Friday, July 13, 2012

The Full Nerdy Experience with Meeples and Miniatures

I'm sure many of you out there are already familiar with Meeples and Miniatures, but if not allow me to sing its praises.

Meeples and Miniatures is a podcast and blog run by the very amiable Neil Shuck, in which he discusses miniature gaming (mainly historical) and boardgames. Neil also has an associated occasional podcast called View from the Verandah, in which he has long leisurely chats about wargamey topics with Henry Hyde, editor of the excellent Battlegames magazine.

I've been enjoying listening to the archives of both podcasts. Neil often reviews new games and figures on Meeples and Miniatures, and I've learned about all sorts of interesting sounding things that I could spend money on. At times Neil's game reviews reach an insane level of detail. I was listening to one where Neil was explaining all the dice modifiers in some game, and the Duchess wandered into the room to hear something along the lines of 'if you roll a one, you add three, if you roll a two, add seven...' and so on. To be honest it did sound a bit like I was listening to the shipping news. Such was her look of pity and derision that I now listen with headphones.

Probably my favourite episodes of Meeples is when Neil interviews interesting people like Richard Clarke from Too Fat Lardies, or the brains behind such figure manufactures as Westwind, the Plastic Soldier Company and so on. It is fascinating getting an insight into how people organise their businesses and think about how to design their rules. Listening certainly made me really appreciate the design philosophy of Too Fat Lardies, for example, and listening to discussions with Alex Buchel, the author of SAGA and Muskets and Tomahawks was brilliant. He sounds like exactly the sort of chap you might want to drink a bottle of wine and eat a chicken with. Listen to the interview and tell me I'm wrong.

Anyway, I strongly recommend Meeples, and thanks to Neil for making such a great show. To enhance your enjoyment, here is the Dux Homunculorum guide to the perfect Nerdy Hobby Evening:

Step 1. Get the kids to sleep (skip this step if you don't have kids).

Step 2. Breathe a sigh of relief, get yourself a large glass/bottle of whatever you fancy and settle down at the hobby table.

Step 3. Start playing an episode of Meeples and Miniatures while you paint. It is suggested that you listen on headphones unless you have a particularly thick skin to the inevitable satirical remarks from spouses, partners, kids etc (see above).

Step 4. Take a sip of your beverage every time Neil reiterates a point forcefully by saying 'I really, really do'.

Step 5. Take a sip every time he says 'it has to be said'.

Step 6. Take a hefty swig when Neil sums up a topic by saying 'watch this space.'

Step 7. Rapidly finish your drink to help you block out the mental picture when Neil discusses wargaming while cross dressing with Richard Clarke from Too Fat Lardies.

Step 8. Continue until tiredness intervenes or your painting becomes too erratic and head for bed, as I am going to do right now.


  1. I agree, a very enjoyable & informative service provided by Neil.

  2. I was going to accuse you of rampant brown-nosing, but I am going to have to try the drinking game!

    Maybe a drink every time Neil starts a new period, or gets miniatures with intent to paint them...

  3. You skull everytime Neil abandons a project that he 'swore' he would finish in a previous podcast.

  4. I enjoy M&M for my twice weekly Canberra to Sydney drives!

  5. Half a pint every time he says banana oil

  6. Barking review but so true. I have listened to this podcast for three years and the drinking game is class.

  7. Don't forget "Passing quickly on . . ."