Well I am not one for these end of the year type articles but since I am around and have been blogging fervently lets take a look back at what went down.
Blunt Force Gamer did not just spring up overnight. This blog is the demon child of two blogs spliced together when the original owner did not want his blog anymore. I took his content and ran with it, merging my wargaming blog with his wargaming blog and his past MMO coverage. MMO meaning of course Massively Multiplayer Online game along the lines of World of Warcraft or Everquest (the one truly great MMO that shall never be equaled).
The previous owner gave me his MMO articles (he turned to wargame reporting) and I turned to MMO reporting. Our stories are merged on this site, with no credit being given to anyone. We exchange stories and write freely. When you see a wargaming article that is more than likely Hudson doing all the work. When you see an MMO article (even this post) that is me. Lately though I have stopped playing MMO's except for a little Age of Conan, Fallen Earth and perhaps a stint in the new WoW expansion with my girlfriend. However my writing on this site has stopped almost completely and we are in the process of making this the best damn PC Wargaming blog you will find in terms of news, AAR's, reporting and videos.
Our New Years Resolution will be to pick up the slack in terms of computer wargaming videos that are out there so that we can show, in a more visceral manner, that these games CAN be fun despite the fact that the RTS kids snub their noses at us on the graphics and complexity front.
PC Wargaming has long since been a little too exclusionary and narrow minded. This year was perfect proof of all that with the doom and gloom posts about John Tiller Software and their digital downloads. JTS has prospered releasing two great titles (Kharkov 43 and Squad Battles Modern War) while other companies with much more draconian DRM schemes fly under the radar (I am looking at you Norb Development software). Heck we even had one excellent blogger almost quit and I am glad he didn't after many many threads he was visiting about new product releases were trampled underfoot. I am glad you are still with us Real and Simulated Wars.
Looking back at the year it was a great year for wargaming, not so great for MMO's. We had in the wargaming genre War in the East released, some great Battlefield Academy action, Revolution Under Siege, Decisive Campaigns, Hannibal vs Rome and many others. Matrix Games, HPS, Slitherine and John Tiller were very active and the wargaming genre just exploded. Also who can forget Panther Games and their mammoth Battles of the Bulge that sparked the $80 price outrage posts.
In the MMO world it was all about the Free To Play as many older titles buckled under the pressure like EQ2 and Lord of the Rings Online. Some newer titles announced they plan to like Champions Online. As the MMO market becomes more and more bloated by titles that copycat World of Warcraft expect to see people start to tire of them.
This site took off too as we posted a ton of AAR's and saw our traffic really increase and we do appreciate all of our readers. We try to stray from opinionated posts unless something really seems ludicrous (like Paradox and their "mail your NDA beta form to Sweden" nonsense) and we presented a lot of news to people and I think some informative posts as well.
Alongside all this Hudson was tabbed to post and head up the Scenario Design Center's AAR Depot which is a site meant to collect and display all the great work people have done writing After Action Reports for the various John Tiller and HPS Simulations games.
Quite a year of activity. So with that here is wishing everyone a Happy New Year. We need some time off blogging, at least two days! We managed to post a story EVERYDAY in December except for the 19th. Not sure how we missed that day. Lastly remember that wargaming is a hobby we all enjoy and pointless bickering and yelling about dumb things like the advancement of technology and the price points of some games does nothing but wedge a divide between us. Promote the hobby and stop being so damn negative about it.
Lets leave with a couple of news stories. First up the Computer Game winners of the Charles S Roberts Awards this year. The awards are always labeled a year behind so this is 2009 award list. Odd I know. The entire list of winners can be seen here: http://charlesrobertsawards.com/voting.php but since I have long since sworn off boardgaming and the like I will post what is pertinent to the blog and the PC winners. The winner is in bold white has an asterisk next to it.
Best Pre-20th Century Era Computer Wargame.
Campaign Austerlitz (by John Tiller), HPS Simulations
Crown of Glory - Emperor's Edition, Matrix Games
•Field of Glory, Slitherine *
Musket and Pike: The Renaissance (by John Tiller), HPS Simulations
Napoleon Total War
Best 20th Century Era - Modern Computer Wargame
Achtung Panzer - Kharkov 1943
Close Combat: The Longest Day, Matrix Games
Commander - Europe at War Gold, Slitherine
•War in the Pacific - Admiral's Edition, Matrix Games *
WW2: Time of Wrath, Matrix Games
Lastly lets take the time to think about this story and get the word out that this is one of the stupidest ideas ever thrown out there. A casino near Gettysburg. There is a way to voice your thoughts and opinions on this and you can do so at http://nocasinogettysburg.org
Have a safe New Year all.