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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Bricking myself!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Ladies and gentlemen; gentlemen and ladies, have you seen this?!

Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!

Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
Oh please!
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Today 6:20 am
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Tidy Desk = Tidy Mind

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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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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Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:15 am
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Harmony

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:20 am
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Sexy M.F!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Arthur and I have been busy this last week; every evening after supper - for about 90 minutes - we've been rattling and scraping Lego to a Radio 1 soundtrack (Arthur's choice, not mine):







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Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:20 am
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Fractional Distillation

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Good morning, dear friends. This bright-but-cool A.M you find me dressed (but informally so) and with the first coffee of the day already appreciatively-glugged. I have caught up on any overnight-lagging boiteajeux games, cleared the BGG subscription alerts, acquainted myself with worldly goings-on via the medium of Twitter and checked in on the Snowdonia KS campaign: a quarter of a million dollars.

Um, let me just read that back:

A quarter of a million dollars.

A quarter of a million dollars.

A quarter of a million dollars.

A quarter of a million dollars.




From out of left field, a 'quarter' has jumped in to the top 3 of my Favourite Fractions of All-Time list (yes, I do have one of those):

1. A fifth - one for each of my children.
2. My "better Half" (as in 'Mrs B')
3. A quarter - for the 'old money' way of selling sweets from glass jars AND the aforementioned KS funding achievement
4. A seventh: for Seventh Heaven (1980s PBM games company run by my lifelong pal Mark) and 7th Continent
5. 54th - not actually a fraction but it sounds like one; this was my best ever standing at a UK National Magic: The Gathering Championship (after mana-stalling against a Somnophore deck; one land = top 20 finish)
6. A 36th - the chance of rolling a double '1' with two dice (essential when playing a childhood back of the schoolbook league of Dice Cricket)
7. A third - because if you say it with an insulting Irish accent it sounds like 'Turd'
8. An eighth - what I procured and smoked on the back of the Pier Head to Seacombe ferry in 1987.
9. One millionth as in Terry Pratchett's quote: "One in a million chances happen nine times out of ten".
10. Four fifths - fractional representation of the I.T '80/20' rule.

Are there any representations of ratio or division that float (!) your numeric boat? Feel free to list them, in whole or in part, in the comments section hereafter.

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Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:45 am
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Uwe and Uwe

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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If Jobbers would relent and get back to join in the occasional Agricola with the rest of us then I wonder if I'd need play another designer's games again. Mr Rosenberg has such a direct, wide and well-reinforced channel to my heart that I would - should the Apocalypse fall upon us - being perfectly happy with his oevre foruwe!

We were joined - a developing habit, it seems - by two occasional (but welcome) visitors AND the return of last week's Lydia*. Gerv is from the Gloucester area and though we have crossed comments on the Trading & Chat Facebook group, this was out first face-to-face meeting. Pal Richard from the East is on a whistle-stop, fly-by tour and wouldn't miss a gaming night for anything. Richard had his print 'n play copy of Turin Market, I brought Hare & Tortoise and Nusfjord (natch); and Boffo his body bag. Rolling his eyes at my suggestion of trawlers and piscine frolics, Boffo stole Lydia and Gerv (along with Jobbers) for Nations: The Dice Game leaving Smudge, Richard and me on the back table:







Things were close in the first Nussy because we were using one of the core decks; Smudge and I creeping in to the early 30s (me 34, she 32) and Richard floundering on a miserly 20. The second game, later in the evening, would be with Jobbers (Smudge migrating to play-and-win Viticulture) and an outrageous selection of buildings giving Richard and myself a tie on 47 points each (!) with Jobbers, grumpily, on 32. Richard was abusing a Elder building (serve fish up to 4 fish total before using an Elder) which meant he ignored the main worker board for most of the game. My own magnificent total was centred around filling my landscape (see above) with high value buildings (no combos, just raw veeps!). Two games with (joint) winners abusing Elders seems
a) something to explore in further play-testing as short-cutting the usual mechanism for triggering elders is precarious; and,
b) a matter for the Police?!

There was a change-about with the synchronised finish of Nations, so we poached Lydia for her first exposure to Glass Road. Boffo, setting up Shakespeare, could be heard muttering in disdain at missing out but it's his own bloody fault. My elevator pitch of "It's like that fishing game but with cards instead of workers..." wasn't quite sufficient enough, so we spent the next 10 mins running through the rules TO A LOUD SOUNDTRACK OF BOFFO BARKING ON ABOUT HOW TO PLAY SHAKESPEARE!





