Tuesday, December 20, 2016

10 Years

Ten years ago this week we got a new computer. It’s an imac. Don’t ask me what version. The computer it replaced was one of the original imacs (You know one of THESE). I think we’d had it 8 years at that point.

That original imac was getting super slow at doing stuff because it was clogged up with programs and stuff it just couldn’t run and navigating the internet was painful as it took forever to load every website. Some wouldn’t ever load.

So we got a new one.

With the new ability to navigate the interwebs I decided it was high time to start a blog – to reach out to my fellow game nerds and hopefully inspire others as others had inspired me with theirs. So ten years ago on this day (20 December 2006) I started this blog.

I’m still using that same computer.

Ten year old imac is starting to have the same troubles the original one did – slow to load certain websites. Every month there are new ones that I can’t load at all. Haven’t been able to look at Fantasy Flight Games website for a year now. Gmail now only loads the "BAsic HTML Version". At the beginning of the summer the MEC started giving me this when I tried to go there:

Smart asses…

I am loath to get a new one. Amanda has a slightly newer one that her and the kids are using. I don’t like the new photo program – it doesn’t have the same function as the one on this computer – how does THAT work!? A newer program on a newer computer can’t do the things I like being able to do on my old one!?

Also this computer has a 10 year old versions of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. I use them once a month or so. Apparently you can’t even load those on to new computers – you have to pay monthly fee to use them online..?! Is that right?! Ugh…. I don’t’ use them that much, but I do use them once in a while and it will be a super pain in the ass not having them. Not being able to edit photos in the same way…

Anyway… This was meant to be a celebration of 10 years of blogging and a little look back, but instead it’s turned into a whiney rant about computers and the annoyance of having to buy a new one every decade.

I should have got on this earlier, so here are a few random highlights of the last ten years.

In those ten years I managed to crank out 1475 posts. (Damn… if I’d only cranked out 25 more this could have been the 1500th post!). just before the 6th anniversary of the blog I posted my 1000th post: A Bit About Mewhich itself was a bit of a retrospective of all the gaming I’d done over the years (so I guess I don’t need to cover that again…).

One month after I I started this blog I announced the Original Plan for the Vimy Project. You could almost say that this blog has simply been a chronicle of that mad hair-brained scheme – and all the distractions I faced… (if there are more distractions than work on the project, can you really say you’re still working on it..?)
 While trying to think of what I was going to write for this post I got to looking at the Blog labels (over on the left there) and considering how much of the blog was devoted to which subjects. I should point out the blog post labels aren’t necessarily the best indicator of how many post there are on a particular topic sometimes posts on a given topic might fall under two labels and I know sometimes I might both, but other times I may have only used one or the other…. At this point, though, I’m not going to go through 1475 posts to make sure they are all accurately labeled!!

Of the 1475 posts over the last 10 years at least 875 of those posts fell under the label Painting Update, which are just posts showing off what I’d managed to paint since I last posted stuff. I think the next more prevalent were Hordes of the Things (at 184) and DBA (at 127), which makes sense as I played a LOT of HotT and DBA (and painted a lot of miniatures for those games) – especially in the earlier years… but not-so-much lately. I was surpeised to notice WW2 was at 140 – especially since Flames of War is at 3, Blitzkrieg Commmander is at 28, Bolt Action is at 14 - but after thinking about it a bit I realized a lot of those would have been painting updates on all the 28mm WW2 figures I’ve painted and were at first used for Savage Worlds.

Savage Worlds is currently at  91, which I also found a bit surprising – because in 2008 I started a whole separate blog (Savage Timmy’s Playhouse) devoted just to Savage Worlds gaming – I did this because a lot of my Savage Wrolds gaming was getting more RPG-ish than tabletop miniature wargaming and, at the time, I wanted to keep this blog, just about the miniatures… That has changed as and this blog has become more of a generic gaming blog (there are 32 posts with the Board Games label – indeed there are a number of labels now for specific board games. I don’t really post about ALL the board games I play… but I do sometimes.

125 posts have the Great War label, but only 35 have the Contemptible Little Armies, which had been my “go to” game for most of the Great War gaming I’ve done. So most of those posts are probably just of painted miniatures. There are 60 posts with the Vimy label.

There are 113 posts with the Fantasy label. This is a good example of where I’ve used a label sometimes or started using it after a time ut not all posts about fantasy have been given this label. As mentioned above Hordes of the Things - a fantasy game - has 184 posts devoted to it… yet Fantasy only ended up on 113 and a bunch of those would also be on the 48 posts with the Song of Blades and Heroes or the 36 with Frostgrave label – and 20 posts have the  Dragon Rampant label – and I’ve only played the game twice.

