Feldmutzkopf looks back on the Meanderings of this last calendar year.
For return readers of this blog, you will have seen references to my painting method, the hallmark of which is neither speed nor volume, and my patience with painting does wax and wane, I have to admit. Although there are times when I will to take a short break from painting, I generally like to have something in progress that I spend an hour or so per day working on, usually with a longer painting session at the end to complete. 2019 was no exception. For me this was a productive year. All told, I painted 160 figures (28mm all) as opposed to the 103 I painted in 2018. Of that modest total, 45 were cavalry (counted as 2 figures each), 55 were infantry or gunners (one figure each), and 15 were cannon (counted as 1 figure each). Once again, this year's painting involved a large proportion of horse (which doesn't help with speed or volume). This year there were also specialty projects that involved more time and effort than others in the painting list, like the candy striped Hungarian cannon, Mongol Specialty Figures, and two units of Prussian hussars.
This year I managed 36 posts, falling short of my original intent of posting once per week: such is life. I think that for me one post per week is still a good aim to keep in mind. I think in 2020 I could do a better job in posting more consistently by sprinkling in some shorter posts between the more "project-like" posts that I tend to wind up doing. Given that this blog is now in its 3rd year, I think it's safe to say that although the pace of posting may vary I have found an approach that is sustainable, something I think all bloggers wonder about when first launching blogs ("Can I keep this up?"). As has been mentioned by others, blogging and being part of the blogging community is an integral part of the hobby experience: I think that this is the key ingredient to sustaining a blog--and in turn the blog helps to sustain non-blog hobby activity. It all goes together (or does in the case of those who blog).
I picked up 3 followers this year: I started with 49 and now am at 52. I am gratified to have cracked 50, which seemed to have been an almost fixed barrier that I was stuck at. Once again, I have to thank fellow bloggers for adding my blog to their blog lists so that it pops up when updated. Statistics indicate that the most consistent source of visits to this blog is from other blogs.
The largest achievement of the year was finishing my Baroque Battles system and adding it to my content pages. I also managed a major update to my 19th Century Rules page (several updates to the VnB variant). The good news is that despite having only been active since March, the Baroque Battles page has reached 1176 views, second only to the Nine Years War page (which has 2468 views, but which has been active for several years). A bit less encouraging is that this flurry of activity on the Baroque Battles page has not translated into a battle report or any other feedback on whether anyone has tried the system or given it a good look. Then again, I haven't heard much about any of the other systems that I've posted, which also have good numbers of views. I was thinking that being a gridded system that BB might be a bit more accessible and thus invite a different sort of response. I take this in stride, though. Based on what I've read on other people's blogs who have posted rules and similar materials this is not unusual--so I don't take it personally. The fact that it has so many views does indicate interest, which I can take as an analogue to book sales (hey, it works for me!). It would be nice if there were stats available for the number of downloads as well. I have to say that I use my own habits to inform my read of things, too. I will download materials that I'm very interested in but then not get around to studying them or putting them into use after that--and that's not just free stuff: the same goes for rules that I pay for, too, come to think of it! Oh well, I enjoy coming up with these systems and blogging provides me a means to share them, which is also gratifying.
Based on my appreciation of the resource that I have found on other blogs, I wanted my blog to also be a hobby resource as well (aside from my "resourceful" blather, that is). Towards this end, I have "Wargaming and Hobby" links on the left side of my blog and "Interesting and Useful" links on the right side, and I'm always adding to them. Among this year's additions to the "Wargaming" links, I would recommend checking out the Fun With Army Men page with its simple rules (and variants) and many resource links at the bottom. When you're done with that, you might check out John Cooper's Website: a treasure trove of game design graphics, to include the SPI Icon library. Among the "Interesting and Useful" links I added two excellent map resources: The Third Mapping Survey of Austria Hungary (1910)--clicking on one of the mapsheets in the graphic will bring it up; and the Topographic Maps Online in the University of Minnesota Borchert Map Library. Looking over the Mapping Survey of Austria Hungary in particular brings on "campaign fever" for my 1866 Austrians and Prussians, and also my "revolting" Hungarians 😁.
ON TO 2020
Although 2019 has presented some personal and family distractions that diffused attention to the hobby at times, like "The Dude" in the Big Lebowski I have abided. I'm looking forward to another year of painting, gaming, and blogging in 2020.