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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More Breaking News!

Anthony Boydell
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Hot off the announcement of Mayfair/Lookout/Mayout/Lookfair/whatever being acquired by Asmodee comes the announcement that - in a fit of over-exuberance and mis-filed paperwork, Asmodee has accidentally acquired itself:



The impact on the rest of the industry is, as yet, unknown...
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Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:02 am
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My Time Machine is made of Paper

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Just before Christmas, I managed to secure a batch of ‘old gaming magazines’ from a seller on my favourite FB group. He wasn’t sure if they were worth anything and asked for reasonable offers; there were 15 or so, so I suggested £15 and the deal was duly done. The main attractions in the batch were an early Duelist and three issues of GM from the mid-90s; the latter was a briefly-lived organ for, mainly, RPGs but with occasional forays in to the tabletop world PLUS my mate Mark used to write articles for them (in fact, I believe august gaming celebrity and good egg James Wallis was also a contributor). I had a complete set – two years worth – but they ended up in a skip after a particularly-brutal spring clean.



The Duelist was purely for nostalgia and, at the time of committing to the purchase, I’d not realised it was Issue 0; this was a most pleasant surprise upon unwrapping...as was the Contents list:



This is an issue packed with innocent enthusiasm and optimism; remember that this is 1994-ish and Richard Garfield and the WotC folks have absolutely no idea about what Magic: The Gathering was about to do to the gaming world!



It's like that meme-d photo of Taylor Swift going to her Prom with an unnamed Joe or of the village that would be knocked down forever and become Heathrow Airport or the million railway books I have bowing my shelves: a moment captured before everything changed. Time travel is real; you can hold it in your hands every day.
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:31 am
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18ELC - Train games just got HARD!

Anthony Boydell
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Follow me as I unbox and, then, try to make sense of my newest train game acquisition!

Part 1:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


Part 2:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


Part 3:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

(apologies for the orientation; I remain befuddled by modern technology)


"Phew!" is all I can say, frankly; I'm not convinced this 18XX lark is really for me. I'm glad I tried it, though - better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all etc.
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:17 am
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a la recherche du temps perdu (encore)

Anthony Boydell
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In the distant, misty TV memories of the 1970s I recall - as Christmas approached - the relentless, raging torrent of adverts for cooking utensils (razor sharp, micro-thin blades with which to flay oneself in pursuit of a salad), mail-order vinyl LP collections (the entire Beatles back catalogue performed on Zither & Cowbell, Elvis: The Bathroom Years, Richard Clayderman Plays Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music etc) and vibrant, 3D, clatteringly-plastic board games:



While scoffing a biscuit (or two) and watching Saturday morning TV with Arthur, yesterday, we were assailed by a six minute advertising break - SIX minutes - of repeating 15 second segments: pet toys, 'jewellery making kits' and...er, huzzah???...board games:


(clockwise from top left) A farting cow; balloon punching frenzy; hairy 'chin'anigans (!); and an alarming dildo dexterity game (that actually shouts "Play With Me!").


I really shouldn't grumble: it's a step in the right direction, I suppose...

...isn't it?

shake

Obligatory Sunday Participation Question:
What 3d/plastic-y games do YOU recall fondly from decades past?
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Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:45 am
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It was twenty (three) years ago today...

Anthony Boydell
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...Henry Burrows taught us Devs to play!

Twenty [EDIT] three [/EDIT] years ago, I was working as a Civil Servant in Cheltenham and we were a small team working on a juicy little IT project. We were supported by a team from an external supplier and I remember the morning that I popped in to their Dev room - at the (far) end of the corridor - for our traditional start the day caffeine brew: Henry was fart-arsing about with an brownish, oblong box:



"What's THAT?" I queried, shoving another McVities Ginger Nut in to my mouth. He proceeded to give me a brief overview of a new trade-able card game called Magic: The Gathering.

"Oh that sounds interesting," I replied, "perhaps I'll stop by FORMAT* after work and pick one of those gift boxes up."

By the end of that very same week, I had bought a gift box for myself (Plateau was one of the rares) and one for my mate Rob (he got a Taiga); I'd scraped up enough spare change to pull out a few extra booster packs AND learned the "see through the thin white plastic" trick.

