Meeples & Miniatures – The End is Nigh

The title of the post says it all really. After 12 years of Meeples & Miniatures, I have decided that it is time to turn the page on this particular chapter in my gaming hobby and so the Meeples & Miniatures Podcast will see its final show published at the end of the year.

Why?

About this time of year we start looking at our plans for the Spring, and as part of that in recent years I have always had the question in the back of my mind – “Do I want to carry on for another year?”

Until January of this year, the answer to that question has almost always been an emphatic “Yes!” – in January however, I gave considerable thought to the question, and came to the conclusion that it was perhaps time for a change, but not yet. In the back of my mind I decided that 300 was a nice round number, so I would probably run the show until that point.

As to the reason, the biggest one is time. Recording, editing and publishing the show takes a night a week, plus the best part of two other days (usually at a weekend) every month. That never used to bother me, but it has become much more of a chore in recent months – probably since I decided that things would come to an end, if I am honest. Whilst I was beginning to begrudge spending the time, my particular style of OCD would still not let me skimp on the editing effort – where possible things still had to be right, and publishing an unedited show wasn’t the way forward.

So why now instead of show 300?

The catalyst for the decision was a single event – at the start of November of this year one of my closest friends – Steve – died from Leukaemia. Whilst he had cancer, his death was unexpected – he had a strain of the disease that most people recover from following chemotherapy, except that he didn’t.

Steve’s death was a blunt reminder of not only how precious a commodity time is, but how priceless our relationships with people are. As a result, I made a decision that I wanted to be able to have the opportunity to spend more time with my friends – so ending the show now quickly became the obvious answer.

But isn’t the show all about gaming with friends?

Yes it is, and I have had the very great privilege of having an audience of a couple of thousand listeners, a number of whom I have got to know very well over the years and humbled to call my friends. That is something the podcast has enabled, but ultimately I want the opportunity to spend more time in a social capacity with people, whether that be gaming or simply sharing a drink and a chat. I can’t do that whilst staring at Audacity for several hours at a time on numerous days in a month…

In short, whilst I still love talking to people and sharing this great hobby, I have been falling out of love with the technical aspects of podcasting. Let’s face it – I’ve been doing this for a long time now, so perhaps I simply need a change.

So, what happens now?

We have two more episodes of the podcast to record: one with a listener, whilst our last show occupies the slot usually reserved for our end-of-year review.

After that, I intend to scale things right back when we enter 2020. The libsyn account which hosts the podcast will remain in place, so the existing recordings are in no immediate danger of disappearing.

This website will also remain and I will ensure that the archive page is up-to-date. In fact, I will probably end up blogging a lot more than I have in recent months, so the activity here will most likely increase.

It is also unlikely that I will give up podcasting completely. Over the last year, I have been publishing an occasional show – The Secret Diary of a Gamer – as a Patreon bonus show. I would suggest that the chances that this will make an appearance on the current podcast feed, especially given that keeping a libsyn account always comes with some available bandwidth every month, are quite high.

What is more I am not leaving the hobby. I will still be around both here and on social media and I’m not planning on going anywhere soon. In fact, I already have some ideas for future plans, but that is for another day.

Final thoughts, for now…

Whilst there is still some time before I say officially say goodbye to the podcast, there are a number of people I would like to thank.

Firstly Richard Clarke for his continued support for the show right from the very beginning. He has been there for us for a very long time, and we wouldn’t have made it this far without him.

Secondly, Henry Hyde. Henry has been someone who encouraged me and made me push my limits in gaming journalism. Again, I wouldn’t be where I am today without his support. And truly, podcasting was never truly the same after View from the Veranda!

To Dave Luff, Rich Jones and Mike Whitaker for all you invaluable contributions as regular co-hosts over the years.

To everyone who has been on the show and helped make it what is.

To all the show sponsors – Caliver Books, Coat d’Arms Paints, Geek Nation Tours and Firestorm Games – also those of you donated or became Patrons – your support has been massively appreciated.

To every listener. You made it worthwhile putting all the hours of effort into producing the show.

Finally to my best mate, the Welsh Wizzard himself, Mr Mike Hobbs. I interviewed him as a guest, then discovered one of my dearest friends – someone who shares my deep love of the hobby, is incredibly knowledgeable, and who has made Wednesday evenings a fantastic time of chat and laughter for more years than I care to remember. He has been right at the heart of the show for a number of years, and his contribution has been immeasurable. Thanks is far too small a word. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.

