I've made a few changes to the layout of this blog over the past day or so. The aim is to make it easier to read, easier to navigate around and just more user-friendly.
When I started the blog, a couple of years back, I had no idea how long I'd keep it going. What began as a record of terrain building has spread to miniature painting, battle reports, book reviews and wargames show pictures. As I've blogged, I've tried to track everything through the topic headings on the right, but I can see that they're getting a bit long and unwieldy.
That's why I decided to give the blog an overhaul - a spring clean if you like. A huge thank you in this regard goes to Frontline Gamer, whose excellent site had a post on blogging a week or so back. Almost all of the ideas for spring cleaning came from him (and, as ever, any mistakes are my own!) Thanks again, Jody!
So, what's changed?
I've broadened the width of the blog posts on the screen, and started to introduce page breaks. Hopefully these make it easier to read the introductory paragraphs (which I am starting to add to add the posts) and to scan quickly down the blog posts to find the ones which most interest you. I'll add page breaks to all of the blog posts in the next week or so.
I've made a list of a dozen topic headings which all the other topics will fit within. This should be easier for you to track older posts - I know this has been an issue for a couple of you in the past. I should have worked through this process by the end of the week, work permitting.
I've added a LinkedWithin widget to help first time readers see what else is available on the blog. The widget is supposed to pick up consistent themes - well, I'm not quite convinced so far, but I like the feature so - what the heck, it stays for now!
Finally, onto monthly themes. I thought it would be fun to have a different background picture for each month, reflecting the theme of something I want to try and paint or build in the next 30 days. I can change the picture as the projects (hopefully) get finished before the end of each month. Well, that's the theory - I am sure many of you are raising an eyebrow or chuckling (or laughing loudly) already. Like most wargamers, I have lots of plans, but the execution tends to lag behind a bit. I'm hoping a monthly theme might help with that. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, the first background picture is a British First World War trench map, featuring Rats' Alley - a British trench on the Western Front. There were a number of Rats' Alleys on the Western Front, and I doubt that any of them can have been very pleasant. It's one of those evocative trench names which conjure up a different, now lost, world. Fans of T.S. Eliot might well remember the trench has a starring role in The Waste Land - "I think we are in rat's alley Where the dead men lost their bones". Grim stuff indeed, but as good a target as any for my half-finished unit of German trench raiders from Great War Miniatures. I also thought the map was a fitting background for some more trench terrain for the game which TooFatLardies are presenting at the Battleground South wargames show in July at Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset. I'm not sure if I can get the terrain and the trench raiders both finished by the end of May, but I'll give it a go (helped by two Bank Holidays in the UK).
Wish me luck!