Saturday, 19 May 2012

Happy Birthday Frontline Gamer!

   
   

Yes my friends and sometimes Nemeses (only on the tabletop of course) it is true. The Frontline Gamer Blog is one year old today, and I have all of you to thank for it. If it wasn't for all of you and your constant support this past year I'm not too sure I'd have made it this far you know. I mean, I was sort of coerced into doing this Blog in the first place, and they had to twist my arm pretty darn good. Blogging for 12 months without the comments, the followers and the hits towards the end of this 12 month period would have been grueling. But, I had the motivation of knowing that people actually read what I write and comment on it, and that was enough to drive me on. So thank you all, genuinely. When I started out with my first ever article I wasn't too sure where I was heading with it all. I'm still not too sure even now exactly where I'm heading with it all, but I have at least learned a bit along the way, and I think I've found a unique 'online voice' at the very least... I also now have a sort of a plan... ish.

It still feels like I have way more to learn as well, and although I guess I'm going to call my first 12 months in blogging a success for me personally, there's still way more to come from me and this Blog, and I hope you all stick around to see what it is. Right now though I want to take a brief look back at some of the articles that I've produced this past year that have been popular or personal highlights:

  • Luckily as I started writing my Blog Games Workshop were doing their best to provide me with lots of controversial business decisions to get the ball rolling with hits. First up was cutting off cheap distribution of mini's to Australian and New Zealand. Great plan that!
  • They didn't stop there though, nope there was also my now infamous wonky Finecast Gandalf. Despite rumours to the contrary I didn't take those pictures down because of a Games Workshop C&D. I actually took them down because I was fed up of people sending me abusive emails. I still stick by what happened 100% and I still think Finecast is a dire product, and nothing I've seen over the past year has convinced me otherwise... also the blades on my Gyrocopter have begun to droop and sag. Terrible product.
  • Prior to writing about Finecast I wrote the first of a series of articles of Infinity that have proved to be a consistent draw even to today. In fact last week it had more hits than it did in the entire first month after I published it.
  • On Monday the 6th of June I wrote the first of my review articles, on the Sorylian Starter Set for Firestorm Armada. It's important because I think that reviews are one of the things my Blog has become really well known for. Hopefully they've got significantly better!
  • I decided to pick some more on Games Workshop, or more accurately certain Games Workshop patrons who act like they get bent over and shafted anytime they go near a Games Workshop product... and then go back for more! Are you in an abusive relationship? This garnered more threats of violence and bodily harm to my personage!
  • So to another big industry name, D&D. I wrote a series of articles starting here on a group of games I played with some girls involved. I seriously wasn't sure how people would take them... turns out people are still reading them today! Very proud of these personally. I even wrote a sequel using a game of Descent.
  • I think the next thing that almost certainly needs bringing up is the Ministry of Cats and more importantly their Approved by Cats Award. As anyone who owns any cats will be able to attest they are very discerning creatures. As such the Approved by Cats Award is one of the most sort after awards in the Bloggingverse... well, on this Blog.
  • My most popular article happens to involve a Metaphor... I'm sure you must all have read it by now, probably twice! I wrote it after having chats with various friends, and also having a bit of a row with somebody about whether I was anti-Games Workshop or not. The truth is I wished they were awesome, but their actions just sadden me as a fan and once long-term customer.
  • Probably my most infamous review... Dreadfleet... more people have read my scathing review than have brought the game. Yeah I know that's not a lot of hits!!!
  • The start of a very long experiment to see if I could improve and increase my traffic on Sundays... I give you my first Sunday Sermon. If you're relatively new to my Blog I suggest you go and take a look at the rest too, because there are some quite good articles amongst them, if I say so myself.
  • Never has disappointment been so Super Deformed and sugar coated... I give you my Super Dungeon Explore review. I have hopes that at least the component issues I had with the original product will be solved. I guess we'll find out soon as Soda Pop Miniatures are sending me a copy to review.
  • My first and ONLY world exclusive, the exceptional System ∞ range from Sarissa Precision. Everyone went totally barmy for these reviews and they still get a steady stream of traffic now. There was also an interview with Steve from Sarissa Precision. Here's a review hub so you can find your way round them a little bit easier.
  • The Golden Age of Gaming, hopefully an article that sums me up as a gamer and my Blog as well.
  • Another article I'd never have guessed I'd be writing, not just in my first year, but, well... ever. But people kept on asking me how to write a successful Blog. It's a bit of mammoth but it's getting linked to from all sorts of weird places including a forum for stamp collectors.

