The Shell Case Reloaded

TSC_Logo HiResHopefully by now you all will have noticed increasing frequency of articles and variety of by lines going up on The Shell Case. This is because over the last 12 months I’ve been hard at work gathering together a team of writers who can offer more to our loyal readers than I can do on my own. Whilst I’d love to play every game out there it just isn’t possible and not every game is going to be my bag. Each member of the team brings something unique in terms of background, gaming preference and experience and it’s a great mix that will mean wider, more interesting, content for you.

More importantly it will mean more articles about more games, more often. With an expanded team we’re able to produce more hobby articles, more reviews, write battle reports more regularly and serialise campaigns too. We’ve already put our best foot forward and we’ve got some great articles in the pipeline. We’ll also be breaking new ground by exploring historical wargaming for the first time beyond the Saga & Old West reviews 18 months ago. Whilst not new for most, this has been a largely unexplored area for us and it’s time that changed.

We’ll also be bringing you some more guest posts. Gav Thorpe & Nick Kyme will hopefully return with some of their cohorts to follow, including a certain someone currently involved in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

And finally there’ll be a few more competitions in the offing especially as our current painting competition has been so well received.

It’s a really exciting and busy time for the team and I. The wargamers I’ve been lucky enough to assemble have bags of enthusiasm and are putting that energy into great content and wider projects that we’ll be revealing in the near future. And because I’ve got 6 hard working and awesome people, including Mat and Lee who graciously agreed to be deputy editors, I get to write more or what I like and focus on editor type things.

We’ll also be making some improvements to the site, making it easier to find content. We’re also considering a redesign but I’m yet to hit on a design and layout that I like. But more on that another time. Mat has also been hard at work unravelling the mess that The Shell Case Alliance feed became thanks to some chronically masturbating Japanese hackers. I’m not being derogatory, all the links were for some pretty serious Japanese pornography sites so one has to make assumptions. If you’re site is part of the Alliance or you’d like it to be please get in touch as we need to share the updated RSS feed. The site will get a face lift too and became a much more useful resource for sharing awesome wargaming blogs.

We’ve got a mountain to climb to achieve our third phase of expansion – much of which I can’t disclose at the moment – but I’m proud to say that I’ve got the right team to get us there. I can’t promise – at this stage – that we’ll be able to cover every game but we’re going to do our best to broaden our horizons and have as much fun as possible whilst we do it.

Thanks for reading.

Giving an ODAM

Regular readers will hopefully know that I along with Jason & Nate from Noobhammer, Adam from War More Radio and Ashely from Chickhammer have been working away on the Of Dice and Men Podcast.

ODAMRoundel copy

As we go into our 9th show we’ve been having a think about the show going forward into the future and beyond. We’re making a few changes which will gradually take effect over the next two or three months which will make the show better. I hasten to add not more serious, because Jase & I are still involved, just less of a bum fight.

The first step was to shut down the Of Dice and Men website. It wasn’t really serving a purpose that this site couldn’t fulfil, or pages on the websites of the other panelists. So with immediate effect that website is no more and all future episodes will be posted here instead. The episodes will just be listed on the ODAM page for now until they get something slightly prettier to look at, along with some changes to the site as a whole that are in the pipeline but that’s all hush-hush for now.

We’re also looking at more recording software to make the shows clearer and I’m also going to take a stab at recording which will give us greater freedom, take the pressure of Nate & Adam who are already so busy with their own shows and will allow me to expand The Shell Case and introduce TSC ODAM specials in which Adam and I get the other site contributors together for a couple of hours of cocking about.

We’ll also be looking at getting ODAM onto iTunes which will make it a damn sight easier for you wonderful lot to find it and hopefully reach a wider audience. Being totally ignorant to such things, I shall be exploring the hows, they whys, and the wherefores.

So lots happening and all of it good. We’ll be tackling ODAM 9 in the not too distant future so stay tuned…

Changing of the Guard

You may have noticed a general lack of content coming from me in recent weeks. This is partly due to adventures in fatherhood and increased pressure at work knackering me out, but it’s primarily due to the aforementioned adventures impacting on my already limited free time to the extent that I don’t have time to maintain this site and do anything else fun. Ever.

