Podcast Reviews

I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts as I commute to work by bike or train every day, selected from a mix of gaming, science and parenting subjects. It's a special treat to find a 40k podcast run by a likeable group of people, but that stays on topic and is full of good advice and interesting stories. The following list gives a brief review of podcasts that I have subscribed to (at least for some time).

Before I start, I'd like to list briefly what I look for in a podcast:

  • clever and insightful advice that helps me with my game
  • advanced hobby tips
  • inspirational battle reports and hobby project discussions
  • a good variety of opinions and playstyles
  • respect for other people
  • all 40k all the time! Now supporting Flames of War...

40k Podcasts I Like

The Battlezone (link)

Hosted by Blitz and The Professor, these guys really love their 40k! They talk about the games they play and small tournaments that they organise. Both hosts come across as very friendly with a great sense of humour. They will also include reviews of other games from time to time, but don't worry - this is definately a 40k focussed podcast. They also talk a lot about the hobby side, providing guides on different conversion and scratch hold techniques.

Been a little bit sporadic of late, but still an enjoyable listen.

The Independent Characters (link)

This is a pure 40k podcast hosted by Karl and Geoff. They have a great easygoing manner - I kind of get these guys confused with The Battlezone! These guys focus on the fun side of the hobby, playing armies that are thematic. They have a contagious enthusiasm and seem to throw themselves into their hobby. They do a lot to get involved in their local community, but also seem to play a lot of games at home - I think one of them has four tables in his house! They also have their own forum which I have not frequented but is probably worth checking out.

These guys have recently become the official podcasters of Adepticon! They will be broadcasting interviews and updates from what is the biggest 40k event in the US. They will also be video streaming some of the bigger games from the top tables! I'm looking forward to this.

The coverage they have given of the Imperial Armour books is the best podcast material I have heard ever. Excellent stuff boys!

Deepstrike Radio (link)

A new predominately Australian podcast, with an American host thrown in to mix it up. They have only done a couple of podcasts so far, and are still figuring out their style. They go into a lot of the fluff and are focussed on building fluffy lists. I have enjoyed part of the show, and been annoyed by a few things too - all the Aussie jokes for one are just boring. They have had a few technical difficulties that I am sure they will figure out.

With a new podcast, if you can see any potential at all, it is important that you give them a go for at least four or five episodes. Podcasting is difficult and they will have a lot to learn!

The quality of sound and content is getting better and better. They have definitely found their niche and I am enjoying the new episodes.

40k Basement (link)

Unfortunately the podcast has ended due to a disagreement between the hosts. Apparently some of them are moving on to producing a video podcast. However it is definately worth downloading the "back issues" whilst they are still available.

This is definitely not PG, but the hosts are very funny and it was one I always looked forward to seen downloading in iTunes. They love the hobby and have a lot of experience between them. They are GW fan boys but remain levelheaded and inciteful.

This podcast includes my favorite episode ever - the "Army in a Weekend". Over the course of 54 hours the boys each build a 40k army to a tabletop standard, starting with all models new-in-box! They check in every six hours and update us with what's going on, and get very little (if any) sleep over the whole weekend. Absolutely hilarious.

Still dead.

World's End Radio (link)

An Australian Podcast coming out of Perth, Western Australia (where I grew up!). The two hosts, Luke and JJ, are funny guys with their own idiosyncrasies (love the puns!). This monthly podcast covers a lot of different games systems - mainly 40k, Fantasy and Blood Bowl, but also Epic, Malifaux and Lord of the Rings.

These guys buy a lot of models, and have in-depth knowledge of every part of the Games Workshop hobby. They have a competitive approach to the games - they play to win! Expect lots of good advice about what models are the business and how to improve your hobby skills.

These guys have recently branched out to cover games outside the Games Workshop stable. They have started exploring the basics of Warmachine/Hordes. JJ is moving to the east coast but they will be continuing the podcast with Skype - and have brought on an additional presenter too. Always top quality.

The 11th Company (link)

This is my favorite 40k podcast, delivered each Monday in time for my morning jog! Neil is the driving force behind this and he does a superb job, doling out knowledge and perfectly analyzing units and game situations without getting caught up in the hype. Neil plays Orks to win without being at all aggressive or tense. He would be an awesome opponent to play against - you know that you would get a very challenging and fun game.

Neil is assisted admirably by Pat, who is apparently a very lucky Daemon player. Pat interviews 40k internet celebrities and provides a more casual viewpoint. There is actually a crew of about six people involved in the podcast. They are apparently the only 40k players in their area so they must be very used to each others play styles!

Since it began the 11th Company has been packed full of content, and done in a very professional manner with great sound quality. Check it out!

