Wednesday, 23 March 2011

010 - The Aethervox Ep2 Review

The Aethervox is mentioned in one of the game source books in a small piece of fluff text, which describes it as Malifaux's answer to radio, although with the caveat that listening to it carries a high risk of causing insanity brought about through subliminal messages seeping through from an unknown malevolent entity. I've not been driven mad just yet (although I imagine they all say that...!), despite the fact that I downloaded the latest edition of the Malifaux podcast named "The Aethervox" a couple of days ago and I've been listening to it in chunks on my way to and from work this week.

I have to say it's brilliantly done, and if you haven't checked it out already and would like to (and why wouldn't you?) you can find the link in my Blogroll to the right.

The creators, Ian Travis and Julian Smith, are a couple of Brits currently living in Canada and they're relative newcomers to Malifaux, describing themselves more as "enthusiasts" than experts. Just like me then! I immediately felt right at home listening to their discussions, and enjoyed the self-deprecatory humour sprinkled throughout.

This second installment is twice as long as the debut episode and packed full of interesting features. I enjoyed Ian's evocative reading of some new fiction, in which the tale of Mr Magpie's Circus is expanded. The characters that Julian has written about are very interesting, and would make an ideal and distinctive Malifaux crew if Wyrd were looking for ideas. I found the double hat-wearing Siamese twin henchman to be an inspired piece of characterisation and I look forward to hearing more fiction in future podcasts. Who knows, maybe we'll find out what makes this pair so dangerous!?

My thanks go to the guys for introducing me to Tom Waits' music, in particular the Alice album, which I love. I've always been partial to anything connected to Lewis Carroll but somehow this had passed me by, and as Julian explains, it's a perfect fit for the Neverborn too! I'm curious to see whether this Malifaux Media segment can be kept up in the future, as I think it might be challenging to come up with a book, album and film every month. I hope they manage to continue it though, as this was my favourite segment of the podcast. The Women in Malifaux section was an entertaining summary of an interesting thread on the Wyrd forums, including some painfully true observations.

The Doppelgänger feature is a nice idea, full of cool alternative models to use as Steampunk Abominations and Desolation Engines. Not much use to me this time though I'm afraid; I don't think I'm the only person who'd be grateful for some alternative Rotten Belle sculpts (hint, hint!). This segment really needs to be listened to in conjunction with looking at pictures, and kudos to the guys, links to the models appeared on the Aethervox site after a day or so.

While on the subject of pictures, I think it'd be cool to see more pictures on the blog overall. Pictures of the crews and terrain used in the game report, especially the amazing sounding "rainbow gay pride gaming table" would add some extra flavour and let the listener really feel a part of things.

The meat of the podcast was finished off by interviewing Rathnard from the forums, who gave an exhaustive analysis of Zoraida tactics, as well as providing some ideas for players who have to face against this most tricksy of masters. I don't play Zoraida myself, but a friend at the Night Owls does, and I can see him making good use of some of the suggestions Rathnard makes. I felt that the discussion over Zoraida's tactics was pitched perfectly difficulty wise. Where some of the tactical discussion in the previous podcast was a little basic, this time I was able to keep up (as a relative newbie), without feeling like I already knew everything that was being said.

All in all, an excellent piece of work and and further improvement on the already high quality Episode 1. I highly recommend this podcast to every Malifaux player out there, and hope Ian and Julian have many more for us to enjoy.



Prunesquallor said...

Thanks for the review or our podcast! Means a lot to us.

You have an awesome blog here, and I love your panda Teddy.