Alright, I realise this is two publication features basically one after another. Not optimal use of my Warhammer blog, I know, but I haven’t actually done anything Warhammer related in the last few days bar listen to Podhammer. Our loan did get approved, though, so that is pretty nice. But enough with this irrelevant real-world tripe. Onto Warhammer thingies.
So here we have the latest installment of the gripping thriller that is Podhammer. In this case, epsode 55, That’s PH Philth.
As much as it pains some sections of the community, Podhammer is a fairly popular little endeavour. It seems to embody all the positives that people enjoy Warhammer for. Talking with friends, discussing rules, lambasting people and swearing. That is a fairly accurate description of Warhammer, no?
Warhammer on the internet is basically a sea of faceless words, strangers and mutes spouting opinions that you couldn’t really give two hoots about. Podhammer gives all this a voice and a character, and helps people to identify the hobby with something other than voices inside their head.
With this all in mind you can see why Podhammer is so popular and influential. It is a pity that after 55 episodes it still hasn’t capitalised or developed this.
The episode is a fairly standard Podhammer affair. A brief stint talking about the hosts ‘Week in Warhammer’ soon gives way to the main feature. In this case, a ‘first impression’ of Warhammer Armies Skaven.
I like the basic idea behind this Podhammer staple, but to me it has just become an uninformed ramble on the current subject of fashion. In the case of this episode, a two hour ramble.
For a first impression they should be looking at how the army has changed, what the main differences are between this book and the last. As Jeff admits, six months down the track their opinions about the units will probably have changed, so why are initial thoughts on how bad-arse or pathetic selections are relevant? The content on offer should be something that informs and entertains the listener. At the moment they are just offering half-baked opinions.
The information given by Jeff and Phil this episode isn’t all that bad, but they obviously don’t understand all the issues that the army book currently has. For example, Jeff makes an offhanded and innocent comment about the Hell Pit Abomination not needing an official model, as it is an excellent opportunity for conversion work. He also states all you need to do is put something on a chariot base and you are done. The problems here that he doesn’t understand are that there is no indication just what base size the Abomination should in fact be fielded on, and that an official model would in fact give an accurate indication of this.
While this is really semantics, or a minor problem at worst, these are the kinds of slip ups that all too frequently occur. They aren’t expected to know all the answers, but not being abreast of the current thinking is what makes segments of the show irrelevant. And if the show is irrelevant, what is the use in listening?
It is entirely possible that I am overstating the issue, but that is the main problem with Podhammer. Its aimlessness. This episode is indicative of that, with its obscene running length. I have brought this up before, but I have no idea why there are entire songs being played in the ‘brakes’. Take those songs out, they are needless. That is just wasted bandwidth.
While these gripes are a big part of the whole Podhammer experience, I still enjoy the podcast overall. Jeff is a passable host, and can at least keep the episode moving along. It is just the lack of direction that I find annoying, especially in something that is such an inspiration to the whole community. There is so much potential for Podhammer to be one of the resources that the community revolves around, but it just doesn’t seem to reach those heights.
Stormvermin, I choose you!
I slogged through the Stormvermin today and finished them off. My, aren’t they magnificent. A musician is conspicuously absent, but I’ll have to track one of the newer metal ones down. The older version just didn’t fit in.
I’m really pleased with how they look, especially the champion and standard bearer in the first rank. And so the horde grows!
While painting I knocked over the latest episode of Podhammer. They (mostly) talked Psychology, which is an interesting and important part of the Warhammer system. Thankfully the in-jokes and needless song interludes were at a significantly diminished level from last episode. Though I think this is largely due to there only being two people on the podcast this episode. As the guests increase, so does the useless drivel.
Something nice and simple today. Finished base coating the Plague Monks and Slaves. No I have tonnes of guys to paint. Hurrah!
I spent quite a while going back over them, as well as the Stormvermin, and touching up an bits that had been missed. With close to eighty models to check, it took a little time to do.
