You are hereEpisode 69: Spicy!

Episode 69: Spicy!

69: Spicy!

Release Date: Dec. 22, 2008

Running Time: 100 min.

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Itadakimasu! With chopsticks in hand and sake cups full, we dig into Wasabi, a tile laying game between rival sushi chefs. Dave also reports from the Obsessive Collector's Desk on card and dice organization.

News & Notes:  Tigris & Euphrates, Princes of Machu Pichu, Evil Vendetta Pie Fight, Qwirkle Cubes, BGG App for iPhone
The List: Wasabi!
Notes from the OCD:
Card and dice storage tips
The Year in Review: a look back at our favorite moments of 2008

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 Game News & Notes

New Edition of Tigris & Euphrates  Official Site | BGG

The Brand new edition of this strategy classic includes a double sided board and 4 new civilization tiles.

Princes of Machu Pichu  Official Site | BGG

When the Spaniards conquered the Incan Empire, only a few princes managed to flee into the mountains. Well-hidden high above the river Urabumba is a place the Spanish would never discover: The lost city of Machu Picchu. But beware! Is there a traitor among the princes, ready to reveal the location of the secret city to the Spaniards?

Evil Vendetta Pie Fight   Official Site | BGG

In EVPF, you're all evil magic-wielding nightmares from the human psyche and you hate each other's guts. Your union won't let you actually hurt each other, so the only way to settle this like, well not like men, is to have an…Evil Vendetta Pie Fight.

BGG App for iPhone Official Site | BGG

Ryan Christianson's follow up to the Score application is BGG, an app the hooks into Board Game Geek and allows you to access information about your board game collection, record plays, and much more.

Qwirkle Cubes   BGG

The latest game from IdeaDuck and Mindware is a dice-based variation on the smash hit Qwirkle. In stead of drawing tiles from a bag, each player has a set of dice they can re-roll during the game in hopes of coming up with a better combination of symbols and colors.

The List

Wasabi Official Site | BGG

Sushi chefs compete to display their talents by completing as many recipes as they can before the board fills up with ingredients. Those who finish recipes with style receive wooden wasabi bonus cubes.

Notes from the OCD (Obsessive Collector's Desk) 

Dave gives a detailed account of his methods for organizing and storing his card games and his massive dice collection.

The Year in Review

We take a look back at 2008 and highlight some of our favorite moments, memorable games, and tease you with some plans for next year.


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

I said we had 14,000 unique visitors per month. I meant 1,400. What's a decimal place among friends?

Thanks to Denny Yori for correcting my bad spelling of the Japanese expression which means "Let's eat!" It's the first word in the episode description: Itadakimasu!

sconway's picture

I got a pack of wasabi flavored gumballs for xmas. Perhaps I should use these in place of wasabi cubes the next time I play...

xofour's picture

Okay, feel free to call me a snob.  But to be honest, Wasabli is not at all what I expected. I looked at it, and thought  eehh cooking game, maybe auction game, but honestly, it's sushi how interesting could it be?  Then I heard you guys describe it.  My first response was "hmm sounds kind of like colosseum" which you mentioned.  But much simplet and more complex.  It sounds like a wonderful stepping stone game to get a person to colosseum.  The question is how to get them  past the cover/title.  It's worth a try though, it sounds easy to grasp, but fun to play.

Steerpike's picture

funny - it's the cover and title and theme that attracts me to this game.

but then, like Stephen and Dave, I am something of a Wasabi lover.

sconway's picture

I know sushi is not something that makes everyone salivate, but I think the art and theme help the game far more than they hinder it.

Sushi is food raised to a form of art and I think that can be appreciated by lots of folks who might not ever care to give it a taste. I think the game captures some of the artfulness in the preparation of recipes and simply the way the game board looks when it is laid out at game end.

xofour's picture

I really like sushi as a food.  I just had not been able to picture it in my head as a game.  I generally try to be fairly open to theme, or lack of theme (abstract, etc).  But this one kind of stumped me.  Now that I've seen pictures & learned about it.  I agree the theme is cool, and the mechanics fit.  Probablly better than colossal arena.  I mean, putting together ingredients to make a recipe just makes sense.  Maybe I just had to get over the whole "playing with your food" taboo.  Anyway, as I said it does sound groovy, and I hope to get to play it someday.  And that is why I appreciate your show so much.  It exposes me to games that I hadn't concidered, or heard about. 

