Meeples & Miniatures – Episode 124 – Polyversal

Download Episode 124

Welcome to episode 124 of the Meeples & Miniatures Podcast

ep 124In this show, hosts Neil Shuck and Mike Hobbs are joined by guest Ken Whitehurst to talk about his upcoming 6mm Sci-Fi miniatures game: Polyversal.

We talk about the origin of the game, it’s setting and background, the core rules mechanics and it’s philosophy of being able to be played with any 6mm Sci-Fi miniatures.

We also discuss Ken’s gaming background, Kickstarter projects, podcasts, imminent births and the strange allure of plain chocolate digestive biscuits…

We hope you enjoy the show.

19 Comments on Meeples & Miniatures – Episode 124 – Polyversal

  1. for anyone who listens to this podcast, can I say that Ken did receive an emergency aid pack of Chocolate Digestives earlier this week

    I’m hoping its helping him with all those late night feeds with his new baby

  2. Polyversal sounds like a 6mm version of Gruntz. Gruntz is 15mm, and also has rules and an app to create your own units from whatever minis you have laying around.

    Also, I’ve been critical in the past, so I should also give praise when it is due – this was the best sounding episode yet.

    • Thanks David.
      I took your advice and decreased the compression. It’s now at 96kbs. We are using Total Recorder, which only records at 128kbs on Google Hangout anyway, so I am very tempted to use that instead, especially as I have increased our hosting space.

      I would be interested in your opinion on the next show, as it’s the first in which I used a pop-filter with the new microphone.


    • Hi David
      Gruntz is on our list of games to cover very soon, I didn’t know about the app though so need to look that up


      • Gruntz is a great game, very adaptable, easy to pick up, and easy to build units for. The default activation system is IgoUgo, but there are several alternate systems in the rules.

        The author, Robin Fitton, basically taught me to paint via his YouTube videos.

        The app is called Barracks, and there’s a web app called Gruntomatic

        It’s been a while since I played Gruntz, (SAGA, Dreadball, and now Deadzone are taking my time currently) but next time I play I plan to try using Chain Of Command’s activation system with it.

  3. Ah I see Greg Farrell has created the online app that always bodes well

    for those who haven’t heard of Greg before, he designed the webapps for Empire of the dead and Battlegroup Kursk/Overlord/ToTR and is a very nice man to boot

    David thanks for pointing me in the direction of the app

  4. Yet another podcast about a Kickstarter, and this one is about a Kickstarter that isn’t even going live until later this year, and then another year after that until the product will be made. Surely you could find some more relevant and current games to talk about ? I only listened to the last three episodes because I had a 4 hour each way return journey at the weekend. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered, and I won’t be downloading any more Kickstarter episodes. I am finding that what I used to get from listening to this podcast I now get from the D6 Generation podcast instead.

    • Dude. You should totally ask for your money back. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Mark

      As I was the person who asked Neil to cover this game I should be the one to answer your comments

      My reasons for setting this interview up had nothing to do with the Kickstarter, I was solely interested in the design ideas behind the game and way they are attempting to get buy-in from different independent companies to produce 1 product.
      The fact that the game is not yet ready for sale was a bonus as it means we can follow the design process from the early stage concepts through to release. this is something that not many people seem to know about and I thought it would make an interesting set of podcasts for the listener
      I am also a keen 6mm sci-fi player and I thought it would be a good idea to highlight that sci-fi can be played at other scales to the 28mm.

      So thats why we invited Ken onto the show, I just sorry you weren’t interested in it

      Finally you say we should cover relevant and current games, well yeah we could, however you need to realise we tend to talk about things that interest us at the moment, that may be a new game, it could also be an old game we have rediscovered, or even something that’s not out yet that we have just heard about. None of us get any funding to do this show (all the money raised through sponsorship or by donations goes on keeping the site running and paying for hosting of the shows) neither do we get review copies of rules that people want us to cover, so everything we cover is purchased by at least one of us and that means the content isn’t always going to cover every new game that comes out it will be a bit eclectic
      I hope this helps answer some of your questions

      • Perhaps I should qualify my earlier remarks, as I do turn down interview requests…

        However, I normally do not turn down interview requests from those projects that interest me.

