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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Population Implosion

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!
Closing the lid of the laptop, my next job was to transport some of the Boydell fauna to alternative accommodation: one corn snake and one guinea pig. Fully-aware of the Larson-esque complications that could arise if I was less than vigilant, they were spaciously separated for the journey. The 'pig' is to be a guest of the Batesons who, already, have a fine retinue of Cavia porcellae. Indeed, come the great Brexit Apocalypse (coming from CMON and Eric Lang in 2019!), this army of chirruping furballs will provide an excellent "last line of defense" against the scavenging hordes. Not. *burp*

While I was 'about', and given the hour, it seemed daft to drive all the way home again to only come back in to Ross an hour later so Boffo invited me to stay for supper: fish curry, rice and tarka daal*! While he chopped, sizzled and simmered we were inspired by a VLOG concept that would be right up our allies: food and games. You heard it here first...provided we can get Jobbers to do the filming for us.

The tuck was delicious and, by way of thanks, I offered to do the washing up while Boffo prepared his huge sack for the evening. I am somewhat an obsessive when tidying up a kitchen and - apparently - went way beyond the call of duty with cooker, worktop and sink scouring too. I'm a bit of a domestic goddess, doncha know?!

Anyone who has EVER played Bernd Eisenstein's superb Civ-Auctioner Peloponnes will have experienced that moment; you know the one? A wonderfully-balanced growing of population and tile scores and then, a round before the end: famine, drought, a supply phase or a nut-punting combination thereof - a pat-on-the-back mid-20s score plummets to single figures on the turn of a circular chit! Lydia was forewarned of this wholly-unfair turn-of-events before the first game but, along with Gary and Boffo (with his astonishing inability to pay for/keep any buildings), was unable to weather the storm (oh, that disaster TOO!). Jobbers and I fought a more balanced game and I managed to pip him by the singlest of single points. Boffo didn't want this to be the end of it and suggested we play again (now that everyone knew the rules/what to expect). Hampered by my own 'sacrifice 1 population each income phase' civ 'bonus', I barely squeaked in to double-figures on the repeat; Lydia managed to do worse than game one - thanks to another final round disaster double-feature - and Boffo romped off in to the sunset with a city centre's worth of buildings (making up for his 'Prime' mortgage debacle in the first):

Jobbers was sat next to the bag, so he continued to be the evening's selector. With a sinking feeling in my tummy, he dropped Fürstenfeld on to the table. I have had a bit of a hate-hate relationship with this over the years on account of being abjectly-hopeless as it! I don't deny that it's an odd (and admirable) take on the deckbuilder genre but I don't think I've ever managed more than a couple of 'Palace' tiles out before everyone else is fighting for their sixth. However, this particular session proved a reassuring - and reconnecting - one when I managed an early scavenger/town hall combo to allow me to burn away all of the nonsense and construct a winning Estate:

What the actual, high-protein/low fat fuck?! Furstenfeld finally falls fully in to focus...

Next up? Wildlife Safari. I await the inevitable abuse from Mr mgreen02 in the comments below, but I jokingly 'bigged up' a double-rhino opener in the pre-match banter and watched - as going last in the 'first around' - as they were seized upon...only for me to stick with the tried-and-tested 'double lion' and cruise in to the lead after 'safari number one'! My psychological games worked wonders with Gary who, for the rest of the game (a further four rounds) seemed utterly-obsessed with 'the big cats' leaving an unprotected Elephant. Jobbers and I were neck-and-neck right up to the last when, somewhat coldly, I tanked his rhinos with a judiciously-saved 'Zero' and sailed off in to the sunset the comfortable (if unethical) victor!

We closed with the preposterous Abracada...What? which Lydia stormed - ignoring the 'Dragon'-bluffing nonsense from all quarters - and then we all went home.

"Double rhino"? Ridiculous!

*NOT made from otters
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