Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

BGTG 69 - Mar 21, 2007 - Adlung Spiele Games

Here's a solo show focusing on a particular publisher, Adlung Spiele. These are the guys (or maybe just one guy with some freelance authors & illustrators) that produce one of my favorites, Verräter, and other small card games. Most of them are only small in format, though--a single deck of cards in a tuckbox. Many of their games play much larger than they appear, feeling like more of a boardgame in a cardgame box. Verräter is certainly one of those--in fact it's the game that put Adlung on the map for having such titles, even though they'd been around a few years earlier. Although I covered Verräter in great detail on one of my earliest All About shows, the audio quality was limited by working with landline telephones, and I was never sure everyone got to hear what my guest Greg Aleknevicus and I had to say about the game. This was my chance to catch up a little. Though I don't go into nearly the same level of depth about the game, I do use it to start the show, then proceed to also discuss its thematic sequel Meuterer, as well as other notables like Vom Kap bis Kairo, Die Fugger, Canal Grande, and others.

Something I forgot to mention in the show is how Adlung has a franchise in their collection of card games, the Team Work series. I've never played them, as they're a party game and those are often difficult due to the language barrier. However, they sound very much like a more convenient, and probably easier version of Wat'n'Dat, a German party game I do happen to own. In all of these, it starts with the familar format of a cluegiver trying to get their partner to guess the correct word, often helped by knowing the category. Only here the cluegiver is a partnership, and these partners have to alternate words in the clue they give. No, they aren't allowed to converse privately beforehand. Hilarity ensues. Actually, the comments I've read online suggest it doesn't work as well as you'd like. That would match my experience with Wat'n'Dat, where you depict the answer by alternating placement of wooden sticks and glass beads with your partner. Trouble is, too often you're on a completely different page with the partner, leading to confusion. Worst of all is how that is no fun for the guessing players, who have a botched clue to try to untangle.


BGTG 36B - All About Verräter
My review of Die Fugger in Boulder Games' Gamenotes magazine (scroll down one third)