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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Tidy Desk = Tidy Mind

Anthony Boydell
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Things are free-wheeling a bit in the Boydell household at the moment; two of the three boys have 'finished school' for the Summer already and are getting under Mrs B's feet. Arthur has but a couple more days before that great, long-stretching holiday gap betwixt years 5 and 6 (his last at 'Primary School' *gulp*).

For myself, bits and pieces are beginning to acrete about the Library room in awkward places because I have run out of shelf space again (again!) plus all of this Kickstarter excitement has me poring through my collection of railway books for quirky/eclectic inspiration. To be honest, as long as the carpet is kept clean I'm pretty happy in the room regardless of the detritus.



My "proper" diet continues a-pace - four months now - and I have succeeded in losing over two stones (neither of them 'gall' nor 'kidney', thank you); indeed, my new Access-All-Areas work Pass shows a tanned and jovial Tony not seen since - ooh - the late 1990s?!



Have a good one, people!

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Today 6:15 am
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Start Me Up!

Anthony Boydell
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I am so excited about this that it makes me smile when I think about it:



People are worried about the size of the box...but how else can you fit everything in properly? You wouldn't set the family's altogether Sunday meal in the under-the-stairs cupboard, would you? No! You'd serve it in the smartest room in the house!

People are worried about access to new stuff / stuff they haven't got...but NSKN have thought very carefully about this (and I've got the megabytes of emails and Facebook Messenger logs to prove it!).

People are worried about what's being left out...let me assure you that the guys have traced down every - and I mean EVERY - promo, auction special and/or crowdfunding curio in an attempt to make this as fulsome and complete as you could ever want!

Finally, people are worried about the price...well, in a couple of days you're all gonna be VERY pleasantly surprised!

Did I mention that I am sphincter-twitchingly excited about this? Or maybe that's all the fresh fruit I've been eating lately...
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Sun Jul 1, 2018 6:30 am
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Time Was

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Easter comes around (quickly) once more and an all-dayer game sesh at the Bateson residence has become the must-do Good Friday distraction. Time was* that I'd get some spiritual business out of the way before beetling across a drizzling Herefordshire but the last couple of years have soured my soul to Catholic influences so, instead, it was chores and eggs Benedict. Gaming over a long holiday weekend is not a recent, post-Surprised Stare thing as I was startlingly-reminded when eldest son (Fred) reminisced over a long-dusted family photo album (Volume 2: 1995 thru 1996, complete with actual photographs):


Remember how I said we used to use Alice as a start player marker?


I was struck by an overwhelming emotional wave looking at these 23 year-old snapshots: how young we are, how new everything is (that's our first home, that's our first child) and how much I miss my dear friend Rob who passed in 2012. How I wish my Now self could step in to the picture and chat for a while and, it goes without saying, join in with the Black Overcoat Game too.

Returning to 2018 and we call a cheery 'Halloo!' to modern Euros. Stepping across the Lilliputian** threshold - narrowly missing a shelving unit (is it on it's way in or on it's way out, I wonder?) there's just enough time to get a brew on before our hosts and us two 'first arrivals' (that's Garry and me) get stuck in to the wonderful Nusfjord:


Fjishing and Flying.


Garry was new to this condensed Uwe classic but not unaware of the babble surrounding it; I can precis the babble thusly: people who have played it think it's brilliant and those that haven't say it's crap because that's how things work these days. The solution is simple: play Nusfjord because it's absolutely fan-bloody-tastic (and I'm not just saying that because I won (again)).

With Mark and son, Max, expected in due course - with Jobbers and Wendy promised a little later - it was the perfect opportunity to try out the re-engineered prototype of The Great Race. We played the 'basic' version - ie. the version without the asymmetric powers - which was, as one would expect, a little bland: it worked, for sure, but for a table of proper gamers it lacked the crunchiness/wrinkles/combos that the extra mechanisms bestow. As it turned out, I lost by one point to Becky despite being the sole flyer in Paris at the end of the main race; the scoring is the other major element on mine and Brett's watchlist, as it needs broadening a bit more.

