Saturday, 19 November 2016

Time for Celebrations!!! 6 Incredible Months and Blogging Strong!!!

Today marks 6th months of me Blogging!!! What a great experience it has been. In today's post, I am going to reflect a upon the experience and discuss a little bit about the companies and other bloggers that I have been in touch with since starting this project. I will also write about where I plan to take this blog in the future.

Cultist Sprue with Sci-fi Weapons by North Star Military Figures
I love miniatures of Cultists! In celebration of my 6-Months of Blogging, Nick Eyre of North Star Military Figures sent me this image. Now I know that these have also been seen on Facebook, but it is a great picture and Nick has been absolutely fantastic at answering emails ever since we first communicated.

The figures above are made up from a box of Frostgrave Cultists and a new sprue of Sci-Fi Weapons and Heads. The idea is one can make miniatures for Rogue Stars and other games by combining these two kits. Very cool.

Initially I started this site with the simplest and most humble of intentions. To practice skills that I do not use on a daily bases. My educational background is in Multi-Media Production, IT and AV Technologies, Communications and Writing. While I use elements of my training from Media Production and IT/AV Technologies daily in my career as an Audio Visual Technician, I do not use the Communication and Writing portion of my training as often.

Starting this Blog was (and remains) a way for me to re-engage skills that I feared losing through dormancy. The bonus of this Blog is that I get to practice my Writing and Communication skills while focusing on something for which I have a strong passion.

When I wrote my first post, I envisioned this website focusing on Flames Of War, Bolt Action and Frostgrave (with a few posts here and there about Board-Games). Instead, this site has focused prominently on Bolt Action and Frostgrave, with a wide diversity of other games; however, I believe this diversity helps keep the content of this site varied and of interest to a wider range of readers.

Over the past six months, this website has received over 66,000 page-views. That is astonishing!!! The feedback on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit has also been very positive. This positivity coupled with the sheer number of readers visiting on a regular bases motivates me to create more content. At this time, this site has a total of 112 articles. That is a lot writing for just a six-month stint.  :)

In creating this content, I have been able to engage the companies that I love in ways that I never imagined. In celebration of my 6-months, I reached out to those companies as I wanted to do a small write up about the people that have helped me along the way through shares of my articles or in sending me products.

Supporting the Local Guys...

Early on, I made the decision that I wanted to support local businesses that deal in Miniatures through my Blog. RAFM, Six Squared Studios, Crucible Crush, J&M Miniatures and Forbes Hobbies are all companies that I like to write about because I am a fan and they are local.

As many of my readers will remember, RAFM is a company that I hold close to my heart. These guys got me back into miniatures after a long hiatus with their USX: Modern Day Heroes line and starter box. This company has now been in business for 39 years and has plenty of product lines available. Personally, I like them for the Modern Day Heroes and Cthulhu Lines and I buy a large portion of my Reaper Miniatures through them.

Like X-Com on the Tabletop
RAFM's USX: Modern Day Heroes Starter Box. Image from RAFM's Webstore.

Six Squared Studios is a much newer company than RAFM, but their excellent terrain pieces at super affordable prices really appeals to the frugal gamer in me. So far, I have published two reviews of this company's products (28mm Sandbags and 15mm Bales of Hay) and have three more in the works. This company has been working on expanding its line of tokens and just revealed an awesome looking War Trench System that I would love to get my hands on.

Trench Tiles - Wargaming Terrain
Above is a picture of a 28mm Trench Tile that Six Squared Studios is currently working to release. I can't wait for this product to come out. These tiles are going to look great on the tabletop!!! Image from Six Squared Studio's Facebook Page.

Crucible Crush is another new and emerging company that I have been watching. Well before I ever started this Blog, I enjoyed play-testing their Flint and Feather game at a convention. So far, I have not bought any of their direct products, but I did buy my Pulp Figures British Highland Infantry Rifles for Bolt Action through them. I have also been eyeing their Cthulhu 1928 line for more than a few months (especially the Deep Ones).

Deep Ones and Cthulhu Investigators
Above is a picture of Crucible Crush's Cthulhu 1928 Miniature Line. This image is from Crucible Crush's website, so the "Click the tab above to Order" will not work on this Blog.

Aside from manufacturers, there are also a couple of local stores that I like to support on this Blog.

