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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Work, Rest and Play? More like Play, play and play!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Welcome...to my Shed!

The unrecorded biggies:
Too Many x Take it Easy! (iOS) - for 69p (99 cents), this 3-mode attention grabber has filled most of my London Underground journeys and 'waits' in the car when picking up children from parties etc. The puzzle mode is utterly addictive too, and 100 puzzles isn't nearly enough. Just brilliant!
Waaaaay Too Many x Angry Birds (various flavours, iOS)

The recorded biggies:
107 x Agricola - but of course, mais oui etc; still gaming viagra second-to-none. I've played over double the 107 logged as I've stopped noting the boiteajeux.net sessions this year.
42 x Snowdonia - Not so many games of the 'final print' version but, instead, reflects the flurry of play-testing activity that went into the first half of 2012!

The recorded special mentions:
18 x Unpublished Prototype - some Snowdonia, but also a goodly number of Guilds of London and a dribble of other Boydellian tidbits; also to be counted in this number are Keyflower, Mr Breese's 2013 offering (!) and the usual avalanche of Sebastian Bleasdale try-outs (he needs a Luton van to carry them all about, I swear!)
12 x Le Havre - a couple of 'real life' but a LOT of iOS games; this is a superb game for electronic management and play! It's cheap too - buy it today!
10 x 7 Wonders - ah, the new 'old staple'; still shines...
8 x Cubiko - to coin a phrase used on other Internet sites, this is 'bouncy fun'!
8 x Divinare - totally-engaging mind-messer and brain-twizzler from the smartly-bearded Mr Gilbert; instant hit with the family who pick up the rules in a second...
8 x Eclipse - Good Space-God, Madam, I've not played nearly enough of this 'everything but the sonic kitchen sink' sci-fi masterpiece - something I will be changing for 2013! This game would have been so damn perfect for my first proper gaming group in the 1980s - everything about it would've suited our styles, needs and tastes. My dear (late) friend Rob would've loved it, I'm sure, in all of it's chit-pushing, dice-rolling and chit-pushing glory.
8 x Escape: The Curse of the Temple - stupid, noisy, frustrating and monstrously-good fun!
6 x Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
6 x Guildhall - a kick-ass little card-based filler that scratches every itch for our Wycombe group: lots of player interaction, mini-combos and scope for liberal use of the phrase "I'll play with my Purple Assassin'
6 x Braggart
5 x Coloretto
5 x Glory to Rome - Genius. 'Nuff said.
5 x Guilds of London - will this be my 2013 offering? I hope so..it's been in development longer than Snowdonia but because of all the card interactions and balancing has necessarily needed the extra time. Another one born of theme and pushed forward from there.
5 x Love Letter - simple, quick, random brilliance
5 x Santa Cruz