Yeah so that list is totally self indulgent, but hey it's my Birthday and I'll brag if I want to! Even if it makes me look like a bit of an arse.

So what does my first year in blogging look like in terms of numbers? You know stats. Look, I'm a researcher and we like numbers and figures, so I can't help it. Well here they are:

Number of articles = 306 (excluding this one, as it's the first article in year two)
Total hits = 364,930
Average hits per day = 999
Average hits per article = 1192
average hits per month = 30,411
Total Comments = 3912
Average Comments per day = 11
Average comments per article = 13
Total number of followers = 442

That all looks very good and nice I guess, and as I look back on the past 12 months there is no question that I have personally totally exceeded any initial expectations I had, and then some. Privately I set myself a lower target of 100 hits per month and a higher target of 1000 hits per month.. you know if people actually liked what I did. In particular I remember thinking that a thousand hits per month might be really stretching! I also decided that a target of maybe 20 to 30 Followers over the first 12 months would be a good target to have, maybe build up a good solid core of people I could chat to about the stuff I write. Well I soon got rid of those targets as within my first month as I raced to 30 Followers and I had nearly 10,000 hits. My targets needed to be aimed upwards, I set myself the ambitious target of trying to get 10,000 hits per month and getting 100 followers in 12 months. Clearly I'd got off to a good start and I thought things would slow down a bit. So yeah lofty ambitions I thought. But again, I've out stripped them and how! So I stopped setting such silly numerical goals, because every time I set a goal I'd sail past it in those early weeks. So I stopped trying to set any targets and concentrated on making it to 12 months, which was my main target I set myself, and I've done it. Mission accomplished.


So what now? Well after 12 months of studiously collecting data and trying to make sense of it all I am once more trying to set myself some fairly stretching targets. I want my second year of blogging to grow what I've already achieved in my first year. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that trying to better my first year is going to be a very tough task. I'm not so naive, or stupid enough to thin that for a Blogger starting from a standing start with no experience, or online presence before to have had the year I have is anything other than pretty good. Things have started to plateau off around the 40,000 to 50,000 hits per month for the last few months and it seems that might be my natural level I guess, but here are my targets for the coming year:

Average hits per month in year two target = 53,000
Total hits at the end of the second year target = 1,000,000
New Followers target at end of the second year = 1,000
Total comments at the end of the second year target = 10,000

Now those targets weren't actually my own targets at all (apart from the comments one). Nope these were thrown down to me by Mr. Lee over at Mr. Lee's Painting Emporium in one of the comments on an article I wrote about hitting 300,000 hits. I'm sure I've mentioned I'm a bit like Marty McFly, insofar that I find it hard to back away from a good challenge. Those seem like a damn fine challenge for me, and I highly doubt they're achievable if I'm honest... but I'm willing to give it a go. My main aim is to still be Blogging a further 12 months from now, in short to make it through year two.


I didn't really have numerical targets in my first year of blogging, well, I threw them out of the window after 2 months because it was clear to me my perceptions of what was good was just way off. So this is going to be a year that I guess I do focus on the figures as it were, but I still want to maintain a high level to the content I produce, it's just I now feel like I have a pretty good benchmark to judge myself against. If it starts to look like the standard of my articles is slipping I'll be looking to you lot to keep me honest, and on the straight and narrow by telling me if what I'm doing is crap! I take it you can do that can't you? However, I'm not afraid of a bit of bribery and corruption and to help me off with my new members targets I've got a list of prizes below that will be released as I get to certain predetermined targets. Hopefully it will set some of you off to pimp my blog around in as many places as you can to increase the members here on my blog:

At 500 followers...

