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So You Think You Know CCGs?

Of course you know the iconic classics like Magic: the Gathering, Vampire: the Masquerade, Android: Netrunner, Pokemon: the Trading Card Game and Corndog: Gamma Central, but how many of these more obscure 90’s CCGs can you identify from just one line of card text each?

  1. Reverse red hexagons up to seven plus the number of green cubes in the blue stack, but not exceeding the number of cards in the hand of the player with the fewest maximum color density plus three.
  2. Advance the Nightmare Child track by two albums unless the Catman is ascendant.
  3. If you dehumanized yourself and faced to bloodshed this turn, sever the wicked. (If you are the iron man, you may sever the wicked again.)
  4. There once was a man from Nantucket.
  5. Each eternal bloodweeping in your thrallpit becomes forlorn, but the bleak moon looms closer.
  6. OH NO! All your chickens are on strike! Lose fifteen starships or lose a turn.
  7. If Jimmy Olsen is in play, all Red Kryptonite cards apply to him and not to Kryptonian cards. Take a shot.
  8. Roll the Wacky Die. 3: Orange. 5: Green.
  9. All Salty cards in play count as Sweet until the start of the next Potluck. (Errata: the werewolf rule always takes precedence over effects of this type, even if playing in a non-were format)
  10. Paul Atreides may be played on any unoccupied Federal Holiday, but does not count as a Cryptid
  11. Swap any two of your opponent’s homophones (cost 46/73)
  12. Give each opposing Richie twice as many coins as you have in your piggy bank
  13. Hhhhh hhhh hhhhhhhhh hhhhhhh. H/H/H *H
  14. If Snappy Pete has more pancakes than any other chef currently in play, your eggs are free.
  15. +2 Phantom -1 Cats -3 Dreamcoat
  16. You may spend Galactic Credits instead of Frogs this year, but at the beginning of next year all of your remaining Galactic Credits and Frogs become Infected.
  17. Put your hand inside the puppet head.
  18. You may replace any number of bones with tentacles. Discard this browser plugin after installing it.
  19. This Strauss counts as a Triceratops instead of a Strauss
  20. Channel the arcane powers of the awesome Lightningmaul Axeveil to deal one damage to any unarmored or defenseless servitor.

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Episode Guide: The Strauss File Season 3

Catch up on the previous seasons here and here.


Former police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) confronts his own nonexistence in a burning cocaine warehouse. Guest starring Oregano Simpleton as Time Ghost.

When the Supreme Court is kidnapped, Strauss interrogates universal gravitation, but are bosons admissable in court? Guest starring Romeo Martinez as Chief Pinkerton.

All things age and die, but this is an anthropomorphism, for our understanding of time’s arrow is rooted in the myopia of consciousness. Guest starring Jennifer Lawrence as time’s arrow.

A cloud has no concept of cloud-ness. This fact does not determine whether or not it rains. An unlucky hoodlum breaks into a police nuclear reactor and gets what’s coming to him… or does he? Guest starring Matt Chapman as The Cheat.

Crime does not exist. Former police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) becomes enlightened. A triceratops is stabbed in self-defense. Guest starring Gomez Gomez as Duran Duran.


Chief Pinkerton perceives blue as police detective Strauss perceives green and vice versa, but they must work together to catch a color-blind drug lord who has bred a new type of edible hallucinogenic mouse. Guest starring Romeo Martinez as Chief Pinkerton and Sean Connery as Jesus. (part 1 of 3)


Strauss decides to exist, but will his identity be overturned on appeal? Guest starring Jennica Struthers as Time Ghost. (part 2 of 3)

The universe undergoes heat-death, but as trillions of years pass, police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) is determined to see justice prevail one last time. (part 3 of 3)


A new street appears, but it is paved with drugs. Guest starring Jerry Seinfeld as Steve Martin.

A small-time chicken hustler gets more than he bargained for when Strauss links him to the exploitation of Chinese labor. Guest starring Lucy Lawless as the population of China.

Police detective Strauss’ (Chive Allston) chickens come home to roost. Guest starring ALF, Romeo Martinez, Oregano Simpleton, and Jennica Struthers. (part 1 of 3)


Strauss traps a burning building inside a burning building in a desperate attempt to get to the bottom of a Faustian economic bargain. Guest starring ALF, Oregano Simpleton, Jennica Struthers, Angela Lansbury, Orange Socksmith, and Ken Penders as the voice of Sonic. (part 2 of 3) (series finale)


Episode Guide: The Strauss File Season 2

Catch up on the previous season here.

