#TheVoxmanPledge 2014

In between recording podcasts and working in real life, I often get into lengthy conversations about miniature wargames on Twitter (My handle is @ATT64 if you wanna say hi). The other day I made an interesting comment (for once lol) and I would like to explain in further detail what I have planned.

“We live in a golden era of miniature games, go forth and play ’em all!” (The Voxman Pledge)

It should come as no surprise to any avid miniature wargamer that there is an absolute colossal ton of games now available to buy. With dozens of successfully fundraised kickstarter projects and entrepreneurs looking to make a name for themselves in the industry, its an exciting time to collect miniature games. The competition between these new games is frantic and often brutal as the general population dictates the ultimate fate of these new projects. We have the power to change the landscape of miniature wargames for the better

Over the break, I thought about my relationship with the games I currently own and play:

Warhammer Fantasy: Empire | Skaven | Dark Elves

Warhammer 40,000: Tau | Orks

Warmachine: The Protectorate of Menoth | Convergence of Cyriss

Firestorm Armada: Terrans

Dust Warfare: Sino-Soviet Union (SSU)

I realized that my relationship with games has changed significantly over the years and the free time I have available to me is much more restricted. I started off playing massive battles of 40K with 4 childhood friends on a ping-pong tale, using cardboard boxes to create expanding cities. I eventually transitioned to playing Warhammer Fantasy, which allowed me to further design detailed ranked up miniatures in the form of my Empire Averland State troop focussed army and my 210 Skaven horde. Overtime I desired more variety in my gameplay and tired many things both in 40K and fantasy, but I always found that it felt the same regardless.

I tried multiple small units, monsters, all cavalry armies and even using only one Hellpit Abomination (rebel). I discovered Warmachine around 2010 and even though I slowed down playing Fantasy, I still retained a deep love for that game. Now with regards to 40K, I really found that while I still appreciated the universe and the built-in complexities within the established codices. I didn’t like actually playing it. I am a firm believer that the fun focus of that game is around list construction (for tournaments or causal play) or potentially creating a thematic army. I just felt that the game was usually over in 30 minutes, but played out for 2 1/2 hours. Keep in mind that I don’t hate 40K by any means, I just realised it wasn’t the game for me.

I have played Warmachine for several years now, but for some reason I have been beginning to feel burnt out. Maybe, its the sole focus of the competitive scene or the sheer flood of new miniatures being added to the game, but for some reason I entered a hobby slump. Don’t get me wrong, if you phone me up and have an army I will play you! I love the game, but I guess I am tired of it’s one direction approach and needed some more variety. I played Dust Warfare and Firestorm with varying degrees of success, but with their scattered release schedules and rule hiccups. I have decided to wait and see.

Recently though, I have had a rather profound realization about my hobby. I want to try everything. That’s really it, I am tired of trying to be “The Tournament goer” or “The Hobbiest” or even “The Fluff Gamer”. I want to have fun, it’s really that simple. For so long, I have prided myself by bringing the best list I can make for a tournament or building an entire army around a narrative or trying to be a better painter/modeller. But where was the fun? When I played Blood Bowl, Dreadball and even to a lesser extent X-Wing, I realized that I had been so focussed on a particular aspect of this hobby that I ignored what makes a game fun and engaging.

I don’t have to own an entire complete range of miniatures or even be a hobby completest, I just want to have fun like I have always done playing miniature games.

So I say unto you fellow Wargamers and Warmongers, that I will try to play every and any game I can during 2014. I don’t have to own or buy every miniature, heck I don’t even have to be that good at playing the game. I just want to have the willingness to try to open my mind to other experiences that these new/old games are offering. At the very least I want to trim down my collections and gradually have a variety of miniatures from several game systems. Now of course, common sense and reality are also important here. I’m not throwing pots of money at every game system. At the heart of my goal is to at least try every game and if I like it, then perhaps collect a small amount for that game. Simple, nothing complicated.

So I ask you then? Are also going to take the Voxman Pledge? Are you going to investigate other games and explore what makes them fun and enjoyable?

