Why I Detest Bill Armintrout’s The Miniatures Page

UPDATE

It appears Bill has decided to take issue with my post below (LINK). As I still have no right of reply on TMP, let me clarify again what happened and make it crystal clear for the drones and morons:

1. I made a comment on a thread on the Ultramodern board.  Rather than ask me “what I mean by it” in public, Bill locked my account and asked me via PM in the tone of addressing a schoolchild.

2. My post broke no TMP rule.

3. I told Bill exactly what I meant by my post.  I asked if I had broken any TMP rules.

4. I received no reply.

5. I asked again if I had broken any rules and if my account could be unlocked.

6. I have never received a reply.  I have no idea why I was locked out of TMP.

 

As for my advertising claims, which Bill takes issue with, claiming that driving up hits does not benefit him:

“So I wish people would bid this myth adieu – it’s not true.”

Sorry, but that is a lie Bill

Your system is based on what you call “multiples”.  The lowest multiple costs a fixed price per month.  Each higher multiple comes at a higher fixed cost.

The reason an advertiser would select a higher multiple is to GET MORE ADVIEWS.

When you use his Ad system, is even SHOWS YOU how many pageviews (adviews) you will get for a higher multiple based on current pageview levels.

So his system is designed to entice people to buy higher multiples with the promise of more PAGEVIEWS.

The more pageviews TMP gets, the better value his ad system seems, and the more people are enticed to spend.

But the problem is a LOT of TMP pageviews are generated by arguments, and issues – which Bill encourages BECAUSE IT RAISES HIS PAGEVIEWS, MAKING HIS AD SYSTEM SEEM BETTER VALUE TO USE.

If Bill used a Pay Per Click system, like most responsible people do nowadays, the pageviews would be irrelevant.  Each ad would be shown equally in rotation and you would only ever pay XX when someone CLICKED on that ad to visit your website.

That would make it VALUABLE for advertisers, rather than them paying on the promise of pageviews (and therefore implied more clicks/visits to their site) with ZERO guarantee of a single person clicking to visit their site.

You can buy a high quality “off the shelf” Pay Per Click ad system and link it into any website for about $200.  So it’s not that it can’t be done, it’s that Bill wants to rake in revenue without offering any guarantee that an advertiser will get even a single click through his current system, based entirely on empty PAGEVIEW implied promises.

 

“Our advertising revenue is not tied to website hits”

Bill – that is demonstrably untrue.  It is clearly intended to entice people unfamiliar with how ad systems work that they will get more visitors if they pay you more – which you cannot guarantee as you do not offer a Pay Per Click model. 

It’s an empty promise ad system based purely on “you might get more clicks if you pay more to be shown more”.

I’ve opened comments on this post Bill – feel free to reply.  I give you that right, even if you won’t give me the same courtesy.

 

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I used to visit TMP every day, several times, to contribute and read the latest hobby news.

 

Then Bill decided to make is to only paying members could submit hobby news, meaning the dynamic news stream dried up.

Then Bill allowed the “good old boys” to dominate the forums with right-wing politics.

Then Bill allowed “Tango01” to basically spam the place every day.

It was the Tango thing that annoyed me.  It didn’t annoy me because of the blatant spam Bill tolerated.  It was because I understand how Bill’s advertising system works.

It’s not a “pay per click” system like if you advertise on Google.  It’s a weighted views system.  So the more views your ad gets, the more you pay each month.

So I could see that Tango was tolerated because he generated controversy that means advertisers are screwed for more money for no actual gain.

I could also see that Bill stoked the fires of his “ladboy” editors situation because it meant more page views.

I could see that Bill introduced the “Ultra Modern” board, and incited political discussion at the expense of locking the accounts of participants who took the discussion in good faith, because it generated controversy – and more pageviews.

 

My crime was to post on a thread Bill started on the “Ultra Modern” board, where I said “we all know what the ultra modern board is really about Bill”.

My account was locked and I was messaged by Bill to explain myself like a child.

So I explained politely that I was simply referring to the fact it was created to generate more pageviews.  I was polite and according the the rules of the house, I had not broken any.

But my account remained locked.

I wanted to share this blog with other gamers, so I decided to set-up another TMP account.  I have no intention of misbehaving, so i thought it was worth trying as Bill was blanking me.

I used a free webmail account for the email address and confirmed my account.

The next day I found I could not access TMP, it was locked, and neither could I access my webmail account.

I contacted the webmail support and was told it had been reported as a spam account.

So on top of blocking me from TMP, which is his right no matter how pathetic it is, Bill personally tried to hijack another account I owned.

Bill Armintrout is a vindictive individual who has sat on his mountain top for far too long.  His activities as “Monty Schwab”, running a blog where he pays ladyboys to share intimate stories is just plain weird and shows what a fucked up individual he generally is.

