Monday, December 16, 2013

Behind the Blog - 3++ is the new Black

In the Grim Dark Future, there is war, and blogging about said war. Also blogging about anything and everything else going on. Blogging is a thankless job most times, and while our online community is pretty awesome in general as we celebrate all things Grim Dark, hobby, and miniature related. Seldom is the curtain pulled back to shine a light behind the scenes. The people who devote themselves to the dark god's of blogging work away frantically keeping the posts flowing. So in this series we will be speaking to some of our communities most dedicated. Getting a small glimpse into the minds of our fellow bloggers, and pillars of our online world. To get this glimpse a short series of questions went out into the warp, and these are the bloggers who responded.

Today we speak with 3++ is the New Black

Today the Emperor's Codex goes pink! If you enjoy the game itself and you are not reading 3++ already you are doing yourself a disservice. The site constantly drops solid articles on tactics, strategy, and game play itself. Giving you the opportunity to learn to be a better player and think critically about your in game choices. The site also drops some of the best battle reports you will see online. Not only giving you a play by play through the game, but in keeping with the theme also talking about the strategy behind the movement, and choices made in the game. A Fantastic tool for learning to be a more solid player. 

When I pinged Kirby about doing the article, not to be outdone by other sites and authors he brought his pink posse with him! So we will be hearing from Kirby, Matt-Shadowlord, Abuse Puppy, and Sirbiscuit in our royal rumble of a Behind the Blog series finale. So first off some pictures taken from random bat reps on the site, to show the type of feedback in the report and also because I like pictures of cool models and battle's going on. 

What originally got you into blogging?

Kirby: Idiots talking about things they know nothing about but believing they actually do.

Matt-Shadowlord: The money and the girls.

AbusePuppy: Well, it was power tools and dynamite up until the last dozen meters, but after that we had to work by hand to avoid damaging the main seam.

SirBiscuit: Kirby sends me $80 an article. (Suck it, other authors!)

Is there a story behind your blogs name?

Kirby: It’s pretty self-explanatory. If you need it explained but think you are good at this game, see above.

Matt-Shadowlord: Yes, it was named by the blog's founder, to whom it either hadn't occurred that the invulnerability of vehicles might change from edition to edition or who hadn't expected his blog to be such a long term success. I like to believe it is the latter.

AbusePuppy: Pretty sure it's a reference to Storm Shields and the like, not vehicles, Matt. Geez, brah.

SirBiscuit: I thought it was because Storm Shields came out, and then 'Nids got the Zoanthrope with the 3++ as well... but I'm pretty sure I remember Kirby telling me it was because vehicles had a 3+ "save" on the damage table back in 5th. Who knows now, 2++ reroll is the new black these days

Can you name two articles you have written in the past you really enjoy and why?

Kirby: I’ve loved my series on Bubble-wrapping though I think its lost some of its luster in 6th (I’m going to be rude and link more than 2!!) (The 5th ed ones – Making Bubble-wraps 102 
and Breaking Bubble-wraps and the 6th ed ones - Making Bubble-Wraps
and Breaking Bubble-Wraps but have to give a nice name drop to the self-blocking one 
though its less necessary in light of the lack of vehicles seen these days. It’s tactical rather than thoughtful which is often so lacking online or waved away with faeries and unicorns.

Matt-ShadowLord: Judging by reception and impact, they would probably be 

Game Changers: The Wave Serpent

Focus Fire: Take your 40K Shooting to the next level

AbusePuppy: Absolutely anything where I critique lists or codices for being imperfect. Nerds hate it when you tell them they're imperfect, and there's nothing I love more than making nerds angry.

SirBiscuit: Any of the Battle Packs I've put out. I've put an enormous amount of work into them and I'm very proud. Here's the most recent one, with links to the others:

In terms of actual articles, "Winning Armies" seems to be as potent today as when I wrote it, so I guess I'd put that one up:

How do you keep up with blogging and how much time does it take up out of your personal life?

Kirby: I don’t. It used to take a fair chunk as I was doing studies and working night shifts but now it takes a lot less as I have less time to devote to it. Having other authors really helps this obviously but so has the decision to be smarter with one’s posting rather than spamming out posts as fast as possible.

Matt-ShadowLord: We're very fortunate to have more than one good blogger posting on the site, because I know we all have real-life demands on our time, and is about trying to improve the game and its players rather than just reposting the same snippets that show up all over the web.

I also tend to prefer writing in-depth articles that turn into miniseries (currently on part 3 of a 6 part series about beating Tau, for example), so having the burden of publishing articles spread over several authors is a definite advantage.

AbusePuppy: I don't follow as many blogs as I used to, in no small part because many of them have stopped updating or stopped having good articles posted, but between checking the site to respond to people, writing articles of my own, and browsing the blogs (and occasional local forum) that I do still participate in, it's easily a couple hours per day.

