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 Tony Boydell

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Overground Underground

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The canal is a favourite walking place and, for the first day since the Autumn, the weather conspired to offer a dazzling invitation to get your boots on and come outside! With tiny dog in-tow (newly-clipped and looking rather skinny), the old faithful wellies squelched and squudged through the thickslip as we strode keenly along the waterway bank.





The Cold Harbour Bridge, cleanly-restored, normally forms the buffer / termination point for a ramble as much swamp-like bogginess lies beyond it and, so I am assured, does a canal tunnel! Previous escapades have met with fallen trunks and a little too much fluid to allow further progress -





On this occasion, having already sunken knee-deep in an ill-advised 'fording' expedition, I had no grace to lose and ventured out to the far bank which provided relatively-solid ground what with being covered in a thick herb-like growth and ample fallen boughs:





This took me passed the usual point of return and onward; Ziggy's little white legs looked like he was wearing black trousers while my own green trousers were a wet, clay-caked reddish-brown:


A cosy nook; replete with evidence of restoration and a long-solidified bag of plaster.






And fifty yards further on - what's this?!





I was ill-equipped to go on in to the darkness but must return - perhaps in the flow-reduced Summertime? While the dog rooted for rabbits back in the brightness, I stood in the drip-dripping pseudo-silence and breathed in the cool air.







I believe some folks refer to this time of a late Winter day (around 4PM) as The Golden Hour, for obvious reasons:





Both dog and I required a bath; shoo-ed through the corridors by an anxious Mrs B - lest we slime and spatter our canal juice on the nice floor and wallpaper.
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Death of a Gamer - 22

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(Arthur and I will be off shopping for Lego early-doors on account of him having just turned 11; so, as a tying-over, here's another DOAG)


Bad Ways To Determine Start Player #14
Russian Roulette


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Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:00 am
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Hammer To Fall

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(I think, maybe, @AsojiKeith will be tweeting on my behalf in future)
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:34 am
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Postman Pat...

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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...has a hernia thanks to Amazon, eBay and the exponential growth of parcel transactions:


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Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:15 am
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I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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(spotted yesterday)

When you have to make a sign and you...JUST...DON'T...HAVE...THE...TIME:




Let us, then, imagine if board games had unfortunate typos too:

- Wangspan (oo-er, missus; never mind the quality, feel the girth!)
- Fwar of the Ring / The NHobbit (sexy halflings)
- Blood Rags (the PMS expansion for Fog Of Love?)
- Lookin' Louis (the board game for voyeurs?!)
- Terraforming Maps (Ordnance Survey gift-shop tie-in)
- Great Western Trait (Have you got what it takes to be a Cowboy? Here's a long list of what you'd need...)
- Gloophaven / Cash & Gunge / Slimes
- ...and then we held wands... (Harry Potter spin-off?)
- Vandemic (a game of too much traffic?)
- Cords Against Humanity (comfortable trousers vs Mankind)
- Raising Bun (baking in feudal Japan)
- die Dacher (a tile-laying game*)
- Sid Sackson's Acquit (running hotels and getting away with crimes**)
- T.I.M Stories (like Billy Kerr, but with someone called Tim)

*this is a superb joke.
**so is this
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:12 am
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The First Coffee of the Day!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Bloody delicious - straight from the dog's arse!

https://www.teepublic.co.uk/user/tonyboydell
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:14 am
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Rolling Waves

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Saturday, after the usual ritual of awakening was performed, kicked off in gaming style with a PM visit from Ben Bateson; the idea was to present several brewing protoypes and try and get them pointed in the right direction. If we could rope one or more of the household in to some 'published fayre' a bit later then all-well-and-good.

First up was a roll-and-write from Ben and Becky which has a delightful English theme: a show is being organised for the same day in neighbouring (player) villages, and each 'village' competes to put the most exciting and enticing roll-call of stalls and exhibitions.