I will put a competition up for winning all of the Heavy Gear Blitz PDF's from the guys over at Dream Pod 9. Yep that's right all the rulebooks and expansions to download from Drive Thru RPG which I do believe is worth about $90 or so. So if you've been sitting on the fence about Heavy Gear Blitz this could a good prize to win, as it will allow you to see if the game is for you. As you know if you're a regular reader I've been waxing lyrical about this now for a few months, it's just a good solid fun game. It's also really handy having all you rulebooks to... erm... hand on an iPad.

At 525 followers...

I will put up a competition to give away the Prefecture of Ryu Starter Set and Tenshi, the Seshin Na Goei from Bushido the game. All very kindly donated by those lovely chaps at GCT Studio's, who by the way are currently running an Indiegogo Campaign... ah I've plugged it enough already, I'm sure you know about it by now! I just want to say that snake samurai look way cool, completely bad ass, awesome and are totally worth backing in my book... there I said it again.

At 550 followers...

I will put a competition up for a pretty cool bundle of goodies provided by the good chaps over at Sarissa Precision. You know, the guys that responsible for making all the MDF scenery I'm always banging on about, because it makes my life a hell of a lot easier. This is because I'm a cack handed gibbon when it comes to using foamcard to make my own scenery. Any way there's lots of cool stuff they'll be sending me to giveaway, and I'll tell you more when I'm up to 550 followers... but free MDF scenery has got to worthwhile, even if it's just for the smell of burnt wood... mmmm... spells so good! (EDIT: They settled on £40's store credit)

At 575 followers...

I will grudgingly put up a prize I kind of want to keep for myself... *sigh* ... but I've agreed to give it away to one of you lot! Sometimes, and I'm going to be honest here, I really resent you guys! Any way the prize is a Werner Klocke signed copy of the excellent Freebooter's Fate rulebook. Honestly it has become one of my favourite games ever, simply because it's damn good fun, fast paced and actually quite deep and tactical. Honestly if you haven't checked it out you should, here go read some of my articles on it.

At 600 followers...
(EDIT: Now 625 followers)

I will put up a competition for something super secret from Studio McVey... so secret Mike's not even told me what it is yet. Lets be honest though, is there anything that Studio McVey produce that you wouldn't want? They've already clocked up a respectable amount of Approved by cat awards, and I can't see that slowing any as they continue to release awesome stuff. Seriously go have a smooch around their webstore and tell me those miniatures aren't as sexy as hell. Any way by the time I get to 600 followers I'm sure Mike will have let me know what it is you'll all be getting. (EDIT: I now know the prize will be a copy of Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster)

At 650 followers...
(EDIT: Now 700 followers)

I will be put up a competition for the rather sick and twisted looking Vore from the BaneLegions range. I know, it's not even out yet! Yep you may have seen the sneak peak of the concept art that Rob Lane gave us in my interview with him. Well I've seen an actual picture of the horrid gribbly monster all finished and sculpted already and... it's utterly awesome, in a slightly disturbing way, the only way it could be more disturbing was if it had penises for fingers... and then it'd be a Kingdom Death mini! Daniel Cockersell has done a fabulous job (as he always does) of recreating the slightly sick things you would find in Rob Lanes warped little mind, honestly it's better than even the concept art suggested it would be, and I'm only sorry I can't give you all a sneak peak, because if I did Rob might send an actual Vore to kill me. Again I want it myself... its RRP is £59.99 too, so you know it'll be a big bugger! Definitely well worth winning if you ask me.

At 700 followers...
(EDIT: 750 followers)

I'll release a pretty awesome competition for $100's worth of splendid resin bases from Dragon Forge Design's, currently the only company to be awarded the Approved by Cats status. You can read my reviews of the Omega Prime and Tech Deck bases to get an idea as to how good their products actually are. The winner will be given a $100 gift voucher to spend on the Dragon Forge Designs webstore, very kindly donated by the lovely Jeff Wilhelm.