SirBiscuit: Between the turbulence of starting Grad School, working full times, and planning Feast of Blades, not nearly as much as I would like. I actually have about 2 dozen unfinished articles sitting around, I swear someday you'll see a flood of stuff from me once I can actually sit down and finish them

Are there some really great blogs that inspire you or that you would like to shout out?

Kirby: Anywhere SinSynn writes =)! House of Paincakes I think is really under appreciated as a blog given the quality stuff they put out. Otherwise I’m afraid to say I don’t read a lot of blogs these days due to time constraints. Most people point me in the direction of interesting articles as needed I guess…

AbusePuppy: House of Paincakes definitely deserves some credit for amalgamating a lot of good authors. Sadly, a lot of the best players in the hobby just don't write much- which is understandable, but still something of a loss.

SirBiscuit: Yeah, like AP said, a lot of players don't like to write. Still, one of my favorites is Delusions of Grandeur Xaereth is an unbelievably good player and writes articles that blow me away

If you had one tip for a newer blogger what would you tell them?

Kirby: Don’t.

Matt-Shadowlord: If you've ever been tempted to join the many people who say "I have a great idea but won't share it" or believe you need to keep your army builds secret in order to improve your chances of winning games, you're not really ready to contribute. If you're happy to publish articles with tactics, rules, strategies, combinations and lists that you know your opponents may read and could make games harder for you to win in future, then you're ready.

AbusePuppy: Matt hits things on the head here, but I think something also to remember is that writing takes time. If you want to run a blog- or write for someone else's- be prepared to invest a pretty fair chunk of time into it. It can be rewarding and you can meet lots of cool people and learn things you never would have otherwise, but good writing is not easy, it is hard and every mistake you make will be glaringly obvious to everyone but you.

SirBiscuit: Join a blog. Until you can be sure that you're able to update frequently and for the long haul, it's not worth trying to start your own, doing a bunch of work and ultimately dropping it before you get a readership. Even if you only write a few articles, get them into a place where people can see them.

Any final words before we wrap this thing up?

Kirby: Get Kirby dice =). In all seriousness, starting a blog is hard – if you want to make it big and have people see you, you need to find a sort of niche to fill and then grow from that. Everyone has their own little blog on their own little army but unless you’re putting forth great information, it’s not going to launch. 3++ built up a head of steam as it was one of only two locations you could get really solid tactical advice on 40k on the web without wading through a lot of crap. Faeit built up for example as being the place which summarized every rumor under the sun, etc. If all else fails though, hang out in the chatbawks :P

Matt-Shadowlord: For anyone considering starting or writing a gaming blog, I'd recommend collaborating and posting guest articles on existing blogs while you learn the ropes - there are far too many orphan blogs with biannual updates on the web already. 

For anyone who wants to improve their 40K gaming and join in discussion of intermediate to advanced tactics, I recommend coming to 3plusplus, reading some articles and joining the live Chatbox and the forum.

AbusePuppy: 40K, as a game, is still really growing and expanding; there's still a lot of room to explore options and define how the game works. Despite the pushback from other parts of the community, I think that understanding the game and how it is played is a good thing that benefits everyone.

SirBiscuit: To echo what the others have said, blogging is about community, not trying to exploit the game. We're trying to share our expertise and have fun talking about it, not bring down the game. I think everyone should get involved in reading blogs

Huge thanks to the 3++ crew for playing along for the article who always do outstanding work on the main site! Keep up the solid work guys. Also I want to shout out House of Paincakes again, as said above the site really doesn't get the credit or attention it deserves. I enjoy that site as well they have a good crew of authors over there. Also pink dice roll better, just throwing that out there as I wrap this up. =P

Thanks for joining us today as we wrap up the series! It has been a fun series to do and interesting to hear from fellow bloggers. I have heard lots of great feedback on the series and hope you all enjoyed the run. As always thanks for stopping by, and comments or feedback are always welcome. 


  1. The quality of posts on 3++ is very high, and is one of the few places where even the comments section is useful!

  2. Well I'm blushing.

    Fer realz, 3++ is definitely on another tier, and I've had a massive crush on Abuse Puppy fer like, there's that.

    $80 bucks a post?!?
    I'm gonna hafta have a chat with Kirbs...

  3. Typical.....The blog network I write for gets a plug and the most recent article I wrote for it was basically a filler piece that I'm not very happy with, lol.

    I'll do better next time...I promise...

  4. Biscuit invoices me. I just don't pay.

    Because if I invoiced him for all the psych work, he'd be my slave :).

  5. Ha, thanks for the shout out, Biscuit! High praise, to be sure :)

  6. I wrote for it was basically a filler piece that I'm not very happy with, lol.
    Addicting games for girls[


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