Behind the Scenes #2: References in ACHTUNG!

Today I’m just going to take it easy this week and showcase some fun I had with writing the cards in ACHTUNG! The game had me coming up with a lot of different ways to be silly, and I borrowed a few of them from real people and various media. Take a look at this short list and I’ll point out some of my favorites.

There are two cards in the deck that each refer specifically to one person. Both of these people have extremely identifiable traits that are hard to miss.

The first of these two will have you choose from these laws: “Wear something on your head,” “Speak in an old west accent,” and “End everything you say with, ‘Pilgrim.’” Of course it’s John Wayne, The Duke himself. He’s pretty much the most famous cowboy in movie history. Go check out him out in the movie Stagecoach, it’s pretty great.


The second of the set reads: “Do not move your right hand,” “Hold a writing utensil in your right hand,” and “Only refer to yourself in the third person.” Any guesses? Good guess! That’s right, it’s our old friend Bob Dole. If you were that guy in the back of the room who guessed wrong, well then let me tell you who he is. He’s one of those career politicians that hang around so long that everyone gets to know his name and face. His mannerisms stem from a wound he received serving in World War 2 and while that isn’t funny, I feel like a bunch of people imitating him would be.


Sourced from

Ball(point)s to the wall.

There’s also a ton of movie references tucked away in the box. Here are a few of my favorites…

“After playing a law, raise your arms into the air and shout ‘Can you dig it?’” If you’re a fan of the action film genre then I’m sure you’ll scream “Yeah!” The Warriors is a movie that gives us so many great lines… especially the insane villainous gang guy who sets The Warriors up for murder. I had to use restraint to only shove one quote into the game.


Not all movies are great, and some aren’t even good. The movie that I took, “The losers of a filibuster must say, ‘You are tearing me apart, Lisa!’” from is what you call a so-bad-it’s-good movie… and even that might be generous. The line comes from the incredible Tommy Wiseau’s magnum opus The Room. The wikipedia page quotes a review calling it the Citizen Kane of bad movies, which couldn’t be more accurate.


I’m a sucker for smart comedy that doesn’t mind being silly and the boys (men? (grandpas?)) of Monty Python are some of the best. Which is why I had to co-opt a line from their brilliant questing film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “If you must insult someone, refer to their parents as rodents and fruit.”


I don’t want to go through everything and produce a list four times this size, so I’ll just skip straight to some musical reference. This one is a bit absurd out of context (and it doesn’t make much more sense in context but… there you go). The Ramones are one of my favorite bands and they have a song called Commando from which I took the idea for the law, “One your turn, be nice to mommy, don’t talk to commies, and (pretend to) eat kosher salamis.”

I wanted to pack as much silliness and reference into the game as I could so players would, just once in a while, go “oh yeah, I recognize this!” I know that reference is the lowest form of creativity, but damn if it isn’t a good time.

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