In summary: It's a Bingo-esque affair in that a number of dice are rolled (4) and made available to everyone: three are summed for the 'event' and the fourth restricting where it can be 'placed' (four quadrants, an 'anywhere' and an 'In The Main Ring'). The events are tetris-like and are drawn on a 'field' sheet; at the low and high ends of the 3d6 (3-18 range) bell-curve, they can be lucrative by rarity, while the middling rolls are off-set with placement penalties (do NOT put the tractors next to the Young Farmers and/or the Cider tent otherwise points shall be lost!). You must ensure that, by the end of the 15th round, you have also installed toilets, food and drink AND that all exhibits are accessible (ie. un-drawn spaces on your sheet).

Country Gents (the working name, tho' something more pastoral is needed shortly eg. A Fête Worse Than Death? The Village Show? Etc) takes about 20 mins once you've gotten used to isolating the die totals (like you would in Can't Stop) and results in pleasingly-obtuse 'final layouts'! A number of tweaks were suggested by my good self (never one to keep an opinion to myself) but these are really sanding off the rough edges of a corking little filler. I have been (self-)tasked with mocking up a better prototype in time for the next Ross-on-Wye gamers session on Friday...

Ben was short-and-to-the-point re: Bazelgette/The Sewers of London - "It sounds exactly like Tinners' Trail," he said; "so best try playing THAT before you take it any further."

Finally, while still maintaining a steady input of hot tea, I pitched my VERY early concepts for Attention All Shipping: a fishing-themed pick-up-and-deliver-er built around the UK's famous 'shipping forecast' ie. the weather in the North Atlantic, the North Sea and around the rest of the UK affects the efficiency (and safety) of your little trawler - and, most importantly, the progression of the weather is laid out exactly as in that shipping forecast ie. REGION - WIND DIRECTION AND SPEED - VISIBILITY

"Hebrides, Fair Isle, Cromarty - North, 3 or 4. Good."


A couple of days brainstorming has already resulted in a solid trawler-movement mechanism that takes the conditions in to account PLUS the chat with Ben focused the fishing bit a lot more too. The enthusiasm for this one is burning rather bright at the moment:


Attention All Shipping!


Arthur had exhausted his Lego mech-building inspiration and began bothering us to play something in the Kitchen; Mrs B was also amenable to something diverting (she was procrastinating the Moussakan aubergine-slicing):


Gingerbread House - Ben enjoyed his first play but Mrs B thumped the lot of us!


The Eggplant could be avoided no more so Ben and I retired to the library (again) for my first go at the vintage Vikings; this is a game I have managed to avoid at the club (not for any negative reason) but am extremely-glad I've finally gotten to see what all the Batesons' fuss is about:


Vikings is a nice, mildy-thinky filler; an OLD one too.


Ben left as the evening drew-in but Arthur wanted ONE more game while the mood persisted; he picked one of his favourites:



Youngest elder Bro, Benedict, made us three for 45 mins of blood-spattering carnage (mainly against MY person); Arthur was rather too excited when taking Benedict or myself 'out' with his Chainsaw but my tractor beam prevailed: why spend one's movement points when one can bring one's quarry straight to one?!

The moussaka was utterly-delicious.
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Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:15 am
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The Word Made Flesh

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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A quiet, restful Sunday; a hot coffee (The Big Issue's Tom's Blend - delicious), a biscuit and - naturally - a sneaky preview of Klemens' breathtaking Foothills work-in-progress.


wow wow wow wow wow




"Bloody marvellous (legitimately the most excited I have ever got about this game)!" (Benjamin Corkscrew Diddleesquat Bateson, February 2019)
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:00 am
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Do I take seven points or a pint?

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Smudge was off dancin' this week: eschewing the pleasures of 'The Pensive Table' in favour of getting her zipper down / pulling off a bouncing grope at the village hall. The back room of The Plough Inn, therefore, found itself a curious tableau of a Gentleman's Club - Boffo, Jobbers, Dan, Gerv and myself - with Gerv providing the sartorial elegance in the form of a spotted cravat and a flat cap. You might assume that seeing as it was a bit of a 'lads night out', the language would be 'fruitsome' and the atmosphere 'bawdy' but you'd be VERY wrong; this week would see three very thoughtful, tense, competitive and highly-enjoyable games!

