Page 5 of 9

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 19 May 2019, 21:55
by CarlL
Thank you for your feedback.
As one of the 46 'voting' to approve your enterprise, it is sad the response so far has been half what you hoped for! Nonetheless worth persisting. More positive than negative.
Its a pity history is obstructing future thinking. We are likely dead as the dodo unless a willing and energetic "runner" takes up the baton.
I am keen to help if you choose this task, but know its hard work producing worthwhile material for any of your proposed efforts.
As I am not a modeller per se, but enjoy modelling to produce items for my games, then I doubt a modelling only outlet would be for me.
But lets see where it goes.
Hopefully members can be future focused and we can produce a renewed Sotcw with a constitution, and on going membership to boot.

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 21 May 2019, 10:56
by Russell Phillips
magnification wrote:
19 May 2019, 10:58
So, how is the SOTCW re-boot going. Well, you will recall that I agreed with the SOTCW Team that I would proceed if I achieved a hundred positive replies. Actually, I proposed this to them but got no response from Russ, Phil or Andrew so I assumed that silence was concurrence.
Apologies for not responding, Mark. I thought I had, but on checking my emails, I see that I didn't. Sorry. Still, it would have been nice if you'd chased me direct rather than posting about it here.

Just to clarify: Since we'd suggested a lower bar (25 positive replies), we're happy for you to try for 100.
As of this morning I have 46 positives and 8 negative - just to be clear a negative means keep the SOTCW as an online presence only.
We've only seen 21 responses. Where did the other 33 come from?

I think it would make more sense for their to be a single society dedicated to the subject, whoever runs it and whatever form it takes. That's just my personal opinion, though.

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 21 May 2019, 16:48
by bannockburn bhoy
Ive obviously missed something , i dont recall seeing anything about voting either way on anything on the forum ,is this a proposition sorted out off the forum,cheers John

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 21 May 2019, 17:41
by Russell Phillips
Everyone that was listed as a member at the end of sub 15 should have had either an email or a letter, setting out Mark's proposal and inviting them to give an opinion.

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 21 May 2019, 18:43
by CarlL
bannockburn bhoy
this is the letter / email minus Mark Wheelers address details (as I dont have right to share that), that members were asked to respond too.
Perhaps because the Forum isnt the same as the subscribers (membership).
Apologies if Mark or current "editorial" team disagree with my sharing this information.
You can relate this info to my response above. I am happy to share my response too (to follow).

Dear SOTCW Member, Following the decision to cease production of the Society house magazine The Journal there has been a healthy debate (largely on the SOTCW forum) with regard to the future of the Society – specifically but not only, resurrect the magazine, or continue as an online forum only. Broadly the outcome in this discussion is around 20-30 replies with a third supportive of re-booting regular publications, a third think that any form of Society publication, whether hard copy or pdf, has had its day, and maybe a third are non-committal, interested, but can see pitfalls such as the sheer lack of members input material.
Due to the sample limitations of this narrow range of input, the decision has been made to canvas for a broader range of views. So this letter is coming to you in order to get your views on next steps. Basically, of the current 283 members the objective is to get a critical mass to support one of the following:
1) Introduce my proposal below.
2) Operate the Society as an online forum resource only. This is where the SOTCW is now and is the default position.

