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huitzilopochtli
13-02-2014, 16:25
Hi all.

A little while ago I discovered that youtube battle reports were an acceptable substitute for television, with the added bonus that they allow me to game vicariously through others when I can't. But I have a problem: there are not enough people making really good batreps. For me, battle reports need to have the correct format (slideshow presentation), an entertaining commentator/presenter, and decent gaming ability (so it's educational, y'know?). I've discovered just 4 youtube channels that fit these criteria - Luke Davis, Tremendous027, OnceBitten360, and MrMalorian. Admittedly the games aren't always played with perfect strategy, but they're usually entertaining nonetheless.

But that's just 4 channels and in the last few months I've watched the vast majority of their recent stuff (I'm disinterested in watching 7th ed. and outdated armies for, I hope, obvious reasons). What remains to be watched I believe is painfully bad. Search "warhammer fantasy battle report" in youtube and the first three channels will be miniwargaming, Blue Table Painting, and Fresh Coast Gamer. There'll also be a handful of others like WargamingForFun, terrenord, KingG, and so on. Unfortunately, I really ha- hate is a strong word. Let's just say I really re-roll to hit in the first turn of combat against all of these videos because they fail on at least 2 criteria, and the third one is not good enough to compensate. So without further ado, my criteria for successful battle reports:

Format: Why does anyone choose anything other than the slideshow presentation?
Slideshow has so many advantages over video. First of all you can draw on the photos afterwards to indicate wounds, movement, etc. Second, you can flick back and forth between pictures while narrating to correct a mistake or mention something you left out. You can give the viewer an overview of the board and then focus on particular areas. Most of all, you don't make the viewer seasick because you think Spielberg uses a camcorder in is off hand while rolling dice with the other in order to get those shots. You also don't have to worry about background noise, as you can narrate in peace later on, at home.

So yes, slideshow over video is a very important criterion that for whatever reason the incredibly productive miniwargaming, Blue Table Painting, and Fresh Coast Gamer seem to have overlooked. (Others obviously do, too, but the fact that there are so many batreps from these guys makes the fact that they're unwatchable particularly frustrating, I find.) This opinion on the weaknesses of video reports is not unique either: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?378154-Video-battle-report-question&highlight=battle+report.

Entertaining Presenter
Lord Tremendous - your models might not win any awards for painting, your tactics are sometimes questionable, and you made me cringe when I saw how you destroyed your BSB, but you tell a great story. Your narration is not merely informative but embellished by your character, and the character of your named characters and infamous adversaries. Writing your own stories for the games is also a nice touch and I look forward to see how it progresses. (Although, if by some chance you stumble onto this post, please go easy on the sound effects! :p) Similar praise can be said for Luke Davis, while MrMalorian and OnceBitten are more interested in describing the tactics which I appreciate no less (although my opponents will not like you for it, as soon as I start playing again).

The rest of them... Bland and boring, and without great tactical insight. I distinctly remember one batrep that was narrated by a 5 year old girl (I assume the wargamer's daughter). I remember running back into the kitchen, bowling over flatmates in an effort to turn off my laptop before all the glassware was destroyed by commentary so shrill as to rouse the dogs and cause several bats to fly into my kitchen window. And I don't want to see every single dice roll you make or know exactly how many hits and wounds and saves were made. There are only three numbers that matter in a battle report - basically none, basically all of them, and about the same as me. Their use is very simple: "He killed basically none of my phoenix guard with zombies... because they're zombies"; "I killed basically all of them, but they were still steadfast"; "My black orcs fought his executioners, I did a couple of wounds and he did about the same to me".

Gaming Ability
This is probably the least important criterion for me, but I mention it because the first miniwargaming batrep I watched they kept getting stuff wrong. To be fair, playing rules wrong doesn't happen that much in general, and they did say they were making the transition from 40k, but it still made it less enjoyable to watch. It's also important to have fairly equally matched opponents - I don't want to see one guy consistently cream everybody else - but again this is not a common complaint. Other than this, strategy and tactics can make a battle report worth watching. With the greatest respect to OnceBitten360 and MrMalorian, I don't watch your games for your storytelling (although if I didn't like your narration, I wouldn't watch) - I watch them to learn the game better.

