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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:49 am 
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I think it would be interesting to see a poll on how important medals and points are to most members, just from the discussions I've seen, it is clear that monthly muster is not as important to the rank and file as it is to management.

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:50 am 
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I agree. Primary focus of the club is to make sure opponents are available, to help educate those who want it on how to play better and to shoot the breeze about the Civil War. But the first item is what will keep the club alive.

I don't know how much effort is required to keep the DoR up but if it can be maintained at a reasonable time commitment most administrative work could be based off it. Rolls can be updated based on whether games were played. It is handy to have some rating system for games won/loss for players so that it is easier to match up equal players for tournments and such.

Metals and award should be trimmed down to something manageable. I personnally don't keep track of them since I had trouble trying to pin them on my shirt so gave up. Some like them but it shouldn't be done in such a way that it is a burden to those administrating.

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Bill Peters wrote:
2. Participation - members need to play in GAMES - ........... Case in point: I joined an MP game with Ken Miller and did not realize how much paper work the guy has to do. On top of that he had some things going on at the house that slowed up his participation. Or esteemed opponents - one of them had health issues and that was unfortunate. But the idea is that one of our guys was so bogged down with paper work that he was unable to get to the game file as a result like he could have had he not had to deal with the red tape. Ken ...................... I hate seeing him snowed under with paperwork.

I don't spend as much time on the forums as I used to, but I had to respond to Bill's post, partly to correct his statement regarding my being bogged down with paper work. I'm not sure why he got that idea, real life changes have drastically reduced my free time the past couple years but the main reason our MP game bogged down was one of our opponents had health issues as Bill noted and although we were willing to continue with just one opponent his response time dropped way off. Not being one who gets excited about opponent's response time I failed to notice it until Bill contacted me about it after we had not received a turn for over a month. When our opponent failed to reply to several emails over the next month we closed the game out as a draw. Except for dropped emails or times when I was away from home I don't think I've ever had a game file turnover time of more than 3 days, and any admin work I do takes second place to game files.

In response to Bill's comments regarding communications, I agree with much of what he says (a somewhat rare occurrence :wink: . Division/Corps/Army command is about communications, keeping in touch with your people, posting on the forums and staying in touch. I got my first command position forming a brand new division back when club records and musters were handled by email. With the DoR admin time has been drastically reduced, in that respect handling a command position is a lot less time consuming than it was when I took my first command but you need to stay in touch with your people if you're in a command position. That's the reason I don't currently hold a command position, I don't have the time to stay in contact with subordinates the way I feel it should be done. I continue doing webpage work because it's something I know how to do and I can easily handle the hour or so once a month it takes to collect the info and update a website.

Another issue is there are now dozens of email and online game clubs out there. When I first joined the ACWGC it was one of the few clubs out there and had little competition for members time, today that's no longer true. Without good communications between members we're no different than the other clubs out there and will have a problem keeping new members involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
The concept has worked and it continues to work with this club and others for the past 12 YEARS and then some! ( The American Civil War Gaming Club, The Napoleonic Wargame Club, The Colonial Campaigns Club and the Panzer Campaigns Club)

Many of us have run the gamut of command/club operations during that time and we are still around.

Also, during this TEN YEAR PLUS period, many of us have developed GREAT relationships that continue. And this is whether or not we have actually met face-to-face; which is a RARE and very welcome occurrence. And it doesn't matter about what SIDE we are on.

I would not trade these clubs or the relationships for anything.

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President ACWGC -Sept 2015
Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:25 am 
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Bill,

While I don't think these Clubs will fold any time soon, I do agree that they can be more streamlined. Too many folks who will probably die with a mouse in their hands and a game turn on their screens (I'm talking to the esteemed Drill Sergeant Sands here! :shock: ) :mrgreen:

You can have my medals - particularly any medals associated with battles/campaigns. Having a few per side to recognize achievements would be more than plenty. Just a nice way to say "thank you" in a formal way.

