Episode 339: Holiday Party 2019

Release Date: Dec. 20, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   148 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS


Join our party of misfit nerds for fun and games, and plenty of freewheeling conversation spanning the wide world of geekdom.

We hope you'll be in a festive mood for the season after listening to some Grade A goofing around.


Francie Broadie (Indianapolis, IN)

Gubbins (Indianapolis, IN)

Allen Chen (Cupertino, CA)

Miklos Fitch (Omaha, NE)

Starla Fitch (Omaha, NE)

Debbie Ohi (Toronto, Canada)

Darrell Ottery (Reading, UK)

Mark Rickards (Hobart, Tasmania)

Jeff Ridpath (Toronto, Canada)

Kristof Tersago (Sint Truiden, Belgium)

Mark Smalley (Indianapolis, IN)

Mark Wilder (Chicago, IL)


Debbie Ohi provided the fun and festive artwork for this episode! 

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Cast of Characters     


Francie Broadie

Francie Broadie lives in the padded cell with her partner in crime, Stephen. She loves cats, knitting, folk music and makes beautiful beaded jewelry.


Allen Chen

Allen has been goofing off with Stephen since high school. If it was nerdy, these two were neck-deep in it. He's a lifelong lover of games, from the classics to the modern.

Allen works and lives in Silicon Valley and enjoys traveling the world with his wife Pei Fang and his two sons Peyton and Bryson.

He's a car nut and spends weekends driving in timed rally races whenever he can. And he's an avid fan of the Colts & Pacers.


Gubbins Boffin is rarely seen and those who have seen him think it is best kept that way.

Gubbins loves co-op games and is still basking in the afterglow from  winning Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

Miklos & Starla Fitch

Miklos and Starla are avid board gamers and have recently moved to Omaha, Nebraska. They especially enjoy sharing their love and knowledge of gateway games, hoping to welcome more African-American players into the gaming community.  They run a wonderful page on Facebook called Our Family Plays Games highlighting great games they've played. 

Our Family Plays Games    Facebook  |  Instagram

Debbie Ohi & Jeff Ridpath

Debbie Ohi & Jeff Ridpath share a passion for fun whether through games or books or art or music. They live in Toronto.

Jeff is a technology development specialist for the Glenn Davis Group.

Debbie is an artist, writer and musician. 

Debbie's site

I'm Worried

Darrell Ottery

Darrell Ottery and his wife Becky own Eclectic Games, located in Reading, UK. They manage the shop with help from their feline companions. Darrell enjoys a pint, a nip of scotch and is a wizard at social deduction games. 

Eclectic Games

Mark Rickards

A man of many voices, Mark  Rickards is from Hobart, Tasmania. He is one of the creators and co-host of The Dice Men Cometh, Australia's leading board game podcast. It airs on 99.3 Edge Radio every week.  

The Dice Men Cometh site

Kristof Tersago

Kristof lives in Sint Truiden, Belgium. He's been a good friend and listener to The Spiel for over a decade, helping us to orchestrate a documentary film shoot in Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels and Hasselt. 

Kristof is a lifelong player and collector of games. He's also a lover of Belgian beer and Genever. He's an accomplished chef and enjoys using his Weber grill any chance he gets.

Oberonn Game Store  |  Spellenspektakel

Mark Smalley

Mark Smalley is an avid gamer, reader and is a huge fan of roller coaster and theme parks. He also has a huge crush on game designer Tom Lehman.  His pal Henson (a Chihuahua) is an avid listener of The Spiel. And one day, little Darwin might be, too!

Tom Lehmann's web site

Mark Wilder

Mark Wilder is a 74 year old woman trapped in the body of a middle aged Chicagoan. Mark loves contract bridge, opera, and his lovely bloodhound Roscoe. Mark has a small photography business and runs Operahound, a site listing all opera performances in Chicago.

Operahound  |WilderPix Photography

Roscoe's web site  | Roscoe on Instagram


Miscellaneous Links

Santa's Butt Beer

Salted Caramel Porter

Zwönitzer Rauchbier

Glendronach Whiskey

Debbie's review of said whiskey


With A Baseball Bat Mead

Krass Kariert


Cat Lady

Purrlock Holmes

Masters of the Renaissance

The Crew

Time's Up

Goat n Goat


Lavagulin Distillery


Things We Love 2019

Jeff's picks

The Expanse (tv)  | The Expanse (books)

Mark Rickard's picks

Years & Years

Kristof's picks

Money Heist

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Miklos & Starla's Picks

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

The Waterdancer


The Mandalorian

Debbie's Picks

Ring Fit Adventure

I'm Worried

Allen's Picks

Google Ngram

Mark Wilder's Picks

Lee & Perrin's Worcestershire

George Saunders

Trading Cards for Dogs


Doug's Picks

Office Girls

Gubbin's Pick


Lodge 49

The Good Place

Mr Robot


DONT watch The Rook

READ The Rook!

Francie's Picks

European Travelers for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

The Strange Case of the Alchemist Daughter

The Bird King

This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't

Mark Smalley's Picks


Distance Over Time

Against the Rules

Talking to Strangers


Music credits include:

Christmas Dinner

by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band  |  the song

The Nutcracker Suite

by Les Brown & His Band of Renown |  the song

Little Drummer Boy

by Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra  |  the song