        In the case of Dreadball Xtreme, I’m a big fan of both the game and Jake Thornton’s rules design. With both Across the Dead Earth and Guildball, I was originally contacted by Richard Chappell and Mat Hart respectively to ask if I was interested in covering their games. In both cases I also got to see the rules, and I found the games of enough interest to me to warrant taking it further and recording an interview to find out more information.

        As for Polyversal, it was Mike who originally put me onto this game, and he originally drove the interest to record the show. However, as I think I pointed out, I’ve been a fan of Ken since he originally appeared on the D6G podcast. I know he’s listened to my podcast pretty much since the start and we have corresponded on and off over the years, so I was more than happy to talk to him.

        The trend that the show has followed over recent months to record interviews is not an intentional one, it’s just the way things have worked out. For me at least, it’s not just been about promoting small companies projects (although that is something I am happy to do), but talking about game design. I also hope that people can make informed decisions as to whether they want to get involved with a project based on the conversations that we have – I’m sorry if this doesn’t meet what you are after in a show.

        We will be doing many more reviews – it’s certainly what we have planned. We will also be doing more interviews (although I don’t think we have any plans to talk about any new Kickstarter projects in the near future πŸ™‚ )

        To clarify/correct one point Mike does make – I do get sent the odd set of rules to review so what Mike said is not true all of the time, although I normally receive rules due to my ‘other’ hat as a reviewer for Miniature Wargames magazine. So yes, the games that we cover are very much driven by what has caught our attention, what we are currently playing, or what we have enjoyed playing in the past, and the vast majority we have gone out and spent money on.

        My intention when I started Meeples & Miniatures was to cover the games that other shows didn’t. There weren’t then (and to be fair, there aren’t many more now) that many podcasts out there that cover indie wargames – most still tend to cover the most popular ones. I have always wanted to let listeners know that there are other games out there. We’ve covered this via rules review a lot in the past, but as our technology has improved the ability to be able to chat to game designers about their game, and the design philosophy behind it, is something that I wanted to pursue. As the business model for bringing games to market has changed over the past two years, this has inevitably lead to talking to game designers about games that they are producing via Kickstarter – it’s the way the hobby has moved.

        As an aside, you me be interested to know that I’m not actually a huge fan of the whole KS thing…but I can see why it’s been such a popular model for companies to use.

        Looking back over the last 18 months or so, there has undoubtedly been a trend on the show to record many more interviews and talk about Kickstarter projects. I’ll say again, this hasn’t been an intentional shift, it’s just the way things have worked out with recording schedules – there are games that we have been planning to cover for months that we simply haven’t had chance to fit in yet (Ronin, Tomorrows War and Skirmish Sangin immediately spring to mind)
        I’m sorry that the latest set of shows haven’t been to everyone’s taste. Inevitably, you can’t please everyone. However, at the same time that doesn’t mean to say that any complaints fall on deaf ears. We are listening to what people think, and also watching the download stats. We want to produce a show that both interests us, and hopefully one that others want to listen to. These shows are time consuming to produce, and it’s hardly worth it if no one is listening…

        Thanks for your comments – we are bearing them in mind for what we do in the future.


  5. Guys, Thank you for covering our game Polyversal! Great job with the interview. I’m the publisher and I can say that I’m extremely excited to bring this game to the market. Ken’s work on the design is amazing and the system flows really well during gameplay- never a dull moment.

    Gruntz does look cool for 15mm! It is similar in being very adaptable to what miniatures players may have- but I think where Polyversal stands apart is our agreements with various manufacturers to actually include a sample of their lines in our boxed games- with professionally developed artwork and stat cards rather than forcing the gamer to design every aspect for army building.

    Polyversal was very well received by retail store owners and distributors that I spoke with last week at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas.

    If you’re interested in the game, please do get in touch and follow us on our Facebook page for Polyversal (search Polyversal and you’ll see it) or by twitter @CEWargames and @WeeklyWargamer.

    Collins Epic Wargames

    • Commanderroj // March 30, 2014 at 15:03 // Reply

      When the Chain of Command rules from the Lardies were in gestation, the You Tube videos and blog battle reports were essential viewing for me, and undoubtedly created a buzz about the game. I would be very interested in seeing something similar for Polyversal, which I believe could only help its chances of a successful Kickstarter. I have never been involved in a Kickstarter, but having see what I did of Chain of Command, despite not being a committed WW2 player, I would have backed a Kickstarter for that product. And I have bought Peter Pig figures on the back of it. It may be worth bearing in mind that the target audience may well already have significant 6mm collections (although clearly we always need more!). So some people may be interested in the rules alone rather than a starter set. Personally, I have a growing interest in 3mm as a scale to accomplish what I once thought I would be doing in 6mm.

