Saturday, 30 December 2017

Top posts of 2017

Hi all!

Well this feels weird - I've decided to try and stay fully on top of things this year, so I'm beginning my review of the top posts on the blog today, 11th January! Given the popularity levels on the blog last year, I decided that I'll start the review by including any posts that garner over 1000 views. In my experience, bots tend to just hit the front page so as far as I'm concerned, figures on views for posts should be pretty accurate (I hope). The summaries of these posts will be written as I go, so hopefully when we get to the end of the year all I will need to do is post up a final figure for views on each post.

First up then we have my cupboard of shame post from the 9th January 2017.

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Emperor's Children Rhino with FW upgrade doors
Emperor's Children Rhino with FW upgrade doors


At the time of writing this post has picked up 1145 views in under two days, which for me is pretty damn good. I think one of the key reasons behind this is I've decided this year also to try and get standard picture headers into my regular post features like this hobby update. It includes pictures of some of my favourite finished (or nearly finished) models and so as a header picture for a post, it's a lot more impressive than a dark, blurry shot of the latest state of my painting desk.

I think the other main reason for the post picking up so many views so quickly is that it contains something that we all like to see - potential! So many models that need painting and so many toys yet to hit the tabletop. It's pretty much guaranteed of course that the first time they actually get used they'll die almost instantly, but hey ho, that's the game I guess!

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Second post to 1000 views this year was my look at the space marine tactical squad.

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In January, I decided to review how I played the space marines, taking the time to re-learn the codex and pick up any nuances of play that I had forgotten or wasn't aware of, in an effort to improve my decision making in games in terms of what I tried to achieve with which units.

I decided on a method for reviewing the unit and ran through an assessment, finding 6 areas to look at. This certainly seemed to resonate with you, the readers and it garnered its 1000th view in just under four days.

I'm determined that this series will run a fairly long course, even if it does get invalidated by a new edition of 40k in the summer, and the next unit in my sights is the devastator squad.

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Third post to 1000 views was my showcase of the limited edition terminator chaplain.

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I entered an online raffle for the guy before Christmas 2016 and promptly forgot all about it - it was for charity and I never win stuff like that so didn't think anything more of it.

After Christmas, I got an email from Siph over at the Weemen blog stating I was the winner and could he have my address to send me the figure! Seeing as how expensive these guys were to get hold of on ebay, this really was my only chance of getting one, and when I'd first seen the sculpt I loved it.

Siph had another of them that he was intending on painting, so we made an agreement to complete them by the end of January 2017 and we'd both release our posts at the same time showcasing them.

I wasn't really expecting the result! Views on my blog exploded and the post, published at 9am on a Monday, had picked up over 1900 views by midday the following day.

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Fourth post to hit the four figure mark was my second road to competence article.

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This series is looking back at the space marine codex in conjunction with my unit reviews to figure out how best to make the most of the assets of the Adeptus Astartes. The post features mainly an assessment of the performance of my units in the first couple of games, 750pts against Militarum Tempestus and then 1000pts against Daemons.

There's nothing groundbreaking here but I do find it extremely helpful every so often to go back and take another look at the armies we think we know, to see if there's anything I've missed, or some other way of playing them that I'd not considered before.

These first two games have concentrated on a solid foundation of troops units mixed in with some more sparkly bits around the edges (Stormhawk, Contemptor etc). A few more games like this and I'll be ready to move on to building a bigger force, looking at increasing the size of the basic contingent and adding in much more focused extras - getting an all rounder force into 1000pts is tricky when your basic trooper costs 14pts.

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We're really starting to cook on gas now - 5 posts to hit the 1000 view mark and we're not even half way through February.

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This one was a bit of a surprise though - I've done the various Funny Friday posts for a while, but this one in particular seems to have been very popular!

Plasma guns kill marines hit the 1000 mark in next to no time, rapidly overtaking my next highest view post at the time.

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And this was that post, though it hit 1000 views over the weekend, thanks in no small amount to a promotion by Faeit 212.

Return to Golovin - Recon Strike was my first real attempt at a narrative battle report, following on from Station 19 - the silence of Golovin, a write up I did because I hadn't taken proper notes of a game Ryan and I had played with his new Chaos force.

We decided to do an interlinked series of games, using them as motivation for painting up our respective forces, with only fully painted models and terrain being used.

I even put a lot more effort into the post itself, learning some actual html code so that I could make the army lists look better, including a pic of the army and then a listing of the units within a table.

This game and post got us both excited for more, and hopefully you'll see plenty more of Golovin in this list as the year goes by!

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Nothing generates hits quite like a rumour post eh? And whilst I continue to stay out of the rumours game per se, I'm more than happy to write articles like this postulating on the veracity of those rumours.

8th edition 40k rumours – a burning eye view. was my latest article of this nature, although this time the article wasn't so much based on rumours but direct quotes from GW and their appearance at Adepticon.

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And that fact is demonstrated amply once more, as GW released an FAQ directly answering questions about the forthcoming new edition.

8th edition latest announcement - a burning eye view crept over the line a few days after publication, but to be honest there were so many blogs covering the news I'm not surprised as readers probably got a bit burned out.

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8th edition thoughts - a few games in

This one's an interesting one, because initially it was just tinkering along gathering views steadily as most of my posts do. Then the numbers spiked, and it turns out the lovely Steve Pardo had shared my post on the SN battle reports facebook page. Check them out here - I know a few guys who've been to their No Retreat events in Gibraltar and by all accounts you can't touch them for hobby fun (sadly with a young family the expenditure to go there for a weekend is a bit much for my bank balance at the moment).

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Another funny friday post, kind of cashing in on the death guard popularity at the time and one I saw when I saw pictures of a model and couldn't 'unsee' so I just had to share it with you all.

What are the death guard up to was probably viewed more by inquisitive nurgle fanciers thinking I might have some deep insight, but hey, they all count right?

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2000pt Genestealer Cult list - your input requested probably says more about the popularity of this latest faction in the 40k universe than it does the general view of my list writing skills, but even so I'm pretty pleased that so many took the time to at least look it over. Unusually it also garnered a few comments too, so obviously there are people out there reading my posts, and more than the regular few commenters I get.

Sadly the Kindred have been put on hold as a project for now, but rest assured will be coming to a table near you sometime in 2018 hopefully!

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Our final entry for the year is one I'm pretty proud of to be honest, because it's one of my own opinion pieces and a matter that I like to think I'm fairly competent at in all honesty.

List writing in 8th edition was a response to some articles I'd seen about 8th edition and really set out to show that list writing is just as much an important part of a functional tabletop army as your tactical choices during the game. Equally important was the message that effective list writing in 8th edition is a very different beast to 7th edition.


So there you have it, my most popular posts of the year. I'll do a full wrap up of the blog's year in 2018, but 2017 has been a great year for the blog as a whole, with over 40% of my total views since the end of 2012 coming in the last 12 months. It's a shame that the views have dropped a bit over the second half of the year, but I'm expecting to re-launch and re-vamp things early in 2018 with a few new regular series to replace some old ones. Any things you might like to see me run a blog series on please put your suggestions below!