If not? That’s ok too, because there’s always a variety of ways to have fun in this hobby, just promise yourself to try to have fun during 2014.

Cheers!

Adam, aka Mr Voxman

Blood Bowl Night in Canyada – Episode 3

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Time for the third game of the Blood Bowl Season! Using the Chaos Edition of Blood Bowl from Cyanide Studios, we take a look at a custom team of randomly selected Facebook/Twitter followers of War and More Radio and track their progress.

Will the Throgg Bronzebacks make a killing as the MVP team of the year? Or will the Chaos God of Blood Bowl, Nuffle. Have other plans for our them? Tune in to find out!

Click Here To Download Game 3

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ATT64 and #WarMoreRadio

For Game #1 and League Information : Click Here

Blood Bowl Night in Canyada – Episode 2

bloodbowl-logo

Time for the second game of the Blood Bowl Season! Using the Chaos Edition of Blood Bowl from Cyanide Studios, we take a look at a custom team of randomly selected Facebook/Twitter followers of War and More Radio and track their progress.

Will the Throgg Bronzebacks make a killing as the MVP team of the year? Or will the Chaos God of Blood Bowl, Nuffle. Have other plans for our them? Tune in to find out!

Click Here To Download Game 2

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ATT64 and #WarMoreRadio

For Game #1 and League Information : Click Here

Game Theory with Adam Tremblay

Welcome to the first of many Game Theory articles that will take a detailed look at some of our favourite miniature table top wargames and video games (Interactive visual game entertainment/experiences). I love games and how they work, but I also love to interpret the artistic value of a game as I attempt to get a glimpse of what the creator had in mind as they built these games.

Today we are going to take a look at the notrious victory points system for the games Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K from Games-Workshop.

1) Why do Victory Points Exist?
The majority of miniature wargames assign a specific price tag or point value to a single/group of miniatures. Within the context of the game world this is supposed to symbolize the differences in quality and quantity between models. Points have a duel purpose, first by being a game balancing agent by creating a disparity between models. With weaker models costing less compared to the more powerful, yet more expensive elite miniatures. Secondly, it allows the game designer to develop a deeper sense of thematic identity for a group of miniatures. For example: the elite powerful Chaos Knights are imbued with the gifts of their Gods, therefore they should be extremely powerful; yet rare because the Gods are fickle about who they bestow their gift upon. Compared to the numerous and weedy goblins, which are weak on their own, but together in a horde can be a greentide of death and misery.

Victory points, are the direct side effect of this system. Miniature wargames, by their true nature need to have a victor and defeated opponent. For a designer, victory points are the most simplistic and rational way to force a victory condition. Each model is worth a point value, every model I remove from my opponent’s army nets me those points and if I can prevent my opponent from doing the same, then I am the victor. Really simple and effective, but is it thematic? To an extent perhaps, because history has shown to contain brutal massacres and drawn out stalemates. However, here is where some of the many problems with victory points begin…

2) The Consequences of the Victory Point System
The primary issue with victory points is how they are utilized within a game system. For starters in Warhammer Fantasy, whenever you run down or completely destroy a unit you gain its combined victory points value. Seems all right so far. Until you begin to notice that this begins to promote two different extremes within the game. Units that are large and full of powerful models (expensive in points because of their improved stats) and dozens of smaller redirecting units (small size and cheap cost) for repositioning these larger more powerful units. Essentially, the larger “death units” are used to clear out other models, while the smaller cheap units/models are used to keep these more powerful models from earning their points back.

Why is this such a big deal? Well the issue is that this system promotes these two extremes and armies will have no middle ground units that offer alternatives or tools for varying the army playstyle. Because the playstyle of an army, is so connected to its theme, you soon get this homogenised effect of armies feeling too similar. Once armies are playing the same style, pretty soon it becomes a min-max game that alienates models/armies that are just under the radar.

