View from the Veranda – Episode #7 – Gamer or Wargamer


Welcome to Episode #7 of View from the Veranda

Download Episode #7

In this show, Henry and I discuss what the differences are between gaming and wargaming, but only after talking about making your own terrain, the start of the recent “The Grenouissian Intermezzo” and just how far Henry has got with his book.

So, pull up a chair and join us on the Veranda…

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33 Responses to View from the Veranda – Episode #7 – Gamer or Wargamer

  1. shaunyams says:

    please REVERT to using the usual M&M feed.

    • vftvpodcast says:

      Apparently, I missed the somewhat vital step of registering the new RSS feed on my iTunes account.

      I’ve now completed that, so everything should appear shortly…just awaiting feed approval from Apple.

      I will update everyone when VFTV is live on iTunes

  2. Karol says:

    2h 46m? wow that’s long…

    • vftvpodcast says:

      Agreed. We normally do not like to record a show over 2 hours long, so this is unusual.

      Hopefully you will agree that the discussion is interesting enough to warrant the extra length, but it is certainly something we will keep more of an eye on in future.


  3. sentientbean says:

    Goody, I get to be the first one to comment who isn’t bitching about one thing or another.

    Thanks for the great podcast! Will cue this up for play now whilst I sit and paint my 5th unit of 28mm plastic spartans. Bronze… red… flesh… bronze…. red…. flesh…… bronzzzzzzzzzzz……

  4. sentientbean says:

    I tell I lie. I bitched about painting. There you go. Typical wargamer.

  5. PatG says:

    Well this one was so far ranging that is hard to disagree with anything. There are many reasons to play games and I think the broader hobby (not just the GW component) has room enough for all. To simplify it all, i think wargaming is a triangle comprised of reenaction, simulation and recreation. Each gamer balances that triangle differently.

    So some points ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Umpires – like unicorns, often mentioned, seldom seen and should be sought after. 20+ years ago I got in one umpired double blind game of Squad Leader. A phenomenal experience and one of the best games I have ever played.

    Full strength OOB and troops on table – a big sore point for me. With all the Waffen SS Tiger companies floating around I think it is far more interesting to play a Volksgrendier unit backed by a couple of regulars, two dogs and a bevvy of angry Hausfrau. I would love to run a tourney where the players put their troop lists on the table and roll d6 for each base. On a 1 or 2, it’s deserted, died of typhus or is otherwise occupied with dysentery and is removed form the game.

    Balanced games vs scenarios. Points are an easy way for two gamers to sit down and have a satisfying game for both players. Scenarios with asymmetric forces can be a bugger to balance properly and the other option of each player taking both sides in turn and using an aggregate score takes twice the time.

    Playing with unpainted lead – try unpainted plastic Airfix Romans one of whom had been gnawed by my pet rat.

    A great podcast as usual – though I am a bit worried that one morning I will wake up to Henry’s face in the mirror since he quite rightly seems to have all the same opinions I do ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Henry – you might want to look at the skirmish gaming thread on WD3.

  6. PatG says:

    Why is it you only see your typos after posting?

  7. snowcat says:

    That hideous magenta background must go.


  8. Paul Darnell says:

    Good stuff guys and I’ve been busy making some terrain whilst I listened to both.

  9. Cort Naegelin says:

    I agree with you hold heartedly. I am about where Henry is on chance. I probable lean more to the sim side. My preferred rules as of 1:14PM are LaSalle and Command Decision. Command Decision, actually, has written in it โ€œThe Refereeโ€™s ruling is lawโ€ (or something like that). All our games in the 70โ€™s where refereed. Players would tell the Ref their moves and the ref would move everything/do reveals etc. If there was a discrepancy, it was chalk up to orders going thought the change of command.

    The infamous table edge! It is one of the problems that I am having with Force on Force. I must point out the best written rules that I have seen in ages. The problem is that you can see forever. It does make it very hard for me to design scenarios, because I look past the table edge. Meeting engagements seem difficult and what do you do with scout cars.

    I am sorry. I am as you say blathering on. Love the Podcast.

    Cort N

  10. Cort Naegelin says:


    Sorry, One more thing. My take on painted minis. In the past, they where painted based on their performance in game. Good veterans would be painted. Green poor preforming troops would remain unpainted.

    Cort N

  11. wirelizard says:

    I’m not a huge podcast fan usually, but this kept me entertained while I puttied 30-odd bases this evening! The discussion of the edge of table/edge of world syndrome was inspiring, I can feel a few scenario ideas forming up…

  12. battlegames says:

    Neil, next time we record, remind me to talk about Charles S Grant’s “rolling’ battlefields as described in his Waraming in HIstory books. I *knew* there was something I forgot to mention! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. snowcat says:

    Black background is soooooo much better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Sean Clark says:

    As ever a great podcast. I’ve said it before but its rather like having a friendly chat over a pint down the pub with a couple of good freinds.

    On the topic of balance of forces in games, take a look at the Rules for the common Man from Peter Pig. There rules have a pre game sequence (that is great fun in itself) that basically sets up the on table scenario with one player being the attacker and the other the defender. During the pre game bit you can aim to be either if you prefer one or the other but nothing is guaranteed. Also your not sure which parts of your army will turn up for the battle and have to adjust battle plans accordingly. The basic mechanics are each general rolls dice to motivate a unit, then rolls dice for action points (used to move/fire/charge etc).

