Tuesday 31 December 2019

Old School Gaming: 2019 Review

Hi folks,

We are ushering in a new year and it is time to take stock and take a look ahead at what lies beyond. The previous year has not been an easy one for blogging in general, but I have also been finding it challenging to keep my hobby mojo going in the face of increasing work stresses. I have often found myself with plenty of ideas for posts, but little time to bring them to fruition.

As other bloggers have mentioned, one of the reasons for the decline in blogging seems to be the lamentable move from the traditional blog to even shorter forms of interaction (Instagram, Twitter, etc), or videos on YouTube. In the case of the former, I have had some fairly limited experience posting and commenting during 2019, you can find me @m4cr0dutch on both if you like. Of the two, I prefer Instagram, though I'm hoping to be a little more organic in how I use both of these platforms. I know my interaction style and want it to shine through in everything I do. For my own sanity, I would also like to do a little more microblogging of progress on Instagram and Facebook, with more substantial pieces being reserved for this blog (Blogger).

As you can see, not a huge presence yet, but I'm warming to it.

Another big change for me was the death of Google+. I really enjoyed the community we had going on there and the connectivity it had with my blog. When all of the Google+ comments were deleted from the blogs it was a bit gut-wrenching (even though I archived that stuff earlier). I have said previously that the comments on a blog are bit a like seams of gold in a rock-face. The fact that fewer people are interacting in this way, and that it got suddenly harder for a while, had a significant destabilising effect on the blogosphere (at least the ones I was paying attention to).

I immediately transitioned to MeWe, and having been trying my best to support and grow that community as an Admin. There are some really wonderful people on there, so if you are looking for a place to hang out and share your work, drop in some time: here's the group link.

I have also started a Facebook group to support this blog, which I am hoping to microblog on more in the future, with shorter progress reports and pictures of games, etc. These are the kinds of things that aren't making it onto my blog at the moment, because blogger is a more time-consuming way of sharing for me. I just can't afford to invest that amount of time on every little thing that I do, but I think about doing it all the time which ties me up in knots. Again, if you are interested, come and find me on Facebook!

Whilst blogging has never been about the stats for me, I noticed a while back that the growth of my views had plateaued at about 4000 per month. After Google+ this has stayed the same, but the variance has been massive. The two peaks this year were due to some dodgy website in the Ukraine; I somehow doubt that they have any interest in my Iron Snakes. My goals for 2020 aren't really related to views, but more related to posts. I am hoping to post more regularly, at least 5 times a month, next year, with plenty of little updates along the way to catch the neat stuff I work on during the week. I still much prefer to post my thoughts here and record in more detail the processes and decision making that go into a project.

Well, that's it for 2019! I'm looking forward to getting home and finishing off the stuff on my table, which includes some really cool Iron Snake Primaris marines. My brother-in-law Andrew gave me Agricola for Christmas, so hopefully I'll have a review of that popping up somewhere in the next couple of days. 

Finally, I would like give a big shout out to two distinct, but not unrelated, groups of people. To my blogging brothers and sisters, I want to thank you for all of the posts you made this year. It has been a tough slog for some of us, but we made it through and we are still raising the Standard of Fortitude high! You do great work and I love reading about your projects and gaming exploits. I am in the process of refreshing my Honour Roll (Blog Roll), so if you have a blog that you think I would enjoy, let me know.   

"He who stands beside me is my brother."

I would also like to say a huge thank you to my gaming mates here in Australia. Whether it be BattleTech Tuesday, Pathfinder Monday, D&D every-second-Wednesday, Random Game Friday, Gaming Roast Sunday, MtG Arena/Facebook smack talk (every night), the team painting sessions, Mashfest 2019 or epic full-day boardgame blow-outs (looking at you Rising Sun...); you are keeping the dream alive. Even when I can't make it, reading/hearing about your exploits warms the double heat sinks of my heart. I'm hoping to get a few of the guys to do some guest articles in the following year, for no other reason than I admire them and want to share that with whoever will listen.



See you in 2020!




  1. Glad you are not dropping the blog entirely, I really find Insta-media just push push “look what I’ve done” and no depth of how and why and what process or colours. It’s a shame I think but to be frank, it’s a society thing in general, the likes of blogging is an older generation thing imho. I’m not on FB or Insta or Twitter so I’ll keep watching my Blogroll for when you do pop up. Regardless of how you post, May your cup of hobby mojo overflow and keep enjoying this fine hobby! And may it rain soon down under and dampen the fires!

    1. Cheers mate, we sure do need the rain, the last 24 hours have been horrific. I am hoping to post more here in 2020, as I much prefer this style of sharing the hobby. I'm hoping to use the other platforms to post ghe little things that never seem to make it here on the blog, but still rattle around my brain needing an "out"!

    2. After re-reading my post, I really felt it needed the word "lamentable" somewhere, because I really have found the current move towards social media chaff posts frustrating. I have edited it now, to make my lamentations heard :-)

  2. I've had an 'is blogging dead?' post in draft for about 2 years now... I think that proves it's not! You are right though in that things have got tougher, certainly for me. I've documented quite extensively about how my work's IT policy has hampered not only my own blogging efforts but also my ability to to see others pictures on their posts. It's therefore tough to catch up and comment on things I can't actually see! ��

    I'm glad there are still those that persevere blogging and also comment (like Siph). My own social aspects are formed around automatically sending my blog posts to twitter, plus the occasional comment. For me though it's connecting with those hobbyists already on there, which although it can be reciprocal in following each other and increases 'reach' I don't lose sleep about chasing new followers or likes. Instagram is just for my finished items, I fundamentally struggle with the concept of an image sharing site that makes zooming in to pictures difficult... Or maybe that's just me.

    Regardless Marc, you do sterling work and it's always been a pleasure to see what you've created.

    1. It's not just you, I really struggle to engage with them meaningfully. I am just going to have a play with it this year to see if I can record some of the little things that would never make it to this blog. I can remember when I had 7 views a week, but they were all people I cared about deeply, so that was perfect for me :-) I think that is the right attitude to take in all this. Genuine connections between people are the goal, not clicks on a page (unless, you know, that funds some kind of project or something!).

  3. I'm fairly new to your blog as I usually play in 15mm scale, but decided to visit after your post MeWe.
    Keep on blogging mate, I know I will.
    Blogger is a great hobby outlet, even if no-one comments it can be fun to look back at your own posts and see what you've accomplished in a year.
    It's most unfortunate that so many make the move to FB or Instagram,I'm not a fan of these platforms.

    1. Cheers mate :-) I'm not going anywhere; I am aiming to blog more this year, regardless of what happens. I also agree wholeheartedly, I love looking back and reading my own old articles. It really can put you in the right head-space to take on something difficult when you relive what you have already achieved. As for the instagratification platforms, a lot of my non-gaming/blogging friends live in that world now. I'll dip my toes in for their sake, but I'm not going for a swim (if you know what I mean!).