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Mortal Engines (December 22, 2018)

Sunday, 11 February 2018

SIX OF THE BEST: The Stronghold Rebuilt


A prime example of a defunct blog finding a new lease of life, The Stronghold Rebuilt is a cracking celebration of wargaming from Alan Saunders (aka Kaptain Kobold).

1) How long have been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?

I can't remember why I started blogging, but I actually started way back in 2004 when blogging was fresh, new and exciting. In those days, whilst there were specialist blogs, some of us used them in much the same way as you'd use Facebook now. I retired that blog back in about 2008 when I found that other forms of social media offered a better way of sharing the things I wanted to show.

About that time I emigrated from the UK to Australia. One of the casualties of our emigrating was my website devoted to the Hordes of the Things fantasy miniatures rules (HOTT), The Stronghold.

This was hosted on space provided by our UK ISP, and once we no longer had an account with them, it was canned. Our ISP in Australia didn't offer webspace, and I couldn't find a viable (as in 'cheap') alternative. So The Stronghold disappeared for a few years.

Then, in 2012, I found myself having to train someone in setting up and running a blog. In order to prepare for this, I thought it might be a good idea to brush up my skills. So I set up The Stronghold Rebuilt, with the expectation that I'd use it to post various articles from the original Stronghold. It has become much more than that.

Alan's Flash Gordon army - for use with HOTT

(2) What do you blog about, and how frequently do you post?

As I said in my answer to the first question, the original aim of the blog was to post material relating to HOTT. However I soon started posting material relating to my other gaming activity as well, and over time the HOTT component has gotten smaller and other games have taken over.

The remit of the blog is simply to post my gaming activities. Whatever gaming thing is currently occupying my attention will find its way into a blog post, usually in the form of reports, with some painting and modelling, scenario design or pondering of rules.

I try to post at least three times a week. I play at a local club, and always try to report on the games played there (although usually whichever one I'm involved with).

I try to do another post at the weekend, and then at least one more. Sometimes I can't manage even those three posts, but sometimes I manage more. If I'm away on holiday for any length of time I attempt to schedule at least one pre-written post a week, just to keep the blog looking active. These updates are often reworked versions of posts from the old website.

(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?

The Stronghold website was the site on the 'net for HOTT, and I have always thought of The Stronghold Rebuilt as its successor. So I like to think of it as a primary resource for HOTT. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

Otherwise I like to think that my generally cheap and cheerful approach to miniatures gaming shows that you don't have to have thousands of intricately painted figures to play great, fun games.

I also love writing simple rulesets, and I make those available for other people to use via the blog. It probably has more emphasis on frocks than most other wargames blogs as well.

(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?

The worst thing is always trying to come up with material when inspiration is lacking, or to write a moderately interesting post when the words just won't flow.

The best thing? The sparking of ideas between gamers. I have written posts which have inspired other gamers to try things, and in turn I've built on their ideas. The constant to and fro of inspiration is very satisfying. And I find the archives useful for reminding me of games I've played or idea I've had. It's a useful online journal.

Soviets invade Skull Island in the 1930s and confront King Kong!

(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?

I set up the blog for gaming, and try to limit it to just that. I allow related geekiness and nerdery a space from time to time - my limited cosplay, for example, and sometimes allow the odd political or social comment into my posts, usually in the form of clumsy satire. But otherwise I keep it all about the games. The only regular non-gaming post is the annual Frocktober charity fundraiser update.

(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).


I'm going to cop out initially and say that you should simply follow the blog-roll in the sidebar of The Stronghold Rebuilt, as this covers a whole range of great gaming blogs that are updated more or less regularly.

However I'm going to showcase two blogs, one gaming-related and one not.

The first is Bob Cordery's Wargaming Miscellany, as I think it's done more to inspire my recent gaming than any other blog.

The other is the fantastic Super Team Family, which never ceases to amaze with its fantastic comic-cover mashups.

It's not all metal minis and HOTT...

2 comments:

  1. Belated thanks for this - great choice of pictures too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to thank me - you did all the heavy lifting ;-) And I was spoilt for choice with the great pictures on your blog.

      Delete

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