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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:29 am 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 3:54 pm
Posts: 497
Location: United Kingdom
It's been good reading everyones' thoughts and ideas. I am as open to change as anyone, especially if it revitalizes and refocuses the club, but we need to make sure that in doing so we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Yes things can become stale, or sometimes redundant and can require change. But the club has been around for quite a few years now and has its own history and traditions, and this is one of the club's enduring attractions to me and I personally wouldn't want it all swept away just for the sake of it. Or if big changes were deemed necessary, then thought should be given to preserving some of this.

Some of the armies of the club are proud of their history and their achievements (like old tournament victories) and the characters who built and guided them. People have invested a part of their lives in the club and their armies and this is often reflected in the nature and culture and traditions. This aspect of the club culture actually stimulates some of the roleplaying and increases the sense of belonging and immersion in the history of the ACW. It's interesting to look down the oob and recognise names who have been around a while and to follow peoples' progress through the ranks and remember good times and battles fought, and then try to offer new members the same experience that you had as a new recruit and carry on the tradition and hopefully make it better too.

This works in another way too. As a division, corps commander, XO and army commander I felt a responsibility to maintain the standards of those who went before me and uphold the reputation of my army that has been built by so many good people over the years (and some of them are still around and contributing). I'm sure others feel the same. So new ideas, creativity, refinement and evolution are always to be encouraged, but this should be balanced with keeping what is good and what edifies the club.

[url="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a.r.barlow/acw/acw.htm"]General Antony Barlow[/url]
[url="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a.r.barlow/aoc/XXAoC.htm"]Army of the Cumberland[/url]


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:50 am 
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Posts: 564
Location: Canada
What should be the primary focus of the club? The three I can think of are, not in order of importance.

1) Role playing - Structure of Armies and Ranks
2) Not a ladder - points are not the goals
3) Expecting and encouraging involvement of members in the club structure and systems.

I m sure there are others that might want to add to it.

In regards to the new structure I proposed, it would only require one additional Cabinet person. The Current COA's and the two Secretaries whose roles could be better defined such as a real Secretary of State and War, would make up the core and a 'side' President. The Cabinets would be made up of 8 people compared to the current 7, requiring 2 Presidents. One of these persons could become the club admin chair person and manage meetings between the 2 sides.





Best Regards,

General Pierre D.
1st Bde,3rd Div,I Corps,
Army of Georgia
CSA

President, ACWGC
Cabinet Member


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 11:24 am
Posts: 108
Location: Sweden
Pierre,

the idea is interesting and I look forward to hear some more on how it coould support the evoluton of club life!
What big differences can we all see in this? Will cabinets become more active on their respective halves of the club?
Maybe we could arrange a club-wide "Civil War" torny, that continues all over the calendar year, which would allow the Cabinet of the respective side to act as a "true" cabinet - promoting officers, thinking out strategies etc. A kind of "Campaign torny" perhaps, where all member start at a lower level and eventually rises through the ranks during the gaming year, depending on activity and achievements in the field?

Will think a bit more on this idea... But the idea with two parallell sides/governements is thrilling...[:p]

Gen Lars W
1/XIV
Army of the Cumberland
USA


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:57 am 
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Posts: 2795
Location: Massachusetts, USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Pierre D</i>
<br />What should be the primary focus of the club? The three I can think of are, not in order of importance.

1) Role playing - Structure of Armies and Ranks
2) Not a ladder - points are not the goals
3) Expecting and encouraging involvement of members in the club structure and systems.

I m sure there are others that might want to add to it.

In regards to the new structure I proposed, it would only require one additional Cabinet person. The Current COA's and the two Secretaries whose roles could be better defined such as a real Secretary of State and War, would make up the core and a 'side' President. The Cabinets would be made up of 8 people compared to the current 7, requiring 2 Presidents. One of these persons could become the club admin chair person and manage meetings between the 2 sides.
Best Regards,

General Pierre D.
1st Bde,3rd Div,I Corps,
Army of Georgia
CSA

President, ACWGC
Cabinet Member
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

The three points are fine.

However the remainder of the post about the "side cabinet" seems to me to be trying to form an unwieldy structure.

The problem is FINDING the people to populate these cabinets. In the current election we have ONLY one candidate for the CSA and 2 for the UNION, for a seat on the current cabinet of 7 people.

If it is sometimes difficult to find, division, corps and AC's, I don't think we can expect that, all of a sudden, we have an outpouring of members clamoring to be on these new cabinets.