  6. Commanderroj // March 30, 2014 at 14:54 // Reply

    I have been keeping an eye open for news on Polyversal for some time. Sci-Fi micro armour is a keen interest of mine. at our local club we have struggled to find a seat of rules which really satisfies us all. While I enjoyed the episode (I always do)perhaps I didn’t get as much out of it as I expected, notwithstanding that Mikes comments about the engages design aspect is what really interests me also. given what I have said about my experience of 6mm gaming, it would have been helpful to maybe combine with reviews of other sets and talk about rather than just allusions to them. creating a direct comparison between the sets. I will have to listen again as I am not entirely sure if this was intended, it just didn’t come across as having the depth of contrast I would like to see in this area. But that is not a criticism of all your efforts, just an observation.

    6 (and indeed 3mm) Sci-Fi, is an interesting area because of all the genres I know of, there seems to be the least amount of consensus on what such a game should do. doubtless this stems from the unique nature of the subject material where almost anything is possible. I really hope Polyversal has some success in giving the gene some unity” I have been working on my own set for far too long, knowing only too well that while they will be a good representation of what I want, I know at least one person at my club who has distinctly the opposite ideas of what such a game should be (although we get along fine!)

    • hi
      thanks for your comments, this podcast was really just about the one system, However I would like to try and do a general show about 6mm sci-fi as I am very keen on it, I’ll see if I can talk Neil into doing one in the near(ish) future.


  7. Commanderroj // April 2, 2014 at 15:07 // Reply

    I appreciate that it was a show about one game in development, and I don’t want to come across as negative. I hope you are able to persuade Neil to look at more 6mm, but I am glad you have done so at all, notwithstanding anything I have said. I am very positive about M&M!

    • you didn’t across as negative at all, all feedback on the show is more then welcome.
      although you do know any show on 6mm sci-fi will be 95% full of me going on about how brilliant Epic was πŸ˜‰

      • I’m getting the feeling that droning on about how great Epic is will be met with more goodwill than whole shows dedicated to kickstarter projects at this point. πŸ˜€

        I found the Polyversal interview interesting because at least it’s something different than the usual fantasy/sci-fi warband-level skirmish games and there are a lot of concepts in Polyversal’s design I can identify with (no dedicated mini releases for one, no friggin’ renders of things and so on) and credible (possibly even ‘hard’) sci-fi is kind of rare as well as battle games these days.

        However, most other KS-interview-based episodes tend to leave me rather unexcited. In part is probably has something to do that most of those projects just aren’t to my tastes (although funnily enough the Torn Armour one almost won me over at the time) but also episodes about the projects usually boil down to a commercial because in most cases the product doesn’t exist at the point of the interview and all we get is the info from the producers of the product which doesn’t exactly make for ‘good tennis’. I mean bless the people who go out and do stuff, don’t get me wrong, but Kickstarter basically urges people to ‘get the word out’ and by god do they do that all across the interweb, including banner-waving backers.

        This is what I find to be a bit of a problem with the kickstarter interview episodes. If it was an interview followed by a review with Neil’s (or a number of Mikes’ πŸ˜‰ ) opinion on the whole thing it would be way more interesting.than just the interview talking about the game. Sometimes this can be interesting as well when it comes to the design process (I listened to Rich Clarke going on about the Lardies way of designing games and always find it incredibly entertaining and interesting) but I feel that these shows lack a sort of counter-weight. Simply because there is nothing else to add about the Kickstarters really apart from maybe a few comments on what came to mind during the interivew about certain points.

        I mean either way I look forward to each episode and by all means I command you, Neil, to go on as you please because as long as you enjoy it the podcast is enjoyable to us as well.

  8. Commanderroj // April 3, 2014 at 21:03 // Reply

    I must admit to never having played epic (although I have a copy of net epic on the computer somewhere), but I cannot disagree with Sigurd. Well said.

  9. Commanderroj // April 3, 2014 at 21:04 // Reply

    …or even with Sigur.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Polyversal launches on Kickstarter | Meeples & Miniatures
  2. Polyversal has returned to Kickstarter | Meeples & Miniatures

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