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 Post subject: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 10:57 am
Posts: 2212
Location: Canada
Hello Members of the NWC.

We are approaching the 20th Anniversary of the Napoleonic Wargaming Club, and I wanted to take this opportunity to get everyone's help to create a vision for the club moving forward.

In 20 years, literally hundreds of Napoleonic enthusiasts have joined the club, played games, discussed the games, discussed the period, put on historical persona's, played in tournaments, trained new players, and done administrative work to keep the club going.

We are hoping you will join myself and John Corbin, Commander of the French Army, Andy Moss, Commander of the Armies of the Coalition, and others who help administer the club, in having an open discussion along the following lines:

1. What do you like about the club?
2. Why do you play games here?
3. Do you use the forums? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?
4. What are the things we offer that cannot be found elsewhere on the web or in your home town?
5. What do you like about the games we play?
6. What needs improvement in the club?
7. What can you do to contribute to the club moving forward? Screen new players (we get spammed fairly often)? Help train new players? Handle game forms (not very time consuming)? Design tournament scenarios? Help out with tournaments?
8. What would you like to see in the future? More historical discussion? More tournaments? More team games for advanced training?

Thanks for letting us know what you think, and lets get this ball rolling.

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:39 am 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 9:12 am
Posts: 1243
Location: United Kingdom
From the DoR records, we have played 82 games completed in 2017 so far. These were played by 55 members.


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:55 am
Posts: 810
Location: Bouches-de-l’Elbe
1. What do you like about the club?
Its dedication to the Napoleonic Wars and that the same can be found in its membership, looking at club webpages and things like the DOR one can see that members put their heart into this club, and this dedication makes it a more than worthy endeavor to join.

2. Why do you play games here?
Well again the dedication is it that brings me here, it's doubtful that I find any worthy opponents in any other place with my ambitious way of playing the games.

3. Do you use the forums? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?
Sure, and beyond the Rhine Tavern & Pierre's Tavern I use those that I need, for example the feedback section, others are not used by me like the marketplace, not because I find them useless but because I just don't have anything that fits into that section.

4. What are the things we offer that cannot be found elsewhere on the web or in your home town?
Again the dedication is it, on the topic of Napoleonic Wars from a wargamer perspective there is no better place to go.
But it's also the modeling of the different sides from things like ranks & units under the command of the members to things like medals, titles or other recognitions for being an active contributing member that aren't found any where on the web not to speak of my home town.


5. What do you like about the games we play?
Again dedication comes up, most other game series concentrate take the easy approach and provide a more than short experience that is forgotten as fast as one has played them through, they just seem to be things to make money with.
In our games, mainly the HPS/JTS series, you can see the dedication in every aspect, covering whole campaigns, a huge amount of scenarios, beautiful unit art, etc. and one can be sure that he is usually not wasting his time playing these games, besides being enjoyable one can usual learn something out of these games regarding history playing certain battles or campaigns can bring one much more understanding of warfare than many pages of dry text.


6. What needs improvement in the club?
I think seeing how some things are done at the sister club ACWGC gives several ideas for improvement:
- Utilize the armies structure to split the workload out to all CO positions down to division CO, besides relieving the leaders it will also build the "next generation" of corps or army COs.
- Do regular muster(quarterly) conducted by the command positions of corps/division to keep contact with the members but also to sort out inactive members quicker.
- Introduce achievements similar to ACWGC, for the started some simple achievements like
A. playing all historical scenarios of a title
B. playing all scenarios of a title
C. playing a campaign of a title
D. playing all campaign of a title
could be introduced.
- Make training mandatory again and form a list of players that can act as trainers and walk members through the first games with special emphasis on the optional rules.
- Award Conduct Points & Administration Points like they are used in the ACWGC.


7. What can you do to contribute to the club moving forward? Screen new players (we get spammed fairly often)? Help train new players? Handle game forms (not very time consuming)? Design tournament scenarios? Help out with tournaments?
Personally I think my dedication in polishing the HPS/JTS series is an indirect contribute to the club. Nut on a low level command positions I might also be able to conduction certain things like musters if not too time consuming.

8. What would you like to see in the future? More historical discussion? More tournaments? More team games for advanced training?
More historical discussion for sure, but for that to arise members should not just play away a scenario but really try to improve their knowledge about it after playing it, today there are so many sources online that can be utilized that it is not a question of money. One can see how few do it by the negligence of the feedback section.

