Episode 95: The Unusual Suspects

95: The Unusual Suspects

Release Date: Feb. 1, 2010

Running Time:  99 min.

Listen Now:

Download: Enhanced Version - MP3 Version

Subscribe via iTunes: Enhanced - MP3

See sidebar for other subscription options


Elementary! We don our deerstalkers and our treasure hunting boots to play Tobago and Epäillyt, two deductive reasoning games.

News & Notes: Gary Gygax Auction, Spielbox Magazine, Forbidden Island, Asteroyds
The List: Tobago

Table Talk: 
Back Shelf Spotlight:  Attacke/Ivanhoe/Gem Dealer
Game Sommelier:  5 games that can be made of food and still be playable
Mail Bag: 
Food game suggestions, Games with Hayden

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 News & Notes

Gary Gygax Memorabilia Auction   Link

An auction at GenCon this year will help fund a memorial statue in Wisconsin to honor Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons.

Spielbox Magazine Mulls an English Edition Email Spielbox

Send a note to Knut-Michael Wolf with the subject line yes to show your support for an English language version of this great gaming magazine.

Forbidden Island Link | BGG

A new co-operative game aimed at younger players, designed by Matt Leacock (designer of the co-op classic Pandemic)


Asteroyds Official Site | BGG

The latest game from Ystari is a space-themed race through a constantly shifting asteroid field.

The List

Tobago Official Site | BGG

A fun deductive reasoning game where you hunt for treasure by "telling" the treasures where they will be found.

Table Talk

Epäillyt Official Site | BGG 

Edvard Falk has been murdered in the middle of Senate Square in Helsinki. It's up to you to find the three suspects who brought about his untimely end.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Attacke (BGG) - Ivanhoe  (BGG) - Gem Dealer  Official Site | BGG 

A game with three lives and counting! First published as Attacke, then as Ivanhoe and most recently as Gem Dealer.

The Game Sommelier

Dave's new challenge: 5 games that can be made of food and still be playable





Roll Through the Ages

Inspired by the 100 Game Cupcake Game. 

Next challenge: 5 games that fans of the winning Super Bowl team would love to play

Mail Bag

Thanks to all the listeners who sent in great food/game recommendations for Dave.

Check out Junkyard Races at the Gen42 Games booth at the Nuremberg Game Fair in Hall 10.00 Stand C-01.

Games with Hayden!


Game Design book recommendations

A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster

The Art of Game Design:  A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell

Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton

Moves in Mind: The Psychology of Board Games  by Ferdnand Gobet


Music credits (courtesy of Ioda Promonet) include:

"Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" by Sathima Bea Benjamin - buy the track

"English Murder Mystery" by The Lucksmiths - buy the track

"It's Mystery Music" by Flamingo Crash - buy the track

"Scene of the Crime" by Hot Little Hands - buy the track

"Your Crime" by Pilot Jazou - buy the track


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


Someone may have already pointed this out: you missed the new Days of Wonder game, Mystery Express! 


I wasn't aware of Mystery Express until after we recorded the show.

It looks very interesting!

Hey, it's been over a year since I started my subscription! Doesn't that count as another donation? I need to get back to the top of the list! :)

Another great episode. I have hardly played many boardgames this year because I've become obsessed with bridge. I'm always reading about it and occasionally playing it, too! It'd be a great game for a 12 hour long Backshelf Spotlight. :)

Thanks for the reminder on your subscription! I don't have an effective way (or haven't come up with one) to keep track of subscribers who keep their subscriptions current from year to year. Any suggestions?

I've been mulling over a classic card game episode sometime in the near future. I've been itching to try Skat and Dave has never played either Pinochle or Bridge. I would definitely call you in for consultation for the Bridge segment if you want to help out.

 I'm not sure I'm going to be able to play Go again without getting hungry. 

Interesting to hear about the Attacke series - I've played Ivanhoe a few times and didn't realise that it was a reprint of an older game. It felt to me like a stripped down Taj Mahal. 

I might actually be able to defeat you at a game of Go since you might be tempted to eat your own pieces. Heh. Hard to do in an online game, though...

I've played Ivanhoe and Gem Dealer. I wouldn't have made the connection with Taj Mahal, but now that you mentioned it I see it.

