Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2017 Overview And A Look Ahead To 2018

Another year gone by. It's crazy how fast this one just seemed to fly by, and just based on everything that's happened at the farm and with horses, it's clear that this year will be even crazier as my wife continues to work her way up to the highest level of the USEF.

It's really strange now because for the first time EVER the family is completely separated - Jakob is away at university, Therese is down south, and I'm at the farm. The farm will be empty for the next 3 months and I really hope to get a lot done over that time, though I'm certainly not off to a good start as just this post alone has taken almost two weeks to complete, but that has to do with the fact that we're currently remodeling the master bedroom bathroom.

On to the meat and potatoes - these are by far my favorite posts to do of the entire year because I can see all the goals I had and see how well I failed at completing them :) 2017's goals -

So 2017... what's the goals, what's the focus? The biggest thing that will take at least half of the year will be the Historicon table and game. Making it into Wargames Illustrated last year really upped the ante for this year's Historicon. I think a lot of the year will also just be finishing up army's and figures that are not quite 100% complete, as there are quite a lot.

Historicon WWII game and table
Finish the Denison smocks on my British Airborne
Finish my French Partisan army
Finish my Pulp Era figures
Finish my Hollywood DAK - for pulp games
Complete Jonny Quest Pulp Alley leagues and run 2 games
Complete the last of the 4Ground large building kits that need built - 9 kits
2 Blog posts a month
Design a logo for Studio 13/Saturday Mornings

Historicon WWII Game and Table - Well, I think I'll give myself a pass on that one. While not strictly WWII, I had the game set in WWII with fictitious characters that are all set in that era with Agent Carter. And incredibly the game and table somehow made it into Wargames Illustrated. Still can't wrap my head around that one. Grade A

Finish the Denison Smocks on my British Airborne - Huh? I have British Airborne... yeah, not so much. Fail. Grade F

Finish my French Partisan Army - I'll give myself a pass. I have some straps, washes to apply, and then basing to complete and then they are done. Grade B

Finish my Pulp Era Figures - This was a huge achievement and where the bulk of last years completed figures came from. I'm not sure of the exact count but it has to be well over 200 to 250. Grade A

Finish my Hollywood DAK - Geez, forgot I still even had these. Epic fail. Grade F

Complete Jonny Quest Pulp Alley Leagues and Run 2 Games - This was fun to finally complete! I think JQ makes for a perfect pulp game and I had a lot of neat story ideas for the Quest gang before I got sidetracked by the Historicon game. Grade A

Complete the Last of the 4Ground Large Building Kits - For the first time ever I had all my big 4Ground kits completed - that was quite a feat really when I think about how many kits I have! The problem now is I went bat shit crazy buying way more kits than I should have this year, including the massive shopping mall - yup, here it is, the giant cat out of the bag, I went all in on the mall range. Even buying multiples of the same kit, the food court for example. So I'm giving myself an A for completing my goal, but a giant what the F were you thinking buying more and especially the mall lol!

2 Blog Posts a Month - Incredibly I put up 53 posts over the course of the year, that's almost 4.5 a month. The big thing for me is quality over quantity, hopefully I walked that line successfully. Grade A

Design a Logo For Studio 13/Saturday Mornings - Nope. Nada. You lose, good day sir. I will say that I did ask a friend who is in graphic design for a living for some ideas and help, but after a "sure" never heard back from him and I completely forgot that this was something I wanted to try to do last year. Grade F

So overall, I think I did pretty good - passing grades on 6 of my 9 goals. Honestly, it was probably my most productive year to date so far :)

Now on to 2018...

Historicon game and table
Build game specific tables with a focus on terrain and building 4Ground purchases
Find more people to game with/try to meet once a month at least
Play more games and write AAR's on them
Continue re-basing to clear bases
Complete the underground facility for the Agent Carter game
2 blog posts a month
Sell rules sets/figures/terrain I know I'm not going to do anything with
Don't buy into any new games - Harry Potter /Gangs of Rome/Batman (Monolith)
Stay off of Kickstarter!

This is the first year I can actually say painting figures does not need to be a major focus. I probably got over 500 figures painted over the course of the year - there were a lot that I didn't bother posting about. Certainly I still have a ton of ACW, AWI, and the Rorke's Drift sets all to be painted, but these aren't any games that are on the immediate radar - and I do have enough of each completed to play skirmish rules sets (Sharpes Practice for instance) if I wanted to.

I really want to focus on terrain this year. Though not 100% committed to Historicon yet, I'm going to be in the mindset that I am and want to focus on and try to make another really fun Hollywood-esque game where even if the game sucks eggs at least it will look good :) And I also really want to try to get together once a month with gaming friends. So those will be my three major focuses.