At 750 followers...
(EDIT: 800 followers)

I put up the final Frontline Gamer Birthday present! This is a pretty cool prize if you ask me, Ronnie Renton at Mantic Games has agreed to donate a copy of each of the Dwarf Kings Hold games as a bundle. So that's Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising, Dwarf Kings Hold: Green Menace and Dwarf Kings Hold: Ancient Grudge... but that's not all. Jake Thornton the designer of the Dwarf Kings Hold games has also been kind enough to offer his services to vandalis... I mean sign them for you. So that's signed copies of the complete Dwarf Kings Hold range. Surely that's got to be worth winning  hasn't it? Obviously Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising was one of the first products, if not the first product to ever receive the coveted Approved by Cats award... and I still think it's made of win to this very day. Throw in Green menace and Ancient Grudge and you have an absolutely splendid way of wasting many an evening cursing the way the tokens fall... trust me, you'll see!

So there you go, as a celebration of making it through one year of Blogging an awful lot of very nice people have donated a lot of very cool swag to help you guys and me celebrate. Obviously it's in all of your interests to actually post this news everywhere so we get to those follower thresholds ASAP. I only wish I could give you all something as I think you've all been awesome and very supportive of this Blog, and I greatly appreciate every comment, hit and email you've given me over the past year. I'm also really grateful to all the companies who have supported me and this Blog over the year, not only with free sample products for review, but also with their time for interviews and answering my questions. You all know who you are, and I want to say thanks, the fact that you guys in the industry are willing to give me so much of your time is quite frankly what sets this Blog apart from many others out there... and with that it's time to say... Peace out!

76 comments:

  1. I'd like to personally thank you for writing about Infinity. Your articles helped convince me to start the game, and so far it's been nothing but fun. Fun to paint, fun to win, fun to lose, and fun to talk about in CB's extremely healthy forums. My bank account will never forgive you - and my wife still isn't convinced that Infinity is a real game - but you have my eternal gratitude.

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    1. it's a pleasure. I'm glad me pimping all these different games out has had some benefit to some gamers somewhere! =)

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  2. When you break down the numbers like that it's nothing short of amazing!

    My personal favourites would be the :

    Writing guide!

    http://thefrontlinegamer.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/frontline-gamers-guide-to-writing.html

    The dungeon delving set where the cats took over!

    And the painting article for the spaceship game

    http://thefrontlinegamer.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/painting-guide-sorylian-fleet.html

    The Golden age of gaming and of course the Salute series was great!

    Oh and thanks for the Dreadfleet review cemented my decision to buy it

    ; )

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    1. Well I'm glad my review of Dreadfleet cemented your decision to buy the game... o.0 ... I think. Still think it's one of the worst games I've ever played in my life though!

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  3. Grats on making it a year. Sometimes the hardest part about having a blog is the time in between the writing where you are simply left wondering what to do and say for the next post. Good to see the blog going strong and hope to see it continue that way for another year and beyond.

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    1. I'm sure I'll hit periods in my second year when I start to feel like I'm running out of things to say about the hobby. I hope not but I have to accept it's a possibility. Burn out happens. But so far, touch wood, that hasn't been much of a problem for me. Clearly I've got a lot of crap in my head and an insatiable need to sprout it!!! :P

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Happy Blogday, old boy! Long may you reign o'er us! :-D

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  5. Replies
    1. Cheers Paul, I've seen a top secret project recently that I think might interest you... I can't say anything about it yet... but soon... very soon!!!

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  6. Happy birthday mate well done. Here's to another year!

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    1. Thanks James, glad to see you're back blogging after a mini hiatus... even though it's not necessarily toy soldier related.

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  7. I too would like to thank you. About a year ago a friend from university opened the door the world of wargaming with 40k. You showed me around the house and pointed out all the little treasures hidden!

