Monday, January 31, 2011

Warhammer Podcasts - A Changing of the Guard

The start of the year is traditionally a time for reassessment, setting new directions etc. And an area of my hobby where this is quite evident is in relation to hobby podcasts. I listen to these podcasts on the way to work, if I’m out walking or at my painting table.

Two have stood out for me as being the best of the genre in regard to my interests – Bad Dice and Heelanhammer. The other main two I listen to are Podhammer and World’s End Radio.

Both these last two have signalled at the start of 2011 that they will be moving in a new direction. Podhammer will be shifting a large part of its focus to Warmachine/Hordes while World’s End will be doing that as well and also devoting time to Spartan Games (uncharted Seas, Dystopian Wars & Firestorm Armada) and Wyrd Miniatures (Malifaux).

To be honest I’m not surprised with Podhammer. In the past year the show has lack its initial enthusiasm (not surprising after 3+ years) and has lost a number of its regular co-hosts – Matt Cole, Steve Gibb, Dave Palmer – that gave it breadth and variety. They haven’t been helped by the GW release schedule that has seen no new 8th Edition Army Book released up to now. Also the undercurrent of “The Sundering” in the Australian WHFB scene hasn’t made it an easy environment to work with. I was increasingly getting the feeling that they were in a holding exercise until their Adepticon trip in the second quarter. I think Jeff Carroll has done a great job running a single focus podcast for as long as he has and it will be great if he can capture the same enthusiasm for his venture into Warmachine/Hordes.

World’s End Radio has always taken a multi-system approach covering 40k and Bloodbowl as well as other GW Specialist Games and boardgames. The show has always been an excellent mix and probably been my favourite “hobby” show. Luke Retalleck does a great job in his handling of different game systems and the show is at its best when he utilises an invited guest to provide informed comment. I can see this show still having enough breadth to keep me coming back – in particular I’m looking forward to Mike Bask(?) and his Malifaux coverage.

The good thing with these shows is that you can subscribe through iTunes and have the shows downloaded automatically. I’ll continue to do this and delete those that aren’t of interest until I get a feel for the new direction. In the meantime I’m on the lookout for replacement podcasts and I haven’t found ones of similar quality (content-wise) to Bad Dice/Heelanhammer. I’ve tried Pointhammered and Two Gamer Radio but neither suits my tastes. I will try out The Waaagh Cast for a few episodes to see how that goes.

I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of all these people who provide podcasts for the hobby. They devote enormous time into producing these shows for little reward, other than satisfaction for a job well done.

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