Episode 400 - Aves

Release Date: June 15, 2022

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  180 min

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS


Seven fruits, seven feathers. The birds are playing a colorful game. When a red apple is eaten, a feather turns red. Eat a lime, a feather turns green. Can you be the first bird to collect all the colors and display them in your pretty plumage?

Aves is a card capturing / set collecting game with roots in the classics. It shares common ancestry with games like Gin Rummy and Scopa. It is also a game of simple, subtle, and sneaky strategies . Tune in to learn why we think Aves is a wonderfully accessible invitation to a lighter and brighter kind of fun.

This show also marks the 400th review episode of The Spiel!!

To celebrate, we invited Spielers from around the world to host seven different segments that have been part of the program over the past 16 years. This super sized show is filled with fan favorites, lots of laughs, and a ridiculous amount of board game hijinx. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did putting it together.


Aves    Play With Us Design  |  BGG

Designer: Shi Chen

Artists: Yawen Jheng

Publisher: Play With Us Design

2-5 player  10-15 min.  ages 6+   MSRP $20

Time to teach/learn:  3-4 minutes


Happy Pride Month!

Here are links to several amazing organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Each one has received a game bundle from The Spiel Foundation

Brooklyn Community Pride Center (NY)

The Center of Wichita (KS)

Magic City Acceptance Center (AL)

Trinity Haven (IN)


Game Quiz!

Resident Quizmaster Erik Bussé has created a special quiz in honor of The Spiel's 400th review episode! Take the quiz at the link below and you could win a fabulous Spiel prize pack:

A Spiel t-shirt, Scopa deck, Spiel dice, and The Birthday Burglary (from Grand Gamer's Guild)



Truckloads of Goober

Hosted by Mark & Garth (The Dicemen Cometh)

Mark's Selection: Etherfields

Garth's Selection: UBoot


Back Shelf Spotlight

Hosted by Brenna Noonan

Brenna's Selection : Scorpius Freighter


Game Night Grab Bag

Players: Daniel Jensen & Darrell Ottery (Eclectic Games)

Daniel's Selections

Letter Jam  |  Awkward Guests  |  Shipwreck Arcana

Honorable Mentions: Mr. Jack: Pocket, Watson & Holmes, Quicksand, Tobago, Consulting Detective

Darrell's Selections

30 Carats  |  Museum Suspects  |  Abracawhat?Honorable Mentions: The Resistance: Avalon, Concept, Fugitive, Cursed Court, Zendo


The Meal

Hosted by Jay Bartelt (Gaming Hoopla)

The Recipe: Wild Rice & Chicken Casserole

¼ cup unsalted butter (half-stick butter)

1 medium – Large Onion (any kind of onion will do),

2 cloves garlic (can substitute garlic powder if desired)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth (recommend lower sodium)

1 cup half-and-half

Freshly ground nutmeg, salt, pepper, spices (optional, see directions)

1 Rotisserie Chicken or two cooked chicken breasts

2 packages (4 cups) Microwaveable Long Grain Wild Rice

½ cup chopped walnuts

You need a very large skillet (14”), a small skillet for toasting walnuts, and a 3 Qt Casserole Dish sprayed with non-stick spray (like Pam spray)


Preheat oven to 425

Cut out chicken breasts from rotisserie chicken, remove skin and tear into bite size pieces.  You can use dark meat if you prefer or mix / match with white meat but in the end you want the equivalent amount of meat of two chicken breasts.

Dice up onion.  You want the onion pieces to be around ¾ inch, pretty large.

Dice up garlic gloves.

Cook each bag of wild rice in the microwave according to instructions and set aside (you can do this while you’re working the steps below)

Use a very small separate skillet and toast the walnuts on low heat until you can smell them getting toasty.  Move them around in the pan – you don’t want to burn them but raw walnuts are not as tasty in this dish.  Set aside when complete.

Melt butter in Large Skillet on medium-high heat, add onion, and cook until the onion is translucent, with some brown bits.  Add garlic and cook for one minute

Add flour and cook for at least one minute, maybe two.  You want to ensure the flour taste is cooked out.  The flour will soak up any butter and adhere to the onion.  So you’ll basically have a dry pan after this with thicker onions that are covered in flour.

Add both the chicken stock and the half-and-half.  Turn heat down to medium.  Stir frequently until the liquid thickens, normally 3-5 minutes.  If you have ground nutmeg, add a teaspoon.  It’s not required but nutmeg and cream sauces go great together.  Tip - A good way to judge the proper thickness is to drag your spoon / spatula along the bottom of the skillet.  If you can see the bottom of the pan and it takes a beat or two before it disappears, it’s probably thick enough.

Add Chicken, all the wild rice and the walnuts – stir until fully incorporated

TASTE IT – then adjust seasonings.  Is it bland?  Add more salt.  You want some zing?  I recommend red pepper flake.  Freshly ground black pepper is highly recommended as well.  This is the difference between an okay casserole and a great casserole.  If you love the way it tastes, cooking it in the oven will make it even better.  If you don’t taste it and just cook it up, you may be disappointed with the results.

Put the contents from the skillet into the 3 QT casserole dish and put in oven.  Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.  You do not need to smooth the top of the casserole before putting it in the oven and recommend you don’t.  Results look rustic and there’s all kinds of nooks and crannies on top that get browned up.  Brown food tastes good.  

You can serve this on a plate with a side salad or fruit and blah blah blah.  Truthfully, you should spoon this into a soup bowl, grab a fork, and dig in.  Save the salad for another meal.

The Game: Notre Dame


Game Sommelier - Part 1

Players: Katherine Rosland & Ezra Denney

Katherine's Selections

Time's Up  |  Mysterium Park  |  Someone Has Died

Ezra's Selections

Sheriff of Nottingham  |  Call to Adventure  |  Funny Friends

Game Sommelier - Part 2

Hosted by: Erik Bussé

Erik's Challenge: Games Connected to Belgian cities

Spa - Formula De

Tournay - Tournay

Ypres - The Grizzled

Hasselt - Ohanami

Ostend - Raiders of the North Sea


Apropos of Nothing

Hosted by Gubbins

The Exploding Whale


Music credits include:

And Your Bird Can Sing  by  Neymar Dias & Igor Pimenta  |  the song

Little Birds  by Carthy, Hardy, Farrel & Youngthe song

Leather Wing Bat  by String Loaded  |  the song