Winter On Wheels
With his former comrade in arms transferred to the Miami State campus police, police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) adjusts to his new partner, but can a wheelchair-bound epileptic supermodel get the job done? Introducing Jennica Struthers as Stacy Winter, and guest starring Rowan Atkinson as Stacy Winter.

Riding With Death
The FBI suspect supermodel police detective Stacy Winter’s (Jennica Struthers) wheelchair of being an illegaly imported explosive device, and her new partner Strauss (Chive Allston) must choose between the rulebook and the mouth of madness. Guest starring Justin Bieber as the voice of Bessie.

Time Enough Pt 1
Supermodel police detective Stacy Winter (Jennica Struthers) gets an untraceable call from her past, while detective Strauss (Chive Allston) races against time to trace a call from the future. Guest starring ALF as Spencer. (part 1 of 2)

Time Enough Pt 2
Police detectives Strauss and Winter are stranded on the moon. Guest starring Robin Williams as the moon. (part 2 of 2)

May It Sleaze The Court
The precinct has adopted a triceratops, but Strauss is convinced all is not as it seems, while Winter mud wrestles before the Supreme Court. Guest starring Oregano Simpleton as the voice of Horny.

The Girl Who Was Death
The FBI claim jurisdiction over a police triceratops, but Strauss and Winter are certain that a kidnapped girl is the key to tracing a series of prostitution drug thefts. Guest starring Oregano Simpleton as the voice of Horny and Orange Socksmith as Sergeant Artichoke.

Hometown Pride
After Horny (voiced by Oregano Simpleton) kills an FBI agent, Strauss is torn between loyalty to the local football team and a chance to clean up the city once and for all. Meanwhile, Stacy tries on Halloween costumes in a mysterious parking lot. Guest starring Orange Socksmith as Sergeant Applebee.

Share The Road
Strauss and Winter run out of time investigating a routine bicycle arson and find themselves in a dimensional void in which past and future are meaningless. Guest starring Majel Barrett as the voice of Scott Bakula.

Moving On Up
Supermodel police detective Stacy Winter ascends to a higher plane of existence, but a petty cocaine counterfeiter’s lawyer finds a loophole. Guest starring Slive Tode as Cancel Garrett.

How The West Was Won
Stacy Winter discovers the origin of the universe and a cockfighting ring. Guest starring Chive Allston as Strauss. (part 1 of 4)

In Circles
Stacy Winter invents the wheel, unwittingly setting into motion a secret trap hidden in the United States Constitution. Guest starring Chive Allston as Strauss. (part 2 of 4)

Horned Beauty
Stacy Winter (Jennica Struthers) is forced to erase her former partner from the timeline in order to catch a triceratops rustler. Guest starring Oregano Simpleton as the voice of Horny and Chive Allston as the voice of Brighteyes. (part 3 of 4)

Fall Out
The Court of Triceratops makes its final ruling in Stacy Winter’s case, and marijuana arson will never be the same. Guest starring Chive Allston as the voice of Brighteyes, Oregano Simpleton as the voice of Horny, and Sean Connery as Jesus. (part 4 of 4)


Let Me Tell You About Ten More Doctor Who Audio Dramas

In my last article about Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas, I rounded up all of their free samples, aside from teaser excerpts. At the end of that article, I suggested continuing to Big Finish’s monthly range, and so here we are now.

Big Finish’s monthly range has been releasing a 2-CD full-cast Doctor Who story every month for fifteen years. That is quite a lot of Doctor Who. The prices are tiered by release date, and the first 50 releases are the lowest-priced, so it makes sense to start near the beginning until you know that you want to go deeper and spend more money.

I’m going to give my opinions on Big Finish’s monthly series, starting from the beginning. In this article, I’ll present my opinions of the earliest ten that I’ve listened to (not the earliest ten ever, since my own listening is not thorough). Continue Reading


Let Me Tell You About Doctor Who Audio Dramas

Here’s a candidate for the least controversial statement you’ll read this week: The 1963-1989 series of Doctor Who did not rely on a high standard of quality in its visual effects.

If you think about it from an engineering mindset, you might ask: couldn’t you make Doctor Who more efficiently if you left out the video? That way, producers wouldn’t have to pay for sets and costumes, directors wouldn’t need as many takes, and the audience wouldn’t have to look at a screen all the time while watching it.

In 1999, a company called Big Finish Productions began reuniting casts from multiple eras of Doctor Who to do exactly that. Actors who had portrayed the Doctor and his companions on television returned to their roles for direct-to-audio adventures. When the Doctor returned to television with a new incarnation in 2005, television showrunner Russell Davies personally made sure that the new television series would not prevent Big Finish from continuing the classic series in audio form. Continue Reading