Episode 92: Going Geek

92: Going Geek

Release Date: Dec. 7, 2009

Running Time:  162 min.

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Geeks in the heart of Texas. We report back from BGG Con in Dallas with an in-depth look at The Adventurers, full details on the Spiel-a-thon, and mini-reviews of 10 different titles.

News & Notes: Andre the Giant, Nanuk, Spiel-a-thon results
The List: The Adventurers
Table Talk: mini-reviews of 10 titles
Back Shelf Spotlight: 
Thunder Road, A Good Lie

Truckloads of Goober:  Spinball, Wey Kick, A la Carte, Colonia
Game Sommelier:  5 desert island games for our significant others

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 News & Notes

Andre The Giant Comes to Legends of Wrestling  Link 

New card featuring the not-so-gentle Giant is due out in January 2010 as part of the Legends Partners expansion.

Nanuk   Official Site | BGG 

A party game of bidding and bluffing from Steve Jackson Games. In Nanuk, each player bids for how long he can stay on the trail and how much he will bring home. Each boast must be greater than the one before, until one hunter refuses to raise the bid, saying "You're doomed!" Then the hunt begins. Will the hunt leader make good on his boast, or will the doomers be right? Every player decides secretly to help . . . or to let it fail..

Spiel-a-thon 2009  Link

We raised over $1,000 at the event! Thanks to everyone for their generosity and support. We are looking forward to assembling a ridiculous number of game bundles for donations in 2010.

The List

The Adventurers Official Site | BGG

The temple of Chac is crashing down around you. A giant boulder chases you down a passage from trap to trap. Can you press your luck using your dice to collect treasures and escape before the others?

Table Talk

Tobago  Official Site | BGG 


Essen release where you help tell the treasure where it will be found.

Basket Boss  Official Site | BGG 


Manage a fictional Basketball Franchise over the course of 6 seasons. Fun and broad enough to appeal to non-sports fans.

The Golden City  Official Site | BGG 


Play terrain tiles to claim routes to the center of the Golden City and score the most points.

The Board Game Geek Game  Official Site | BGG 


Take on the role of a game publisher and game fanboy trying to sell and collect sets of euro style games.

Tokyo Train  Official Site | BGG 


Use Japanese phrases and gestures to get your partner to rearrange a sequence of symbol cards.

Pony Express  Official Site | BGG 


Use your best bluffing skills with your Poker dice. If all else fails challenge your opponent to a dice duel and roll the bones like marbles to knock 'em down.

Alea Iacta Est  Official Site | BGG 


Play Caesar and try to collect the most Prestige by placing your dice on five different buildings.

Rhythm & Balls Official Site | BGG 


A call and response gesture game. Silly silly fun.

Time's Up: Title Recall  Official Site | BGG 


Three round game where you try to get your partners to guess titles using words, sounds and gestures.

Hotel Amsterdam  Official Site | BGG 


Gather the most tourists around your hotel by manipulating the Night Watchman and The Mayor.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Thunder Road   BGG 

A post-apocalyptic race where only one vehicle will remain on the road.

A Good Lie   BGG 

Bluff your pals by claiming a good score on each hole.

Truckloads of Goober

SpinBall  BGG 


Use the rubber paddle to apply backsping to the ball and make it land in the hole across the board.

Wey Kick  BGG 


Control magnetic soccer players from below.

a la Carte  BGG 

Complete recipes by adding the right combinations of spice to your pan.
Colonia Collector's Edition Official SiteBGG 


Collector's Edition comes with 240 Renaissance meeples instead of generic cubes.

The Game Sommelier

The challenge: 5 desert island games for our significant others





Arkham Horror



Mah Jongg

Dungeon Quest

Roll Through the Ages



Donors - Pledge Drive 2009 - Success!

We made our goal! Thanks to the following donors/subscribers:

Matt “Master Slayer” & John “The Boulder” Cuneo
Scott “The Salvager” Arens
Remy “Imperium Apologist” Gibson
Peter “The Medic” Hopkins
Darren “Lord of the Ring” Hron
Philip “Battlebot” Hoffman
Doug “Button Man” Richardson
Dave “Dice Effect” Girling
Ian “Canal Maniac” Fleming


Music credits (courtesy of Ioda Promonet) include:

"Days of High Adventure" - by Doom Sword - buy the mp3

"Nerdy Girl" - by Sexton Ming  - buy the mp3

"Nerd Love" - by Dude Offline - buy the mp3


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


Hey Dave-

Nice coverage on this game.  But that big, chunkin' die is a 30-sider, not a 20- as you stated in the Back Shelf Spotlight.