Was just starting to get a little stale, but now they have added a UK presenter who is adding plently of content from the other side of the pond. The episodes are starting to break the 4hr mark

The Overlords (link)

The official podcast of the Overlords 40k club in Daginham East London. At first I was put off by the bad sound quality and lack of substantial content. I unsubscribed but came back for the Dan Abnett interview only to discover that they had improved dramatically. This is fast becoming one of my favourites - the hosts are all relaxed and funny with their own quirks. They often have guests on too.

These guys are the real fluff gamer deal, totally uninterested on building a list from a competitive viewpoint. This is the polar opposite of the 11th company. Bizarrely, Pat from the 11th Company is a regular guest on the show - and he fits in well.

They focus on their gaming experiences, news, running the club and fluff. They have a hilarious segment where someone nominates something they think should be dropped from 40k and the rest vote yes or no. There is lots to enjoy here that is not covered by other podcasts - if you are happy to listen at their relaxed pace.

Their new segment Room 40001 is hilarious, where people choose four things from 40k that they wish could be purged from existence. Always a laugh to listen too, and interesting too. They have also been very involved with The Codex Project, working on a couple of Codices there that they have discussed.

Preferred Enemies (link).

I have listened to 4 episodes and a bonus now and I've got to tell you - I'm totally hooked! The hosts are down to earth and just doing a great job of providing interesting content. I think I just really relate to them. Their discussion on the current calls for a GW boycott was open-minded and level headed.

Turn 8 (link)

Ooh I found a new 40k dedicated post that comes out roughly every 3 weeks. It is hosted by three friends: Bill who has played for 20 or so years, Opy who has been playing for a while, and Rich who has an army but is yet to play! They are all happy to discuss their hobby in detail, and its refreshing to get such a varied point of view. They are all well spoken and vibe is friendly and welcoming.

I really like this one, and have quickly listened through the back catalogue (there are 7 episodes available). The battle reports are really something unique, they narrate the battle story over background music and then discuss the aftermath afterwards - its really engaging. They do spend some time discussing general hobby news, which several other podcasts do to, but I guess they have their own angle. They review things like Kill Team and the Sisters of Battle Codex, and their responses have all been sensible. Great stuff - I can't wait for Rich to play his first game. Come on mate, assemble the rest of those Dark Eldar!

Can Hammer (link)

This is really a Fantasy podcast, but they have several episodes dedicated to 40k - mainly tournament reports. So not one to subscribe to unless you play Warhammer (Emperor protect you!), but you might enjoy downloading the 40k episodes for a bit of variety - they are clearly marked. They claim their might be some Flames of War content in the future too.

So I've only listened to the two 40k episodes. Both were good, with battle reports and discussion about the viability of different units. Nothing groundbreaking, but worth having a listen to.

Screaming Heretic (link)
The hosts are friends with the Eternal Warriors crew - girlfriend in one case. Huh? Yes that's right, this one has GIRLS. Huh? Yes, that's not a typo, it's a plural. Last time I heard girls on a 40k podcast was that hobby segment they used to have on DLT - and someones partner delivering fresh muffins on 40KUK. However the podcast is held together by Joe, who does all the production and seems to organise the crew as well. He's backed up by Chaos Dave, She-Swizzy and The Jen (to avoid confusion with other Jens). They spend a lot of time discussing the hobby and social side of the hobby.

First off, this is a very different podcast to Eternal Warriors, with a much more positive energy to it. The content is improving in the newer episodes too, and it is nice to hear the female perspective on our hobby. Its not my favourite, but in general I like it. Its hilarious to hear each episode what work Jo has done on Jen's Dark Eldar, as he seems to hobby for the both of them (they are married).

40k UK (link)

If you have been listening to The 11th Company over recent months then you would have heard the "40K UK" segments. Its content covers the UK tournament scene hosted by Dave Symcox, with his trusty side-kick (who's name I can't remember - it's not my fault they have nothing about him on the website!). To be honest they have become a highlight of the podcast to me. So when I found out that Dave was ready to cast off a new podcast into the internet sea you can understand my excitement.

On The 11th Company the boys were basically reporting on their tournament experience. They live in Nottingham which is the home of Games Workshop, and the center of 40k activity in England and perhaps the world! The segments consisted of them discussing the outcome of each tournament they attended, and Dave interviewing opponents and others live at tournaments. I like Dave's relaxed competitive outlook and enthusiasm for the game.

The new 40K UK podcast is more of the same and more besides. Dave's vision is to involve key members of the UK community in order to provide top quality tactical content across all the 40k armies. He has listed off a bunch of hosts and segments that they want to include, and everything seems to be well thought out so far. We will have to wait and see how it all ramps up.

