The Podcast Hosts
A Welshman, a Yorkshireman and a Brummie walk into a recording studio…
Neil Shuck has been wargaming for more years than he would care to remember, having first discovered the joys of ‘gaming with toy soldiers’ in the early 1980’s via the World War 2 rules Operation Warboard
Since then he’s dabbled in almost every genre/period. Having spent several years ‘doing the GW thing’: Warhammer Fantasy Battle (Bretonnina and Wood Elves) and Warhammer 40,000 (Squats, Dark Angels and Eldar, mainly), plus Necromunda, Blood Bowl and Space Hulk. He then played Warmachine for a while(Menoth & Cryx) before moving onto other things.
Currently Neil’s favourite rule sets are Chain of Command, Sword and Spear, Saga, Force On Force, Deadzone, Planetfall and Dreadball, and favourite genres are Sci-Fi, Modern (Vietnam), World War 2, Napoleonic, War of the Roses, Sengoku Period Japan and Ancient Rome.
As to scale, he has played with virtually all scales from 1/600 through to 40mm, but these days he tends to concentrate on 28mm for Dark Age, Sci-Fi and Vietnam, 15mm for World War 2 (thanks to Chain of Command) 10mm for Sci-Fi (Planetfall) and 6mm for Ancients and Napoleonics
Neil’s also a very keen boardgamer, and boasts a large collection of board games, card games and expansions (it used to be much bigger, but there is only so much room for games in one house, and so has been massively culled during 2015)
His favourite boardgames? Currently Space Hulk, X-Wing: the Miniatures Game, The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game, all the ‘Commands & Colors’ series of games, Elder Sign & Shogun.
Neil also writes the ‘Forward Observer’ column for ‘Miniatures Wargames with Battlegames‘ magazine, and is a member of their regular review staff.
Neil Shuck – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Hobbs (regular co-host since episode 85)
I started tabletop gaming back in the early 80’s playing D&D, before moving onto Runequest and Traveller. During a long Runequest campaign we decided to include some large battle into our usual games so I picked up a copy 1st edition Warhammer (the little white box, if anyone remembers) and had a read through it. Working out we’d need over 100 figures to play a game and realising I only owned a handful of minis the game was stored away until such times that I’d be able to afford the luxury of owning that many figures (and I still haven’t played it)
Leaving school I went to catering college and start my working life as a chef which meant gaming was forgotten about.
I returned to the hobby in the early 90’s when I discovered a game called Space Marine (or Epic) this game literally turned my life around and I spent the next few years playing that and some other classic GW games (Man O’War, Battlefleet Gothic and even some 40K) before moving into other games like Flintloque and Slaughterloo. Over the intervening years I’ve extended my interest into Historical games, with WWI and Ancients being strong favourites, but at heart I’m a Fantasy and Sci-fi gamer.
Around the late 90’s I changed careers and moved into IT, and discovered the joy of regular shifts and weekend off, this meant I had so much more time to enjoy the hobby.
I’ve been really lucky to become friends with Darren and Andy of Gripping Beast and my friendship with them lead to me playtesting Saga before it came out and I’m often seen helping the Beast boys out at shows. I’m a playtester for various games produced by friends I’ve made in the industry and I also demo games for Spartan games and Otherworld at events across the UK.
It was back in 2012 that I was invited to join the Meeples podcast and you’ve all had to put up with me wittering’s ever since
These days I’m mostly playing games at Firestorm games where one day I hope to beat my gaming nemesis Annie (the Dice bag lady)
Mike Whitaker (regular co-host since episode 111) has followed the typical wargamers path – a school wargames club with a number of homegrown rulesets in the late ’70s, before giving it up for girls, rock and roll and D&D until a few years ago when his church’s assistant vicar turned out to be a member of Peterborough Wargames Club and invited him along.
Since then, he’s amassed several 28mm Ancient armies (and made a speciality of coming last in WAB tournaments), a Home Guard force for CHain of Command, lots of 15mm WW2 figures, and equally many unpainted 18mm Napoleonics and 28mm Perry’s War of the Roses, not to mention rather too many unopened Kickstarters.
In his spare time he blogs on Trouble At T’Mill , proofreads for the Too Fat Lardies and is Chairman of Peterborough Wargames Club. Easily recognisable on the podcast by not liking GW or Flames of War, interrupting Neil, knowing far too much about obscure 1970s RPGs and dice probability, and the phrase ‘really really pretty’.