    The defender at the end of each of his turn rolls a D6, subtracting the roll from 21. Once you reach 0 the game ends, so the attacker hopes for longer games to give him plenty of time to take advantage of his superior numbers while the defender wants a shorter game to hold off the attacker.

    Its a great mechanism in my eyes, though the rules are considered by some to be a bit like marmite. But they create a great warGAME as opposed to a WARgame if you know what I mean. They play out a plausible game in a couple or three hours leaving time for chat and socialising. From what Henry and Neil were saying I feel sure he’d like them.

    And just to be clear I dont work for Peter Pig, I’m just a fanboy. There games are all I play.

    Best wishes


  15. Connard Sage says:

    Excellent episode, but a bit of a marathon!

    Re. the crossover from simultaneous movement to IGOUGO. It was WRG wot did it back in the 70s, their WWII, modern and Horse and Musket rules extolled the virtues of the latter over the former.

    I quote from the 1685-1845 set:
    “These rules follow our very successful World War Two and Modern Armour sets in substituting alternate play for the more recently fashionable simultaneous movement in accordance with strict written orders.”

    So blame Phil. As usual ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. snowcat says:

    Have listened to this 3 times now. Mad I know. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But it’s inspired me (along with my fave: ep #3) to get hold of CS Grant’s ‘Scenarios for Wargames’ and ‘Programmed Wargames Scenarios’ to go with the rest of my Old School Wargames collection.


  17. blakemj says:

    Damn you Mr Hyde, and your heretical written orders with simultaneous movements!!!!
    But seriously, like some others here I am now thinking how I could incorporate an element of these ideas into the AWI Freeman’s Farm battle I will be umpiring for some friends using Black Powder – obviously the command action element will change now…..

    As for that edge of the table is not the edge of the map……….

    Superb podcast gentlemen.

  18. blakemj says:

    The podcast has no title on Itunes – found it because the episode has view from the veranda in it.

  19. MikeH says:

    Finally got a chance to listen to this over the weekend and enjoyed the podcast immensely

    Thoughts on some of the discussion points (not all as I canโ€™t remember them all)

    Scenarios v equal armies – both have their merits, the best game I ever played was a scenario based game I umpired however that took 6 months to set up and was a real labour of love.
    What I call real scenario based games take the longest to setup and in most cases need someone to drive the game (i.e. to arrange it, make sure all the troop types are available get the terrain sorted etc) but they can be the most fulfilling to play.
    Personally I prefer a mix of both where you have a set scenario and that effects the points you can take and you have specific victory conditions. In these games whilst you still have a strong scenario and story line, itโ€™s up to each player to work out his/her forces from models they own so they are easier to arrange.

    The most boring kind of game for me is one where both sides just line up with equal forces and just charge.

    Rules that have a strong scenario base are usually the ones I play the most.

    Gamer v wargamer โ€“ this one really got me thinking as even though I never saw it before but I am planted firmly in the wargamer section, I have played games in the past with unpainted figures but I canโ€™t do it now. For me I love the spectacle of a game, I like games with nice terrain and painted figures and I have in the past found a set of rules and refused to play them until I had a painted army to use (and by painted army I mean one where all the bases match, not just a collection of stuff picked up on a bring and buy). However my mate is completely in the gamer camp as heโ€™ll play with anything, different based figures, cardboard chits, bottle tops etc all he wants to do is roll dice and enjoy the game.

    But the brilliant thing is each of us love the hobby and at the end of the day that is what is important, wargaming does bring friends together



  20. karaokius says:

    I can play it, but not download it, there does not appear to be a download button. Any ideas?

    • Henry says:

      Right-click on the download button and choose “Save Link As…”

      • karaokius says:

        Thanks Henry, what a plonker !!!!!! I was clicking on the actual words ”download episode 7” and not the ”audio mp3” button. Is it just me or do other people get in front of a computer and have complete brain failure?

  21. Snowcat says:

    Right, so I’ve played this about 10 times now while sculpting, and I’m *seriously* ready for a new one! Come on then gents, snap to it! (…if you’re not too busy…if you’ve nothing better to do…in your own time…now would be good…)


    • vftvpodcast says:

      Well, I can’t promise anything with Henry, but I’m currently editing a chat I had with Richard Clarke on Meeples & Miniatures…that will be about 105 mins and should be out by the end of the week…

      • Snowcat says:

        Excellent. I just played VFTV #3 yet again in the meantime. ๐Ÿ™‚
        And I don’t have an issue with the ‘self-indulgent’ nature of VFTV – I thought that was a major part of the whole point. We could do with a bit more from the Colonel and the Major though… ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Keith Flint says:

    Seven and a half minutes in and so far no wargames content at all. And two hours to go. I really do wish you guys the best with these shows (which are fun when you’re painting), but does the phrase ‘self indulgent’ ring any bells?

    Sorry to be grumpy again but my experience with my blog is that the politely critical comments are often the most useful and interesting.

    Best wishes as always, Keith Flint.

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