Happy at yet another productive and thought-provoking play-test, we raised our heads and greeted Mark and Max (who had occupied themselves during the last stages of our air racing with Star Wars Dobble). Jobbers, too, bounced merrily through the portal carrying an armful of (delicious) low-alcohol cider so we could immediately split for a Becky pre-requested Terraforming Mars:


Squeaked it: Tony takes Mars!


Please bear in mind that our first meeting with Mark - just a couple of weeks ago - revealed him to be a keen Chess player and that's all. In the ensuing fortnight, we've dropped him right in it with introduced him to Peloponnes, The Castles of Burgundy and Scythe and, now, we were dumping in the thin atmosphere of this card-driven trickery without so much as a potato! He gave very good account of himself - asking for advice and clarifications, as needed - and pulled clear away on the TR track; he came a cropper (as many do) on Mars itself by failing to build stuff there. He enjoyed the experience immensely though (huzzah!) and was impressed how it felt like his favourite sci-fi series: KSR's Mars trilogy, naturally!

It was dark outside - but still pissing-it-down and chilly - and we persuaded a knackered Garry to stay for just one more game:


Beering it down the Wye Valley with Smudge. Jobbers (off to the right) played an absolute blinder and was a comfortable victor - much to his chuckling satisfaction!


Another play-test but, this time, not a recognisable one unless you looked really closely; we were chuffing up-and-down the Wye Valley in search of tunnels to dig, bridges to build and beer to sup! Oh, yes; the Surveyor really gets his whistle whetted in a quest to tick off the sights on his Postcard. So enthusiastic is his quaffing that when he's lifted his elbow in one station, he's forever barred from drinking there again and must take his custom elsewhere! Not be scoffed at, there are twenty four points and a number of VERY useful triggered-effects awaiting the thirsty traveler; the tunnels, too, can prove a tasty source of points for the track builder (completed tunnel spaces count as track for Contract scoring). All-in-all it was a tremendous game that only reminded me it was a prototype when a couple of contract cards identified themselves as unworkable in the scenario; the rest of the time you'd never have known it was a WIP!

All that concentration had taken it's toll and I withdrew in to a sleepy, mostly-silent end-of-the-evening El Grande:


From dead (and dribbling) last place to a gnat's whisker second!


Things weren't looking too good at the start when Boffo snagged a 'send everyone home to the Provinces' card on Turn One (!) and was "punished" a round later by Wendy gifting him an easy 10 points (score all 'fives'). By the mid-game, I was a good 20 points from the leader(s) and resigned to limping home at the last; it didn't help that Boffo kept (loudly, fortified by his transfer from Earl Grey to red wine) announcing which cards and actions benefited which player(s). I quietly chipped away at the deficit (always late in the turn order) until the very last round, which set itself up to be an absolute corker: all five players within a couple of points of each other! Boffo stole it - he went after me in the final sequence meaning I had to hedge my bets somewhat - but I'm happy to have pulled back so much ground. I've said it before and I'll say it again: El Grande with the full complement is one of the finest board games in existence.

It was still raining on my 11PM departure:

driving home to you
dancing diamonds in the road
lay-by emeralds,
rubies,
and wet smoke obscure my view
driving home to you


*I am suddenly reminded of this:


**The Batesons' bungalow - or should that be FUNgalow?! - is called Lilliput***
***NOT after the 1950s-era 'gentlemans periodical'
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Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:39 pm
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How blue is my valley?

Anthony Boydell
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The Wye Valley Tourer is pretty much done, now; the 'tea' has become beer which means my drunken worker blog promo 'train' can now find it's rightful place (see next pic)! Tunnel-building and a prolonged pub crawl for veeps provide the wrinkles in this scenario.



