Happy 6th Blogoversary!

On May 22nd I realized I’d forgotten my blogoversary, which I enjoy marking! I decided to write a “whoops, I missed it” post, and then realized I hadn’t yet missed 2016 because the date is on May 27th!

But in researching for 2016…I noticed I missed 2015. >.< My last celebration was in 2014, shortly after Adepticon 2014 when I was blogging out a storm because of the display board Patrick and I were making!

 

Post Count and Excuses

May 2013-2014 I wrote 139 posts.

May 2015-2016 I wrote 91 posts. 50 fewer is a lot! I have a few reasons, but no excuses. In November I went to a 4-day posting schedule instead of the 3 I’d been doing because during and after the wedding I was so busy with wedding stuff that I had to stretch out what I had.

In February of 2016, I stopped painting almost entirely. I assembled my Mek Guns and posted a photo of something I was about to throw away. The problem here, was that the universe ended because I had nothing to paint! I had recently decided that I didn’t want to play Hordes and I had nothing left to paint.

It picked up again in March with 40k, starting my naut (which is unfinished…) and writing 40k T&T. April I started doing more mini-posts with the naut just to show small progress, and then I picked up my Blood Bowl Undead team and Beyond the Gates of Antares (as regular readers will know)

Google Analytics

I still have no real idea of how to use Google Analytics. I mainly read it to see how many people are coming to the site, and how they are getting there. It also only shows monthly by default. But I just found the calendar range on it, so here’s some cool yearly numbers!

From May 27th 2015 to May 28th 2016:

  • 2,943 users.
  • 6,823 page views
  • Average session duration was 1 minute 10 seconds. That’s how long you all spend looking at a page. 😛
  • GA counts “session”, which I don’t understand, but the number is 3,776. Looks like it’s different from “users” and wildly different from “page views”. But of importance with this number, is that 77.2% of 2,915 of those sessions were new.
  • Which means I think I have about 860 regular readers this year!
  • 1,787 of you are in en-US, 384 en-GB, 319 fr, and 238 de.
  • en-CA is not represented in the language list, which means most of you Canadians need to set your region in your browser/OS. Go on, do that now so you’re properly represented.
  • Age ranges! 1,012 between 25-34, 617 between 35-44 and 12 65+!
  • I had 156 female readers!
  • 55.75% of you use Chrome, great job! Then Firefox, Safari then IE (version unstated)
  • 76.62% of you are reading through the desktop, which is good, because I don’t know how good the site looks right now through mobile phones or tablets. I did a review of that a year or more ago, but I think my work was undone by a plugin or theme update at some point.

Notable Posts

The Future

I can see a lot of Blood Bowl in my continued future. It’s the only miniatures game that is both tactical, random and makes your heart race because every roll of the dice can screw you over!

Beyond the Gates of Antares is a fun game, and I’m really enjoying painting the models because they are pretty easy. We’ve been playing 500 point games, and I’m looking forward to larger point values to get some more variety in tactical options.

Folks in my club are pretty excited about Warmachine/Hordes mkIII, and given what they’re saying I think I might be able to be excited about it too. It sounds like they’re fixing some of my personal concerns – making it simpler (but not too simple) and less complex, adding pre-measuring. I like the ideas I’m hearing, and it could make it a game that I’d play again!

 

Here’s to a miniature future!

This is not a year in review post.

They don’t really say much that you (the reader) haven’t read before. On top of that, I really don’t recall what I did this year. 😛 I’ll catch you up in May, with the blog anniversary. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought a little post to say something about “now” would be appropriate.

Warmachine

Just before Christmas, I started to think that maybe WMH was not a good game for me. I haven’t played a whole lot of it, which is partially why I’m struggling with it. But when I think about my experiences with Malifaux, I’m certain that isn’t the reason I’m struggling. I think it’s just a poor game. Not a bad game, mind you — that title is reserved for Age of Sigmar (which isn’t a game) and WHFB (which is a bad game). But WMH has a few things that make it not modern (no pre-measuring, no alternating activations, “tacked on” non-kill missions) and a few things that make it a poor choice for me (lots of game-critical text on individual model cards). (Malifaux has lots of text on cards, but for the most part it boils down to “shoot something”, “hit something”. Malifaux rewards you more for knowing your own models, than knowing your opponents models). Given this realization, I have a bunch of models that I’m just not excited to paint anymore.