We are still discussing what a critical mass looks like, but my interpretation is at least a hundred members supporting 1), otherwise we only get 2). My proposal for 1) follows, but it is a work in progress that needs fleshing out – this will happen with positive votes from ‘the hundred’. So here goes: The Society will comprise of two entities - the online presence (so Forum and Web Site) and three publications. I would propose to keep both entities under separate and clear control so that should one fail, the other can continue. The web site can function exactly as now but I cannot do it. I think Russ has offered to carry on with the background work but we will need a front of office administrator etc. The magazine offer is as follows: 1) A regular PDF and hard copy newsletter (The Runner) bringing reviews, adverts, letters, product announcements. This may come at the rate of one a month or one a week – it may be sixteen pages or six. It will depend on the rate of news and how time sensitive it is. The Runner will include a second hand model, figures, book and all things wargaming for sale and wanted column section called ‘The Quartermaster Stores’, news of clubs and hobby groups open to new members near you. If needs be I can write this on my own but of course all input would be welcome and lead to speedier publication. A version of The Runner already exists as a sample and can be sent to you upon request. This is a Firm/Definite proposal.
2) An occasional (objective is quarterly) pdf and hard copy magazine of 60 pages or there abouts (The Range Finder) primarily with all scales modelling content. It will be in full colour with background information on ranges of figures and models, rules and terrain, and may well back up other Society activities prominent at the time. It will aim to inform the reader of what’s available and where and how to adapt it to your wargaming needs. If needs be I can write this on my own but of course all input would be welcome and lead to speedier publication. This is a Firm/Definite proposal.
3) An occasional pdf and hard copy magazine of 60 pages or there abouts (The Journal) bringing wargaming rules and historical summaries only. All other content goes in the two publications outlined above. I cannot write this on my own and need help/input. Because of this I cannot to a publication schedule. This is a Firm/Definite proposal. The following is almost just a wish list but proposed anyway, with no plan to deliver: 4 (a) Primer booklets addressing specific periods or campaigns within them, e.g. North Africa in WW2, or the French Indochine War. The word primer means they will be aimed at new entrants to the hobby and may well be composed of past Journal material and content from The Runner and The Range Finder. They will be of nominal cost and maybe free to the membership. More work needed. This is a Firm/Desired proposal.
4 (b) More Society presence at shows. More work needed. This is a Soft/Desired proposal.
4 (c) Group meetings. More work needed. This is a Soft/Desired proposal.
So, some other things. 5 (a) Finance. There will be no subscription. I am proposing a flat membership fee in the region of £10 to £15 every two years for the above and other things that maybe done. I don't know how far this amount per head will go - the lions share will go on hard copy publications and web site maintenance ?
5 (b) Magazines. I am proposing to edit The Runner and The Range Finder. If needs be I'll do The Journal but would much prefer another person took this on. This might change but members will only get pdf's unless hard copies are specifically requested.
5 (c) Administration. I will handle membership and distribution and be the Treasurer. Although a lot of work, there is a synergie with these tasks sitting with one person – this is what I did before and it worked. We do however need more oversight on the Finance as the Society does now, so help is needed with this.
5 (d) Timing. If the proposal is accepted then the first thing will be to re-establish a membership base and call in fees. This will all happen this year and you will see issues of The Runner and the Range Finder at least.
5 (e) It is proposed that the offer is world wide, not limited to the UK.
5 (f) I don’t see the old and now hardly used Society discount scheme continuing, except on an ad hoc basis if individual manufacturers want to do it. I think that's it for now. I am hoping and believe that the above will help re-establish the SOTCW as an active community that people want to be involved with on many levels and so much more than just another online presence (there are so many of these already) that people dive in and have a quick look at occasionally. A cautionary word to end with. If we proceed with my proposal it will be a ‘slow burn’ process. I am more interested in a steady, quality driven Society offering that will build community and endure, rather than a ‘get the mags out the door’ approach in support of an artificial, too ambitious publication schedule that leads to burnout. So will you please write to me with a clear vote on the proposal. Do not send any money now – a simple email or written letter expressing interest either for or against is all that is required. Under new GDPR legislation it is important for you to reply and signal interest as well as we cannot keep in contact otherwise. If you want further information first, I will try and answer specific questions but all of this is evolving and is, of course, completely dependent on support from you, so answers may subtlety change over time. If you reply with comments or questions can you please reference the number code, e.g. 5 (a) so my answer can be focused. Many thanks for your time and attention and sticking with us,
Please reply to:
[edited as not mine to share]

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 21 May 2019, 18:46
by CarlL
In interest of honesty and sharing, this was my response to Mark: (and to the editorial team who shared this hence addressed to Mark and Russ / Russell).


Mark & Russell,

I think the proposals are ambitious, admirable and have my backing. I would subscribe.

Specifically I think the Sotcw needs a simple constitution aound editorial roles, cash, and members rights and responsibilities.

Re 1. "The Runner" - the trading aspect may take off - alternative to ebay? - but also mimics what the market is doing on nternet and in glossies, so may be a cheaper place for Traders or not supported by traders who have much invested in their websites. I try to do something like this in my Forum contributions to the "Sales, whats new" tab and previously in terms of reviews. But am I straying here?