Within a month, we - me and Rob and Henry and Steve and Paul - were attending a weekly Monday-evening meetup at The Three Crowns pub on the opposite side of Cheltenham. There I met a chap called Vic who traded his shit rares away for our (unknown to us) much more valuable dual lands and - most importantly - Mr Alan Paull and Mr Mark Stansfield who, in conversation, revealed themselves to be "game designers".

Co-located for work, Mark and I began playing prototypes during the lunch hour and from this fecund period came "Bloody Legacy", "Coppertwaddle" and "Ivor the Engine".

I chucked in the life of a permanent employee and became a Contractor; staying in Reading, Monday-to-Friday, and now - fully addicted to M:TG - motorbiking weekly to Swindon and Hemel Hempstead and Maidenhead for Drafts. I met Peter and Russell and Richard and Jimmy and Martin and Brett and Jamie and Matt and Alice and Paul and Phil and Dave and Hazel and Claire and Keef and a hundred other gamers.

During the 15 years that I was a Magic fiend, I possessed the Power Nine on two separate occasions, got a paid gig writing comedy articles for a US web site and managed to reach the dizzy heights of 54th at the UK Nationals; it also put a strain on my marriage as well as my wallet. When, in 2008, I sort-of gave it up forever and - like giving up smoking - it has not troubled me since.

Of course, I can't (and shouldn't) hate it nor should I try and blur/rewrite the history of something that quite literally changed my life; without Henry's mundane, workplace introduction, I'd never have set out on this incredible, rewarding journey: Every Mana Needs A Shed?!

*the only place in Cheltenham to get board and card games in 1995
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:04 am
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Beer Goggles

Anthony Boydell
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The tummy tremble that accompanies every fleeting thought of an approaching Essen is tempered by the sheer clarity of my memory of catching the Ferry to Dunkerque for the last bloomin' one!

I ask myself "Where has the year gone?" and sigh in to my foamy Latte, but the thing is I do know where the year has gone and it scares the bee-cheeses out of me: life? It will get you in the end!

My 50th birthday approaches (November) and I'll be having an extended gaming weekend from the 10th to the 12th*: Friday night through to the Sunday afternoon at a local (real ale-serving) Pub with a reasonably-big back room and it'll be all back to mine for through-the-night gaming, if needed.

Actually, I'm even MORE excited because I'm working with a local brewery (http://bespokebrewery.co.uk/) to get 144 bottles of their Going off half-cocked beer delivered with a custom label:


What do you think?


Slllllp, aaah! Delicious! I may have to get another batch in time for 2018's UK Games Expo and Spiel too, no?

*if you're in the area, why not stop by?
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Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:20 am
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The Rodeo to Damascas

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Another curio from the travels of Phileas Boydell; this time it's a jigsaw - well, actually, it's FOUR jigsaws with very similar (but not the same) pictures of rodeos - that are all mushed together and the pieces then dealt out to each player.



Build your jigsaw then, in a sort of PIT meets 7 WONDERS drafting/passing frenzy, one swaps the useless bits for similarly (to the others) useless bits.



If you finish your jigsaw first - so it matches the image on the inside of your Dungeon Master-style player shield - then you are declared the winner! Everyone else grumbles on while you go and sort out the tea and crumpets.



Two quid this cost me - this oddity from the mid 1970s - and I feel that I should be able to do something with this rather splendid premise to bring it in to the 21st gaming century: cue the SdJ 2018!

#iwish #itprobablyhasafatpatent #theydidthatwithgamesbackthen
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Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:15 am
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Minnellium 2000!

Anthony Boydell
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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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Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:05 am
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Bossman

Anthony Boydell
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At this very special time, when one considers the sacrifice paid for the redemption of humanity, one's thoughts also turn - naturally - to promotional Snowdonia trains. That and chocolate.

It's nothing to do with Easter...unless by 'Guvnor' you mean 'Jesus Christ' and by the ability you mean 'Is always with us'? Anyway...


(this is actually a little pressie to my favourite Facebook board game group)

At the end of the round you may leave one of your workers on their action space; in the next round the worker will take that action.


Happy Easter!
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Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:25 am
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This is the Bee Bee Sea...

Anthony Boydell
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Apologies if you can't access it but, for those of you that can, this is a rare example of
a) British broadcast media giving a shit about board games, and
b) it not being a massive fountain of Monopoly-obsessed bollocks.





It helps a great deal, of course, that the utterly splendid Mr James Wallis is involved: the man's a balm for the gaming soul, he really is.

Let me know what you think, below...
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Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:31 am
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