Writers, Publishers, Developers, Designers, Moderators, Colleagues, Forum Members, and The Wargamer Community:
With much sadness, I regretfully announce that I am no longer the Editor-in-Chief of The Wargamer (www.wargamer.com). First, I would like to start off by thanking those who gave me the opportunity to lead this great community, and that would be JD McNeil (CEO of Matrix Games / Slitherine) and The Wargamer community. Now, I will go into detail about all the different facets of this job, what we have accomplished together and the amazing people I was able to get to know; and, hopefully, was able to change their lives for the better.
Forum Members, Moderators and Members of The Wargamer Community:
I have worked for The Wargamer (www.wargamer.com) community for the last six months as Editor-in-Chief, and I have used everything that was in me. I initially came on in early May of 2012. The situation seemed hopeless, the forum was unorganized and its software was broken. Just prior to this, a reasonable size of its population had migrated to another competitor wargaming online publication (which will remain nameless, although I will mention that its name does begin with a “G” and it was founded in February of 2012) in February-April of that year. This competitor had a site with a working forum, which initiated that transition in our membership. I stepped in during this time and, outside of my job description, reorganized the whole forum and clarified its rules all while maintaining order and quelling any trollish behavior that sprang up. This was for the benefit of the community, to maintain morale and to banish those who were set to ruin what was already fragile. I also instated medals and insignia for our forum members so they could post proudly with their achievements in their signatures. Upon taking this position I immediately founded The Wargamer’s Tournament, which significantly lifted spirits within the community. The forum was The Wargamer’s weakest link, and this was where I spent most of my attention, as I knew that programmer help wasn’t to arrive for several months (perhaps a year or more).
The writer team I received upon taking this position was barely ten strong. When I left I had swelled it to nearly fifty, skills spanning the spectrum of the wargaming niche and spanning the globe. During this time I had given many writers an opportunity to shine, approached them personally when their skills stood out amongst others for a chance to write for The Wargamer. I then drafted a writer’s guidelines and implemented the “Battleplan”, where writers could see all of the products available for review and assignments available within a private staff section of the forums. I then was able to increase the rate of publication from a mediocre five articles a month to a resounding 20-25 articles a month. These articles weren’t just focused on the products published by our mother company (Matrix Games / Slitherine) either, these spanned into the board, mobile and miniature wargaming platforms. I also initiated new article types; some where the community was able to get involved asking questions about an upcoming product (community interview/community AAR). The ideas were endless, and the achievements were great. The editorial schedule was now set and all was working more efficiently than ever before. Deadlines were adhered-to and editorial themes were planned months in advance. During all of this, I was also taking measures to fix the articles that had been published with incorrect authors.
Publishers, Developers and Designers:
I reached out to publishers, developers and designers at an unprecedented level. Bringing them together within our community (Ask Forums) answering our questions, sponsoring our tournaments and providing discounts for those who liked our Facebook page. I was able to do this not only in person, but also by trading business cards at gaming conventions. I was giving great opportunities to even the smallest of companies, showing them the light of day. My greatest financial achievement, though, must have been seeking advertising revenue for a community in disrepair. The advertisements you see now (www.wargamer.com), greatly contrasting with those we’ve gotten accustomed to over the last decade of our mother company’s, were initiated and negotiated by myself to bring money in to repair the forum software; among other things. These were multi-thousand dollar deals.
But all of this was to no avail as it would seem that in the end, jealousy and envy would prevail. These envious weren’t just the closest of colleagues, as I had been stepping on some toes working outside of my job description (advertising), they were also from the competition. These colleagues, one who happened to be fonder of hanging out over at a competitor online wargaming publication (as mentioned previously above), had secretly made a coalition with the envious management of that very competitor online wargaming publication. From there on, they were secretly planning my demise. This was because I was a threat to their very survival, their advancement within the wargaming industry.
All of this had come to fruition just last Sunday evening as this covert group sent emails to upper management at Matrix Games / Slitherine of stories about me using disciplinary action within the forums as this group attempted to destroy what little was left of morale and hope of The Wargamer community. This “secret” group, having already given up on The Wargamer, was out to crush the little and fragile community I was attempting to rebuild as they now already had a place of their own (which was suffering by the work I was doing here). At The Wargamer I was creating a new foundation (out of necessity). This was becoming a wargaming website from which we could all be proud of once again, with dignity and dedicated leadership of unrelenting morale.
Because of these envious I was forced to resign, against my will. In doing so, I feel I have done a great dishonor to The Wargamer community, letting them down and fleeing the battlefield during its climax. The last thing I would have wanted was to let The Wargamer community down at this very moment, after six months of hard work and dedication to rebuild its integrity and to fix something that was once broken. This was a time where leadership was crucial, but unfortunately it has come to an end.
It was an honor for me to serve as your Editor-in-Chief, against insurmountable odds and the envious. I had stood with you on the field of battle, to honor and defend a community nearly two decades old, against those whose interests were only to destroy it. Because of this, it’s not me I am worried about; it is you. And it will always be you. Without you, there would have been no reason for me to have done what I have done here over these last six months. This is why I can never return, nor will I remain a part of this community. The pain and the sadness are just too great for me to continue to be a part of something that I have worked so hard to improve.
In the future I may have to refer to a resume on occasion, but this won’t be a resume of merely words on a piece of paper, it will be www.wargamer.com.
So I ask, at this very moment, not for you to inquire about where I’m going, reply or even bid me farewell. I only ask for your silence and your remembrance in the following weeks of what I’ve been able to give you.
Take up the sword from where I have left off, and defend The Wargamer to the last; because if The Wargamer falls, a part of each and every one of us will also perish.
Farewell, and never stop wargaming.
Former Editor-in-Chief of The Wargamer (www.wargamer.com)