Re 2. "The Range Finder" - sounds like a new version of scale modeller (etc titles of similar) could bring in new blood who model and dont wargame?

Re 3. "The Journal" I am with Mark on quality not schedules, (I think the previous team took production quality to an all time high and the content was very good but it needs material and writers to populate it. This may lead to refreshed interest in writing. (I wonder if previously we expected too much quality and did too much editing?) It appeared the announcements of lack of material and previous editors resigning added the coup de grace to a malingering output from contributors (cetainly from me). I would make effort to resume the typing and sharing historical and wargmaes ideas.

Re 4a Primer booklets? Airfix really did this so is this one to discuss with their copyright holders and likes of John Curry at the History of Wargaming Project? Could be a diversion? or distraction from 1 to 3 above.

re 4b Show Presence? Harder to achieve without a product to display? And perhaps less impact when individuals like me take a pet project thats not main stream like the last two visits to Battleground Show but bigger shows and simple stand worked at ?Partizan when Russell, Phil Gray and me put on simple stand. So its achieveable but usually requires a dedicated soul or two or three to make effort.

re 4c Group meetings is a great idea. Harder to achieve even in a small "big" island like ours; more so if you aim for wider than UK membership / readership / participation? Laudable. I could think of cheap options like asking members or clubs with facilities to host group game etc.. or open days?

re 5a (Finance) see comments earlier re constitution and need for access so if one man goes down, the Sotcw doesn't go down and its finances however slender are stuck in a members bank account unaccessible? (Not trying to put a curse on you Mark. But I have seen it happen elsewhere!)

re 5b (magazines) - lot of work Mark is volunteering to put on. The Jounal needs an editor too and we have not had many / any volunteers? I may have time when I retire but may be distracted by a house move too, so dont want to make promises I may struggle to keep.

re 5c (administration) lot of work even managing hundred members. I speak from experience of being membership secretary and treasurer in smaller organisations.

re 5d "Timing" Mark seems to be setting himself a punishing schedule with 1 and 2. For 3 we all know the editor cannot write the whole thing it needs contributions for editing. We may have to lower our expectations? Pity as this is the best bit for me!

re 5e "World offer" - links to admin in terms of currency unless Sotcw has a middle man like Wargames Vault? Our world offer is also culturally bound to English readers, writers, speakers. Unless Mark is a talented linguist? I have tried reading in French and Spanish texts for articles, its not easy unless you have linguistic skills! Or a friend who has them!

re 5f "discounts" - I cant recall using them for a long while! but still buying from said companies offering them!

You both have my permission to share these comments with others and to send me unsolicited mail to this email about Sotcw from others; and if we get so far as to hold group meeting or inaugral day for Sotcw AGM then to post me any directions or put me in a global posting list (I have similar with Society of Ancients and Armati ancient rules playing group, to name a big and a small exmple).

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 22 May 2019, 18:26
by cartfc
Russell Phillips wrote:
21 May 2019, 10:56
We've only seen 21 responses. Where did the other 33 come from?
I received emails from both you and Mark and replied to both of you. Apologies if it didn’t get through.


Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 22 May 2019, 18:38
by Russell Phillips
cartfc wrote:
22 May 2019, 18:26
I received emails from both you and Mark and replied to both of you. Apologies if it didn’t get through.

I got yours, but apparently some people only replied to Mark, and didn't copy the team in.

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 22 May 2019, 22:28
by bannockburn bhoy
Why is anyone replying to Mark. Why were "votes not just posted on the forum ,were supposed to be a society ,not a secret society ,regardless of how few people remain actively participant.

I asked on three different occasions for the entire membership to be contacted with a view at an attempt to reboot the forum ,none of which even received an acknowledgement. i think Richard Baber said it all best.

Re: SOTCW Future Offer

Posted: 22 May 2019, 23:57
by Kalinovsky
I think if it goes ahead those who don’t agree will simply vote with their feet. As there isn’t really a society to be members of, and I don’t think Mark’s proposal would bring lots of new people in, its all academic anyway.