Logo from J&M Miniatures Website

J&M Miniatures is a company that started by specializing in supplying Historical Figures not readily available in Ontario (Canada). It then expanded to include specialist rule sets not typically seen in Ontario Retail Stores (such as Frostgrave and SAGA). Their best selling lines are by Warlord Games with Bolt Action being their top seller. Because of how well the line sells, their prices for Warlord products are very competitive. I personally look for these guys at any Convention I go to because I like buying from them. They also sell through Mail Order, Stock Room Visits and their Online Store. In most cases, if I play it, these guys sell it! J&M Miniatures has been very generous in sharing my posts with their clientele.

FLGS Cambridge Ontario
Forbes Hobbies Logo taken from their Facebook Page.

The final local company that I planned to promote when I started this site is Forbes Hobbies. Forbes Hobbies is my FLGS of choice and is located in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. When I can, I buy as much as I can from this store as I like supporting them because they provide me with an awesome gaming space. Anyone that has read my Bolt Action or TANKS Battle Reports will have seen the tables that this club / store has to offer. If you are in the area, be sure to check them out. Below is a list of Battle Reports that I made from Forbes Hobbies.


A Logo and Image from Dungeon Crawler's Facebook Page.
Finally, the first company that requested that I cover their products actually came from a local guy. On my second day of Blogging, Jey Legarie contacted me asking if I would write about his Kickstarter. I already knew Jey through my local board gaming groups, so I decided to take on the project. Jey runs the company Dungeon Crawler and his last Kickstarter project was to fund the Behemoth. From my interactions with Jey, I got a number of interesting articles - but my two favourites are...

Jey tells me that the Behemoths are still in production and the process is slow and steady.

Of course, I also like to promote local Gaming Conventions and have written a lot of After Action Reports and Convention Reports from the events that I attend.

Branching Out Beyond the Local Market...

As I Blogged more, I found that Authors and Companies began to reach out to me.

In-fact, the very first comment on my Blog was by Ganesha Games identifying some unknown figures for me. That was on my third day of Blogging. I couldn't believe it - a game company commenting on my post. Since then, I have reached out to Andrea Sfiligoi of Ganesha Games a few times through email and on Facebook and he has always been incredible. For those interested in Rogue Stars, he is extremely active in the Facebook Fan site answering questions about his soon to be released book by Osprey Publishing.

When I wrote about Frostgrave (also by Osprey Publishing), I found feedback on my site from Joseph A. McCullough! This was such a thrill for me that my young Blog was having the Authors of such excellent books leave comments.

Logo from Osprey Publishing's Website.

Overtime, Osprey would place me on their list of Reviewers. Osprey has been very kind to me and sent me Konflikt '47, Rogue Stars, Dragon Rampant and Chosen Men. As time allows, you will definitely see reviews of Rogue Stars and Dragon Rampant here as I am very excited about those products. Chosen Men also looks like a lot of fun, but I have yet to play a Napoleonic's game.

Osprey Publishing has been an amazing sponsor of this site by sending me products for review, but I still buy a lot of their products. My most recent purchase was actually Forgotten Pacts for Frostgrave. I now have the product and am really looking forward to playing through its first mini-campaign (more about that later).

Outside of Osprey, I have had a number of companies approach me about their products. Most of these companies are actually looking to Kickstart Board Games and so far, I have not followed up with them. That said, a company of interest did approach me.

That company is Hyacinth Games with their product Wreck Age. Now, I have glanced over the PDFs that they sent me and I can tell you that my first impression is positive. It is written in a story format and combines both an RPG and a Miniatures Game into one product. There is a lot of meat to these books to read through and I find myself looking at my Miniatures collection wondering which figures I would use for this game. Perhaps my "Outlander" Gang would fit the bill. If you live in the KW area and want to give this a try, let me know.

A banner from the Wreck-Age Website.
Another company that has been very good to me is North Star Military Figures. This company has not sent me any product (other than what I have purchased), but Nick Eyre has been extremely good at responding to my inquiries, feeding my site images and even giving me a lead on the Nickstarter Levels for Forgotten Pacts before the information was made public. Nick also sent me a couple of upcoming product pictures that I want to share with my readers.

Above is a picture of the Sci-Fi Sprue by North Star Military Figures that can be used with their Cultist and Barbarian Boxed sets to create Space Cultists and Space Barbarians. Because I like Cultists so much, I will go with them.  :)


This is a picture of a painted figure converted from a Frostgrave Cultist miniature by using the Sci-Fi Accessories Sprue. Very cool!

Bloggers and Vloggers...

