Friday, June 29, 2012

Podcast Reviews - Mantic + 40k

I have three new podcasts up for review this week. Interestingly two of them are Mantic related, which has been so rare up until now as to be non-existent.

Before I get into the reviews, just a quick note that The Overlords podcast has finally switched to a biweekly format. This is great news for me, as I had dropped them from my subscription list strictly due to time constraints. They are back on now and I enjoyed hearing those familiar voices.

Table Top Generals (site)

This new podcast is brought to you by the folks from the There Is Only War blog. I happened to be a blog subscriber (one of 50 Followers) so imagine my surprise when this popped up in my blog reader one day. Happy to grab the scoop on another podcast, I navigated over to the site and hit the play button.

My immediate impression was that these guys are on to something. They are well spoken, on-topic and talking about interesting subjects. The inaugural podcast discusses the Warpath system from Mantic Games, which has intrigued me. Then they talk about trouble with Games Workshop, which is close to all our hearts. Lots of honest, no-nonsense discussion that packs a lot into the episode.

The podcast format is simply two friends chatting on the mic about a single topic. They have released three half-hour episodes so far, and are about to set up an iTunes feed so you don't have to stream it from the website (which doesn't work on the iPhone). The production values are fine, I can't help being impressed by the quality of this podcast so early in its life. Can't wait to hear more guys, especially around your Mantic experiences and the transition to 6th edition.

Mantic Podcast (feed site)

You know how valuable information is when it comes straight from the source. Those of us with  Games Workshop habits are used to surviving on droplets and trickles that make it through their tightly clasped hands. Mantic have done some great work showing us that mass miniature battles don't need to be done the GW way, and now they have even released their own podcast! Imagine that...

I was pleasantly surprised on hitting play to hear the dulcet tones of none other than Dave Symcox, head host of the 40k UK podcast. He introduced us to the other hosts, including his traditional sidekick Josh who it turns out actually works for Mantic in sales! The third member is Ron, who actually owns Mantic, so we are getting right to the source here folks. Everything flows nicely and the production is top notch.

Turns out Dave wasn't on episode two, but the quality is still there. There is plenty of content in the first two episodes; interviews with game designers, a lot about the upcoming Kings of War hardcover rulebook, some stuff about competitive play, and many tidbits about what is coming next (who are "The Plague?"). We are promised some analysis of different units and tournament tactics which I look forward to. Its very nice and a must-listen for anyone interested in broadening their 40k horizons.

Ohiohammer (feed site)

Apparently the original Ohiohammer podcast has been around for a while covering Warhammer Fantasy. The Second Founding is a recent biweekly offshoot, focused on good ol' 40k. The format consists of a crew of guys (5 I think?) chatting about their hobby progress and a main topic. I haven't heard anything in the way of strategy. They throw in the occasional interview too.

The quality of content is variable; some has been interesting and other parts I find myself skipping. These guys have a very laid back, laconic style which I find almost soporific. This might not be helped by the loud background static, they really need to work on that. It's an OK podcast, though I'm not going to put this on my subscription list. I think they should shorten the episode length and crank up the tempo to add a bit more energy to proceedings.

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