Episode 363 - Holiday Party

Release Date: Dec. 21, 2020

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   225 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS


Join our party of misfit nerds for fun, games, and freewheeling conversations spanning the wide world of geekdom.

We hope you'll be in a festive mood for the season after being part of some Grade A goofing around.


Francie Broadie (Indianapolis, IN)

Stephen Buonocore (Boynton Beach, FL)

Allen Chen (Cupertino, CA)

Alex Despres (Arlington, TX)

Suzie Despres (Arlington, TX)

James Engelhardt (Greenville, SC)

Gubbins (Indianapolis, IN)

Jeremy Piets (Midway Point, Tasmania)

Debbie Ohi (Toronto, Canada)

Darrell Ottery (Reading, UK)

Jeff Ridpath (Toronto, Canada)

Lucio Rodriguez (Riverside, CA)

Katherine Rosland (Stavanger, Norway)

Kristof Tersago (Sint Truiden, Belgium)

Mark Smalley (Indianapolis, IN)

Mark Wilder (Chicago, IL)


Debbie Ohi provided the fun and festive artwork for this episode! 

You can watch the party on Youtube here!


Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Cast of Characters     


Francie Broadie

Francie Broadie lives in the padded cell with her partner in crime, Stephen. She loves cats, knitting, folk music and makes beautiful beaded jewelry.


Stephen Buonocore

Stephen is a hobby game entrepreneur, game media personality, and game industry veteran. Founder of Stronghold games (now retired), Stephen is the Podfather of Gaming. His passion for games and building the gaming community is legendary. Other hobbies include a deep interest in craft beer, wine, and space exploration. 

The Podfather of Gaming

Allen Chen

Allen has been goofing off with Stephen since high school. If it was nerdy, these two were neck-deep in it. He's a lifelong lover of games, from the classics to the modern.

Allen works and lives in Silicon Valley and enjoys traveling the world with his wife Pei Fang and his two sons Peyton and Bryson.

He's a car nut and spends weekends driving in timed rally races whenever he can. And he's an avid fan of the Colts & Pacers.

Alex Despres

Alex Despres is an aviation engineer and project manager in Fort Worth, TX. He has been an avid gamer since a chance encounter with Axis and Allies on a picnic table in the woods in the late 80s. Alex is always ready for an 8-hour strategy game but will also get down with party and dexterity games.

Suzie Despres

Suzie Despres enjoys board games, knitting, and drawing. She has been playing board games since age 5 when she started playing Spiel des Jahres winner Rummikub. She likes drawing and knitting so much that she has created five related coloring books.

They can be found here "Blank Hanks: A Coloring Book for Fiber Lovers: Sarah, Suzanne: 9781540394163: Amazon.com: Books"


James Engelhardt

James Engelhardt wrangles words at Swamp Rabbit Editorial and Mountain Page Press (an indie/hybrid publisher). You can find him at game tables or in the woods around Greenville, SC, where he sips beers and reads books with Laura Morris and a pair of old lady cats. 

Swamp Rabbit Editorial  |  Mountain Page Press


Gubbins Boffin is rarely seen and those who have seen him think it is best kept that way.

Gubbins loves co-op games and is eagerly awaiting the chance to play Pandemic Legacy: Season 0.


Debbie Ohi & Jeff Ridpath

Debbie Ohi & Jeff Ridpath share a passion for fun whether through games or books or art or music. They live in Toronto.

Jeff is a technology development specialist for the Glenn Davis Group.

Debbie is an artist, writer and musician. 

Debbie's site  |  

Darrell Ottery

Darrell Ottery and his wife Becky own Eclectic Games, located in Reading, UK. They manage the shop with help from their feline companions. Darrell enjoys a pint, a nip of scotch and is a wizard at social deduction games. 

