Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I've Been Expelled From the AMG Forum

The first annual AMG meeting at Partizan in June 2015.



This morning I discovered that I had been expelled from the forum titled A Military Gentleman (or AMG for short). Since I was not able to say my good-byes on that forum, I wanted to do so now and to let my friends know that my departure was not of my choice.

John Ray, the AMG forum's owner penned this message on AMG today:

" I have taken action on a few members that have not been adding much value of late. I think this is partially due to pre-occupations on other Forums."

When I attempted to log in to AMG this morning to catch up on the forum threads overnight, I got a message that I could not log in because my user name no longer existed. Thinking that perhaps this was a technical glitch I made an few inquiries and confirmed that I had been expelled.

I have been a member of AMG since its inception, having made approximately 2,000 posts either from the creation of new threads or through my response to existing threads. I bought two copies of John's very expensive book titled, "A Military Gentleman" and touted both his book and his forum many times on this blog. 

One of my wargaming highlights was attending the AMG meet. It really gave me a much needed lift in my spirits at that time.
I think that I can safely say that I have probably been John's biggest fan both through my support of his book/forum and from my admiration of his talents as a sculptor, painter and book author. I have found him to be a delightful person and one of my highlights in recent years was the opportunity to meet John and the other AMG members in person, at our gathering at the Partizan show in June 2015.

I have made many friends on the AMG forum and know that I will miss them terribly. The forum was the first thing that I looked at every morning on the internet.  It was a tonic that lifted my spirits when I was down and the creativity of the members led to things such as the Maurice de Saxe in his carriage at Fontenoy model that was made with the help of other members. 

My only regret is that my expulsion cuts me off from the many friends that I made on the AMG forum and it is my hope that we shall keep in touch either through this blog, my Fife and Drum Miniatures Forum, or through direct email.

Strike the tent.


Fritz

I

72 comments:

  1. Not a very gentlemanly way of letting you know of your expulsion, is it?

    Surely they should have offered you a sort of a life forum membership that is exempt from the requirement of "adding value of late"?

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  2. Surprised to read this Jim. You will be missed. I still follow your blog and will continue to do so.

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  3. Seems a poor reason to kick someone out. We all go through phases when life gets in the way.

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  4. Very odd indeed ! if they are not careful they will end up with very few members

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  5. Jim,
    I am really disappointed about this occurrence, I really hoped to finally meet you at this years AMG weekend, which actually is more about meeting fellow wargamers and less about being a part of the AMG. I did offer to lose my place on the forum because I felt and still feel a tad uncomfortable with ultimatums in what is my hobby, but then it is John Ray's forum so you have to accept his rules. Apparently I have been given a stay of execution. But it still doesnt sit well with me. Wargaming is bigger than that. Anyway I will still follow you, and hope one day to finally meet you for a good talk, a good beer, and a great battle.

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  6. That's a surprise, I will miss your contributions.

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  7. "I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member".. :o)

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  8. I am at a loss on what to say, especially anything pleasant. A huge benefit of the internet since it's inception has been to allow those with niche interests such as ours to meet like minded others and increase our appreciation and enjoyment of those interests. To be arbitrarily denied this is simply wrong.

    I hope you can reconnect with your AMG friends through other less restrictive avenues.

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  9. I thought about buying the book earlier, but now quite happy I didn't. I wouldn't call that very gentlemen like behavior to simply remove a member over lack of posting without at least some form of consultation as to why.

    Christopher

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    Replies
    1. The book was on my Birthday/Christmas list. IIRC membership of the forum was/is included in the purchase of the book...
      In any event, this seems to fly in the face of what the whole "Old School Wargaming" movement is meant to be about

      Delete
  10. "Adding much value" mmm
    Well, your blog, your action to ensure the continued, & expanded production of Minden Miniatures, not to mention the Fife & Drum AWI ranges, has certainly "added value" to my wargaming experience!