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Capitaine Christian Hecht
La Grande Armée - IIIe Corps d'Armée - 3ème Division d'Infanterie
"Vive Napoleon!"

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:34 am 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 9:12 am
Posts: 1243
Location: United Kingdom
Really helpful reply. Thanks for your input Christian.


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 10:57 am
Posts: 2212
Location: Canada
My 2 cents worth

1. What do you like about the club?

- The people are what makes this club what it is.
- The historical discussions. As someone who loves history, I really enjoy talking about
this period.

2. Why do you play games here?

- Again the historical aspect of it all.

3. Do you use the forums? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?

- Communications and lets face it, we are all over the globe in terms of membership.

4. What are the things we offer that cannot be found elsewhere on the web or in your home town?

- Historical discussions, games, friendships. My home town is not known for a large
Napoleonic following.

5. What do you like about the games we play?

- History

6. What needs improvement in the club?

More people to take an active role in running it. 99% of the work is done by about 5
persons. I can assure you that the admin work was greatly reduced when the DoR came on line. I still cringe when I think about doing all the French records by hand on a spreadsheet and sending dozens of emails.

1 - If you have web skills, people are needed to help with web pages
2 - If you some graphic skills, signature graphics would be nice
3 - Tournaments are a lot of fun but require effort and time. Maybe some of you have
scenario design skills?

This club has changed greatly over the years that I have been here. Great people have come and gone. The role play aspect is all but gone. We will never recapture those days from long ago but we can still be a great club..... :eagle: :sly: :eagle:

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 10:18 am
Posts: 5230
Location:
1. What do you like about the club?

Scott's corny jokes. Keeps me coming back for more Nap gaming! If Scott were to leave I would be on the next train heading out to find him! ROFL

2. Why do you play games here?

Well I helped start the club. Having tried other clubs I think that this is the best on the web.

3. Do you use the forums? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?

I use the forums more than most. I feel that communication on the forum is helpful. Some may not like forums and that is their call but I feel that it helps us get to know one another. Also we should be having more historical discussion. Replies should be civil and not get heated as they did in the past. I miss the historical topics.

4. What are the things we offer that cannot be found elsewhere on the web or in your home town?

We have a unit we command and an army structure that we fall under. While not so much a roleplaying club as it was in the past we still have some national identity with the army.

5. What do you like about the games we play?

I played the BG series and continued on with the JTS series because the GUI is easy to use. I got tired of learning a new GUI all the time back in the 90s when I played other computer games. JTS GUI is simple and its BRIGHT - its not murky like a lot of other games. Also its in a WINDOW! Most games use a non-windowed process. You have to use the Tab key to switch around. Also sucks up a lot of system resources. JTS games do not.

I love the graphics of other games but they are often buggy - and their "web-shelf" life is nothing like the JTS games. I have lost track of the other Nap games that have come and gone in the 20 years I have been playing the JTS Nap games (going back to Talonsoft BG series).

I would love to play a "Empires in Arms" level game but so far none of them seem to work for a club environment. EiA would be a blast to play using the games to resolve the battles. I mean we almost have all of Europe mapped by now ;)

6. What needs improvement in the club?

Unless I am incorrect I see that a very small amount of people are actually making things happen here. I would like to see more people get involved but am realistic to know that the world economy is hurting and that people have to work longer hours to make what they need in life. Thus I know that I will not be asking for improvements in the club unless we get a nice group of new admin people to make it happen. Scott Ludwig already has a "Potty Training" medal for us guys in the Prussian army. What other medal do we really need? ;) The list of medals he has to hand out are incredible. I am just saying that more participation in the club admin process should happen before I ask you guys to do more for us.


7. What can you do to contribute to the club moving forward? Screen new players (we get spammed fairly often)? Help train new players? Handle game forms (not very time consuming)? Design tournament scenarios? Help out with tournaments?

I wish I could help out. Game design work and club admin time never mix well for me. I would say this: if you need a scenario for a tournament let me know. I usually can put together a meeting engagement or set piece battle situation as needed. Just give me advance warning.

8. What would you like to see in the future? More historical discussion? More tournaments? More team games for advanced training?

