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A fond farewell

At some point during this month I will celebrate the seventh year of running Tabletop Gaming News. I suspect that I actually started my news blog some point sooner than that but the first blog posts I have in my archives date from September 5th, 2005. This is a fairly significant milestone for me because other than breathing and complaining I haven't done any one job or project for as long as I have been working on TGN. And as much as I love the site and like finding and disseminating news about the hobby it is time for me to step aside and let a new team of people take Tabletop Gaming News into the future.

During the recent Fundraiser I received an email inquiring about selling TGN. After some back and forth discussions I decided, for several reasons, to not sell the site. Not only was the timing of the approach unfortunate but I had real reservations about walking away from a project that I have invested so much time and had become emotionally invested in as well. After about a month or so later two things happened that made me decide to change my mind.

The first was that I spent a rather pleasant morning with my twins talking to them about the things that they liked from a birthday party they went to in Vancouver some months before we moved. They had some very specific memories about it and they talked about what they liked, what they ate, the games they played and how they wanted, or didn't want, some of these same things at their own birthday. They are not quite four yet and it was quite surprising to have such a pleasant conversation with them about a discrete subject for such a long time.

I also suffer from arthritis and in recent months my condition has been getting progressively worse. Especially in my hands. While I am certainly not at the point where I will have to give up painting, I can see a point where that may be a real possibility and I want to make sure that while I still can paint, and enjoy it, that I do so.

Over the years TGN has evolved into a hobby website that takes time away from my hobby and I think that now is an opportune time for me to take that time back and focus on my family and also to make sure that I am able to fully enjoy my hobby and participate in it. The twins are never going to be this age again and I want to have my mornings and afternoons free to talk to them about Thomas the Tank Engine, their favourite colours and how we make paper rolls into spy scopes. So with that in mind I contacted Ross Thompson at Cool Mini or Not and began negotiations, again, to sell the site to them.

That process was successful and we are now in the final stages of moving Tabletop Gaming News to a new server and having a new team take over managing the site and posting news.

My main aim is to ensure that there is a group of people that have the resources and the inclination to keep the site running. TGN takes a good chunk of time to maintain and expand and in the past year or so I have not really had the time to do this. While I think I have done a good job of keeping the site fresh with new content I have not been able to dedicate any time to updating the site, modifying the UI and adding features that people have requested. It is my belief that Ross and his team will have that time and be able to keep the site updated and expand it.

As dedicated as I have been to the site over the seven years that I have been running it, TGN has simply gotten to the point where it is too big for one person to do. Especially one person who can't dedicate his full time and resources to it. Cool Mini or Not clearly have the resources and the manpower to dedicate to the site and take it forward. I will be staying on as Founding Editor of the site and will also be heading to events like Gen Con 2012 to cover it for the site. So I won't be disappearing. This change in management also will let me concentrate on what I really like, writing reviews and opinions pieces about the hobby. So you can expect to see more of those from me in the future. For the next while though I will be concentrating on my twins, building railroads on the kitchen floor and, who knows, even painting some figures.

I am going to miss working as fully on TGN as I have but in the end I don't think that I will miss the time away from this site as much as I would miss the time away from the twins.

I would like to ask that regular visitors to the site give Ross and his team time to find their own pace and style. They will most certainly not post news in the same fashion that I have but change is not necessarily a bad thing and I hope that people are able to give them an opportunity to put their own stamp on the site.

While I have often tried to emphasize that this site is built in large part by the feedback and comments of the community that participates in it I would ask that everyone gives the new team time to build their own workflow, find their own voice and style and then start to provide feedback. Give the new guys some time before you tell them what you think :-) But do make sure that you do provide them with clear, and constructive, feedback about what you think of their work and what you want the site to become. Readers are what a site is built on and its critical that you help to guide and form the site as it grows and expands.

This site wouldn't be what it is today without the feedback and comments of the people that read it and I'd like to thank you all for your time, interest and commentary. TGN routinely gets more than half a million page views a month and it wouldn't be able to do that without its fans and readers. There are a few people that I would like to specifically thank for their efforts.

Grant Hill has been quietly working in the background of this site for some time and I don't think that people are as aware of his efforts as they should be. While our output of reviews has declined over the years since I stopped writing full-time, what reviews you do see are here because of Grant's work. Effort that he has managed to put in while finishing a Phd., moving to and from the UK, looking for post-graduate position and managing time to start a family.

JP and the team from Battlefront literally rescued this site when it was booted from the VPN it ran on some years ago. Battlefront is a for-profit corporation and yet that didn't stop JP from providing hosting for TGN out of the companies coffers. Battlefront asked for nothing in return and have never tried to use their support of the site to get more prominent placement for their news items or products. If you ever hear anyone comment negatively about Battlefront's commitment to the hobby remember their support of this site, support born from only wanting to ensure that there was a hobby-wide source of news available.

My wife has put up with quite a lot over the years including me running to coffee shops during family holidays to post news and work on servers, me posting news while watching TV with her on the couch and any number of other mild to severe irritants related to my work on the site. Her patience and understanding have made it possible for me to work on TGN as long as I have.

Fantasy Flight Games have been a long-time advertiser with the site and the financial contribution they have made has made it possible for me to continue working on TGN over the years.

I have met (virtually and in the real world) a large number of people whom I would never had had the opportunity to meet and who have become, if not friends then, valued associates: Matt Hope, Tom Anders, Randall Bills, David Stansel-Garner, Jim Bailey, Justin McCoy, Nathan Caroland, Dan Weber, Ken Whitehurst, Bobby Stickel, Gregoire Boisbelaud, Steve Blease, Dave Taylor and probably a lot more people than I can safely remember. I hope I don't offend anyone by not mentioning them but one of the greatest rewards of running this site is the vast number of inspired hobbyists, game developers, sculptors and manufacturers that I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years.