You also failed to mention(and don't claim modesty) WHO was the best LIAR in the game we played.  Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, Mr. David Coleson,  Liar Extraodinaire of BGG.Con 2009!!  Yes, my Spiel Journal indicates that David beat me by one stroke at this game.

All I have to say is, if you are ever in Indiana, don't buy a used car from this man!


I knew there were 30 sides on that die. I just wanted to lie about it so that the segment would have an appropriate feel?


I want try to play Wey Kick. I just liked the picture:)



To love is to believe, to hope, to know; Tis the essays, a taste of Heaven below! (Edmund Waller)

Hey guys.  Great episode, as usual.

Couple rule issues with Adventurers...you guys had it too easy =)

The 'dicekeeper' rolls as many dice as the current turn number.  So, the first round the boulder will roll 1 die, then the next player would roll 2, etc., up to 5 total.

You stated that it starts at 2.

So, you made it harder for yourselves there.  That said, you also said that the boulder moves on a roll of 4,5,6 for a 50% chance of moving.  It's worse than that.  It rolls on a 3,4,5,6.  That's why the boulder has managed to kill more of my Adventurers than any of the other traps combined.  It's speedy!

Keep up the great job!

Oops! You are correct. The boulder moves on a 3,4,5,6 and the number of dice rolled do in fact depend on the round you are in. We played both of these rules correctly; we just couldn’t seem to spit them out right on the show! I would blame myself, but alas I died in the Temple and am no longer around to fess up to my dice faux pas.


We actually played this on Sunday and NOBODY died! Three of us looked at all four glyphs as well, so the lava room was savaged while the one guy who didn't look ran to the lockpicks. In the end the boulder was having a leisurely day and we had plenty of actions to get out.

I've enjoyed this game but next time, more boulder! :)

Beware, ramble ahead.

I've played The Adventureres twice so far.  They were very different experiences.

The first game was 3 players, the walls were not a factor at all, with all 3 players getting to see all the glyphs, and grab plenty of treasure.  Funnily though, the lava room was set up so that nobody could go very far off one particular path.  So the boulder wasn't much of a factor either, as everyone was able to bolt through quickly.  One player was able to even run back, and grab one alcove before the boulder got within 5 spaces.  Nobody died in the river, or even rolled a 1.  So there was virtually no danger, and all three players ended with well over 20 points.

The second game was 6 players.  The walls again were not a factor at all.  I'm now thinking about taking out a few blanks, or adding in some more arrows to make it more of an issue.  The boulder got hauling down the corridor fast, but stalled briefly around the lava room.  This time, the trap tiles were in a checkerboard pattern, so there was no route across the room.  You could go in a level or two, but then had to spit out the side near the alcoves.  Also odd was that all 4 trap tiles were sprung by forgetful players.  We had one guy get eliminated this way.  We also had a greedy adventurer squished by a boulder in the alcove area (just after he finally got a treasure as well). 

I may have had the worst luck ever though.  I was doing fairly well (about 16 points in treasure), and was in the river, getting ready to jump out... when I rolled two 1s on three dice.  Had to discard all my treasures.  I made the second roll.  So I was alive, but broke.  I *almost* ran across the bridge to go get a known treasure in the lava room, but just then, the boulder moved 5 spaces, and my way was cut off.  So I exited the temple...alive, but empty-handed.  I guess that's better than the totally dead guy, but not by much.

There are a few changes I would love to see in the game.  First off, I would like to see the wall room get amped up a little bit.  I realize it can happen quickly sometimes, but I think overall that room is too easy.  I want the panic to set in fast.  I think people start out thinking it's a panic situation, but quickly realize there's enough time to do plenty of things in there.

  I want to see a danger room in between the wall room and the lava room.  Why?  I think it's too easy to remember the glyphs.  Since the two are right next to each other, in some cases...someone can open the lava room up, while others are still in the wall room.  Giving them time to specifically eye out the trapped glyphs.  I think a short spike and spear chamber you run through to get a pre-determined treasure would be fun, and make the boulder more of a factor as well.

I worry the lava room, as it is now, willl be the thing that brings the game down as is...if you play enough, you'll get to know the glyphs so well, it'll be too easy.  Don't know how to change that, more sets of lava tiles?  If there were 45 (random number) tiles you had to pick a random 14 from, that would be nearly impossible to remember, especially if all the glyphs kind of looked similar.

The river seems to give up treasures too easily.  So far in both games, we've emptied out the treasure deck, in the 6 player game, 4 guys were still in the river when it emptied.  While there is the risk of rolling a 1, and it bit me.  That's not enough of a deterrent for most it seems.  And getting weighed down with 10+ treasures hasn't been a big enough issue for people to dump treasure as they are escaping the temple.,  We've not had anyone try to use the bridge yet. 

