Splendid, you made it to our little launch bash! The convivial throng you’re currently swelling consists, in the main, of discerning PC gamers like yourself – folk interested in tactical truths, vehicular verisimilitude, and distinctive writing. I’m Tim Stone, Tally-Ho Corner’s proprietor and sole word wrangler, and that woman over there with the giant scissors and the daring live fox stole is, of course, renowned aviatrix Amy Johnson. For a nominal fee (200 Navy Cut, unfiltered) my old mucker, Amy, has kindly agreed to open this aspiring Aladdin’s Cave.
All those familiar with my long-running column ‘The Flare Path’ and its enigmatic offshoot ‘The Foxer’ will know roughly what to expect from Tally-Ho Corner going forward. Wargame and sim-related previews, reviews, interviews, news round-ups and essays? CHECK. Colourful virtual travelogues and gripping After Action Reports? CHECK. A regular supply of handmade puzzles guaranteed to corrugate foreheads and bolster general knowledge? CHECK. At present my plan is to stick pretty closely to the Flare Path formula. Every Friday there will be a substantial article and a communal foxer. A new solo foxer will scamper from Roman’s den every Monday.
I’ve toyed with the idea of posting daily news stories, but fear this could end up compromising the quality of the weekly feature (I’m not convinced the world needs another games site specialising in artfully rephrased press releases). That said, while everything is written by Stone, nothing is written in it. If the desire is there and funds allow, post intervals may narrow and supplementary supporter-only content appear.
Supporters are the kind souls who ultimately are going to determine whether Tally-Ho Corner soars like an eagle or plummets like a blazing airship. Having done it for the past twenty years, I know it’s possible to make a modest living writing about sims and wargames for magazines and websites. What I don’t know yet is whether I can cut out the media middlemen and still keep the lights on, the larder stocked, and the bailiffs at bay.
Cards on table. RPS paid me a relatively generous £200 a week to talk about warfare fare and transportational transports of delight. If I’m not generating at least half of this lost income through Stripe-processed subscriptions and donations by the time the swallows return to my corner of Wessex, this experiment in optimism may well have to be wound up. To truly guarantee a future for the site and to permit investments such as the purchasing of a PC capable of playing the latest Flight Simulator, I hope to be earning in January 2022 what I was earning in January 2020.
While the change in paymaster – ReedPop to reader – means added uncertainty for me and, potentially, extra expenditure for you, it also opens up exciting new possibilities. Advertisers, accountants, and ideologues wield no power here. If the site metamorphoses then the triggers are as likely to be your emails and comments as my brainwaves. If you’ve any suggestions, be they grand, trifling, prosaic or fanciful, I’m all ears.
In addition to financial support Tally-Ho Corner is going to need PR assistance in the challenging days ahead. Because I’m reluctant to venture into the bear pit that is social media, I’m going to be largely reliant on word of mouth to spread the news that the column previously known as The Flare Path has a new name and home. Please, if you like what you read here, tell your friends.
Gosh, if I’m not very much mistaken the russet critter that just brushed past our shins and darted into the buffet tent was Amy’s stole! As foxes are the natural enemies of pork pies and scotch eggs, I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I say “cheerio” at this point and go investigate. Enjoy the rest of the launch party. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon on Tally-Ho Corner.