Episode 44: Finger Flicking Good

44: Finger Flicking Good

Release Date: December 10, 2007

Running Time: 90 min.

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ep 44

Crack your knuckles and loosen up. We knock heads and little plastic men in our first Subbuteo Table Soccer match and then twist our fingers into pretzels balancing little foam balls playing Handy. Arthritis here we come!

News & Notes: Dicecapades, Robot Martini deal, Knucklebones Magazine for sale
The List: Subbuteo Table Soccer, Handy
Name That Game: Win Tumblin' Dice Jr. from Time Well Spent
Backshelf Spotlight:
Twister, Crokinole
Truckloads of Goober:
Battleground: Crossbows & Catapults
Game Sommelier:
Five game expansions that improve/enhance the original
Mail Bag:
Secret Santa, Poll results, Stephen's "research" skills

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Game News & Notes

Dicecapades Official Site | BGG Entry

Can you stack six dice on top of each other within 30 seconds? Who can be the first person to roll a triple? Can you name as many state capitals as your roll? Know what arachibutyrophobia is? Arachibutyrophobia??? DICEcapades isn’t just the luck of the dice - it’s the smarts of the roller!

Robot Martini Holiday Sale Robot Martini Site

The fine folks at Robot Martini are offering their entire selection of Sushi and Atomic Sushi games (11 in all) for $40. Great small gifts for the holidays!

Knucklebones Magazine For Sale Knucklebones Site

Jones Publishing is selling off Knucklebones Magazine. They started taking offers December 1. Also, I have an article on game related podcasts in the March issue (which could be the last).


The List

Subbuteo Table Soccer BGG entry | (see other links below)

Sixty year old finger flick football simulation game popular around the world. Also covered in Truckloads of Goober in Episode 19: Cold Fusion .


Subbuteo Videos

Subbuteo TV Ad from 1960s Modern Subbuteo TV ad Subbuteo Collector/History on Gloria Hunniford Show St. Louis Subbuteo League 2006 Midwest Major Highlights

Subbuteo Links from Adrian

Subbuteo 365 World Table Soccer
Subbuteo World
Federation International Sport Table Football
American Subbuteo Association
World Retro League
Little Plastic Men
Table Soccer USA
Subbuteo Start4All

Subbuteo Forum
Vintage Subbuteo
Peter Upton's Subbuteo


Handy Official Site | BGG entry

Come one, come all to see the amazing Handy game! With your teammates, hold balls between your fingers while more and more balls are added to the "hand tree." Can you hold steady long enough to win? Don't drop the balls -- and win!


Backshelf Spotlight

Mystery Connection Contest
Can you find a connection between these two games? We find a mystery connection each episode and challenge you, the listener, to hunt for it! Post your guesses to the Forum . Find the connection and you could win a pair of coveted custom Spiel Dice!

spiel dice

Congratulations to Bruno Depascale our winner for episode 42!

Twister BGG Entry | Official Site

Left foot on red! We also learn who Johnny Carson played Twister with live on the Tonight Show.

Crokinole BGG Entry | Mr. Crokinole

Invented by Canadian Mennonites in the late 1870s, Crokinole has all the great features of shuffleboard with extra obstacles, a smaller board, and collisions!

Truckloads of Goober

Battleground: Crossbows & Catapults BGG Entry | Official Site

Flick little discs at your opponent using an amazing array of medieval armaments.


Game Sommelier

The Challenge: Find five game expansions that enhance or improve the original game AND find at least two game expansions to avoid.

Stephen's List

Dave's Vote

Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes Thumbs Up
Lord of the Rings: Sauron Thumbs Up
Mare Nostrum - Mythology Expansion Thumbs Up
Seafarers of Catan Thumbs Up
Mississippi Queen: Black Rose Thumbs Up
Expansions to Avoid
Haunting House: Second Story
Dicemaster: Wilds of Doom
Expansion to Wait for Omnibus Edition
Gipf Project Sets

Next Challenge: Find five game to give as gifts that you guarantee will be re-gifted or returned.

Mail Bag

Thanks to donors David "Dunwich Horror" Neumann and Scott "The Shogun" Loeffler!

Special thanks to Carlos "The Puzzler" Hernandez for the super cool secret santa gift: Piratenbilliard , one one o fthe d100 (sky's the limit price) games mentioned in the 2007 Holiday Gift Guide!

Michael Leibig and a legion of others corrected my mistake on describing when the point is turned ON or OFF in craps.

Tony at Surprised Stare games sent me a very amused note giving me the real story behind Coppertwaddle. So much for Stephen's vaunted research skills! Here's the disclaimer I missed!


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


I'm hoping that you'll bring subbuteo to Origins... I've wanted to try it for so long.

Another dexterity game you may be interested in is Taktika. It's a flicking war game that I tried out at BGG.CON. You have different disks with different powers that attack different ways. If you like flicking games, I think you would like it. It definitely takes more skill than Crokinole (which is still my favorite).

Taktika: http://www.gizmet.com/games/taktika.html

Mark Wilder(a.k.a. JoeyHemlock)
Chicago IL

We'll need some fences to keep my little guys (or the ball) from flying all over creation, but I'll throw Subbuteo in our bag o' tricks next time we come to Origins, for sure!

Taktika looks interesting, too. Does that poker chip fantasy game Clout have a dexterity element to it? It looks like it should...

You say Crokinole doesn't take much skill? Really? I must just be really bad, then! I can knock out my opponent's discs, but I always end up knocking out mine, too.

Just wanted to chime in on Clout Fantasy, it is a dexterity game. You actually flip / toss the chips from a couple feet away onto a playing surface. I notice the demo tables always have a nice felt surface, I'd worry about tossing poker chips onto just a bare table. The pieces interact and have special features when they get within a certain range of each other.