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    1. Glad I could be of service. 40k is a pretty standard entry point for most people in the hobby. But there's way more stuff out there beyond the grimdark, and some of it doesn't suck!!! :)

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  8. Well done, and thanks for the Malifaux

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    1. Cheers Neil.

      Ah... Malifaux, I knew him Horatio...

      Just can't get psyched for it at the moment. Not a bad game under all the layers of cack Wyrd have chucked at it... but by God does it need that all important second edition spring clean and streamlining. I might be doing a few Malifaux articles over the next two months though.

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  9. Happy Birthday there and long may the blog continue

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  10. Happy Birthday and thank you for introducing me to other wargaming systems.

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    1. It's what I'm here for... although after people look at there bank balance they normally feel less inclined to thank me!!! ;)

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  11. Happy birthday to the only blog I can be bothered to follow and read consistently. I think this is definitely one of the best ones I've come across, and I look forward to more articles. I'd like to see some stuff on the more historical side of wargaming, but that's just me.

    Thanks again for your reviews and insights!

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    1. Historical stuff might end up actually happening you know. I've started getting an itch to paint some Ancients and Napoleonics, so you never know. What sort of stuff are you interested in matey?

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    2. Being something of a history nerd, almost any period is of interest to me, though WWII and the French Revolutionary/Napoleonic wars would be my preferred areas. I would like to hear your thoughts on Deus Vult from Fireforge games when it releases. That and Flames of War articles might be nice, given that's what I'll most likely be starting. If my FLGS ever gets the starter set in.

      If you need any advice on forces to start in a historical game, feel free to ask me, as I love talking history.

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    3. Happy Birthday! i'd like to second the historical stuff...after playing mostly GW for three decades, I've started getting that itch for historicals (for the first time since 1990 or so.) ACW, AWI and Napoleonics are some of where I'm going. (FOW too, though that is because I can easily get games at my FLGS)

      I'd also be interested in someone who knows high quality plastics to compare/contrast companies like Warlord/Perry/Victrix/Gripping Beast, etc. I have two sons currently building 40k armies, so while I'd like to buy some of all of them, I can't afford to just buy willy-nilly.

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    4. @Blackbrunswicker, I don't know whether it's a good thing or not, but my dad is a HUGE military history nut, so I've got in mostly covered!!! His current kick is air warfare in its many guises. I swear there's nothing he doesn't know about on that topic. He's also an ancient history fan and loves the Napoleon era Europe stuff. I plan on taking a brief look at Deus Vult when in comes out... mainly because I promised the guys I would when I was at Salute.

      @Attilla13, consider it put on my to do list my good man!!! Not promising anything anytime soon because I'm still completely skint, but I'll see what I can do. :)

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  12. Happy blogday indeed, and what an acheivement....

    Lots of followers, hits and posts! (i suspect the last one being heavily linked to the first two!)

    those goals tho.. wow. :)

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    1. I write a lot of articles but some of them are only small little heads up articles and they don't seem to get that many views. The spread of hits is definitely broad... from articles that have 154 hits to articles with 18,0000+ hits.

      As to the goals? Personally think they're unachievable for a little Blog like this. If I get there though I might retire, because topping that just seems unlikely!!!

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  13. You have done good work over here in under a year. You should be proud.

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    1. Cheers eriochrome, and I am. Wasn't too sure how I felt about the whole thing if I'm honest but as I got close to the one year mark and started looking back on it all I have to say I did feel a twinge of pride.

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  14. Congrats to the Frontline Cats!

    That other guy posts occasionally...he's ok.

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    1. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatevs!!!

      You just go bac to rocking gently in the corner while staring at pictures of Megan Fox buddeh.

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  15. Congrats on your first year those are some seriously impressive stats. A nice selection of articles and the D&D series was the first I read on your site.

    Best of luck hitting your targets without getting a futuristic your fired fax for not backing down

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    1. Well, I've got to find a God damned use for that fax machine I've got in the attic!!!

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  16. Well Done! Really good to meet you today and have a chat.

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    1. Yeah likewise. I thought the tournament was well run, and I'll be honest, better attended than I thought it would be. Really wish you guys all the best with it, and I'll probably see you next weekend at the games Expo!!!