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  11. How vexing for you and how unfair! :(

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  12. "Adding value", what a crass statement. if your elimination was n't an error, it speaks volumes for the small mindedness of the Forum owner.

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  13. That's a great shame Jim.
    Phil

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  14. I'm sorry to hear that Jim. I will still follow you on your blog. Keep in touch. Colin

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  15. Jim, I wrote the book and I got expelled, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's only toy soldiers.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, it's like JR is the emperor who is executing all of his generals. BTW, you wrote a good story in that book.

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    2. Thank you, at the time I enjoyed it, and did not begrudge the three years of work. If I put my name to something I want it to be the best I can achieve. But I appear to have outlived my usefulness. He is a very silly man, but hey ho life goes on. Tim Hall.

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  16. How ridiculous! I got culled a couple of years ago for much the same given reason. It's pretty clear that the forum is a JR ego trip and that pretty soon he'll be having to expel the last member, JR himself, as they'll have no-one left to make posts to. Perhaps JR should consider his actions very carefully as removing members who post at all is removing any value from the forum. It will see a slow and painful death I think.

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    1. I can't disagree with anything that you say.

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    2. As an AMG forum member, I cant help, but agree. If he keeps deleting people who dont meet his exacting standards, there wont be anyone left! I think that he forgets that not everyone is a gentleman of leisure like him. Real life does get in the way sometimes. His paranoia about other blogs (firstly the HOW one and now Jims) is just bizzare.

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  17. Jim, I was kicked out ages ago for apparently not posting enough. It's pathetic and childish, and not only flies in the face of the 'old school' ethos but of the internet as a place for the free exchange of information and views as well. Like you, I championed the book and gave it lavish coverage in my magazine, but that counted for nothing.

    The only reason for being barred from a public forum should be bad behaviour such as ad hominem attacks, foul language and the like. To expect every member to be a content-generating machine all the time is just daft – at some point, everyone dries up, takes a break or whatever.

    In the internet age, anyone who expects a single place to be the main focus of anyone's attention permanently is just kidding themselves. Most of us, for example, now have our own blogs, Facebook pages, twitter accounts and so on, and frankly those are the places we have every right to prioritise. If other people choose to pop along and visit and participate in the comments, that's a bonus, not a right! You have to win your audience, you can't control it.

    You're better off out – there are plenty of other venues, including your own excellent blog and Fife & Drum. You'll be fine.

    Oh, and I'm happy to put my name to this comment. I don't have to be polite about stupidity like this any more.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Henry: you have done an excellent job of summarizing the situation and its relevance within the greater internet community. You are true Oak in my eyes as are the many others who have expressed their support today, and I appreciate all the kind words from everyone.

      This hobby should always be,first and,foremost, fun. Nothing else really matters in the end.

      I always feel honored that people visit my blog, my forum and my Facebook pages and I ask for nothing in return.

      Thank you again Henry, may your dice always roll high. :)

      Jim

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    2. Henry, we should set up a movement advocating a return to Old School ethics, Oh sorry you did that.

      Delete
  18. It's a relief to be moving on to other things. I no longer have to walk on eggshells over fear that I might somehow offend You Know Who and then no longer have access to my friends and acquaintances. It feels great!

    Jim

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  19. What in blazes ?!?!

    Jim, I think there may be better and more deserving outlets for your energies. On to greener pastures old son and don't go wasting your sweetness upon the desert air.

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    Replies
    1. I agree Olde Bean. Even though I'm retired now, I have a very long list of Wargame projects and games in the queue, starting next Saturday when we have our SYW in India game at Bill P.'S castle.

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  20. I see the thread appears to have been removed from the AMG forum sometime today after Wills resigned. The whole episode is a dreadful and pointless shame so I guess I shall be purged soon.

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    1. Colin, as you know, you are always welcome on the fifeanddrumminiatures forum.

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  21. What a debacle!