After that had been done, I started on the Stormvermin. So far I have only made it through the armour on these six, and the unit filler. Hopefully I can squeeze some more time in over the next couple of days to do some more.
I also listened to the new episode of Podhammer today. As always, some interesting talk that is largely hindered by the constant in jokes and compulsive need to one-up each other. By the way, what is with the songs slotted into the podcast? This episode has at least two full songs, totalling at least six minutes of airplay. Cut the songs, and cut down my download time Jeff! It needs more cut-through and sizzle!
Spent some of today progressing the painting. Badab Black and Devlan Mud washes have been added, as has some sections of Tin Bitz. Then I have to paint the highlights and do another wash.
I like how the Rotting Flesh is working out, I’m glad I gave it a go. The Stormvermin is also looking really good, I like how he is turning out.
Listened to Podhammer Episode 48 while I painted. I am a big fan of Podhammer, but the episodes are starting off a little slow lately. There is almost 30 minutes of useless, inane chatter that references obscure events and runs off of in-jokes. It’s disappointing to see that the podcast isn’t tightening up and becoming more punchy, but just blowing out and becoming more confusing.
Once they got to it, I liked the tournament talk. It’s good to hear what other players have been up to, and how they react to different situations in a tournament environment.
Hopefully I can get some more of the Skaven done this week, though I doubt that will happen. It is apparently going to be full on at work this week, and on top of this, we have Linda’s twelve year old nephew coming around for three days while he’s on school holidays. If I’m lucky, I might be able to slot some Warhammer in, but it seems unlikely.
Stuck the Engineer together today. Changed him around a little, gave him a head from the plastic Plague Monk box rather than a Clanrat head. Also changed his power source from a chunk of warpstone/Bretonnian brazier to a diode from an old computer. I started to detail the staff and the power source a little using bits of plasticard. I’ll probably cut some slivers from some plasticard rod and use these to make dials and nobs and stuff.
I also put together the Chieftain. He hasn’t changed any from when I initially put together the test miniature, but I like him a lot. The pose is very dynamic and interesting, and he certainly looks like someone in charge. Once he is painted I’ll also add on a shield attached to his left gun arm.
Work was done on the Rat Ogre/Heavy Loader too. The lifting arms have been inverted, being raised over it rather than drooping in front of it. Some kind of bracing beams are needed on the arms, but the design of them is decided.
New episode of Podhammer is out too. They mainly talk about the Combat phase, and it’s an interesting listen. Old hats of the game will be only too familiar with most of it, but it’s nice to hear someone say it out loud. Makes it all real somehow.
Only small, mostly insignificant stuff happened today. I filled in the gaps on the Ratling Gun team, and used some of the left over Milliput to fill in gaps on the other Skaven miniatures. Then I wasted time watching Ricky Jervais bits on YouTube.
The new White Dwarf came in a couple of days ago. What is going on? It is basically 50/50 40k and Lord of the Rings. Sure there’s an article on putting the plastic multipart Empire general on a Pegasus, but that’s one whole page. And come to think of it, didn’t they have an article months ago about putting the plastic multipart Empire general onto a Griffin? What the hell White Dwarf editorial staff!? Has the well of inspiration dried up?
A new episode of Podhammer came out today too. Yes, it does suck what Jeff has gone through, but I stand by my comments on the Twitter sham. Suck it up and talk Warhammer, buddy.
You should all know this by now, I’m a big supporter of the Warhammer fanbase and all they do. I’ll give advice and help out where I can, and I’ll be honest about what I think.
It has been made public that Jeff will record a Podhammer episode if he can get 50 extra people following his Podhammer Twitter feed. As of writing this right now, he sits at 40, so 10 more to go.
In all honestly, I think this sucks.
I know both Podhammer and Jeff are now quite major forces in the Warhammer community. I know that Podhammer has been entertaining and helpful. I also know that ‘something happened’, and Jeff couldn’t record episodes anymore. So a return surely warrants a celebration.