The better suggestion is to use the expertise of the current cabinet to maintain the running of the club and allow the COA's to form, as Gen Carroll has said,

"e.g. Increased responsibility/Support for Div. Commanders - The CoA would "convene" a meeting of the Army Council with at least 1 Corps Commander from each Army and Volunteers from Div. Commands (Unlimited Number) would be invited to suggest (or Demand!!!!) particular concerns regarding their input into the Admin of Their Army . . . ."

This approach is using the experience and insight of the members currently serving in higher posts and their input would be very good to suport the COA's. Why try to find additional people when we already have the support system in place.

The COA's can get the support they need and the information flow from the bottom to the top, not by increasing the bureauacracy, but by utilizing the current structure.

It is already to be put into place.

I think someone from this era (the ACW) said "A house divided against itself cannot stand." and in that same speech: "Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends -- those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work -- who do care for the result. " Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858

I am not trying to equate the club to the Nation, in 1858, but, perhaps the principle is the same.



<b><font color="gold">Ernie Sands
LtGen, Commanding, Army of Ohio
Image
ACWGC Cabinet member
</b></font id="gold">


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:52 am 
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Location: Ireland
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Ernie Sands</i>

However the remainder of the post about the "side cabinet" seems to me to be trying to form an unwieldy structure.

The problem is FINDING the people to populate these cabinets.

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

EXACTLY my thinking Ernie!

Altho' on the subject of getting Volunteers for all Command Positions within the Club - someone once said . . . .

" In order to get a Man to do something that He doesn't wish to . . Tell Him "That's OK! You're prob'ly too OLD to do it anyway! " "

Ain't it the Truth Ernie[?]

[:o)] [:D] [:p]

Pat.

Patrick G.M.Carroll,
Brigadier General.
Carroll's Corps,(II)
"Spartan Southrons"
Army of Georgia.
C.S.A.Cabinet Secretary (Elect).

" When My Country takes it's rightful place, amongst the Nations of the World, then and only then, let My Epitaph be written. "


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:24 pm 
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Posts: 133
Location: USA
Again, I agree with Ernie. The two cabinet structure WOULD be unwieldy. I noted in my first post yesterday that all this is adding another person, the last thing an already 7 person cabinet needs. Also, the new detail of "One of these persons [meaning one of the two presidents] would become the clubs admin CHAIR PERSON [emphasis mine] and manage meetings between the two sides" is interesting. Wouldn't that person then be in fact the clubs___________ (insert President, Chairman, Manager, or Head Honcho here)"?

How is the "clubs administrative chair person" going to be significantly different from the position we currently call "President".

More importantly how are TWO presidents, one being a meeting manager, going to increase the role playing aspect in the typical club member commanding a brigade, the question that is the focus of this thread? This is a fair question that begs asking.

More cabinet people, TWO cabinets, a "meeting manager"??? Yes, unwieldy.

Gen. Doug Burke
XX/AoC/USA


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:37 pm 
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Posts: 112
Location: USA, New Jersey, Ocean County
I think the structure of the club is very good. I like it.

I am not a fan of "role playing".

I enjoy competitive games.

I like to understand why things happened the way they did and what could be done differently to influence the outcomes -- both in the real battles and in the games.

I enjoy playing either side in the battles.

For me the goal of the club is rather simple:

"Provide a framework by which the members can relive the military events of the civil war".

I think if you try to start shaping an ideal image of the club you can easily exclude ideas and people who might be the source of its future growth. I think the challenge for the cabinet and the top leadership is to provide a structure that lets the club live and evolve.

I don't think it wise to say the club should be something such as role playing and not other things like a ladder. Both can have inherent problems, both can have supporters, I think they can co-exist. Perhaps there are other focused areas that some would like to collectively pursue. When an idea surfaces, I think the job of the cabinet is to outline the guidelines by which the idea can be pursued. They don't have to do the work, just let those who have the interest know the rules by which they can proceed. (And it would not be appropriate the establish rules that stack the deck against an idea).

Personally I enjoy analyzing how the games are played (and though that how the battles were fought). If I found 3 0r 4 others who had the same interest -- that would be the Brigade for me!

As to why things have changed, I'll offer a couple of thoughts:

-I think people are more involved in other related activities and hence have less time to focus on any one club

-there are a lot more titles and scenarios, which means that unless the number of games being played per person is also increasing (and I suspect it is not), you are less likely to find others who will discuss a particular event.

-participation does appear to be less. It's almost always true that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. So it would be smart for the other 80% to be supportive from time to time.

