Everyone Needs A Shed

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

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Rolls with Royce...

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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...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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Heart of Glos

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
It had been planned well in advance of the original 'Freedom Day' with safety rules (masks, bubbles etc) in place regardless BUT Boris Johnson's premature withdrawal* of our liberty put everyone's confidence back a little...but not enough to cancel the Tuffley 'Leo'** altogether:
From gallery of tonyboydell


Picking Fred up from Gloucester town centre on the way, we rocked up on the dead of 11AM: for him, lots of D&D and, for me, Eclipse (to start):
From gallery of tonyboydell

The Red Nebula claims the Galactic Core...but only second place at the end.

Tom C - erstwhile head honcho/big cheese/Übermensch of the GTGC (Gloucester Tabletop Gaming Community) boardgamers - was well-up for a taster of this most excellent of 4X-ers as he's been toying with the idea of acquiring it. We - he and me - were joined by keen-as-mustard couple Terry and Kara for their first exposure also...and, for Kara, a bit of an 'in at the deep end' Euro game experience.

Of course, Eclipse is not really that complicated - worker placement, resource management, asymmetric powers, area control and combat - the actions and processes are logical, the visual presentation - even if there's a lot of 'stuff' - makes everything easier to grok. Also, we were all humans, played eight rounds instead of nine (a 2nd Ed. change) and left out most of the expansion/promo bits (time travel, horrific ancient ships, bio-engineering etc).

I encouraged alliances to
a) help fix resourcing; and,
b) aid overall learning.

This general 'friendly and co-operative' approach would resurface later in the inevitable Agricola; I wanted the players to get the best possible first experience of a game(s) that I, personally, adore so there's every chance of me being able to play them in the future! How can you say you love a game and then spend the rest of your gaming life putting people off it?!

As you'd expect, there was a gentle ramping up of ship forces and tentative combats before the final round of Galactic Core conquest (me), giving Tom a punitive kicking (Kara, but Tom started it) and cheeky punts for reputation chits. In final scoring, the 'Rep' lines of both Terry and Kara were, impressively, threes and fours while the best _I_ could muster was a homemade ?. Terry emerged victorious with 32, followed by my on 29.14, Tom on 25 and Kara on 24: three and a half hours of unfussy, amicable and enjoyable space operatics.

A quick shuffle of players - and a mass odyssey to forage for fish and chips - followed; and, to cleanse the palette, Jeric and Mark and Dale joined me for a playtest of Belle Epoque, my Cluedo meets Obsession prototype:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Whodunnit? Well, it turned out to be the Architect in the 2nd Class Carriage with the Harsh Language!

Jeric's helpful tester feedback was 'This game sucks balls' which - accompanied by a smile, as it was - might be a compliment (apparently); and I think they all enjoyed it?

What would be the closer - though I didn't know it at the time because the bright, fine weather outside led me to believe it was still the mid-afternoon - was Agricola: how could it NOT have been?!
From gallery of tonyboydell

As alluded to above, I was teaching Dale 'from scratch' and trying to reset Jeric's terrible 'first impression'; Mark supposedly knew what he was doing, so I kind of left him to his own devices! Peppering the initial rules overview with 'Don't stress about feeding!'s and other palliative purrs, we were soon a-farmin'. Like Eclipse before it, I was in constant reminder/recommendation mode to make sure no daft gaz cérébral occurred: nurturing a positive impression being the main goal. At the end, it seemed I had been 100% successful in my mission: Dale announcing that he really enjoyed it and Jeric now up for another go in the future. Achievement unlocked!

A pizza was cooling under my chair and I was about to start a-scoffin' when I noticed it was now 7PM and needed to go home! Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?!



P.S. Thanks to Tom and everyone at the GTGC for organizing and running this wonderful day of well-needed distractions!

*insert - or not - own Bojo joke here
**Leo Sayer - 'all day-er'
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Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:20 am
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@shitgamerpuns 125

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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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
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Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:15 am
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Bloody Kids!

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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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
A quiet end to the working week: the good weather shutting down with the laptop (clear skies to grey), chips ordered and selection of distractions set aside for a quiet evening in Jobbers' Summerhouse. The Batesons are away - they seem to be having 2021 holidays like hobbits have breakfasts - leaving the J-Dog and me and, possibly, Xander. Jobbers' Covid caution means that he will remain ensconced in Much Marcle for the foreseeable and won't allow a garden bubble of more than 5 (the 'House' won't take any more than that number anyway); this means that Plague regulars like Dave and Ian and Gerv can't, generally, be accommodated - this semi-abandonment might be one of the reasons behind my intermittent Friday night anxiety cry-offs: guilt.

The BBC Weather app forecast nowt but black clouds and fat, blue raindrops so I packed a woolly sweater just in case. There was a stack of 'Good with Two's in case I'd cancelled and, seeing it at the very top, it seemed churlish to refuse one of J's most favourite games:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Divinare - probably, IMHO, Mr Brett J. Gilbert's finest - and most criminally-underrated - designs.


The simple elegance of its card tracking, sneakery and "I've got to move my counter?! Gah!!!!" jeopardy make it a deliciously, chewy filler* of the highest quality. John won. By a country mile.

For 'mains', another (male attendees) club favourite - too long resting on the shelf - in the form of Ted Alspach's superlative Suburbia:
From gallery of tonyboydell

John's beautifully-rendered, and game winning, city: Plant Valley

If a designer can only be remembered for one design then, for Ted, that would have to be the 'Burbs**: skillful, tense, smooth and frustrating in equal measure - absolutely sublime.



