Episode 425 - Mid-Season Round Up

Release Date: June 30, 2023

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  228 min

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS

We finish the first half of Season 18 with a flourish - a variety show jam-packed with quality conversations and plenty of fun and games!

First, we give you a peek behind the scenes with a rousing discussion of our game evaluation process and the criteria we use with our award programs.

Then, we feature five different segments!

A Game Night Grab Bag with the amazing Chris Goodlet (The Charity Boardgamer). Our challenge? 3 games everyone will want to play multiple times in an evening.

In TARDIS Games, Doug introduces us to another big game in a small box.

Francie Broadie joins us for The Meal  with a delectable recipe and game recommendation.

Flickin' Around is Bruce Voge's love letter to dexterity games. This time we learn all about Klask.

Last but certainly not least, Mike McMann gives us a report from Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio - filled with lots of games (new and old) and maybe a few martinis...

Thanks to all the wonderful Spielers who made this episode happen. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did putting it together.

Game Night Grab Bag

Special Guest

Chris Goodlet, aka The Charity Boardgamer. Check out all his fun content, having fun and helping others, here:  YouTubeTwitch  | FB  |  Instagram  | Twitter

The Challenge

Three games that everyone would want to play multiple times in one evening.

Chris' Selections

Blood on the Clocktower | Scout  | Green Team Wins

Stephen's Selections

FUSE  | Tumblin Dice Strike 


Regicide | Badgers from Mars  | BGG Entry


The Meal

Thanks to Francie Broadie for joining the fun this time.

Stephen  |  Recipe: Shrimp Burgers |  Game: La Boca

Recipe: Shrimp Burgers (from The Kitchn)


  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 small green or red bell pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or Old Bay
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoonsunsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Directions


  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment as you complete it: Cut 1 small shallot into quarters. Cut 1/2 small green or red bell pepper into 8 pieces. Quarter 1 large garlic clove. Pick the leaves from 10 fresh parsley sprigs.

  2. Add 1 teaspoon of the Creole seasoning and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 4 (1-second) pulses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

  3. Cut 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp into 1-inch pieces, add to the food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped, 4 to 5 (1-second) pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (Alternatively, finely chop all the ingredients by hand until no larger than 1/4-inch pieces remain.) Transfer to a large bowl.

  4. Juice 1/2 small lemon until you have 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice to the bowl with the shrimp (reserve the remaining for the sauce). Add 1 large egg and 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs. Mix with a spatula until combined.

  5. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape each into a 3 1/2-inch wide patty (about 5 ounces each). Arrange in a single layer on a plate or parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. 

    Sautee in a pan with oil or butter or grill until golden brown on each side, 4-5 minutes. Center should read 120 degrees F.

Game: La Boca |BGG Entry


Doug  |  Recipe: Cold Corn Salad  |  Game: Twice as Clever

Recipe: Cold Corn Salad (from All Recipes)


2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 avocado, diced
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
¼ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, or to taste
1 green onion, green parts only, thinly sliced
1 drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
salt and ground black pepper to taste


Mix corn kernels, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, onion, cilantro, and green onion together in a large bowl.

Add a drizzle of olive oil. Squeeze lime juice into the bowl and season with salt and pepper.

You can add some heat with finely sliced jalapeño, or sweetness with blueberries. Easy to play around with to make it your own!

Game: Twice as Clever |BGG Entry



Francie  |  Recipe: Mushroom Patties

Francie & Stephen | Games: Tiddledy Winks, Mushroom Mania

Recipe: Mushroom Patties  (link to recipe from thekitchn)


2 eggs
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup quick oats
2 scallions, chopped (whole scallion - white and green parts)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add mushrooms, oats, scallions, cheese, salt, salt pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.

Using your hands, form the mixture into 8 patties 1/2 inch thick.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Sautee the patties in batches if needed until each side is crispy and brown (approximately 3 minutes a side).

Serve patties warm as a side or entree. Great for breakfast lunch or dinner!


Game: Tiddledywinks | BGG Entry

Game: Mushroom Mania | BGG Entry


Flickin' Around with Bruce Voge


Origins Report

Thanks to Mike McMann for being The Spiel's eyes and ears at the con this year. Here are the games Mike mentioned  in the segment

Battletech: Succession Wars | BGG Entry

Endeavor | BGG Entry

Artemis Project | BGG Entry

Thera | BGG Entry

Tribes of the Wind | BGG Entry

D&D: Onslaught | BGG Entry

Diplomacy | BGG Entry

Gaslands | BGG Entry

Thunder Road: Vendetta | BGG Entry


Interstitial music credits include:

Tell Me Why  | The Big Ben Banjo Band  |  the song

Paperback Writer  | The Big Ben Banjo Band  |  the song

A Hard Day's Night  | The Big Ben Banjo Band  |  the song

Yesterday  | The Big Ben Banjo Band  |  the song

Norwegian Wood  | The Big Ben Banjo Band  |  the song