Ranks are easy with the DoR - the Don Adams and Ernie Sands duo for our DoR still deserve some of our highest praise and thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:19 am 
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My goal: get into a maneuver game with ALL of my guys and into an MP game three times a year with them. THEY are my priority now. Not racking up points. I want to see THEM grow. Not my points.

Bill, but the points do mean something......oh yes Bill I have many.....5,400 more than you...which means only one thing.....I play games....I get people involved..I have played a game with almost everyone in the AoC...for years.....can you say that...I play against 10-15 yanks.....that means I have 10-15 guys who are constantly playing...we have fun....so quit telling everyone to do this and that.....and YOU do something....you play games.....oh and yes....lets see how many years you stay as a LT.Col.....because this means only one thing Bill.....If your points don't move.....you ain't doing nuttin.....All talk......no action......now do you want me to tell you how I really feel....

Gen John Dragan AoA 3/2/2


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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:12 am 
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Points are not always an accurate measure of activity, I very seldom register my games unless my opponent asks that it be done. I think after I reached a certain level points held no meaning or value except for bragging rights and as I don't feel the need to outpoint anyone, I find myself in a pointless position. I gave up any command responsilbilities when I got frustrated with the monthly muster results, it was like pulling teeth every month to get a response from some, but I do have to salute the officers that were prompt.

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:23 am 
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draganfly wrote:
My goal: get into a maneuver game with ALL of my guys and into an MP game three times a year with them. THEY are my priority now. Not racking up points. I want to see THEM grow. Not my points.

Bill, but the points do mean something......oh yes Bill I have many.....5,400 more than you...which means only one thing.....I play games....I get people involved..I have played a game with almost everyone in the AoC...for years.....can you say that...I play against 10-15 yanks.....that means I have 10-15 guys who are constantly playing...we have fun....so quit telling everyone to do this and that.....and YOU do something....you play games.....oh and yes....lets see how many years you stay as a LT.Col.....because this means only one thing Bill.....If your points don't move.....you ain't doing nuttin.....All talk......no action......now do you want me to tell you how I really feel....

Gen John Dragan AoA 3/2/2


I am a new member and I do not know either gentleman (Bill or John). I thought Bill's rant was a little depressing. As a new member, it made me wonder.........why bother being here.

I was pleased that there is a different point of view (John's).
thank you

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Pickett's Infantry Division, I Corps,
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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:11 pm 
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I personally don't mind the admin work at all. That is why I always volunteer for it in any Club I am in. I also love making websites & interacting with people. I am terrible at these games and the admin work has been the reason I have stayed for almost 10 years now. I'd be gone many years ago without it. That is kind of why my games always take second seat and I only play with folks who generally understand my long breaks and what not. Reason why I have mostly played the same guys for years now.

The problem isn't the load of Admin work it is real life time. But when I do get a free moment I am cranking an email to someone in one of the Clubs working on something. I will say it has become more complex here for AC's in terms of the spreadsheets and all that, at least on the CSA side that are used on a somewhat regular basis. I am opposed to monthly musters myself. I think quarterly is good enough or semi/annual. I do it that way in other Clubs and I know other armies in other Clubs do too. But the trade off is there are no monthly points....just every now and then.

I do like my points, ranks and medals though and I am always about giving my officers them regardless of how they feel about things.....I think it is an easy way to be different and also say thank you to the members...

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Commanding Officer & Chief of the Armies (CoA) of the Confederate States of America (CSA)

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:25 pm 
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The concepts Bill Peters expresses are more in line with an "association" or "informal group" rather than a "club". A Club has bylaws which the club members approve of and abide by. Some of these bylaws mandate record-keeping which require musters and the record of such. What is the problem with this? Every club of which I've been a member usually meets regularly but since we are on the internet, the "muster" is our meeting. Like Ernie Sands expressed, this Club has been around for 12+ years and it ain't broke yet. Our problems of retention are in part due to games that are getting old. If we had some new games (campaigns), the interest would flare up considerably.
Bill is correct,though, in stressing that communication among and between members is key in keeping them interested and together. But the Club structure is necessary to give form to our shared interest in the Civil War.

