One year ago Panzer Grenadier Headquarters launched with 12 members, 135 recorded plays (75 of which were from Jay alone), and 90 AARs. Since that fateful day we've increased our AAR count 10-fold, play count 14-fold, and member count 30-fold -- cause for celebration!
When we launched, for those of you who weren't around, all we really offered was play and AAR tracking. Over the course of the past year we've added the immensely popular Annotated Rules, the Want to Play system, Member Rankings and Tours of Duty, Bounty Hunting, a wide assortment of both global and personal statistics, plus a lot of minor improvements like rating lists, map previews, and the scenario requirement matrices on each game's page... and there are a lot of even more interesting ideas in the development pipeline -- more cause for celebration!
And so, to celebrate PG-HQ's first year, and to honor our members - without whom none of this would matter - I'm delighted to announce our new Annual Awards program.
All of these annual awards are based on what we shall call the PG-HQ Year, in this case all activity from June 6th 2010 to June 5th 2011, inclusive. Furthermore, in order to be eligible for an award you must have played and recorded at least 6 battles during this period. That's equivalent to achieving our first promotion from Recruit to Private. Only plays that took place during the past year are considered, with 2 special exceptions that are explained below. So if you joined and recorded 10 plays, but 5 of those were dated to before June 6th 2010, you have not satisfied the eligibility requirements for this year's awards selection.
Perhaps that sounds a bit Draconian, but as we have a lot of awards based on averages, a member with only 2 or 3 plays can seriously skew the results. In practice, no one is really hurt by this cut-off point. Still, might as well mention it up front!
Enough blabber, let's hand out some prizes!
If you build it, they will come... but you can't build it without help!
At the beginning of 2010 I completed the PG-HQ data entry tools and set about finding volunteers to help with the mammoth task of manually adding 1,200+ scenarios to the database.
PG-HQ as you know it now did not exist. In fact, all I had was the data entry toolset and a text description of the planned site structure - not exactly top-notch marketing materials!
But a few brave, committed dudes answered the call and toiled away for hours, days, weeks, and months. They donated their time so that I could focus on realizing the site framework. They struggled through encoding problems and changing data needs (we decided to add Battle Types and Conditions after already entering many hundreds of scenarios, forcing people to go back and recheck each one), but they stuck with it, and as they worked PG-HQ sprouted up around them. The site owes these fine lads a great debt, so today we are recognizing them with a permanent honor.
Unsung no more, your compatriots who took a leap of faith are:
This is also a good time to introduce the lads who have helped keep PG-HQ running like a well-oiled machine since launch. Nowadays my time is devoted to site maintenance and design. When new games are released these are the fellows breaking their wrists to get you the data loaded as quickly as possible. They resolve your Errors & Omissions submissions. And they're also my sounding board for design changes and new feature planning. It's fair to say that without my team none of this would be sustainable.
When PG-HQ launched on June 6, 2010 I was a bit... stressed out. We (see above!) had been working hard for nearly half a year, and while we were certain it was a first class idea, you never know how the wider community will react until you put yourself out there.
I uploaded the final set of files to our server, removed the temporary splash page, posted announcements on BGG and CSW, and then... went to sleep. I was not about to sit around waiting for this monstrous kettle to boil!
While I (fitfully) slumbered, the first wave of members began to arrive. At 11:05AM on June 6th, U.S Central Time, enrique added the first post-launch play to PG-HQ. Congratulations buddy, you and your play for Fall of France #15 were FIRST!
We got 9 articles out the door last year. While not quite the target monthly pace, I'm pleased with the quality of each of them. Last year saw 2 members step up to join me in writing for PG-HQ:
The only prerequisite for participation is to have something interesting to say, so if you want to be on this list next year, drop me a line!
Our most prestigious award? In my opinion, yes. Our Player of the Year is the member who played the most games between June 6th 2010 and June 5th 2011. This year's winner actually lapped the field! driddle01 played a mind-boggling 126 scenarios, essentially one every third day for the entire year. Outstanding!
Plays are the fuel that drives our statistics, but the character, the nature of Panzer Grenadier only truly seeps forth from our After Action Reports. This year's most prolific chronicler, with 57 reports filed, is JayTownsend. Jay edged out our runner-up by logging 5 scenarios over the previous 3 days!
Yet, as this was our inaugural year, I also felt it would be remiss not to recognize those members who took it upon themselves to load in all their plays and AARs that predated the advent of PG-HQ.
