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Carrier Strike * Mission Command * The Cousins' War

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Surprised Stare Games Ltd

About Us

Tony Boydell

Tony has been designing and developing games for quite a long time now and is STILL convinced that he knows what he's doing. He injects them with his distinct sense of geekiness and humour, and illustrates them with his own effective cartoon-style artwork. Tony designed Surprised Stare's first game, Coppertwaddle in 2000 and has followed this with Bloody Legacy, Scandaroon, Fzzzt!, Totemo, Paperclip Railways, Snowdonia, Ivor The Engine and Guilds of London.

He writes a regular blog on BoardGameGeek where anything and everything game-related is discussed, dissected and (often) ridiculed.

Tony likes white chocolate buttons and is sickened by parsley.

Tony Boydell

Alan Paull

Alan is no stranger to game design and development, as his games Siege, Thunderin' Guns and City of Sorcerers were published in the 1980s. This makes him old enough to have played and enjoyed virtually all types of games produced since the late 1960s.

He has written numerous articles and game reviews for games magazines, including a solitaire game Mindmeld. He also designed, developed and produced Starship Tycoons, a trading board game set in space. He learned a lot about what not to do during that process. Alan designed Tara, Seat of Kings, SSG's first board game, and Confucius. He's quite proud of the fact that the abbreviation for Tara, Seat of Kings, TSOK, sounds like Taoiseach, the Irish Prime Minister. Since then he's been working on a variety of projects, including Mission Command, a rather large WWII simulation wargame using figures. He's now masterminding our SSG Wargames imprint.

Alan Paull


  • Tony Boydell drew the black and white line art for the cards for our games except Coppertwaddle.
  • He did the same for the box and board art for Tara Seat of Kings, Scandaroon, and Bloody Legacy.
  • Charlie Paull did the colouration and layout for our early games except Coppertwaddle.
  • Tony Boydell and Charlie Paull worked together on the origainal artwork for Confucius.
  • Vicki Dalton (née Paull) created the box illustration for Fzzzt! and the artwork for Totemo.
  • Klemens Franz did the colouration, layout and much original artwork for our later games, including the insides of Snowdonia, many Snowdonia expansions, and Guilds of London.
  • Nadia Marrocco drew the card art for Coppertwaddle.
  • Judy Stevens created the box illustration for Coppertwaddle.

Charlie Paull

I do 'colouring in' work for Surprised Stare Games Ltd. I took line art or photographs and worked with them on a computer to create finished artwork for Bloody Legacy, Tara Seat of Kings, Confucius and Fzzzt!. For Confucius, I painted the background paintings as well. I also lay out text and images to create the play aids, rule books etc.
In addition to my work for Surprised Stare, I have also created all the artwork and layout for Tulipmania.

In my capacity as web developer for Alan Paull Services (APS) Ltd., I have been building and developing web sites for a variety of companies and organisations since 1998. I am proficient (self trained) in Photoshop, Dreamweaver and InDesign.

I have a degree from the Open University (1991) in Human/Computer Interfaces, Systems and Psychology.

I offer web design and development services to small games companies wishing to promote their games on the web.

Charlie Paull

Vicki Dalton

Hi, I'm Vicki – illustrator, designer and (would be) space adventurer!

An experienced artist, I have many years under my belt producing work on games both analogue and digital: board and card games, mobile games for phones and tablets, and PC games. I also design logos, icons and promo images for apps, most often for games studios or game shops.

My work is there there to support and enhance a game’s mechanics. Fantastic art can certainly make a game more fun, but a huge part of that is communicating the game to its players.

My email address is: vickidaltonart@gmail.com.

And to see more finished work plus sketches and development, head on over to my blog: http://vickidalton.tumblr.com/.

Independent designers

Matthew Dunstan

Matthew’s game designing career roughly coincided with moving halfway around the world from Australia, so maybe the English weather is good for something after all! To date, he’s designed several games both individually and in collaborations with other designers, including Relic Runners, Empire Engine (with Chris Marling) and Elysium (with Brett J. Gilbert). For some reason he also keeps coming up with expansions for Snowdonia, with the first, The Trans-Australian Railway, released in 2015.

At his day job, Matthew is a research scientist, and often muses on the similarity between it and game designing. He also got to Day 80 on a Game A Day design challenge, the results of which you can see on his (oft-neglected) blog, Ludimaufry.


  • Melanie Koster translated Coppertwaddle, Bloody Legacy, Tara, Seat of Kings, Scandaroon & the Confucius rule book into German.
  • Daniel Danzer translated Fzzzt! and the Confucius Rules Summary and Play Aids into German. He also revised and refreshed the Confucius rule book translation into German.
  • Yegor Sadoshenko translated Confucius and Tara, Seat of Kings into Russian.
  • Stéphane Dehouck translated Confucius into French.
  • Filip Santens translated Confucius into Dutch.
  • Nuno Sentieiro translated the Confucius Rules Summary and Play Aids into Portuguese.
  • Ákos Tasnádi translated Coppertwaddle, Scandaroon and Tara, Seat of Kings into Hungarian.
  • Guglielmo "Guglia" Cinti translated Tara, Seat of Kings into Italian.

Daniel Danzer

Being theatre director, screenwriter and boardgame enthusiast for about 40 years, I started designing boardgames, doing translations and some playtesting for small publishers in the last couple of years. Among others I translated all of the "Chili-Games" http://www.chili-spiele.de into English and "2 de Mayo" by Daniel Val into German.

I wrote 26 episodes plus stories and outlines of a weekly TV series for young people and developed an award-winning concept for a TV series for kids "Zoës TV Diary". For 14 years now I also revise submitted treatments for the MFG - the film subsidy company for the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, but mainly I earn my bread and butter at the central youth club in Stuttgart making films and organizing our own film festival with young people.

As one can see, I am interested in a lot of different things and keep my mind open - my wife and son help me a lot doing so! If you want to see what I do on boardgamegeek or anywhere else on the net, you better look for my usual nickname "duchamp".

Melanie Koster

Melanie Koster has studied translation at the University of Saarbrücken in Germany and has worked as a freelance translator since the year 2000.
Her main field of work is computer games and related manuals and websites, as well as "regular“ games such as the very funny Bloody Legacy. She also translates TV documentaries, product descriptions and a large variety of other texts.

In her (little) spare time she enjoys agility training with her dog Räuber and often participates in tournaments.

She lives in Bad Münstereifel, Germany.

Melanie Koster




Bloody Legacy / Confucius / Coppertwaddle / Fzzzt! / Guilds of London / Ivor The Engine / On The Cards / Paperclip Railways / Scandaroon / Tara, Seat of Kings / Totemo

Surprised Stare Games Ltd.Carrier Strike / Mission Command / The Cousins' War

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