Also how people approach the game is altered as well, because now its more about a model’s points value (is a model cost-effective, super cheap or really powerful), instead of a model’s potential tactical value or toolbox nature. For instance: High Elf Sea Guard, have bows and spears for weapons and can switch them on the fly. A fairly flexible unit that can perform a variety of roles, however because of the victory points system, you would be at a disadvantage for taking them. They are more expensive compared to spearmen and bowmen, and even though being flexible is nice, it does make them lackluster, by not being truly great in one particular area.

3) Fixing the Mission
Victory Points often promote a “Kill or be Killed” mentality, but here’s an effective way to change-up this age-old formula. Missions! Simple right? Now I want to clarify that missions that award additional victory points don’t really count, because they haven’t actively solved the problem.

Instead missions should take the focus off the individual models/units (thereby removing emphasis on points values) and focus on tactical play and objective based games. With regards to Fantasy, this could be done with missions that rely on units with banners holding key points on the map. It works thematically (armies smashing face full metal style) and in-game as well because all the models still retain all their roles. Smashy units still smash, redirectors still distract, but now tool box units could potentially have more value. Using the High Elf Sea Guard example; they still lack a defined role but now they can adjust to what the army would need during the game. For instance in a take and hold mission the can offer support by providing additional firepower and break into the zone with the rest of the hammer melee units on that crucial turn.

For more examples of awesome and interesting Warhammer Fantasy Missions, make sure to checkout the Uk Tournament: Blood and Glory! Which is run by Ben Curry from the Bad Dice Podcast for more information on the event and how it played out.

Are these absolute answers or permanent examples of how to change the game? No. But I found that they are a step in the right direction to promote more interesting competitive and casual play in Warhammer Fantasy!

Until next time! 

Mr Tremblay Does Dreadball

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I have been looking at Dreadball for quite a while and I can’t help but feel intrigued by the entire game. I love Blood Bowl and continue to have hours of fun with the computer game. There are several reasons why I never got into the proper miniature version of Blood Bowl. It’s quite simple really: 1) Lack of a supported model line. 2) The models never really appealed to me [Because they’re shit. -Ed.]. 3) Hard to convince people to invest in another game that isn’t relatively available.

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Long story short: I find Dreadball appealing for these reasons: 1) Easy to jump into a game. 2) It’s an original sports game, not just a recreation of Blood Bowl. 3) Multiple ways to play the game, with the new Ultimate Edition. So it looks like I’m getting into Dreadball. The question remains, what teams appeal to me and what will be my first purchases, or who will forever sit on the bench.

Season 1: Corporation/Orx Starter Bundle I personally don’t find these teams terribly exciting. Sure Orcs are always cool, but they feel a bit par for the course. The corp or Human teams are always kind of meh… in my honest opinion. Thankfully, the models look different enough that I can convince myself to forget how boring normal human teams can be thematically. It’s a science fiction based game and I wished they would have made their fiction more exciting, like humanoid robots or matrix infused karate humans that don’t use armour. I will be picking up both teams, because I want the starter box and to learn the basics. So I will have to take them. Status: Have no choice, but to buy them. Forgefathers: Awesome! Power armoured dwarfs. Think Iron man and thor had a step child…ok too much info. I would pick these up, but @JaronTheBaron has called dibs…Blast! Status: Probably in the future, but not for a while. Veerymn: Ok we all know space rats = Skaven, but who cares. They are an awesome team to play. [No they’re not, they’re rubbish. -Ed.] Unfortunately I own 210 Skaven and would like to avoid owning more Status: Last team I will buy.

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Season 2: Void Sirens: My favourite team! Interesting female miniatures that make sense! They wear armour and its practical! In all seriousness, its cool that they can count as an alternative for the corp team or as their own unique team. Two teams for the price of one! What’s not to like! Status: Bought! Judwan: I dislike the aesthetic of the tall skinny aliens from 1950’s Sci-fi. Even Mars Attacks has a more interesting take on this style of alien. I can appreciate them being in the game, but they just don’t appeal to me. Also their play style of only passing, seems to contradict my hockey upbringings. Status: Probably going to stay on the bench. Not saying their bad, in fact many consider this the best team. Just not my cup of tea. Robots: I like the concept of the team being able to switch player roles on the fly. The models seem, almost too skinny for what they do, but I can forgive that for a potentially engaging team to play on the pitch. Just didn’t have enough cash to pick these in the first go round. Status: will pick up in the second batch. Zorr: They are bugs, a bit goofy looking, but a very interesting team. Not a bad-looking team, but the models didn’t pull me in enough. But perhaps in the next batch of purchases. Status: Not the first purchase, but perhaps later on.

