Episode 83: On Your Mark...

83: On Your Mark...

Release Date: Aug. 3, 2009

Running Time: 120 min.

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Get set... Go! We tackle two race games with interesting twists: hiking for lost gold on a 3-D board in Timber Tom and a mad grab for fuel tanks in Hurry 'Cup!

News & Notes: GenCon iPhone App, Ninja vs Pirates, Pony Express & more
The List: Timber Tom, Hurry 'Cup!
Back Shelf Spotlight: 
Barbarossa, Briscola

Truckloads of Goober:  Labyrintus
Game Sommelier:  5 games for a disaster preparation/recovery course
Mail Bag: Dungeonquest correction, Dominion for the young, Pandemic x2

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 News & Notes

GenCon iPhone App  Official App Site | LaViaz Mobile

Carmel Indiana based LiViaz Mobile is providing a new app for the iPhone for GenCon attendees. The app will include event updates, news, maps, and more.

Ninja vs. Pirates Podcast  Official Site

A new game related podcast, or rather, a podcast that has re-tooled itself to focus on games and specifically interviews with game designers. Check it out.

Roll Through The Ages: Late Bronze Age  BGG | Official Site

A 2nd Edition of the game has just been released with better dice and altered rules for the Late Bronze Age. New rules include alternate end game conditions, new developments and trading.

Pony Express  BGG | Official Site

A race game between riders from the Pony Express aiming to deliver their letters first, starting from St Joseph  to Sacramento. Pony Express uses a simple poker dice system combined with bluff and bluff calling to resolve the moves of the players all the along their way on the board. Oh, yes, and the dice are used as bullets in rolling dice duels!

The List

Timber Tom Official Site | BGG

Plant trees to slow your opponents, radio the helicopter for a quick delivery and you'll be the first to find your way to the four peaks and their hidden treasure.

Hurry 'Cup! Official Site | BGG

A 1920s style road rally spiced up with some modern twists. Roll the fuel tank dice, reveal and scramble to grab the right pawn to give your car or motorbike the right speed each round.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Barbarossa  BGG | Official Site

1988 Spiel des Jahres winner asks players to create sculptures out of clay in hopes that others may guess them, but not on their first or second try.

Briscola  BGG | Official Site

Bare bones trump-based trick taking game using a 40 card Italian deck. Players try to collect high point cards (aces and 3s) in order to win each round. Since you don't have to follow suit or trump unless you want to, this makes life difficult!

Truckloads of Goober

Labyrintus BGG| Official Site

Sculptor and game designer Victoria Lamb offers players a 75 piece maze filled with 28mm figures ranging from whimsical to scary. The game is not in production yet.

The Game Sommelier

The challenge: 5 games to help librarian and fellow podcaster Donald Dennis prepare a course on Hurricane disaster preparation and recovery.

Donors - Pledge Drive 2009

Thanks to the following donors/subscribers:

Jeremy “The Bellmaker” Piets
Paul “Lion of Babylon” Marshall
David “Tough Guy” Goldberg
Jason “The Provost” Lukac
Marcus "Grand Duke of Geschenkt" Brissman
“Cyron” (Ron) Temske
Bob “Gamer for All Seasons” Cahill
Sean “Doubling Cube” Marien

Mail Bag

Marcus Brissman writes in to let us know Brio, the original publisher, and Dan Glimne, the original designer of DungeonQuest are, in fact Swedish, not German, as we claimed in Episode 8.

Remy Gibson has had great luck teaching younger kids (7-8 year olds) Dominion.

Sarah Adams caught the Pandemic while waiting for her copy of Pandemic. Get well soon, Sarah!