I have just finished listening to episode 2. Normally I would wade through half a dozen episodes before reviewing a new podcast, giving the hosts a chance to work out their technical difficulties and find their rhythm. In this case they already have the experience, and to be honest he does a good job of providing entertaining and informative content. The sound quality is fine too, but still needs a little work. I'm sure Dave will get on to it. My main criticism would be that when reviewing tournaments they go in to a lot of detail on the game, then often play an interview with the player later on where they go over the same ground again. There was also a few people talking over each other in the Rankings Countdown segment.

This has the vision and quality to become one of the biggest and best podcasts out there. It's already running for 3.5 hours (!), and seems to be coming out weekly at the moment, so prepare to set aside a good chunk of listening time!

El Pee and The Man (link)

The 40k Basement podcast crew are back in the game! Actually it's just Mr Hyde and Parker from the 40k Basement. These two guys are hilarious and have great chemistry together. They are actually doing a live show with video (of them sitting on a couch), and releasing this as a live stream, as YouTube video, and as a podcast. Each hour of the podcast is a different download, because there is an hour in the middle of the live show where they eat pizza, drink beer, and interact with listeners through the chat feature.

It's a very dynamic setup, unique within the scene. I'd expect nothing less from the boys who brought us "Army in a Weekend". The content is extremely adult, but very funny and the repartee is non stop. Although this often annoys me, in this case there is great chemistry and they usually manage to remain on topic. Their angle strikes a balance between competition, hobby and getting drunk!

Somehow this one got away from me, there are nine episodes already available. Looks like I have some downloading to do...

Jaded Gamercast (link)

The hosts are two veteran gamers, both ex-GW employees, and each episode covers a single topic for about an hour. The title is both apt and not - they are wise to the wiles of Games Workshop, and happy to rant on topics that displease them, but obviously still love their gaming hobby.

Content is usually Fantasy or 40k related, perhaps favouring the square bases a little, but will also venture into other system from time to time. I just delete the Fantasy episodes. A special mention to their habit of describing their alcoholic beverage at the start of each episode - with a special fondness for scotch. Despite their regular intoxication they still deliver the goods. Needless to say I like these guys!

Battle Plan Roll 6s (BPR6) (link)

Funny name, and all in all not a bad podcast. Hosted by a bunch of guys from Connecticut who form the "Rusty Scabbard" gaming group, they will take you through their 40k gaming and hobbying. They describe the meta in their area as very different to the prevailing, with MSU apparently not doing very well! These guys also organise the occasional tournament.

A casual atmosphere and some interesting discussion. Its not my favourite podcast by any means, but might well appeal to those who like Imperial Vox Cast or Eternal Warriors as it seems to be in a similar vein. Not one that I am going to continue to listen to, but only because there are a lot of good options out there, and I am trying to spread my podcasting net across more genres.

Flames of War Podcasts

Radio Free Battlefront (link)

Now for the GW fan-boys out there this is something amazing - Battlefront themselves have a regular monthly Flames of War podcast! It's not particularly long, but the content is engaging and sometimes insightful. They talk about recent releases and what they are working on at the moment, with refreshing candour. They will also discuss their personal projects just like a normal podcasts.

As well as the regular hosts (who include the main rule writer) they often include other staff member on the panel. So you get a chance to meet the team and hear from a few different perspectives in the games development process. The website above is not easy to use - go here to subscribe.

What Would Patton Do (WWPD): News from the Front (link)

These guys love their Flames of War, and it shows. They seem to have a massive collection of armies and terrain, and play regularly both with friends and at tournaments. They will cover news, recent games, army building, tactics and rules - the whole gamut. They are usually big fans of Battlefront, and actually appear to have a close relationship with the company, but won't shy from criticism when appropriate.

WWPD is a gem. The production is slick, entertaining and characterful. The hosts are eloquent and funny, and really have their fingers on the Flames of War pulse. Along with 11th Company and 40k UK, this is one of the podcasts that I am always eager to listen to, whenever it appears on my podcast playlist. In fact it is probably my favourite!

But it doesn't stop there. The WWPD website is an amazing resource for FoW players. Their forum is IMO the best FoW forum on the net, with a great responsive community and no trolls. The blog has regular reviews and gorgeous battle reports. And they host a player finder and tournament calendar. They even have a World of Tanks clan. It's the full package.

The History of World War II (link)

OK not a gaming podcast, but I can get away with squeezing it into the Flames of War category because it is so good. Listen to Ray Harris as he walks you through the entire history of WWII, starting with the rise of Hitler, Mussolini, and the militant Japanese army. He takes his time as there is of course plenty to cover - the current episode 44 is up to the Battle of Britain.

The content is what makes this podcast such a good resource. It is well researched and very thorough. Although I have read plenty of WWII history before, I really appreciate Ray's meticulous coverage. He also speaks well and is easy to listen too.