-things happen in cycles, the challenge is to find the one or two things that could be on the upswing regarding our ACW interest and provide support and encouragement to give them momemtum.

-regarding the Union War College -- by far the best example of this actvity I've seen in three clubs. I've authored a few articles. I don't think I've ever gotten one piece of feedback from any user- good or bad. No feedback -- implies no interest --- implies no need for more articles.



Lt Gen Bob Breen
Commanding XIX Corps, AoS
"Defenders of the Right"


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:00 am
Posts: 444
Location: USA
General Ernie Sands Said:
" The better suggestion is to use the expertise of the current cabinet to maintain the running of the club and allow the COA's to form, as Gen Carroll has said,

"e.g. Increased responsibility/Support for Div. Commanders - The CoA would "convene" a meeting of the Army Council with at least 1 Corps Commander from each Army and Volunteers from Div. Commands (Unlimited Number) would be invited to suggest (or Demand!!!!) particular concerns regarding their input into the Admin of Their Army . . . ."

This approach is using the experience and insight of the members currently serving in higher posts and their input would be very good to suport the COA's. Why try to find additional people when we already have the support system in place.

The COA's can get the support they need and the information flow from the bottom to the top, not by increasing the bureauacracy, but by utilizing the current structure.

It is already to be put into place."


Here Here Sir! I whole heartedly agree!

MG Joseph C. Mishurda

Joe Mishurda,
"Killer Angels"
XXV Corps, AoJ


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:15 pm 
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Posts: 1639
Location: USA
I suspect given the size of the club and the probable size of the subset that are interested in role play, that it would be difficult to make role playing a major part of the club. Probably the best way to have role play is in threads that are started for a particular theme like "Fight the War" and "HACW". It would be nice to expand these out to at least 4-5 active role play threads. Such threads could be based on games in progress but they don't have to be. The hard part is finding someone willing to take on such projects since you need a few people dedicated to keeping the thread going.

I always though Ken Miller's Multiplayer game would be a good subject for a roleplaying thread but can't figure how to do it. All the players are suppose to be anoynomous so we can't post here.

BG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 1200
Location: USA
I don't have anything wise to say![:0]

I think it's great to see the depth and intelligence of this discussion. The discussion by itself can help to define what this Club is and where it's going, especially for folks who don't have multiple years of history here.

We have to grow new leaders, and find ways to make that happen within the Club structure, and reward good leadership along the way. I like the posts about accountability of the existing leadership as well. Setting clear standards and upholding them is nothing new!

I would support formalizing the Admin OBD awards for Division Commanders, accompanied by a better definition of their responsibilities in return. When I took over the Army of the Potomac, I published my Leadership Guidelines that amplified on the Club Rules as to my expectations of Corps, Division, Brigade and General grade officers. If a Corps or Division CO doesn't follow through, the points are not awarded. If it's a pattern, a change should be made. (Easier said than done, I'm afraid...)

Lastly, again nothing new, but communication is the key, a lesson I need to continue to learn...Whether that communication is role playing, insulting Rebs, or historical discussion, whatever, is not all that significant. Just the act of communicating will pay big enough dividends, I think.


Image
General Jeff Laub
Army of the Potomac
Assistant Commandant, Union War College
http://www.geocities.com/laubster22/AoP/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:06 am 
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General Breens post says it for me[:)] I will try not to be redundant but emphasis that the club does mean different things to different poeples and so far the "camps" are not in conflict as the club allows almost all interests.

I also agree with all that emphasize communication as the glue that binds. The Mason Dixon seems to be the primary focus and communications center so should be utilized as much as possible.

Field Lt. Tony Best


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:42 pm 
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Location: USA, New Jersey, Ocean County
...two other ideas for some of the things surfaced in this post.

Without getting too complicated, I would suggest that there might be some value to redefining the requirements for the various ranks to include a contribution to things that are viewed as important. The key is to make whatever addtions are desirable as explicit as the point level and remove any need for a judgment call.

I'll make a few examples, but it is simply to illustrate what I have in mind, not to advocate any specific requirement -- I haven't thought the whole approach out enough.

-- for a promotion to colonel, you are required to author one article to be published at the union army war college or the confederate equivalent.

-- a promotion to BG requires you to have trained "x" cadets -- essentially your stint at west point or VMI. An alternative might be to have lead a team including at least 1 junior officer in some number of Multi-players games.

