Today is New Year’s Eve and as is the custom we are reflecting on the past year while also looking forward to the new year.
Two thousand and ten saw many changes at the CWF Game Cast. All of them proved good in some way and some of them proved excellent in every way. It saw the end of a lengthy hiatus on the blog with one of our first ever instances of live blogging for the 3rd Annual 40k Megabattle hosted by Battleground Games & Hobbies. Sporadic posting focused on War at Sea before exploding with reviews such as our first Editor’s Choice recipient 12-7-Games who received 96% out of 100 in our review.
The growing number of blog posts only tells part of the story. We picked up our first sponsor, 12-7-Games, as after they read our review. Their sponsorship has allowed us to do things we’ve only ever dreamed of. We ran our first contest where contestants had to state how gaming positively, or negatively, impacted their lives. The winner received their choice of Axis & Allies Minis or War at Sea booster. We accepted submissions on our Twitter feed (please follow us), which received much love in 2010, on our blog and on our brand new Facebook page (now with 40 fans, please keep them coming). Tone Knight of the United Kingdom won and received his booster courtesy of our sponsor.
Aside of becoming sponsored we had a tie for biggest news of 2010. We restarted our podcast at the behest of longtime fan Tom Barbalet (read his Wikipedia article). Tom joined our team as my co-host and together we release weekly episodes focusing on War at Sea, historical, and New England gaming. To date we have released ten episodes. The other big news is Dion Holswich, co-founder of Battlefront Games (the manufacturer of Flames of War), has officially joined our team as a blogger to discuss his time working on FoW. His content will be coming to you in 2011!
A myriad of other good things happened in 2010. I was the featured guest on an episode of the Stone Ape Podcast (episode 19: New England Gaming Vegas with Jonathan Reinhart [October 31, 2010] to be precise). We refocused our endeavors on War at Sea, historical, and New England gaming. To reflect this we contracted a graphic designer to rebrand us with new logos. Our new header logo is part of this rebranding. Our podcast had J “Joe” James Beaudoin, former Wikipedia Administrator, Battlestar Wiki Project Leader, CEO of FrakMedia Productions LLC., VP of White Eye Productions, web designer, web coder, graphic designer, and author. as its first guest.
Our coverage of New England gaming has expanded to include the new Battleground Games & Hobbies store in Plainville, which is our official HQ, along with The Whiz on Rte 9 East in Westborough. We’ve been asked by Adler Hobby in Hollis, New Hampshire to visit them and provide some coverage of their store and events. We even reached out beyond New England to befriend the guys at WWPD: News from the Front, which is a great podcast focusing on Flames of War and, consequently, is featured on the main Flames of War website.
For those of you who geek out on numbers we regularly receive between 4 and 5 thousand unique visits per month on the blog. We also have a growing number of podcast subscribers (it hovered around ten a few weeks ago according to Feedburner). This is our 526th blog post to boot. In every possible way we are growing. Our staff has grown. Our blog traffic has exploded. Our podcast traffic increased. We’re covering more gaming events, reviewing more products, and releasing more content than ever before through multiple venues such as iTunes, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
So, what does 2011 promise to bring? You’ve read this far and deserve something for your trouble. There’s some bad news to go with the good. My co-host, Tom, suffered a tragic death in his family. His wife’s grandmother died suddenly in a train accident. He is taking a temporary leave of absence before returning to us. The podcast will continue but only with me for the time being.
Speaking of the podcast we have a great line-up of guests. Bill Dettmers, CEO of our sponsor 12-7-Games, will be featured in an episode. Derek Lloyd, owner of Battleground Games & Hobbies, will feature in another episode. Andrew “Drew” McCarthy, a close friend and long-time Dungeons & Dragons roleplayer, will provide a “gamer on the street” view and hopefully become a West Coast correspondent after he moves to Oregon (more on that when he’s interviewed). We’re lining up other guests with some big names hopefully appearing. I don’t want to give it all away but we’re working to bring a former Games Workshop game designer on as a guest along with one or more former game developers/upper management type people from two other prominent game companies.
The great WWPD: News from the Front/CWF Game Cast crossover will happen. Look for member(s) of each podcast to guest on the other. WWPD is currently prepared to air a new promo that Tom created for our podcast! The podcast name will even change as a result of the Rename Our Podcast contest. We will be continuing our reviews to cover more vendors, more products, and more games. We are investigating the necessary materials to live-podcast in the field. This will let us record at events and, hopefully, conduct on the spot interviews with event coordinators and participants. We will be appearing are more New England events. Tournaments, mega battles, conventions, weekly gaming groups, you name it and we are working to be there.
Tom and I will meet up for the first time near the end of 2011, which will result in some sort of podcast recording. Long before that happens we will produce t-shirts promoting our endeavors (blog, podcast, etc), business cards, bumper stickers, etc.
Of course the contests will continue and expand. More prize support and more game types will be covered. The focus will remain on War at Sea, historical, and New England gaming but we will diverge now and again to touch on other systems like Warhammer 40k, Warlord Games, World of Warcraft, D&D, and electronic gaming.
As always we are looking for more sponsors. Sponsorship allows us to do all of the great things we have been doing and many more to come. 2010 was wonderful to us and hopefully it was to you too. There are a lot of great things planned for 2011. We will continue to do everything you’ve come to expect from us, such as our Annual Holiday Gift Guide, and expand into new areas.
It is an exciting time made possible by dedicated readers, listeners, and fans like you. Without you, and without our sponsor 12-7-Games, we simply could not do what we do. Thank you for your dedication. We promise to maintain our level of service to you. Never hesitate to contact us with your thoughts, feelings, and questions. You can tweet us, post on our Facebook page, and of course e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a safe and wonderful New Year and keep on gaming!
Jonathan and the entire CWF Game Cast Staff