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Season 3) TURTLES!!! I like the concept of this team and I was torn on buying these guys. Teleporting turtles with a rat coach, come on guys how can I avoid that! Needless to say, it was a close call but these will be a second waver for me. It came down to a lack of colour scheme ideas. Status: Next Wave. The Nameless: Not only is this team Cthulu based, but the potential for detailed colour schemes is what I find the most appealing. The variety of models on the team also helps to diversify this team and make them unique. Status: Bought! Space Elves: To be honest, the models look fine and have a unique play style. I just wanted to pick a nice diverse spread of teams for my initial batch of miniatures. Unfortunately, I just find the other teams more intriguing overall. Status: Not a first purchase, but perhaps later on. The Zee! A team of genetically engineered hyper monkey clones. This team is truly original and just plain goofy to play. I like how they are simple to paint, easy to explain, yet hard to master. A really fun team to use in Dreadball Ultimate, which I am also picking up. Status: Bought!

So there we go, now it’s time to wait till my models get here in the frozen norths of Canada. Until next time!

The Podcast Corner

2013 has been an exciting year for miniature wargame podcasts! The amount of shows that are available is simply staggering. Especially, once you realize that most of them bring their own unique flare and culture with them. I love the fact I can listen to 100 wargame podcasts and get a little something different each time. With that said though, I do notice a ton of problems and potential ways to improve, keep in mind I am equally as guilty and could take a taste of my own medicine…

1) Stereo-typically, typical.

An aspect of how people quickly decode incoming information from our environment, is by stereotyping. It might seem shallow, but everyone, everywhere in some manner does. It’s a natural process that allows us to quickly group important information from otherwise tons of useless data points. Where it goes wrong in most situations is when stereotyping is used as an excuse to label someone else, thereby turning that diverse person into a 2D character.

In the context of a podcast, the host’s will have certain bias or opinions that attract or repulse people from the show. After an audience has listened to a few shows they are able to move past the “first impression” stage and get to understand the host’s perspective by comparing it to their own. This is the ideal situation and for the most part it’s what I see on the majority shows.

Where does it go wrong though? Basically when the stereotype becomes the entire show. The host’s create a falsehood about who they are as people and default on “what’s the popular opinion this week”. There have been a few instances of fake people who think about themselves first before that of their own audience. When a poor man or woman listens to your show every week because it is the highlight of their day, show some respect, don’t lie to them about who you are as a person. Be yourself, that’s why we are listening after all.

2) Will be right back after 10 commercials.

OK this is a bit harder to explain. Basically I am ok with sponsors and people who want to support your show. What an honour it is to have someone respect you; to the point where your show is considered valuable in the sponsor’s own eyes. The commercials on the Garagehammer podcast are simply brilliant and clever. They don’t take you out of the experience and help to build a sense of weight to the show.

Where a commercial or a badly placed music break can hurt a show is in the pacing. Typically, breaks should be thoughtful and not there for the sake of “just being there”. For instance, if I reviewed a 40K codex and broke it down by section (with a break between each) things can get really hectic in a hurry. Troops might take longer to discuss, so spend the time and then take the break, but if Heavy support and fast attack are shorter, please combine them. Here’s my general format for pacing.

