Episode 54: The Short List

54: The Short List

Release Date: May 12, 2008

Running Time:  100 min.

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Eight quickies. Whether you need a game for a lunch break at work or to play with your kids for half an hour, it's good to have some filler games in your bag of tricks. We reach into our bag give you the scoop on eight different titles, each reviewed in 5-7 minutes.

News & Notes: Purple Pawn, Rio Grande Open Game Room / Spiel-a-thon!
The List: 8 short games each reviewed in 5-7 minutes! (Quicksand, Shake, Oh Wah Ree, Chess Equalizer, Beetelz, Knockabout, Deluxe Dirty Words, and 6 Nimmt).
Name That Game: Win Knowbody Knows
Backshelf Spotlight:
Ta Yu, Samarkand
Truckloads of Goober: Ritter Ohne Furcht und Tadel
Game Sommelier: takes a break this week
Mail Bag:
new web site! Listeners Choice voting ends 5/18, Saikoro

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.


Game News & Notes

Purple Pawn  Link 

A new source for news about games of all flavors. Editors select and post stories related to a wide variety of game related topics from classic and amss market games to imports and euro style games to role playing and electronic games. Yehuda Berlinger is the man behind Purple Pawn. His blog is a great read as well!

Rio Grande Open Game Room - Gen Con 2008 

We are pleased to announce that Rio Grande will have a dedicated room to open gaming during Gen Con! Room 120, which is right across from the dealer's room, will be ground zero for everything Rio Grande has to offer. The room will be open from 8 AM  until at least 10 PM every day. Jay Tummelson, owner of Rio Grande says he have copies of "whatever is new and ready" available to play.

2nd Annual Spiel-a-thon - August 15 - Gen Con 2008 

Once again, Jay Tummelson and Rio Grande has generously offered us the use of their open game room for our Spiel-a-thon! No tickets required, just show up ready to play games and have fun! You'll get a raffle ticket for prizes just for coming, plus there will be additional ways to win cool things throughout the night. We're also proud to announce a small charity drive we'll be running during the event. We are starting a fund to donate quality games to children's hospitals and senior citizen centers. More details will be coming soon. The basic idea is that you can make a small donation to play games against me or Dave. Win or lose, you'll walk away with extra raffle tickets for prizes throughout the night!

The List

Quicksand BGG | Official Site

In Quicksand, each player controls one of six explorers racing to discover an ancient temple.  It's a fast playing game of bluff, cardplay, and strategy.

Shake BGG | Official Site

Roll the dice or pay the price. Shake is a dice game of risk and reward. It’s a roll of a die and then you make the call.

Oh Wah Ree BGG 

A Mancala variant published as part of the classic 3M Bookshelf Game series in the 1960s.

Chess Equalizer Dice (Chess=izer)  Official Site

Chess Equalizer and adds 2 ten sided dice and a new dimension of probabilities to chess.  It creates many challenges with ten different rules variations to play.  

Beetelz  BGG | Official Site

You’re a beetle frantically looking for food in the rehearsal room of a music band. Each beetle has his own preferences in terms of food, but the hunt is hectic: food tiles are face down all over the table, with the players grabbing them, flipping them, looking at them, taking them or putting them back, all at the same time... at least until the light is turned on!

Knockabout  BGG | Official Site

Maneuver your army of four-, six-, and eight-sided dice around the board to knock your opponent straight off the map and into the gutter. Each die can move as far as the number on its face. However, a die gets rerolled whenever it is knocked about by friend or foe. A strategic game of position and calculation.

Deluxe Dirty Words BGG 

A speed Scrabble-style game where each player scrambles to assemble as many sentences using word blocks with racy word combinations. Game donated to The Spiel by Larry Mendel. Thanks, Larry, sort of! :)

6 Nimmt BGG | Official Site (in German)

A new classic and great "grandma game." Choose a card in secret, play to a row of cards but be careful not to push the row past 5. Add the 6th, and you add the row to your score pile. Problem is, low score wins!

Backshelf Spotlight

Mystery Connection Contest
Can you create a connection between these two games?
Post your connections to the Forum . Remember, the more left of center your connection, the more likely you are to catch our attention. We'll pick the most creative each week and the winner receives a pair of coveted custom Spiel Dice!

spiel dice

Congratulations to DarthPilgrim our winner for episode 53! Read his connnection here.


Beautiful tile Asian-themed tile laying game where players try to connect rivers across the board to score the most points.

