Saturday, 6 December 2014

Shed Wars - Happy Third Birthday!!

Its that time of the year when I am delighted to announce the Shed Wars birthday. Its three years old today and wow its been a momentous year !


In this post I'll share some of the highlights of the year, what was achieved and what is planned for year 4. However before I start I'll kick off with some Statistics.

The table below shows the key metrics over the past three years...

Number of followers
Number of page views
Dec 2012
Dec 2013
Dec 2014

So my follower count has grown by over 100 and I have more than doubled the number of page views. In 2013 I was chuffed to bits just to reach 10,000 hits in a month. I am now regularly averaging 11-12k per month. The peak was 16,000 just after Salute.

In 2013 I managed to post 98 times (almost an average of two per week), this year I have pushed a little harder and will probably top 110 by Christmas. Posting any more regularly is going to be tough and I think I have struck the right balance.

A quick look through the posts suggests that there is a slight bias to terrain builds with battle reports coming a close second. Indeed I posted up around 18 of these in the year and I reckon the shed has hosted at least 30 games (I don't always put up reports). If you aren't aware I have set up a post called the Shed Wars terrain directory. This can be found on the top right hand side of the blog. I have archived all my terrain builds here and update this every so often.

So the ambition for the next 12 months is to go past 400k hits and drive that follower number up to 400 and hit post number 400. Best call it the 400 target.

The Games

So on the gaming front its been a great year with loads of different genres witnessing the tabletop, from the Arctic to the Hot Jungles, from a ruined city to a Very British port town.

The Shed has also been delighted to welcome a group of local players and Monday nights go from strength to strength. This year alone over a dozen different players have crossed the threshold and lived to tell the tale.

Back in the summer I permanently extended the table to nearly 16feet giving us loads more scope for BIG games. The plan for 2015 might even include an extension to the shed.

Perhaps the biggest project started in January of this year was the venture into the VBCW genre (Very British Civil War). This has allowed me to develop an array of new terrain (including 1/48 scale dolls houses) and paint up over 350 28mm figures across the protagonists. The period has now branched out into WW2 where I could reuse much of what was produced for 1930's Britain in a WW2 environment.

If you are looking for a fun period for skirmishes this is it...the boys on the VBCW forum are always looking for new recruits.

Hard to believe that this started off as an idea in December 2013.

The other big project this year was the desert build complete with tombs, oasis, temple and pyramid. To date I think these are some of the best terrain pieces I have built.  I just need to crack on and get the figures painted. So in 2015 you are going to see 28mm Crusaders (Crescent & Cross and Hail Caesar rules), Indiana Jones using Pulp alley, and I decided last week that I was going back to 10mm with the Colonial wars of Sudan. I think thousands of fuzzie wuzzies might be fun.

Another highlight of the year has to be BLAM (the British wargames weekend run for members of the LAF). Held in my local pub, 25 gamers from across Europe played across three days a massive array of games. For some strange reason folks were so happy with the venue and my organisational skills I have been asked to do it all again next year.

So 2014 has been a massive year for my Wargaming hobby, record numbers on the blog, projects completed, hundreds of figures painted and many a show visited. This was the year when I increased significantly the number of gamers I knew in my area and this was the year when I got a mention in the Wargaming press !

Before I sign off with my plans for 2015 many folks ask how much this hobby costs me and many have asked where I get the time?

Addressing the first question -  this year the cost of pursuing this hobby has been virtually zero. At the beginning of 2014 I cleared out a load of old terrain and figure that was never going to see the light of day. Ebay made a few quid out of me as at one point the paypal account was running into four figures !

Secondly I have deliberately sought out bargains on ebay and sold these on. I clearly won't articulate my strategy but suffice to say that this approach has netted me about £500 so far this year after costs.

Finally I have decided never to buy what I don't need, what I won't use and where possible always go for the discounted option.

Time - how much time do I spend on the hobby - probably more than I should but...but I hardly watch TV, I only need six hours of sleep per night, my teenage kids only need me for cash and lifts and my wife is a workaholic. I changed jobs back in August of this year so as things pick up with more travel its probable that 2015 might not see as great an input.

So the big things in 2015....

My fiftieth Birthday in March

More terrain for the desert boards including 28mm and 10mm adobe towns, an archaeological dig, the river nile etc etc

Lots more games...

A Wargamers trip abroad to Germany

BLAM 2015

etc etc etc

Once again thank you for following this blog over the last 12 months, its been fun.

All the best

Eric the Shed


  1. I am honoured to have joined the ranks of the Shedenizens this year. I actually feel like a wargamer (albeit not a very good one!) rather than just a painter for the first time. May the Shed and your blog go from strength to strength!

  2. Congratulations. Being new to this blogging lark I'm just a little in awe of stats like those!

  3. Well done - an excellent blog.

  4. Happy Birthday to your Blog Mr Shed! Keep up the good work!

  5. Congratulations! It's a fantastic year for any gamer. It's well deserved. I really enjoy your blog and I'm always pleased when I see that you have a new post.

  6. Happy 3rd blogday Mr Shed! My own blog will be 3 on New Year's Day, so yours is just a smidge older.

    It's always great seeing your terrain layouts as they develop.

  7. Happy 3rd Birthday, Lord of the Sheds. Look forward to more splendid posts and pics in the future.

  8. Happy Birthday Mr. Shed, and to many more years of the shed being online.

    Yours is one of the truly inspirational blogs, I know if I don't borrow ideas from your blog, then I am blatantly stealing them for my own blog. For that I hope you forgive me.

  9. Congratulations on your milestone...the virtual Shed (and the real one) is a great place!!

  10. An excellent body of work!
    Ad Multos Annos!

  11. Well done,best blog on the net☺

  12. Keep on Shedding. Let me know when you are ready to make the Shed on the Go to the US. Happy Birthday tot eh Blog and for your upcoming 50th.