Less than 1/2 hourr: it’s okay to have some funny breaks or commercials, have a gander! Example: Big Mek’s Garage Podcast

1 hour long show: No Breaks, keep it focused and to the point, you will find that time runs out rather quickly so try to use it as best you can. The type of topics discussed at this format require additional explanation and breaks just hamper the show as a whole when, compared to the other levels. Positive Example: Jadedgamercast

2 hours or more: Now this is the most difficult, because this really depends on the hosts for the most part. If you’re the kind of host that needs to take a moment to eat or go to the can, then feel free to add a break or 2. If your show has multiple hosts, a break might not be needed, because it gives the other hosts a moment to shine front and centre. Just be aware of the topics being discussed and try not to talk about one specific area for longer then 1 hour.

Three hours of “why Finecast is: (insert your own pun, reader)” is entertaining, but only for a max of 1 hour.

3) We are Competitive! Are you competitive?

Now this refers more to my own personal bias, after listening to 6 months worth of shows….Basically a lot of shows start-up out of the need and desire to express the competitive nature of the game that they love. It’s what drives tournament circuits and tactical discussions around the world. I am a competitive casual gamer. I LOVE taking my constructed army of badasses against your random net list, Come at me Bro!

But it’s also important to understand that there is a time and place for competitive behaviour (at a tournament or progression league). A thematic campaign or event that relies on goofy missions or the ability to purchase re-rolls with real cash (fundraisers like Foodmachine) in these situations a competitive player needs to “take a chill pill” and realize that it’s about why we are playing and not just about winning.

I find competitive tournament podcasts interesting and insightful. However, they can risk becoming unengaging if they rely too much on reading off a battle report or army list. All too often, the host never explains or highlights why a unit is useful (how it combos within a list) or describes what drove them to make the choices that they would eventually end up with. Why is a unit of 14 chaos warriors amazing? What does that unit hate to come across during a game. To become a better player there needs to be that sense of self-reflection, otherwise its pointless filler information. Same goes for battle reports, their needs to be a reason for us to get invested. Create theme around your list or name a funny model like “Gimpy the Hormagaunt” which has a unique history during game. Your telling us a story(battle report) make it interesting! This is usually why I find Blood Bowl Battle Reports generally more interesting (Frank the Crank, smashed into the opposing Orc line and actually ended up taking out the Strength 5 Captain Black Orc) and engaging versus a generic Warmachine battle report. For example: ” I moved forward, shot a bunch, I feated with the caster and won the game”.

GIVE US A REASON TO CARE!!! UNLESS! Exception to the rule, you keep it short and to the point. In that case, feel free to quickly cover the Battle report.

Like I have said previously, I don”t dislike competitive podcasts, the main issue that usually comes up is when there are multiple competitive shows that repeat the same information (same events as well). This is unavoidable, but going back to the beginning “Be Yourself and be original”. Put a unique spin on it! Try a Codex review drinking game or explain why an event is unique enough and worth the listener’s time.

Thanks for all the fish!!

I hope you have enjoyed and have taken something positive away from this article.

Cheers!

Convergence of Cyriss Heavy Kit – A Review

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The Convergence of Cyriss, is the latest faction to be released for Warmachine from Privateer Press, and trying to understand how this faction is meant to be played on the table top has been fairly challenging for me. This rogue faction is Privateer’s attempt to introduce a primarily battlegroup (warjacks) focussed faction into the game. Although infantry and other goodies exist in the book, it is obvious that the warjacks are the main workhorses of the army. Through army mechanics like induction and interface nodes, each warjack can share the Mat/Rat values (Or Weapon/Ballistic skills ) of their controlling warcaster ; they can also transfer one point of focus (which allows you to buy extra attacks or add another dice to roll) to another warjack if they are within 6 inches of each other.

This will be the first of many articles looking at the warjacks and their roles in the army list. Today I will also be taking a look at my experiences building some of the kits and the overall opinion so far.

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Cipher

This warjack (or vector as the book calls it) in my opinion is one of the most crucial vectors in the entire army! Bold words to be sure, but it makes perfect sense. This vector can fire its main cannon twice (with a focus point) and can change which ammo it uses for every shot. The first shot allows the Cipher to damage models under the template, while the other two can reduce the defence of models hit by 2 (Models trying to hit the enemy require a roll of Mat/Rat +2D6 >=Def) or create an area of rough terrain. Since the shot is a 4 inch Blast, it covers a lot of ground and can potentially debuff your opponent. To add icing to the cake, it also has 2 Pow 18 melee attacks which is above average for unbuffed heavy warjacks. It is the most expensive of the standard heavy warjacks in this army, but for good reason. I am finding it really hard not to take at least 2 of these bad boys in any given list.

