Episode 64: Vox Populi, Vox Ludorum

64: Vox Populi, Vox Ludorum

Release Date: Oct. 6, 2008

Running Time: 112 min.

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The voice of the people is the voice of games. Populism rules the day. We pander to the Roman public for seats on the council in Municipium and follow up with Gridstones and Gubs, two titles by new and independent game designers.

News & Notes:  New World, IGA Winners, Turricula, Timber Tom
The List: Gridstones, Municipium, Gubs
Name That Game: Win Difference Between Women & Men
Backshelf Spotlight:
Battle Line, Mutant Chronicles
Truckloads of Goober: Animal on Animal
Game Sommelier: 30 games for senior citizen centers
Mail Bag:
music sellout, the goal die returns

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 Game News & Notes

The New World: A Carcassonne Game  Official site | BGG

This Carcassonne style game begins on the east coast of America in the Colonial era. As they explore westward, they build towns, farms, paths, and compete to score more points than the others players. As exploration moves to the west, players who are slow to complete the features they have started will find themselves left behind - with no points!

International Gamers Award Winners Announced Link

In the general strategy (multiplayer) category the winner the 2008 IGA was awarded to Agricola. In the 2-player category, the winner was 1960: Making of the President. Congrats to all involved!

Journey to the Center of the Earth BGG |Official site

Descend deep into the interior of the earth, as you lead the three adventurers from Jules Verne’s classic novel: Professor Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel and their guide Hans. Begin your amazing journey with entry through the crater of the dormant Icelandic volcano Snaefells. Explore a dense forest of giant mushrooms, traverse a turbulent underground ocean, before you are hurled out of an Italian volcano to return to the earth's surface.

Ancient Dice Towers - Turricula German | English translation

Really interesting article on ancient dice and dice towers (turricula). Thanks to Michael Edwards at Board Game Geek for posting a link on the forums.

Timber Tom Official Site | BGG

Divided Market in Korea and planned economics in China are sure to make these boards a great challenge.

The List

Gridstones  BGG | Official Site

Pattern matching, pattern making game. Add or subtract stones from the board to match pattern cards in your hand. First player to make matches with all the cards in their hand wins the game. Elegant and deceptively strategic.

Municipium  BGG | Official Site 

Players are each in control of a powerful family and try to strategically place their family members in the various institutions throughout the municipium and gain the support of the citizens; Scholars, Merchants, Soldiers, Priests and possibly even the Praefect.  At various times in the game, if a player has the most influence in an institution, the player can exert the power of that institution and gain the support of certain citizens. 

Gubs  BGG | Official Site 

GUBS is a card game of wit and luck. Using a single GUBs deck, up to 6 players of nearly any age can enjoy a fast-paced, often hilarious game in which all sorts of creative card combinations are possible. To win, you must be the player with the most Gubs on your side when the game ends.

Backshelf Spotlight

Mystery Connection Contest
Can you create a connection between these two games?
Post your connections in our forums and you could win a set of custom Spiel dice! Remember the more left of center your connection, the more likely you'll get our attention.

spiel dice

Battle Line BGG | Official Site

Two opponents face off across a 'battle line' and attempt to win the game by taking 5 of 9 flags or 3 adjacent flags. Flags are decided by placing cards into 3 card poker-type hands on either side of the flag (similar to straight flush, 3 of a kind, straight, flush, etc). The side with the highest 'formation' of cards wins the flag.

Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel BGG 

In Mutant Chronicles, you control one of five corporations: Imperial, Cybertronic, Mishima, Capitol, or Bauhaus. With your own unique expertise, you make decisions and plan your strategies. Each successful mission brings you to a new one with a different Citadel layout and different events that can help or hinder you in battle. Each promotion gives access to more powerful weaponry! The strike on the Nepharites is beginning! Grab your Punisher Shortsword and your Plasma Carbine and make your mark in the Mutant Chronicles!

Truckloads of Goober

Tier auf Tier (Animal on Animal)  BGG 

It's not what you think. It's a nice, very clean game of animal stacking fun. 29 wooden animals from penguins and hedgehogs to frilled lizards and alligators.

 Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 25 games to assemble bundles to donate to senior citizen centers. After the success of the Spiel-a-thon, our plan is to compile the best possible list of games to donate to senior centers. And we want your help! Dave will start the challenge, but we need your input to make the list reflect the best that the wide world of games has to offer!  Feel free to email Stephen with your suggestions!

