Little Wars FM
15 Questions with Andy Callan

15 Questions with Andy Callan

December 30, 2021

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! 

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

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

December 17, 2021

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.

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

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

December 3, 2021

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.

 

How to Write a Wargame (Part 4: Playtesting)

How to Write a Wargame (Part 4: Playtesting)

November 18, 2021

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!

Salute 2021: Organizing the World‘s Largest Wargaming Show

Salute 2021: Organizing the World‘s Largest Wargaming Show

November 4, 2021

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

 

How to Write a Wargame (3: Developing Mechanics)

How to Write a Wargame (3: Developing Mechanics)

October 7, 2021

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. 

How to Write a Wargame (Part 2: Research)

How to Write a Wargame (Part 2: Research)

September 23, 2021

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! 

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

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

September 3, 2021

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.

Painting Miniatures with Sonic Sledgehammer!

Painting Miniatures with Sonic Sledgehammer!

July 1, 2021

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! 

How to Design Historical Wargame Scenarios

How to Design Historical Wargame Scenarios

May 6, 2021

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! 

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