Onwards & Upwards
It’s been a while since I posted anything non-review on here, so this is long overdue. We’re decidedly in 2021 now, and I’m at a point where things are going well for Punchboard. So, here’s a little about what’s been going on with me, and what’s coming next.
The Here And Now
If you’ve been reading recently, you’ll have seen I’ve written quite a few reviews. A lot of them have been recent games which I bought because I either loved the theme and designers, or because I got swept up in a bit of the hype. It’s probably a bit of both if I’m honest. I really enjoy Merv, Praga Caput Regni, and Viscounts of the West Kingdom though, so new or not, I’m glad I covered them.
The most recent review however, was a bit of a special one for me. Yes, Euphoria ticks all the boxes for me (worker placement, quirky theme, dice as workers), but it also marked milestone for me. It was the first game that’s ever been sent to me, for free, for me to review, and I’m extremely grateful to Stonemaier Games for the opportunity. As it turns out, I love it, and really enjoyed it, and I’m especially glad I bought the expansion for myself to go with it.
I’ve seen my following on Twitter and Instagram grow, and I’ve met (for want of a better term) a lot of really nice people. I now no longer feel like an absolute outsider to the board game community at large. Now, I’m more like the guy who got in to a party full of much cooler people, trying to fit in.
So what now? Rest on my laurels, be happy with that, and tick along? Nosireebob, not on your nelly. Here’s what I’m up to now.
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century!
I’m showing my age there a bit, but that sums it up nicely – Future Times!
Never one to stand still, I’m constantly trying to learn something new. I guess you could call that self-improvement? With that in mind, I saw a tweet scroll past a few weeks ago from the Tabletop Mentorship scheme, and promptly signed up. I told them I want to improve my writing, and my reach with my content, and found out this week that I’d been matched up with my new mentor – Iain from The Giant Brain (go and read it, I won’t be offended, it’s good stuff). We met up today, and as well as being a thoroughly nice chap, he’s given me some great advice, and we’ve already decided on some things to try. Hopefully that’ll become evident over the coming weeks.
I’ve been cheeky, some might say, and proffered myself out to lots of different publishers, testing the water to see what’s involved with becoming a listed reviewer for them, So far, the feedback’s been surprisingly good.
I’ve had what I expected – “We want someone with a much bigger audience and reach, come back when you’re that” – and that’s fair enough. They’re running a business after all, and know their target audience.
I’ve also had the slightly-better-than-expected – “We’re looking for bigger, but we know you have to start somewhere, so here are some digital codes to run giveaways with to grow your audience“. Pretty cool, I thought.
Then, I’ve had the completely unexpected, where publishers have been keen to work with me, asked for my details, and I currently have several games on their way to me over the next couple of months, with the promise of more to come. This is pretty mind-blowing to me, I didn’t expect anything like this, and I’m very happy about it.
Like, seriously pleased.
Changes Coming Soon
With all of that in mind, here’s what that means for Punchboard Reviews in the near future.
- I’m still going to be buying the majority of my own games to cover, and you better believe there’s going to be a lot of heavy euro, worker placement, dice-related shenanigans going on for the stuff I love and can’t get enough of.
- Transparency. Any time a game is provided to me to review, I’ll be up-front and tell you in the review. Note that this isn’t the same thing as being sponsored. No-one is paying me to write nice things about their cardboard offspring, so if I have problems with a game, I’ll tell you.
- Blogging. As part of my mentoring, I’ve been encouraged to post with a more regular schedule, and apparently people like getting to know the actual me, so expect some regular updates like this one.
- Short-form reviews. As you’ll know if you’ve subjected yourself to my reviews before, once I start talking about something I like, it can get away from me. My reviews have a habit of running in the thousands of words. Moving forward, when I love a game, and have a lot to say about it, I still will. But for games that maybe don’t need three thousand words, I’m going to try boiling some of it down and getting to the interesting stuff faster, and leave you with more time to scroll through Twitter, write a novel, mow the lawn – whatever else it is you could be doing.
Thanks for the support so far folks, here’s to 2021.