Episode 75: Plan 9

75: Plan 9

Release Date: Mar. 30, 2009

Running Time: 116 min.

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Ground Control to Major Tom. We take to the stars to haul freight for The Man in Galaxy Trucker and then battle through a collapsing star to become the Galactic Emperor.

News & Notes: Yes Button, Catan Geographies, Lexio online, Age of Conan, Kingsburg Deluxe Token
The List: Galactic Emperor, Galaxy Trucker
Table Talk: 
Roll Through the Ages, Ninja vs Ninja

Truckloads of Goober:  Planet of the Apes
Game Sommelier:  5 games to play with Daleks
Mail Bag: Bongo surprise, Cheese Chasers, Spiel calms babies?

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 News & Notes

The Yes Button  Link

A new iPhone game from Aaron Weissblum

Catan Geographies  Link | BGG

The latest game from the Catan juggernaut is set in Germany with a fixed map.

Lexio Online Link 

Matthew Marquand has deisgned an online version of the ladder game Lexio

Age of Conan Link | BGG

In Age of Conan, you control one of the major kingdoms of the Hyborian Age – Aquilonia, Turan, Hyperborea and Stygia. You will build up and use your armies and emissaries, you will enhance your actions with your kingdom cards, and you will try to take advantage of the adventures of Conan to increase the power and wealth of your kingdom.

Kingsburg Deluxe Tokens from MayDay Games Link

Painted tokens shaped like gold bars, wooden logs and blocks of stone

The List

Galactic Emperor Official Site | BGG

Rulers of rival planets struggle to claim the Galactic Throne. Players select from 7 different roles each turn to gather resources, explore space, build fleets, spread influence and battle

Galaxy Trucker Official Site | BGG

The swiss army knife of the game world. Build your ship using tiles. Send the ship on a cargo run and hope you survive to sell your wares.

Table Talk

Ninja Versus Ninja  BGG | Official Site

Two teams of ninjas try to sneak into each other's dojo to score points

Roll Through the Ages BGG | Official Site

A Yahtzee-style civilization building game.

Sponsor Links

Chris Handy, owner of Gateplay.com (or sponsor), has designed two games for the iPhone.

Each game takes 60 seconds to play.

EnterState - touch all 50 states as their names appear on the screen.

Kount - touch all 40 numbers in a grid before time runs out.

Truckloads of Goober

Planet of the Apes BGG

A nice big lever-action cage to trap all the dirty humans.


The Game Sommelier

The challenge: five games to play with Daleks

Risk -  BGG  | Official Site

Wings of War -  BGG | Official Site

Lunch Money -  BGG | Official Site

Liar's Dice -  BGG

Nuclear War -  BGG | Official Site

New Challenge: five games with a whacked-out theme for a "mob" of people (groups of 6+)

Name That Game

An audio visual puzzle this time! Go to the Forum post to listen and see the clues.

Mail Bag

Thanks to repeat donors Mark "Back to Sorry" Weaver and Bill "The Time Lord" Hand

Thanks to Bran McMillin for submitting his print & play puzzle game Cheese Chasers to our Games by Spielers for Spielers forum. Check it out!

Andres Pabon let us know that Tomas, his infant son, can be put to sleep by listening to the show!

Thanks to Mark Taylor for scaring up a copy of Bongo for Dave!


Music credits (courtesy of Ioda Promonet) include:

Victor Imbres - "Super Galactic Space Funk"

Miriam Duncombe & Phat M - "Bossa Supernova"


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


Ok, so I liked Table Talk, but I guess I was expecting something more informal based on the early show teaser / segment name.

Is that how you two chat with each other about games you just played? In quasi review format? :)

We're up to something different with Table Talk, that's true. And we are playing off the double meaning in the title. If that sewed some confusion, whoops.

That said, the emphasis is going to be snapshot mini-reviews of additional games we have been playing.

Since the rest of the show is heavy on informal chats and reviews, we thought it would be good to mix things up and challenge ourselves to keep to a tighter format with the new segment.

As with everything, it's all a work in progress. And we seem to learn best by jumping in and seeing what happens.

Yeah, I know: late to the party. I've been busy. :)

I think it's a misnomer to call it table talk. I don't mind a segment of capsule reviews, but I definitely don't think that "Table Talk" is the right name for such a segment. I do want to know what you're getting to the table outside of what you play for the show, though (after all, it was fun knowing that you hadn't played Caylus and introducing it to you at Origins: it would also be fun the next time I see you maybe at Spiel or BGG.CON to know "oh, you guys have been playing the heck out of Dominion, it'd be fun to throw down at that" or "oh, they haven't played Kronos yet, let's get it to the table with them!").