After some thought, I decided we should present a one-time only award to honor our top two comrades in that respect.
The Top Founding Player award, for recording the most pre-2010-06-06 plays in the database, goes to mike perryman for his 117 plays.
Quantity over quality, or just lots and lots and lots of quality? Some of our members really enjoy their AARs! Is this award an honor, or an insult? I'll let you decide! ;-)
The PG-HQ member with the longest wind in 2011 was PG-Tank Dude, who averaged a breathtaking 1,012 words per AAR over 14 AARs!
On the other hand, some of our guys are the type whose retelling of The Odyssey would be simply "dude, long trip, ended ok".
The PG-HQ member with the lowest average AAR word count in 2011, and therefore the member who most readily got to the point, was Greg SW, who averaged a determinedly spartan 125 words per AAR over 6 AARs!
In theory, the overall site scenario average rating should climb over time as we log more ratings, people begin avoiding the crap scenarios, and the quality scenarios receive repeated plays. Until then, we've got ratings all over the place!
Easy to Please goes to the member with the highest average scenario rating over the past year. 2011's most perpetually satisfied member was Blackcloud6 with an average rating of 3.8333 over 6 scenario ratings.
Conversely, some people just ain't ever happy with their battles. Maybe they have bad luck picking scenarios to play, maybe they simply hold Panzer Grenadier to a higher standard than the rest of us... no matter the reason, we salute their discriminating taste all the same!
2011's most perpetually dissatisfied member was vince hughes with an average rating of 2.8286 over 35 ratings.
The PG-HQ Bounty System has only really been active for the past half year, but we're not gonna let that stop us from honoring two of our best hunters.
The Bounty Sniper award goes to the member with the highest bounty average. This year's winner is rerathbun, who averaged 218 points over 16 bounties.
Fancy a big game hunt? The Trophy Hunter award goes to the member who has bagged the largest play & AAR bounty set by points over the past year.
"We fought and we fought and we fought and we fought... and at the end of the day... nobody won!"
Frustrating I'm sure! In honor of those among us who, try as they might, seem to always get stuck in stalemates, we've created the Decisively Indecisive award.
If you're going to take the trouble to do something, might as well do it the best you possibly can! 2011's most Decisively Indecisive member was arixius, who logged 11 draws over 26 plays for a draw rate of 42.3%!
The Spice of Life award family goes to the member whose campaigning over the past year has brought them into contact with the greatest variety of ____.
In 2011, JayTownsend destroyed all challengers as he played at least one scenario from fully 33 different games!
Twice the bridesmaid, finally the bride! driddle01 shakes off his two previous runner-up disappointments and claims the Unit Spice of Life award. Over the past year driddle01 has led an incredible 404 different units into battle! He won this award by the slenderest of nose hairs, having edged our runner-up by only 0.5%!
Though you can do battle in Panzer Grenadier with as few as 7 counters, the veterans know that vast, sweeping battles are where the command and control system shines best.
Persian Warlord goes to the member who played the scenario with the largest counter total over the past year. This year's winner is GeneSteeler, who marshaled an epic 347 units when he played Blue Division #15!
And then there's the general who makes his enemies fight in the shade. Xerxes Reborn goes to the member who commanded the most total units over the course of the previous year. By a huge margin, this award goes to driddle01, who led 7,475 units into battle after battle!
On one end of the spectrum, Panzer Grenadier offers a handful of battles that clock in at 105 minutes maximum. At the other end, the iron-grog can immerse himself in multi-day rampages. The Tireless Warrior award is given annually to the member who bagged the longest single scenario by turn total.
But when the dust settles and the battle has finished, the Tireless Warrior may rest, whereas the Tireless Campaigner must carry on until the last of his enemies are scattered to the four winds.
For logging the most total turns in battle over the past year with an exhausting 3,348 turns (9 days!) of death and destruction, driddle01 is the 2011 Tireless Campaigner!
If you're going to bother handing out a light-hearted, impressively unmeritorious award like FIRST!, might as well continue the farce and hand out its brother-in-arms, LAST!
The Cinderella of our Annual Awards, the glorious honor that is LAST! is bestowed upon that user who recorded a play closest to midnight, June 5th 2011.
And that, my friends, is that! It has been an awesome first year for our little site. Can't wait to see what the future holds! See you in 12 months!