Welcome readers to the long-awaited new year. Now that I’m writing this post I’m beginning to think that title might be a little click-baity so I’ll start by saying that the Azyr Weekly is not going anywhere. Far from it; the Weekly will continue to plague your timelines for some time to come. Instead I wanted to write a little retrospective about the year that’s been. Tears have been shed. Battles won and lost. A whole new edition released. And the Azyr Weekly has been there through it all.
Most Popular Article (and What Worked?)
There was a far-and-away winner this year, a single article that resonated with readers from all across the Realms. There are two truths in life: the Beasts of Chaos possess a passionate fanbase, and the Age of Sigmar community love an underdog.
In general the most popular articles are the ones that directly link to The Discourse, particularly when that discourse surrounds some misdeed by Games Workshop. It’s where I get a lot of my ideas, and as Rob Symes pointed out on an Honest Wargamer stream the Azyr Weekly can be seen as a sort of historical record of the community. I’ve always attempted to engage those discussions in good faith, and it’s a fun challenge to try and position them within the Age of Sigmar narrative. I’m glad that people enjoy them.
The most popular newsflash, which I discuss later on, was true to form also about a faction down in the dumps.
Least Popular Article (and What Flopped?)
A mixed reception in life, disregarded in print. Chaos Dreadhold, we barely knew you.
Something I did learn during the year was how important a headline and image are to the reception of an article. This really clicked for me when I saw an article popping off on Twitter while receiving almost zero views on the actual website, meaning nobody was actually reading it. I don’t think there’s anything to be done about that, but it has reinforced the importance of getting that first impression right. If I want to make as many people laugh/chuckle/blow through their nose as possible, that headline and image are the most important place for that to happen.
Some will also remember the ‘newsflashes’ I briefly used, which was a quick one-liner displayed as an image (as shown above). I still think they’re a good idea, but I had underestimated how many of these jokes came to me at 1 in the morning while in bed away from my computer. Simply tweeting the text is that much easier, but hopefully we’ll find a middle-ground.
Most Deserving of Thanks
I’m a believer that every creator or achiever has their helpers, whether they know about them or not, so I want to throw some thank yous to those who have helped the Azyr Weekly over the year. So, in no particular order:
My wife Sarah, who will resolutely give my articles a ‘like’ when she sees them even when she doesn’t know what’s going on. Mitch for the workshopping of headlines, particularly during Nurgle Week, and the AoS Coach and Mr Mephisto Discords for giving me material to work with. Rob from the Honest Wargamer for blowing up my notifications with new followers whenever he mentions the site on stream. All of those who have messaged me headlines and allowed me to riff an article off them. And the New Zealand AoS community, in particular my group Nice and Reasonable, for providing the environment that makes my experience of Age of Sigmar such an enjoyable one.
Finally, of course, comes the reader. Thank you for taking the time to read the headlines or delve into the articles. This would be no fun if nobody actually engaged with it, so thank you so much.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
As an end-of-year gift, here are some answers to questions I get a bit from readers.
How many people are involved in writing the articles? – Just me. Sometimes people will suggest headlines to me, but the body of every article is written by myself.
Are you friends with the Tabletop Inquirer? – No, we’ve never talked. But I do think they’re very funny.
Have Games Workshop ever contacted you? – No, but I’ve tried to contact them. I treasure every automated reply like a missive from Sigmar himself.
Why did you kill the Hammerhal Herald? – You can’t prove anything.
I have no idea! Well I do have ideas, and have even drafted some of them up, but COVID proves to be the great disrupter and nothing has borne fruit quite yet. Nurgle Week, a whole week of articles leading up to the new Nurgle battletome, didn’t get a great response, but I’m hoping to try again with the next few releases. If you have ideas for what you’d like to see on the Azyr Weekly I would genuinely love to hear and discuss them with you.
For the new year I wish you all the best of luck with the challenges ahead, and 365 days full of fun and friendship in our excellent community.
Yours in news,