Yup, more historical discussion. Less arguing over our opinions and more on just providing information. A uniform image and discussion about the unit would be nice. There was a British regiment that was formed of men from Sicily that fought in the Peninsular War. They were not part of Wellington's army - served with other formations. That kind of thing. Post their uniform and then provide some information on them.

Short articles on battles. Rekindle the newsletter eventually. Folks liked the newsletter in the past. Articles on how to handle forces in the game would be nice.

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General der Kavallerie Wilhelm Prinz Peters von Dennewitz
Husaren-Regiment Hessen-Kassel
Infanterie-Brigade Hessen-Kassel
Königlich-Preußisches Armee-Korps
Scenario Designer for Napoleonic Battles series - John Tiller Software
http://friendsofwargaming.com/support-bill-peters.html


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 4:51 pm
Posts: 1047
Location: Massachusetts, USA
GREAT responses from all. Keep them coming as all input is welcome and very helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:23 pm
Posts: 18
John Corbin wrote:

1 - If you have web skills, people are needed to help with web pages

3 - Tournaments are a lot of fun but require effort and time. Maybe some of you have
scenario design skills?


Hi John,

I have a bit of HTML experience, although I'm by no means an expert. I'd be happy to help out if I can. What kind of scenarios are you interested in?

Paul

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Lieutenant Paul Synnott
La Grande Armée,
I Corps,
1e Division,
1e Brigade,
45e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:18 pm
Posts: 125
This won't be a popular opinion with everyone, but I know there are others here that think the same thing. At the least, it's a discussion worth having.

I think it might be time to do away with the armies or to drastically restructure them and provide some kind of meaning to belonging to an army.

There was a time when the club was a lot more active and there were more members that enjoyed and participated in the role-playing aspect of being a member of a specific unit and army. Although that never held my interest, I can freely admit that the army setup added something unique to this club.

Today, I think the current army structure just adds extra work to the members that are gracious enough to volunteer their time in keeping the club going and potentially just looks confusing to people who are thinking about joining the club. I understand the idea behind the "associate members" addition, but I think that just muddied the waters even more.

I would not be opposed to getting rid of the armies and having a straight ladder structure.

If not that, then just have two sides without all the army units and cut down on all the promotions, medals, etc.

If you are going to keep the armies or restructure them, I think you really need to put them to use. Right now, belonging to one side or the other does not really mean anything.

One thing that could be done to make the armies have some sort of meaning is to utilize the games to have some sort of persistent war going on. This would take some thought and work to initially organize, but probably would not be all that hard to maintain afterward.

So you pick some theatre of war.... say it starts with Prussia and Austria. Players from each army can play one another in any of the titles from Eckmuhl, Wagram, and Jena-Auerstedt. Play as many games as you want, whatever scenarios you want. Or there could be a set batch of scenarios you have to choose from. Give a time frame such as 6 months.

If the Allies win more games than the French, we use the Leipzig and Bautzen games next followed by the Campaign 1814 title. If the French win, we move into Russia. If the Allies win in France or the French win in Russia, that side wins the war.

This is just a really simple outline. Someone could think of a more complex setup and flow than this.

You could have a persistent war in this way that lasts 18-24 months. At the end of that, start over and do it again.

It makes what side you are on matter and might generate some interest to bring in new members.

Outside of doing something like that, I think it is time to just wipe away the armies and greatly simplify things.


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:55 am
Posts: 810
Location: Bouches-de-l’Elbe
If we remove the armies we do not differ anymore from those clubs that are already on the web. The club wouldn't gain anything from it but would start to dwindle.
The meaning of belonging to an army is in the huge historical background that one can find in it, be it the side(French/Allies), the Army, the corps, the division or the unit itself. If there isn't something that finds your affection in all of this one must wonder what interest one could have in the Napoleonic Wars at all.

Activity and the lack of role-playing isn't alone a problem of the NWC, I see this decline in other clubs or MMOs too. That is the real life that got a lot harder for most of us in the past 10-15 years and the people just don't have the time for doing their hobbies like the once did them.

I'm also not sure that the problem with the structure is, basically we find this in any of the HPS/JTS game and if one can't wrap his head around an OOB he is likely not able to play these games at all.

I neither see a benefit in a straight ladder club, nor in removing all units and with them all the rich background. Same counts for medals, promotions, etc. as all this is making the club interesting and adds flavor to it.

