Episode 124: Orc Week

Release Date: April 4, 2011

Running Time:  138 min.

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It's not easy being green. We delve into a treasure trove of fantasy themed games including Defenders of the Realm and Thunderstone: Dragonspire.

News & Notes: Fortune & Glory, Artus, SdJ Scholarship, 2010 industry report
The List: 
Defenders of the Realm
Playbill:  Thunderstone: Dragonspire
Back Shelf Spotlight:  Advanced Heroquest
Truckloads of Goober: 
Catan Tables
Game Sommelier:  5 games where people can jump in late
Mail Bag:  Sommelier responses, Studio Descartes, Robo Derby Express

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

Fortune & Glory Official Site | BGG

Upcoming pulp adventure release from Flying Frog Productions. Insert Indiana Jones music here..

Artus  Official Site | BGG

Latest medium box title from Alea. King Arthur, cards and a round turntable. What more do you need?

Spiel des Jahres Game Design Scholarship  Link (in German)

Apllications for a €3000 internship/game design scholarship are being accepted through May 16.

2010 Game Industry Report  Link

Board game sales were up 10% in 2010. Top ten sellers listed here.

The List

Defenders of the Realm Official Site | BGG  |  Buy It  -  Starlit | BG Guy

Four foul generals converge on Monarch City. It's up to your hearty band of adventurers to keep them from accomplishing their goal. Many ways to lose, only one way to win!


Thunderstone: Dragonspire   AEG | BGG  |  Buy It  -  Starlit | BG Guy

Deck building and dungeoncrawling meet again in this latest expansion/stand-alone game from AEG. Includes a dungeon board, experience counters, new card types.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Advanced Heroquest  BGG  

Fa Hack and slash adventure board game from the halcyon days of Games Workshop. Tons of miniatures and many additional home brew scenarios make for hours of fun.

Truckloads of Goober

Catan Tables    Official Site  


Officially licensed Catan tables are made from solid wood and feature fold up legs. The table stands 31.5" tall and is 50" wide. A solid insert fitted with magnets makes this a great all around game table as well.

The Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 5 games where late comers can jump in and not ruin the game

Catch Phrase
Shake 'n Take
Great Dalmuti
Robo Rally
On the Dot
Loco Motive (aka Tokyo Train)

Next Challenge: 5 games that are more fun to lose

Mail Bag

Brendan Mayhigh sent us a link to Robo Derby Express

Rick Baptist let us know about Asmodee/Studio Descartes re-releasing some classics

Kevin Nunn's new game Rolling Freight is nearing the end of its Kickstarter campaign. Check it out!


Music credits (courtesy of IODA promonet) include:

No IODA tracks this time

Non-Ioda Music:

The Uruk-Hai  Howard Shore (composer)  LoTR: The Two Towers  |  Buy the Album

I Kissed an Orc  by Sharm  |  YouTube

Warcraft 3 Orc Theme  by Blizzard |  YouTube

Orgrimaar Music  by Blizzard (World of Warcraft)  |  YouTube

Where There's a Whip, There's a Way!  by Glen Yarbrough (Return of the King) |  Buy the DVD | also  YouTube  |  cover by World without Sundays

Orc Song  by Morgenstern  |  YouTube

10 Orcs  by Die Streuner  |  Buy the Track  | YouTube (Subtitled)

Island Song  by Ashley Eriksson  |  YouTube

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

 Dave mentions Loco Motion in his Sommelier response; he meant LocoMotive.


Thanks so much for taking on my challenge on the game sommelier!  I think you made some great pics, as always.  I'm pleased and surprised by how many games on this list I haven't played before  -- of the 9 games, I've only played Robo Rally, Great Dalmuti, and Telestrations (the non-commercial Eat Poop You Cat version), and I don't actually own any on the list.  The one game I was thinking of that I already own that I think satisfies the challenge really well is Set, which fits right into your simultaneous puzzle-solving category (in fact, I was surprised that Ubongo didn't creep into the list, considering how much you guys have talked about it on previous episodes).  To the party game category, I might add Apples to Apples, Dixit, and Say Anything.  I suppose it's my duty to give thumbs up or down to each of your pics, so here goes!  I've sort of sorted them, with the ones I'm most enthusiastic about on top. :)

Telestrations, Shake 'n Take, On the Dot -- Big thumbs up.  I was already enthusiastic about these from hearing you guys talk about them before, and they're definitely on my "must have" list now.  What better excuse to buy some new games than "Stephen and Dave told me I need these"?

Loco Motive (aka Tokyo Train) -- I've been dying to try Aargh!Tect by the same designer, but I was a little hesitant about Tokyo Train since, at least from the cover, it seems like it might be a little offensive to Japanese folks.  The Loco Motive version looks like it might fix this problem (or maybe it never existed) so thumbs up here too.  p.s. When Dave said Loco Motion, I fould "Locomotion (1986)" on BGG, and it looks like just the kind of crazy thing you guys would love to try out on the back shelf spotlight.  Maybe it should be on this list after all!

Great Dalmuti -- Only played it for a few hands, but it was a good time.  Maybe I wouldn't want to put someone brand new to games in the peon spot right away, but I think they'd like it even so.  Thumbs up.

Robo Rally, Asteroyds -- I've only played Robo Rally once, and it wasn't a huge hit with me, but I'm willing to give it a few more tries.  In spite of being less than thrilled with Robo Rally, I'm still intrigued enough by Asteroyds that it's been on my "want to play" list since I heard about it.  Also, I'm happy to play a game that's not my favorite if it attracts new game night attendees, and I can definitely see these fitting the challenge.  Maybe the late player might even be spotted a couple flags to catch them up to the rest of the pack.  Thumbs up.

Catch Phrase, Ubi -- I don't really know much about these.  In fact, I've never heard of Ubi before, and I can't tell all that much from the BGG page, so I think I'll have to reserve my thumbs until I hear more, and/or try them out.  From BGG, Ubi looks like it has some similarity to Fauna in that you answer the questions with geographical regions.  Would you say this is accurate?  Fauna sounded pretty intriguing when you talked about it on your Spiel des Jahres episode.

Anyway, it's a really cool list, and I'm lucky to get 9 games instead of 5!  I had a lot of fun hearing my challenge given and met on the show.  Maybe sometime in the future I can come up with another challenge good enough to get me on the show again!

Ubi gets the most attention because of its crazy triangle-shaped box, but I really enjoy it.

The game is a geography trivia game when you boil it down to the most basic level but it has some clever mechanics. You're trying to build a little Ubi pyramid by answering questions with "triangular precision" meaning you provide a letter and number as part of your answer. There's a fun map and a cool hexagonal map finder doohickey as well.

Also, there are some questions with no right answer and you have to call it a red herring in order to get it right.

I see copies of Ubi on eBay and occasionally in thrift stores. Definitely worth a buy if you can get a good deal.

 I have an old copy of Ubi in the loft. I really ought to pull it out and give it another airing.

I couldn't find any opposition with the same love of Geography as me :-(

I don't think of myself as a geography savant, but everyone runs and hides when I mention games that feature geography knowledge.

I loved maps as a kid and spent hours and hours pouring over them, planning trips or imagining what life was like far away. Guess a lot of it must have sunk in!

Add me to the Ubi crowd that can't bring the game to the table because of a fear of Geography (Geographobia?) from my gaming groups.  I found a copy at an antique mall for $4 last year, and it sits unplayed.  I fear Travel Blog, another geography based game I have interest in, will have the same fate...despite it looking really interesting. 

I kissed an Orc, I liked it 

The taste of his "Mulgore Chapstick"



Especially after making out.

I'm sure it's made from only the finest elf lard...