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Monitor

This warjack is basically a buzz saw catapult that snipes invisible miniatures off the table…think about that for a moment…The Monitor boasts one of the strongest individual solid shot weapons in Convergence. Being able to ignore enemy stealth models makes this a really attractive addition to any list. The down side to this model is that it relies heavily on the warcaster having a high rat value. Stealth miniatures usually range around the Def 15-17 value, so if you are trying to hit them with rat values of 4 or less (even using 3 dice) can be a daunting prospect. In melee, this vector is average, but it has the nice ability to auto hit with its additional attacks if the first one hits, therefore symbolising the claw hand clamping down onto the enemy. A solid vector that is only 8pts, so it can fit into most Iron Mother and Forge Father army lists (Warcasters that have rat 5), but it is debatable with Aurora, Lucant and Axis (Rat values of 4/3/2 respectively) army lists.

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Inverter

The first vector so far, that actually has no guns to speak of. So you know what that means? IT’S CLOBBERING TIME!!!

 

The Inverter has an interesting load out that makes it truly unique within the Convergence. The Meteor Hammer, is a chain weapon that ignores shields, bucklers and shield walls, which is awesome for smashing tougher targets or warjacks. An added bonus is having the special ability of Reach, which allows you to target enemies within 2 inches of this weapon (Normally only ½ inch). The second weapon is the Macro Pummeler, which essentially knocks enemies on the ground and can only be used once per 2 player turns/one round. Having no ranged weapons, means that this vector needs to rely on having a decent mat value to smack targets and hopefully set up other friendly models by knocking down tougher models for additional abuse. While not necessarily a required vector in every list, I feel that this model is fairly effective in an Axis list (For Mat 7 and the counter charge ability), allowing you to make undesirable situations for your opponent. Theoretically, this vector can be a solid addition to any list that needs a warjack that has 2 strong melee attacks. If your focus is to be primarily a ranged battlegroup of vectors, you might want to look elsewhere.

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Was it fun to build? All three of these heavy vectors can be built from the same model kit, which has been a solid feature of all the current heavy warjack kits that Privateer Press has provided up to this point. Where the trouble lies is in the design of the moulds and the finished product. Although the kit was brilliant to look at and has many interesting aspects to it, there are a million mould lines and not the kind that is easy to remove. Multiple times I found a mould line that would fly over nearly impossible to remove surfaces like the gears or detailed arms. However, I powered on and tried my best to hide the ones that are obvious, but a smart modeller could probably locate them with no problem. I also went through the trouble of magnetizing the kit, so that I could use all 3 vectors and change them out to my liking. But even that proved to be a challenge, because there are many points of contact and needed to be planned out beforehand.

The positive side of the kit is that it can build 3 of the most important warjacks/vectors that will be in nearly every Convergence list. The bad, is that you will have to plan ahead of time and use a large amount of skill to remove painful mould lines. I was told by Privateer Press, that most of these model problems are a result of them being the first wave of that miniatures line. So perhaps my opinion of the kit might change in the future. However, for myself and others we will have to power on, until the next time we need to purchase the kit. Regardless, I finished the miniatures (multiple boxes) and I felt that I had overcome a massive hobbyist milestone.

Stay tuned for more first impressions of the other Convergence vectors and models (which may or may not have model reviews included) to come in the following months!