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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:36 pm 
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dukemat wrote:

I am a new member and I do not know either gentleman (Bill or John). I thought Bill's rant was a little depressing. As a new member, it made me wonder.........why bother being here.

I was pleased that there is a different point of view (John's).
thank you


I would not get too overly concerned about the some of the remarks. Many of us have been around this club for 10+ years, so there must be a reason we stick around. Points, ranks, medals are mainly to show commitment to game playing and, for some, to the admin work we accept and take on.

Members can get as involved as they wish. Some members simply play games and do not get involved with the club operations or even the role playing aspect that some enjoy.

The main point of the club has always been to provide a venue to find opponents and play the games. Quite often, we can get some excellent pointers from these forums about HOW to play the games and what works well for options, etc.

Out of some discussions in these forums, ideas have been bandied about that improve the games themselves.

The best thing for all members is to find the level of involvement you are comfortable with and enjoy the game playing.

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General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015
Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:38 am 
I'd reply but Ernie stole my words and, as usual, said it best anyways. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:06 am 
Wow! I just spent an hour crafting a reply to this topic and then when I went to post it... the session had timed out and I lost it! Ouch!

Guess next time I'll write it up in Word and then paste it in...


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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Olinsky wrote:
Wow! I just spent an hour crafting a reply to this topic and then when I went to post it... the session had timed out and I lost it! Ouch!

Guess next time I'll write it up in Word and then paste it in...


Or type quicker!! :P :wink: :mrgreen:

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General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015
Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: Why The Club Concept We Use Will Fail
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:00 pm 
Gentlemen,

The richness of the Club is in the vast diversity of its members and its offerings. We have guys from all over the world and each one has different reasons as to what it is that appeals to them here. Each one may or may not like the rank, the points, the war gaming (solo or multi-player play), the history, the role playing, the medals, the tournaments, the web pages and the relationships that are formed… and each to a different degree.

The Division is a critical feature of the Club. It is within the Division that like minded individual’s gather together… investing time and effort into the things they specifically enjoy… which ultimately creates a special energy… an excitement that sends ripples throughout the entire Club for the benefit of all.

There is certainly a benefit to the Club by having Officer’s serving as Commanders of Corps, of Armies, of Theaters, with Chiefs of Armies & Cabinet positions. These provide a basic structure for the organization and operation of the Club. They are the framework or the bones upon which the Club is hung. What happens at the Divisional level is the fleshing out of the body. One cannot exist without the other.

Think about the various reasons people like the Club as listed in the first paragraph above. How many of them originated at the Divisional level? The rank, the OBD points, the role playing, the medals, the forums, the tourneys, the web pages, scenario creation, blind scenarios… almost all of them originated at the Divisional level. Some creative individual(s) started putting those ideas into practice… started fleshing them out and then they were adopted and standardized at the higher level of organization for the entire Club.

Our Club has a great set of bones. What we need to do within the Club is continue to strengthen and GROW the creative environment that allows like minded individuals to freely gather together and form their own Divisions with their own specific areas of focus.

Up to this point in the Club… the majority of assignments within the Club have been based upon the balancing of unit strengths. If the Army of the Cumberland has 75 members assigned to it and the Army of the Tennessee has 70 members assigned to it… then we generally assign the majority of our new Officer’s to the AoT to get it up to strength. This is not the most effective way of gathering like minded individuals together to form strong Divisions that have a common focus and are energetically pulling in the same direction.