So, yes, this post has been an opportunity to rant and thank you for sharing it with me so far, but there is a practical purpose for this post. I would like to know if there are any other batrep channels out there I don't know about that you'd like to recommend. I'd also like to invite anyone making battle reports or thinking of starting to check out any of my recommendations and see how they do things, and to please consider my rant as instructive criticism*. Anyone interested in watching battle reports, I invite you to check out my recommendations - Luke Davis, Tremendous027, OnceBitten360, MrMalorian, and now that I think about it SkaveninAZ has recently started and looks to be quite good for tacticalness. Finally, always good to hear the thoughts of the wargaming community.

Cheers,
H

*Seasoning required. I recommend salt, pepper, mixed herbs, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, more salt, then just chuck it out and get a takeaway.

njaegara
13-02-2014, 16:47
I like TheSustainableCenter as well. In the same vein as Malorian and OnceBitten. If i ever manage to take pics of my games i will narrate in their style. I completely agree about the drawbacks of the full video batreps with the exception of when i am painting or just want background noise.

Sent from my SGH-T769 using Tapatalk 2

dementian
13-02-2014, 18:04
Hey, similar to you I spend a large amount of time watching battle reports.

https://plus.google.com/communities/108169253575872689070

If you are familiar with OnceBitten and Malorian than you may be familiar with the Warhammer Youtubers Google+ community. There are many new up and coming or little known players that are trying to break into the scene that are posting their reports and can be found through this group. There are many new youtubers there and what is great about that is that they often follow the time-tested reporting style of the "big guys". OB, Mal, TSC. But because they are also new I am sure they are open to opinion and constructive criticism.

Anyways there is my plug for the group. I hope to start making reports as well so if you stick around with that group you may eventually see my own reports.

IcedCrow
13-02-2014, 18:11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRSg2B-hppI - that was my last campaign report i did last year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGKmeP2IZnk - post analysis.

Makaber
13-02-2014, 18:23
I agree. The three I follow is LukeDavies, Malorian, and OnceBitten. OnceBitten is probably my favorite, I really relate to his approach to the game. And even if he goes with slightly unconventional army concepts it's still very enlightening to watch him play because he's so good at explaining his choices. It doesn't hurt that he has a very pleasant voice. LukeDavies is probably on a good number two slot, I don't learn as much by watching him as I do OnceBitten, but he's very entertaining without trying too hard. Finally, I think Malorian has a lot going for him and he's probably the strongest player, but I don't like his lists as much (I don't learn all that much by seeing 18 Trolls cream all opposition as I do watching OnceBitten work gold with a Hurricanum and some Halberdiers). Also, his enthusiasm sometimes make it a bit stressy to listen to him.

SteveW
13-02-2014, 20:10
I would recommend Vidhammer Fantasy if you can get over it not being a slideshow.

huitzilopochtli
13-02-2014, 22:10
Thanks for the tips guys. I will be checking these out over the next few days.

@dementian - I was not familiar with that group. I don't really know how to technology so thanks for the link! I look forward to seeing some of yours. :)
@SteveW - I'll certainly give it a try, though I do find the actual video one's very difficult to follow, both visually and mentally.

Thanks again, guys. Looking forward to anything else you care to recommend! :D

Minty
14-02-2014, 01:23
I watch several battle report channels, including some which have been mentioned here already. I often find them... Dispiriting.

So often it seems to me that these people only play tournie games or tournie prep games. They use and face dull netlists with dull netstrats.

Don't misunderstand - I more often than not enjoy watching, and I've learned things from watching. All too often, though, I find myself thinking 'Wow, these chaps should try Warhammer. It's a lot like the game they play, but fun.'. The games they play are not the same games I play down at the ol' wargaming club, with fluff, good humour and imagination.

Please imagine how thrilled I was to discover Imperial Action News (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOYBZMchlANkaCdhI2cRpkw/videos) Fun, fluffy battle reports, reported by a little girl in a princess dress, exactly as the game is intended to be played. Only two there, so far, but I look forward to another one far, far more eagerly than I do an update from any other battle report channel.

njaegara
14-02-2014, 01:31
To each his or her own but i tried those Imperial Action reports and didnt like them. I get the idea but i personally agree with the OP on this. Batreps dont need to be fluffy. They need to report the battle.

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Ullis
14-02-2014, 01:46
Here are the channels that I am subbed to, mate:

OnceBitten360
Mr. Malorian
Luke Davis
Lore Tremendous
TheSustainableCenter
SkaveninAZ
VidhammerFantasy
WargamingForFun
Matthew Reeson
BullCityWargaming

These all have their own style and approach to reporting/wargaming. Some are competitive, others play for fun and some a combo of both. There is also a mix of slideshow and video presentations.