Steerpike's picture

(dare say I'll be corrected on my spelling too)

So I am now satisfied after a nice Spiel meal. Wasabi sounds great - funnily enough I played Colosseum, for the first time, the day before listening to this episode and I kept thinking "hey, that sounds familiar".

Interesting to hear about the new version of T&E. Trouble is, I'm not sure it's worth the investment for those of us who already own the original (as well as the card game). But if anyone does not have it they should pick it up RIGHT NOW.

I'd like to see them produce the two player 'Nile variant' as an expansion map. That would be really cool. Perhaps using the same principle of TTR Switzerland or the Power Grid maps.

Loved the OCD section although do fear for Dave's mental health sometimes.


sconway's picture

If you have a dog-eared copy of Tigris & Euphrates that could use a replacement, I'd say the new version is worth investing in. Otherwise, I think you're right. Better to save $$ for others.

I don't think I have ever played T&E with the Nile variant. Hmmm. Have to give that a go sometime.

We all fear for Dave's sanity, I think. Even Dave himself. When Carlos was here to visit a couple weeks ago, Dave took great delight in pulling out the dice trays for games with specialized dice. Of course, we made it into a game and tried to name all the games just from looking at the dice. That was great fun!

Steerpike's picture

The Nile variant is a two player map put together by someone on BGG.

You can actually play the variant, by email, on the BGG website (as well as the original version) so if you're up for it I'll give you a game. Offer is also open to any other members of the community we call SpielTown :-)

oh, and it's your turn in Go, by the way...... 

J Moody's picture

How is the out of the box version with 2 players? Every once in a while I try and fill my collection with some great looking multiplayer game, but they never get played.

Steerpike's picture

I'm not a big fan of T&E 'out of the box' with two. The board is too big and conflict is limited. There are some options on BGG for reducing the board size but none of them seem satisfactory to me.

(Having said that I know that some people are more than happy playing it with two. It just doesn't work for me)

The Nile Map puts increased emphasis on the farmers (blue tiles) and causes conflict as a result. I highly recommend it.

Also, I find T&E the card game ('Conquest of Kings') works well as a 2-player. Better than its big brother in that respect.

sconway's picture

Sure, I'll give the Nile board a try. Let's start next week since my brain is addled at the moment. Deal? Heck I can't even remember to place a stone in our Go game (playing on Facebook).

Seriously, I thought it was your turn! Simon has been schooling me at Go (playing on Facebook). Very much a student/master experience. I'm learning a lot, but I play most pieces and then think "D'oh, that was a dumb place for that one!"

Steerpike's picture

It's a deal. I'll set a game up next week and email you the password.

[anyone else interested in a game?]

Now play your stone, grasshopper.

xofour's picture

I have never played, Tigris & Euphrates, or even known anybody who owns it.  So, I know pretty much nothing about the game, except that it seems to be popular.  It sounds like it's something I should research.  The problem is I've lost my regular group of serious gamers. So I'm back to playing lighter less difficult games casually and sporadially with friends and (mostly) family.  So how tough, or thinky is it?   Cause I'm reluctant to buy a game that I won't get to play.

Steerpike's picture

Interesting question and difficult for a Tigris nut like me to answer objectively.

The rule book is not that big (about four pages but glossy and full of pictures) and actually the ruleset is fairly simple and elegant. However, the game itself does seem to come across as counter-intuitive to a lot of people so I think it's fair to say that it can be difficult to grasp.

Some people even complain that, once they do understand the rules, any sort of strategy (or even 'what shall i do with my two actions' ?) is even more inscrutable. It is well worth the effort but probably not if most of your games are casual with your friends.

