Welcome to Boar & Arrow, The Latest Sensation (Probably, Maybe) in Board Game Blogging

Hello! Hi, yes, hello there. I’m Kyle Hanley. I like board games. Like, a lot. Too much, some (mainly my girlfriend (and other friends (and my parents))) might say. When I’m not playing board games, I spend my time wanting to play board games. When I’m not doing that, I spend my time watching board game videos on YouTube. When I’m not doing that, I am buying board games, often online and without adult supervision (big mistake). When I’m not doing that, I am eating Taco Bell.

But yeah, mostly the board game stuff, though.

For too many months, I’ve needed an outlet for this passion (maybe obsession? Nah, passion just sounds much nicer and less serial killer-y, so let’s stick with that). Too long have I been hosting a one person podcast in front of my bathroom mirror, with no microphones, with the faucet running so no one else can hear me, talking about board games to absolutely no one. My sharp critiques, witty banter and contagious enthusiasm is reaching no one through this method. Unless you count the spider in the corner of the bathroom, but I don’t think he even speaks English, so likely not?

That’s where this blog comes in. As a Creative Writing major, I know what it’s like to have a lot of repressed feelings and regret and disappointment that can only be softened through the power of written expression. While this blog will do nothing to help the regret and disappointment, I intend on FINALLY getting my love for board games and my various opinions on them out of my brain and into your eyes. If I have to strap you to a chair and pin said eyes open, Clockwork Orange style, you better believe that I will. But hopefully it won’t come to that!

This blog will be home to reviews, thoughts on news and developments within the board game world, and….uhhh…actually, I don’t know exactly what kind of content I plan on creating for this blog outside of those two things, but I imagine I’ll have plenty of other things to write and say along the way. Worst case scenario, when I run out of board game ideas, there’s always Taco Bell reviews. I am really gunning for this Taco Bell sponsorship, guys.

Now that you have an idea about what this is all about, let me tell you about myself. As I mentioned, I’m Kyle Hanley. You can call me Kyle, you can call me Hanley, whichever you prefer. I like board games. I mentioned that already, didn’t I? I’m no good at this introduction thing. If you think I’m awkward here, try meeting me in real life. By this point in the conversation, I would have started and stopped crying at least three times.

But in all seriousness, some more things about me. As I briefly touched on, I am indeed a Creative Writing major so, as I’m sure you expect, I don’t have a job in writing. I am in fact a substitute teacher. Don’t ask me why anybody would trust me with the lives of 20-25 children on a daily basis because I can barely make a grilled cheese without a trip to the ER. But hey, I don’t complain!

This isn’t my first attempt at blogging. Years ago, I ran a blog where I posted comedic essays and the occasional Onion style satire. It was fine, but I posted far too sporadically to create or maintain any sort of audience. ALTHOUGH, on that very site, I once wrote a blog post about Miley Cryus that got performed by a sketch comedy troupe in New York City. It was pretty neat.

Unfortunately, that blog has become dusty and cobweb ridden, like the salad section at Golden Corral. A lack of focus and consistency made me lose drive for the blog. I would occasionally post about video game things, sometimes a sports thing, and maybe a pop culture thing here and there. There was no theme to the site, and I rarely got more than like 5-10 views per article. It got me down, I’ll admit, and I just didn’t have the motivation to keep it going. That’s where THIS blog comes in.

Gone are the days where I write a blog post about something random every six months and then get down on myself because two of my high school friends are the only people who decided to read it. I have decided I will cultivate a blog with a strong theme and consistent content because life is coming at me fast and I am terrified I will die with absolutely nothing creative attached to my name. Well, except for that Miley Cyrus blog post I mentioned earlier, but who wants Miley Cyrus to be the main part of your writing legacy??

With that idea, I was at a crossroads: what do I focus on in this blog? Then I remembered that I spend almost waking moment thinking about, reading about, and trying to play board games. I realized my decision was kinda made for me.

Here’s what you can expect from this blog. I feel like so much of board game content is video or audio driven. I love me some YouTube videos and podcasts BUT I haven’t seen many people out there creating longform written content. My aim is to fill that hole, writing a blog post on here on a weekly basis. A lot of these will likely be reviews, but I’ll also maybe post essays about news going on in the industry or maybe a list here and there. Whatever it is, it’ll be about board games and it will hopefully be awesome. If it’s neither of those things, I’ll try and do better the next time I make an ill conceived decision to cover board games in the dying form of written media..

Other random thoughts: I’m currently doing this through Word Press because that’s what my last blog was done on and I have experience with it and that’s why I don’t have that whole ‘.com’ thing in the domain name. I know that’s terribly unprofessional and if I can get this site chugging along, I plan to actually spend the money to get that changed. As for the name of this blog itself, it decidedly has nothing to do with games. So many board game content has some sort of pun with ‘board’ in the title or the word ‘meeple’ included somewhere and I have NO problem with that, but I was aiming to have something a little more unique so I don’t get lost in the shuffle. I had a few game based ideas that didn’t include board puns or meeple in it, but ultimately decided to go with Boar & Arrow. What the hell does that mean anyway? Well, my last name is Hanley and the Hanley family crest is a boar sandwiched between two arrows. I quite like the family crest and as a matter of familial pride, I decided to name the site after it. It’s also one letter one away from having ‘board’ in the name, so maybe I will give into societal norms and come up with a board pun at some point. But anyway, we shall see if giving this site a name better suited for an Irish tavern than for a board game blog is the first nail in the coffin!

But that’s about it for now. My plan is to have a review up here very shortly, (MAYBE EVEN TOMORROW??) to give better insight to how my writing style will translate to board game reviews so that you can decide right away whether you wanna board this train. I may not have a British accent like the guys at Shut Up and Sit Down, I may not have as many hats as Tom Vasel, and I may not be as Canadian as Rodney Smith, but I will do my best to give you some great written board game content. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure that will hopefully last for more than three weeks!

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