Episode 281: Holiday Party


Release Date: Dec. 22, 2017

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   2 hr 36 min

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS




Robot cheetahs, dentures, musical failure, D&D resources, pooping Amazons, and board games galore. 

Join our party of misfit nerds for a festive, freewheeling conversation spanning the wide world geekdom. Most of all, be ready to laugh! A lot.

Guests: Debbie Ohi (Toronto, Canada), Jeff Ridpath (Toronto, Canada), Darrell Ottery (Reading, UK), Daniel Jensen (Linkoping, Sweden), Stephen Buonocore (Somerset, NJ), Doug Richardson (Gresham, OR), Ezra Denney, (Alameda, CA), Lucio Rodriguez (Riverside, CA), Beth Heile (Chicago, IL), John Knoerzer (Chicago, IL),  Mark Smalley (Indianapolis, IN), Gubbins (Indianapolis, IN), and Francie Broadie (Indianapolis, IN)! 

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Cast of Characters

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 is the owner and President of Stronghold Games.

Stephen organizes several gaming groups, and is most passionate about heavily thematic, American-style boardgames.

Stephen is also a fan of Sci Fi and fantasy, and an avid craft beer enthusiast and former homebrewer.


Noted wallflower Ezra Denney is a theatre nerd, power forward, lifelong gamer, Giants and Warriors fan. He works in the non-profit sector. He plays games at a regular meet up in the Bay Area where all are welcome.

Alameda Board Gamers

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 currently savoring Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

Beth Heile & John Knoerzer are part of the BGG production crew. 

BGG livestream archive

Beth is an assitive technology expert for special needs students. 

John is a licensed clinical social worker.

John's web site

Daniel Jensen is an accomplished Go player, a rhyme smithy and The Spiel's Swedish intern. He's the man behind the scenes who helps us keep the show running, especially during convention season. He's a fan of He-Man and and avid comic collector.

Swedish rhymes

Swedish Go Association


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

Eclectic Games

Doug RIchardson is an actor, driver and professional game explainer. He loves good beer, good food and loves baseball (especially the Giants). He and his wife Patty live in Gresham, Oregon. And he's close friends with Lyle Otterbein.

Portland Board Game Meetup

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

Where Are My Books?

Sam & Eva

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.

Tom Lehmann's web site

Lucio Rodriguezed 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.


Beverages & Snacks

Manhattan - Makers Mark bourbon, Antica Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

Beer - Captain of the Coast

Scotch - Balvennie 12 year, double wood

Whiskey - Grand Thorougbred Single Cask

Grandpa Lundquist's Christmas Soda

Beer - Black Ops

Lemon Curd & Scones

Bacon Vodka

3% milk

Gingerbread cookies (Pepparkakor)

Bookers (avoid when possible!)

Games We Love That You Might, Too

Strike (reviewed on Episode 223)


Purrrlock Holmes

Rajas of the Ganges


Codenames: Duet (reviewed on Episode 278)

Time Stories: Expedition Endurance


Terraforming Mars

Photosynthesis (reviewed on Episode 276)

Hunt for the Ring

7th Continent

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

Miscellaneous References

Parlor Games - Deep Fun

The Wuzzles


Amazing Acrocats

African serval

Serval roaming the streets of Reading, PA

Amazon pooper

Finlandia wine and beer glasses from Gouda

Make your own shot glasses out of cheese

Oreo flavors

Big Yella

The Ruby Rod of Asmodeus

Don't Torture A Duckling

Cockroaches and robots

Waterloo Teeth

Oyster vending machines

The Christmas Price Index

Swedish Rhymes (Julklappsrim) Link

Special Thanks to Daniel Jensen for providing the rhymes!

Junk in My Trunk



Radio Quiz Shows From Which We Borrowed Games

Ask Me Another

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!

Whad'ya Know?

Things We Like 2017

PBS Space Time

Wendover Productions

Sheep n Sheep

Emperor's Choice

99% Invisible

Stuff You Should Know

The Orville

7 Wonders App

Ready Player One

Blade Runner 2049

Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

Terraforming Venus

A Gentleman in Moscow

Lady Trent book series

A Pretty Mouth

Kingkiller Chronicles

Column of Fire

Electric State (soon to be a movie!)


Music credits include:

Frosty The Snowman  by the Dukes of Dixieland  |  the song

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town  by Paul Bley  |  the song

Mr. Santa's Boogie  by The Marshalls  |  the song

Jumpin' at the Toy Shop  by Elliot Lawrence & Orchestra  |  the song

Christmas Time is Here  by NRBQ  |  the song

Jingle Bells by the Capitol Studio Orchestra  |  the song

Jingle Bells  by Mexicali Brass  |  Christmas with the Mexicali Brass


There may be some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!

Not a goof but partial VINDICATION! The peanut gallery accused me (Stephen) of explaining the rules wrong on Bluff the Listener. I, in fact, explained the rules correctly... (2 true one false, pick the false one) HOWEVER Lucio asked for a clarification shortly after and I didnt correct him, so ultimately it's still my goof. :)