2013 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for The Shell Case.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 190,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

What Kind of Year Has it Been?

The Shell Case has had its third Christmas and 2014 will see the site turn 3 years old. It’s been an eventful 2 and a half years and that certainly goes double for the last 12 months.

So, to repeat the question: what kind of year has it been?

A very mixed one.

In March I became a father. Whilst being a dad is awesome it inevitably had an impact on The Shell Case in so much as I couldn’t write as much as I wanted or as often. I did my best but inevitably I lost readers, some of which never returned. Between my time being hammered more than Charlie Sheen and some truly twatish comments on the posts I did put up I seriously considered closing the site. Until Erin (@sixeleven) suggested that to take the pressure off writing a post a day – which I was doing and then some – I bring in contributors.

It was a painfully obvious solution to the problem and have the added benefit of discussing topics and parts of our wide and varied hobby that I have no experience in. Bringing in contributors has seen mixed success with the initial team signing on and then almost immediately leaving again after they realised that when I said 1 article a week I actually meant it. We’re not quite there yet as all our contributions are a little up and down (mine included) and I’m still on the hunt for a couple more talented people to round off the team, but progress is being made and we’re slowly clawing our way back to where we were. And hopefully beyond.

Three months ago Lee and I, rather ambitiously, began A Tale of Two Armies. It’s been a lot of fun, if slightly stressy at times, to get back into Warhammer and actually do hobby and play games with any regularity. The narrative is developing nicely and as you’ve hopefully seen, Lee and I have been working hard to flesh out the entire thing. Check out our ‘Genesis of a’ posts.

I do have to extend huge thanks to Reece, Mat, Lee & Adam since coming on board. They’re all integral parts to the grand plan for The Shell Case and I’m not joking when I say this site wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. And to Jason, Ashley, Adam (again), Nate & John for agreeing to take part in my hair brained scheme to create a multi-national podcast. 10 shows in we’re starting to find our feet and the new year should bring some more exciting changes and possibly some TSC exclusive content.

I also owe a huge and un-payable debt to my sponsor, Firestorm Games, for supporting me these last 18 months. Again, without them I wouldn’t have been in a position to keep pace with our ever-changing hobby or have been able to run A Tale of Two Armies.

Thank yous also go out to Amera, Chris Wraight, Gav Thorpe, Nick Kyme, Sarah Cawkwell, Megalith, Studio McVey, Ainsty Castings, Avatars of War to name but a few. Getting to know you all has been a pleasure and your support of my humble site rather mind-blowing.

I’d planned on spouting on about the state of the hobby and all that had happened over the last 12 months but actually, what’s done is done. The next 12 months is what interests me with some big releases from the Games Workshop, Spartan Games, Megalith and many others. I can’t wait to get to Salute 2014 and go batshit crazy for the up and coming games. And I can’t wait for my daughter to sleep through the night so I have a bit more energy.

All that’s left to be said is to thank readers of the site, old and new, as you’re the reason I’ve pretty much given up sleeping. I wish you all a happy, healthy & prosperous 2014 with many toys, games and, occasionally, some painting.

What Kind of Year Has It Been?

This is arguably a bit too early but I wanted to write my year in review because it’s been on my mind.

The most significant thing for me was, obviously, the creation of The Shell Case. And what a decision that was. Had I known that setting up this humble little blog would see me writing reviews for all the weird and wonderful games and have them read all over the world I would have done it a long time a go. It’s been an amazing few months.

Its success is down to, in part, certain individuals like @DocBungle, Chris_S79 and a host of others that I could list but it’d make a boring read. You all know who you are so thank you.

I’ve also been hugely lucky to to inteview the incredibly awesome Sarah Cawkwell, writer of The Gildar Rift (my first Black Library eBook purchase), and the visionary Erasmus, creator of the Lord Inquisitor.

Off the back of the blog, the forum was founded and shortly after the Alliance. Both are growing although not as fast as I like, but that’s entirely down to me not having time to do much of anything beyond the blog. This is partly down to the Super Mega Awesome Shell Case Project but mostly because my day job is taking up far too much of my time.

My new year’s resolution really should be to get my Shell Case shit together.

So it has been (half a) year of writing reading, playing, reviewing and meeting some awesome peope both on Twitter and through the various companies I’ve had the very great pleasure of dealing with. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

Next year should be interesting with the Super Mega Awesome Shell Case Project hopefully coming to conclusion, more reviews and hopefully getting my own game off the ground. I hope that the community continues to grow and the #warmongers with it who are all a bunch of awesome chaps.

In the new year we’re introducing a 6th member to The Chaps which is very exciting and will hopefully see the Mordheim campaign grow but new campaigns start too. I’d also really.like to get Ian, Jeremy, Neil and the Freshman into Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars because, well, the game is cool and the models are the tits.

Anyway, I want to wish all of you a very Happy 2012. May it bring happiness, health and many shiny toys.