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Little Wars FM

Join us as we explore historical wargames, interview game designers, and occasionally sip a dram of fine Scotch! Little Wars FM is a premium podcast supported by the patrons of Little Wars TV, the largest historical wargaming channel on YouTube. To listen to every episode of the show, join us on Patreon!

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Join us as we explore historical wargames, interview game designers, and occasionally sip a dram of fine Scotch! Little Wars FM is a premium podcast supported by the patrons of Little Wars TV, the largest historical wargaming channel on YouTube. To listen to every episode of the show, join us on Patreon!

15 Questions with Andy Callan

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If you listened to our 6-part series on designing homebrew rules, you heard Tom and Greg reference Andy Callan's name many times as the original designer of "Loose Files and American Scramble" back in the 1980s. Loose Files served as the inspiration and jumping off point for what would eventually become British Grenadier and own own modern spin, Live Free or Die. But Andy has been writing games for decades and is STILL developing new creations. 

His latest game, Nevermind the Billhooks, has been very well received and comes up frequently in this podcast. Let's talk to Andy Callan about his philosophy of rule design, spanning more than three decades as a wargamer! 

Dec 30 2021

51mins

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How to Write a Wargame (Part 6: Final Steps)

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It's been a long journey, and today our homebrew rules writing guide takes its final steps. This is the last chapter in our exhaustive, multi-part podcast series on how to write a wargame. Months ago we started back at the brainstorming phase and several hours of podcasting later, Tom & Greg make it to the finish line. In this episode we talk to Dave Taylor, a freelance graphic designer with a deep background in the tabletop hobby. Dave shares some great insights and practical tips for how to take your Microsoft WORD document and transform it into a professional, polished product. To bring our journey full circle, be sure to stick around until the end of the episode for a surprise guest we've talked about--but never talked to--throughout the entire series. And if you missed any of the earlier parts in this six-part series, we encourage you to go back and start with Part 1!

To purchase a print or PDF copy of "Live Free or Die," visit us at http://www.LittleWarsTV.com.

Dec 17 2021

1hr 11mins

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How to Write a Wargame (Part 5: Publishing?)

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In the fifth chapter of our multi-part series "How to Write a Wargame," we approach the finish line. Now that you have a fun game refined through playtesting, you may start to wonder about next steps. Is this a homebrew game you'll keep on the shelf for you and your friends? Or is this a game you should consider publishing? Tom & Greg weigh the considerations in publishing and debate final game adjustments from a major playtest session. If you missed any of the earlier parts in this series, we do encourage you to go back and start with Part 1!

Spoiler alert--we DID ultimately decide to publish "Live Free or Die" and to donate half the proceeds to one of our favorite charities, the American Battlefield Trust. You can visit the Trust to learn more about their mission of battlefield preservation at http://www.battlefields.org. To purchase a print or PDF copy of "Live Free or Die," visit us at http://www.LittleWarsTV.com.

Dec 03 2021

21mins

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How to Write a Wargame (Part 4: Playtesting)

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In the fourth chapter of our multi-part series "How to Write a Wargame," we discuss the role of play-testing. This is an absolutely critical part of the development process and we'll share some real-time feedback from our first round of play-testing at the club. Then, Tom & Greg head back to the drawing board to assess the necessary adjustments for further rounds of testing. Part 4 is a long one, folks! We're going deep into the weeds on the mechanics of game design and showing you how the sausage gets made. If you missed any of the earlier parts in this series, we do encourage you to go back and start with Part 1!

Nov 18 2021

1hr 44mins

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Salute 2021: Organizing the World‘s Largest Wargaming Show

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After a lost year due to COVID, tabletop wargaming conventions and events are back! Today we're talking to the organizer of the largest single-day historical gaming show in the world, Salute. The Salute show is put on by the South London Warlords and was rescheduled for November 2021 this year. How will this year's event be different and what are the challenges to putting on a convention of this scope? Let's find out!

