Saturday, 30 April 2022

Yarkshire Gamer Podcast - Episode 24 - Iain McDonald Flags of War


This episode we are back to the usual interview format and my guest is Iain McDonald who runs the company Flags of War.

LINK TO THE EPISODE BELOW 

https://kenrtai.podbean.com/e/episode-24-iain-mcdonald-flags-of-war/

Just like it says on the tin Iain supplies a huge range of 28mm flags from right across the span of history to wargamers throughout the world.

If that wasn't enough on top of a full time job and a family Iain has branched out into producing 28mm figures. Starting with figures covering the Gangs of New York inspired by the Warriors movie. He has moved on to cover the Jacobite Rebellions and has one of the most complete ranges available for that period. 

Iain produces figures for periods he loves himself and that clearly shows, he has ranges of War of the Austrian Succession and The Border Reivers in the pipeline.

But as with all my guests we don't just talk shop, we cover Iains wargames history, cover the Venn Diagram of Wargaming and of course have a bit of Big Game Chat.

The Quiz breaks down into a discussion about Fish and Chips whilst we get another successful entry into Wargames Room 101.

Iain was a great guest and its always great to hear from enthusiastic people who run smaller companies for the love of the hobby. 

Flags of War can be found at,

Flags of War

Thanks for listening and if you haven't already please subscribe to the Podcast (it's free) it helps to increase the profile of the show to a wider audience.

The previous episode with 3 guests, Simon Hall, Mark Freeth and Dr Chris Brown is now available on the Utubes 

I hope to be speaking with my old friend, Historian, Author, Battlefield Guide and Wargamer Stephen Barker in the next Episode.

Until then, Sithee

Regards Ken

The Yarkshire Gamer

Saturday, 16 April 2022

28mm Italian Risorgimento Project

 

Running multiple social media platforms can get a bit confusing and for reasons discussed before I've not been doing blog posts as frequently as a few years ago. There was a time when most new units would have their own posts, something which I now tend to do on Facebook, the outcome of this is that I've hardly covered my 28mm Italian Risorgimento Project on here.


Above is a picture of the Project to date 6 units of 24 Garibaldi, 1 unit of 16, a battery of 3 guns and a Command Stand plus a unit of 36 Papal Troops. The end goal is both sides for the Battle of Mentana which is just over 30 units so I'm about one third of the way through.


The majority of the figures are from Gringo 40s who do a good range of Garibaldi Infantry (along with Piedmont and Neopolitan troops which I'm not using), the figures have great detail and provide a great base to build a project around. A link to the range is below,


Outside of that range Shako 64 in Italy do a decent range and some English language uniform guides, worries around delivery from Italy has limited my Shako 64 purchases to date, the Garibaldi Artillery are from that range.


One of the challenges of the period is sourcing figures and their has some fun improvisation along the way, these Perry Miniatures British Intervention Force figures have doubled up as a unit of the Dunne Battalion, its reminded me of the old days of wargaming in many ways !

Look out for some more wierd and wonderful figure use over the coming months. Half of the Papal Army were French and I am currently waiting for the Perrys to release their Franco Prussian French plastic box set, if that doesn't happen in the next couple of months (I'm looking at doing this as a display game at FIASCO in October) then I will need to get some from another company.

My favourite unit so far is definitely my Papal Zouaves, a mixture of Perry Miniatures plastic ACW Zouaves and metal, kepi heads from Steve Barber Models and 36 figures strong to me it looks the business, I have another unit the same size to do along with Skirmish bases and a Commander to form a Zouave Brigade which I am really looking forward to getting on the table.

I will try and keep the blog updated a little bit more with this project as it goes along, I'm still not sure what rules I'm going to use as I've struggled to get anything specific for the period yet. I'm going to pick up a copy of Pickets Charge and see if I can Italian Risorgimento them !

Monday, 11 April 2022

Yarkshire Gamer Podcast Episode 23 - The Second Reet Grand Catch Up

 

As the Episode number ends in a 3 its time to dip back into my list of previous guests and give them a ring and see what they have been up to. This is also the first ever "Award Winning Episode" following Yarkshire Gamers win in the Best Podcast Category so if you are new, welcome onboard. 

LINK BELOW TO THE EPISODE 

https://kenrtai.podbean.com/e/episode-23-the-second-reet-grand-catch-up/



First on my list is Rules Author and Big Gamer, Simon Hall from Episode 8. Since we spoke Simon has been a busy boy releasing two more sets of rules, Divisions of Steel for WW2 and Renato et Gloriam for the Renaissance 

Divisions of Steel (divisions-of-steel.co.uk)

Renatio et Gloriam – Renaissance Tabletop Gaming (renatio-et-gloriam.co.uk)

But that's not all he's been up to, in some very exciting news Simon is working on a boardgame version of the all time classic computer game Rome Total War, the production looks amazing and I'm sure it will do very well,


TOTAL WAR ROME: THE BOARD GAME — PSC Games


Next up I speak with the owner of the Wargames Holiday Centre, Mr Mark Freeth last time we spoke we were in the middle of lockdown and the Centre was just about to move venue so things were very much on hold.