Much of 2019 will be taken up reporting the playing of Boffo's H-40 list (an attempt to hit an H index of 40 by his 40th birthday) and the opening Small World kept him substantially on-track in that regard:


And people complain that you spend your first game of Guilds of London consulting a reference sheet?!


A surprisingly coherent and intriguing series of race/ability pairings meant this was no random gateway-er; all of us, facing our own positional dilemmas, played a very cagey game of nip, tuck and judicious 'Decline'; indeed, my own Homunculi disappeared after just ONE round of migration thanks to Boffo's No Entry/Heroic Hobbits on one side and Gerv's corrupt Pixies on the other (I had nowhere the expand to, so cut-my-losses in to oblivion). There wasn't a clear leader, as such, as everyone seemed to be having solid turns...but Gerv and I kept bloody quiet at our end of the table and ended up tying on 81VPs each.



Having already blown out our go-to 'five player' for the month (Princes of Florence, last week), I thought it might be fun to take the chaps on a pub crawl down the Wye Valley with Snowdonia: The Wye Valley Tourer: digging tunnels and drinking beer:



There was no way these folks were going to let me get away with Bastion-like shenanigans and, like Small World, it was a jolly-competitive affair. Particularly impressive was Jobbers building 7/8ths of the game's two bridges (the Viaduct and the Duke of Beaufort's), Dan and I tunneling like maniacs and all of the 'beer' spaces 'filled' come the half-way point! Boffo snuck in a timely purchase of 'The Excursion Train' and high-tailed it to the seaside with our Pub workers for 20 fat, game-winning points!

With 45 mins left of the docket, another rare-to-the-table-nowadays treat with Roll for the Galaxy:



Poor Gerv has ne'er been exposed to the 'Race' games and found himself in a permanent state of 'What the Fuck?!' but admitted to "beginning to get it" by the packing up phase. Boffo, generously lubricated by this point, was loudly-narrating his die-allocating difficulties (usually a sign of frustrating ineptitude) but was only a handful of points behind me when I'd laid the 12th tile down.

All of the above games have, on occasion, fallen flat for some reason but - this evening - the five of us were in a satisfyingly-serious mood and they were all given space to shine.
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Sat Feb 9, 2019 10:09 am
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Is There Any Subject Too Sensitive For Board Games?

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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The Nuremberg Spielwarenmesse has come and gone with just a small selection of pictures posted by BGG's roaming, roving reporter W. Eric (the 'W' is silent); as usual, time constraints - and because they have been banned to exhibiting out of the back of a van in the Car Park - Shite Games failed to have their 'Spring Collection' featured.

Let me rectify that oversight immediately.

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Dulce Et Dicecorum Est

Can't Stop meets World War I in this cynical and depressing timely recreation of a futile charge across a wired, mired and mined No Mans Land through a mist of hot lead and mustard gas. Push your luck by summing pairs of dice until you choose to dive in to a crater (‘stop’) or figuratively (and literally) ‘bust’. Be careful, though; whenever you ‘bust’, you lose that piece from the game entirely thus limiting your future column progression options!

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Dicklomacy

All the warmth and social cohesion of The Resistance combined with the no-luck coldness of Diplomacy, ‘Dicklomacy’ introduces a traitor, who can replace the orders of one Nation each Season , as well as submitting their own orders, until they have been figuratively (and literally) exposed and executed.

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Loopin' Bin-Laden
Think The Estates mashed-up with Loopin' Louis in this fast-paced, tactical auction / dexterity cross-over:
build the tallest skyscrapers, score the most points...and make sure the big 'B-L' ‘flies on by’!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Are you sure you want to see this?
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No, really - you have to be SURE...
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Just checkin' one more time...
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Last chance, now...
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Nope. I've bottled it. Go here if you want to see it (away from BGG):

https://twitter.com/tonyboydell/status/1093817187431841793
(4563750)



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Fri Feb 8, 2019 6:55 am
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