Eclectic Games

Jeremy Piets

Jeremy "The Bellmaker" Piets can be found in Midway Point, Tasmania where he lives with his wife Julianne and their two children aged nine and five. Jeremy's greatest wish is for his backyard to miraculously de-jungle itself, but failing that there's always a good game and a pear cider on hand. After all, the kids aren't going to learn those games by themselves.

Lucio Rodriguez

Lucio Rodriguez was once a mild-mannered scientist until the day he was bitten by a radioactive writer. He now fights crime on the mean streets, spinning yarns wherever he goes.

He is a husband and proud father of two girls. He is aboard game fanatic and long time friend/fan of the show.

You can new stories from Lucio on Saturday Morning Serial.


Katherine Rosland

Katherine Rosland is from Stavanger Norway.  You can find Katherine and her husband Geir Harald rocketing across the countryside in Serenity, their Tesla.

They are both active in the LARP community in Norway and active volunteers with their local gaming group and convention.

Alea Jacta Est

Mark Smalley

Mark Smalley is an avid gamer, reader and is a huge fan of roller coaster and theme parks. He also has a huge crush on game designer Tom Lehman.  His pal Henson (a Chihuahua) is an avid listener of The Spiel. And one day, little Darwin might be, too!

Tom Lehmann's web site

Kristof Tersago

Kristof lives in Sint Truiden, Belgium. He's been a good friend and listener to The Spiel for over a decade, helping us to orchestrate a documentary film shoot in Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels and Hasselt. 

Kristof is a lifelong player and collector of games. He's also a lover of Belgian beer and Genever. He's an accomplished chef and enjoys using his Weber grill any chance he gets.

Oberonn Game Store  |  Spellenspektakel


Mark Wilder

Mark Wilder is a 74 year old woman trapped in the body of a middle aged Chicagoan. Mark loves contract bridge, opera, and his lovely bloodhound Roscoe. Mark has a small photography business and runs Operahound, a site listing all opera performances in Chicago.

Operahound  |WilderPix Photography

Roscoe's web site  | Roscoe on Instagram


Miscellaneous Links

Costco Beer Advent Calendar

Coscto Wine Advent Calendar

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

The Secret of Santa Vittoria

Auchentoschen Blood Oak Scotch

Darth Vader Nativity

Stranger Face Masks


Things We Love 2020

Jeff's picks

The Long Way Round, The Long Way Up, The Long Way Down

Debbie's picks


Oculus Quest


Gurple & Preen

Kristof's picks

Game Tek

Weber Pellet Smoker

Board Game Arena

Mark Wilder's Picks

The League for the Suppression of Celery

Comedy Sportz Zone - CZSN

James Acaster

Trading Cards for Pets (use spielparty code for 15% discount)

Katherine's Picks

Come From Away

Tin Minchin - Upright

Home for Christmas

The Graveyard Book

Le Havre


Journeys to Middle Earth

Allen's Picks

Your Name

Taiwanese Snacks

Lucio's Picks

Spirits of the Forest

A Fisherman's Tale

Shades & Shadows

Doug's Picks

Game of Thrones: Hand of the King

Gubbin's Pick

Pandemic Legacy: Season 0

Francie's Picks

The Bear & the Nightingale

Hollow Kingdom


Somebody Feed Phil

Never Not Gnoming

Imagined Landscapes

Mark Smalley's Picks

Return of the Obra Din

Mark's Board Game Puns

Ezra's Picks


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Annie Lennox

12 Days of Xmas - Bob & Doug McKenzie

Quests & Chaos

Keep The Game Moving

Alex's Picks

How To - John Wilson


Suzie's Picks

Mad Libs

Bring Your Own Books

Thumbs Up Pens

Jeremy's Picks

House of Games

Top 5 Holiday Songs

1. A Space Man Came Traveling

2. White Wine in the Sun

3. Chiron Beta Prime

4. The Stowaway

5. Stop the Cavalry

James' Picks

Fun Taste in Games

Christmas Carol D&D Adventure

This Game is Broken

Darrell's Picks

The Monsters Know What They're Doing


Grumpy Goat