40k Podcasts Not For Me

Life After the Cover Save (link)

A newish pure 40k podcast, that lacks in interesting content. They talk about tournaments they have played in and get angry about various opponents at times. These guys aren't very professional, although funny at times they can also take it too far. They think its pretty funny to burp and fart to their hears content! I did find them funny at times but it got old quickly.

I also decided to give the LATCS crew a second chance - I remember liking a few of their earlier podcasts but going off them pretty quickly. I listened to the first forty minutes of the latest episode before pulling the plug.

These guys ARE still funny, but the level of 40k content was hovering around zero. Its all goofing around and being rude. I quickly grew bored.

40k Radio (link)

40k Radio is known as the first 40k podcast (although Dice Like Thunder dispute this!) but shut down this year under controversial circumstances. It has been bought by Romeo of Battlefoam and resurrected under the same name, but with a new group of hosts - who all work at Battlefoam I believe. Romeo is also or of the hosts.

Basically this is a completely different podcast, though not an ad for Battlefoam per se. They cover all aspects of the 40k hobby but I find them brash, and not really very good at giving advice. They have this exclusive forum that you have to pay a yearly fee to access - which there is no way I am going to do - then talk about stuff on the forum which you can't access. And they seem to have little idea that there is an audience out there that is not in America.

The Gamers Lounge (link)

These guys are like the most relaxed gamers you will ever encounter. They are very into the hobby side of gaming, converting all their models and spending a lot of time on the models they paint. They don't really have a good idea of how to play 40k competitively. They both started blogging before the podcast, and have a segment dedicated to blogging tips that has had some good content. I stopped listening once they started getting obsessed by Malifaux, but in truth they were starting to bore me before that anyway.

Dice like Thunder (link) / The Eternal Warriors (link)

This podcast recently celebrated its 100th episode, then promptly shut down! However they are starting a new podcast "The Eternal Warriors". I used to love this back in the day when the originator Mack was the lead host. Once he left the rest of the guys didn't manage to keep my interest up. They give good advice at times but often say things that suggest they don't understand the 40k rules as well as I would like. Some of the hosts can be a bit aggressive at times. Still there is a lot of good content here and it is especially worth going through the back episodes whilst they are still available. I like Richard and his laconic style.

The Eternal Warriors is also going to cover War Machine. I will give it a listen and see if it is more of my style. I do like what Richard talks about most of the time.

I wanted to give Rich, Dave and the crew another go. So I downloaded the latest episode of Eternal Warriors and had a listen, but ended up shutting it down sometime after the first hour.

My main issue was that there really wasn't a lot of on-topic conversation. There was a lot of general banter, talk about Magic and GenCon without much specifics. When they were talking 40k, it was to spend a whole lot of time discussing the new Sisters codex and whether or not it was fair to receive it in the White Dwarf. Its just not the content I am looking for in a podcast.

Imperial Vox Cast (link)

I think this started out well, but the quailty of content gradually deteriorated. Its hosted by a group of four or so guys, although most weeks not all of them are avaialble. I remember enjoying the earlier episodes as they went through each codex and gave their analysis. At some point I realised that I just wasn't getting much use out of their commentary, and found some of their aggressive posturing very offputting. Its a pity as it showed promise early on.

The Power Sword (link)

A couple of tired guys mumbling into a microphone about bugger all for over an hour. A great example of how NOT to produce your first podcast. I might listen to one more just in case this improves exponentially - they were pretty funny guys but the content was just not there.

Heroes of 28 (link)

A crew out of Texas, that put on their on tournaments. Quite well produced for a new podcast, but the content is not really to my liking. Would be good for those of you who like the Eternal Warriors and Imperial Vox Cast.

Tyrants Due (link)

A few guys from Indiana who get together to talk about wargaming in general, although the emphasis is definitely on 40k. They also are really getting into the 40k roleplaying games, such as Death Watch and Black Crusade.

I find these guys really disorganised. The podcast seems to run for about 20 minutes before they realise they are on air. There is good content at times, but it is heavily diluted with off-topic discussion and banter. Also they do spend a lot of time talking about role-playing. They are ten shows in now and don't really seem to have found their stride. I might have another listen in a few months but for now they are off my playlist.

Interesting Tactics (link)

This 40k podcast is hosted by a young bloke named Adam (hes only 18 I think). He has other people joining him sporadically. Hes a nice bloke and obviously in to his 40k, but there was a lack of consistency to the content - it could be about anything really.

I think that Adam is struggling to find a niche. Some of the episodes were little more than eccentric monologues. The tactical content was was very basic, and not worth my time to listen to really, so I pulled the plug. Looking at the web site it says he has two additional hosts now, but looking at the latest episode descriptions at least one of them seems to be missing from the new episodes. More of the same I guess, but I might have another listen just in case.