Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gaming Podcast Review 7 Solo Wargaming Show

Gaming podcast review 7 Solo Wargaming Show

Solo Wargaming Show is a podcast about solo wargaming with miniatures and boardgames. It is an american podcast with host Deano C. Ware as the sole person on air. At the moment it appears to be on a hiatus with no new episodes having been released.

The content is fairly useful in these podcasts with reviews of rules, boardgames and books, discussing their suitability for solo wargamers and tips on rules for solo wargaming. The reviews include comparative reviews of books with Don Featherstone's many titles being amoung them. The fourth episode was concerned with setting up a solo campaign and was pretty useful. There is an associated website.

The editing and recording is a little uneven on this podcast, but it is acceptable and perfectly usable. A lot of this is due to the limitations of software from mypodcast as is explained in the special dispatch on making the show.

I think this has been a useful show on a fairly specialised topic and I would certainly pick up any further episodes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gaming Podcast Review: Meeples & Miniatures 28

Gaming Podcast Review 6 Meeples & Miniatures 28

In this review I'm going to look at a specific episode of a podcast that I've already reviewed in review number 4. The episode I've chosen is the latest from Meeples & Miniatures, number 28.

This episode is a wargames special with reviews of Black Powder Battles from Two Hour Wargames; Sharpe's Skirmish from Durham's Chosen Men; Chosen Men from Oculus;Battle Games magazines, Napoleonic skirmish rules; and 40mm gaming miniatures, for the Napoleonic wars, American War of Independence and French and Indian war.

The main rules review of Black Powder Battles is comprehensive, talking about the rules content and how the rules work in play. I have to admit that the time when I miss having additional hosts is when a set of rules is being discussed. The other rules reviews are more minimal, but for simple and short sets of skirmish rules this is reasonable.

The miniatures review includes Front Rank Miniatures; Graven Images; HLBS; Perry Twins; First Legion; Sash and Sabre.The miniatures review is pretty useful, though it would have been more indepth if Neil actually had more samples from some of the manufacturers. The advantage of a comparative review like this is it allows issues like compatability to be discussed as figure designers never seem to be consistent in their approach to what a particular scale means. The show notes have useful links to the manufacturers and rules discussed in the episode and I'd recommend visiting the website.

There is some advertising now for Battle Games magazine, the podcast's sponsor, but this is pretty unobtrusive and does fit with the content.

The technical quality is good on this episode with the speech clear and understandable. The episode is in stereo and recorded at a bit rate of 64kbs which is suitable for a speech based podcast. This is one of the first episodes with the new music and I will admit I prefer it to the original guitar music that was used.

This was an interesting episode of this podcast to me as I have played skirmish games for a long time, reading the Don Featherstone Skirmish Wargames book back in the late 1970s and playing old West skirmish games around that time. My own gaming was with a mixture of 1:72 and 1:32 plastics and 25mm metal figures for skirmishes and I can see 40mm as a nice compromise between detail and size for a skirmish gaming range.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Creating Conan RPG characters part 2

In this I'll continue with the first character that I generated using the traditional 4d6 drop lowest system. Rather than roll randomly for race and class I selected these as an Argossean Pirate as I've not used this race/class combo before. There were no stats adjustments to make

Name: Demetrius Male Human Argossean
Class: Pirate 1
Str 12 (+1)
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 14 (+2)
Int 11 (+0)
Wis 10 (+0)
Cha 11 (+0)

Base Attack Bonus: +0
Base Dodge Bonus: +0
Base Parry Bonus: +0

NameTo HitBABBonusDamage
Arming Sword+10+11D10

Class Abilities: Seamanship +1, Ferocious Attack

Feats: Alertness

Escape Artist+20+200
Gather Information+310+20
Knowledge (Geography)+22000
Move Silently+20+200
Profession (Sailor)+310+20

Equipment: Arming Sword, silk breeks, poinard, buckler, leather jerkin, Sling and 10 bullets

Background: Demetrius grew up in a fishing village on the Argossean coast and followed his father becoming a fisherman, before deciding to join the pirate crew of Leto Mamides, the Green Pirate. Since that time he has been raiding up and down the coast until now, with Leto killed and his crew broken up he's washed up into this town and is looking to earn some coin by fair means or foul.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Gaming Podcast Review 5 Horror on the Orient Express

Gaming podcast review 5 Horror on the Orient Express

Horror on the Orient Express (HotOE) is an audio recording of the Bradford Players going through one of the classic Call of Cthulhu scenarios. It comes from and the same group as Yog-Radio. The Keeper of Arcane Law is Paul of Cthulhu, one of the regular hosts of Yog-Radio (see podcast review 1) and also has the other regular hosts of Yog-Radio among the players. The players are from the Bradford roleplaying group that the hosts of Yog-Radio belong to.

It is interesting to hear a gaming group in action and it is striking how similar the experience of play is to my experience, though this may be more typical of groups in the UK than elsewhere. I have to admit when I first heard of podcasts of gaming sessions I was skeptical about how entertaining they would be to listen to, but this podcast has changed my mind.

Got to admit I find the group in play seem to be very keen on their meals in character, but more seriously it is interesting to hear how the game progresses and how another group of gamers interact. There has been a change in the player line up, which is not always unusual with a long running campaign and this is done with a change in the adventuring party membership. The interplay between the group shows that many of the players have gamed with each other before and there are references to the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign audio recording that was also released through

The technical quality is good on HotOE, with the audio being clear and lacking background or microphone noise. It is recorded in surround sound and it is possible to hear where each of the players are around the table. It is easy to distinguish the different players by their voices and this is a tribute to how cleanly the podcast is recorded.

I think this is an entertaining podcast, which overcame my initial reluctance to listen to gaming sessions and is one of the podcasts where I have listened to all the episodes. If you want to try listening to a gaming session podcast I'd recommend trying starting with episode 1 of this podcast and if you know that you enjoy listenting to this type of content then it is recommended.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Gaming Podcast Review 4 Meeples & Miniatures

Gaming podcast review no 4.

Meeples & Miniatures is a podcast that covers wargames and boardgames. It has an associated guild at boardgamegeek and website at Meeples & Miniatures. There is one regular host, Neil Shuck, and I have to admit that I do still prefer multi host podcasts, though he does do a good job. On reviews I really feel that having two people compare notes is better, though of course as a text reviewer my efforts are usually solo.

Meeples & Miniatures has frequent reviews, interviews and listener feedback as its regular content. What brought me in to listening was the interviews and these are probably the highlight of the content to me. The reviews are also useful to me and listener feedback is an important part for any podcast to engage with its audience. It does look like there will be an increased focus on miniatures games in 2008 which is something that I welcome.

The technical quality is respectable on M&M, with the audio being clear and lacking background or microphone noise. Generally the editing is pretty unobtrusive and helps make the content easy to listen to.

I do like this podcast and will be a regular listener in future, particularly as I do find the content useful, about my only reservation is my preference for multi host shows.