You are hereEpisode 59: There and Back Again

Episode 59: There and Back Again

59: There and Back Again

Release Date: August 4, 2008

Running Time: 147 min.

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Mordor or bust! Each year we allow our listeners to program every segment of one show. This year's episode features an in-depth look at War of the Ring, a strategy board game pitting two players in a struggle to rewrite the history of Middle Earth.

News & Notes: Elementalis Expansions, Games by Spielers for Spielers
The List: War of the Ring
Name That Game: Win Knowbody Knows, courtesy of Uncle Rez Games
Backshelf Spotlight:
Ploy, Chinatown
Truckloads of Goober: Broadsides & Boarding Parties
Game Sommelier: Seven games to match the seven deadly sins
Mail Bag:
Subbuteo on the DS, School Library Journal Article, Galactic Emperor

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.


Game News & Notes

ElementaliS Expansion Link 

The latest free expansion to the strategy dice game ElementaliS, Guardians and Luminaries is now available. You can download the expansion for FREE by following the link posted above. This expansion will be included in the upcoming ElementaliS Expansion Pack, which will include printed versions of all 3 expansions plus an updated rulebook.

Games by Spielers for Spielers Link

We are starting a new section to our Forums. As the name implies, Games by Spielers for Spielers will contain print-and-play games created by other Spiel listeners. A hearty round of thank yous go out to our first two designers: Ken Maher (Roaches) and Tim Brown (Hex Dice). The generous gentlemen are offering up their games to all players for free. Each game will have its own forum, so feel free to post comments or session reports there. I am certain Ken and Tim will welcome the feedback.

Spiel-a-thon: August 15 Link

Come play the latest greatest games from Rio Grande Games and help us launch The Spiel Foundation August 15 at GenCon. Full details for the event are listed here.

The Prize pool for the Spiel-a-thon is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to generous donations from: North Star Games, Bandai, Z-Man Games, Paizo Publishing, Out of the Box, Fundex,, and Rio Grande Games.

The List

War of the Ring  BGG | Official Site

Long in the making, this massive game based on J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings allows players to experience the dramatic events and epic conflict that occurred before the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth.The War of the Ring allows players to not only control the military might of Men, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, and the forces of Sauron, but also Tolkien’s legendary characters, making the fateful decisions of the Fellowship of the Ring or guiding the dreadful servants of Sauron as they hunt for the ringbearer.

Backshelf Spotlight

Mystery Connection Contest
Can you create a connection between these two games?
Post your connections in our forums and you could win a set of custom Spiel dice! Remember the more left of center your connection, the more likely you'll get our attention.

spiel dice

Ploy BGG

Ploy is the stimulating space-age strategy game. The object--to eliminate the opponent's Commander or all of his forces. Since pieces only move along paths in line with the indicators radiating from their centers, the strategy lies in knowing when to move and when to rotate a piece to change direction. For 2 or 4 players. Bookshelf case contains four sets of spacial playing pieces, futuristic playing board and instructions.

Chinatown BGG | Official Site

New York in the 1960’s. A new wave of Chinese immigrants is moving into Chinatown. The adoption of the new immigration act has launched the district in a demographic boom! It now reaches Canal Street to the north and Bowery Street to the east. The immigrants, hard-working men and women, are arriving by the thousands to buy buildings, establish businesses and fulfill the American Dream! In this game, you are one of them. With all your savings in hand, the Big Apple is up for grabs! Will you know how to use your talents and acquire the most extraordinary fortune in America?

Truckloads of Goober

Broadsides & Boarding Parties  BGG | Official Site 

Avast, Matey, prepare to be boarded. Two GIANT pirate ships maneuver for the best position to take the other to a watery grave.


Game Sommelier

The Challenge: Seven games that correspond to the seven deadly sins. Mark "The Nemesis" Wilder has added and extra challenge. For every thumbs up I receive from Mark, he's going to donate $5 to the Spiel Foundation, our new charity fund to donate games to children's hospitals and senior centers. Mark is also going to come up with his own list of 7 games. For every game we match, he will also donate $5. That's $70, potentially!

Stephen's List

Mark's Vote/Pick

Greed - Ca$h-n-Gun$
Thumbs Up / Diamant
Lust - Mr. Jack
Thumbs Up / Antler Island
Gluttony - Hey! That's My Fish
Thumbs Up / Hungry Hungry Hippos
Wrath - Fury of Dracula
Thumbs Up / Diplomacy
Envy - Hoity Toity
Thumbs Up / High Society
Sloth - LCR
Thumbs Up / Power Grid
Pride - Shadows Over Camelot
Thumbs Up / Thebes

Next Challenge: Five games a person with two broken arms (after a freak trumpeting accident) could play without needing to touch his/her pieces.

Mail Bag

Thanks to donors Michael “Goa Head Make My Day” Potts, Christopher “Portal of Power” Onstad, Timothy "Lidless Eye" Stellmach, Ben “The Brick” Tichy, Brad “Cosmic Encounter” Brooks

Michael Jordal wrotes in to tell us about a Subbuteo game for the Nintendo DS! Very nifty!

For those interested, Stephen is on X-box Live (gamertag: fighting squid)

James Stubbs has a great article about introducing new players to the wider world of games posted at the School Library Journal. He runs through board game analogs to popular video game genres from fighting games and sports games to strategy games and rpgs.

Thanks to Samuel Williams who sent Dave an email as a witness to back up my claims that I did indeed play Caylus at Origins. 

David Siskin from Playa del Rey CA sent in a great session report from a new science fiction game, Galactic Emperor by Crosscut Games. Cool mix of politics, economics, exploration and space battles. And extra cool goober!  David says it feels leaner meaner version of Twilight Imperium only about 2 hours to play. The fine folks at Crosscut have sent us a copy so we're looking forward to cracking that puppy open for sure!


I'm sure there are some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!


Ha! Yes, that's so incredibly true!

I've just been listening to this episode and wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed the extended discussion of War of the Ring. I listened to some parts twice and I've added the game to my Wishlist as a result of this. I'll definitely be picking it up very soon, although with a newly discovered love of Descent, and Arkham Horror still to try, my gaming group may not get to it immediately.

sconway's picture

Thanks a bunch, Tufty!

It was a big challenge to condense the 7-8 hour experience into something that would make sense and (hopefully) be entertaining. Whether you get to it now or later, I think you're in for a treat with War of the Ring.

Well after a long busy spell I'm finally getting to catch up on spiel episodes. 
I liked the 7 sins game sommelier challenge and most of the choices, BUT... how could you not even mention Bacchus' Banquet for the gluttony choice?  It's even subtitled "The Glory and Gluttony of Rome".  Apparently all you do in the game is eat and drink extravagantly... I'd say this beats out hungry hippos! ;-)


sconway's picture

Perfect choice, for sure, Dmitri!

I was only vaguely aware of Bacchus' Banquet until I saw it at GenCon. Not only does it fit the challenge perfectly, but it looks like it would be a really fun game, too!

Win Junk In My Trunk!


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