The Convergence of Cyriss Battlegroup is available from Firestorm Games priced £33.07

A Tribute to Blood Bowl

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With the era of Games Workshop’s Specialist Games coming to a close I would like to take a moment to reminisce about the coveted game of the mighty lord Nuffle: Blood Bowl! My experiences with Blood Bowl are relatively fresh. I will be the first to admit that I have not always been a fan of this game. Roughly ten years ago I started my journey into wargaming with Warhammer 40,000. I was causally strolling through an issue of the White Dwarf and I happened to notice a small section of the issue containing a segment on games like Mordheim, Battlefleet Gothic and Blood Bowl. Battlefleet seemed interesting at the time, but I had no desire to collect floating pieces of metal that break under a steady breeze. I looked hard at Mordheim, which is basically the dirty dozen style game of Warhammer Fantasy and while it seemed like an easy transition for my gaming group (the transfer from Warhammer 40K to Fantasy was happening at our store) but for no particular reason the game just did not catch on locally. Last, we have the game of the hour, Blood Bowl! Although it seemed interesting in concept, I just couldn’t get past the silly nature of the miniature aesthetics and decided to avoid it.

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Fast forward to this year. I had always been aware of the Blood Bowl computer game, but heard mixed reviews on the title. Honestly I did not really think about it a whole bunch, until that one fateful day. If you’re a regular listener of my podcast (The Warmonger) you will know that I love…okay, maybe that’s too strong…I mildly, to an exceptional degree, enjoy user-generated YouTube content based on video games/miniatures etc. One of my regular haunting grounds is the old Game Station Network (currently called Polaris). Back in February, TGS began a tournament league, which included a variety of their network personalities like Total Biscuit, Jesscox, Dodger and Wowcrendor to name a few. This series was absolutely amazing! With most of the hosts having no clue how to play the game (excluding TB and Angry Joe) it turned out exactly how you would expect. Dark Elves running for it, but falling on their faces. Amazons getting smashed by Chaos Dwarves. Wood Elf teams getting crippled to one a man. This series was immense.

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The beauty of this league was that each YouTube celebrity made their own teams, and added a degree of personality and flare to them. My personal favourite was the All Star Player: Little Skittles (Skink) “Making it Rainbow”. 

So as you could probably imagine…I have the Blood Bowl itch so to speak. I fed my Blood Bowl addiction with the easy to access nature of the video game. Needless to say, the video game is far from perfect and is still pretty difficult to control. Regardless, I became obsessed with Blood Bowl to the point where I began to look up list combinations and also started to play the amazing 23 team selection that was provided within the game. With the exception of the Slaan (no longer in the Video game), an all-new Khorne daemon team was recently added and was actually made playable in the normal miniature Blood Bowl as well.

Over the past few months, I have gorged over more Blood Bowl content then an Ogre Tyrant at a Skaven Buffet! I even started listening to several Blood Bowl podcasts like: 3 Die Block and Both Down, which both have their own unique levels of witty banter and sportscaster quality entertainment. As I listened to each show, my appreciation for the Blood Bowl miniature’s game began to grow. Competitive local leagues, inventive game segments and team building really started to tempt my miniature collecting desires.

Then the rumours started to spill. Games Workshop was rumoured to re-release Blood Bowl this September as a one-off box game in the same fashion as Dread Fleet and Space Hulk.

And low, the penny collecting did begin. And I let be known unto the masses that I would collect money from recycling bottles. 

So things were beginning to look bright and double rainbow for my Blood Bowl obsession! But of course this is why we can’t have nice things…

It is no surprise to me that since the very beginning of my hobby career that the Specialist Games were beginning their slow decline into obscurity. It is only now, at the end that I truly regret not trying Blood Bowl sooner.

Too be frank, it wasn’t really the game that makes Blood Bowl amazing. There are comparatively better games in this genre now, Dreadball being one. It hasn’t always been the smoothest of rule sets. What makes Blood Bowl worth your time is the interactions and devotion of its fans around the world. Games Workshop abandoned the game aeons ago in favour of bigger projects, yet Blood Bowl lived on! It’s like the Chaos Gods of old, were not yet finished and kept coming back for more. Over the past decade, there have been national events and competitions ranging from North America to Europe to Australia. Blood Bowl has become a global classic! It has reached audiences that may never have otherwise come across wargaming! The NAF Website continues to update and I have yet to see a game system be run so effectively by a passionate group of people, without the help of the a major company.