You can find information about attending Salute at their official homepage: http://www.salute.co.uk/salute/salute-2020/

Learn more about HISTORICON 2021:  https://www.hmgs.org/mpage/HconHome

Learn more about MilleniumCon 2021: https://www.millenniumcon.info

Learn more about Texas Broadside 2021: http://www.beerandpretzelwargaming.com/texas-broadside.html

Nov 04 2021

34mins

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How to Write a Wargame (3: Developing Mechanics)

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In this third installment of our "How to Write a Wargame" series, Tom & Greg delve into the heart of game design. Today's episode is a long, detailed discussion between two veteran designers on how to structure the turn sequence and how the mechanics of play should unfold. This discussion touches on movement, firing, combat, morale, and every aspect of a wargame. For most developers, this is the most enjoyable and creative part of designing a game! If you missed part 1 or 2 in this series, we'd recommend you go back and listen to those to bring yourself up to speed on how this process plays out in real time. 

Oct 07 2021

1hr 22mins

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How to Write a Wargame (Part 2: Research)

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In part two of our homebrew rule series, Greg seeks out a hobby expert to offer insight on the American War of Independence. Jim Purkey of Fife & Drum Miniatures joins the show to help! What role did artillery play in this conflict? How common were skirmishers? Why were causalities in the battles so low when compared to the later Napoleonic Wars? These are just a few of the questions discussed in this episode! Research for a new game can take many forms, but reaching out to other gamers who may be able to lend some ideas is always a great place to start. If you've ever written a game or dabbled in homebrew rules, this podcast series is for you! 

Sep 24 2021

28mins

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How to Write a Wargame (Part 1: First Steps)

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Writing your own wargame is a time honored tradition in this hobby. Maybe you have a brand new idea for something innovative, or maybe you and your friends have been adding innocent "house rules" to tweak an existing game. Eventually, those house rules could evolve into something very different from the original. In this multi-part podcast series, we follow two veteran game designers on a journey through the life cycle of a wargame. Tom & Greg from Little Wars TV recorded a series of conversations in real time as they developed a fast-playing, grand tactical game for the American War of Independence. If you've ever written a game or dabbled in homebrew rules, this podcast series is for you! In Part 1, Tom & Greg describe the origins of their latest project, the challenges ahead, and take the first steps toward writing a homebrew system.

Sep 03 2021

43mins

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Painting Miniatures with Sonic Sledgehammer!

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Little Wars FM is joined today by Troy, who you probably know as "Sonic Sledgehammer Studio." We have a fantastic chat about his miniature painting YouTube channel. Why is he called Sonic Sledgehammer and how has the channel grown so quickly? We ask Troy about his painting process and how his style has evolved both as a painter and a YouTube video editor. We talk about his favorite scale to paint, what new ideas he has bubbling, and we penetrate his deepest, darkest secrets...like, what sits atop his mountain of old, unpainted miniature lead? It's a wonderful discussion with one of our favorite painters on YouTube today, who is fresh off a victory in the inaugural Caesar Awards! Our thanks to Troy for joining the show today! 

Jul 01 2021

56mins

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How to Design Historical Wargame Scenarios

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In this episode of Little Wars FM, Tom & Greg talk about the challenge of designing historical scenarios. These battles are rarely "equal" or fair, which presents a scenario designer with a variety of problems to solve. How to you make a lopsided historical engagement like Antietam fun and winnable for both sides? Tom & Greg go through a series of case studies to discuss examples where a certain scenario worked or did not. This is a fantastic discussion and should leave you with some good ideas of what to do and what NOT to do when designing your next historical tabletop battle. 

Today's episode of Little Wars FM is a public episode brought to you by our amazing patrons and supporters at Patreon. We want to thank each and every one of them for making this show possible! 

