It’s the new year and welcome to 2023!
As has been my tradition for the past 3 years, here is my annual post about the year that was, 2022 in this case.
Unlike last year, where I talked about how 2021 really should be thrown into the trash heap, I’m going to try and not do an actual year’s retrospective.
We all know about the evils that are out there, both foreign and domestic, and how the world and economy are taking yet another turn for the worse.
At least this year no beloved icon died on New Year’s Eve to make the transition into the new year even more terrible than it was (though I was sad to hear that Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters did die earlier in the day).
So I’m just going to celebrate the new year and wish everybody the best in 2023.
Personally, it was a year of ups and downs mentally (that seems to be a theme the last three years), and unfortunately more down than up as far as blogging goes.
Let’s have a look at all of the stats.
First, let’s look at the gaming aspects before we get into the blog.
I have to say 2022 was a banner year for that!
It helps that we had a full year of Sunday game days as well as two conventions.
Overall I played 111 unique games in 2022, a new record for me! Previous highs were 107 in both 2018 and 2019.
This was partially because of the Sundays but also because there were many weeks where we played games three times during lunch at work. Even when we didn’t play three, we often played two!
It would have been even more, though, if we hadn’t been snowed in the last week before Christmas.
A couple of the games were on Boardgame Arena, but overall it was all face to face.
Sixty of them were “new to me” games, which made for a banner year for the Cult of the New to Me (and which I’m still happy that I’ve never missed a month of posting it, even if there was a month or two this year where it came out in the last week).
The most-played game of the year was Jump Drive (20), mainly because it takes such a short time that it’s the go-to “people aren’t all here yet, so let’s play something” on Sundays.
Second is Space Base (14), mainly because we played through both saga expansions at work. So we played it a lot!
I won’t get into my favourite games because that’s for my two Top 10 Games Played in 2022 posts coming up in the next couple of weeks!
What were some other highlights?
Just like last year, I have to mention my friend Michal from The Boardgame Chronicle. Not only have we continued our Combat Commander asynchronous games (though at a slower pace because we are actually now busy sometimes!).
He also taught me, and we played a couple of scenarios, Bayonets & Tomahawks, a game about the French & Indian War in 1754-1763.
This is a fantastic game and one I’d really like to try on the table sometime.
We played two of the scenarios asynchronously and it worked pretty well.
I’ve also, as mentioned above, kept on with my Combat Commander games on the Ladder, this time not missing a month at all! (I missed June 2021 for personal reasons). It’s always a fun time and it’s something I really value.
I also love the community of players we’ve built on Discord. A great group of guys.
That’s the year in gaming.
How about the blog?
I had way too many periods of “I just can’t find the energy to write” feelings this year, with massive 2-3 week lulls in posting. That greatly affected both output as well as statistics in general.
I barely broke 100 posts, finishing up at 101 posts for the year after Friday’s post.
That’s kind of disappointing.
On the upside, at the beginning of the year my stats were kind of booming compared to previous years, so even though my lack of output started having a negative effect on stats, my overall stats were up over 2021.
I had 47,163 views in 2022 (as opposed to 44,587 in 2021) and 31,745 visitors (as opposed to 30,095). That really made me happy to see, as I was feeling quite down about the whole thing going into December.
For some reason, the last week of the year always seems to be a lot higher than normal too, with last week’s stats being quite high.
After a down-tick in the number of words written in 2021, this year was a good upward tick again, and I don’t even have a blog series of lists to blame for it! I did do my Top 25 Games Played of All Time in January 2022, though, but that’s only 5 posts.
Overall I wrote 170,675 words in my 101 posts, averaging 1690 words per post. In 2021, those numbers were 157,842 words, averaging 1409.
My app review for Wingspan is still my #1 post of the year in terms of views (2145).
Second is the announcement of the three expansions for the awesome Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition (2070 views).
This is something I’m proud of. My review of Ark Nova (1916) is really doing well. I managed to get the review out while it was hot and got some views. It’s been a steady source of hits for the blog.
Fourth is my Marvel Legendary 2022 update (1895 views), which I kept constantly updating with new news rather than doing a new post for it when it happened. There were a lot of releases in 2022 because there was such a backlog of unreleased stuff from 2021.
I will likely do the same for 2023. As soon as there is some news that I can post, I’ll do that one, and then keep adding to it. I’m not sure it will be as big of a hit because things are slowing down a bit on the release schedule.
I’m also proud that the Wingspan app review is my first post with over 7000 views (not counting those two Terraforming Mars Big Box posts that are forever going to skew everything).
I now have 23 posts that have reached 1000 or more views (only 11 last year) which is a big thing to me. It will be 24 posts soon as my review of Cat Lady is sitting at just under 1000 views.
Three of those posts are over 2000 views, which is awesome. Four will happen soon if Ark Nova keeps getting read.
Maybe It’s not awesome to those people who get 2000 views a day, but it still means something to me!
Once again I have to keep reminding myself that I am doing this blog for fun. I’m not making money on it. I’m certainly not putting much money into it (just the WordPress plan and the domain). It’s a hobby and a joy and I’ve made some awesome new friends with it too.
In that category, I have to include Zilla Blitz, who I discovered on Youtube and who has been grooming my green Luftwaffe pilots in my Storm Above the Reich campaign (which I will get back to at some point, so don’t abandon me, Zilla!)
I’ll never be the guy who gets tons of views and responses.
But I value the ones I do get.
Like last year, I am still getting some review copies of games, which is a nice perk. I haven’t been very good at getting them done in a timely manner, though, which frustrates me.
In terms of visitors, I appreciate all of you. I’ve grown to 191 followers (181 WordPress and 10 email) though how many of them read things, I don’t know!
I’ve been really appreciative of some of my professional colleagues checking me out via my LinkedIn profile. I actually discovered that a couple of my students (or former students) actually play board games that way!
That made me very happy.
And I can’t forget Patrick, even though that was through the Combat Commander ladder and not the blog!
Finally, let’s get into the visitor breakdowns that don’t involve those five people.
Again, obviously, the United States contributed the lion’s share of my visitor views with 21,434.
Canada is logically a solid second with 5763. The UK was third with 3833 and Clio and his fellow Germans came in fourth at 1585. Germany jumped ahead of Australia (1518) this year, swapping positions.
As always, there are a few countries that contributed just one view and one visitor to the blog this year.
This year, I will pick American Samoa, Guam, and the Solomon Islands to highlight!
I really wish I could see which post these visitors actually visited, just to see what brought them here from their Pacific locale.
But I appreciate you!
You know I do.
And most of all, I appreciate all of you who stop by and read my words. That’s the most important thing to a writer: to have someone read their words and hopefully enjoy them.
I’m making a resolution to not have so many lulls this year. Sometimes you do just need to recharge and sometimes you get busy.
A few of my lulls later in the year were caused by my newfound video game obsession, which started in the middle part of the year.
While I will keep on playing a lot of video games, I want to make sure they don’t affect my writing like they did last year.
I do hope 2023 is a better year in general for everybody. I hope to be in a better mental place for gaming and writing. And I’m looking forward to a number of great things happening.
What will they be?
Time will tell.
I will see you next time.
Wishing you all the best of health and happiness this year.