Well, it would, if only it wasn’t a ransomed return.
Not knowing the circumstances involved in Jeff’s departure, and not knowing the reasons for his messianic return, I can only comment on what I see. And this is what I see.
I see Jeff departing with no explanation, and holding his return as some kind of digital ransom of subscriptions. If Jeff had come back and said “I have sorted out what need to be sorted out, here’s the show” all would be fine. Instead the community is flung into some strange bun fight to wrangle Twitter accounts and prop up numbers. It all seems so unnecessary. Jeff even indicates he wants to come back from the post on the Podhammer website!
The oddest thing is, I can’t figure out why this return hinges on Twitter subscriptions. Is Jeff held hostage by terrorists who only respond to Tweets? Are there subversive elements whose main goal is to topple Ashton Kutcher’s ranking? How the hell do I know even this much about Twitter?
Now, I freely admit that I am not on Twitter at all, and so am not subscribed to Podhammers Twitter feed. Therefore, I may have missed the very logical and reasonable explanation to this scenario. If anyone can fill me in, be my guest. I enjoy nothing more than being proved wrong.
But as it stands, I find this whole concept bankrupt. It smacks of…
It smacks of poorly conceived marketing drivel, that’s what it smacks of. It sounds like some hokey plan I would hear salespeople pitch in meetings. Like amassing troops in the next big internet thing equals fiscal success.
Like I said, I freely admit that I may have this totally the wrong way. But to those like me, who don’t roll on the inside with the cool kids, it just seems all wrong.
As promised, I worked on my Jezzail today. So far I have just put together the base gunner and not the shield bearer. He is going to be a bit trickier.
The body is mainly Clanrat and Nightrunner parts. The arms and gun are from a Kroot Hunter. I cut the dagger bits off of the barrel and the handle and glued a scope on made of plasticard rod.
I have also attempted to model fur onto the arms. To be honest, I’m not too sure how it has turned out. I’ll have to wait and see once it has dried. I think it might be bulking the arms out a bit too much, but I might be able to file it down once it has dried and get rid of some of the bulk. We’ll see tomorrow.
A new episode of Podhammer also came out today. I’ve listened to most of it, and the ‘new’ guys are doing a pretty good job. It makes me wonder though. Why is the bulk of Warhammer media generated by Australian fans from Queensland?
So I guess I’m out of my funk. Or at least beginning to come out of it.
I painted some of this Knight of the Realm today. Yellow is a hard colour to paint, it isn’t very forgiving in how it covers. I have tried using a white base for any yellow parts in the past, but decided to try something different for this one. The base is actually Vermin Fur, and I think it has worked really well. My major problem with another knight I previously painted with yellow was that the colour just didn’t look right. I think the fact that the entire army had a dark base coat, while the yellow was on a white, was what was causing it. Using Vermin Brown really seems to remedy this. I might even try one using Snakebite Leather as a base and see how it looks.
While I was painting I listened to the Bad Dice podcast. Since Podhammer has failed it’s panic check and run from the board, I am looking into other avenues to get my Warhammer auditory fix. Bad Dice doesn’t seem too bad, but I intend to give it a couple more episodes before I decide if I will keep at it. At the moment though, it just seems to be Podhammer but with UK people in it. While I liked Podhammer, I don’t know if I really want to just move on to it’s Eurpoean clone. I’ll have to do a bit more poking around and see if there are any more Australian based Warhammer podcasts.
This was announced a few days ago, but I only just heard about it. Podhammer is going on indefinate hiatus.
It’s entirely possible that it will return again in a few weeks, or months. But when real life is involved, as are the words ‘indefinate hiatus’, then it usually means a lingering stagnation before irrelevance. Which is a pity, Podhammer has given much to the Warhammer community and it would have been good to see it go out properly.
There have already been other Warhammer podcast starting to crop up, and this will necessitate a exploration of them. But I will miss Podhammer.
Start the Panzer, Hans.