We find out what new games are on the menu for this year and chat about the upcoming Donald Featherstone Weekend, an Italian Wars extravaganza which will be attended by yours truly.

Below is a link to the weekends at the centre, hurry up though places are very limited,


Home - War Games Holiday Centre (wargameshc.co.uk)


My final guest goes back to Episode 3 and everyone's favourite Arnhem and Scottish Medieval History expert Dr Chris Brown when we spoke last time Chris was planning his annual wargames event in Arnhem (on the anniversary of the landings) set in a hotel was was fought through in the battle.

Unfortunately the Phobon Plague prevented the event going ahead but things are going full steam ahead for this year and we chat about his plans for the event.

S.P.I.T. Wargames: The Return to Arnhem! - Warlord Community (warlordgames.com)

(6) S.P.I.T. Wargames | Facebook

Chris has also recently discovered one of my favourite wargaming places in the UK Common Ground Games in Stirling. CGG has a huge gaming area, a well stocked shop and a great cafe and is a must visit every time Yarkshire Gamer is North of Northallerton. 


He is organising a Normandy themed gamed day this summer, with plans for other days including a Vietnam themed event.

If you are ever in the area pop in and pay a visit


Tabletop gaming venue Scotland, Stirling 40k, fantasy games tables UK (commongroundgames.co.uk)

I'm still waiting for confirmation of my next guest but there will be a new episode at the end of the month, I know, 2 episodes in a month I am spoiling you !

As always I end with a link to the Utubes version of the previous episode



Until next time,

Sithee


Regards Ken

The Yarkshire |Gamer



Saturday, 2 April 2022

Yarkshire Gamer Podcast wins Little Wars TV Caesar Award

 

I've put together a short Thank You episode following the Yarkshire Gamer Podcast winner in the Best Podcast category in this year's Little Wars TV Caesar Awards.

Here is a link to the audio show

https://kenrtai.podbean.com/e/little-wars-caesar-awards-best-podcast-winner-thank-you/

And if you prefer some pictures as you listen here is the Utubes version.


And if you would rather read the episode below is a "rough" scripts version.

About 18 months ago I started to listen quite heavily to a lot of Historical Wargames Podcasts, sure I had dabbled in the past, the odd Meeples and Miniatures episode here and there, nothing heavy you understand just recreational.

I have a long commute so I consumed a lot quickly, I had lost my music groove, I got fed up with talk radio with its endless politics so I went to my true love Wargaming.

But after not too long a thread started to emerge, it was all about the Skirmish, which is fine if that's your bag, but it wasn't mine. I heard repeated comments on different shows like "you can't do that in 28mm" , "a unit of 12 figures carrying a flag is a colour party" , "a good wargame must take no more than 2 hours and fit on a 6 x 4 table" , "Waterloo is impossible in 28mm" etc etc.

It was all about the Skirmish, Gangs of Rome, Bolt Action, Frostgrave, all cool games I'm sure but not my cup of tea, as I listened more and more I started to think "am I the only one ? Am I the last Big Game Gamer on earth !" I knew I wasn't as many of my friends Game in the same style but it was an eye opener.

It was a slow build but I specifically recall an episode of Sean Clarks wonderful God's Own Scale Podcast (to avoid any doubt I love Sean and his Podcast) when he was interviewing Pete Berry from Baccus and the topic of "You can't do that in 28mm" came up again and Pete went on a bit of a rant about a 28mm 8 inch WW1 British Howitzer that he had seen in a magazine and how stupid it was to have that weapon in that scale etc etc.

That Howitzer was mine. Fuelled by some particularly fine Malt Whisky I decided to put a post on Twitter suggesting I do my own Big Game Podcast. I drifted off in a haze following the Peaty fall down juice and forgot about the whole thing.

I woke the next day to find my notifications on the Twitters had gone mad, there was some support for the idea including my mate Sean Clark encouraging me on.

I looked into it and quickly worked out the basics of recording, editing and releasing a Podcast, so on the 19th February I put out a Pilot Episode. Half an hour of just me talking, explaining what I wanted to do with the show and setting myself 5 episodes to see how it went. Would anyone be interested, could I produce something that was worth listening to, on the 18th February I had no idea. The 5 episode idea was based mostly around my Podcast hoster who made you pay after that number of episodes (one eye on the brass as always ๐Ÿ˜).