Imagine being a member who really enjoys multi-player games… but no one other than yourself in your Division plays MP games. Wouldn’t that dampen your excitement for the Club? Imagine being one of those high activity guys that plays tons of games and exchanges tons of emails but everyone else in your Division is working two jobs and just doesn’t have that sort of time. Wouldn’t that dampen your excitement for the Club? What if you are a huge Civil War buff but all the rest of the guys in your Division are just gamers and could care less about the history behind the battles. Wouldn’t that dampen your excitement for the Club? Imagine being a casual gamer who wants to play a single game at your own pace and nothing else about the Club interests you. Wouldn’t your excitement for the Club be dampened by that hard core Division Commander who is always emailing you and demanding that you Muster In and do this and that? These are a few of the situations that can arise by the assignment of members simply by unit strength figures.

What we need to do within the Club is continue to strengthen and GROW the creative environment that allows like minded individuals to freely gather together and form their own Divisions with their own specific areas of focus.

The Club can strengthen and grow the creative environment in the Club and increase its synergy by:

1) Allowing any 4 or more Officers interested in doing so, to form their own Division
2) Allowing Division Commanders to have full management control of their unit. This control is defined as:

Divisional command privileges include, but are not limited to, the following:
• a. The ability to accept additional membership as desired.
• b. The ability to decline further expansion in cases where the division is considered to be at its maximum manageable size.
• c. The ability to relieve (i.e. transfer out) those members who fail to share the specific interests of the Division.


I can hear people saying… “But that will undermine the organizational structure of the Club!” Yes, there will be some changes. No, it will not undermine the organizational structure of the Club. We would maintain the current Army & Theater structure. If a new Division is formed… it would apply to the Army Commander of the Army it wants to be associated with. So while new Divisions may be formed… the same Armies and Theaters will exist.

Often when people first join the Club… they really don’t know what they will or won’t like about it. So a TEMPORARY random assignment to a unit is ok. But as time goes by, they will begin to determine what they like and what they don’t like about it. They will also come into contact with other Officer’s with whom they share the same kind of interests with. Having discovered these commonalities and finding themselves more and more engaged with other Officers outside their Divisions… it only makes sense that they are allowed to form their own division if they desire to do so. Or to transfer to an existing Division that will accept them into its membership and is already engaging in the types of things in which they are interested.

Officers within these specialized Divisions will NO LONGER NEED TO MUSTER as everyone will be actively involved in doing the things they WANT to do and not the things they have no interest in.

Will some of the existing Divisions cease to exist? Yes, that is possible but there will always be the need for some regular Divisions to exist as initial places of assignment until a new Officer discovers his likes and dislikes and then moves on to a Division of his own choice.

The Army of the Shenandoah has an interesting link on its main web page that is entitled “Definition of Unit Types”. You can find it here: http://shenandoah.acwgc-usa.org/ . It categorizes Divisions into three types… Militia Divisions, Regular Divisions & Elite Divisions. Militia Divisions are for initial assignment of new Officers and for those seeking further training after graduation from UMA or VMI. Regular Divisions are for the more casual members of the Club. Elite Divisions are for Officer’s whose focus is more specialized and have formed their own Divisions and who have Division Commanders that are capable of accepting, declining and relieving Officer’s within their Division. I mention the Army of Shenandoah page because I’ve gather some of my ideas from it but I don’t fully agree with all the points made there. (For instance, I do not believe that higher command should have the ability to deny the formation of a Division as long as it meets a minimal strength requirement and adheres to the Club Rules.)

I have always enjoyed the Club and know that many others do also. It’s incredible that we have been around as long as we have. But for everyone that is still here and still involved… after all these years… there are a whole lot of others that have moved on. We should continually seek to strengthen and GROW the creative environment that allows like minded individuals to freely gather together. That’s what’s been happening here over the years… people have been freely gathering together through gaming, via email, over the phone and at some of the Reunion’s that have been hosted. They have voluntarily gathered because of common interests!

Shouldn’t we be organized into Division’s by common interest… rather than randomly assigned because one unit is bigger or smaller than another? And why should we be locked into those random assignments when we ourselves… and others… would be BETTER SERVED in an assignment of our own choosing?

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,


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