 

Thanks once again.

Neil

 

28 Comments on Meeples & Miniatures – The End is Nigh

  1. Home School Dad // December 6, 2019 at 10:22 // Reply

    There comes a time, podcaster, when the mike ceases to sparkle, when the view counter loses its luster, when the spare room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a man’s love for his friends.
    – King Osric.

  2. nzpainter4 // December 6, 2019 at 10:51 // Reply

    Thanks very much for your sterling podcast over the years since I discovered it c.2013. I will admit you have cost me some money but the most worthy has been Heroes of Normandie et al – a system that has given me many many hours of enjoyment. This colonial commoner down here in New Zealand is also eternally grateful for a link from your site to the Kermode & Mayo film podcast which I might not have found otherwise & which has provided me with weekly enjoyment for years.
    All the best to you & your family & your gaming circle. Tinkety Tonk & Down With the Nazis!

  3. Sincere thanks for all the hard work you’ve put into the podcast over many years. Your reasons for winding things down make total sense – I hope you enjoy the extra time – you deserve it. I shall miss the warmth and good humour of your banter with Mike. The hobby content has been excellent, but what has made the podcast special for me is that you come across as being a couple of really nice chaps. And there can be few compliments greater than that. Dave K.

  4. Battle Brush Studios Sigur // December 6, 2019 at 12:32 // Reply

    Wow, what can I say. All the best! It takes guts to move on despite the cries of legions of Meeps.
    When ever I get asked (or not), I say that the Meeples and Miniatures podcast had a tremendous impact on my approach to and views on the hobby (in a happy I accident I first mistyped ‘hobbs’ there. 😛 ).
    Thanks for all your work and dedication. It was a joy to follow you and the co-hosts through the beginnings, the whispering era, the interviews era, the kickstarter era, the triumvirate era and The Wizzard and the Dwarf era. Of course I’m hoping for the odd holidays special podcasts and so on, but I’m very much looking forward blog articles as well. Or just the odd twitter interaction. Main thing is that you keep enjoying wargaming, or maybe get to play at all again! See you.

  5. You’ve been an institution for over a decade, and certainly cost me lots of cash! All the best for the future.

  6. Benjamin Waterhouse // December 6, 2019 at 13:01 // Reply

    Thank you Neil for the years of pleasure, and good luck going forward, may you always roll a six!

  7. Neil, I first discovered you listening to the ‘Dual in the Dark’ podcast (just a few years ago!) then went through the whole catalogue.
    I met Mike at Salute when was demoing either Saga or Jugular, I cant remember which. I couldnt see him at first (he is that small) but I recognised him by voice alone and I think that scared him a little !
    You have sustained my interest in the hobby,introduced me to some’Independent’s’ I would probably have passed by and sometimes encouraged me to buy stuff I didnt really need.
    You also caused me to miss my station whilst listening to you and Henry natter on, on the way into work on three occasions!
    What you wont truly appreciate is the true impact that your ‘little podcast’ had on the hobby. How many downloads now? How many episodes?
    M&M will be missed, but it has become and will continue to be part of the hobby Folklore.
    Thank you
    Nige

  8. I have enjoyed your blog immensely and look forward to meeting up again one day for a game or two

  9. Have to admit I haven’t felt this way since you stopped doing your old video show, but I understand your reasons and wish you all the best in your gaming pursuits and time well spent with friends and family.
    I will miss my favourite hobby podcast though.
    Cheers from Canada.

  10. Alex Woodrow // December 6, 2019 at 17:43 // Reply

    A shame, but nothing lasts forever and you guys have had great run. I hope you enjoy your “retirement”!

  11. John Hollyoak // December 6, 2019 at 18:48 // Reply

    I have listened to every episode and will miss you and Mike but I understand the decision. Make sure you use the extra time for more painting and gaming.

  12. Thank you for the 100s of hours of entertainment,insight and passion for our hobby.
    My painting desk will be a quieter place without you.
    Though my wallet may be a little heavier.

  13. When I read of the demise of the show on my way to work yesterday, I could almost describe myself as upset! Listening to the show for so long, I feel like I know you and The Welsh Wizard despite never having met either of you. There really is no show that even approaches filling this distinctive gap. I can’t tell you how sorely I will miss the shows when I sit down for a relaxing painting session on a day off. Thanks so very much for all those hours of listening!