I would recommend reading the rules on BBG and then trying out a game there (they have a very nice pbem interface) before buying. I'm happy to play a learning game there if you want.

xofour's picture

That's a really nice offer.  I will probably totally take you up on it.  the totally was to denote enthusiasm, but it also works as reassurance that I won't take you up on your offer and then stop playing halfway through because I got distracted by a shiny object.   Thank you  very much.  The four page rule book does sound incouraging.  I will find some time to read the rules on board game geek and get back to you with all my rules questions.

xofour's picture

I think I understand the game now.  I think I am ready to try a game.  It looks like it will be very interesting.  but I don't htink I will give you much challenge.  Still would be happy to try a play by e-mail game if you are still willing steerpike.  And thank you.

baychang's picture

We need pictures of Dave's insanity! Not that we need proof, but so we can really understand the depths of his madness. I must see the dice trays and card cases!


sconway's picture

Dave's off to Disneyworld this week, but when he returns, I'll see if I can get him to post some new pictures to the gallery. Here are some of his actual game collection. These are outdated a bit and don't give you a sense of the whole space, but you will see his card house on the shelves and the last pic is his dice tray unit.

I was traveling for the holidays and didn't get to listen to this one until the end of the holidays (and just in time to download the next one!). I'll have to remember to get you to play more games with me at Originis and BGG.CON next year Stephen: I only got to play Calyus, Groo (during which I was mostly forbidden from speaking) and No Thanks with you this year!

At any rate, I also wanted to mention something about Princes of Machu Picchu. On the last day of BGG.CON I got to play this with fellow listener Tim (who also played No Thanks with us late the evening before) and while you and Dave do have the idea right, it's worth pointing out that there's no real collusion with the Spaniards per se: the game ends one of two ways depending on whether or not they invade, but (other than playing for that ending) there's no actual siding with them. If they invade then there's an extra part of scoring that comes into play (based on the gold you've collected, whoever sucks up to the Spaniards best gets bonuses), and you can try to make that ending happen, but it's not necessary for anyone to try for it to happen anyway. The game "clock" is them invading. My Mom gave this one to me for Christmas and I'm itching to get it onto the table again soon: I made what seems to be a fairly common scoring mistake on my first play and really want to get it right (FWIW, when scoring goods, the multiplier is the number of Incas you have on the space, NOT the number of goods you have in front of you!! Even when you're told this people tend to forget it on the first play).

sconway's picture

I agree, jsciv, we'll have to get more games in next time we meet. Budget is going to be tight this year, so I'm not sure how many cons we'll be going to. GenCon for sure, BGG con is almost a done-deal. Origins is the one that's iffy for us.

Thanks for the clarifications on Machu Picchu. Despite the gaudy art, the game itself looks very interesting. Let us know what you think after a few more plays.

J Moody's picture

I ordered my early bird badge for Origins last week, but in order to save some $$ I am going to be hotelling it north of town. I spend so little time in my room, the $120+ per night was too much, especially since you pay for parking either way. Just a little experiment - I can get a room 15-20 minutes away for $50.

joeyhemlock's picture

If you don't go to Origins, I'll cry. You don't want me to cry, do you? I'm your nemesis, but I still have feelings.

sconway's picture

Tears are NOT very nemesorial? I think I just made up a new word...

I know Dave is out for Origins again this year due to his theatre schedule. As soon as I get a clear picture of my finances, I'll let you know if you need to bring your hanky to Columbus.

J Moody's picture
I have only played three times - simultaneously for the Gamescape tourney. I would like another shot at the game - I think I went into the first three with too many of my wargame switches turned on. Bah - this was supposed to go up under the T&E discussions.
xofour's picture

How many people can we play Steerpike?  Can we have a whole spiel of a good time with pbm T&E?  It could be tons of fun & a bonding experience.  Just like the time we all went to the supermarket & played hide & seek in aisle six. 


Anyway, I totally like the thouht of the more the merrier if possible.

Steerpike's picture

well the game will seat four so....

hop over to BGG, look for the game called "to spiel or not to spiel" and come right in.

the password is "goober"

i'm travelling with work most of this week so it may be a little slow start :-)

J Moody's picture

So the big question now is...

Will our game still exist in the latest state when BGG comes back up. I have been waiting to take my turn... :)

xofour's picture

Oh no.  I hadn't even thought of that.   Although, on the other hand perhaps starting over would not be a horrible thing for me.   Still I would rather not start over, I think i'm almost figuring some of what i'm doing out.

Steerpike's picture

Talking of Sushi themed games, I had the pleasure of playing "Sushizock im Gockelwok" today.

Kind of Yahtzee meets the Sushi chef.

Anyone else played this little morsel ? I really enjoyed it.



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