    The ongoing implosion that is AMG just rolls on.

    Greg Horne

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Newton's Third Law of Motion would seem to be the governing principle in this case.

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  22. Morning Jim,
    I have yet to have it confirmed by John Ray, and I may be doing him a great disservice but I can no longer access the AMG, although I had been informed that I had made the cut. It appears my Forum name is no longer recognised, of course I am useless at remembering my passwords etc, but I think JR may have tossed his toys out of the pram. I will wait until this is confirmed before I shout, I AM SPARTACUS, all so very confusing.

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    1. Blimey... it's sounding like the night of the long knives!

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    2. Robbie, I just checked the list of members on the forum and you do appear to have been purged :-(

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    3. FREEDOM!!!!!!

      ( Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart) 😆

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  23. What a stupid thing to do, on so many levels. I'm sure your better off without access. Wargaming is a hobby that, like all hobbies, should be fun and stress free as we give it our spare time. If my hobbytime was under the scrutiny of some guy with dictator tendencies I would go elsewhere.
    /Mattias

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  24. I tried to log in a few days ago and found that my password had "expired" as well. I had only a very few posts, so I had violated that membership rule. I guess that's OK - it's his forum and his rules. However, it wasn't that I was uninterested - there's this little thing called real life that interferes with regularly posting on a wargame forum. As many have said, that strict enforcement will end up with a small band of members tweeting at each other, and the hobby is worse off because of it.

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  25. What a silly reason to expel an contributing member since there is zero marginal cost to keeping you on the rolls. Ah well our little band of hobbyists can be fractious. As other have said, on to greener pastures.

    Will you be making the trip to Historicon this year?

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  26. Jim, I'm sorry to hear you were evicted from that group but as you know you have many friends and many who appreciate your contributions to the hobby. One has only to peruse the comments above. Carry on!

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    Replies
    1. Ross: I am overwhelmed by the response in these comments, it is all very uplifting.

      Jim

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  27. Welcome to the club Jim. Far better to contribute to where you are appreciated..

    I was kicked off for too much Sudan I believe .... but of course that was not actually communicated was it ... oh no..

    I have binned the book .. no place for it on my shelves any longer

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    1. Dave: your Sudan set up is simply awesome. I think I set up a 19th Century board on my forum.

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    2. Dave - I was culled for criticising his removal of the other periods section and for saying I would miss your Sudan posts - plus I don't think he likes competition

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    3. Well I have joined Jims forum tonight , hopefully catch up there

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  28. Jim,
    I was correct I was culled. I think it was for commenting on your demise as the last post I saw on the AMG Forum was concerning your post and the replies. You couldnt make it up. By the way I had to write a post on my blog about the affair. Honestly we are well shot of the tawdry affair.

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    Replies
    1. This is your badge of honor and you are in good company. 😀

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  29. Jim
    I have enjoyed your contributions to the hobby going back to your articles on a trip with Prof Duffy, and I still read every one of your blog entries. It is good to see many others also value you on both sides of the pond.

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  30. Jim
    Welcome to the club - and I personally believe that you have contributed more to the growth of the 18th Century as a war gaming period as you at least make your fantastic figures available to all and you don't run it as a vanity project - Ian

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  31. Jim,
    I am an ex member also, a visit to your blog always inspires.
    Cheers,
    Willz

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  32. At time of writing I still have access to AMG but I must admit reading this blog and all the comments makes me feel physically sick. I have enjoyed the Forum for several years and contributed when I could but half the pleasure was in that feeling that it was a place for so many luminaries regarding 18th century military history and culture (and I regard you as one) and I learn such a lot from it. To expel you is a big mistake and I was so looking forward to meeting you at the AMG gathering this year. I do agree we have to give priority to our own blogs and online presence and goodness knows that is difficult enough and keep up the creative side of life too. Good luck in future projects which I will continue to follow with enthusiasm and I hope you will visit my blog from time to time.
    Chris
    http://notjustoldschool.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Chris: change of plans, I am going to the gathering in Warwick so we will get to meet afterall ( and analyze 18th Century windmills 😀 Over a wee dram).

