Episode 137: Word Up!

Release Date: Sept 26, 2011

Running Time:  177 min.

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Dial "L" for Latin. Vulgar Latin, that is. We review De Vulgari Eloquentia, an eccelectic but compelling medieval game where players help create the Italian language.

News & Notes: Buckeye Game Fest, Star Trek Deck Building, Kickstart Update
The List: 
De Vulgari Eloquentia
Truckloads of Goober:  Crozzle
Playbill:  Fauxcabulary
Back Shelf Spotlight:  Jotto
Game Sommelier:  5 overlooked games we consider staples
Mail Bag:  Quebec rules, OwlCon donation, Qwirkle vs tractors

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

Buckeye Game Fest Oct. 13-16 Link

A weekend of open games sponsored by CABS the Columbus (OH) Area Board Game Society. $25 advance registration. Over 1000 games in the library and tons of great players to meet.

Star Trek TNG Deck Building Game   BGG


Bandai's second entry into this deck building arena, and this time they've brought the Bord with them!

Video Podcast Feed Now Available! iTunes | RSS

Spiel-a-thon! November 18th, 1-4 PM Dallas BGG Con! Link

Kickstarter Project: Essen Video Coverage! Link

The List

De Vulgari Eloquentia Official Site | BGG  


Guide your medieval merchant or friar through the ages and across the country to help create the Italian language.


Fauxcabulary   Official Site | BGG


Use cubes to create crazy words to match crazy questions.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Jotto   Wiki | BGG


A word game with a good dose of deductive reasoning to boot!

Truckloads of Goober 

Crozzle  BGG

Fun crossword grids for each player to fill in and try to form the most words across and down.

The Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 5 overlooked games we consider staples everyone should try

Stephen's Picks: 

Duell, On the Dot, Inner Circle, Catch Phrase, Cloud 9, Poison, Municipium

say it with me, folks... Scopa - Cribbage - Mah Jongg - Euchre - Crokinole

Pledge Drive 2011

Show your financial support for The Spiel. Help us reach our goal of inspiring 25% of our audience to make a contribution.  Click here to contribute.

Mail Bag

Thanks to Christian Lemay for posting the rules to Quebec

NFL pick 'em pool is up and running! 

A BIG thank you to Kevin Nunn and the fine folks at OwlCon for donating another $1000 to the Spiel Foundation. More games for seniors and kids in the Houston area. Awesome!


Music credits include:

Word Up  by Cameo  |  buy the song

Word Up  by Willis  | buy the song

Word Up by The Boss Hoss  |  buy the album

In Other Words (Fly Me To The Moon)  by Nick the Nightfly | buy the song

Four Italian Dances  by Patricia Spero  |  buy the song

Istanpitta Ghaetta  by Freiburg Spielleyt  | buy the song

Ecco La Primavera  by Cercamon  | buy the song


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

I stated (incorrectly!) that English was a Romance language. It has many connections to Latin, but it is, in fact, a Germanic language.

Sponsored Link: Starlit Citadel

Quest: A Time of Heroes  Buy It


Sponsored Links: Board Game Guy

Sunrise City Kickstarter


Alien Frontiers: Factions Kickstarter


 Sponsored Link: Table of Catan   Link



Another excellent show. Stephen, I'm so glad we got to play the "vulgar" game at Origins. It did not disappoint in the first play for you, me and Kevin. I was hoping you'd cover this game on the podcast. Although I already know how to play, it was great to hear your historical research on the subject. I agree that the subject sounds terrible for a board game, but it's really a great game. I haven't had a second play yet, but I'm looking forward to exploring different paths soon. Speaking of soon, thanks for mentioning Buckeye Games Fest in Columbus, OH in mid October. This will be my 4th straight year BGF, a GREAT convention run by CABS. Maybe I'll get to play the "vulgar" game there. I also loved the Word Up music, a great choice. Good luck with the last few days of you Kickstater drive. Paul Marshall

Gratias (thanks), Paul.

I should have given you more credit and thanks in the show for teaching/playing through our first game at Origins. Having read the rules before we played, it really made things go smoothly with your help and advance preparation!

I've played a few times since and there are definitely a lot of paths to explore. As I said I went crazy trying to get the Lingua Volgare in my last game and didn't worry about much else. As it turns out (unsurprisingly) this didn't work very well as a winning strategy BUT I think I proved to myself that unless you go crazy like that, you won't every get enough knowledge to worry about that super manuscript.

BGF sounds like a great event. I hope we are able to make it over to see for ourselves sometime!

P.S. Glad you liked the musical selections. Heh. :)



 Now that I have that song stuck in your head...


This sounds like the kind of game I'd love to play, but know that I'd never get one of my regular game groups to even sit through the box opening.  Maybe if I run into you at BGF Paul, we can give it a try!  

Stephen, we also hope you guys can come over and give BGF a run sometime.  Today, I already got to learn two brand new games to me (Blood Bowl Team Manager and Himalaya), and helped teach an underrated classic (Homesteaders).  3 games, 9 different opponents... a really fun day, and I still have 2 more to go (can't go Sunday...stupid work).