Having become a Blogger, I now find it more interesting to meet other Bloggers and Vloggers. In celebration of my six months on the web, I would like to give a few shout-outs to some Bloggers and Vloggers with whom I have interacted with lately.

The first goes to Dave of Wargaming Tradecraft. Dave reached out to me on Facebook in response to one of my articles. Dave is a great painter and his work mainly focuses on painting tutorials. He also has a large selection of excellent articles dedicated to helping guide new Bloggers onto the scene.

The next shout-out goes to Thor of Creative Twilight. Creative Twilight has a collective of authors that focus primarily on GW products and painting techniques. Thor has been especially good in chatting to me and others about the challenges of Blogging.

This next Vlogger does not know me, but I like watching his videos and have linked to a couple of them within my own Blog. That person is Atom of Tabletop Minions. Atom mostly talks about GW, but also talks about Painting Tips, Historicals, and a Song of Blades and Heroes.

I have also found myself watching more of Teri Litorco of That Teri Girl and Geek and Sundry since I met her at Council Fires 2016. Currently she is promoting a book about Civilized Tabletop Gaming. She tends to focus on Privateer Press, Malifaux and Strange Aeons.

Finally, a shout-out goes to Ash of Guerrilla Miniature Games. I really like Ash's Youtube channel because he focuses on many games and has no issue diving right into an Indie Game or something Out of Print. My favourite segments of his channel are Widgets and Wonders, A Piece of Ash and Frostgrave, but all of his stuff is worth a watch. It is his videos (combined with how cool the Frostgrave Cultists look) that got me to pull the trigger to buy into Frostgrave. I am actually planning to make a guest appearance on his show to play through a Mini-Campaign of Frostgrave. How cool is that!!!?

The Future...

My current goal is to get more followers on both Facebook and on this Blog Page itself. If you like this site, please subscribe to either or both.

One person I know suggests that I start a Podcast, but I plan to continue with just the Blog for now. I do plan on going on Guerrilla Miniature Games at some point in the near future, so those that want to see and hear what I am like - you will likely get your chance soon enough.

As for the Blog content, I plan to continue to focus on what some of my friends call "the more obscure games out there." I don't think that they are obscure but rather just not of the top three games companies in my area (Games Workshop, Privateer Press and Malifaux). The games that I write about are all excellent and as I have stated many times before, there is so much out there that one does not have to limit themselves to just the big companies. Will those more main-stream companies ever be a part of this site? Maybe. They all make products that interest to me, but I can buy into several other games for the price of one army from the bigger two companies.

Osprey games will continue to be a big part of this site because they publish all of the primary games that I play (Bolt Action and Frostgrave). I have also been loving reading their other games and will continue to write about them. Hopefully, I will have some Rogue Star Battle Reports in the future. I am also planning to look at Wreck Age by Hyacinth Games, but can't give a timeline on when those articles will come out.

One thing that I have been contemplating is whether to review Board Games that DO NOT Contain Minis. Despite the name of the site, I have had several inquiries from various Kickstarters, and recently one established company, about reviewing their non-minis games. I think I will give it some time and see where things go. If I do start reviewing boardgames without miniatures, they will likely be one-off posts from time to time.

As for the frequency of posts on this site, I plan to start keeping a more regular schedule and aim to publish articles on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone - And thanks for reading!!!!

11 comments:

  1. Thanks Paul. It has been a great 6 Months!!!

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  2. That's an impressive amount of articles and views for 6 months. Well done. Also, thanks for the shoutout.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Thor. I have been extremely happy with the number of views I am getting. When I first started, I did not expect this sort of engagement - but the fact it is so well received helps motivate me to keep giving more. :)

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    2. It's an addicting element to the hobby, blogging. If it weren't for blogging then I wouldn't get done half of what I do. Getting feedback, constructive criticism and praise, all go a long way to keeping you motivated.

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  3. Great article Jacob. I need to get back to our blog http://flintandfeatherplaytest.blogspot.ca/
    It is hard to believe I haven't done a post since August, Grrrr!

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    1. Thanks Crucible Crush. It does take a lot of effort and time to create blog content. Thank you for sending the link to your site on Flint and Feather. I have added it to my Blog List. :)

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  4. You've certainly had a successful entrance into the world of miniature blogging! It's great to get that kind of support from manufacturers and interact with people on different levels of the hobby :)

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    1. Thanks Dave. It has been an interesting road and I am hoping for great things in the future. :)

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  5. Looking forward to six more! Congrats.

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