Cold War Commander Cold War Commander (50) and Savage Worlds Modern Ops (18), and more recent ones would be Force on Force(19).

Sci-Fi accounts for only 54. 41 posts have the 40K label – I know most of those are painting, becaue I’m pretty sure I’ve only actually played 2 games of 40K in the last 25 years… and both of those were in the last year! Future War Commander has 17 posts – so clearly not ALL Sci-Fi related posts were getting that label…

Samurai have 60 posts devoted to them, though it should have been labeled Feudal japan as I’m sure not all of those were just about Samurai… Although Feudal japan may not have been the most appropriate either as I’ll bet some of those Samurai posts were also about Legend of the Five Rings…

There are also 59 posts relating to Taking Stock of all my toys – the latest being last months count of ALL my 28mm figures (Stocktaking 2016)

There are at least 56 posts about Ancients - 34 on Ancient Greece, 14 on Ancient Egypt, and 28 on Romans… which doesn’t quite add up either…

Seven Years War comes in at 41, Terrain at 29, and I was a little surprised to discover there are actually more posts about
Zulus (34) than Zombies (34)!?

Other stats of interest...

Blogger has really only been tracking my stats since 2010, but for most of those last 6 years my blog has been getting, on average, about 12000 hits – something screwy has been going on since the spring because they went WAAAAAY up in May, June and July – that can’t actually be humans checking – especially considering there was nothing overwhelmingly exciting and new on the blog at that time.

The following spring I set up a Board Game Geek Account and I’ve been tracking game plays ever since. Looking back at the games played in the last 10 years, I have pleyd the following Miniature War Games:

232 games of Savage Worlds.
113 games of Hordes of the Things
68 games of De Bellis Antiquitatis
43 games of Song of Blades and Heroes
33 games of Ronin: Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai
21 games of Frostgrave
16 games of Force on Force and another 16 games of Ambush Z
14 games of Cold War Commander
10 games of Blitzkrieg commander
9 games of Ever Victorious Armies
4 games of 40K
4 games of Bolt Action
4 games of Fear and Faith
3 games of Modern Ops
3 games of Black Powder
3 games of X-Wing
2 games of Flames of War
2 games of Dragon Rampant
1 game of AK-47 Republic, Broken Legions, Canvas Eagles, Dystopian Wars, Flying Lead, Flashing Steel, Future War Commander, Fleet Action Imminent, Fast Play Grand Armee, and Lion Rampant

Some games may not have been tracked… I’m sure I’ve played a few games of Wargaming 19th Century Europe in there… Or maybe I just missed them when copying and pasting stuff…? (not going to bother listing all the board games… go to the hyertextified-link above if you want to see those too…).

Well that’s enough blathering… I think I should just stop now. I’ll finish up by saying the most rewarding part of the whole experience has been, as I originally set out to do, connect with other game nerds out there. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated every comment that people have been so kind enough to take the time and post. You guys are all awesome! Thanks for a great 10 years. Hopefully I’ll be boring you with another retrospective in another 10.

 If you've got a moment how about drop me a line below and remind me how long you've been following the blog and what your favourite post was so far!

Thanks again!


  1. Keep your old computer for graphics work andd transfer the files via USB stick to a newer internet capable machine

    10 years? That's like a hundred tech years! Boy those Macs keep on trucking.

    1. I've actually been doing that already - as I can't load pictures from my computer to facebook anymore - I crop and export them on my computer, save them on a memory stick and drop them onto Amanda's computer where I have to log in and upload photos. Bit of a pain in the ass. I've been lucky that blogger still (mostly) works on my computer!

      My bigger worry that at some point this computer is going to give up the ghost and I'll HAVE to get a new one that doesn't do what I want it to the way I want it to...

  2. Congrats and thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks, Alan. The feeling is mutual, your blogs have inspired me as well.

  3. Congratulation on your 10th anniversary , sadly I think you will find modern computers wont last 10 years , Tony

    1. Thanks, Tony! I don't think most 10 year old computers last 10 years. I think I've been pretty lucky that this one hasn't sputtered and died so far.

  4. Congrats! Your "DPM Painting Tutorial" got me back in to painting after a long hiatus, so I guess I've been following for around eight years now... Actually, I can't think of another blog that I've followed consistently for even HALF that long, so thanks again for all of the entertainment and inspiration, and here's looking forward to the next eight. Bravo!

