8th January, 1897 to 10th November, 1977) was an English writer whose prolific output of thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling authors from the 1930s through the 1960s. His Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming's James Bond stories.
From gallery of tonyboydell


Not content with churning out fiction - which, in my memory, had photos of animal skulls, dribbly candles and satanically-robed virgin on the covers - he also signed his name to a trio of board games: Invasion, Blockade and Alibi.

Copies of two, of the three, are now in my possession:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Quote:
Blockade is played with multi-shaped wooden pieces representing Naval Formations, Air Units, Submarines and Cargo Ships on a six-color map. Victory consists of capturing or sinking all enemy Merchant Shipping so that the enemy is completely blockaded and cannot obtain further supplies from Neutral sources.

The Map shows four countries (two sets of paired enemies). The land war between them is considered to be locked in a Maginot Line type of stalemate so the battle hinges on the war at sea. The map has 32 ports (5 in each warring country and 12 on the coasts of the neutrals).

Each country has a different starting mix of units (for example Leoland is high in Naval Formations and Adlerreich has the most submarines). The player round consists of moving all your cargo ships 1 space then rolling the dice and moving your units. A player may make a single air attack instead of moving any naval units. The air units have unlimited range and the number required to make an attack is based on the target. Losses are also based on the target and are automatic (for example it takes 4 air units to attack a naval formation and 2 air units are automatically lost).

A merchant ship can join a naval formation and create a convoy for more protection. Naval combat consists of a surprise attack (by submarines) and open attacks between naval formations. The surprise attack can be triggered by a roll of 8 or higher and an open attack requires the player to spend 1 or 2 pips of the dice roll.
From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


Quote:
The Alibi rule book outlines a detailed scenario in which a murder has taken place and one of six infamous criminals must be to blame. The players are detectives and move around a map of Britain and in various towns get to look at one of the cards which may help provide an alibi for one of the suspects, advance the investigation further or merely cause a delay. When enough information has been gathered a player can race back to the town the murderer is in and arrest him to win. Nice system which ensures it plays differently each time. Includes metal detective figures.
From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

They look so lonely without their eldest brother.
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Sun May 30, 2021 6:30 am
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Good - Better - Betts!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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A year ago now, I snagged myself an 1880s delicacy and was ever so pleased to have done so: HERE

Last week, I found another copy of Betts's Tour Through England and Wales but, this, time it was much more than just the map: it was the whole dang package!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Outer cover and accompanying pot of bits...


From gallery of tonyboydell

Teetotems? Teetotae? Tees-totum?!


From gallery of tonyboydell

Ivory...but pretty as a button!


From gallery of tonyboydell

The pot and some bits for it's sister game Betts's Tour Through Europe (curr. about 350 quid on the web)


From gallery of tonyboydell

...and the original book of Town descriptions!


From gallery of tonyboydell

Oh the wording of the rules: how utterly and entirely charming!


And, of course, the map itself:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Still a thing of beauty and a joy forever:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Of course, I don't have a copy of 'Europe' but I've got the most perishable/lose-able bits of it so that's positive; ultimately, I'd better start saving up now - eh?
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Wed May 26, 2021 6:15 am
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A Train Game Gain Again

Anthony Boydell
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This kind of things snags my attention IMMEDIATELY and pushes the "I must have it!" button: so hard that it often figuratively pops out of it's metaphorical housing:

From gallery of tonyboydell

It's not the game, it's always the art on the box...


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell

...and the art on the board.


A lovely addition to my now-significant Train Games Exhibit*.

As a brief sojourn into ogling another pretty box, this is all well-and-good but if I'm going to run a museum then I'm going to need a little more information...cue: this week's additional (essential) acquisition:

From gallery of tonyboydell

Geographically, Glevum Games - makers of the above - are practically my neighbours: the locations mentioned in this biography/catalogue entirely familiar to me!

From gallery of tonyboydell

This 500+ page tome is rich in archive materials, photographs, scans and assorted appendices BUT the history bit is remarkably sparse: very little is actually known about the Roberts brothers! For a company that operated at the height of its powers - nationally and internationally - for 60 years, the biography barely stretches to 20 pages!

From gallery of tonyboydell

In, perhaps, the most interesting section of the Intro, there is a long discussion about how Glevum products might be identified/verified: though the 'Logo' only occasionally appeared on the box, more often than not all you'd get was a "Made in England" motif and a tell-tale 'shiny red paper-covered box'.

From gallery of tonyboydell

Of course, nothing escapes 'credit' on a game nowadays: the publisher, the designer, the artist, the DTP operator, the bloke who tops up the ink on the print rollers, 'God' and so on. Not for us the pleasure of 'Detective work' or 'Research' or 'Just not knowing at all'!

Back to Railway Race: the book makes my heart simultaneously sing and sink because there isn't just 'one' RR product but many variations on a theme - box size, box art, box colour, map layout and player pieces. Even the print colour of the rule sheet that gets pasted on the inside of the lid can vary between editions!

And MY copy - square box, blue paper - isn't shown in the book at all!

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


Of course, as a document of the output of a significant player in Household Recreation for the British Empire (!), the book taunts me as a checklist of stuff I still need to find.

*It is still a source of great bewilderment that my local heritage railway doesn't even return my emails when I offer them stock for ludological exhibition: go figure?!
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Sun May 23, 2021 6:15 am
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