Episode 119 - Classics Revisited

Release Date: Jan. 24, 2011

Running Time:  140 min.

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Everything old is new again. We review Rowboat, TZQ, Shokoba, and Booray: four card games that seek to adapt or reacquaint us with the classics Spades, Mah Jongg, Scopa, and Bourré.

News & Notes: Uno turns 40, Alvin & Dexter, 1955, Boardgameinfo.com
The List: 
Rowboat, Tien Zi Que
Back Shelf Spotlight:  Shokoba, Booray

Game Sommelier:  5 games to connect Rattus and Last Call
Mail Bag:  Plague movie, Spiel interview, tile bags, and a bet

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

Happy 40th Anniversary, Uno 

Uno-themed float from the Rose Bowl Parade Jan. 2011

1955: The War of Espionage Link

Upcoming title from new publisher Living World games, designed by Kevin Nunn.

Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter Link

What was missing from Ticket to Ride? An alien and a dinosaur, right? Use these troublemakers to prevent new routes from being built in particular cities. Use cards to move them around the board.

Board Game Info.com Link

A new online community for board game enthusiasts.

Congrats to Dave for finishing his Half Marathon! more

Dave completed his run and raised $250 for The Spiel Foundation. Nicely done!

The List

Rowboat Official Site | BGG  Buy It

Read the Tide and make your bid for tricks. Be careful not to take on too many sandbags or you may sink! Classic game connections: Spades, Euchre

TZQ (Tien Zi Que) Official Site | BGG  Buy It

Create sets of 3 and runs of 3. Save 1 card from each set to create scoring combinations. Classic game connection: Mah Jongg, Rummy, Poker

Back Shelf Spotlight

Shokoba    Official Site  |  BGG | Buy It


BCapture cards from a central line to collect four different types of gems. Classic game connection: Scopa.

Booray    Official Site  |  BGG | Buy It


Trick taking witha fun betting angle. A Louisiana favorite, borrowed from Spain and France: Bourré

The Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 5 games to connect Rattus to Last Call

Circus Flohcati

Circus Maximus

Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage

Chateau Roquefort


Next Challenge: 5 games to connect Uno to Mah Jongg

** This is the new format for the Your Move contest **  Enter here!

Mail Bag

Interview of Go Forth & Game  Link

 Thanks to Tom Gurganus for posting an interview with us on his great gaming blog.

Draw String Tile Bags made by Spielers Link

Reversible tile bags made by Jackie and Lucio Rodriguez.


Music credits (courtesy of IODA promonet) include:

Vivaldi's Breakdown  by Tim Lake  | buy the track

Non-Ioda Music:

Excitable Sea Porcupine  by Scavenger Quartet  | buy the track

Intermezzo  by Lew Davies and His Orchestra  | buy the track

Ballbuster  by Dreamland Faces  |  buy the album

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

We forgot to mention the maximum number of rat tokens in any region on the board is 3.


There was an audio glitch with one of the pieces of interstitial music ( the music before and after the Board Game Guy ad) when I first posted the show.

I have corrected the problem and posted new files to the media servers. If you want the fixed version, simply delete and re-download the file and you'll be ready to go.

Nice to hear some of the classics getting some love (although I struggle with the concept of Uno as a 'classic')

Interesting discussion of Tien Zi Que - I did a review of this over on the geek and I think I err more towards Stephen's view than Dave's.

To me this is a neat little card game that scratches a well defined itch - a two player variant of MahJong. Ok, it's not MahJong but it feels enough like it to deliver the mini experience.

I'm not sure that it would be much fun for non MahJong addicts and I really can not see the point of buying extra sets so that it plays with four (just play the original!!), but for what it is it works for me :-)

Uno passes the classic test to me. It certainly doesn't rank as high in my estimation as many others, but it has had wide appeal and seems like it will stand the test of time. We can create a new sub-category of "modern" classics if you prefer, but it seems right to include it.

I really enjoy the blending of Mah Jongg with the other classic elements in TZQ. I think I wouldn't like it as much if it were trying to simple wedge all of Mah Jongg into a 2-player experience. That would be like shoving a square tile in a round hole. TZQ passes that hard to quantify sniff test for me. It smells enough like Mah Jongg to qualify, but retains a flavor of its own.

Since I have been working on a dice game that incorporates many elements of Scopa, trying to figure out how to strike this balance has been on my mind!

The world still waits for Scopa dice with baited breath

well, I do, anyway

Oh man, I need to find my notes.  I remember writing some scribbles down...now where did I put those???