Dave's List

Dave's Vote

Classic Games  


Mah Jongg
Mexican Train Dominos

 Non-Gamer Games
 Apples to Apples
 Box of Golf
 Cloud 9
 Incan Gold
 On the Dot
Say Anything  
Gateway Games
Battle Line
Gang of Four
Jenseits von Theben
Lost Cities: The Board Game (Keltis)
Mystery of the Abbey
Pillars of the Earth
Settlers of Catan
Thurn & Taxis
Vegas Showdown  

Next Challenge: 5 games to play around water (pools, on a boat, etc.) tha't won't get ruined if they get wet.

Mail Bag

Thanks to donors Allen "The Praefect" Tabor

Larry "The Mimix Mendel accuses us of selling out. Apparently Nadine Velsquez likes our theme music, too.

Matthan in Virginia helps spread the myth of The Goal Die. He found one of his own!


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



LOL!  You think there were less correct entries for last week's contest because the puzzle was harder?  I don't think that was it...

Pardon my savage ignorance, but in what way is "Moo" a barnyard observation ?????

And if you take off the tail of 'No' Theatre don't you get 'N' ?

Clearly I am not thinking laterally enough, as the Poe reference and the tail cutting were the only bits I got. (Lye ? Is that Bleach ? not sure we have that over here).

And I wanted Crocodile Pool Party so bad as I've heard it's Tom Vassal's favourite game :-)

The word "observation" is used here in the sense of a verbal comment made upon one's surroundings, so this makes sense i.e. "Moo", observed the cow.

And No theater is frequently spelled Noh, so that's passable as well.

I remain curious about CPP, actually. I love a lot of games that most online critics despise and vice versa. Whatever happened to the Kosmos cage match, D&S? That would make for an interesting second marathon episode and let us get an idea of what some of the more obscure titles are like.

That's definitely the angle we were going for with the barnyard observation. Steerpike wasn't channeling his inner bovine...

I don't think I've seen Noh Theatre spelled No. Wonder if that's an Americanization.

Crocodile Pool Party certainly isn't going to win any awards, but it's a perfectly pleasant little game, especially for kids. I think the danger is comparing all the Kosmos games in that series and expecting them to fit into one category or level of play or complexity. Take on its own, CPP has its place.

You're totally right we're waaaay behind on the Kosmos Cage Match. The past 6 months has been just crazy busy for both of us (with non-Spiel things mostly), so our play time has been more limited than usual. I'm starting to get my head above water now, so I'd certainly like to return to it. Dave was pondering trying to get some of the missing (and more obscure) Kosmos games to fill out his collection.

Sumimasen - Every reference I have seen to No theatre is spealt without the 'h' (and that includes a number of internet sites). I'm pretty sure my copy of Shogun uses the 'English' spelling as well.

Of course, you can spell it how you want, as it has been transcribed from a different character set, but it's an interesting observation ("Moo") that this transcription is different between the UK and US.

At least we can all agree on the correct spelling of  Wasabi and Sushi. Two Japanese words that should unite us all. Gochisosamadeshita !


ps my inner bovine is still undigested from the last time I visited Indianapolis

A thought about this came to me the other night as I was sitting at my computer reading this. A small, particularly irritable-looking mouse suddenly leapt onto my keyboard. Having had enough strange Saturday nights to take this sort of thing in stride I just started discussing the issue with him. "You know," I said giggling a bit, "a Kosmos match really should take place in a Kage!"

"Uh huh", said the mouse skeptically and began to rummage about his diminutive person for something.

"And match- why it doesn't begin to convey the drama of the thing!" I continued, warming to my subject and leaping onto the desk, upsetting my beverage. "It needs more intensity!"

"Do tell," replied the mouse, pulling a large red brick from whence I could not tell.

"I've got it! I've got it! It's the Kolossal Konway and Koleson Kosmos Kage Klash!" I exclaimed.

"You know," said the mouse. "You're not the one I was looking for, but you'll do." Whereupon, he promptly creased my skull with the brick, showing a surprisingly powerful arm for a mouse. I couldn't type this until I regained konsciousness.

L'il. ainjil.


Are you implying we are slow with our cage match? 

I can't imagine why... It's only been 2 years! Thankfully, we are reaching a period where our schedules are not so crammed with other things and we'll be able to squeeze some more rounds in soon.

Did the Romans fail to leave soap behind when you kicked them out?

I can't recall meeting any particularly smelly British chaps, so you must do something!


yes, we have soap but we call it, erm, soap

(actually we have a great many gamers who don't know what soap is, but that's a different story).

Doing a little internet surfing it would seem that lye is what we would call 'caustic soda'. Maybe lye is something that my parents may have called it (or even my grandparents) but I am unsure whether it is in common usage on this side of the pond anymore.

I've heard of Monopoly, though.

What I want to know is did Dave have to put the stones back in the bag, then the small box, then the full box when he cleaned up?

Sadly - yes.