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Review Reset

Just a note about the content of our review section…

…if you are familiar with the old HFC you will probably wonder why many reviews are gone and if you are a first time visitor you will think that we don’t have played that many games yet. Or so it seems .. so here’s the short story of how things came to be what they are today.

We started with the hobby wargaming 10+ years ago and it was a thrilling new experience for us since it was completely new and different to what we were used to play before. Videogame addicts that we were (and still are), card and board games weren’t really on our radar – but after getting hooked on some serious tactical decision-making in tactical shooters on console, we looked for military strategy games in general.

So we set our feet on the usual road leading to Axis & Allies but after some time (and many A&A games under our belts) we realized that wasn’t what we were actually looking for – so we surfed The Net to find something different. This initial search introduced to us the wonderful World of Wargaming and when we played Squad Leader for the first time, we knew we had found what we were looking for. Once we knew what a consim was, things went rather quickly, we learned to know many friendly folks who helped us learning and playing various consims. In addition, we started a lively exchange of thoughts and shared our experiences with gamers all over the world via the usual fora, mailing lists and so on.

Since we received so much support, we wanted to give something back to the community – and since Wargaming wasn’t very popular  in Germany (or so it seemed, given the lack of information in German on the internet), we decided to start a website where folks could get  information, articles, reviews and stuff about The Hobby.

HFC today... 2 dedicated (war)gamers

The first ‘incarnation’ of the HFC was a game club (“Homefront Club”) with a large online information website. Over the course of time, the project developed further and went through some major changes (you can read  a more detailed HFC history here) into what it is now: the personal website of two dedicated (war)gamers.

The entire time we used the HFC as our personal “gaming diary” and we wrote reviews, AARs and articles about topics that we were interested in while learning and playing games. Now, in 2010, when the last major overhaul of the site was started by switching over to English as the ‘tool of communication’, we realized that after all these years of wargaming, we now actually had a different opinion on certain aspects of  The Hobby and about specific games. What we wrote in the early stages of our ‘wargaming career’ isn’t always in accordance with what we think and how we play today. As soon as we re-read our old reviews, we realized that we had to make a decision about  what to do with them and whether we should keep them for the new website. But while reading some of these reviews, it became clearer and clearer that we would write them totally different today. Therefore we decided to make a ‘review reset‘ and start all over again.

So, this is just to let you know that we eagerly spent the last 10+ years playing (war)games. Today we have many great games sitting on our shelf played years ago and other games currently ‘in active duty’ on our gaming table.

In the course of our complete overhaul of the HFC, we also thought about the “wargamer’s virus” which had infected us then (in other words collecting games without having the time for playing them enough to really get into them). When you start The Hobby, this virus usually can’t be avoided because you are a bit overwhelmed – since there are so many games available and each one looks like a winner! You come across what seems a great price on eBay or elsewhere and you don’t want to let a good opportunity pass, even if you are currently having no time for another game.  So you end with lots of games sitting on your shelf which you only know so-so and where you just scratched the surface of strategy and tactics before moving on to the next game.

Therefore we decided to give all those many games in our collection a fair new chance to return to our gaming table . We also decided to get rid of games we don’t like anymore or which were bad buys. By re-playing our old games, we wanted to see what they really had to offer us, now, after so many games under our belts and with our gaming experiences with ASL, Totaler Krieg, and other true consims, but also with fun board games such as  Arkham Horror, War of the Ring or Doom – The Boardgame.

This encouraged us in resetting the reviews, since they were not deep enough to give the reader a solid base on which he could decide whether a certain game is suited for her/him – or not.  But that’s the main reason for writing and reading reviews, so taken all these points into consideration, a fresh start of the review section was the best decision for our readers as well as ourselves. Of course that doesn’t mean we won’t (or don’t) buy new games anymore (far from it, often we simply can’t resist), but we do this now as experienced gamers and strictly based on the necessary information, i.e. after careful study of reviews, rules, components etc., not with the beginners drive to buy “what seems to be a good offer” and checking it out later – if at all.

We are what one could call ‘mood gamers’ – which means we love planning the weekend gaming around a certain theme or topic we are currently interested in – so for example playing a game about the American Civil War, accompanied by reading books about battles or generals and by watching  movies and/or documentaries about this topic. We are able to combine three hobbies this way and get the most out of each of them, which is both entertaining and educating!

The fact that we are not only history buffs and therefore dedicated consim players, but also fans of Lovecraft, Tolkien, Marvel Comics, Fantasy, Sci Fi, and Horror is the reason why we also play games that are not wargames in the strict sense. But the HFC still is (now probably more than ever before ) our personal hobby archive and online gaming diary. Against the background of the above explained new start of the website, this will most certainly shape the content of the HFC in a way which may seem a bit off-balance regarding the initial ‘mission’ of the HFC as a wargaming site. When you think that our ‘off topic…but great!’ section is as large or larger than the wargame section, be assured that this is simply because the removal of the old reviews and  the writing of new articles fell together with an interest in specific topics and games.

So as we carry on playing games, we will write our new content – and this can be about a game on the Great Cthulhu or about a detailed study of the American Civil War, dependent on our mood.

That’s why the HFC reboot goes along with a review reset and that’s why you should stay tuned for new opinions on ‘old’ wargames as well as on  other games great… but way off topic 😉

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