You may notice that the Bluebell Railway has come along in great bounds since my blogular brainstorm a few weeks back BUT the details have yet to be filled in (literally!). I know there will be a ghost 'awakened' when the Sharpthorne Tunnel is started (the first tunnel section on the line) and I think I want it to be adding a cube to the bag (colour TBC) that acts like an extra Event - so it hurries the game along - but also triggers something else (not sure yet). The cricket pitch is going to be a lot of fun: I am thinking that if players can move their surveyors to - and place their third workers on - the Cricket Pitch then this will trigger a Match (but not if it's raining). Each player also has a Bonfire card (see bottom-left) that's themed to the Lewes end-station; each provides a third worker (as per) but if the worker is used to perform the Bonfire card's (unique) bonus action (instead of either regular working or hanging out on the Cricket Pitch), it also counts toward the society's Bonfire space (the 3 coal space). Lots going on, indeed.



While Arthur was at his swimming lesson, I mused and scribbled a little more.

Wow! It's been an extraordinarily busy and fecund week for my game designing!
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Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:40 am
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Bravo Tsavo!

Anthony Boydell
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Last Summer, I was as keen as the keenest of English mustards to help get a fine gaming cause off the ground: the Ugandan 'Gamechangers' convention: (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/67657/whats-good-geek...)

Being a small but enthusiastic part of the overall campaign (Matt Leacock joined in most mightily as well) was incredibly rewarding; the funds were (generously) raised and the children have been well-stocked with gaming opportunities ever since. Indeed, shortly afterwards, Ben Maddox (of Perfect Information and 5Games4Doomsday fame) organized the collection and dispatch of loads of donated second-hand board games to the gamechangers too - so their Ludic cups ran-eth over!

The World spins ever onward, of course, and the success of their first proper convention has whetted their appetites for more; thus:

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uganda-village-board-game-conv...

One thousand pounds is the target but - for Heaven's sake - we can do a lot better than THAT, can't we, my dears?
To this end, I am offering the following to you splendid Geekfolk:

For every pledger who pledges at least £15 there will be one of these (a "Snowdonia Train") - postcardified - sent to your door at no further cost...


(you won't find out exactly what it does until you get a copy)

...and:

At the end of the campaign I will draw one person, at random, from all of the peeps who have pledged any amount (however large or small) and send them a FREE copy of Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea when it becomes available later in the year! You can't say fairer than that, can you?!

Now, get a-pledgin'!
(and don't forget to please tell your friends!)

heart heart heart
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Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:15 am
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Share and Share Alike

Anthony Boydell
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Whenever you would place a scoring marker on a station (either by excavating the last rubble in a space or building), you may choose to take any other single player's scoring marker and place it on to the station space instead of yours. If you do, immediately place a number of your scoring markers on that player's SHARE PORTFOLIO (a card) based on the value of the donated space:
- 4 to 9 points = place 1 marker;
- 10+ points = 1 or 2 markers (you choose).

You have shares with as many other players as you choose. You cannot have shares in yourself (!)

At game end, after normal scoring has been totaled, for each player with whom you have 'shares', gain 1 point for every 10 of their final score multiplied by the number of shares you have with them. Add each to your score.


For example:


Does this make any actual sense?
(eg. digging/building in crap spots and 'donating' them for a better return later )
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:18 pm
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Breese-ing in then Breese-ing out again

Anthony Boydell
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Mrs B was off at a funeral (a Great Aunt) for the day, so I was in charge of various runnings-about. A morning of Conference Calls was a tiresome time-hoover (and ache-er of ear) and, indeed, being trapped in the building awaiting the imminent arrival of the Cooker engineer was also somewhat of a bind; he, naturally, arrived AT THE VERY END of his projected 'window' to replace a short-circuited induction hob:


Mundane magnets.


Finally able to boil a proper brew with our whistling kettle, I'd just settled down for chai tea and a custard creme when rappetty-tappetty-rap went the front door and the friendly visage of Mr Richard Breese leaned in to view. Richard and I have been meaning to get together and sort out some serious play-testing for a while now (a couple of years, in fact) but - finally - our diaries converged and here he was.

