Like many other blogs on the wargaming blogosphere lately, I’ve recently been awarded a Liebster Award for this blog.
It is quite thrilling to be nominated by a blogger whom you look up to. Even though I suppose that the Liebster Award is a sort of blog-Ponzi scheme ( in that if everyone nominates a further five blogs, shortly every single wargames blog in existence will have X-to-the-power-of-Y Liebsters), nevertheless it is still a great honour to know that a blogger as respected as Colonel O’Truth has picked your blog as one of his ultimate five favourites.
The rules of the Liebster Award are to pass the award to ‘your top five favourite blogs with fewer than 200 followers’. Coming up with my five has taken some head-scratching. I decided the criteria of ‘fewer than 200 followers’ was too limiting, and in many cases I have no idea how many followers they have anyway.
I also decided not to restrict myself to traditional blogs as such, but will also include interactive forums where I, as a reader, can do pretty much the same as I can on someone’s blog.
Oh, by the way, the promised ‘grumble’ is at the very end of this article, and while it hasn’t anything to do with Liebsters, it is blog-related …
So, the envelope please?
Coming in a very easy first place for me, because I check it multiple times a day, is The Miniatures Page (or TMP). Obviously it’s neither a true blog, nor has fewer than 200 followers – but it meets my own criteria as stated above.
So why do I like TMP so much? Well, its sheer vastness means that there is always something that interests me on every visit, whether it be related to my own projects, something that just piques my interest, or even just the sheer entertainment value of some of the crazy arguments that go on there.
Yes, TMP has its loonies, but it also boasts some of the most clever, talented, friendly and interesting people in worldwide wargaming. They don’t all agree, and nor should they in such a wide-ranging hobby … and it is exactly this fact that makes TMP so much more interesting than many of the more sycophantic forums where everyone shares much the same view.
I’m aware there is an anti-TMP brigade (often distinguished by still thinking it is incredibly funny and original to refer to TMP as PMT). But, oddly, even most of the anti-brigade are actually TMPers and play a valuable (or even just entertaining) role in many discussions.
This is a tough one, and I’m going to have to cheat here. You see, many of my gaming mates have blogs, and I would hate to nominate one person’s blog as being better than those of the others! So I’m going to award second place to All My Real-life Mates’ Blogs.
Luckily, my real-life mates are a pretty talented bunch. So I’m sure no-one will be disappointed in visiting any of their blogs, listed here in alphabetical order:
- Colonel O’Truth’s Miniature Issues
- Dispatches from the Mess
- Ogilvie VC
- Rebel Barracks
- Scott’s Wargaming Blog
- Southern Strategists
- von Peter’s Wargaming Madness
My apologies if I’ve missed any of my real-life mates’ sites – any such exclusions were not intended.
OK, moving along from my mates’ blogs, what are some other blogs I visit time and time again? Well, one that always rewards a visit is Legatus’ Wargames Army.
This is rather curious for a wargaming blog. While it usually has lots of wargames content, some postings are as much concerned with … well, to put it bluntly … girls! We get all sorts of insights into Legatus’s past girlfriends. While these stories are quite tastefully and decorously narrated, I still don’t know how his wife hasn’t come across his blog and grounded Legatus from the blogosphere!!!
Legatus leads a globe-trotting life, flitting around the world to all sorts of exotic places on mysterious missions with unstated purposes, sampling the finest of wines , and always with an eye for the ladies. His posts reflect a kind of ultimate wargaming in a Monte Carlo/James Bond sense, with be-suited and tie-wearing gentlemen gamers, snifters of brandy in their hands, pushing only the best figures around gorgeous boards in a museum-like games-room, watched by a gaggle of equally gorgeous feminine hangers-on! Maybe.
OK, Michael doesn’t have Legatus’ worldwide jet-setting adventures and encounters, but we do get some very high-quality modelling and painting across a range of Victorian wars.
Michael’s painting skills are matched with his ability to take crystal-clear photographs that make it easy to examine his fine workmanship.
And, most importantly for making a blog interesting, his writing is witty and informative too.
My last one was hard to choose, because there are still so many good blogs and forums out there. In the end I’ve gone for the pink (yes, pink!) blog belonging to Frank Hammond of Minden Miniatures.
I like Frank’s blog because it describes in a chatty way what figures he is planning next for his 28mm tricorne-period range, and is complimented by well-shot photographs of the greens or actual figures.
There are no bells or whistles – it’s just a good workmanlike blog that does exactly what it says on the tin. And what more could you ask for than that?
Actually, the only improvement I could ask for is that he would link his listings in the sidebar to the appropriate posting about that product. But that could be quite an onerous change at this late stage, what with so many figures now in his range, so it is a bit of a pie-in-the sky suggestion.
A grumble to finish
I’m a 55+ guy, so I’m allowed to grumble. After all, Napoleon’s Old Guard were famous as the ‘Old Grumblers’, weren’t they?
Could I please, please, please ask those bloggers who have white text on black backgrounds to reconsider? I’m one of a reasonably large number of people who have to really persevere to read blocks of text in these colours. Black backgrounds are terrific for gallery sites with little text, but for text-based postings they do risk of putting off a sizable chunk of potential readers.
For a really good test of readability, visit this Ow My Eyes webpage. Read the text on that page, and then click on the text link near the end of the article that says ‘this link’. Then see if you still agree that white on black is OK …