This is actually a very different page to the Bio one. Whereas the Bio page is about me as a person, the author and just how utterly unremarkable I am, this page is 'about' my Blog. What you can expect from it and how I approach things on here. If I were a corporate type I might call this my 'mission statement' or maybe my 'customer pledge'. As I'm not I'm calling it my 'about' page. So what can you expect from the articles on this Blog, and how should they be approached? What's my position on things, and what is the ethos of this place?
Well I'd say there are few things at a higher level that you might find useful to know:
- I want this Blog to be a sort of record of my own hobbying experiences, so it'll be part 'diary'. As most Blogs are it seems.
- I want this Blog to useful to people, you the reader. A big motivating factor in all this for me is to help other hobbyists get the maximum enjoyment out of their hobby themselves. Whether this is by me pointing out good products in reviews, techniques for painting or anything really.
- I am not affiliated with any games company or retail chain, independent or otherwise in any way shape or form. Should this change I will always inform you here straight away. I think it's important in this day and age to state where you are coming from, and be clear about the things that influence you.
- This blog is currently not for profit, and I'd like to be able to keep it that way and maintain my independence. That mean's NO adverts and NO sponsorship. It does cost me money to run this Blog and that's why there is a contribute button, so you can help support me with contributions to the running costs of my Blog.
- I want this bog to be an interactive place, I want people to comment and debate here, so I'll often throw up thought provoking 'opinion' pieces, or 'Devil's Advocate' articles. The aim here is to get people thinking, not that I necessarily agree with everything in the articles I write, I think all too often in this hobby and on the Internet people remain blindly loyal, or openly hostile without any rational thought. I'd like that to change, at least here on this Blog. I rather not have 'group think'.
- I'm dyslexic, it's not so cripplingly bad that I struggle to function in day-to-day life like some unfortunate souls, but it does cause me problems. If you see poor sentence structure, or a bad spelling mistake let me know, but be gentle. I try really hard to keep things presentable and well written round here, but I'm going to mess up every now and then, it's just inevitable.
- This is my Blog, and my Blog only. I am the only author and that is how it will stay. In extreme cases I might consider a guest article, but it'd have to be pretty extreme circumstances. I would however be open to the idea of contributing to a collective blog if I felt the idea was interesting enough.
That's the 'high level' stuff about how I'm approaching this Blog, but here's some more information about the sorts of specific articles I write. Not everything that I churn out will fit neatly into these categories, but it's a good start:
Well I think this is arguably what most people who pop along to my blog actually come to see. So I should really have somewhere I actually explain the scoring mechanics I use, and this seems as good a place as any. I use an out of 10 Scoring mechanic, where 10 is exception and 1 is utterly dire and rubbish. Here let me explain a bit further:
- Dire, utterly terrible. I couldn't imagine things being worse.
- Not so dire that I couldn't see things getting worse, but bad enough that it should be avoided like the plague.
- Rubbish, really poor. Badly executed and just lacking.
- Below average. Not bad but certainly not good either.
- Average, neither good nor bad, just brutally mediocre.
- Slightly above Average. Still average, but just that little bit better.
- Not bad. Above average enough to notice, but nothing really out of the norm.
- Good. Simply put it's good.
- Excellent, amongst some of the best of it's kind.
- Truly exception and superb, arguably the best of its kind. Difficult to see how it could be honestly improved.
I break my reviews down into various categories, to further explore products in detail. My reviews are higly in-depth and I do research them as best I can, I will try to present well rounded arguments for why I think what I do, and above all else try to be balanced. However, it is a review, and as such it is subjective, no matter how hard I try to be objective you are essentially reading my opinion. My reviews do give enough information and fact for you t be able to judge things for yourself. Plus if you know me as a reviewer you can use that as a barometer against your own tastes and opinions. I'd also like to make it clear that I will always try to be constructive with any criticisms I might have in my reviews.
Ministry of Cats
Ah yes the Ministry of Cats. I'm sure if you haven't been a long time reader you'll almost certainly be wandering what in the blazes is going on with all this talk of cats. Please allow me to elucidate you. I am currently held hostage by four adorable, mischievous and fluffy Maine Coon Cats. These loveable tykes are a big part of my life, so they're bound to be a big part of my Blog. They even have their own page to introduce themselves to you. However, coming hot on the heels of the review section above I thought I better explain the 'Approved by Cats' award. As we all know cats are discerning beasts, who view most things with a sort of snooty scorn not even the most wealthy aristocrats could manage. In short they're judgmental buggers. So my cats have formed a panel of judges to decide whether a product is worthy of the coveted 'Approved by Cats' award. Only the very best products, things I couldn't do without receive this award. It is granted on top of the 'out of 10' score that my reviews give and should be taken as a sign of a product I really, really approve of. Two of my cats also 'gust write' to series on my Blog, 'Macavity Ponders' and 'Diary of a research cat: Study of a human hobbyist.'