The other thing I'm really torn about is should I "promote" or try to grow the blog more to get more followers. I don't share posts to Facebook or The Miniatures Page at all. Occasionally I'll link a post to The Lead Adventure Forum or the Pulp Alley forum but that's really it. My Agent Carter AAR's from Historicon got shared on several Facebook pages and that particular post has my highest views of any post I've ever made. And back in October I joined a group focusing on painting survivors and zombies for the entire month and to be able to interact with a whole new group of people was brilliant - I myself followed several new blogs and in turn had several new people follow me because of that. Obviously I don't have any kind of consistent gaming group (yet) so the interactions between people commenting and giving suggestions or critiques on the blog is incredibly helpful for me. What to do...

So until next time, thanks for looking!


  1. You'd a good year Ivor, I've not set any goals in awhile now tbh but always enjoy reading others, blogs are great for getting to know like minded people even if its unlikely you ever get to meet them, I always enjoy your blog & look forward to seen all you get up to in the coming year mate :)

    1. Thanks Frank! I think you absolutely nailed it with "blogs are great for getting to know like minded people even it's unlikely you ever get to meet them" and also why I'm wondering if I should really make an effort to grow the blogs followers, to be able to interact with more like minded people. Especially since I'm kind of a man on island currently :)

    2. Ivor, a good way to help grow you blog might be to find blogs of people who you think are like minded to yourself & then add them to your blog roll, I've noticed that on a few of the blog I've added to my own blog roll that some of the people that follow my blog are now following some of these.

      The only forums I post on are pulp allay & adventures in lead & even then I only post PA AAR's & only do so to help support Dave but have gotten new followers by doing so.

      I don't post on Facebook even though I'm a member of many a gaming group on facebook even my own clubs :) but if you really want to grow your blog then the more nets you put out the more fish your likely to catch :)

      Anyway I hope that helps, but even if it doesn't I'll still be popping in to see your amazing work & have a chat :)

    3. I'm right with you on the blogs of other people who are like minded - it's actually kind of funny to see the same names pop up in comments :)
      Ironically it was Dave who linked my Agent Carter posts to Facebook and that's when I saw a bit of an increase in views (though it more than likely was just Russian bots lol!).
      I think a lot of the hesitation goes back to our conversation a while ago about quality of posts, good or bad - are WIP's posts for example stuff people want to see or is it better to just put up one post with the beginning to the finished product. I hesitate to put WIP's up because I have such a hard time focusing that all people would seem to see would be unfinished projects lol!
      Probably the best thing to do is just play a lot more games, write up AAR's and share those on LAF.

    4. I think something we also need to keep in mind Ivor & its something I've noticed on both my own blog & others, is that more followers doesn't mean you get more inter action with more people, I was amazed when I done that calcification post to see someone comment that I didn't know even looked at my blog & he admitted that it was the first time he ever commented on any blog.

      What I'm trying to say in around about way mate is people follow what we crazy blogger's do in different ways & its normal for me to get a lot more views then I've got followers on a post that wasn't linked anywhere else.

      At the end of the day I think with most people they look but don't comment & like to see all kinds of things be it unpainted models WIP or AAR's, its just down to us bloggers to decide what it is we want to take the time to post about :)

    5. That's a valid point. Especially about not commenting - but maybe you'd get more suggestions or critiques with WIP posts, kind of hard to give suggestions on a completed project except for a "maybe next time you could try..."

  2. Damn ... great job Ivor! You beat the crap out of me. I didn't even go back to see all the failures I listed for 2017 ... just looking forward pretending I didn't write anything down ... hahahahahah! Avoid Kickstarter and not buy anything new ... come on now ... at least keep things in the realm of possibility ;-) lol Humans have to breath ... Ivor needs Kickstarter ... you know nothing Jon Snow. I will say, although I've been absent on posting to TMP/LA recently, TMP by far drives more blog traffic than any other sources. I'll say it again - you well deserved to have your Agent Carter game in Wargames Illustrated ... it was top notch stuff!

    1. Thanks Jay! I don't know about beating you per se, but I did have my best year :)
      Yeah, not sure why I was kidding myself about new stuff or Kickstarter - now that the videos are coming out for Gangs of Rome I'm sure UPS will be stopping by the house soon.
      Still torn regarding TMP - it definitely serves a purpose, but it really feels like Facebook for grumpy old men. Maybe it's because it's always the same old usual suspects voicing their grumpiness all the time, just not sure I want to be a part of that even if it is simple links to the blog.
      Appreciate the kind words about the Carter game :)

  3. If I notice someone links my blog I always link back. I do put occasional links on TMP and FB Hobby pages and you do get an increase in hits but not a lot of actual followers. I also subscribe to the TGN network and again you get the odd hit. After several years now I think I have a core which averages about 80 per post. I do it because I enjoy it. Good luck for 2018.

    1. For some reason I'm not showing on your followers George, but I've been there since the get go when you were just starting looking out that window lol! I'm going to hit follow again and see if I pop back in the list.
      I'm not familiar with TGN so I'll look into that.
      Much appreciated!