May 07 2021

1hr 4mins

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Board Game Design with Volko Ruhnke

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This week on Little Wars FM, Tom and Greg sit down with legendary game designer Volko Ruhnke. Published by GMT Games, his innovative COIN series includes popular titles Fire in the Lake, Andean Abyss, and many more. We talk about inspiration for new project, his rule design process, and what he's working on next. Then we ask Volko to look into his crystal ball and forecast future trends in board gaming. Finally, we brainstorm ways to promote more crossover between the miniature gaming and board gaming wings of the tabletop hobby. It's a fascinating, in-depth discussion and we want to thank Volko Ruhnke for joining us on the show! To learn more about his games, you can visit GMT Games at http://www.gmtgames.com and you can follow Volko on Twitter @Volko26!   

Mar 26 2021

1hr 29mins

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The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

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Little Wars FM talks to the creator of an annual, international painting event--the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Curt Campbell shares the origins of the idea, how it works, and why some playful peer pressure might just be the motivation we all need to tackle the mountain of unpainted miniatures on our desks. But even if you don't want to join in the event yourself, you can still go to the official event blog to see daily photos of all the miniatures being completed!

Visit http://thepaintingchallenge.blogspot.com to follow along and see some fantastic figures. Our thanks to Curt for joining us today and sharing his journey with the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!

Jan 28 2021

44mins

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Miniwargaming: A YouTube Trailblazer

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Today on Little Wars FM Greg interviews Matthew from Miniwargaming, one of the oldest and largest miniature tabletop gaming channels on YouTube. Back in 2007 when Matthew and Dave started their channel, YouTube was in its infancy and their decision to build a professional business around video content for wargaming was a huge leap of faith. Over a decade later, they've grown exponentially and blazed a path for all the tabletop channels that followed in their steps, including our own channel, Little Wars TV. Matthew joins us to talk about the early challenges of Miniwargaming, what life is like as a full time content creator in 2020, and what opportunities are still ahead in the years to come. If you've ever considered making YouTube videos on your own--or you want a peek behind the curtain of a major channel's operations--this is a can't miss episode! And for a closer look at what the team at Miniwargaming is doing these days, be sure to visit them at http://www.miniwargaming.com 

Dec 17 2020

1hr 15mins

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Bringing Wargaming to the Classroom

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It's a "back to school special" in the latest episode of Little Wars FM as Steve sits down to talk with high school history teacher Jared Fishman of the Hackley School! Jared is a long-time wargamer who integrates historical wargaming, simulations and role-playing into his own curriculum and sees colleagues increasingly doing the same. Now, with the support of the Historical Miniature Gaming Society, he's poised to lead a new initiative seeking to help fellow educators far and wide replicate what he's done at Hackley -- something that may have long-lasting positive effects on history education and historical gaming. We hope you enjoy this episode!

Nov 12 2020

1hr 7mins

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The Future of Wargaming (according to Osprey Games)

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We talk to Phil Smith, the head of Osprey Games, about the future of wargaming and how he sees the tabletop hobby evolving. How does Osprey develop new games? Why are there so many skirmish wargames these days? What's his favorite Osprey Game that doesn't get enough attention? In ten years will all rule books be "digital only?" We explore all these topics in more with Phil Smith. Enjoy the show! 

Sep 17 2020

55mins

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Welcome to Little Wars FM!

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In this quick introduction to the show, we'll briefly explain why we started Little Wars FM, what you can expect to hear on the show, and how frequently new episodes will air. This is a premium podcast supported by our patrons. and if you enjoy the sampling of episodes we make public, we encourage you to visit us on Patreon for access to every episode available! This show is a companion podcast to our YouTube channel, Little Wars TV, where we play historical tabletop wargames to fight the great battles of military history and test alternate strategies.

Enjoy the show! And if you do, be sure to subscribe to both the podcast and to our YouTube channel for a fun exploration of wargames, history, and the occasional dram of fine Scotch. 

Sep 04 2020

5mins

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