Episode 31: Samurai Slum Lords

31: Samurai Slum Lords

Release Date: June 11, 2007

Running Time: 98 min.

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ep 31

Sayonara, squatters. We play Shogun and Landlord, proving that the best evictions often come at the end of a katana (or a tower full of little wooden cubes).

News & Notes: Wings of War Minis, Leaping Lemmings, Sponsors!
The List:
Shogun, Landlord
Time Well Spent Contest: win Notre Dame, Colosseum, and Factory Fun!
Backshelf Spotlight:
Adel Verpflichtet, Balderdash
Truckloads of Goober:
Battle Masters
Game Sommelier:
Five games you can quit/join mid-game without ruining the game
Mail Bag:
Game of the Day, Nerdy to Cool, Goal Die mystery solved, GenCon auction

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Game News & Notes

Wings of War Miniatures Link

I want my Sopwith Camel!

Leaping Lemmings Link | Official Site

Cool but curious mix of old school wargame and funky euro-style theme.

Want to be a Sponsor on The Spiel?

Talk to us! We'd love to hear from you. stephen@thespiel.net

The List

Shogun BGG entry | Official Site

An ultra cool Battle Tower filled with cubes will determine tha fate of Japan.

Landlord BGG entry

Build apartments to attract tenants but beware of squatters and your opponent's bombs!

Time Well Spent Contest

To kick off their sponsorship of The Spiel, Time Well Spent is holding a great contest. The lucky winner will walk away with THREE GAMES: Notre Dame, Colosseum, and Factory Fun.

You can start by visiting www.timewellspent.org

But you'll have to listen to the episode for all the details! (insert evil laugh here)

Next episode, we'll select a lucky winner from all the correct guesses.

PLEASE NOTE: due to shipping costs, Time Well Spent can only ship the prize to addresses in the United States.

Backshelf Spotlight

Mystery Connection Contest
Can you find a connection between these two games? We find a mystery connection each episode and challenge you, the listener, to hunt for it! Post your guesses to the Forum . Find the connection and you could win a pair of custom Spiel dice !

Congratulations to Edmund Hack (echack) is our winner for episode 30!

Adel Verpflichtet Link

Quirky collectors race to find the best seat at the dinner table by showing off their best collection of antiques

Balderdash Link

The classic Dictionary game redone with a board and box of cards with crazy words.

Truckloads of Goober

Battle Masters BGG Entry

Gold standard goober in this one. So much stuff you almost always have to play on the floor because most standard tables won't hold it!




Game Sommelier

The Challenge: find five games you can quit or join mid-game without ruining the game

Stephen's List

Dave's Vote

Fluxx Thumbs Up
Set Thumbs Up
Civilization Sideways Thumb
Shadows Over Camelot Thumbs Up
Pitch Car Thumbs Up

Next Challenge: Sommelier takes a break. Collector's Corner (now Notes From the OCD) returns in Episode 32.

Mail Bag

New donors to The Spiel!

Noah "The Ninja" Kolman

Steerpike in UK sits to the left of the poodle (see poll comments )

Larry Kruger solves the mystery of the Goal die! (Word Nerd! )

Leslie Hammerschmidt, who works at the GenCon auction, lets us know about some online features for sellers this year. Check out weekendwarrior.com for the full scoop.

Dani in NC tells a great story about how we went from nerdy to cool in the eyes of her daughter. Check out Better Late Than Never , Dani's podcast.

Kevin Rutherford in Perrysburg, OH gives us the lowdown on Game of the Day and Board Game Prices.com

David Gullet weighs in with some thoughts on our Cub Scout camp out Sommelier challenge. And puts our feet to the fire, making me pronounce a German Liar's Dice alternative: Eichhornchenbande!


Mark in Chicago is the listener who posted the pics of the Wings of War minis in the Episode 30 show notes .

Neal Rosen suggested we mention useful files from Board Game Geek

Many listeners suggested mentioning the online versions of games we cover.

David in Featherston, NZ (username: windywino) said he played Pitch Car as a pub game as part of our PUb Game Back Shelf Spotlight in Episode 28.

Friedman Friese has GREEN hair not blue.

Shogun is not playable at SpielbyWeb, Wallenstein is (thanks Steerpike and Kevin Rutherford for catching this goof)

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


Just wanted to chime in that I don't have any issues with enhanced versions of The Spiel on my iPod. Weird I say...WEIRD!!!!

Hey Guys!

I just wanted to point out that in the newer versions of Balderdash, there are other categories of items other than just the obscure "definitions" that players have to figure out. They are:

- Weird Words: traditional definitions for obscure words
- Peculiar People: what is this person's claim to fame?
- Incredible Initials: what do these initials stand for?
- Marvelous Movies: what is the plot to this movie?
- Laughable Laws: what is the rest of this law? (for example, "In California, it is illegal to keep a duck...")

The most memorable entry I've ever had was a Peculiar Person, named Jose Luis Astoreka. I can't even remember what all of the other players' bluffs were, but the real reason he was notable was that he won an annual nut-cracking contest in Kortezubi, Spain, by cracking 30 walnuts between his buttocks in less than a minute. So the game is not only fun and hillarious, it can also be quite educational!

Hmmm...I kind of like the version we have. Instead of the laws, our copy has "important" dates. You can tell my bluffs, because if they happen between April and October...it's baseball related. Four times, I've been exactly right.