The recorded everything elses:
Beyond Balderdash - rationed throughout the year, utterly magnificent every play
Goa - goa-rgeous!
Keyflower - hex-y and sex-y
KingBrick - flicking cool (and flicking rare as hen's dentures)
Alien Frontiers - clever dice-roller with only a tiny luck element...and VERY cool art
Dragster -
Familienbande - an old favourite
For Sale - We've been sold on this one for ages
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game - perhaps a little overcomplicated and fiddlesone and, ultimately, rather sterile BUT oozes theme
Modern Art - one of the few Knizia games I REALLY like; a true classic
Rat-a-Tat Cat - horribly random but - mercifully - quick
Suburbia - tactile and thinky - like a jigsaw puzzle that bites back
Trains - satisfyingly perpendicular take on Dominion but the photo-art makes it very difficult to spot cards, so game length is enlongated. May never play Dominion again if this is also a choice.
Among the Stars - disappointing; I know how to play and I believe I play efficiently, but I can't seem to win
Balloon Cup
Cosmic Encounter - retro lunacy
Eminent Domain
Ginkgopolis - nearly missed the boat on this one after a disastrously rule-wrong first play but has been salvaged since and it's a clever one and no mistake
El Grande
Hanabi - messes with your head but more notable for messing with people's friendships
Innovation - just can't seem to find anyone to play this with me (sad face) and I've not even got in a 'real' game of Echoes...and I was in the Beta for that *sad face*
Last Will - for me, this is just maddening frustration in a box - see my comment about Among The Stars
Lords of Waterdeep - super worker placement (there's NOTHING wrong with those two words, people!)
Notre Dame - back when Feld was new...
Power Grid: France/Italy - I won this twice in the same fortnight about 18 months ago and it's been a desert of PG-related laurel-ing ever since. Love playing it though.
Power Grid: Russia & Japan - more turn-order positioning goodness
Santiago de Cuba - compact little Euro that doesn't outstay its welcome
Spot It! - dumb as nuts, but jolly enough
Steeplechase - another groupthinky filler, this time with a wooden box left over from assembling Cubikos :-)
Stone Age - just got this on iOS, so I imagine I'll be playing it more in 2013; the physical copy, replete with Expansion, just can't beat other stuff off the shelves
Unexpected Treasures - when I finally get the rules right (I picked up the German edition at Spiel'12), this will be a lot of fun
Village - first time I hated it, second time I liked it...now, when can we possibly fit in a third when there's Suburbia, Terra Mystica, Eclipse, Agricola, Tzol'kin et al to play?
7 Wonders: Cities - meh. the setting up and taking down is getting quite tedious now.
Ace of Spies - when it (finally) arrives, I'm sure I'll enjoy it's light trick-takey flavour
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor
Al Rashid - looks awful, EN rulebook is terrible, game is rather good actually
Apples to Apples - ugh! Tiresome! Charity shop copy consigned to bonfire.
Belfort - looks funny, great art, cohesive mechanics; plays like someone's resting an anvil on your head - hard!
Botswana - another variation on the Knizia's 'sets of cards / play out some cards' oeuvre and none the better for it
Busstop: The Boardgame - kooky set-collector
Can't Stop - actually, I can...
Capt'n Clever - still gets the occasional play especially now that Arthur is taking more of an interest in games (he loves Blokus and Tier Auf Tier)
Dixit Odyssey
The Doge Ship - it works, yes, but left neither a good nor a bad impression on me
Edel, Stein & Reich - still confused after 9 months
Eschnapur - I couldn't tell you much about this from memory, it was fun if a little odd...oh, that's right! Everything you had could be used as currency in auctions.
Fleet - compact, efficient take on the RftG/SJ/GtR genre - and the theme is nicely integrated too
Formula Dé - Vrooooooom!
Genji - fuck me but this was a real grind to play; not sure where the game ends and the banging your head against the wall starts
Ground Floor - more please! Lots of things to think about in a pleasingly-presented package.
Hawaii - colourful Euro that ought to take more of our time in 2013 if there's any justice
Hey, That's My Fish!
Infinite City - the oversized tiles make excellent firelighters
Key Harvest
King of Tokyo
King's Gate
Kingdom Builder
Libertalia - Ha-harrr!
Macao - When Feld was interesting...
Magnum Sal - WP in salt mines; interesting and enjoyable
Merkator - Sadly didn't enjoy this Rosenberg offering; found it all a bit too much cubey-pushy and not enough farmy-warmy!
Nefarious - Another exercise in randomness in extremis; no-one even noticed the 'jokey' invention names because they were complaining too much...apart from Carl, who really likes it
On The Cards
Ora et Labora - now we're taking! Le Havre's little brother - all the brainstrain without the 3 hour timelapse
Paperclip Railways
Plus and Minus
Power Grid
Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal
Power Grid: Factory Manager
Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland
Power Grid: Québec/Baden-Württemberg
Power Struggle
Saint Petersburg
San Juan
Scooby Snacks - Godawful; I wouldn't foist this kid's game on my kids
Seasons - lots going on, colourful but - ultimately - of no real interest to me now that I've left the TCG world behind me (it feels very much like one). There are plenty of other games I'd play before this...
Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill - huge pieces!
Showbiz - a quirky blast-from-the-past
Skyline of the World
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - a triumph of physical design (clue: it's ok, but this counts as 'faint praise')
Starship Merchants - 18XX in space, sort of; must play again in 2013
Takenoko - Hmmmm...rather too much of the Emperor's New Clothes about this one from my POV
Terra Mystica - awesome! Everything I love in a Euro and it looks fantastic! Paid over the odds for a 2nd hand copy because I NEED it before Spring next year!
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume - India & Switzerland
Trajan - I can't shake the feeling that I'm missing something that everyone else seems to have twigged; I find it rather ordinary in every aspect APART from the Mancala bit, obvs...but, hey! look at the reviews, the awards and the ratings! I'm blatantly wrong to feel this way.
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - Cool; played once but I have yet to feel it grab me by the balls...
Uchronia - Disappointing in that I will never play this over Glory To Rome and would always teach GtR over this to Noobs so - when would I _ever_ play it?
Waka Waka
Walnut Grove - sweet Wild West rondelizing with slightly-wonky tiles; nice filler with some bite
Zombie Dice
Zong Shi - the graphic design and Kickstarter-typical gimmicky component failures have (frustratingly) blinded me to the game itself; plus it's designer rated Snowdonia a '4', so I'm sulkily pre-disposed to never asking for this to come to the table
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