Hi everyone Black Blow Fly here again to discuss the subject of Video Battle Reports. I think it takes a lot of work to produce real quality and often we take it for granted.
Making good battle reports requires an understanding of what makes for an enjoyable game to watch. I like to see a narrative element along with an exciting game featuring interesting armies matched up against each other with some banter.
Making A Quality Batrep
Now I’ll cover what I think makes for a good VBR and what doesn’t.
1. Beautiful Armies and Great Terrain. If it looks good, people will come. No one wants to see gray plastic.
2. Interesting Lists and Scenarios. Embrace change, mix things up and add variety versus always being overly competitive and net-listy.
3. Know the Rules. It’s essential to get the rules right as much as possible… lots of mistakes ruins it. The channels I’ve listed below are all very knowledgeable regarding rules, and when they do make a mistake often, they own up to it and correct them.
4. The Show Must Go On! Keep the game and action moving. One of quickest ways you can drain the energy out of a game is to drag out a decision.I’ve seen players that have the choice to use a command point for a reroll waste five or more minutes discussing all the reasons why they shouldn’t but then finally roll the die.
5. Own the Narrative and Roll With It. Sometimes bad (or good) dice happen. Roll with what the dice gods give you and keep a spirited matchup, come hell or high water. Players who continuously apologize to their opponent throughout the game when their dice are literally on fire just make things awkward for everyone from the players to the viewers. You can put on a positive, exciting game, even if you are losing.
6. Equalize Time for both Players. Sometimes one player can start to monopolize the time. There’s a reason why the good channels don’t waste your time showing every dice roll. Good battle reports split the time evenly between both players to keep you invested in both sides of the game.
7. Time Turns Back for No Man. If at all possible, don’t go back for do-overs. No game has ever been played perfectly, and mistakes happen. Just apply the rules fairly and evenly to both sides and keep things moving forward. Avoid players going back a turn or more to do some action they forgot such as shooting with a unit of theirs… It slows the game down, and that’s just poor sportsmanship plain and simple. Instead, play on and just let it go – we’ve all made these mistakes and learn to better players because of them.
Some Quality Examples
Here’s a sample of some of my favorite channels:
- Grim Resolve
- Hellstorm Gaming
- Striking Scorpion 82
- Tabletop Tactics
- Twisted Dice
- Winters SEO
What are things you like to see in video batreps and what are your pet peeves?