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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St Patrick's Day

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
Welcome...to my Shed!
Neither am I Irish nor do I have any Irish heritage and so, on a day when everyone chugs Guinness and wears green, I am aloof and unaffected (or so I thought). Traveling straight from Cardiff to High Wycombe on Thursday night (to break up the journey to Brighton for Peter's funeral), I stopped over at good pal Richard's; it's been a few months, so we caught up on news and opinions over a takeaway Chinese meal and then partook of a little gaming to accompany the citrus-y bottles of ale:

What I've heard of Baseball Highlights: 2045 has all been good and - encouragingly - I don't need a deep knowledge of the sport in order to play. Richard precis-ed the rules and we were quickly in to our 'Best of 7' tournament.

In summary: It's a sloooooow deckbuilder. You start with a vanilla team and will play a match using 6 (possibly 7) of your 15 card deck. Cards are players and have three main elements: their cost/money value for the end of the match 'Draft', a 'comes in to play' effect and a hit value(s). If you have a card already in the waiting area, you perform player movement (resolve the 'hit' section) around your bases and move the card to the 'done' zone THEN you play a card in to a waiting area and resolve any 'in to play' effects immediately; the 'hit' section is "threatened" and - if uncontested (on opponent's turn when they play a card to their waiting area) - will put players on your bases / push players already out 'along', depending on their speed. Players come 'home' and score you runs; when all six cards are played out, most runs = a game win. At the end of a game, you total up the money value of your six cards played and use it to buy one or more players from a central tableau - one in, one out to keep your deck at 15 cards.

Apart from being mildy-confused about how the different speed of players affect other players already on bases when they move, it's a clean and breezy affair and imparts a pleasant tension. The artwork is fun - the box (above) is wonderful, the cards are more cartoony...and some of the players are Fzzzt-like wacky robots! BH2045 is great fun and I may have to get a copy of my own, now.

The Friday morning drive around London (the infamous M25 motorway) was happily (and surprisingly) uncluttered and accompanied by bright, warm weather and Richard's excellent early-80s Punk/New Wave playlist. We had plenty of time, rolling down the hill in to Brighton, so we took a wander around the Crematorium's grounds and happened upon a Family Plot with rather an unusual twist:

Can you see it? Can you suggest a 'Why?'

Peter's friends and family, all sporting a flash of green (his favourite colour), milled about in the sunshine until the hearse pulled up and Peter trumped the lot of us: his coffin was the brightest of bright greens you have ever seen and, in the dazzling morning light, it glowed almost radioactively - we entered to the strains of Stairway to Heaven and the Vicar stepped up to place a small, velvet bag of dice on the head of the coffin. Always a man of intensely-excellent taste, Peter treated us to Lewis Carroll, Antony & The Johnsons, Zero 7, Debi Gliori and Pink Floyd in a no-standing-room packed Chapel; as Shine on you crazy diamond soared and sirened, everyone stepped up to his luminous cardboard box and tapped/stroked/patted their farewells.

It was windy on Brighton sea-front; Richard and I wandered, gusted and chilly despite the glorious golden orb, passed the cartoon fairground of the East Pier, the i360 'space elevator' and the rusted wreckage of the West Pier. A young lad and his girlfriend were gamely trying to get a kite up but it kept crashing in to the pebbled beach in the strong down-draft; the few of us that were watching from the indoor warmth of the Wake quietly-cheered when they eventually got it to stay sky-bound. That's proper metaphorical, that is.
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