After a delicious nut roast bolognese (Mr B is vegetarian), the weekend was scheduled to start with a relaxing visit to the Ross-on-Wye boardgamers at The Plough Inn. Wendy was there (again) too, as was pal-from-the-Internets Peter, so we were a robust six to start; as I posted yesterday, we stayed together as one group for a run at Keyflow/Key Flow ie. Keyflower: The Card Game.

In summary: It's 7 Wonders meets Keyflower. Players are drafting cards that are either buildings or meeples with which to activate buildings over four seasons; all of the familiar iconography is there in an intuitive and slightly-more-forgiving spin-off.



Richard pipped me in final Winter card scoring and the whole table pronounced it a hit; I believe this is the 2018 offering from R&D Games so that's one pre-order already sorted for Spiel!

We split for the second half and I introduced Richard (with Becky - just arrived - and Jobbers) to my current addiction: Nusfjord. It's crazy but when I think of the next gaming session, I think of Nusfjord and I get all looky-forwardy-excitedy-tummy about it; I believe I have become a litte infatuated. See below for my trumphantly-comfortable victory tableau scoring a career best of forty one (41):


Sometimes everything just falls perfectly in to place!




Saturday dawned bright and crisp-with-frost so it was breakfast, the brewing of beverages and a Breesian run at saving a failing spaceship:


Lost In Space: Lux Aeterna provides Richard with some vacuum-packed decisions!


Managing to avoid a totally-wrecked ship (and not falling in to the Black Hole), Richard scored a paltry 18 points but was happy to have made it to the end in one piece! Lux is pretty much done-and-dusted now, bar the magnificent plan I have for the Art and Design. We repaired to the Library room for some serious playtestery, leaving the kitchen to the mid-morning bustle of scoffing teenagers:


The Foothills of Snowdonia: In this set-up featuring Snowdon itself!


Jobbers and Boffo would be joining us around lunchtime, so Richard and I played through a full 'Foothills' in just over an hour. The core railway (and Snowdonia-esque) elements are the same but the action selection mechanism - card flipping Concordia-like headache-ery - is a recent Boffonian revelation...and it worked an absolute dream! Apart from one card effect that 'expired' as the game entered the final stages and effectively locked Richard out of a specific action (an easy fix), it was a resilient game from which 'the iconography needs a little tweaking' was the main comment. Hanno, (Lookout Games' main man) is coming to the UK Games Expo this year and I really wanted to be able to show him a functioning prototype of this; we're well on track for that now! Richard even complimented us (Ben) on the innovative mechanic when he turned up for an afternoon of deep Keyper action:


If you thought there were too many animals in Keyper already..!


The Keyper expansion adds fish, mussels, lobsters, crabs and squid (!) along with colour-themed Fishing Boats, more standard and bag-dwelling buildings, a Fish Market _and_ a slightly fuzzy (but it works) flattening out of the Seasons. In the latter element, there are no fixed Season 'ends'; players can claim a board and then transition it to the next Season while other boards are still processing the prior - there's a sort of 'double' Keyper retrieval-of-workers going on. TO be honest, my grasp of BASE Keyper was non-existent given my massive confusion on first play (see a previous Blog entry) so I ended up playing a traditional game and ignored all the new stuff. Jobbers had not played at all before so did pretty much the same, leaving Boffo and Richard to mess about in boats for the most part. One thing for certain is that I actually began to understand what was going on and what I needed to do; this led me to a fantastically-pleasing 2nd place (after three hours), edging Boffo in to 3rd and only missing out from conquering Mr Breese by 11 points! It certainly felt like I had more elbow room than before and was great fun to play; the Seasonal changes, however, were still a bit befuddling even having seen them in action - however, this is a 2019 release so plenty of time to smooth off the rough edges!

