Everyone Needs A Shed

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

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I will look for you, I will find you...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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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
Three years ago, happening on a copy of Universal Publications Ltd's Railway Riot set me on a particular path: inspiration that got me working with Gibsons Games AND seriously-piqued my interest in old board games. I now have a couple of large boxes of variations on the Race to find... genre (as I've labelled it): shopping items, posting, houses, trains, planes and automobiles. I thought I'd covered all the bases until - having laid hands on a very early, possibly 'First', edition of RR - I realised I was missing a key variant, about which there seemed zero information beyond a single, advertising strapline: "Go to -".

I couldn't find any details anywhere; even AFTER managing to filter out all modern uses of U.P.L, I had no idea what a copy looked like - there wasn't even a picture...until yesterday:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The picture, like the details, is miniscule.

It popped up on an eBay auction (possibly) as a dual lot with it's better-themed sibling and then disappeared again.

Anyone who's ever committed themselves to collecting a 'set' of something will understand the simultaneous feeling of elation and frustration at finding evidence such as this: so near and, yet, so damn far.
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Sat Jul 17, 2021 6:30 am
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It's all about the graphic design...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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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
From gallery of tonyboydell


Sometimes you just look at a game laid out on the table and think to yourself: "What the actual pine-scented, low-calorie fuck?!".

Normally, one would attribute such emotions to a high quantity of components and a rulebook you could stun a horse with but, today, I present something that was born of a 'simpler' time and - yet - looks like a two year old was let loose on it with a wax crayon:
From gallery of tonyboydell

This is all I have for this sports simulation and not even the hallowed turf of BGG can aid me further.

Are there more modern games that exhibit such a shameful, scribbling presentation?
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Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:38 am
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Such agreeable pursuits...

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
Unusual for a book of this period (early 20th century), the title suggests a compendium of rules of play but - in actuality - this is a potted review of what it regards as the most interesting non-traditional games of the day: a printed version of the BGG hotness, if you will?!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Hard-bound, this handy reference seeks to recommend and encourage the choicest morsels in an apparently-crowded market:
From gallery of tonyboydell

"The growth of new games has been so immense, increasing in volume year by year..."

Obviously, the publishers of the recommended selection get the opportunity to chip in for a full page advert or two:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

This sounds familiar...

From gallery of tonyboydell

Sometimes a page - but often just a paragraph - an overview is presented (perhaps with a tiny, blurred illo) and an opinion ventured:
Halma - The game "caught on" at once in the United States, where it was patented, and we are informed that the inventor has already received the sum of £6,000 in royalties." (BGG rating 5.4)
Chivalry - The game throughout is lively and spirited, and the opportunity for good generalship is continually present. (BGG rating 8.0)
Checkmate - The game certainly has great merits as a game of skill, but with careful play on each side every game takes a very long time... (not in the BGG database)
Hostages - ...a board game of the great Halma family, which is getting to be as large as that of the old woman who lived in a shoe. (not in the BGG database)
Trafalgar - ...is as playable as it is well produced. There are twelve neat metal ships on each side... (not in the BGG database)
Campaigning - ...one should "know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery", for it is the most elaborate of all the military or war games that have been produced...the game is nearly as long as it is intricate... (not in the BGG database)
Cock o' the North - ...the mis-en-scène of the soldiery in action is almost fascinating. (not in the BGG database)

What a very bloody curious artifact indeed! It proves they had the same issues with the hobby 100 years ago as they have now: market saturation, over-produced components, overlong games, fillers vs session hoggers and more.
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Fri Jul 9, 2021 6:15 am
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The Last of Us

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Today sees one of those 'Tony is travelling' posts: something brief to tie you over for another day.

As it happens, I'm travelling to make one last delivery on behalf of Surprised Stare Games. These are the requisite, company-funded exhibition bits-and-pieces (sack truck, posters, 20th anniversary cloth bags) - and a few dribbles of stock - that have normally resided Chez Boydell between shows:

From gallery of tonyboydell

You'll not likely see a 'car loaded for a show' photo from me ever again


Today (a Thursday in early July) is the first sensible opportunity Alan and I have had to meet up and perform this last physical and symbolic handover of SSG responsibilities: we shall conduct this solemn ceremony in the car park of a Banbury Starbucks (almost exactly half-way between our domiciles). This shall also be the first time I've seen Alan in person since the parting of ways and, given we've both been fully-vaccinated, I look forward to giving the splendid fellow a manly hug.

Blimey - the shed's gotten a bit dusty and now I've got grit in my eye.
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Thu Jul 8, 2021 6:20 am
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The Quest

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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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
Thematically-serendipitous (sort-of) with the new book I've just started (The Murdstone Trilogy), something old and gorgeous and fantastical arrived for the Museum:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The sharp-eyed will note that The Prince's Quest is in the Glevum Series and is of "British Manufacture" which points to it, squarely, as being a Glevum Games product: local boys that they were. I have only the board, though; leading to a quest (of my own) to find a complete copy at some point in the future. Not that there's any particular hurry; I have more than enough stuff to fill the museum premises (for now) and, looking at the BGG page, it's the board that is the most beautiful bit of the package:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Zooming in a little, watch out for the hedge of roses as you're about to happen upon your true love:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The word 'bower' is too-infrequently used.