As much as I enjoy writing this blog it is meant to be as fun for me to write posts as for you to read them.  When it stops being fun you have to ask yourself why on Earth would you bother? To that end I was coming to the conclusion that The Shell Case would be shut down, at least for a little while, so I can focus on projects that require more attention than I was giving them – which was the square root of fuck all – as well as give me some time to do hobby or possibly even fire up the xbox of an evening.

So it all seemed pretty grim and I was really quite sad that The Shell Case was coming to an end well before it’s time. That was until I had a chat with Erin – known as @sixeleven to many of you – who suggested that I adopt a more editorial approach and bring in contributors. Aside from being genius in its simplicity it is my hope that this will take The Shell Case to its next logical evolutionary step towards becoming a legitimate wargaming portal.

To that end you will be hearing a little less from me over the next few months – although I shall still be doing reviews and chucking out the odd opinion – whilst the new writers flex their muscles and I can concentrate on other projects. And if I find the energy I’ll resume my Tragedy of the Primarchs series as well.

This new team of writers have a lot to bring to the table including hobby experience and interest outside my own which means a whole host of new topics being discussed which will, hopefully, make The Shell Case a more interesting place to visit for a much wider range of gamers.

As I say, this is not me going hands off, just allowing me the head space to split my focus knowing that the site is in good hands. I have complete faith in my new team and I’m excited about the future of the site.

If you’re interested in contributing to The Shell Case then go to the Contributors page and complete the form below. I’ll do my best to respond in good time and it may involve you writing an example piece so I can see if your style suits the site.

So there we go: a new chapter in the life of The Shell Case and one that I hope will take the site from strength to strength. I’ll still be here, just a little quieter than normal for a while.

A Few Words from Our Sponsors

The Shell Case Forums has officially closed. Sad but necessary for this humble blog to continue on its journey towards world domination. Looking back I realise that the forum was doomed. I had set it up in the early days of The Shell Case, in a rush, so it was something extra I could offer to the few readers I had and essentially build a community. Dave at Miniature Musings of a Bear was instrumental in getting people to join but also came up with the idea of making it a forum for all bloggers to direct their readers to so they could discuss posts. As many will know it was from this idea that I developed The Shell Case Alliance. To begin with I posted regularly on the forum as did Dave and a handful of others but for me it quickly became just a place to post links to blog posts which were taking more and more of my time. Which wasn’t really the point of it.

In the end I hardly ever went on there and if the creator of a forum wasn’t bothered then neither would anyone else. In the days leading up to making the decision to close the forum I tried to find someone willing to take on the responsibility and breathe new life into it. I was ready to give it a face list, buy the URL – the whole shebang – but sadly no one I approached wanted the challenge. Not that I blamed them. And, in truth, with the #warmongers community thriving on Twitter, much of the forum’s work was being done there so it became clear that the forum had to go.

With the closure of the forum it allows me to concentrate fully on making this blog better and bringing more content that you, my lovely readers, want to see which brings me on to the next stage in The Shell Case’s evolution which is sponsorship. Hopefully you would have noticed the bloody great button at the top of the blog. If not, here it is again…

Over the weekend the utterly awesome people at Firestorm Games agreed to sponsor the blog. They, rather flatteringly, see a lot of potential in my site and were excited to support me in growing it further. Needless to say I’ve been overawed and humbled by the faith Rob and the guys have shown in me and I’m equally keen to work with them as I have used Firestorm in the past and they had never let me down. They also have an impressive breadth of range which can only come from having a real passion for what they do and successful business model.

What this sponsorship will mean is I now have an infrastructure behind me what will allow me to review more games, models and rule books than ever before and without the long and sometimes grinding task of contacting the dozens and dozens of wargaming companies out there and seeing if they’d be interested in reviews. Essentially, they’ll be more reviews, more often and covering a much wider range of games and models. And should free up sufficient time for me to pilot the podcast I’ve been working on in the background.

So a touch of sad news but coupled with some truly awesome and exciting news which will hopefully make The Shell Case a better blog to visit, not to mention result in a few more give-aways (huzzah!). And, as always, I wouldn’t have got this far without all the fantastic people who visit my blog everyday. So thank you one and all.