Hi guys

I got to play Shogun a couple of weeks ago at our gaming club we played with 5 players.

Great game and interesting with the dice tower for resolving battles. It took our group about half way through the game to realize that it was not a war or risk game and that combat is really risky and you need to have all the cubes and cards to align to attack.

I really recommend the game. and that tower is excellent.

Yeah, I tend to always bee too aggressive in Shogun/Wallenstein. It's usually much better to build up and make one or two late-year attacks rather than trying to "take over the world".

For all Shogun owners.... you may have heard that there is a replacement plan in place for everyone who has purchased the game and found the 5 player boards to have warped.

Mine warped like a rainbow within a day of opening the game.

But the new boards are great. Details are on the Rio Grande Games website. I got my new boards within something like 3 days of submitting the request. It was that fast.

We didn't have any problem with warping when we played, but I'm glad to hear Rio takes care of the problem quickly if you do. They're good people.

I agree with windywino and gamercrhis about being too agressive. I was way too aggressive in our game of Shogun and it nearly cost me the game. It wasn't that difficult to take several provinces, but keeping them proved to be tricky. And I don't mean from counter-attacks alone. Those darn revolts start piling up if you don't have enough rice to keep everyone from starving. I ended up losing a key province with three buildings to a revolt on the last turn. ouch!

A small correction: Wings of War is a World War ONE fighting game, not WWII. Well, actually, there's an upcoming version (Wings of War: Dawn of War) that is WWII, but everything up 'til now (Famous Aces, Burning Drachens, Watch Your Back) is WWI.

Glad I got to scoop Dave on the Miniatures!
Mark (a.k.a. JoeyHemlock)
Chicago IL

Stephen - Your attempt at pronouncing "Eichh

Hey Mark, I'll be sure to give Dave a hard time for his goof. I did mention Sopwith Camels, so I knew it was WWI. Heh.

Andy, I can honestly say I wasn't prepared for such an in depth analysis of German squirrels! I had a little German in middle school and high school, so I can muddle through some of the basics but it is very very rusty. The longer the word, the harder it is to know which SYLLable to put the ACCent on. I studied Russian and Welsh for several years (for fun) at university. Actually my high school in rural Indiana offered Russian. Must have been because of the Cold War.

I added a link to Eichhornchenbande to the show notes above

Spiel on!


Whilst we're on the subject of corrections, I should point out that Shogun is not available to play by email on SpielbyWeb (as claimed in the show). In fact, it is its forerunner "Wallenstein" which can be played.
So none of the cool bidding for turn order / action card. There are a few other minor differences, as well, around "revolt" tokens.

Also - a small annoyance. Whenever I download the Spiel to my iPod it causes it to lock the first time I try to listen. Only after a reboot will it play correctly. It only ever happens with your podcast.
Anyone else suffer from this ???

Just bad karma ?
We don't stop playing games when we get old...... We get old when we stop playing games

I had the same problem until I updated my iPod a few of months ago. Hope that helps.


I don't really know what the answer is to the ipod freakout problem. The only thing I can think is that I may push the enhanced feature of the podcast to the limit using so many pictures and chapters and that causes the freakout. But even that seems like an unlikely cause for the problem.

I'd certainly be interested to know how widespread this problem is, but for now, I am at a loss to know how to fix it (if it's even something I can fix!)

How's that for a nebulous answer!


Updating the software has not fixed the issue so far for me. I see that other podcasts offer two versions (regular & enhanced) ... wonder if it is because of this problem ??

In any case, I enjoy so much the show you guys put up, that it doesn't really matter too much for me :)

Regarding the iPod issues: I have never had this problem with my iPod(s). The Spiel plays just fine for me, and always has.

I had a 60G 5th gen w/ video, and replaced that with an 80G 5th gen w/ video. System software is version 1.2.1, but was older than that and it still worked fine.

For those having problems, I suspect that it must have something to do with the enhanced format w/ pictures. Do you also have problems with The Dice Tower? Theirs is available in a similar format.

good luck!
Dan Casey

Hmmm ... I have an older color 60gb ipod (before the video ipods came out) I have the latest updates both on the ipod software and itunes. As far as I can tell, the problem is indeed with the enhanced format. I do have the same problems with other podcasts (including the dice tower), and where possible, I switch to non-enhanced versions as a workaround.


Thanks for the input, Bruno and Dan.

Bruno, if you prefer to not mess with the enhanced version since it messes up your ipod, you can subscribe to the MP3 version on iTunes. Here's the link

We do make both an enhanced and non-enhanced version of the show for each episode. Until recently, I couldn't get iTunes to accept the MP3 feed. Now that I have solved that problem, you can subscribe to whichever one you want.


Hi Stephen,

Thanks ! Just subscribed to the MP3 feed, it does work much better on my ipod. I guess I'll just have to wait for newer software updates or upgrade my ipod :)


I only have a 4 Gb Nano (as I am poorer than a church mouse whose wife has run off with the local rat and taken all the cheese).
I've not had the problem with the Dice Tower as I do not use the enhanced version. I'll switch to standard on the Spiel and see if it fixes itself.

Hey - none of this detracts from a great show, guys. Keep up the good work.

We don't stop playing games when we get old...... We get old when we stop playing games