The sun was setting and thoughts turned to a slap-up Nepalese curry takeout supper, so lighter fayre - this time initiated (and able to be played) by Arthur - was in order:


The Kingbrick is dead; long live Cube Quest!


Many, many finger-flicking conflicts ensued with Richard taking on - and beating - all-comers; who knew this Euro stalwart had it in 'im?! To close off the evening before Match of the Day (a Breesian must-see), Mrs B and Benedict and Arthur and Richard and Me scampered about the Overcoat Stately Home for the daft card-driven chaos that is The Black Overcoat Game. Richard compared it to favourably to Talisman - one of his top 10 games - and rounded off the session by powering up his Prototype Jet Boots, shoving the rest of us out of the way and whooshing up the main stairwell to the Attic and Victory:


To the victor, the spoils! (in this case, a small cardboard chit with a sketch of a Chest on it)




Sunday was the copy of Saturday and lit up the ice crystals with blue skies and brightness; no time for any more play as Richard had a rendezvous at Goodrich Castle and I needed to sort out my socks for the week.

What a marvellous couple of days!
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Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:20 am
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9127 steps

Anthony Boydell
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Ziggy needed a walk and, because there's only so much of him staring mournfully in to your soul one can stand, I took him for one. Across the busy main road and off towards Oxenhall and the remains of a railway where (last time) Arthur and I found a large, rusted iron 'pin' of some description.



Ziggy the dog is no use when it comes to 'geophysics' as a stick and a metal bar are equal currency and both pale in interest next to fresh fox-shit or a tree where a squirrel has been within the last 7 days!



Walking along the track bed towards the old Newent station site - a route I'd not discovered before - there was much earth-working in progress (but not today); if I were a car boot seller I could make a few quids selling all of the shovels and pick axes that were strewn about the place. I thought a good workman always looked after his tool?!



Large, gridded fencing barred my way in to the platform area itself but there was just enough room for Ziggy to squeeze under and have a good nose-sniffy around. Neither did he retrieve a comically over-large bone nor did he happen upon some children stuck down a well; indeed, he left a little extra "mud" of his own behind instead.

Home for some chai tea and the pleasing sight of 9127 steps racked up in the Fitbit: steady, hearty exercise for both man and dog.
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Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:45 am
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Bluebell brainstorm

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In 1877 an Act of Parliament authorised construction of the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway (L&EGR), now known as the Bluebell Railway. My dear pal Peter was working on this as a Snowdonia scenario up until his death - far too young - last year; indeed, our final messaging session (a month before) covered his progress. Nothing will erase the deep sadness I felt when his 5 year old daughter stepped up to his coffin to say her final farewell but, hopefully, this will be my tribute to him. So, today, I'm running a sort of stream of consciousness exercise where I cut and paste various snippets of history, gossip and curiosity in and around The Bluebell Railway; you can see how I go about connecting the theme to the mechanics - first, I start with the stations:

1. East Grinstead (Low Level) - it was built/rebuilt a couple of times in the first years of the BBR operation, so I'd like to reflect that in the gameplay.

2. (Hill Place Viaduct) - I love a good viaduct, so re-using the viaduct scoring from the Wye Valley Tourer would be perfect; in fact, if I treat BBR and WVT as a scenario pair, one could be on the back of the other.

3. Kingscote - this was a posh station by all accounts: the lavish main station building was designed as a two-storey villa with a T-shaped footprint, with a single storey wing each side: booking office and toilets to the north; waiting room and storage to the south.[1] All of this structure was fronted both sides by a timber-supported hipped canopy, which like all of the other buildings carried a hipped slate roof.[1] The station had substantial sidings and a livestock loading dock located just to the north of No.1 platform.[1] The downside No.2 platform was connected to the main buildings by a 50 feet (15 m) glazed footbridge, and had a similar timber-supported canopy which fronted a wooden waiting room. Need some lucrative building spots, I think, to tempt the more creative Snowdonian navvy.