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  17. Congrats! I personally first showed up here for the brief mentions of Hell Dorado.

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    1. Ah yes, Hell Dorado.

      I'm bitterly disappointed with Cipher Studio's at the minute. They have what are two bloody good games, with damn fine miniature ranges and just seem to be failing to really generate the sort of interest that they should be. As a self confessed games whore and pimp I find the lack of market penetration of those two products frustrating. They could do so much more.

      Coming on the back of the Asmodee Hell Dorado debacle I have to start wandering whether we're talking about a dead game. I sincerely hope not, but it just feels like Ci[her are doing far too little far too late. Makes me want to scream because it's such a good product.

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  18. Congratulations!

    From follower 447, it seemed like. :)

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    1. Hey thanks, and welcome... always good to have more people on board! :)

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  19. Heh.. nice.. glad that my throw down of targets was accepted.. though I think you will soar past them as you did with the rest, and hit some pretty lofty numbers as yet not fathomed.

    Also those contests look good mate! Especially the 750 stretch goal.. the whole of Dwarf's hold, signed.. daaaaammmmmn.. Will be having to do up a post just to relay back to this one to get people to know what is what!

    Cheers and Happy Birthday!

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    1. Honestly I think little old Blogs like this one, of a niche hobby have a natural plateau methinks. I think I've found mine, and it's some way short of where it needs to be to achieve those figures you threw down. I'm not doing the whole netlist thing, nor am I doing awesome painting guides... so I'm not hitting the two obvious big hitters in the hobby... and I won't change my Blog to do them just to reach those goals. Not happening!!!

      So I'm not so sure how the hell I'm going to do it!!! All hints and tips welcome. I guess I'm just going to have work hard and pimping my Blog out... but seriously that's just not me I don't think. Maybe the prizes will help drum up interest in the Blog and peeps will see stuff they like and read it. I've got a pretty darn good back catalog of articles, all well worth reading.

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  20. Happy Birthday!
    It was also my son's first birthday yesterday, so that makes your blog even more special :)

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    1. That's awesome!!! Well happy Birthday to the little man. :)

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  21. Happy Birthday!
    I'm Sir Motor,from Japan.

    I always looking forward to see your new article.
    I really love to read your reviews.

    Personally,I play many titles like you(Over 10 titles).
    I'm considering starting new game.
    What title you will play next?

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    1. Sir Motor! Glad to see you over at these parts. :)

      Here's a guy playing Warmachine, Infinity, Heavy Gear and (soon I think) Dust Warfare in my second homeland of Japan. Great taste in games basically! Haha!

      As for myself, while I'm waiting for the SSU rulebook to arrive, I'm exploring Judge Dredd from Mongoose. A surprisingly fun looking skirmish game.

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    2. That's a pretty darn good question actually Sir Motor. I do have new games planned / being worked on right now, but it's not quite so straight forward as that.

      I guess right now the games that are currently important to me are Freebooter's Fate, Heavy Gear Blitz and of course Infinity. Those are the main 3 games from the list of games in my logo that I'm playing the most and concentrating.

      However, there are also three newish games I'm currently really going over with a fine tooth comb. The first game is Dust Warfare. I've played a few games of it and it's not too bad. I don't think it's as super awesome as some people say it is, but it is enjoyable.

      The next game is Bushido the Game. I got a load of stuff for the game around Christmas time and tried drumming up some support for it locally and failed. However, there are people taking a keener interest in it now locally, so I'm giving it another push here. Hopefully this time it'll stick.

      Finally there's a game called Dark Age, I'm looking at this game because soooo many readers have asked me to take a look at it, and it would be rude not too. My expectations weren't actually all that high, they weren't low I was just neutral about it. All I'll say is that the game has pleasantly surprised me.

      Hope that answers you questions buddy.