Fully-dark, and the patio now a bijou lake, the gaming part of the evening wrapped up with Fort:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Easy to teach - that sequence on the player board reference binds everything together sweetly - we were quickly away: Jobbers and I falling victim to Xander's broken PERK - he was able to take from the general supply instead of his STUFF when messing about with his PACK. He was toying with the Macaroni sculpture while we two were still stacking pillows at level 3 and, so, we lost. Horribly.

Relaxing back into the armchairs, we chatted on - for another hour or so - about Tesla cars, the artistic merits of the Fifty Shades of Grey and The Thing movies, bitcoin / NFAs and - mercifully briefly - the worst porn we saw when we were teenagers. You don't get any of THAT on a Dice Tower 'Round Table'!

*filler: NOT a derogatory term in any shape or form, contrary to the sanctimonious bullshit being peristaltically deposited all over the BGG forums.
**I consider Castles of MKL a pale imitation devoid of the hard edge possessed by its ancestor.
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Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:40 am
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Who put jam in mothers shoe? Who made real caterpillars stew? Who locked Grandad in the loo?

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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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
Today my little brother - the youngest of the Boydell siblings - is Fifty (50) (five followed by a zero) (L). I was three-and-a-half when he was born and I have just a single, photograph-like memory of the event in my mind's eye: getting out of a massive lift at the Royal Gwent, my mother carrying him in a tiny bundle.

He's a pensive fellow - at least when he's with 'the family' - but, by all accounts, led a pretty active teen lifestyle as a BMX-er: building bikes for folk, competing, roadie-ing at Carter USM gigs (and introducing me to Dinosaur Jr, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Sonic Youth) and generally being cool. He trained to be a Building Surveyor, taught Italian Cookery at a local college, framed pictures as a business and, ultimately, specialised as a craftsman of musical instruments (guitars, ukulele) and my lovely Agricola chest. He even designed - and handmade - a board game:
From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

From gallery of tonyboydell

Now, he runs a delicatessen on the Welsh coast and gets entirely too much behind taste-testing local cheese. Last year, while stuck in Covid isolation in Australia, he got married.
From gallery of tonyboydell

A Tony-fied card

tl;dr a talented fellow of whom I am immensely proud! Happy Birthday, Little Bro!

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Sat Jun 26, 2021 6:20 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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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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Which one is which?!

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
(Warning: this joke might offend those of you who never used to read 1970s British war comics for kids*)

So, I was watching the footballs on the old gogglebox - with my tea on me knee - waiting for t'others to join. It were the Germany game on the ITVs and the missus asked me which team were which, like and - to be honest - the score card in the top-left of t'screen were no 'elp at all:
From gallery of tonyboydell

So: are the Germans wearing the white kit or the black kit?!


As it turns out, the scores for the group mean that the lacklustre and unambitious England will be playing Germany in the 'Last 16': here's hoping it goes all the way to penalties...again**

*titles like Battle, Hotspur and Victor that were liberally-sprinkled with casual xenophobia, jingoism and name-calling
**I am not an England soccer team fan
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Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:20 am
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nnnnnneeeeeaaaaaoowwwwwwwwwww!

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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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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Efflux

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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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
It is with great pride that I announce the English language reprint of Lux Aeterna under the safe and honourable umbrella of Capstone Games:
From gallery of tonyboydell

The folks are running a pre-order during the last two weeks of July, should you be interested in getting it a bit earlier than the October retail release:

Slowly, but surely, I am getting the immense pleasure of working with the best publishers in the Industry!

P.S Keep an eye out for Lux promo cards doing the rounds too - you've seen them on this blog in the Past, of course!
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Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:31 pm
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Animals

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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Welcome...to my Shed!
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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
All the kids were over for Pa's Day - apart from Alice (eldest) who is journeying around Devon and Cornwall on a meditative/creative odyssey. Showingly-pregnant Katie was here too: baby Lyla bouncing around in utero and Benedict getting his first taste of 'the day'.

Those of us, in a chilly Newent (where HAS the sun gone?!), had no choice but to play back-to-back Mario Kart tournaments, eat lasagne/home-made truffle chocolates, watch Doctor Who and play board games:

Trying to avoid the heavier fayre, Benedict and Katie and Daisy and I raced through the excellent family favourite Eco-Links:
From gallery of tonyboydell

Race to complete paths that connect the animals - on the edge - to each other without dead-ends, 'go nowheres' etc.


Dynamic and fun, Eco-Links was Cédrick Chaboussit's gift to me at Spiel'18 - he has a habit of highlighting family-friendly hits that you might otherwise miss when prowling the Halls.

It was sheep racing next and, once again, my daft and tiny-boxed filler keeps winning fans:
From gallery of tonyboydell

That is some SERIOUS cornering/drift skillz from A-Lamb Prost!

From gallery of tonyboydell

...a-a-a-and another win for Team Tony!


For myself, the day presented a small-but-perfectly-formed collection of gifts:
From gallery of tonyboydell

...but a houseful of noise, laughter - and no little expectation (2 months to go) - was the best present of all*.

*mind you: that deluxe edition of MADI (signed by writer/director Duncan Jones) is a bloody close second!
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Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:25 am
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