Sunday 28 January 2024

Ah Yes...Facebook

I have never really thought Facebook was a good place for wargaming sites. The Facebook pages or groups I visited seemed to lack focus and looked to me like a jumble of messages and posts with little order or organisation. So I set up 'proper' websites for Honours of War and Shadow of the Eagles, with forums, download sections, author content etc. 

Well, the Honours of War site has worked pretty well for about 9 years, but activity is now limited to a few stalwart members. These guys post some great content, but for a set of rules published in 2015 a website was beginning to look like a luxury I couldn't afford.

The Shadow of the Eagles site had some interest at first, but this has faded recently and there is currently very little activity. The simple fact is that SotE sold less copies than HoW. This is pretty easy to explain - the Napoleonic rules market is much more competitive than the SYW one, and Osprey have a much higher profile than Partizan Press - particularly with their 'Blue Books'. With the annual renewal of the site coming up, at much increased cost, renewal just didn't seem worth it for a site generating almost zero posts on the forum. (As an aside, check out the Little Wars TV review of the Blue Book series HERE).

On the other hand, people kept telling me Facebook and Instagram were the places to be if one wanted to generate interest in your rules. Once you joined Facebook and your page or group got going, you became part of a significant online conversation, where people joined and posted on your little group, and you joined and posted on their groups. Interest might therefore flourish. This is the problem for small-time rules authors - once the initial publicity has faded, there is the danger that your rules will just sink without trace amongst all the other rule sets.

So there we are - I want to keep interest in my rules alive, and Facebook seems to be a good place to help that along. At least, that's the case according to my kids - and my wife. And a number of fellow gamers. And Dave Ryan at Partizan Press, who always wanted me to have a Facebook page. And recently, well-known military historian and Osprey author Angus Konstam also encouraged me along this route.

So, in a month or so, I will be saying goodbye to the HoW and SotE sites. To anyone who ever posted on those sites, or just joined to download free stuff, my sincere appreciation and thanks. I learned a lot from the questions asked and comments made, and this resulted in some rule amendments and errata corrections. All the errata and new or amended rules will continue to be available on Facebook, free to download. 

The Facebook group is set up, and you can apply to join via the group page:

As for Startline, the discussion group on will continue (see the Startline Discussion Group). After all, this group has only just started and I want to keep the momentum going. Anyone interested in Startline should keep an eye on both groups. 

For the record, where Startline is going remains uncertain, but I'm enjoying working on the rules immensely. I'll just keep plugging away and time will provide an answer as to what to do with them. The secret to success (as the Buddhists and mindfulness experts tell us) is to love the process, not crave an outcome. That works for me!

So, I hope to see you on the new platform. 'Til next time!