I'd call it Off the Shelf or something like that, as in a segment about games you're pulling off the shelf to play. It ties in with some of your other segments names a little better and is a much better indication of what the segment is than Table Talk, which implies a lot more interaction and kibbitzing than what you did.

I think the real issue is with the segment intro and not the title and you probably have a valid point there. It sets the expectation for something it isn't.

I'll work on a new one for the next segment. If the intro explains the title, then the title will make sense. Stay tuned.

Your comment about how fun the Galaxy Trucker rulebook is to read made me think of another example of spacefaring rules silliness, (Ultimate) Sucking Vacuum ("Six Astronauts. One escape pod. Two seats. You do the math.") Among its quirks are demanding the players each adopt a silly accent, testily justifying its own obvious scientific inaccuracies and instructing the players to slap anyone taking too long to take their turn- a rule they encourage incorporating into any other game you play to boot. Also given the premise another obvious game for Daleks. The real problem with playing with Daleks is that they're such terrible rules lawyers: "DO-NOT-QUES-TION! O-BEY! O-BEY!"

Absolutely, Sucking Vacuum fits the description as  well.

Case in point, I have yet to play Sucking Vacuum but I have read the rules and they stuck with me for the very reasons Gregory outlines above.


You're right that Galaxy Trucker is one of those games that is hard to categorise (apart from the obvious one of "Fun") - interestingly, more than anything, I think of it as a puzzle game along the lines of Ubongo.

I liked the sound of Chris Handi's iPhone games but did not notice them in the show notes. Although the game of "Enter State" sounded like an electronic version of the pain I get every time I try to set up 1960.... now where does the Iowa state seal go again ?

Yes, I can see how Galaxy Trucker pushes the puzzle part of the brain. The building phase is certainly a visual puzzle and understanding how to balance your ship against the challenges in the cargo run is a mind-bender, too.

Thanks for catching my oversight on the iPhone game links. I have added them to the show notes under the section Sponsor Links.

 Before the good ship SPIEL (Starfaring Players In Exploration of Leisure) vworps into existence in 1920’s Chicago to at long last confront one of my favorite games of all time (it’s an amazing vessel actually; from outside it’s only the size of a game cabinet from the Earth of the early 21st century but once inside it can take you anywhere from the dawn of humanity at the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to the far-flung reaches of a galaxy in need of sewers) and while Mssrs. Coleson and Conway try to settle their argument over which of them is the companion, allow me to add one more science fiction classic to the mix. Some readers may remember the kerfluffle a few months ago in which my fascination with Ludohistory, the study by which the Spiel Foundation predicts the future of a culture based on which games they play (also known as “looking several moves ahead"), led me to be somewhat grumpily protective of the classics and cautious about how they are remade and repackaged. I was delighted then that FFG’s relaunch of the venerable Cosmic Encounter handles this about as well as could have been hoped for, with both gameplay and graphic design that starts with a healthy respect for the original- if you wanted to strip this down and play Eon 1974, you easily could aside from the mildly regrettable omission of the Laser- and then brings it up to lightspeed with new bells and whistles and promises of things to come.

Indeed the art here is as gorgeous as the art for the newest Family Business is- ick. Strange that they changed its look again so soon; baffling that they changed it to that. Ah well, it’s a thin line between a gris and a grouse.

Cosmic Encounter is a classic by any measure or time and/or space.

I'd love to give the new edition a go since it has been ages since I have played.

Was Eon similar to the pared down edition done by Mayfair called Simply Cosmic? There was a period where it was the only version in print. Now *there* was a reason to grouse.

I know it's odd but I've never played either of the Mayfair editions- (my first exposure was weirdly enough the almost forgotten West End Games version, The initial Eon set before any of the expansions was, if memory serves, simply the basic encounter deck before the introduction of flares, and about 20 alien powers- which is still, as the FFG rules acknowledge, possibly the best way to teach new players. Almost all of those original aliens are back again and only old players like me will grumble about the missing few. One more silly rule by the way- while used copies CE were forbiddingly pricey and disappointed with the rather humorless AH/Hasbro take, I cobbled together a homemade set using the only rules I could find online. This was the French edition (Rencontre Cosmique, which is just fun to say) which advises that while two players are trying to negotiate a deal within 60 seconds, the others should feel free to loudly sing rude songs along the lines of "What a pair of silly geese."  Not sure if that's in the original rules, but I like it.