The hobby needs it’s premier site to be inclusive and attract gamers of all ages, not just old, right-wing Americans.  As it stands I feel TMP as an experience is detrimental to the development of our hobby.  Bill needs to shape up, or sell it and retire.

Bill, your time is coming.

 

 

 

 

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Black Powder For Darkest Africa

The rules I use for my wargaming are mostly Hail Caesar, Pike & Shotte and Black Powder, all from Warlord Games.

My journey to these rules has been mostly about being fed up with, and not having time for, using a dozen sets of rules anymore.

I have a large Colonial/Darkest Africa collection and the guys down the club all played BP as well.  So I wondered if there was scope to get Colonial gaming up and running at the club quickly using BP for small unit actions.

I’ve read a lot of old nonsense on various gaming forums about Black Powder being “Battalion level”.  The truth is that a unit, is a unit is a unit.  A unit can be a Brigade, Regiment, Airplane, Tank, single figure, or even a block of wood.

So there is no reason why you can’t have small-scale colonial actions, where leaders control groups of companies of platoons.

I use the rules “as is”, with no messing around of the basic mechanisms at all.  The only change to the rules is that I exchange the Black Powder commanders in combat rules for the Hail Caesar ones.  That way, the leaders become more dynamic and have more personality.

Therefore a leader can attach before any round of combat if within 8″ (we always use the 2/3rd distance rules.  You can download the QR sheet for this from the BlackPowder Yahoo Group). They can contribute between 1-4 dice depending on how many attacks they are given (more on that in a minute).

The more attacks they put in, the higher chance there is of them being hit. 1 attack means they are hit on a 12 with two dice, 2 attacks 11-12 etc.  If hit, they are rolled for. 123 dead, 456 wounded (can no longer fight in combat but may issue orders).

The commander in chief can lead a command (brigade) or “float” using the standard BP commander in chief rules.

We find it more accurately reflects the personal intervention that small-scale colonial actions sometimes required, but at great risk to that leader.

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So What Else Makes It Colonial Black Powder?

Well, I use a new special rule called “tribal skirmishers”.  These are skirmish units as per the normal rules (but without the  +1 to hit skirmisher bonus).  They can however charge a formed unit if it is shaken.  So they can wear down formed units and then charge them once shaken (if the tribal skirmishers are still around at that point!).

I have also created a new stat line sheet for all the types of units we use in our games.  You can download a PDF HERE if you would like to use the stats.

To go through them quickly (read: justify them to the purists):

1. British regulars are rare and tough.

2. Colonial volunteers (superbly represented by the North Star South African white volunteer figures) have good firepower but poor melee ability.

3. There are native regulars to represent the regular Askaris.

4. There are two sorts of levies to represent the constabulary-type troops, and local rubbish levies usually with muskets.

5. We have stats for mercenaries, who are usually ex-Egyptian army troops, or deserters, as often was found in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1890’s. We use Perry Bazingers for this as they look great.

6. The tribal units get decent stats BUT we give them levy 3+ rule.  We do this so that a smaller number of regulars can pin down larger numbers of tribal units.

7. Artillery stats should be self-explanatory.  We up the capability of maxims slightly from the core rules.

8. There are very basic gunboat rules at the bottom of the stat sheet. The gunboat is always a separate command under it’s captain who we always assume has a command rating of 8 with no special rules.

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Injecting More Flavour: Using Leader Cards

We also use leader cards, picked by each player at the start of the game. Each card has:

1. Leader name

2. Leaders command rating

3. Leaders command characteristic (a single positive or negative attribute taken from the BP characteristics rules for aggressive, timid etc).

4. Close combat ability (usually 1-4 dice)

5. Special skill.  Some leaders have an additional skill, such as giving their units better fieldcraft to avoid rifle fire for example.

We have found that the cards create instant variation in the game, and allow for elements of roleplay.  With some of the special skills being “one shot weapons” it also introduces another element into players game strategies.

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How To Use The Character Cards

Before the start of a game simply get each player to draw a card from the relevant deck.  For the natives this is simple.  Pick one card from the commander deck for your army leader and then one card per command (brigade) for the rest of your characters.

For the colonists it is slightly more complex to reflect formal military structures.  There are three decks,  Commanders, senior subordinates and subordinates.

The colonists always pick one card for their commander in chief. One card for a senior subordinate. Then one card per other command in their force.

So if you are allowing the colonists to have three commands (brigades) for their force structure, they would pull a Commander card, a senior sub card and two subordinate cards.

You could always randomise the amount allowed per army, perhaps by allowing a commander in chief and one subordinate per side and then rolling a D6 in some way to determine additional subordinates.

The cards can be downloaded as pdf’s here:

Character Cards Colonial Commanders

Character Cards Colonial Subcoms

Character Cards Colonial Senior Subcoms

Colonial Characters Native Commanders

Character Cards Native Subcoms