Also, I may have missed it in the rules, but if the boulder passes you...are you able to run past it in the corridor? 

Even with my quibbles...I LOVE this game.  It is just one of the most fun experiences I've had with a game in a long time.  I think I want it to be more deadly.  And I definitely want to see expansions.

Nice ramble!

I think 2 of your 3 suggestions would make an already good game even better.

I agree the wall room doesn't present enough danger unless you are super greedy *and* look at all the glyphs.

As for the lava room, maybe your memory is much better than mine! I have died more times from mis-remembering the trap locations than any other way in the game. Your suggestion would only add extra replayability to the game, so I like it as well.

The river is high risk high reward; and especially considering the more treasure you stop to pick up, the slower you move, I have found it easy to either get trapped by the boulder rolling past or having to jettison half the treasure I collected just to get out safely (stupid ones).

By the way, if the boulder passes you, you are stuck in the temple and cannot win.

Let's see, what did I want to play but not get to? Oh yeah, WINGS OF WAR MINIATURES! I keep bringing them but I never play! The timing just never works out right. I'm going to invite myself to Indy one of these days and force you to play with me. And when we're done, we'll play WoW: Dawn of WWII. And then Down in Flames for the trifecta. I really want to play my plane games!



The padded cell iis waiting.

It can easily be converted into an airstrip for bi-planes. I meant to mock you about not playing Wings of War yet again, but you took care of that for me. Are you becoming your own Nemesis? :)

Send me an email and we'll figure out a date for some air battles.

 ok - i don't wish to be pedantic.

Yes, I do.

I thought the John Bull was originally built as a 0-4-0, by Stephenson, and therefore (JBx4)-2=14 making the game "EMO" and not "EVO".

My sources (who are some very sad people, let me add) agree that latter configurations were 4-2-0 but presumably only after some evolution in engineering.


I need to get out more. Except I'm too busy playing Scopa on the iPhone. AND NOW YOU'RE SUGGESTING SCOPA DICE !

Leave me alone. I can't take this. Bwahahahahahaha

We were thinking people might use the Geek (and Railroad Tycoon in specific) as a reference regarding Mr. Bull if they had any doubts:

As for Scopa, blame the Italians. They sucked me in just like the rest of you. I've been seriously pondering the Scopa dice game rules. Don't be surprised to see that pop up next year. Now THAT I'll take full responsibility (er, credit) for.

 Here's where I'd start with Scopa Dice: Ten d10 in each of four colors. Start by drawing four randomly selecting four and rolling them and putting them in the middle of the table. At the beginning of every sub-round, each player draw three and rolls them. Then they're used just like Scopa. Scoring: One point for most dice captured, one point for most yellow dice captured, one point for primera (I'd just go with the total of the highest die in each color for simplicity sake), and one for each yellow seven (there may be multiples). Oh, and one point for each Scopa!

This results in pretty much the same game except that each suit may have not have a straight 1-10 distribution, so it'd be impossible to count cards. The sticking points are: hiding your rolled dice without making it too easy to accidentally change a die (or cheat), and similarly making sure that the dice don't get changed while in your score pile.  Oh, and 40 d10's aren't exactly as portable as a Scopa deck.

You could also introduce re-roll rules (X per round) and even play open-handed for a different experience. 

You'll come up with something better, but hey, I'd try it! If you need a co-designer... :)



I wasn't imagining so many dice. And I hadn't considered d10s. I was thinking d6s and/or d4s. You could do Ace through 6 on a d6 and then do 7 and the 3 honor cards on a d4 (or do another d6 with 2 blank sides - can see mechanics using the blank sides).

I like they way you use the different colors to signify the suits. If I were making a custome set, I'd still want coins, cups, swords on the dice but colors would make it even easier to separate the suits in your mind as you play.

I don't think the dice game has to be a 1:1 analog of the card game. It just has to retain its Scopa-ness, so I am not opposed in principle to things like adding rerolls, etc.

Feel free to email me if you want to continue this discussion. We can collaborate or develop in parallel and compare notes.

 I'm trying to rush an order for The Adventurers through, before Christmas. My wife hates you.

But you love us, right, Pikey?


Scopa dice?  I'm on it!  (Actually, I still need to finish my Expedition board and post pics).

Feel free to join the fun, scooterb!

We can start off-site on email but if we get designs ready for the light of day, we'll post them to the forums.

The way we've dealt with the slow speed of the walls is to remove a couple of the blank cards  - it makes the walls move more often.