 I am upset to see the end of an era for all Games Workshop Specialist Games. I am beginning to see why these games can contain so much character and still be fresh to play, even after all these years. If this is truly the end, hopefully we can see more classic GW properties make their way over to digital platforms for years to come.

Keep Making It Rainbow!

Podcasting 101

Hello my fellow #warmongers, Wargamers and Shell Case readers! Over the past year and half I have had the awesome opportunity to collaborate with Phil and The Shell Case on multiple occasions and had a lot of fun. I currently run/operate the War and More Radio, which tracks my random forays into wargaming and Video Games. Needless to say I am a founding member of the Of Dice and Men Podcast on the The Shell Case and I want to keep giving back to this wonderful website!* [Awww shucks! Ed.]

*Shameless complements: CHECK

For my first post I thought it would be interesting to discuss my early stumblings into wargame podcasting and give out some helpful tips that I have learned over the past year and a half. With that said let’s get into the nitty-gritty and get started already!

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Have a point to your podcast

This has to be the most challenging and surprisingly stressful part of creating any podcast. I struggled this for a while: if you look at the early War and Mario Radio shows they were unfocused and just all over the place. I wanted to cover video games and wargaming but I found out in our conversations that while there may be some crossover topics (Fluff, IP), unfortunately there are some built-in barriers of understanding on both sides of the conversation. So rather than isolate gamers I decided to create smaller podcasts that address each topic specifically. The Warmonger covers wargaming and Let’s All Game talks about video games. I still record the normal show, but I keep it around for just general discussions about one specific area for that specific episode (video games in one episode for example). So keep it focussed and to the point, kind of like what I should be doing right now…moving on. [And what you desperately try to get us to do with ODAM. Ed.]

Audtio Quality…Pardon?

Editing is a skill that comes with time and to be honest is something that I still struggle with on occasion. Regardless, I motor on and do the best I can. You should always strive to improve this and never settle…ever! At first, audio may not be a big deal but due to initial start-up costs being what they are, this could be a challenge. I would avoid using webcamera mics, because they have terrible white noise. I have mixed views on the Skype app for iPhones, but Phil uses that for ODAM so, they can’t be that terrible. I would buy a mic from a larger store chain and ask about their return policy. Usually, you can’t return mics (smelly/sweat problems according to the stores), but larger chain stores let you get store credit and allow you to exchange mics usually. I learned this the hard way, sadly… Oh and avoid Logitech if you can…

To Hammer or not to Hammer? That is a Quite an Awkward Statement….

What do I mean by this? Well to put it simply, please, please, please….put some effort into your name. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter too much what you call your podcast. If your show is good and people find it interesting, who cares what you call it? It’s more of a personal opinion and one that should not be taken too heavily. I love Noobhammer, Kiwihammer and the folks over at Chumphammer (Little Pete in the house), and their name is by no means a negative. If you put hammer in the name it helps to illustrate where your show is focussed. However, you do put yourself into a potential hobby trap (only covering the Games Workshop game systems). I will leave this one up to you, but there is a reason why I chose the name: War and More Radio. Oddly enough it was to recognize that everything seems to have the word war in it. So why not have some WAR! And perhaps something more…

Structure

Your Format

In A Way That Makes Sense.

Again, how you organize your show should play to your strengths as a host and make sense. Everyone who comes onto the show should be there for a reason. It’s okay to have friends to just have on the show but they will make a bigger investment for the show if they perform a specific role or have a unique segment that is originally theirs. Make the show fun and try not to be too uptight (sounds like I should take my own advice, lol), we are all gamers and have certain tastes. If the show is explicit, try to make that obvious to your listeners. [That’s never been an issue for us… Ed.]

At the end of the day, try to remember it doesn’t matter what the other podcasts are doing. Be open for advice and criticism and keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you have 1000 people listening or just 2 (including you, during editing). If even one person listens to the show, you have changed their day and have made an influence! Keep in mind that they could have just listened to music instead.

As Always,

Adam “Mr Voxman” Tremblay