4. West Hoathly (above) – had the same station set-up as Kingscote, apparently, so this is a perfect candidate for a 4-5 player 'extra' with the same lucrative stats as it's twin.

(Sharpthorne Tunnel) - use a tunnel card or two from the WVT; there is a rumour of the tunnel being haunted.

5. Horsted Keynes - a vanilla station with nothing surprising.

6. (Fletching and) Sheffield Park - built for one of the railway's big-wigs, the Park played host to 9 professional cricket fixtures including several encounters with the visiting Australian team! This is an absolute MUST for the scenario's "twist" - more later!

7. Newick and Chailey – A legal loophole forced British Rail to run a meagre service to this station even though the rest of the line was being closed down in the 1960s; it was called "The Sulky Service" but this happens way too late in the line's history to be of use in the scenario. Ah, well.

(Cinder Hill Tunnel) - use a tunnel card or two from the WVT.

8. New Barcombe – another vanilla station.

9. Lewes - a disappointingly ordinary end to the Line. This displeases me immensely! Edit: see below - there is some AWESOME history for Lewes!

Anyway, anti-climax aside, the quick pass above yields several potential new mechanisms/tweaks:

The double-building of East Grinstead (Lower Level)
It would be quite fun to have station card that flips (via the first Station Build Event) and keeps player markers from before but presents new spaces to build on afterwards ie. 'side 1' spaces would all be worth the same VPs and there'd be a holding space on 'side 2' to transfer them to.

The Sharpthorne Tunnel Ghost
Maybe I could get a phantom third worker to make an appearance during the building of the tunnel(s)? To be honest, pretty much EVERY bloody railway tunnel is supposed to be haunted though.

The Sheffield Park Cricket Matches
The first match played was Lord Sheffield's XI vs Alfred Shaw’s XI in 1881; it would be great to find a way of using players' workers as cricket players in a sort of 'Practice' match triggered by an Event. A later event could be the 'proper' match vs the Australians (1896). I'll have to go off and think about this but maybe a couple of extra action cards to allocate workers to in a co-operative (vs game AI) side-game?

Edit: (after being corrected for my ignorance in the comments)

Quote:

Wow! Wikipedia neglected to mention this rich vein of history and mental Englishness!
Bonfire night in Lewes hosts seven bonfire societies from nearby towns and villages”: could have 6 versions of Lewes station on three double-sided cards with a different bonfire society on each side and a different setup of station spaces and bonuses? The HQs and the Churches (where they have one) could be two of the building spaces plus points if your Surveyor makes it to Lewes to take part in the bonfire (paying ‘coal’ to enter the space)?!
Cliffe (founded in 1853 - HQ is Dorset Arms, Church is St Thomas a Becket's; colours are black and white hoops – Vikings and Moors)
Commercial Square (founded in 1855 - HQ is Elephant & Castle pub, Church is St John sub Castro; colours are gold and black hoops – Native Americans and Civil War soldiers)
Lewes Bonfire Society (founded in 1853 – HQ is St Mary’s Social Club, Church is St Anne’s; colour are blue and white hoops – Zulus and Tudors)
Southover (HQ is The King’s Head, Church is St John the Baptist’s; colours are red and black hoops – Monks and Buccaneers)
South Street (founded 1913- HQ is The Snowdrop; colours are brown and cream hoops – Colonial period and English Civil War soldiers)
Waterloo (HQ is The Lamb Inn; colours are red and white hoops – Mongols, Ancient Greeks and Romans)
Nevill Juvenile (founded 1967) A bit too recent for our line’s story!


More than enough to be going on with, I think.
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Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:30 am
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Here Be Dragons!

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Tucked up safe and warm in the toasty comfort of Room 4 (or "The Boydell Suite" as it is now known) of my Llandudno digs, I can hear the storm howling outside and I am glad. For the third week running I have been able to avail myself of the generous company of The Snowdonia Dragons and later, as the wind whips along the back alleys pressed up against the mighty Orme, repair to my laptop for the write-up. I couldn't just make a nest of the many pillows and drop off immediately; no, indeed, I must empty my head of the day's events first.