      Jim

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    2. Jim,
      That's terrific news, really looking forward to finally meeting you.

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  33. What the heck..sorry to hear that Jim..considering how much you do for the Hobby..

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    1. It seems like things happen for a reason and the recent events have launched me onto a new path that looks like a lot of fun.

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  34. Having also been culled from the herd, I consider myself in better company...captbill

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  35. Hi, Jim. As you know, I have already commented on your F&D forum about this ludicrous & grossly unfair event. I find much of the above comment enlightening, too. You have been one of the select band of gamers who has greatly enhanced 18th century gaming for many with your ranges of figures. I am also greatly entertained by your other posts on this blog, as well as the F&D forum, especially the colonial posts. You have my best wishes and full support. Cheers, Rohan.

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    1. Thank you Rohan. I agree that the many comments reflect well on the international community of wargamers and make it easy to bury the other unpleasantness for good.

      Jim

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  36. Hi Jim - hope you are well and glad to see you catching up with friends and admirers in the UK. Wish I could be there as well. Best of luck and look forward to seeing Fyfe and Drum continue to go from strength to strength. Still very much enjoy seeing those magnificent games of yours on the blog going back to the Sudan, 1807 Napoleonics etc. Best wishes.

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    1. Thank you for your support and kind comments Carlo. I hope that you will post some of your Sudan pix on the forum too.

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    2. Yep, I bought the book, took the trouble to join the forum and loved both the inspirational content and the friendly nature of the posts. Like you, real life got in the way and I was axed. John is rightly proud of his breath taking collection, but really needs to take a look at himself. Never mind, your blog is a regular stop for me, so keep it up!

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  37. Jim, as so many have said above real life has taken over here so I have only just read this. Pretty astounded. If you are culled for lack of contribution then really 99% of us are on v thin ice. Delighted to read you are coming to warwick.

    Guy

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  38. I just read your comment and agree with the above posts. I finally found a copy of AMG a few months ago and paid for it (and the outrageous shipping), and finally joined the forum. However, I didn't realize that regular posting was a requirement. I suspect that I have been expelled without notice as well. Since membership in the forum was included with the purchase of the book, I am not sure he is on sound legal footing. Nonetheless, why would anyone fight to remain a member when ungentlemanly actions such as expelling you are taken by the "club." I visit your blog regularly and have even recently purchased some miniatures from Fife and Drum (the detail is excellent, by the way).

    Condolences and Congratulations!

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    1. Hi Capt Nolan,

      You make an interesting point about forum membership being "part of the deal" when you purchase the book. I doubt that anyone will spend the time and cost to pursue that angle in a court of law. JR had mentioned that he thought that his forum had nearltnrun its course and he was thinking of closing it in the near future. Maybe the mass expulsions will lead him to this end, which I think is what he wants.

      Many people have reached out to me over the past week so that mitigates my concern that I would hear from them ever again.

      My wargaming hobby is supposed to be FUN and in going in my own direction will certainly be a lot more FUN.

      I'm contented and happy with where I am, somthis episode has opened up some new and exciting opportunities for me. This is FUN!

      Jim

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  39. Well, I will miss your posts, however I can always get them here, always impressed and inspired with your collection and games. Keep on having fun.

    Paul

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  40. It was a total vanity project by a very old twisted old man . Sadly many fell for it as it was regarded as some elite historical body of gamers . JR has a track record of using people
    and when time is up your out . What did you all expect ?

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  41. Sorry to hear this happened. I always had trouble logging in as there was a sort of double sign-in. Then there was a password change and I could get in again. I guess I can assume I've been booted too as I never managed to post anything. John did seem nice in a few emails I exchanged with him. Its a pity to hear it turned out this way.

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