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Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Captain Oates and the AMG.
One of the chief attractions of being involved in Wargaming for me is the social aspect that is necessary to really enjoy this wonderful hobby. I am not going to detract from Solo Wargaming, because if that's what a wargamer enjoys, then so be it.But usually they solo game because its difficult to find an opponent to battle against.
But for me, its good to talk and meet face to face with a like minded group of wargamers intent on enjoying the experience. So when the opportunity arose several years ago, to join a new Wargames forum after I had purchased the book An Amateur Military Gentleman by John Ray and Tim Hall, I thought why not.
The book, a large tome full of wonderful images of John Ray's personally sculpted Seven Years War figures in 30mm painted by my friend Dave Jarvis is fairly pricey, but if the SYW and wonderful figures ticks the boxes then it is a bargain. [Check out Henry Hyde's review.]
So through the AMG Forum I became fortunate to be in contact and eventually meet some new and interesting wargamers who were as enthusiastic as me.
I was also privileged enough to meet up with some of the members who were for me, household names in the hobby.
So all was rosy in my Wargames World.
The forum contained many images of the members collections, there was discussions about military history, rules, advice etc.It also naturally contains images of the amazing collection of John Ray, who was the host/ general manager of the Forum.
However throughout the period I was a member [ you know where this is going reader ] John would regularly comment that if you didnt regularly visit the site, and generally participate in the posts frequently enough, you risked losing your access and membership.
I was advised by a fellow member, if I had nothing to comment upon then I should just click the like button, or leave a few platitudes on the pages and one would be okay. Slightly unusual, but an effective way to keep on the forum.
Now against my better judgement I went along with this, 'Great Unit' [ which they would invariably be ] 'Like, click.'
And as the months have gone by, the membership of the Forum shrank and the posts began to become intermittent. Still it was nice to stay in touch with some great people, and to be honest I never gave it too much thought as I love being involved in the hobby, so it would be inevitable I would visit the forum very regularly, even if I didnt want to make a comment.
Anyway a couple of weeks ago John Ray posted that he intended to shrink the membership again and effectively cull some members who hadn't visited an acceptable number of times. [ I am paraphrasing the actual post]
Now being a wargaming saddo I knew I was 'safe' but I can also be an awkward so and so at times and to be honest I wasnt happy with what was effectively another ultimatum, for what is my hobby.It is meant to be an enjoyable hobby, an escape, not a duty.
To cut a long story short [ish] I offered to fall on my sword and posted my Captain Oates offer, cull me and not some other member who may have had a valid reason not to have posted etc the required number of times.
So this week the cull took place on the AMG Forum. John kindly informed me 'That I was okay for now.' and he had ignored my serious offer.
This was duly followed by Jim Purky's announcement on his blog Fife and Drum that he had been victim of the said cull. Now Jim is not a personal friend [I wish ] but is a very well respected American wargamer who has promoted the SYW wargaming hobby for many years, apart from selling a lovely range of AWI and SYW figures.
I made the mistake of commenting on the expulsion on Jim's blog and also made the faux pas of saying I was unhappy with things as they stood with the AMG.
Well me and my big mouth, I can only assume John Ray was monitoring the blogs of newly departed members, because it would appear that my offer has now been accepted by John and I am a member of the AMG Forum no more.
It is John's Forum, it is his book and he obviously is very protective of all things concerned with his book and figures. That is his prerogative.
I would like however to thank all the members, both current and ex that I have conversed with, met and probably annoyed. It has been 'emotional' to quote Vinny Jones.
And to John Ray, I hope you continue to make wonderful figures and I hope your select group prosper.
Meanwhile I think I'll get my toys out [ and not throw them out of the pram as it were]
[Editing this post, I cringe at how pathetic the whole thing sounds. Still if one doesn't put away childish things when one grows up, you probably remain a child at heart]