To start, I'd prepared the way (via the BGG Guild) for a play test of my Snowdonia:Wye Valley Tourer expansion which, originally, started life as 'the B side' to a smaller Darjeeling and Himalaya scenario. The Wye Valley Tourer adds tunnels (co-opted by the recent 1881 Channel Tunnel), a couple of lucrative-the-more-you-build 'bridge' cards and the drinking of tea. With a postcard of 'bonuses', you send your Surveyor up and down the valley in search of delightful tourist spots in which to sup a brew - provided it's not raining - which, in turn, allows you to 'tick off' your postcard in return for points and/or bonus resources or actions.


Sarah, Bernie and Ed take a break from all that hard work!


It was a slow start with quite a lot of rain (ie. almost ALL rain) that cleared up in to a scorching Summer; the four of us drifted off along different paths (Sarah: a bit of everything including a tie for the most tunnel sections, Me: failing to complete my contract cards but clearing my Postcard, Ed: Track and Tea and Bernie: the Tunnel and Track King). We were done in 90 mins and, for a play-test, I thought it went excellently; the three 'new bits' worked smoothly, it's now down to a re-scanning of the contract cards to sort out a couple of minor inconsistencies! The aim is to have it ready for the forthcoming 3rd Edition Kickstarter campaign (Summer, I believe) along with a little tribute to my pal Peter: "The Bluebell Line".

The table in the opposite corner had finished it's Altiplano shenanigans, so we were able to mix things up a bit; in the end we seemed to have only swapped Ed for Aaron, so it was back to our table for a daft WP-ish filler from the makers of the excellent The King of Frontier:


Little Town Builders: King of Frontier 2?!


In summary: place a worker on the board in a free space and then gain resources from the 8 spaces around you OR spend resources to build and place a building. As the game progresses those 8 spaces will cover your buildings and those of other players; in the latter case you must pay the owner $1 to use that building's effect. Buildings are worth points, conversion of resources into points can be done on buildings, secret goals can be attained in-game for points and money is also VPs (3:1). You play four rounds, feeding your workers fish/grain at the end of each one, and then you see who has the most points.

Quick and fun, this is another daft gem from the East; I'm not sure I'd pay 60 euros + postage for it, but it was a hoot nonetheless.

Plenty of time to go yet, so one went up to one's elbows in Bernie's bag to tug out a couple of trinkets; firstly, something with quite a good rep from all I've heard and read:



In summary: Play cards from your hand to your tableau OR to a central 'Capital' that matches the suit (there are four). If you play to a capital, you gain a bonus of some kind (a gold, a card draw, a secret modifier or a low card from a capital); if you play to your tableau, you're setting up majority scoring at the end of each of the three rounds AND your final total too. The trick is to avoid the total value of cards in a suit in your tableau exceeding the total value of cards played to the matching capital in the middle of the table: if you do, you might be in line for scoring bonuses, if you don't you lose all of your collected cards in that suit!

A clever little decision brewer, I thought it would go down well 'at home' so I offered to buy it from Bernie (who had previously mentioned he wasn't likely to play it with 'just two'); he paused for a moment and then simply handed it to me as a gift - how utterly wonderful, how stupendously civilised!

I repaid this fulsome generosity by crushing him at our final game: DragonFlame...


In summary: It's Coloretto with special abilities and mixed scoring opportunities!


While the others were fighting over chests and 'hard VP' treasures, my Wyvern burned up a series of villages and amassed a collection of unique statuary for a comfortable victory; not even a vindictively-donated -3 point Knight from Sarah could dent my Smaugian triumph.

Next week I shall be training folk in Merthyr Tydfil and my Wintry sojourn of gaming luxury will come to an end. I'll be back in the Spring, though, which is something very much to look forward to!
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:30 am
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