Episode 133: Deep Roots

Release Date: Aug. 1, 2011

Running Time:  165 min.

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Ginnungagap! Team up with your fellow Norse gods in Asgard to protect the nine realms hanging from the World Tree, Yggdrasil. Dig into our in-depth review of this cooperative game from Z-Man.

News & Notes: Int. Game Photo Contest, Rowboat Tournament, Walnut Grove
The List: 
Truckloads of Goober:  Escape the Mad Mummy
Playbill:  BITS, Hanabi
Mail Bag:  Dice sculptures, Scopa in B&N, Music

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

International Game Photo Contest Link


Submit your best 5 game photos and you could win a 500 Euro prize!

Rowboat Tournament- GenCon   Link


32 person world championshipship being held at GenCon. Over $500 in prizes on the line!

Welcome to Walnut Grove  BGG

New hybrid tile-laying/resource management game set in Laura Engalls Wilder country.

What's My Word Official Site | BGG

Reboot of the classic word game first featured in A Gamut of Games

The List

Yggdrasil Official Site | BGG  |  Buy It   Starlit | BG Guy 

Protect the World Tree by facing wave after wave of enemies bent on scaling the walls and halls of Asgard.


BITS   Official Site | BGG


Follow-up to FITS, BITS features new puzzles and a new progressive way to score

Hanabi    BGG


A mash-up of Indian poker, Solitaire and deductive reasoning. Try to stack 5 different suits in order from 1-5 as a team. The catch: you can't see your own cards!

Truckloads of Goober 

Escape the Mad Mummy   BGG





A giant gyroscopic die. Need I say more?

Pledge Drive 2011

Show your financial support for The Spiel. Help us reach our goal of inspiring 25% of our audience to make a contribution.  Click here to contribute.

Mail Bag

Thanks to Tim Farley for spottin Scopa decks in Barnes & Noble!

Does the Spiel theme music need lyrics? I await your MP3s... stephen@thespiel.net

Thanks to many Spielers who sent us links to the amazing dice sculptures of artist Kim Hyun.


Music credits include:

Ride of the Valkyries  by Stan Kenton |  listen to the song

Thor by Therion | buy the song

Yggdrasil  by Fejd |  buy the song

Tall Tall Trees  by George Jones |  buy the song

Ride of the Valkyries  by the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain | YouTube

Spiel On!  by Scotty Dickey |  listen to the song


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

Sponsored Links: Starlit Citadel

JAB: Real-time Boxing  Buy It


Sponsored Links: Board Game Guy

Battleship Galaxies  Buy It


 Sponsored Links: Fair Game   Link



Hey guys. Another wonderful episode, i loved the long mythology recap (being scandinavian, i was told these stories as a child, but I can sadly not remember them as well as I used to, so the "history lesson" was a great reminder :) ) And its always funny to hear non-scandinavian speakers pronounce the name of the world tree. The danish pronounciation of the name can be heard in the intro from the Valhalla animated movie at around 0.15 http://youtu.be/YNX_Heix390 Played the game and didnt like it too much, but that might be more due to the people i played it with, than the game itself. Will try again some other time, preferably with fewer people.

Keep up the good work with my favorite "listening-while-walking-the-dog" podcast!!

Edit: better link

Heh, we often get oour tongues tangled on names. No reason to think Yggdrasil would escape our punishment. :)

For once, I actually have a reason for the goof.  I  had several courses on old Norse literature while at university. My professor has a very overly dramatic way of pronouncing some Norse names in Old Icelandic and Yggdrasil was one that he delighted in emphasizing. I can still hear him reading YggDRAHSIL out loud to the class. Funny the small things we remember. Looks like he was off too!



Great  episode as always.  

I think Yggdrsil is a great gme - especially if your a fan of the Norse Myths.  While no longer an activitive member of the community, I am still a member of the Asatru (Modern followers of the Norse Gods). So, of course I had to grab this game the moment it was available.

I also had to commend you on your song choices, particularly your choice of "Thor".

<WARNING: non board game trivia to follow>

While the version you played was by Therion, the song was originally done by a band named Manawar on their album "Sign of the Hammer".

 That entire album was - for the most part - about Thor and his hammer except for the song "Guyanna and the cult of te damned" - about Rev. Jim Jones

The fates were with me on this album - I'm a follower of Thor, named James Jones (who happens to like Manowar's Music).  From this, I have the hammer on this album cover tattooed on my right leg:



Very cool info on all accounts! I didn't know there were any organized modern followers of the Aesir. Given Asgard's tremendous impact on Western society and culture I shouldn't be surprised, though.

I thought about using the orginal artist's rendition of "Thor" but I had a cleaner sounding version of the cover version by Therion.

P.S. Mighty fine tattoo!

 Nice run down on Norse mythology - as ever I enjoyed the history segment.

You mentioned Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays connections to our Norse heritage but left out Friday - named, of course, after Frey/Frigg.


You also observed that there are multiple different versions of the myths. It's worth pointing out that Greek mythology is the same with many tales changing in the telling dependent on time and geographical location of the teller. Just as there is inconsistency over the telling of the exploits of Odin, you see the same with Zeus.

Listening to your segment it occured to me just how many subtleties I missed in Neil Gaiman's novel "American Gods". A must read for anyone interested in our friend 'Wodin' and what he might be up to these days (still hanging out with Loki, it seems).

The game sounds interesting. Like Dave I feel that Coops have been to the well too many times, but if he sees this as offering something refreshing I may check it out.

Hey, I have a daughter called Freya, so why wouldn't I ?


 [ps call me stupid but I still can't insert images into this strange comment dialogue box]

Did I really forget to mention Friday? Dang. I meant to!

It seems like the Northern gods have even more fractured histories than the Classical gods. Maybe this is the influence and standardization of Rome at work. Certainly the Egyptian gods have many different iterations much like the Norse.

I really enjoyed American Gods and need to revisit it sometime.

Believe it or not you are the *second* Spieler i have heard from who has a daughter named Freya. Such a literate bunch. I love it!

PS: to insert pics click on the icon that looks like a mountain with a yellow background. If you need help beyond that, let me know.

I wanted to call her Fuchsia but my wife wouldn't let me :-(


Yeah I get the 'mountain' bit but to embedd images you seem to need to load a picture to a server and then define a URL for it. Not intuitive.

I think Freya was a great choice. :)

As for the image thing, select the Mountain icon, then select Browse Server from the window that pops up. There will be an option at the top to upload, pick it and and then select your file.

If that doesn't work, select the Upload Tab (there should be a series of tabs) and then click on the browse server (see above).

I know it's less than optimal and not very user friendly. If I ever have the time to upgrade the content management system, hopefully the next iteration will be better.