    1. Wow! That was eight years ago!? Not only is it the most popular post - in terms of hits - I think it's the one that most people have asked me to do more of. Part of me would like to do more step-by-step instructional posts, as it was fun and in terms of my goal of inspiring people it was an obvious success... but it was also time consuming and mostly I'd rather just get more stuff painted. Not saying "never", but after eight years, it seems it's really not a priority...

      I suppose I did try to take a few process photos of my Frostgrave terrain building, which was similar and a lot of people said it was very helpful...?

      Thanks, J!

  5. Been a secret admirer for three years now and at times I feel like a pauper peering into a window at the Vanderbilt's mansion. I really enjoy the September 30 games in 30 days series.


    1. Well come on in and put your feet up by the fire, all are welcome here!

      Funny story about the 30 Games in 30 Days Challenge - Just before the September of second year we did it, I noticed on blog I follow (Gaming with the Gnomies), I noticed that Eric was getting ready to do something similar with his daughters and I though "Hey, we did the same thing and I didn't even realize it was a thing... y'know... that other cool people actually do!" then I read a little further on and realized he'd gotten the inspiration from my own blog!? Realizing I'd inspired others to play more games (especially with their kids) is the best feeling ever!

      This year, in addition to the 30 games in 30 days Challenge, I thought I'd get everyone in the family (well, at least me and the kids... not sure if Amanda will join in) to write a list of 50 games that we want to play over the next year and... well.. PLAY them! It would mean we'd have to play about 3 (or 4..?) games a week, which is do-able...

  6. Great work, Tim - always find your blog a good read 👍

  7. Very well done, Tim! While I have not been following for your entire ten year tenure, I certainly enjoy what I have seen since discovering you. When did I begin following? That I cannot answer but a quick check of when I first made a comment would be a very good gauge.

    While I always enjoy for painting parade and Vimy project, my favorite postings center around you family gaming exploits. I must check up on your Feudal Japan project.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Jonathan!

      I'd had a few Feudal Japan things for a long time. I picked up a bunch to make a DBA army at one point. Then I got excited about Legends of the Five Rings and picked up a PILE of those, but what really got me painting them was Ronin - the skirmish wargame from Osprey. I also happened to be participating in the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge that year, so I cranked out a great many of them. They are some of my favourite figures ever - I did a lot of patterning and detailing in the clothes. It all culminated in a very successful weekend skirmish campaign... and then moved on to other things and I don't think I've played it since or painted anymore of the figures...

      I have over 300 blogs on my blogger reading list (I only know this because when I've tried to manually add blogs into the list in the past blogger has told me I have over 300 and have to delete some to add a new one... but strangely when I use the "follow me" gadget on blogs that has one, it still lets me add them...?). It's a little hard to keep up with all of them. I know I'd had your blog on my follow list for some time, but the post that really made me sit up and think "I need to check in on this one regularly" wasn't even a miniature wargame post - it was the ones about your trip to Peru! Not that your miniature are anything short of magnificent or that I don't love your game reports, I just really love it when the authors of the blogs I follow slip in a post or two about... other stuff... it really makes them stand out. In what can seem like and endless sea of beautifully painted miniatures and exciting game reports - it's the posts about other stuff that allow me to somehow visualize the author as... I don't know.. a real person...? Someone that can be related to....? Does that make any sense? (not trying to say that I think all the other blogs I follow are made by unrealatable wargaming robots or anything...)

      Early on in my blogging I started a few other blogs (I mentioned Savage Timmy's Playhouse, but I also started an Art Blog and a Bicycling blog) thinking that they were very separate interests and the people that might be drawn to a blog about cycling wouldn't be interested in wargaming and vice versa... but I have come to realize this was probably a mistake. Especially considering how very little I've posted on the others (and the correspondingly small audience they've garnered), I should have just done this as simply Tim's Blog and included everything here... Or Tim's Miniature Wargaming (and Sometimes other stuff) blog!

    2. Tim, very pleased to hear that you enjoy my travelogues and especially Peru in 2015. My wife and I returned to Italy in September and I ought to make an effort to put together a travelogue from that most recent adventure.

      I think it good practice to mix in some non-wargaming fare into our blogs so that outsiders may see a glimpse of normalcy! I put in cycling as well as travel into the blog and those postings get comments too.

    3. I have ESPECIALLY enjoyed your cycling posts (being a bit of a bike geek myself).

      Even though I'm not a sailor, I really enjoy the sailing posts on Steve's Random Musings on Wargaming and Other stuff.