Blood Bowl

At roughly the same time, my Blood Bowl league started season 2 (finally!). Blood Bowl is a good game. It isn’t a perfect game, but it’s damn good. Too much randomness, combined with too much “fail this and your game is over” bring it down a notch. However, a lot of BB is about mitigating that randomness and making choices about how best to move it around. It has a stunningly good positional game, and even though most games tend towards 3 hours long I have never thought “man, I’m bored” at any point in a BB game. You don’t have to study your opponent, just their archetype. And the RP system leaves me craving more every time I play. The last game I had, I lost pretty badly. But when the RP-phase was over, I noted that I had achieved exactly what I had set out to do — focus on the “bad players” on my team to level them up before I hired the good ones. This decision before the league started meant that I would not be as strong until I did hire those players, but that when I did hire them my existing team would be able to support them better. Long-term strategy like that is not something you find in a lot of games, let alone table-top ones.

Gates of Antares?

A friend won the rulebook for this at a local tournament, and I picked it up and started reading it a bit. It’s apparently a sci-fi version of Bolt Action. Bolt Action, as near as I can tell, has a lot of the best mechanics from Epic Armageddon, which makes me want to play it. EA had some amazing mechanics, that just needed a little bit more polish. I looked into BA a few months ago, but just couldn’t get behind the WW2 theme. Gates of Antares is like BA, but with D10s instead of D6s (more variance in randomness) and with a sci-fi theme instead of WW2. Sign me up! Unfortunately, my game-time has been limited for the last couple weeks and I wanted Warlord Games to put out a PDF version of their rulebook and BB is in my mind (and I have a sweet conversion for my human apothecary!) so this got pushed back.

Warhammer?

I think I’m going to sell my daemon army. I don’t think I’m going to play much WHFB ever again, and I have 3 armies for it. That’s kind of silly. I can’t sell my goblins, because memories (but I could sell the orc portion of them). I can’t sell my lizards because if I did ever play WHFB again it would be with them. But the daemons, while nicely painted and converted, are taking up space in the house I could use for other things. (like drone things).

40k is still a thing, barely. Duke tried to have a game with me on Christmas Eve but we wound up playing some board games instead.

Board games!!

Miranda got me a Bohanza expansion for Christmas! This game is interesting still. It reminds me of Blood Bowl…in that it’s mostly random, and your only game is trying to mitigate that randomness. But Miranda loves it, and I like playing games with her, so here we are.

Duke and I played 4 games of Trains: Rising Sun, and half a game of Archipelago on Christmas Eve. Trains is a fantastic game — taking the good parts of Dominion and tacking on a board that provides a different focus. Would play again. Archipelago was hard, as it’s complicated enough that we had to re-figure out how to play. Then it’s partial co-op, in that you can both lose, and I accidentally caused us both to lose and we found out we didn’t mind so much. Then we played Carcassonne with both our wives, and Miranda and I got trounced. This does not happen frequently — Miranda is traditionally near the top, with me and Jamie trying to catch her and Duke at the bottom. Instead, Miranda and I were fighting for “not last”, and she won. 😛

2016?

I tend to follow my heart when it comes to games. BB has me for sure. GoA could have me, if it put out a PDF rulebook that I could slaver over. But who knows what will happen!

Happy Blogoversary!

Yay!

Today my happy little blog turns 4! I’ve come a long way from my hopeful beginnings, through a few rough patches and then rushed out of the last birthday with a renewed joy of writing, and a ton more focus on painting and hobby! Here are some fun statistics for you:

  • May 2010 to May 2011, I wrote 40 posts. 33 of these were in the first 3 months of the blog – May, June and July. I had a big back log of scheduled posts and after July I wrote 7 more posts in the year.
  • May 2011 to May 2012, I wrote 14 posts. Total.
  • May 2012 to May 2013, I wrote 55 posts, 27 of which were in the first 10 months. In the last 2 months, I wrote another 28. This was after AdeptiCon of last year. I think we can say that AdeptiCon 2013 was the inspiration I needed to start painting and blogging for realz.
  • May 2013 to present, I wrote 129 posts. Almost three times the year before, and more than the last 3 years combined. This April was my most prolific period, with 29 posts in that month alone. AdeptiCon, it really works.

I only started using Google Analytics last year, so I don’t have any visitor statistics before that, but I had 238 visitors last month. Roughly 51 were returning visitors, with 187 coming here once. You come from a variety of places such as Facebook, Google searches (with some odd search terms), Disqus, and Wyrd-games.net. I think some of you have me in your RSS readers and are marked as “Direct traffic”, but I don’t have any proof of that, from what I can see. Most of you still don’t comment, so maybe 234 of you are robots…

It’s probably pretty obvious that I do this because I love writing, and not because I need glowing feedback from 238 adoring fans. At the same time, if there was only 1 person reading, who knows if I would continue. So thanks for reading, and have a happy Tuesday!

Happy Early Birthday

My interest in this hobby has built up quite a bit over the last few months, such that instead of sitting down to play Warcraft at the end of a day, I’m building something or painting. I like the change.