Giving a meaning to an army is a nice idea, but I do not see the need to dumb all we have just to enable some kind of community warfare, especially if the backbone of the club is still only the HPS/JTS series as the other games are almost not played. And even in the HPS/JTS series campaigns are seldom played, so retooling the club to do community warfare is the way to go as that will suit even fewer people.
If one wants to fight big wars he should better consider different games like "Wars of Napoleon" or doing boardgames over VASSAL. Adding theses VASSAL games to the club would surely yield more benefit.

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Capitaine Christian Hecht
La Grande Armée - IIIe Corps d'Armée - 3ème Division d'Infanterie
"Vive Napoleon!"

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:18 pm
Posts: 125
Christian Hecht wrote:
If we remove the armies we do not differ anymore from those clubs that are already on the web. The club wouldn't gain anything from it but would start to dwindle.
The meaning of belonging to an army is in the huge historical background that one can find in it, be it the side(French/Allies), the Army, the corps, the division or the unit itself. If there isn't something that finds your affection in all of this one must wonder what interest one could have in the Napoleonic Wars at all.

Activity and the lack of role-playing isn't alone a problem of the NWC, I see this decline in other clubs or MMOs too. That is the real life that got a lot harder for most of us in the past 10-15 years and the people just don't have the time for doing their hobbies like the once did them.

I'm also not sure that the problem with the structure is, basically we find this in any of the HPS/JTS game and if one can't wrap his head around an OOB he is likely not able to play these games at all.

I neither see a benefit in a straight ladder club, nor in removing all units and with them all the rich background. Same counts for medals, promotions, etc. as all this is making the club interesting and adds flavor to it.

Giving a meaning to an army is a nice idea, but I do not see the need to dumb all we have just to enable some kind of community warfare, especially if the backbone of the club is still only the HPS/JTS series as the other games are almost not played. And even in the HPS/JTS series campaigns are seldom played, so retooling the club to do community warfare is the way to go as that will suit even fewer people.
If one wants to fight big wars he should better consider different games like "Wars of Napoleon" or doing boardgames over VASSAL. Adding theses VASSAL games to the club would surely yield more benefit.



I fully understand the OOB. That's not the problem.

My point was that right now I could switch units within an army or switch sides completely, and I highly doubt my experience as a member of the club would be any different. The army structure is not really being used in any meaningful way, so is there a point to keeping it?

My comment was just to suggest that maybe a discussion should happen about restructuring things to simplify the club and encourage growth again. Very few new members are coming in. The forum is all but dead except for a handful of posters, which probably is not helping to attract new members either.

If the current trends continue, will there be much of anyone left in the club in another 10 years? I'm guessing the club leadership is concerned about that exact thing, which is why this thread was started in the first place.


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:25 am 
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Posts: 5230
Location:
Mike - I assume you have been in these clubs for sometime but here is my two cents:

1. Ladder club wont work with most of us. We already have The Blitz for that. Andy Moss, myself, others are already in that club. We dont need another ladder club.

2. What you are considering for an "ongoing war" is not a bad idea. That part I like. I dont like giving up the army concept.

3. Medals - someone mentioned more medals.... I am for more participation by members for things like directing tournaments (which John Corbin has had to do ...), helping with training, mentoring players AFTER training, that kind of thing.

The lovely artwork of the site should be enough of a draw. The main thing comes when the member joins. What happens next? Does someone stay in touch with them? Is training available after they finish their initial training game.

I have helped more than one player in the club learn more about the system after their training game. Taught them about the Disorder recovery process through the leadership test. Defensive setups. That kind of thing.

But as has been pointed out many people are working long hours these days and the ability to participate is not always there.

My admin days are over as I do game design work and get in the odd game here and there. Others have family commitments.

Getting more to participate is the key. The more in admin helping to add in features the better.

Here is the problem with most ladder clubs too .. the guy that has been in the club the longest is harder to "de-throne" by a new comer that is actually a better player. The older member has racked up a lot of game points but the new member is better. That is where the old Avalon Hill rating system would be good. The players are weighed over a given period and the ladder adjusts. Thus its not as much on how many games you complete but over a 6 month period how well the players have performed during that time period.

Its possible to have something like that in this club without sacrificing the army format.

The CCC has bounties. Each leader captured is a bounty and there is a bounty form that the members turn in. Each month there are Bounty points handed out. I never got into that but there are those who love it. Its still going on in the CCC too.