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    3. @Martin... ninja'ed...

      lol

      My mate is also waiting for the SSU rulebook for Dust Warfare. I already have a pretty sizable force for both the Axis and Allies from my Dust Tactics stuff. Played a few games and it's not bad as I said above. However, FFG need to move rapidly on getting the SSU out AND the fourth faction.

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    4. Haha! I guess my wife's Japanese ninja skills have rubbed off on me. :)

      Yeah, they bungled the SSU launch I must say. The campaign box and book should have arrived simultaneously. I think we'll see the forth faction at Gencon. My money is on the Vrill (have you seen the old Hecaton concept art/model?! Absolutely lovely piece and I certainly hope Paolo will keep that design style) but it could be the Japanese.

      I'm currently putting together another article on Dust Warfare in preparation for tomorrow's gaming. Bit of a counterpoint to your earlier bit in a way. All theory at the moment though. Haha!

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    5. Yeah I'd seen the Hecaton stuff somewhere else, can't remember where now. It does look sexy... but I have a feeling it'll be the Japanese they release next onto the world. Paolo has even started producing Japanese style transfers... so I think it's a sound guess that they'll be up next methinks.

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    6. Thanks for reply.
      Dark Age is interesting too. I've been checking on it.

      Next will be Aliens I bet.
      Because they said so,on older version of rule books.

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    7. I guess we'll see soon enough won't we? Either would be good in my opinion. I'd prefer to see the aliens... but I feel that maybe, just maybe FFG will want to play it a little bit safer and go for another human faction next. Drop the Japanese in and you have 4 human factions and can balance them out with very similar but slightly different stats and play styles. Then dump the aliens in when everything is settled and set the cat amongst the pigeons.

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  22. Found this on Dakka- surprised to have missed it the past year. Happy Birthday and consider me followed!

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    1. Awesome, always glad to have more new people round here. Especially if they're willing to comment and participate in the debate. Glad to have you aboard!!!

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  23. A belated happy birthday to my blogger buddy! It's quite an accomplishment what you've managed to achieve in just one year! You have twice as many page views as me although you've only done this for a third as long. Haha!

    Looking forward to another year of great articles! :)

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    1. Thanks my good man!!!

      Also can I urge people to go take a look at Martins Blog, Fire Broadside. It's tip top stuff and well worth a read. I feel embarrased actually that my Blog has gotten so much more popular... doesn't make sense.

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    2. And thank you for the shoutout! :)

      I think it makes sense. You write very insightful (and funny) articles and you keep posting regularly. That's the one-two combo!

      I've seen a great upswing of visits to my blog over the past six months or so, which is fun. But I do think my blog is a bit too much all over the place to really reach the great masses. Hehe!

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    3. I'm also not too sure masses is the right word here. We're talking about a teeny tiny hobby, and in our cases we're talking a teeny tiny slice of that teeny tiny hobby... which makes my relative success even more baffling.

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  24. Happy bday mr Frontliner Gamer guy!

    Thabk you for some interesting reads, and draining my wallet on Infinitt, Freebooters Fate, Sarissa stuff and the list is growing.

    And thank you for not being another GW fanboy blog!

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    1. Thanks Marjedi!!!

      I'm happy I could help convince to get into those games... and I'm sorry it hit your wallet so hard!!! =P

      I'm certainly not a GW fanboi, but I do love the hobby!!!

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  25. Happy birthday blog! It's an excellent blog, congratulations on making a whole year with tons of interesting posts.

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  26. A bit belated, but a big congratulations none-the-less!! Reading your articles on non-gw based systems and figures makes me continually want to push myself away from my comfort zone. I've already picked up some Infinity, and am looking into Heavy Gear much more seriously than I ever would have before. Thank you, sir :)

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    1. Heya Tim. Thanks for stopping by. Reading your articles makes me want to sit my ass down and get some of my painting done so lets call it evens!!! :P

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  27. Happy Blogday! I know I replied to one of your replies above, but I wanted to congratulate you. I'm not sure which article/s first brought your site to my attention, but have really enjoyed them... Your "voice" has thus far been forthright and honest even when taking on big things or yourself!). As long as that continues I'm sure I'll be reading your blog for a long time! I do wonder how many people have started their own blogs because of your success....your blog writing article may make that hard to quantify, but congrats on that too. I'm sure the first year was a learning experience, but from the outside, even without a plan it has been outstanding!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. I guess it has been a real 'learning experience' although to be brutally honest with you I have a bit of experience with this whole writing stuff malarky.