  8. It's been an enjoyable ride Tim, glad to have been a part of some of the shenanigans! Has it really been that long? When did we first meet? Surely at Fallcon many years ago. Well, we can certainly look forward to the next 10, by then we should all have holo-decks!

    1. Didn't you come out to a Hero's Gambit in Saskatoon with CVT to play Mordhiem...? That was well OVER ten years ago. I think the last Hero's Gambit was the year before I started my blog... and the year you came out would have been the year before that, because I'm pretty sure CVT didn't come to the last one. That first Vimy game I ran was at mayday in teh spring of 2007 and I know you played in my Back of Beyond - Contemptible Little Armies game at Fallcon later that year.

    2. Oh, no, I lied. I posted some pictures from Hero's Gambit 2006 (which, I think, was the last one - or at least the last one I participated in...) and there's a picture of CVT playing in my Savage Worlds: Rippers game. I remember now he played "The Choir Master" - it was an English Civil War puritan preacher miniature (black cassock and skull cap with a sword and bible) who was followed around by a hoard of little choirboys (made by West Wind) - who could sing and drive away evil things... but him (and maybe the Jeffs) wouldn't let up on the innuendo about preachers and little boys...

    3. I did indeed come down for a couple of the Heroes Gambits & definitely remember playing Mordhiem, in fact that is when Chris first got me into playing it. I still really like that game & am looking forward to it's new release by GW.

  9. I haven't ready every single post but I've read a good proportion even so. Thoroughly your posts regardless of topic, scale or genre. Here's to another cracking 10 years mate!

  10. Great work, Tim, you have a venerable blog!

  11. Congratulation s on reaching 10 years! A stirling effort and result. i don't have one particular favourite but I have enjoyed all the SoBH AARs. Especially if it has the ford in it. From reading all those AARs, I seem to have gotten a little au fait with some of your terrain boards!

    1. Thanks, Shaun! I hope to play a lot more Song of... games this coming year. Stay tuned!

  12. I like the variety in your posts, not that I'm bothered by a sea of khaki every now and again, I'm mainly a modeler/painter who occasionally games, I like it that your geared more towards gaming, it's interesting because it's a slightly different viewpoint from mine I guess. I went back and worked through all your posts, it was an interesting exercise! Especially as I've never done hordes of things or DBA, I've just played frostgrave and am about to put together a warband, I found the series of posts fun even though I was only doing historical at the time and now it's back to fantasy! Oh well, always a good read even when your fed up!
    Best Iain

  13. Lately I've been feeling more like a modeller/painter, as it feels like I've PLAYED very little this past year. I was playing a bit of Frostgrave in January/February... and I got in one game of Dragon Rampant over the summer while visiting Bob in Edmonton... and of course the REGINA TRENCH! game at ToonCon. Maybe that's what's getting me down with the Vimy Project - lots of painting, not much PLAYING!

    If I took stock of the miniatures I had and noted whether they'd ever been used in a game, I have no doubt I'd have hundreds (if not thousands) that have never actually seen action on the tabletop - but 99% of them were painted WITH GAMING IN MIND! I just sometimes never get to actually PLAYING the games I imagine as I paint them. (there are occasional miniatures I do just paint for fun knowing it is incredibly unlikely that I'll EVER use them in a game). many of the ones have haven't been used are ones where I haven't finished enough of the force to play with and/or haven't finished opponents (New Kingdom Egyptian DBA army is a perfect example; well over half painted, but not enough to PLAY with - even if I HAD an opponent painted.... which I don't, because the only opposing army I own are the Nubians and they're even less painted...).

    Perhaps that is why I've been finding skirmish games more rewarding over the last few years. There's more immediacy to them - I paint a handful of guys and BOOM they're on the table fighting each other!

    This is also why I've been feeling like I need to get Skirmish Saturday Nights going again in the new year - at the risk of becoming further distracted fro the Great War projects... Maybe I just need to make a pact that, until April, I will only play skirmish scenarios using ALREADY PAINTED miniatures - goodness knows I have enough and this shouldn't be TOO much of a hardship...

    Thanks so much for your comment, Iain - and indeed all of your comments of late - they really do keep me going!

  14. Wow, 10 years! I don't think I've been reading it that long, though I don't recall when it was that I started following your blog. It's been very entertaining, though I enjoy the game posts more than the painting posts.

    Any chance that just upgrading the browser on your old computer will help it last a bit longer? It shouldn't be hard to find a library of newer versions of your preferred browser online.

    Regards, Gordon