Sunday 28 October 2018

Getting Started

“Napoleonic Wargaming” was my first blog.   I started it in March 2009 as a record of my wargaming activities.   I had no knowledge of blogging, other than having read a few blogs online.  

When we moved to Spain in 2006 I had a whole new wargame project planned.   I had decided not to buy or paint any more figures.   Instead I would now wargame with them.   The new project would require that I reorganised all of my 28mm, 18mm and 6mm armies into armies representing all of the major powers of the Napoleonic Wars.   There would be an Austrian, British/Portuguese, Prussian, Russian and Spanish army.   Plus five French and allied armies.

By 2009 the reorganisation was completed and I was planning a comprehensive wargame campaign which would provide battles to wargame.   I was also writing new wargame and campaign rules.

I wanted to record the progress of this project, and a blog seemed like a good way to do it.   I would have a permanent record and could make it available to other interested parties as it would be online.

I wanted the blog to cover all aspects of my wargame activities, but I also wanted to be able to recover each entry in the future.   So I needed some sort of index.  I found that other bloggers were very helpful and full of useful suggestions.    

I did not have any clear plan of how often to publish, but I see that in the first nine months I posted 140 entries.   This would remain by far the highest number of annual posts.

Over the next three years the numbers decreased until 2013 when they settled on 52.   A weekly post would become the norm.  

Most of the posts would concern the campaign, its organisation and progress.   But there would also be a section devoted to scenery plus reference to my other blogs as they appeared.

My posts have never resulted in much comment.   I am not sure why this should be so.   I would have thought that most of what I posted was of general interest.  Particularly scenery, campaign and wargame rules, and visits to battlefields.  However I was aware from reading other Blogs that this was not unusual, and I was not particularly discouraged by it.

I soon discovered Amazing Counters, which allowed me to record all visits to my blog, and to exclude my own.   This was a great encouragement as I could see on a daily basis how many people had read my comments.   Unfortunately they seem to have disappeared lately, and I do miss being able to check my visit numbers.   Perhaps I will have a search on the web for a replacement.

Meanwhile I discovered that the blog itself generates a record of visits.   I am not sure whether this includes my own or not.  However I am quite impressed that the current number is 228562.

Even more supportive is the number of Followers.   It is quite a responsibility to know that 115 people bother to read my comments.   It also makes me quite determined to post regularly.   It suits me to post each week, but I am also encouraged as I do not want to disappoint those who take the trouble to check what I am doing.

“Napoleonic Wargaming” would be the start of many blogs, and I will look at another one next week.


  1. Many begin blogging the same as you, I bet.

    For tracking page views, Blogger allows the exclusion of your own visits. This capability can be found under "Manage tracking your own pageviews" link on Stats/Overview page.

    Not only is your Napoleonic Wargames blog of interest to me but I find your series of Spanish hiking adventures fascinating and visit often.

  2. You can opt yourself out of the blogspot counter, if you so wish?

  3. It can be very hard posting each week. Best of luck with the task.

  4. As for comments and interaction on a blog, that is indeed highly variable. On my blog (on which I post iregularly, and all things concerning myw argaming,, very rarely a post attracts a lot of discussion. It is different on My Wargaming Mechanics blog (, which is very themed and very much on-topic.

    But anyway, I try not to obsess too much over numbers. I read other blogs through a Feedly account. I have no idea whether this then shows up on these other blogs as a seperate "follower" or not.

    In the end, one should blog if one thinks it's fun doing so. If not, and it becomes a chore, then it's better to stop the blog. It's only a hobby after all ;-)

  5. Visitor counts can be funny things, and amazingly inconsistent. About a year ago I had 6500 visits one month, after a few months of about half that number, then only about 1100 the next, which was the lowest in maybe 3-4 years. A month later, back to 3500. The 1100 visit month had more posts than the other months mentioned. I can find no reason for the frequency of hits.

    I read your posts fairly regularly, despite not being a Napoleonic gamer. I find the campaign process to be particularly interesting, and your posts often leave me considering aspects of my own campaigns, which are utterly different in period and level of on table presentation.

    I rarely offer a comment, as I can't add anything particularly useful much of the time, but enjoy and appreciate your posts in any event. I thank you for your dedication and for sharing your experiences.

  6. I started my blog back in 2011 I think and I generate very little comments of my own. I think I should post more often or dunno. Mostly I am keeping it open to keep records of my progress.

  7. Hi Unknown
    As long as you enjoy the experience I don’t think it matters too much how many comments you get.

  8. Hi Irishserb
    3500 visits is pretty good going, let alone 6500. Yours must be one of the most visited wargaming blogs? I often read your blog and often find it thought provoking. I am glad that you find the campaign posts interesting and that they lead you to consider aspects of your own campaign. That is really very satisfying to hear. It is a shame that with all the wargame blogs and forum around they seems to be very little exchange of information about how to run campaigns or wargames. Most forum posts seem to be about new rules or figures, or the long winded rants about whether Napoleon or Wellington was the better/worse commander. Interesting for historical buffs perhaps, but not really the nitty gritty of wargaming.

  9. Hi Phil
    I have not read your Wargaming Mechanics blog, but it sounds interesting and I will certainly visit in future. I certainly agree with you that there is no point in blogging unless it is enjoyable.

  10. Hi Robbie
    I have been fortunate that I have always found it easy to post each week. Indeed at present I post on three different blogs at least once a week. This subject was prompted because I was surprised to find that I could not find a subject for this particular blog two weeks ago.

  11. Hi Ray
    Thanks for the information about the blogspot counter. I am not really too concerned. But I have gotten in the habit of checking my regular blogs on Amazing Counters each morning, and miss it now that it has apparently gone offline

  12. Hi Jonathan
    thanks for your comments on tracking page views. My Spain series of blogs records my second love, which is hill walking. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful area which has a lot of walking groups, and consequently a lot of information about walks and routes.

  13. I enjoy reading your blog even if I comment infrequently. Also enjoyed your recent video battle reports. As with my own site, the blog counter is an indication that there is a large silent majority out there who view without commenting, much as they might read a library book perhaps. That blogging for one's own passion also generates interest and pleasure for others is worth taking some measure of satisfaction in. Those who contribute thoughts, even a brief affirmation, are even more appreciated of course! :)

  14. Hi Chasseur

    Thanks for your comment.

    I agree with your comment, particularly the reminder that there is a "silent majority" who read and follow the blog. Also that the greatest satisfaction is in writing the blog, with any response being an extra incentive.

    I think what prompted me to raise the subject was to reflect on how difficult it can be at times to find fresh inspirtion when there is no response. In verbal conversation the flow very much depends on the feedback you get from the person you are talking to. Without any response the converstaion would quickly falter and stop.
    Writing a blog is not the same, but it is similar.

    As I do not normally have a problem finding something new each week, my failure to do so caused me to reflect on the problem.

    On the other side this subject has prompted a lot of interesting comment!


I have set the settings for comments to come to me before posting so that I will not miss any