Episode 34: Bullet Barons

34: Bullet Barons

Release Date: August 6, 2007

Running Time: 97 min.

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ep 34

Click, Click, Boom! Our nerves of steel are put to the test playing Russian Roulette in Kablamo! and bidding for a coal powered empire in Industria.

News & Notes: Walk the Plank, Gen Con plans (Spiel-a-thon!)
The List:
Kablamo, Industria

Back Shelf Spotlight: Roma, Babel
Truckloads of Goober: Arbos
Notes from the OCD: Collecting series, Storing games, Shuffling
Mail Bag: Dice article, Iron Sommelier, Parsec Award Nomination

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Game News & Notes

Walk the Plank link

Nifty new trump game where you must take a trick or you walk the plank!

Gen Con Plans

Spiel-a-thon (Sponsored by Rio Grande Games)

When: Friday, August 17

Open gaming 10 AM - 7 PM

Spiel-a-thon: 7 PM - midnight

Where: Omni Hotel, Fischer B Room (map)

Come meet us, play Rio Grande Games, and win fabulous prizes! When we heard Rio Grande was not going to have a booth at Gen Con this year, we asked them if they wanted to team up so our listeners and the gaming public could still get a chance to play.

From 10 AM to midnight, you'll have a chance to play the latest and greatest Rio Games from Europe and beyond! We'll arrive at 7 PM with a lineup of contests, prizes! It is sure to be a fun time and I hope we'll see lots of you there!

Podcast Panel: The Game Review

Friday, August 17, 3 PM Location: TBA

We will discuss our game review process with a fun group of podcasters.

Podcaster Party

Saturday, August 18, 7 - 9 PM

Where: Hyatt Hotel (map)

Paul Tevis of Have Games Will Travel has organized an informal mixer for podcast hosts and listeners. Dave has to work, so it will just be Stephen in attendance. Come by, have a drink and a chat, and maybe even a game or two.

Late Night Gaming

We hope to do as much pick-up late night gaming as we can throughout Gen Con. We'll probably set up camp somewhere near the open gaming rooms in the convention center in the wee hours of the morning. Look for us there!

Come Say Hello!

Don't be nervous or intimidated. We want to meet you and know who's listening! We're just two dorks with microphones. If you spot us at the con and you say "Truckloads of Goober!" to us, you just might win a cool prize!

Name That Game

Congratulations to Carlos Hernandez and Simon Wilcock for solving the Name That Game puzzle in Episode 33!

Time Well Spent is now sponsoring the game giveaway for Name That Game! The prize for this epsiode is a copy of Jenseits von Theben. Sweet!. Thanks to TWS and remember, supporting our sponsors helps support us, too!

If you have a puzzle you'd like to hear as part of Name That Game, send it in !

The List

Kablamo! Link

Fill your revolver, spin the cylinder, flip your bullet token and hope you still have your head whne the dust settles!

Industria Link

Funky auction mechanic parcels out technologies that form the basis for the Industial Revolution and beyond.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Roma Link

Dice based 2-player game where you scramble not to lose your victory points faster than your opponent

Babel Link

The meanest of all the Kosmos 2 player games by far! Build your temples up by knocking your opponent's down.

Truckloads of Goober

Arbos Link

Build a tree out of wooden tubes and leaves from a wobbly wooden base


Notes from the OCD

Tips for collecting games in a series

Questions about storing games, cards, and shuffling.

Mail Bag

Dave Shapiro has written a well-reasoned treatise on dice and randomness in games.

David Reed suggests doing an "Iron Sommelier" segment (a la Iron Chef) and have a listener challenge one of us to find five games for the Sommelier challenge. Great idea, David!

We have been nominated for a Parsec Award . How cool is that? Thanks to whoever nominated us!

Send in your own Spiel promo mp3 and we'll work it into the show some time. "I'm X and you're listening to The Spiel!"


We forgot to update our count on The List . I knew we would forget something! We added about 10 new games from Origins, but we played 2 off The List. So the current unplayed count stands at 154.

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


When you announced the winner of the previous contest, I was quite sad that it wasn't me, however, I was even more disappointed when you didn't list off some of the foreign or obscure games that people had suggested to Time Well Spent. I was curious what the top 5 or 10 most suggested games might be.

Great idea, Sefton!

I'll have to get that information from Jared at Time Well Spent, since that particular contest was had all the listeners sending their suggestions directly to him. I'm sure he'll be happy to share the import suggestions, so look for them in an upcoming episode (most likely the one after Gen Con!)


First, how about adding a "Notes from the OCD" to the show segments area of the forums?

Second, the card shuffling techniques you described have the following names:
- taking the cards and scrambling them face down on the table is called "washing" in the US.
- grabbing blocks of cards from the top and bottom of the deck and dropping them on a pile is called "stripping"

Most poker shuffles are to wash the stub, the muck, and the burn cards somewhat, do two riffles, do a strip, a do a riffle, and cut the cards. When a new deck is brought in, the wash is very thorough.

Again, great suggestion (and long overdue!), echack!

Here's a direct link to the new forum.

I didn't have the shuffle terminology on the tip of my tongue when we taped the episode, so thanks for correcting that oversight with your the shuffling vernacular lesson! I am a student and enthusiast of magic (abracadabra) and magic history, so card shuffle terms and moves are familiar to me. I just had a brain freeze during the show. :) Stupid brain. A storehouse for useless information, but never when you need it!




Great to see the mighty Babel under the spotlight even if you did mangle the rules a little in your explanation:

a) although you need three consecutive tribe cards to activate their special ability you only discard one of the three (making it possible to use them for double whammies)

b) Once any one player has hit the 15 point mark then the game ends when either player dips below 10 or makes it to 20.

I trust that the connection does not hang on either of these misunderstood points.

We don't stop playing games when we get old...... We get old when we stop playing games

Glad we have someone to catch our occasional manglings!

You are correct that the connection does not hinge upon my stupidity or you'd all be in trouble!

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