I’m also watching the success of certain hobby bloggers, and certain podcasts and I’m a little jealous – I’ve been writing for 3 years (…that sneaks up on you…), and I barely know my audience, where my podcasty friends have fans coming to take photos with them at Adepticon!

I think a big difference is marketing. I started this blog because I love writing, and I wanted to get into photography some more, and wanted some motivation to paint more and bingo-bango, here we are. But that’s totally different than if you’re actually trying to build an audience.

Another difference is that of reliability. Certain bloggers are writing daily, even several times a day! The podcast folks put something out every 2-3 weeks. I write when I feel like it, and sometimes not even then! Taking photos, editing, writing, proofreading, etc, takes a lot of time when I could be sleeping or painting or watching Game of Thrones. 😛

It turns out that the blogs birthday is on May 27th, it’s third year of existence, and I’d like to celebrate by changing up my format a bit. Whenever I do something hobby, I’m going to post a photo, maybe two and some quick words about what I did. This will have a few effects:

  • Smaller chunks of “what I did” are easier to follow. The first stegadon painting post is 1 step, out of a hundred and now you know how I did it exactly. (well…except for the water bit, which I never count exactly >.<)
  • If I stop editing my photos and start just taking a few quick ones with my phone, the photo aspect won’t be as onerous.
  • More regular writing, and potentially easier to follow writing, means that someone could toss my blog into their RSS and feel like it added some value to their daily reading.

I’ll continue to do “milestone” posts with the tripod and the good camera and lighting and maybe a gradient backdrop and some white balancing and fun stuff like that.

Thanks for reading!

ChumpHammer

Doing a small advertisement for a few friends who are doing some neat work. A new Warhammer podcast done by Dale, Peter and Jordan. So far they have 3 episodes, about 2 hours each. I was listening to them while modelling, but I don’t do that nearly enough (see my posting schedule for details…) so I started listening to them on my workout last week. Probably do that more – they are pretty funny, and I think I almost learned something about Lizardmen.

http://www.facebook.com/Chumphammer

http://chumphammer.podomatic.com/

Facebooking!

I added the ability to Like, Send, Comment to/from your Facebook profile.

I use Facebook a lot, and I know that I dislike having to put in new login information on every blog I sign up for, so I’m hoping that this feature is helpful to some people. If you don’t have a Facebook profile, or don’t want one, you can still sign up using the blog-specific account information. It’s there for your convenience, not forcing you to Book the Face. 🙂

As well, I’m hoping to use the Like button to more easily share my blogs on Facebook. I tend to just copy/paste the link onto my wall, but now I can click the Like button, comment and go to provide more visibility.And I can see who has clicked the Like button, which is kind of nice – I tend to put these notes out into the ethernet and assume that people are reading. The only confirmation I get is when someone comments, so now I can see a bit more. 🙂

Let me know if something bugs you! (I was trying to get rid of the FB profile photos…) Or if I can do anything to make your blog experience a little nicer. 🙂

 

P.S. Apparently when I click “Publish” it now automatically pushes to my timeline. That’s pretty cool!

Site change, WordPress update

Heelllllllllooo readers!

A couple days ago I changed hosts. The old one was dumb. Now that I have my shit off of it, I’m happy to say – never use WebServe.ca. Terrible customer service, and then randomly…you’d find someone competent to help you out. I have a long list of irritations from them, and a 2-line list of good things. (They are cheap, and some CSR named Kate was actually pro-active about helping me out, instead of solving my problem and then neglecting to tell me about the other 2 things that needed doing…like her co-workers).

Also, WordPress updated to 3.0.3. Less exciting :).

WordPress Update, etc

Updated to WordPress 3.0.1 today. No idea what the changes are, but the thing requested it so I did it. Lemme know if something looks bad.

I have at least one Battlewagon update waiting on my desktop to post, and a bunch more work to put into the model. But between Starcraft 2 and paragliding lessons, I’m swamped!

“devlan mud lizardmen”

I have a plugin that shows me blog usage stats – where people are coming from, how many per day, etc.

Looks like someone found my blog through Google the other day with a search term of “devlan mud lizardmen”.

I did the search myself, and it looks like I’m at the top of page 6 of this search. That is one dedicated Googler! I usually stop by page 3…

Comment author says what?

I just got my first comment!

I’m pretty certain it’s a spammer. But it’s interesting in that the bot/person/whatever picked a post with actual educational information on it (my single Technique post so far) and then posted:

Author: <their blog title>

E-mail: <some e-mail that could be plausible>

URL: <their blog URL>

Comment: Thanks a ton for this, I am greatful for the info.

So here I am, this naive person with a spam comment, and I almost want to approve it simply because it’s just so plausible that it could be a real person, who’s really appreciative of the information and help that I’ve provided.

Quick! Someone post a real comment so I can feel better about throwing their comment into the trash bin! 😛