Tuesday, March 5, 2019

40K Podcasting

Currently I am listening to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts. The podcasts I subscribe to vary from crime, football, economics through to 40k.

It seems that it is almost a rite of passage for some people to start a 40k podcast. They grab a group of mates and before you know it they are broadcasting their thoughts to the world.

Unfortunately for a lot of people (and listeners) it can be the wrong decision.

Generally, to hold my attention as a 40k podcast the hosts need to do/be one of three things:
  • Be good at the game;
  • Be innovative; or
  • Surround yourself with people who are.
I'll generally give a podcast 4-5 episodes to find its feed but for me to continue back to it, I want to learn. So many podcast hosts are just not that good at the game. They think they are but they are not. Sure they might be the biggest mudskipper in their local rock pool but out in the ocean, they'd be nothing more a quick snack. You can generally tell somebody who is not that good. They will have a netlist but with their own spin on it. This betrays the fact that they like to club baby seals but at the end they really don't know why their list works - or importantly how to apply it in disadvantageous situations. When they run into a roadblock that they can deal with easily they moan about the tactic/stratagem/power/list being broken. In effect, they lack adaptability. This is usually coupled with tactical play - placement of characters, order of powers/stratagems etc - that is significantly lower than very good players.

This can be got around if they are either very informative or innovative. Sometimes it is just easier to hear the "news" from a podcast. The innovative side is also interesting. This is important when new rules are released. These people pull apart a book and lessen the learning curve (FUN FACT: this is actually steepening the learning curve) by looking at new stuff innovatively.

If you listen to something like Chapter Tactics you should quickly deduce that Pablo is not that good at the game. He is generally very linear in his appreciation. However that podcast works because he has surrounded himself with good contributors. For instance he has a stats man whose information is primary and fresh. He will have Geoff Robertson on who is a very good player - and excellent communicator - whose armies are generally ahead of the curve. This is backed by Abuse Puppy whose own podcast systematically unpacks a facet of the game and explores its important nuances. He then has Val Hefflefinger....etc etc 

Contrast this with the "then I rolled a six" type of podcast [This was a meme pioneered back in the day of WAU (and 3rd/4th) to describe jubbs] which is less about informing the audience and more about self-promotion.

There are a real mix of offerings out there and you can spend a lot of time listening to dross. To round out this article here are the ones that I think add something to my knowledge of the game and help me get to be a better player:
  • Chapter Tactics - can be hit or miss depending on who is on
  • In The Finest Hour
  • The Long War (for the contributions of Sean Nayden and Steve Fore)
  • TFG Radio
  • The Best General
Podcasting is generally a financially free service - they may cover outgoings by advertisers - however for listeners as well it is not without cost. Generally your listening time is limited so you don't want to be wasting your time. I recommend giving any new podcast 4-5 episodes time to find their feet. However if they are not adding to your upskilling then they are really just "noise". Yes, they may entertain but I'd venture you'd be better spending your time listening to Ricky Gervais if you're looking to be amused.


  1. No love for Best in Faction podcast? (BifPod)

    1. I find it very patchy. It appears the hosts are solid players but not at the very top. However there is a certain lack of empathy for their opponents that rubs me up the wrong way. It seems their hobby is all about them and what they get out of it. I also think there is an undue emphasis on game run through and list build rather than insights.

      Oh and one is a ynnari player.

  2. I think you underestimate Kenny Boucher on the Long War, he also shares good knowledge of 40k as a game.

    It's pretty funny that you see some lack of empathy on Best in Faction, when they talk about sportsmanship quite a bit. I don't share your perception but that's ok.

    Beast Coast is very sporadic but generally very competitive, and so is Allies of Convenience, but those player/podcasters often don't share all of their knowledge, keeping a lot of their strategies secret.

    1. Nah I don’t underestimate Kenny. He’s a very good player with lots of incites. However Sean nayden is just so innovative.

      BiF has its moments but I stand by the empathy comment. You can talk about sportsmanship but until you acknowledge that it is an interactive experience where it matters that your opponent is enjoying the game as well then you are not really emphatic.

      I’ve listened to both the others. In both cases I think there is a question as to the purpose of the podcast.