I think guys like Ernie and Scott (and others) that are leaders in all three of the clubs may have some good ideas too. They have perspective of what works and what doesn't.

One thing that is nice to see .. all three clubs seem to have gotten away from any form of conflict within the ranks. That is really nice to see.

I wish more people would chat on the forum too like in the old days. It seems that gone are the days when folks poked fun at Colin "The Peacock" Knox and so on. The banter on the forum is what made the forum fun along with good historical comment.

End of my 2 cents. ...

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General der Kavallerie Wilhelm Prinz Peters von Dennewitz
Husaren-Regiment Hessen-Kassel
Infanterie-Brigade Hessen-Kassel
Königlich-Preußisches Armee-Korps
Scenario Designer for Napoleonic Battles series - John Tiller Software
http://friendsofwargaming.com/support-bill-peters.html


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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:52 am 
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Posts: 339
Location: Co Durham, England
I would like to add to this discussion if I may.

I agree the army structure needs to stay it's what makes this club what it is.

There has and continues to be a lot of restructuring going on to make the armies better, their webpages exciting, colourful and inviting. New medals and awards. In LGA a new Guard Corp. Tournaments have started and I dare say will continue.

What I think the club needs to look at is the expansion into other aspects of the hobby. Napoleonic wargaming is the second biggest period after Ancients, it even beats WW2. There are hundreds of wargames clubs throughout the world playing everything from boardgames to table top wargames, almost a quarter of them are in isolated areas and it might be the only club for hundreds of miles but on top of that how many people don't have that access to a club. In this day and age we can play a computer game over the internet why not a boardgame or a table top wargame. We pay out 40 dollars for a computer game yet 40 dollars gets a sizeable army in 2mm, 3mm, and 6mm which could refight most battles. Boardgames are the same.

I have a wealth of information, I have over 10,000 uniform plates plus more I can get off the net. I have over 500 battlefield and campaign maps. I have over 900 various orders of battle as well as army structure. I have a book now long out of print detailing every country, state, duchy, etc. that took part in the Napoleonic Wars with their structure, from 1805 to 1815. There are loads of information on the internet but most people don't know where to look. Why not create a resource or library so this information could be tapped into by members and advertise it

We need to put ourselves out there and I know this is something Scott has been doing and I will say the LGA is changing to accommodate this. John can you contact me, I'd like to discuss something with you.

This club is by no means stagnant or dying, it is a wonderful place and I am truly humbled to have met the many people on here, no matter what side they choose to join. (Obviously LGA, best) but this is a growing hobby and I think there is room in the club for all types whether you want to refight Borodino on a computer or traverse the vineyards of Italy on a table top wargame or refight the entire peninsula war on a boardgame or just get information for your model diorama or research into a battle.

I understand people are needed to help run things but by looking at each system we use we can use program and web design to take this from us. Make life easier.

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Colonel Mark Hornsby
Chef d'Etat-Major
III Corps
Chef d'Etat-Major
La Grande Armee

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.


In war, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:02 pm 
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When Mark mentions 500 maps it already makes me drool, I'm into maps and that so much that I downloaded a truck load of daily high quality ww2 OKW maps for which I needed several 50GB blurays to store them.

Forming our own library would be interesting but makes me wonder what our server can handle regarding traffic volume and storage, some things like maps in high quality would need a lot storage and cause a lot traffic, all that has to be paid for.
Still if we would form such a library, one that encompasses everything from uniforms over maps to game resources we would surely draw attention way beyond pure gaming aspects onto our club.

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Capitaine Christian Hecht
La Grande Armée - IIIe Corps d'Armée - 3ème Division d'Infanterie
"Vive Napoleon!"

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 Post subject: Re: NWC Future vision
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Location: Co Durham, England
This is where we have to weigh things up. Do we concentrate purely on the games or do we branch out into other aspects of the hobby and period. Look at the pros and cons if you like. Personally I think that at least a logistical exercise into what would be involved such as cost, server capacity and also who updates/run things. But I think everything needs to be looked at. Christian, a little unsure but would more members coming into the club for the resources be good or bad?

_________________
Colonel Mark Hornsby
Chef d'Etat-Major
III Corps
Chef d'Etat-Major
La Grande Armee

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.


In war, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

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