I kind of enjoy the game, although I can't seem to get my friends to play it. I think it'd be a good convenion game, because using a hotel bed as the playing surface works great! And it's such a small and fast game, that it works great on the go.

I also love crokinole, but am awful at it...I believe I have shared my "Scott Norwood of crokinole" story before.

Fantastic to see Subbuteo getting some love. There are those of us, of a certain age, who grew up with this great game and I have to admit to some surprise that there is actually a rule booklet. I don't remember ever seeing one of these.

My dad has an old set from around 1950-something. In those days you just got the 2-D players (which you mentioned) and a piece of chalk for marking out the pitch on your table (none of this namby-pamby felt stuff).

I have my eye on it as a family heirloom along with an ancient Mah Jong set which appears to be ivory (it's very old and predates the realisation that ivory was a rather distasteful trade).

Funnily enough, I bought my son a Subbuteo set a few months back so that I could relive my youth (there are loads on eBay for anyone who is interested). I posted a couple of pictures on my blog at the time:


Now then - what is this mythical 4-4-3 formation that Stephen mentioned ? Did he have 12 players on the pitch (you don't count the goalie in the formation count) ???

And while I'm at it - 2 hours and only 3 goals ????
Were the teams booed off the pitch by the plastic crowd ?

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

In my day, we played Subbuteo with two salt shakers and a rotten orange. And we liked it!

I suppose you'll mock me when I tell you that I actually ironed our pitch before playing to get out all the creases?

Does your son enjoy playing Subbuteo with you, then? You didn't say if he liked the gift or if you are left flicking solo.

Yeah, yeah, ok, I meant 4-3-3. Seems like I open my mouth and the errors pour forth. As badly as my defense played, I needed the extra guy!

3-0. For soccer, I thought that counted as a regular extravaganza of goals! Dave made at least four diving saves to keep me off the board, too. At least in American football the scores can have double digits. Heh.

It's fairly common to iron the pitch before play but I don't bother with my son - we like it to be like his normal boggy Sunday morning pitch.
He loves Subbuteo but, as we play on the floor, a lot of his team are suffering from severe injuries (crushed under his clumsy knees).

Yeah, 3-0 would be an ok score in a real game of football but when you've been playing for 2 hours I'd expect far more !

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

Give him a break Steerpike! Down 3-0 he had to pull out the goalie and make a desperate play for a score.

This episode was a lot of fun. I got Pitchcar for my birthday this year, and am finding flicking games fun for all types.

Subbuteo sounds like a blast. Steerpike's version even incorporates an important war game feature - terrain. Keep your defenders on the high ground for that important advantage! (see the pictures in his blog for clarification)

It's funny that you should mention the terrain - it's not just subbuteo that suffers from these features.
My son played in an under-10s match last week and the pitch was so uneven that the boys were not playing in their traditional positions of "attack", "defence" and "midfield" but in the new positions of "valleys", "ridges" and "bogs"

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

I totally agree. Dexterity games can often be great equalizers and allow a huge age range of players to have fun together and with everyone having a legitimate shot at winning, too.

We bought a Kineti-Go board at last year's GenCon and we have pulled it out for family parties with lots of little cousins and old folks and everyone had a blast.

Hi there!
It was interesting, that you tried subbuteo,

Oxy, thanks for the Tipp!

The game looks really fun. I love the mechanical action kickers. I found a video on the official site that gives a great overview of the game and how the little figures are made. I'll definitely be adding this to my wish list. :)

Here's a link to the video:


Hi Stephen,

interesting video. Hadn

Good episode, even though I would suck at all these games as:
- I never was fast of reflex
- I now have arthritis in my hands (it is teh suxxors to get olde)

Note to Steven and Dave: In 2003 the Texans beat Carolina, Panthers go to the Super Bowl. In 2006 the Texans beat Indianapolis, Colts win the Super Bowl.

Therefore, you have to root for the Texans to beat the Colts next week.

Yes, I can see where the big A would make these games not so much fun for you. Maybe Subbuteo just needs a designated flicker rule.

Nice try with your pigskin logic, but if memory serves, the Panthers lost the Super Bowl. That means it's a 50-50 proposition if we lose to the Texans. I'll take my chances and fly in the face of those odds. As I say on The Horseshoe, my Colts haiku podcast:

Fortune always stands with the big blue 'shoe.

Francie and I returned from a holiday gathering with Dave and Roberta this evening and I found a package on our doorstep.

It was a copy of Tipp-Kick, complete with goals, deluxe vinyl layout, timer, little kicker dudes, and goalies who dive to the left or right when you push their buttons. Holy cow! What a cool surprise. I've been flicking and kicking the little soccer balls all over our pool table ever since I opened the box. Our cat, Pip, has already taken a shine to chasing the soccer balls, too.

Our Tipp-Kick benefactor remains nameless since there was no note included with the package. Rest assured, we'll roust you out eventually and give you the proper thanks you deserve. For now, I'll cast my net wide and issue a hearty thanks to everyone who listens. You certainly made this Spieler's day.

Maybe it was just a prop, but did your guys actually roll multiple 6 sided "spiel dice" to pick a name off a list to award a prize to?

I know your guys have played Settlers, so you should understand the bell curve...

Yep, you've seen through our audio illusion! The multi-dice roll sounded better than the single thud of the 30 sider we used to determine the winner in this episode. Sometimes we draw names from a hat on slips of paper but we usually end up with a number of winners that we can dig through our dice collection and use an appropriate single die roll to determine the winner.

Price Meeplehouse insures that our drawings are statistically fair and above board. :)