  14. Can just echo what’s already been said — I feel I know you and Mike 1 and Mike 2 from the time on the show. I’m glad you aren’t giving up the hobby or the occasional blog or podcast and I completely understand your reasons for ending the regular broadcast. You’ll be sorely missed. On a broader industry scale, I do fear for the merchants who will no longer have the scores of M&M listeners impulse buying after hearing about a product on the show! Thanks sincerely for all the years of broadcasting. Favorite episode — gamers and mental health for the raw courage it took to speak out about the issues. Best of luck, mate!

  15. Thank you for all the podcasts. I’m not sure I’ve listened to ALL of them, but those that I have listened to have been great entertainment.

    Once again thank you and good luck in the future.

    Tony Harwood

  16. Neil, (and Mike and all the other contributors over the years),
    I have been a (mostly quiet) fan for all of these years. I discovered the show early, during the whispering years, and avidly devoured the back catalogue. I have been a patron since you started that – always worth Spring a quality venture fashioned with passion and love.
    Yours is the cast I drop all others for and listen to when a new episode drops.
    Good luck in all your future endeavours, and if it’s not too forward, love to you and all your family, who have let you get Meeples and Miniatures out over the years.
    Regards,
    Paul Owen

  17. OK, I’m going out on a limb here…but…I reckon you’ll be back. It might take a little while, but you’ll be back.
    It might be less often and in a different format…but I reckon ‘Whispering Neil’ will return, bigger and louder than ever, with his little wizzard too!
    So, we shall see…
    (Everything else I wanted to say I’ve already said on Patreon.)
    Thanks for really good times listening to you Neil, and thanks in advance for the listening yet to come! 🙂

    • I would anticipate that the limb you are going out on is very small.
      When I dial back the libsyn account, I will still be getting 50MB of storage a month, which is enough for 60-90 mins worth of audio a month, depending upon audio quality.
      I am considering publishing “The secret diary of a gamer” as a weekly show. It will be about 20 minutes long and pretty much unedited, but that is the potential plan.
      With specials published every so often when we get around to them.
      This is very ‘up in the air’, but it is just a thought…

      • Aha! 🙂
        Now that sounds to me like there’s PLENTY of room for hope to grow from that small limb…
        Early days…early days…it’s not even Christmas or New Year yet…wait till the middle of 2020 rolls around: I predict you’ll have had a GREAT IDEA that we’ll all love and appreciate. Yup, I’m standing on that little limb high up in the howling wind, holding the M&M banner proudly, and I ain’t budging! 🙂

  18. christinecaddy // December 7, 2019 at 11:26 // Reply

    I was surprised to hear the news today. I have enjoyed the podcasts as a background to painting. I’ve been comforted to know there are those spending more money than me. I have discovered new products through your reviews i.e. spent more. I’ve been entertained and informed. I will miss the show but it seems to me an eminently sensible decision. There are so many other aspects of the hobby for you to enjoy more. Who knows, you may even paint more while listening to someone else! All the best to you and Mike and everyone else involved.
    Stephen

  19. Shame but I understand why. Since I started listening in 2015 the podcast has made my working away from home life bearable but I appreciate the hassle and your need for other priorities. At least we’ve still got the back episodes to listen to and I’m off to start listening to them all again. Whispering Neil days!

  20. A very big thank you from me. Cheers and all the best for the future.

  21. I’ve been with the show since episode 7 (and promptly listened to the preivious ones when I had that one done) and I have been enjoying it all the time. You and Mike will be missed, but I fully understand why you have decided to stop.
    A heartfelt Thank You for all the hours… days… weeks… month… of well spent listening-time. And thank you for all the games you persuaded me to buy 🙂
    Cheers Mate!

  22. What a sad thing to read, but when it’s time, it’s time. You’ve done incredible work, and truly helped promote and add to the hobby, and it’ll be a sadder place to see this podcast gone, but I’m glad you’ll still be in the hobby, overall!

  23. John Michael // December 13, 2019 at 10:25 // Reply

    Well, I am sad to see you go. Many a night I have listened to your podcasts and greatly enjoyed them.

  24. davidchristopherlee // December 17, 2019 at 11:42 // Reply

    Thank you and all of your contributors for all of the hard work that you have all put into this great show. I have been following the show since episode 10 and will miss it. Again thank you.

  25. Thanks mate. It has been a great journey. Good luck with the next endeavour.

  26. Hi Neil and Mike. Just listened to your last podcast, I’m going to miss your ramblings. How am I going to feel good about my own purchases without your confessional? Hopefully listen you you soon in another form. Regards.

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