Or, perhaps, stop to chat with the talking dog?
From gallery of tonyboydell

Or gaze upon a wonderful horse?!
From gallery of tonyboydell

Or just let the eye wander slowly along the 200 step path and enjoy the journey.
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Tue Jul 6, 2021 6:25 am
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Exhibit - B

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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News! Progress! Doggy-dumps!
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Fri Jul 2, 2021 3:01 pm
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Sleuth

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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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
From gallery of tonyboydell


I nabbed a mixed bag of 1950s parlour games from a charity shop's eBay storefront and they arrived, neatly-packed. There was a blue box/red letter edition of Railway Riot among them: one more copy for the spares/possible retail box, I thought, until a cursory content check revealed TWO copies of the game. And not just two copies but two different route sets from the same, common starting stations: wha-aa-aat?! Here's me - all along - assuming that they'd hit on the routes for the first edition and just reprinted subsequent editions from that: oh no - somewhere along the line they re-pointed the station stops and the timed transitions:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Pulling the huge box of 'Category: Race to find' items from the shelf, I noted three distinct Journeys in all:
Journey A: The 'First' & 'Small, White Box' editions.
Journey B: Yellow box, Blue box/Red Letter and Red Box/Blue Letter editions.
Journey C: The Australian edition (entirely different stations altogether - naturally).

A lovely bit of detective business, then, for a rainy workday morning? Hold on, though, because also in the charity package 'double copy', were a couple 'Station Platform Weighing Machine' tickets. Evidently, a ha'penny deposit earned you a reasonably-accurate weight measurement and a collectable stub from of a possible set of 24. I can only assume that the reason I have the two is that one may have been intended as 'swap' stock for stubs not yet acquired?
From gallery of tonyboydell

Both are dated the 24th of July, 1951: seventy years ago.

Doing a bit of internets browsing, it seems that 6st 5lbs (89lbs) is about the average weight of a 13 year old back then: just the right profile for a keen ferroequinologist and collector!

Altogether, quite the corking little diversion that adds just a teensy bit more information for my history book.
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Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:30 am
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Rolls with Royce...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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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
...and Aaron!

Occasionally, I like to talk with folks outside of the Forest of Dean about games and gaming and, heaven knows, how we've been starved of international contact: two Leiriacon, a Bastion*, an Expo and a Spiel. Podcasts to the rescue, then; you're just a series of echoing Skype chimes away from foreign accents** and new friends!

Cue a welcome invitation from Royce Calverley and Aaron Milic at:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Definitely a Board Game Podcast

As per usual, I love a good chat and both gentlemen are kind, patient and accommodating hosts; thankfully, it's audio-only so you're spared my near-constant gesticulation. This is what happens when you wheel an old man out of the Care Home, into the sunshine, for an hour!

*Wales counts as pseudo Inter-
**A and R certainly "try on" a few accents for size in this episode!
Deffo A BG Poddy
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Tue Jun 29, 2021 11:20 am
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Operation Jinmo

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
From gallery of tonyboydell


You can make a game about anything and, if done right, you can get a positive message for a sensitive subject even in the darkest of times. The onset of the Second World War was no laughing matter and, yet, Vacuation (1939) - a seriously hard-to-find deck from Pepys- tries to provide some distracting chuckles:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Quote:

(from Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evacuations_of_civilians_in_Br...)
Almost 3.75 million people were displaced, with around a third of the entire population experiencing some effects of the evacuation. In the first three days of official evacuation, 1.5 million people were moved: 827,000 children of school age; 524,000 mothers and young children (under 5); 13,000 pregnant women; 70,000 disabled people and over 103,000 teachers and other 'helpers'.[1] Children were parted from their parents.
From gallery of tonyboydell

"The most amusing ever Card Game"

There's nothing like a series of familiar, societal stereotypes - and puns - to warm the cockles of a young 'uns heart:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The girls: Ida Ittinem?!

From gallery of tonyboydell

The boys: Issy Ittinem?!

From gallery of tonyboydell

The 'Grown-ups': Mr Al Gebra?!

From gallery of tonyboydell

Silly and reassuring cartoons aside, Vacuation (wherefore the 'E'?) is an UNO-esque hand-emptier: follow with the same 'Letter', 'M' cards are wild (but you announce the type: B-oy, G-irl, H-ouseholder or T-eacher) and the 'A' (Alarm - following a H-ouseholder) & 'E' (Extra gas mask - following a T-eacher) cards have special effects. When someone has 'gone out', penalty points are awarded for remaining cards in hand: 5 for B/G/H/Ts , 10 for any 'M'-aster and 20 for a special (A-larm, E-xtra Gas Mask).

Not very sophisticated, I grant you; but, then, who wants sophisticated when there's a bloody war on? Games bring people - families, friends and complete strangers - together; was there ever a better time for that to be a front-and-centre goal?
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Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:15 am
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nnnnnneeeeeaaaaaoowwwwwwwwwww!

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
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 clichéd snakes and ladders - and tucking inside / tactical blocking being the key.

From gallery of tonyboydell


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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