Samarkand BGG

Samarkand is a trading game in which you don't trade with the other players. There are 6 commodities represented by cards: Grain, Fruit, Copper, Carpets, Camels, and Jewels, with the Grain being the most common and the Jewels being the most rare. The commodities are displayed on the board in a number of "nomad camps." You try to amass and sell these goods to turn 200 piasters into 500.

Truckloads of Goober

Ritter Ohne Furcht und Tadel (Knights Brave & Bold) BGG Entry

Prepare your knights for battle and ladies to win favor with the best in the tournament. A joust with dice played in the box itself.


Game Sommelier

The Sommelier takes a break this week. Never fear, Dave is on the hot seat next time!

Next Challenge: Seven games that correspond to the seven continents of the globe.

Mail Bag

Thanks to donors Simon "Go Master" Wilcock, "World Conqueror" Randy Wilburn, Earle "Condotierre" Alexander, and special thanks also to repeat donors "Galactic Emperor" Bay-Wei Chang, and Andrew "Collision Die" Butler

Adam Wisher from the UK wrote in to let us know about a game called Saikoro. “apparently it has 62 dice in an 8 x 8 grid? I keep seeing it everywhere in UK online stores”. This was a new one for us. Anyone have any information for us?


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

Mark Taylor wrote in to let us know that it was Troll & Toad (not Boards & Bits as I said) who purchased the massive game collection for $150,000.  Here's a link to the article

Several listeners have pointed out there is also a skiing themed version of 6 Nimmt called Slide 5.


Thanks for the link to Purplepawn.com - it's great to have yet another news site.

Spiel on!


Thanks, Mark.

It's great to have another source for game newws especially when purplepawn.com is covering lots of areas of gaming not covered well by other sources.

I already look at purplepawn.com site. And it's a very good website!

Anyway I also like this website! especially those colorful icon! It reminds me of kindergarten and of course GAMES!!!

Free Games | Addicting Games

Oh my god guys, You had me rolling on the floor. Never would I have guessed in a million years that you would actually play the stupid game. Yes I donated them just for the dice. Damn that was funny! at least you guys had a good time playing it.

Keep it up!

Larry "the MImix" mendel


We weren't kidding when we said we'll play almost anything! Heh.

Of course, the game reduced us to adolescent humor in 5.2 milliseconds as I am sure you can tell from our review. Not that we don't normally live close to that range anyway...

The funny thing was we ended up having this serious conversation about the potential of the mechanics after several rounds and came away thinking there's the nucleus of an interesting game at the dirty heart of the game.

Thanks (I think?!) for providing us with a game experience we won't soon forget.

I got mentioned TWICE this show! I clearly rule.

On 6 Nimmt!: The most recent version of this game has a skiing theme, and it's called Slide Five. It was available in Barnes and Noble stores over the holidays, and some may still have a copy for cheap.

I love the game, although it shouldn't be played by the easily frustrated. There are a couple of varients that I've seen. One involves using only the exact number of cards needed (10 for each player, plus the four for the rows). This makes it even more strategic because you know exactly what cards are out there.

An interesting varient that I've considered is wrapping around the cards so that the very low cards can be played above the very high cards. For instance, if you're dealt the '1' card, then you HAVE to take a row eventually. So maybe it's possible to play such that cards (say, the 1-9 cards) can be played to continue rows of high cards (say, 95-104). Might add an interesting twist. And it might make it needlessly complex.

Glad that you guys liked it!


Thanks again, Mark for putting 6 Nimmt on The List, literally. You may be our Nemesis, but at least you're  a generous one. :)

I considered going into the first variant you mentioned but I didn't want to muddy the waters, so I am glad you thought to bring it up here. My impression of the variant was it took ALL of the randomness out of the game and that just didn't seem true to the spirit of the game.

That said, I really like your wrap-around idea. Much more in keeping with the essence of the game.  And really could give an added level of strategy since many of those low cards are hard to play without taking a row.

You tell us to vote on the listener's choice episode, but provide no link. I looked around the forums but had no luck. C'mon, Stephen! Think of your meeps! What do we do?

The original forum post was in The List section of the forums (since you're picking games off the list). Here's a direct link.


Polls close May 18th, so get your votes in while you can!

As luck would have it, Saikuro is the subject of the latest Board Games With Scott episode:



Mit freundlichen Grüßen,


Game serendipity... gotta love it.

Thanks to Scott for giving us a good look at Saikoro.