Hayden keeps bugg'n me to buy Twilight Imperium or how he calls it.... "Twilight Perium"...  shoot you guys are punk rockers..

-Mark Teeter

We are more like punks than punk stars, but who's counting? :)

I think Hayden should skip "Perium" and go straight for Die Macher, if you ask me.

 I would love a classic card game episode. You really should do one a year. I'd be more than happy to share my limited bridge knowledge with you as well. It really is a fascinating game.

I have an Austrian colleague who told me about some games he likes that I've read up on and would also like to try (Sixty-Six is one that I remember off of the top of my head), and I'd be willing to learn and teach it to y'all. You may also remember Durak, the Russian game we played at Origins. Hopefully I can make it down to visit y'all in March/April timeframe. 



I think that's a noble goal: one classic game episode a year (at least one). You're on! Would be fun to have a classic game referesher or introduction: do bridge, pinochle, mah jongg, skat, sheepshead, euchre, you name it.

It might also give me outlet for the extra research on games as I prep for the video series. So often as a writer I end up with a metric ton of research but much of it doesn't end up in the final script/story/whatever. Yet these backroads always lead me to cool information or ways of looking at things that do. The Spiel as repository for orphaned game research. I like the sound of that! :)

Another great show guys.  It seems Tobago is the new hot game!  Of the many gaming podcasts I listen to half or more have covered it in the last two or three episodes.  You did a fine job with your coverage.  Forbidden Island - I cannot wait for this one.  A thirty minute Pandemic that my kids will enjoy sounds like the ticket to me.Thanks for brining  Epäillyt to our attention.  It sounds fun.  And Ivanhoe sounds like one I would like too.  Games with Hayden is great.  The Sommelier was kind of weak though.  Thanks for the game design book titles.  I should pick a couple up.  For episode 100 you should do a fans only episode.

Thanks for the fun.

Go Forth And Game,


Thanks for the kudos, Tom.

Tobago is  certainly worthy of the attention being lavished on it. Give it a try and see what you think.

I thought Dave did  nice job with his Sommelier selections. Creative and (mostly) tasty as well! Do you have additional food/game suggestions for us? 


Hope the link works, and I hope you haven't said it (running behind as usual...I'm getting to this episode this week), but if not.  It's a Chocolate Edition of Trivial Pursuit.  Basically, each candy is wrapped in a foil wrapper that had 3 questions on it.  You get the three questions right, you get the candy.  Most right at the end of the night gets the chocolate medal! Pretty good chocolate as well, if I may say.


Very cool, Scooter! And delicious to boot. Not a bad combo.

I sort of wish the questions were imprinted on the chocolates, though. Might ad to some hilarious answers. :)

1. Hayden has company and the more the merrier say I. I recommend tracking down the board game vodcast/website "Downtime Town", because everything sounds more exciting through Robert Florence's maniacally accented burr. The word "belter" is weaving temporarily through my vocabulary and the "dramatized reenactment"  in the Cosmic Encounter segment is worth the mouse click alone. Intriguingly, he claims that it will not only be a review show but a progress report on his own game design.

2. The customer service from Ystari Games, which I have to give a public shout to in gratitude for patiently helping to resolve things so that I can finally discover that Ys is indeed another solid entry in the most consistently artful line going these days. I can't quite put my finger on it but there's something distinctive about their work that stands out even in the crowded landscape of the day. If I persuade one person to go out and buy something with their label on it, it's the least I can do for the last week of emails.

3. My breast pocket copy of The Compleat Hoyle, always kept next to my heart in case I should find myself potentially embarassed at court by forgetting one the finer points of Piquet. (At least one princess has still not forgiven me for questioning her veracity on the subject.) Hadn't been for my beloved rulebook, that arrow would have gone right through my heart.

Dave needs to work on his French.... :)  When I heard these two names, I shuddered....

Frédéric Henry:  FRAY-day-ric on-REE

Guillaume Blossier: ghee-YOME blo-see-AY  (Not GOO-la-may!)


Clearly Dave didn't watch Benson (Robert Guillaume)

We each have our own note sheets while we record. Usually we don't look over each other's sheets.

Maybe now I'll have to take a gander at the names on Dave's! I had no idea Dave was even trying to pronounce Guillaume until you pointed it out. Wow! A quick read through of names is in order before the recording session from now on!

That, or we can just point and chuckle at Dave... :)