It was a leap in the dark but I had been around with a blog for the best part of 10 years and was active on Twitter Facebook, YouTube and other Wargames Forums as Yarkshire Gamer so at least someone knew who I was.

I recorded the first episode with Chris Breeze and Gareth Lane and it was just like chatting with some mates down the pub. I had decided on a 4 part format for the show (Introduction, Big Game Chat, Quiz, Big Topic) and to a large extent it worked, in fact the show continues in roughly the same format today. 

I edited it all together into a complete episode, without accidentally deleting large chunks of audio and launched it into the World Wide Web. The response was amazing, I smashed all my expectations and loads more people listen into that episode than I ever dreamed would.

I went on to complete the 5 original episodes in about 3 months. I will always be grateful to those guests from the first five shows, Chris and Gareth, Richard Harris from Legendary Wargames, Dr Chris Brown, Colin Ashton and of course Mark Freeth from the Wargames Holiday Centre. They all agreed to come on the show before anyone had heard an episode, they had no idea what they were letting themselves in for but they came along anyway, so once again thank you guys ๐Ÿ‘

The show has always been centred on Big Games, like the one from Gerry Elliott my guest from Episode 21, he has 100,000 10mm figs. 

The show has never been about, this type of gaming is better than another. If you play Bolt Action there are loads of Podcasts dedicated to that genre of gaming, 40K too has hundreds of shows, all much more popular than mine. This Podcast was there for people who play, enjoy or simply aspire to playing Big Games.

It wasn't and isn't "my bit of the hobby is better than yours" it was "this is my bit of the hobby, I really enjoy it, I want to tell you about it because I've had some of the most enjoyable times gaming this way, have a look, try it, you might enjoy it".


What is a Big Game ? Who knows ? It means different things to different people and that's why I always ask all of my guests that question. Everyone has a slightly different answer and that's what is great to talk about. If there was a single definition it would be a very short and very boring Podcast.

I've always try to make the interviews fun for me and my guests, I think when I do that it comes across much better on the recording, I don't want to be the Podcast that's negative about everything, I want to be the Podcast that celebrates, unashamedly, Big Games, Big Mad Collections of Figures, huge gaming rooms, stories of floors buckling due to the weight of figure Collections and people locked in rooms for weeks playing massive games.

It's always important to remember that my guests are very often doing their first ever Podcast or interview and some are understandingly nervous. I made a conscious decision right at the beginning to not chase the Wargames Glitterati (thanks for that phrase Sean). There are companies and people out there that get lots of exposure, they probably would bring in greater numbers of listeners but I would rather speak to people with a good story, look at the episode with Robbie Roddis which is living proof of that !


To keep the Podcast fresh I decided on two things, the first was to revisit some of my guests as time went by to see what was going on in their gaming world since we last spoke, so the Catch Up episodes were born. Rather than one guest, the shows have 3 or 4 guests each doing 20 mins half an hour and appear when the Episode number has a 3 at the end. They are hard work to put together organising multiple interviews and editing them together.

The second thing was to provide a more hobby wide outlet, so I approached two people outside the 28mm Big Game world, Sean Clark and Alex Sotheran from Storm of Steel who are more well know for their 6mm and 15mm output to come together and co-host a show.

Brews in the Binyard was born, a hopefully twice a year ramble from the three of us, they have proved remarkably popular. The title is homage to the Views from the Veranda episodes that Henry Hyde and the sadly no longer with us Mike Hobbs would do, but nobody up here (outside Harrogate) would know what a Veranda was so I remembered back to the Binyards of my student days where we would sit and chat, Views became Brews and the rest is history.


I openly admit I did a bit of begging and it must have worked because I ended up being nominated for the Little Wars TV Caesar Awards in the Podcast and with that nomination coming less than a year after I started the Podcast it was something I was very proud of.

There are lots of good Podcasts out there, some with amazing production and I listen to most of them, what sets Yarkshire Gamers Reet Big Wargames Podcast apart from those I don't know but I'm sure glad that some people do see something in it and there was enough people who felt that way to get a nomination.


So I sat up waiting for the award show which was on at midnight in the UK, I was also leaving for work at 6am which made it even more exciting. In true old man style I fell asleep just before the Awards began and missed the announcement, I woke up half way through the show and had to rewind it to find out my result !

It still a bit of a surprise to me but I am so happy to have won the award. Little Wars TV has done our great deal for our hobby and the professional way their content is done has pushed back the boundaries of our hobby. The Caesar Awards are a great idea, the awards show is so well put together and I'm so happy that now I'm part of it.

If you haven't listened to the Podcast yet it's available on all Podcast Hosts, just search for Yarkshire Gamer, it also appears on my Utubes Channel. Give it a like, follow or comment wherever you see it and let's spread the Big Game Good News ๐Ÿ‘