Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Total Bloggage

There is some wargaming in there somewhere!

I have far too many blogs. 18 Wargames ones. Two non wargames ones under this incarnation (one is under construction) and two blogs under another incarnation which mainly feature pictures of naked women and me ranting about transport and foreigners so would not be of interest to wargamers.

Now, I started blogging in November 2005 with my Spartans blog. The purpose of the process was to discipline me into concentrating on one army and putting my finished units up one by one to encourage me to do more. My problem having always been that I want armies for everything and so I can't focus. I'd love to be someone who just does one thing (like the man in Italy who painted a 1:1 Roman Legion) or even someone who has a main period and then 1 or 2 subsidiary period (yes, Giles, like you!). But no. I'm working on over 30 WAB armies plus dozens of others from prehistoric times through to World War 2. Given that only two men in my family have ever lived past 50 (I'm 49!) the chances of finishing any are negligible but I keep starting new ones.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is that I am more of a painter than a wargamer. I very rarely go to Guildford Wargames Club (2 or 3 times a year, maybe) so I don't feel the need to get armies finished. it's a vicious circle really. I don't have any complete armies to field so I don't play very often.

So the disciplining effect of having a blog to make me concentrate was doomed and instead I just proliferated blogs. This would be fine but a weird thing happened: people started to look at them. Oddly, I hadn't considered that; they really were supposed to be for me. Somewhere I could store information on units and points values etc. together with links to other websites I found useful. But he Sudan blog has averaged 2,500 views a month over the last two years and this one averages 1,200 a month. The Cavegirls blog (yes, I know it is only marginally about wargaming!) has had over 100,000 visits in just under two years. One of my other incarnation's blogs had reached a third of a million views and was getting 1,200 visits a day. This latter one, however, was recently deemed "objectionable" after a complaint to Blogger (because I wrote a not very enthusiastic piece about Michael Jackson, I suspect) and now only gets 12 a day because a lot of office software blocks blogs labelled "objectionable" by Blogger . The point being, that at some point I realised I had an audience and felt compelled to add content to service it.

I realised today that I haven't updated three of my blogs since 2008 and I was thinking about what I could paint to give them another entry. In other words, the existence of the blogs is driving my painting! So expect something on Darkest Africa, Swashbucklers and Byzantines in the next few weeks. Perhaps the best solution would be to do my one unfinished figure a week for these unloved blogs.


  1. Your situation mirrors mine exactly!

    I still haven't determined if my blogs encourage me to get more painting in, or if they just add to the guilt trip.

    I suspect the latter, but I do enjoy working on my blogs. It has become a hobby within a hobby, so to speak.

    Look forward to more your end!

  2. Weird!I was just looking at your blogs today and wondering how your Olustee project was going!

  3. It goes, if slowly.

    These days I've been working on my Napoleonics, but I've been leisurely re-basing the Federals.

    I usually work on a base or two when I happen to be basing my French, and while I have all the basing paraphernalia handy. It's a messy task.

  4. Even with just one blog I sometimes feel that the blog is running me when it should be the other way around. That's partly why I had such difficulties in trying to prise myself away from the AWI - I felt that the blog, as (largely) a specialist AWI one, needed regular AWI updates rather than posts on other periods. Also, I do have regular-ish opponents for the AWI and painting stuff for particular games kept me focused on that period.

    If I didn't have the blog or get involved in AWI games, then it's probable that I would have left the period much earlier than I did (and I'm kind of back now, anyway..). There's no denying that knowing an army will be used does keep one working away at it, whilst knowing that what you paint won't be used does encourage one to butterfly.

    Another point relevant to being a "painter" rather than a "gamer" (which is certainly what I am) is that I think it helps to find a period that has sufficient variety to keep one's interest. The AWI has certainly provided that for me, but I can see how if I was doing Romans or some other army where everyone is pretty much dressed the same and carrying the same weapons and gear, I'd get pretty bored pretty quickly. (In my own case I also admit to a certain megalomania, in that a couple of years ago I did take a conscious decision to concentrate on building up one of the largest AWI collections one could reasonably expect to build.)

    But ultimately it's your hobby, not anyone else's, so do what you want without worrying about it. I used to get a complex about not being a "proper wargamer" because I only play 2-3 games a year or whatever, but who cares? I enjoy my approach and what I'm doing and that's what matters. If at the end of it all I have a small number of decent armies then that's a bonus.

  5. Only today, I tried accessing your Cave Girls blog, but hit a "Blogger Content Warning".

    Despite clicking on the "I Understand and Wish to Continue" button several times, I was still blocked from accessing it.

    I doubt very much whether clicking on the only alternative of "I Do Not Wish to Continue" would allow access...

  6. Hmm. Well it works when I try so I can only think that it is some filter setting on your machine...