      The plan in year two is to do more of what people liked in year one, and try to introduce a bit more order to what I post and when I post. I'm also hoping I can bring a few different types of article to my Blog as the year progresses.

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    2. Sounds great, looks like lots will be watching. Noticed above someone came from DakkaDakka...but i think i find you there and on TGN. So you'll probably be able to pull even more in...especially with the explosion of alternative companies out there (lots run by our old hands from GW..but now, even more started by former fans wanting to do more themselves)! As I said, I'll be reading....

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    3. Yeah the next year or so should be interesting. I actually think all these smaller companies cropping up and offering alternative can only really be a boon for GW as well. i mean it'll retain the rage quitters in the hobby so they might go back. It'll also offer people alternatives to the big two when they start wanting something a bit different after gaming fatigue. It'll lead to a healthier hobby and surely that benefits everyone including GW.

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  28. Happy belated bidet :-)

    Difficult to follow all the comments above with anything that isn't mere repetition, I'll just say you've done an excellent job and for my tuppence-worth it's always a good read.

    Roll on year two! ;-D

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    1. All I can say is thank the lord you didn't say roll on year three!!!

      Oh and bidet... gafaw gafaw!!! You're a cunning linguist you. =P

      Thanks for the kind words too. It is genuinely gratifying to hear that so many people appreciate the effort and time I've put in to making this Blog what it is... pink and purple!

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  29. Congrats on making it a year! Keep it up!

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  30. Happy birthday! This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite blogs on t'interwebs. It's thought provoking and interesting both!

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    1. Thanks! :)

      I'm glad you like it. It really does take an awful lot of effort to produce what I have produced. And it is really gratifying to hear that so many people appreciate that effort. So thanks for taking the time to let me know.

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  31. Happy birthday.

    Updating a blog as often as you do is something I just can't motivate myself to do (I've never been one for internalising and journal writing).
    I've enjoyed your stuff, though and it has given me inspiration at times (although I got put onto Infinity around 5 years ago).

    PS. Plural of Nemesis is nemisEs, not nemesis' (that would be the possessive of Nemesis). Spelling nazi rant over.

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    1. As I said in response to markya, it takes a hell of a lot of effort to produce and maintain this Blog to the standard that I do. That's not me being big headed, that's me being honest about the work I have to put in on it. I was looking back at my diary of work, and the hours I've put in are phenomenal they really are. I think I must have put in nearly 1500 hours over my first year Blogging. That's not too far off of being a full time job!!! So when I put all that time and effort in, it is really nice to hear people like what I do, because lets face it if you all hated it it would be pretty soul destroying to have worked so hard on something that turned out to be a pile of crap! :P

      As to nemises... that was what I think I had it down as originally, but Firefox went all red wiggly line on me, my dictionary was no where to be found and the online dictionary was as helpful as a chocolate teapot. So I let Firefox's auto-correct sort it out for me. Thing is those sorts of spelling mistake will sometimes creep into my work, simply because I'm dyslexic, and even if my addled brain gets it right the first time I have just learned over the years not to trust myself, and quite often I second guess things and get it horribly wrong. It's something I'm painfully aware lets this Blog down, and I only hope that my odd mistake doesn't spoil the Blog for anyone. I'd had that my defective brain annoyed someone enough for them to stop reading. :(

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    2. Happy Birthday and a big congratulations for the last 12 Months!

      I greatly appreciate the time and effort that you have put into all your articles and reviews. With the imminent arrival of the new edition of 40k I am really looking forward to seeing whether this edition will change things for the better or continue the vicious cycle of the "Abusive Relationship". I look forward to your review.

      I hope you treat yourself to some birthday cake.

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