We have stepped into the last month of 2010. Can you believe we have spent a decade in the future? My entire post-education life has been in this wonder-world. Eleven years out of high school, and what have I done? Amassed a mis-matching dinner set, a greater dependence on my nerd activities and a house I can only just pay for. This truly is beyond 2000. Open the pod bay doors Hal.
Ok, that sounded a little more depressing than I intended for an introduction. My point is, here we are at the end of another year. Specifically, the end of the second year I have been writing on Inane Courage. So how should one begin to cap off a year? Why, by savaging other well-meaning writers blogs of course!
Savaging is not the right word at all. What this is going to be is a brief list of Warhammer blogs that I have started to read this year, and ones that have dropped off my list. Simple as that. As always I will give my honest reasons why things have gone onto or dropped off of the list. If you have learnt anything about me, you know I’m full of barmy explanations.
Shall we begin.
Not because it has a Skaven-centric name, or because the author is an Under Empire Forum member. It is filled with honest and informative pieces, like thoughts on aspects of the game or how army lists should be designed. It also posts regularly, which is a big bonus.
Fields of Blood
Lots of Australia specific tournament talk.
Little Green Monsters
Some really excellent hobby work, especially the ideas and techniques used on sculpting greenstuff. Plus an excellent and descriptive photographic style. Helpful when you want to see the little details!
An all-round read. Little bits a pieces of interest, news, models, and generally informative grabs of the whole hobby. It can sporadically update, but then again, what good blog doesn’t?
Cyborg Trucker’s Role Playing and War Gaming Blog
This blog is especially dear to my heart. Such inspirational work in a wrapper that is like being punched in the face with a cheese grater. You can see that the author is all about the hobby and not about the ‘blog glamour’. Which is rather refreshing.
The Fortress Monastery
It hasn’t updated in 8 months, with no explanation. Off the list. Which is a shame, because I was enjoying some of the 40k hobby content. Especially the Ork wagon conversions.
A Mind of Metal and Wheels
Hasn’t updated in over a year. And here I was looking forward to seeing how the battlefield turned out. Well worth a look, though, for some interesting terrain making guides.
Mordheim in Limburg
Just as this was getting going, it ground to a halt. I really wanted to hear some more about their modular terrain ideas.
The Hunt For the Warpstone Alchemist
This blog in particular looked like it was going to be something special. But it never got past that initial hurdle of, you know, adding any content at all. Which is a shame, because the idea behind it is a fascinating one. But I suppose the world was built on good intentions.
There we have it. Congratulations to those who have become part of my regular reading. And to those on the Out list, thanks for playing. No offence intended, but if something isn’t delivering the decision has to be made at some point to let it go. But if you start updating again, let us know.
Lastly, I am going to throw in a shout out to The Trading Post. Unlike the other blogs, this is one that is made for your contributions. So get onto there and soak it all up.
The call is out at The Trading Post. Kuffy want to take the next step with The Trading Post and turn it into a real hub for Warhammer bloggers. About time someone got around to this.
There are a tonne of conventional media type of Warhammer blogs around. Bell of Lost Souls and Battle Reporter being two reasonably well-known ones. While they offer a useful and completely legitimate experiences, they have always irked me. The last thing I need is dozens of websites regurgitating the same Games Workshop press releases. Hell, I even do that here on occasion.
What’s more (and this is going to sound down right mean) there is this certain kind of parasitic relationship I find between these news blogs and regular Warhammer bloggers. The news blogs seem to feed off of the content of the Warhammer bloggers, but don’t give anything back. Sure, they offer things like forums and whatnot, but this is still content being generated that the news blogs benefit from. Not the Warhammer bloggers.
I’m sure this isn’t an intentional or malicious act. Most of the time those who run these sites are also part of the Warhammer blogging fraternity too. It has become an accepted practise, one which I suppose everyone thinks they are benefiting from. But these news blogs keep growing in scope without actually bringing in anything new. They just increase their capacity to leech from others.
Okay, I realise I sound a little cynical, but I suppose I have seen the true heart of darkness. Once upon a time I did work for a company that ran a news website (not about Warhammer, but about an equally niche market), that made money by sapping content from those hard-working, free bloggers. Now, I’m not saying that is what is happening here, not in the quantities I saw at least. But we have taken the first step on a slippery slope. One I hope we can avoid totally.
If you don’t believe me, look at the mess commercial video game websites and blogs are in. Masses of companies trying to squeeze pennies from the same sets of press releases and free content they can pillage. Sure it is starting to get better, what with innovative new ideas like Bitmob, but the general wild west mentality is still there somewhat. I realise that Warhammer (and miniature wargaming in general) hasn’t reached quite these commercial heights, but where there are consumers there is a potential for eventual commercial growth. At some point someone is going to come along and make a lot of hard-working people unhappy. We just need to take account for this.
I’m not trying to incite anyone to take up arms and bring down the establishment. What I am actually trying to say is, we just need to get along.
What I like about Kuffy’s idea for The Trading Post is it becoming not another wall of noise, more of the same trying to sucker people in without offering something new, but becoming a place where those interested in creating, developing and building their Warhammer blogs can go. It is very hard to improve and grow when there is no feedback, no way to gauge the market at large and decide how you fit. By having a place where everyone can share their collected experience and data in an open format we can all begin to create a better quality of product.
So I encourage everyone who has a Warhammer blog to pop over to The Trading Post and hit Kuffy with your ideas and suggestions. Post them in the comments, on the forum, or send Kuffy an email. I’m sure he doesn’t care how you get them to him, just as long as you are comfortable doing it. Then we can start to take the first steps towards whatever future Warhammer holds for us.