Lydia acquitted herself most respectably with 13.5 (my first uwe GR score was 9.5 and got worse for the two following games!), with Richard in the late teens and Smudge/myself in to the glorious 20s with 22.5 and 20.5. Smudge and Lydia decamped for a closing Viticulture Essential Edition leaving Jobbers to join us for another sea-bourne expedition. See above for the deets.

To close - Jobbers waiting for the others to release his jizzbench - was Turin Market which I didn't understand at all. Tom (aka Mr Lydia) popped in for the last half hour and joined us...and ended up winning outrageously-comfortably! I barely got to say two words to Gerv - which is probably to his benefit - but I hope the chap pops along again.

The squally weather couldn't dampen the spirits at The Plough Inn; it were proper buzzin' in that back room!

*this is NOT her nickname**.
**It seems that neither myself nor Jobbers scared her off!
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Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:19 am
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Welcome to the U.K, Mr President.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:45 pm
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I didn't even have to use my A.K. I got to say it was a good day

Anthony Boydell
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The best leaving a job card EVER!


Rolling straight out of one job and in to another is something that I'd never experienced before. As a contractor, a self-employed personage, the path of work rarely runs so smooth; usually, there are weeks of firing curriculums vitae and lovingly-crafted covering letters in to the aether, chasing roles that are - in all likelihood - simply exercises in CV harvesting. Within 30 mins of being buzzed in to the building, I had an access all areas Pass, a car parking sticker and an invitation to our customer's Chief Executive's 'All Staff' presentation. The department is brand new - merged from two prior departments - and the whole IT and process environment is up for re-evaluation and/or rebuilding. The team are chirpy and relaxed, the facilities comfortable and you didn't need to look far to see someone smiling. I have come back with a mountain of WFH reading and have already impressed myself in to a couple of juicy pieces of work! And this is just boring old work!

I left in plenty of time to get back and see the evening performance of Arthur's school's End Of Year play - even the journey home offered its own pleasant surprise: 20 miles each-way shorter and less than an hour (even when stuck in peak time Gloucester traffic)!


An unreliable history of Henry VIII


Arthur played the Narrator in the style of Edmund Blackadder, richly abusing the Serf character (his pal Joe) with swipes of his scroll and witty quips. It was packed full of jokes that had the grown-ups howling and the two of them definitely got the biggest round of applause at the finale!

The Snowdonia KS keeps going from strength-to-strength; it is so surreal to see it grow! I believe that there's now so much stuff on offer that even existing Snod owners must be seriously considering going all-in. Has there ever been a campaign offering SO MUCH value-for-money?!

This morning, Mrs B and I were awoken to the chimes of my Messages alert:



Five years (two of them in New Zealand) and a brush with death (horrible infection while on the other side of the planet) later, eldest pud has unlocked the best achievement: a Degree and the World opening up to all possibilities now! I am, of course, hugely proud; I may burst, which no-one wants to see.

It's Friday - this means board games in Ross-on-Wye (yay!) and a hot-and-sunny, thoroughly-chilled weekend ahead.

I didn't even have to use my A.K. I got to say it was a good day.
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:08 am
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I didn't get where I am today...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:20 am
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Better Late than Never

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Taking an "I'm not sure when I'll be in this area again" opportunistic diversion on my way home from Cardiff (the farewell to the development team was necessarily-quick with firm handshakes and back-patting a-plenty lest the air-con fill my eyes with grit), I rumbled tentatively in to the tiny South Walesian town of Magor (to which I have never before been) on a long-overdue, personal pilgrimage.



I was 10 when my Grandfather died and we children were barred from the interment because we "weren't old enough to understand"; this is patent hogwash but, hey, it was a different time with different values - the 1970s is a decade best left to the Past, if I'm honest. Grandpa is but a faded memory: a recall of moist tobacco and a throaty chuckle. He worked as a builder and was involved with some major road construction in the Newport area; his youngest son, my Dad, joined him and they would spend their lunchtimes eating pies and buying Players' Navy Cut from an Italian-run café in Risca. No prizes for guessing that my maternal grandparents ran the cafe and it was there - over the steaming coffee machine, the penny sweets and the sixpenny jukebox - that my parents met and fell in love.

Interesting ruins caught my eye at the edge of the churchyard so, with nothing to particularly hurry over, I wandered across for a look-see:


The Procurator's House.


I stood at the graveside, in the breezy P.M, and gave an abbreviated version of how the last 40 years had progressed for his eldest grandchild; I then shut up for a few minutes and we both enjoyed the Summer in silence.
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:18 am
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