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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B.O.G

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(converted from the Facebook Live video)
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Sun May 13, 2018 11:38 pm
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Black to the Future

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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In the 21st century, its not uncommon to receive messages from long-forgotten sources via Social Media/your email client of choice; our vanity has exposed us to worldwide casual browsing. Thankfully, being an old school paranoiac, I've exposed very little of my real information on the Internets, as a recent perusal of my 'full' Facebook log revealed:

*phew*

Imagine my surprise - nay, delight - to receive a correspondal blast from the past in the form of an actual letter on real paper written with proper ink:



Obsidian is one of many, MANY UK hobby fanzines that sprouted in the 1970s and 1980s and hung their hats on Postal gaming (PBM); indeed, my good pal Mark ran his own enterprise for RPGs-by-mail for several years. We're not talking particularly high volumes, though - I think Obsidian had a couple of hundred subscribers at it's peak - and we spent our time playing Diplomacy, a cycling thing ("Breaking Away") and Railway Rivals.



About a year in to my participation, Mark and I had the idea of starting a Round Robin fiction section and managed to recruit several other regulars: the idea was for me (name pulled out of a hat) to write an introductory chapter and for the others to pick it up and run with it. We lasted ten issues and then it all fizzled out: people moved on, enthusiasm waned and - without realizing it - the fanzine stopped plopping on to my doormat every six weeks or so.

Cue this week's surprising epistle and the immediate urge to dig my 30 year old issues out of the archive (ie. the big, plastic box under my bed):




Alex has invited me to pick up where I left off - to play, that is - but, to be honest, I'm not sure I've got the time or the inclination any more; back when it was just me and Mrs B in the household, it was easy to leave a Dip board out on the dining room table and/or post negotiations to all and sundry. And it was the only game I actually got to play back then. Still, they're a friendly bunch and if you're interested in getting involved yourselves then why not send Alex an email and get signed up? Maybe you could even convince me to join you?!

alex.bokmal@googlemail.com
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Sun May 6, 2018 6:43 am
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World Cup Fever!

Anthony Boydell
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Sticker-spewers and trading card upchuckers Panini recently announced a new series of collectible cigarette cards for the forthcoming Soccer World Cup in Russia - here are a couple of samples from their Press Release.

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Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:41 am
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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

Anthony Boydell
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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

Anthony Boydell
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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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