Music credits (courtesy of Ioda Promonet) include:

"Mountain of Gold" - by Joe Bishop - buy the mp3

"Racing on the Surface of the Moon" - by Grand Prix - buy the mp3

"The Way of the Racer" - Grand Prix - buy the mp3


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

A quick scan of BGG reveals the story behind Barbarossa's tite:

Barbarossa, in Italian "red beard" was, according to its inventor, inspired by the fantasy trilogy Die Schule der Rätselmeister (School of the Riddle Masters), in which wizards are devoted to the creation of riddles and riddle solving tournaments. In an interview designer Klaus Teuber stated "As you know there are moments when you close a book really sad that it's over. After finishing the last page, you often feel like you've lost a friend -- to be somewhat melodramatic. So I was looking for a way to keep the book alive a little longer. Creating a game seemed the perfect solution. In this game, I was looking for a way to make riddles, to experiment with shapes and to let the players express their own creativity with clay."


Great Episode, guys, and timely as I've just seen HurryCup appear in the "Price Drop" section of a UK based online game store :-)

I agree with Remy Gibson with regard to the playability of Dominion with a range of age groups.

In addition, I also use a handicap system. So if I am playing with my 11 year old, he starts with 7 Coppers, 2 Estates and 1 Province whereas I start with the usual 7 and 3.

It balances nicely.

I was also really interested in the description of Briscola which reminded me of a Two Player card game that I used to play to death with one of my friends at school. The game was, allegedly, of Cypriotic origin (he being a Greek Cypriot) - although my Penguin Book of Card Games tells me it is German in origin - and it was called 66.

In this game A=11 Ten=10 K=4 Q=3 J=2 and the 9 is worthless (no other cards). The twist is that the game starts "open" and you do not have to follow suit (as in Briscola) but at any time one of the players can choose to "close" - in which case following suit and trumping becomes mandatory. But if you close the game then you must make the 66 point barrier without any further drawing of cards.

Not explained very well, but it's a neat little game.

In fact I need to get my cards out again and teach Steerpike Jr ! 

Hurry 'Cup on sale is a nice find!

Doing a handicap for younger Dominion players is a great idea, too. Smart lot, our Spielers...

Another Cypriotic game using the Ace-10 rank system is Pilotta, which is a relative of the Jass family of games. Jass comes from the Netherlands. Cypress is the melting pot for Northern European card games?

When you get around to your video podcasts, on the history of games, there will have to be a fair few episodes on the development of card games.

Cyprus as a melting pot for Northern Europe ? It is more generally the melting pot for Greek and Turkish animosity ! Mind you, with the goddess of love coming ashore there, what would you expect except arguments :-)

Wikipedia has an article on sixty-six (German: Sechsundsechzig). I have an Austrian friend who suggested I learn it (in Austria, it's called Schnapsen). It's so popular in Austria that they sell decks specifically for it.

A couple of other games he's mentioned that I hope to have him teach are Watten and Schnellen. The rules for the first are on Pagat, but I can't find a lot of info on the second game.

Among my Romanian relatives, Pinochle was the Ace-10 game of choice. The rite of passage was getting to play with the adults at the big table. I've been learning the rules to Skat, another in this category. Looks like I need to add 66 to my list, for sure.

 As usual...

Only downside my wishlist just keeps growing...

When can you guys claim #1 Boardgame Podcast?

maybe that should be our tag line... Heh.

I heard this come up on the latest Sommelier Challenge!

Great work, and I heard you mention TEN GAMES, that'd be quite the challenge if you had to hit all of the points for ten games. If you can find five that meet the bulk of the points I'd be thrilled, but if you can find ten I'll be blown away.

A couple notes - not all the games have to be playable by all ages, a couple for younger kids (probably more for awareness than training), and then the rest more suitable for increasing ages of players, that'd be perfectly within the challenge concept. So I guess the most important thing is games that would be suitable for use in a Hurricane/disaster awareness program with bonus points if they actually taught such skills.

Anyway, thanks for taking up the challenge!

Thanks for the clarifications, Donald. Finding five will be a big challenge. Ten would have been well nigh impossible! :)

We're already hard at work on it. Stay tuned for our response in Episode 86, the next regular format episode.