Episode 115: The Stars, Our Dicetination

115: The Stars, Our Dicetination

Release Date: Nov. 15, 2010

Running Time:  117 min.

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Deep space is our dwelling place. We grok the new dice game Alien Frontiers, racing to set down roots on a strange new world.

News & Notes: Die Burgen von Burgund, The Games Bible, LED d20s
The List:  Alien Frontiers
Back Shelf Spotlight:  Net Runner
Game Sommelier:  5 games to play with a friend recovering from surgery

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

Die Burgen von Burgund Link

The latest game in Alea's numbered Big Box series.

The Games Bible Link

Hundreds of diversions for every social situation under the sun!

Critical Hit Light Up LED d20 Link

Roll a 20 and this die lights up. That is 17 kinds of awesome!

Hasbro Shelves Heroscape Link

Heroscape has been discontinued, despite a large and active fan base.

Hasbro Announces Battle Cry Anniversary Edition Link

A new version of the Richard Borg classic with twice as many scenarios and new art.

Spiel-a-thon 2010  Register Now

Friday, November 19  1:00 - 4:00 PM

BoardGameGeek Con Dallas, TX

Irving Lecture Hall DFW Westin

The 4th annual fundraiser for The Spiel Foundation is coming soon.

We're looking forward to a great event full of fun and games.

The List

Alien Frontiers Official Site | BGG

Roll and place dice combinations to gather resources and launch colonies before your fellow spacefarers can claim more territory than you.

Authors/Titles Mentioned

Asimov: Foundation, Caves of Steel

Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles, Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, Farenheit 451

Burroughs: John Carter of Mars , At the Earth's Core

Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh MIstress, Time Enough For Love

Herbert: Dune

Lem: Cyberiad, Solaris, His Master's Voice, Fiasco

Pohl: Gateway, Heechee Rendezvous, Mars Plus

Van Vogt: Slan, The World of Null-A, The Voyage of the Space Beagle

Back Shelf Spotlight

Net Runner BGG

An old-school Collectible Card game that combines creative game mechanics with a great cyberpunk theme.

Play In-Person  Link

Play Online  Link

The Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 5 games to play with a friend recovering from surgery




Chicago Express

Ricochet Robots

Next Challenge: 5 games to pair with movies for a game/movie night

Mail Bag

David "Gooberhound" Siskin's GeekList Link

David assembles an ongoing "watch-list" of game titles each year. His taste in games reaches far and wide, so his list is a great way to keep up with titles both hyped and obscure!

Congrats to Brian Mayer! Link

Brian won 2nd prize in the Interational Game Photography contest held in Cordoba Spain!


Music credits (courtesy of IODA promonet) include:

Star Lounge  by Denis Rusnak  buy the track

Sci-Fi and The Moonburners  by The Greaseballs  buy the track

Sci-Fish  by Flow  buy the track

In the Stars  by John Daly  buy the track

Stars  by Tamarind  buy the track

Headful of Stars  by The Black Sorrows  buy the track

Stars Fell on Alabama  by Harry Allen  buy the track

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


I want Alien Frontier so bad. I wish I had a time machine and I could go back and sign up for Kickstarter when the opportunity arose.

I "umm"ed and "ahhh"ed at the time (postage costs were so high) but now I live in regret. It sounds awesome.

Interesting question around whether building ships is a must. I liken it to Roll Through The Ages - I've been playing in a competition online, over at Yucata.De, and I've tried out a few strategies where I do not go for lots of cities but just focus on building stuff fast with the limited dice.  The accelerated game end conditions for 5 developments mean that you can 'go out' before other players have finished building their uber-dice pools.

Maybe there are similar possibilities in Alien Frontiers. If only I had a copy to try it out on.


Hey, great show and kudos for covering Netrunner. Still my favourite CCG. 

Where so many others games were just Magic rip offs, Netrunner was a distinct entity with - imnsho - a far cooler theme. I loved the different ICE programs and the neat little tricks the runners could pull. And the variety of damage that could be applied - physical ('meat damage') and mental ('brain damage'). I'm off to get my set out now and play a few hands again. thanks for the reminder!

I may even try out the online version.

Hey wasn't there going to be a link to the online Dominion site as well?

Sorry for the delay in responding. Between traveling to BGG Con, running the Spiel-a-thon, recording the next show and then traveling to Minnesota for 5 days for Thanksgiving, I am in serious catch-up mode!

Looks like the second printing of Alien Frontiers is on target for early 2011. You won't have to wait too long for you chance to get a copy!

You may well be right about the building ships strategy. It's probably just the most obvious strategy for people just learning. The field generators are a strategy I'd like to test the next time I play. I haven't seen them used much, but I think they could have a huge impact on how colonies are fought over.

I saw a used copy of Netrunner at the Flea Market at BGG Con and nearly snarfed it up, but then I remembered I still have two decks plus some boosters waiting at home. I wish the rules had been a little more straightforward during the CCG heyday. It might have stayed in print longer if it had been easier to learn out of the box.

Finally, Dominion links.

Play online here.

Info on the Dominion league here.

 Actually, I've heard the opposite suggested- that Netrunner played so well out of a starter box that you didn't really need to get into the collector swim if you didn't want to. I only have a starter set found in a used bookshop and have always felt that I have a complete enough game. That rulebook is dense going though; I grant you that.

I totally agree. The starter decks are very playable without any additions. I think I said that in the show.

I have never been a Mr. Suitcase when it comes to collectible anything. Dave has enough collector's genes for the both of us! I like getting a few boosters with CCGs just to have a little variation. In fact, I am pondering which ones to add to my Game of Thrones living card game set. I definitely don't want them all!