-- a promotion to MG requires a major contribution -- division level or above command for at least 1 year, organizing and running a tournament, authoring a published paper on some aspect of the ACW

-- now I would not have the club LG and General ranks be permanent ranks, but rather use them to identify those who are currently doing jobs that are identified as deserving the rank. But I recognize there is a counter argument to allow those who previously earned such ranks to keep them.


..as for the role playing -- as I said this is not my interest -- but it would be interesting to see some process, much like the top guns list , which identifies the top role players. Without trying to be too clever, you could structure this as a "ladder" with some committee putting people on the list based on what they see going on, then once a year the membership gets to vote on who the top N are - there's some criteria say all those getting at least 5% of the votes cast become the initial list for the new year and the committee, once again, periodically adds new names as role playing events unfold.

Lt Gen Bob Breen
Commanding XIX Corps, AoS
"Defenders of the Right"


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:18 pm 
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Location: USA
A formula for Rank Advancement=

1.Certain level of OBD Points for each rank, Time in Grade(Battle field experience Good or Bad), A specific Command Requirement=PROMOTION.(These 3 should be determined by the CoA's with input from each of the Corps Commanders)

2.Lack of any of the above= NO PROMOTION


RolePlaying=

General Walter Quote:
make "roleplay"--at minimum the use of ranks, command positions and titles in club communication, both on and off the boards.

Nothing is ever easy, lifes demands get in the way of all my hobbies, this one is no exception. But I do think we all do the best we can with the time we have to give.




Colonel Russ Jenkins
Corcoran's Legion
3/2/VIII AoS


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:58 pm 
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I pretty much agree with General Breen. I did not join this club to role play but primarily to compete with fellow gamers of like interest. In competing, I have met many fine people and gained at least one friend. Paradoxically, most of these have been the enemy, as I have much more interaction with my opponents than with my fellow Southerners. Perhaps we ought to consider allowing alter egos within the club, so that those who wished could compete on either side and thereby get to interact with both sets of officers. I appreciate the effort by General Walter not only in articulating his concerns, which appear to be truly heartfelt, but in contributing so much to the success of this club. I don't share those concerns, but that is because my goals within the club have been different than his.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:38 pm 
The Door slams open as a big Grizzly man steps into the door way ....... that from all the people who know me has been mostly my opening post for many years .


My second civil war reenactment in april 1996 at Shilo tenn. IT was a rainy night and was very damp I was sitting around the campfire < what little there was of it . Those of you that were there know how bleak it was > Started to go into " first person " role playing for all you nonreenactors I started to talk of the war started to talk of the new battle ships in the army and how the rebs were going to loose the way . you know the next morning I had about 10 people come up to me and say " I WAS THERE !!!!!" I listened to you talking with the other guys and it felt as if I was ther 135 years ago I fell asleep listing to you guys ...... thats what role playing does it adds to what we do . I have over 400 books on the civil war and know a fair amout about the subject . But without the role playing aspect and the first hand experiance for the past 9 years of reenacting I would'nt FEEL what they went through .

We can exploit the game play all we want but the role playing is what makes it fun and not just using the game exploits to win battles is what its realy about . when I joined the game many years ago I always followed the chain of command . Like civil war reenacting we are all playing cowboys and indains in make believe. and out side of the game it means absoulty NOTHING !!!!! But In the game its what makes the Whole game and club most enjoyable .......... Keep to the role playing/first person . you will find a much more enjoyable gamming experiance I will promise you .
We all play this game to have fun and role playing is a nessary part of that fun . If you OVER complicate it it makes it less fun . I see many names here from the OLD school and many who started under my command and I like to see those under quality leadership following the old rules of command . It takes so little to psot a email with < slaute> Sir I humbly ..... It will keep us in the moment . I joined the union becouse it makes me ill to think of being a reb . but thats me . Hope this helps a little . ITs not a teck issue ,not a " we need more cabint" thing its just a better feel with role playing/first person ...... just an old GRIZZLY opinion .....

The hulking form gets up from his seat at the bar . looks around the inn and takes his last big gulp of rot gutt !!!! slams it down on the bar and grins ... he slowly walks tword the door ... everybody parts from in front of him and he has a clear path tword the door .

he reaches out and grabs the latch looks back and says " Boys thats a little wisdom from the GRizzly !!!!!" he walks out the door and slams it behind him .

Lt General Ken " Grizzly" Bascom

XIV Corp , 1ST division , 3rd brigade


Lt General Ken " Grizzly" Bascom

XIV Corp , 1ST division , 3rd brigade


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