I would hope this goes without saying, but I guess some people just don't understand what an 'editorial' is, so I best clarify. Just to be clear editorials are normally regarded as nothing more than an authors opinions on some topic or other. Usually something that is pertinent to that specific moment in time, and so it is with my editorials. These are my opinions, my beliefs and I present them as such. I'm not claiming that my opinions are better than anyone else's opinions. Or that I am right, or that others are in some way wrong, it's just me saying what I think. Although I might from time to time use facts, or more likely figures to prove a point or to support an opinion I hold. I will try my hardest not to trample all over other peoples opinions and will try to respect other peoples points of view. Because that's all they are, points of view, or opinions. So if mine rub you up the wrong way and you can't communicate your counter point in a civilised manner... well this will not be the Blog for you. Thanks for taking the time to read it, but you'll probably be better served elsewhere. If you can then welcome, your views and opinions will always be given fair hearing at the Frontline Gamer Blog.
I guess you could call these 'editorials' of a sort, in fact I'm doing less and less editorials, and moving them into this series of articles. However, they do have a twist. The most obvious of which, is that they are only ever published on a Sunday. They also tend to have a certain 'preachy' air to them, and often contain elements of fire and brimstone. They are not to be read necessarily as my actual solid, well reasoned opinions on things. Sometimes they will be, but often I use this series of articles to play devils advocate. Or to perhaps go to an extreme position and have fun with it, play around with it and see what people really think. I'm trying to get people to finally take a side in a debate maybe or think about their opinion's and why they hold them. I also use them to perhaps try and deliberately illicit debate, or to get people thinking about things, perhaps in a different way. I also use them as a way to develop a caricature of myself or a certain exaggerated part of my personality, sometimes to poke fun at others, but more often than not to poke fun at myself. So read and enjoy, but remember I'm most likely placing my tongue firmly in my cheek and being deliberately mischievous.
Tales From the Frontline
One of the aims of this Blog was to try and encourage people to try playing different games, and indeed to try and make sure that I myself played more games than I was, even though I play a lot of games. I guess maxmising my own limited hobby time. So what better way than to kill two birds with one stone than to have a series of Battle Reports? That's exactly what this series of articles is all about, me playing the various wargames and indeed board games that I do and writing about the experiences in hopefully an entertaining way. The aim is to both teach you about what these games are about, their mechanics and foibles. To give you a flavour of the experiences you can expect yourselves if you play them. You might even pick up some top tactical tips... although that's not very likely given my opponents and indeed me!
Firstly let me make it clear that I am no Crystal Brush / Golden Daemon winner. I'm not. I might have a few tricks up my sleeves, but as like most self respecting geeks I mainly wear T-shirts my sleeves aren't all that long. However, I think my work is more than passable, and I think others have told me that what I produce at least gives them some ideas and inspiration. My painting guides will always be detailed and tell you exactly what it is that I've done. I will always tell you what paints I've used and mixed to achieve what I have, and if you have any questions I will always do my best to answer them.
Similar to my Frontline Painter articles, but mainly focused more around the other 'hobbying' aspect. Such as building terrain, or scenic tables, hell maybe the odd bit of sculpting and the odd bit of casting from now and then. This is about me showing other people a few skills that I personally think have been lost from the hobby. As always I'll tell you what it is I've done in great detail, and run you through these hobby guides step by step. I'll also do my best to offer advice and to answer questions you might have.
I'm lucky enough to have contact with various people who work at various places within the industry. Some of these people from time to time feel generous enough to give me an interview, so I can give all of you an insight into what it is they're doing, but also who they are. I'll try to keep these interviews up as regularly as I can, but as always with interviews it takes two to tango. So if I don't have anyone interestig to interview I'm not going to ask Bob the 'sandwich guy' to do an interview... even if Bob does have a vitally important function in the running of any office, like the person who seems to make the best cups of tea. If there are people out there who would like to be interviewed by me for this Blog then you can get in touch at:
I'm more than willing to take suggestions.
So that's it. My little guide to my own corner of the Internet. Hopefully you'll all be better equipped now to make full use of the articles I write, and hopefully I won't have put you off too much. I like to keep this place as cordial as I can, by all means feel free to disagree with me and each other, if you so choose in your comments. I'm not one of those narcissistic megalomaniacs that can't deal with criticism or dissent. I won't delete comments that disagree with me or present a contrary point of view to my own as long as you:
- Don't become foul and abusive, insult me or other commentator's on this Blog, I won't stand for verbal abuse.
- Don't say anything deliberately inflammatory, such as racist or sexist slurs. It's not big and it's not clever.
- Keep it cordial and polite at all times, I have no problem with somebody disagreeing with me vehemently on this Blog just...
- Take the time to explain yourself fully
I hope this blog will be a place where level headed and sane hobbyists can come and chat with fellow kindred spirits in a sensible way. I fully intend to uphold my end of the bargain if you uphold yours. I won't get into arguments with you, I'll debate the points I raise, and if you start arguing against issues I haven't covered in my article, do expect to get short shrift. I'll not suffer fools and argumentative dimwits. If you appreciate the time, effort and love I pour into this place then please contribute a little bit of cash to help support what I do here. Peace out!