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

Archive for Trains

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I was walking the dog and I saw it poking out...

Anthony Boydell
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(that last pic is something Mrs B picked up for me)


...so I dug it up and gave it a wash!

What is it, you might ask? Well, thanks to some bright sparks on Facebook it seems I'd discovered an inkwell:


http://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects/co8406772/gre...

Imagine the missives from the Newent Stationmaster to (Regional) Head Office, the updating of the daily log books, the on-and-off staffing, accident reports and everyday events on the Daffodil Line. I've been browsing the site of the old station for years in the hope of unearthing something antique and, this time, I struck figurative gold!

I'll be back there on Friday...with a shovel.
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Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:16 am
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The Temptation of St. Anthony

Anthony Boydell
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surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise



surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise
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Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:30 am
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The Gardens of Earthly Delights

Anthony Boydell
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surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise



surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise
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Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:30 am
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The Railway A-B-C

Anthony Boydell
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The first in an occasional series:





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Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:15 am
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Putting the 'T' in to Tuesday!

Anthony Boydell
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More tidbits from the elves working on Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea:


The box with a slight twist (and, yes, it should be 1-5 and 60-90 mins)


More train designs because Alubari has quite a lot 'in the (fire) box'!


A couple of special trains...


weather for the back of the Contract Cards.


The Tea Gardens...


More town 'pop-outs' for the main board!


A sheet of standard icons (and you know how I love icons!)

Comin' along noice, innit?!
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Tue Oct 9, 2018 6:15 am
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This is a local railway for local people (we'll have no trouble here)

Anthony Boydell
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Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:37 pm
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The noise that a train makes?!

Anthony Boydell
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A couple of weekends ago, in that moment just after waking, I wiped the 'sleep' from my eyes and scanned the bedroom. I stopped at the Steam Railways 2018 wall calendar (which was still on August, of course) and as my gaze passed along the sleek, shiny length* my mind transposed the carriages and the track to a line of cards with carriages upon them and then, immediately - because the brain's algorithms for memory retrieval are astonishingly-indexed and optimized - I whispered one word: "Fzzzt!". Fortunately, my sudden ejaculation failed to arouse a softly-snoring Mrs B** and I slipped out of the tangled duvet and down to the library room to retrieve my prize.

It's a constant source of vexation that Surprised Stare Games doesn't have more of a general retail presence - especially given we have a game about Ivor the Engine that seems to be like pulling teeth to get in to the Heritage Railway circuit! My Dawn inspiration offered me a smaller, lighter and more accessible avenue in the form of a trains version of Fzzzt! and, so, Fweeep! is born:



Conceptually, the 'conveyor belt' becomes the track; the robots become train carriages; the 'set icons' become 1st Class, Luggage, Dining and Freight; and the 'zaps' become 'guineas'. Easy-peasy, so let's send the files off to the printer tootie-sweetie! But, wait! Belay that impetuous order! There is still much work to be done!



You see I don't want just a straight re-theme; equally, I don't want to over-complicate things too much either - I just want to give it a vigorous polish. So, I made some tea and had a good think:



Fweeep! is absolutely-recognizable as a Fzzzt! variant albeit with a couple of minor adjustments e.g. the lower 'bid power' carriages will also come with a helpful 'When bought...' effect and I've adjusted the VP allocations a tad. I also dug out the 12 card expansion that only made it to the Russian language edition to really mix up the auction rounds. So, in a way, it should be 80% "re-issue" and 20% "re-think".

The next step is to try it out with some non-gamers to see if the theme helps engage them with the mechanics - ah, the game is afoot afweep!

Aside: I had a quick search for alternative 'whistle' onomatopoeiae for the title and was simultaneously delighted and horrified with the results:

Obviously, someone told 'em I was coming.***


*FFS, people!
**Behave!
***Infants!
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:15 am
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Tome; Toyou

Anthony Boydell
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Browsing the World Wide Internets, as I do on occasion, I happened upon a Twittering mentioning the Rt Hon General Sir Lord James Wallis - the loveliest and tallest designer in the known World - that snagged my attention glands:

"Georgian and Victorian Board Games: The Liman Collection book review: A beautiful coffee-table celebration of games from a bygone age" accompanied by the following link: https://www.tabletopgaming.co.uk/board-games/reviews/georgia...

I am, naturally, a complete-and-utter stooge for anything gaming that is old (I still rue not pushing ahead to win the original Diplomacy prototypes on eBay a few years back) and have accrued a bijou collection, particularly in book form. Reading James' review and then scouting through the fleshy, $Trillion folds of The Great Beast Online, I located a copy for the princely sum of £34 (cheaper than a base set of Terraforming Mars and only slightly more expensive than Terraforming Mars: Prelude - all 15 cards of it). Let me reveal, to you, some of the delights contained therein:












Crivens! Surely 'tis an early Fighting Fantasy?!



Inside Out: Das Brettspiel?!



That’s one Hell of a Start Player marker!



Crumbs! That's a bit grim!



Victoria was a bit of a hottie, eh?





I live near the bottom-left of the 'E' in 'GLOCESTER'



Brass: Birmingham can eff right off!









40 tiny cards used in one of the games...



...one of which tickled my fancy.



Scuffed, but beautiful.


Fancy a copy for yourself? I highly recommend it:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1938461436/ref=oh_aui_de...


Er, hang on a moment?!

...let us return, again, to 'the Giant'...



*Ouch!*


wow
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Fri Sep 7, 2018 6:10 am
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Pob beth da

Anthony Boydell
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I always joked that working for the Welsh Government was, when escaping the moribund clutches of Merthyr Tydfil or Cardiff, like a holiday: the Vale of Neath, Cardigan Bay, Snowdonia, Anglesey and Colwyn Bay to name but-a-few.

During my time as chief BA, and over-emotional smart-alec, I visited mountains, passes, viaducts, aquaducts, canals, heritage railways, beaches, bridges and castles; even the odd 'curiously-named village' failed to escape my attention. I've eaten supermarket sandwiches overlooking a black lake, gasped at resplendent valleys and sweated my way up to hilltop obelisk. I went to the cinema, the theatre and the end of a couple Victorian piers. I have stayed there in snowy January and sweltering August and every month else and it has had something soul-warming to offer every time.

And, of course, I played so many board games in a golf club, in pubs and restaurants, and in people's homes. Sooooo many with so many excellent people!

Now that that chapter in my working life has ended, so too has that outstanding fringe benefit. How marvellous, then, that this Summer we'd elected to spend our family holiday in this astounding environment - just one last literal and figurative throw of a North Wales' die! We rented a cottage in the middle of the hills and spent the fortnight on beaches, in forests, amongst the rubbled-ruins of castles and - finally - reaching the summit of the most important mountain in my life.

You have followed me on this adventure throughout and - hopefully - enjoyed it vicariously; I'm not sure that the daily commute to Bristol is going to offer anything near as remarkable but - hey - there are plenty of ways of getting up and down there so we'll wait and see!

Diolch, indeed.
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:17 am
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"I saw this and thought of you"

Anthony Boydell
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I only nipped out to pick up an undelivered package from the Post Office - it was a piece of custom original comic art especially commissioned for Arthur (see below) - and I had to (HAD to) stop off in the Charity Shop on the way back. I HAD to. Really.



And the Customs-chargeable parcel?

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Mon Aug 6, 2018 6:20 am
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