Friday, June 10, 2011

Warhammer Fantasy Podcasts Part 2

Picking up where I left off last time I figured it was high time to review the English podcasts in my play list.  One thing that is terrific about the English fantasy podcasts is that they are members of a gaming community that includes some of the best Fantasy players in the world.  As such this gives the podcasts a large pool of talent from which to draw (Russ Veal, Mark Wildman, Michale Biggs) which enhances the casts exponentially.  I also really enjoy hearing the reviews of the same event across multiple casts.  It's like one of those books from back in the day in which each chapter tells the same story that you thought you knew from the perspective of a different character.  Finally, these podcasts have added some great catch phrases to my everyday vernacular!

Bad Dice
Another top tier Fantasy specific podcast which I picked up last year during their fantastic coverage of the 8th edition rumors.
Fair warning - it may take a few episodes to understand what the heck these blokes are saying.  While it is often dubbed a UK tournament specific cast, there really is a lot more to the cast than that.  Of particular interest was their discussion of some of the more controversial topics like the decline of painting standards in tournaments.  This cast is unusual when compared to the rest in that both hosts are highly competitive, power gamers.  I suppose you could dub Mr. Johnson the hobbyist of the lot given his better painting ability.  That and it appears that his lot in life is to play second fiddle to Mr. Curry in the rankings (BC is currently ranked the #1 player in England).  I will wrap this up by saying that if your are interested in upping the filth in your game, then this cast is for you.  Done and dusted.
HeelanHammer
Like many, I heard Dan Heelan for the first time on an episode of Podhammer and so it was no surprise when he setup his own show.  Another awesome Fantasy specific podcast, though with the same formulaic setup for hosting.  One host, Heelan, is the consummate power gamer while the other, Wayne Kemp is the shows stereotypical hobbyist.  The cast covers the gambit from event coverage to battle reports and everything in between.  I particularly like their army review discussions as they are articulate and substantive enough that I don't come away with many questions unanswered.  Of particular note is the Dwarf review with Andy Spiers, which is an invaluable reference to any budding 8th edition Dwarf general.  However, my favorite content has to be their coverage of Whoops.  I could almost see the tears of frustration forming as Dan struggled to deal with the extra volume of randomness that is the "Hobby Weekend".  Finally, I will wrap this up be saying that HeelanHammer has to be in the podcast rotation for any serious Warhammer Fantasy player.
Two Gamer Radio
First I must admit that I've not been a long time listener.  Also, a bit of fair warning that this show does cover some 40K, does not not have the greatest production value (though I like the gimmicky left and right stereo effect) and has an inordinate amount of technical difficulties.  Even considering all of that I really like this show because this is the ying to the other English podcasts yang.  Bad Dice and HeelanHammer are looking at the English Warhammer Fantasy scene from the top of the rankings, from the perspective of the competitive power gamer.  Two Gamer Radio delivers their content from the bowels of mediocrity, from the perspective of the average gamer.  Delusions of grandeur not withstanding, most listeners will readily identify with the plight of these common gamers and their struggle to ascend from the bottom tables.  Also I found the eloquence in which they deliver some of their viewpoints in the context of a larger rant, usually about the evil empire, very refreshing.  This is a podcast that is definitely worth a try.  
I realize that there are a few other English Podcasts out there (Black Sun and Failhammer).  I will hopefully add more reviews after I've gotten a few more episodes under my belt.  

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