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Monday, 28 August 2017

Just for the record...

OK all, get the popcorn out, this should be fun for you all....I don't like airing dirty laundry in public, but when someone specifically attacks you on a blog, then...well, it's time to wither ignore it passively, or get out the virtual howitzers. I've never been very passive (you'd never have guessed, eh?) so I think people deserve both sides of the story - here's my counter to Josh Linde's continued personal crusade against the "satan in human form" that I seemingly am. I will be using portions of Mr Linde's blog to demonstrate ad respond to here, and I quote verbatim - I don't do cut and paste shenanigans.

"Alex Mann and his gang of supporters have been basically clogging the forums and groups with hate filled vitriol in the guise of trying to better the community.  Yes Spartan had a ton of problems and yes they could have been run way better.  We all know that, its not news.  So why beat a dead horse."

I'm sorry, but "clogging the forums and groups" is rather an overstatement, especially since I've not been posting on Spartan's forum for quite some time, nor have "my followers" (wow, I sound like some kind of cult-leader...I'm almost flattered!)

Now, have I been a prominent voice in calling out Spartan's errant ways for the past year? Hell yes - and rightly so, as it turns out. Saying the company could be run better is like saying Trump could be a better president. So should Americans be quiet about Trump then? Should Trump's response to Charlottesville not be publicly called out? Josh's stance would seem to support that - "shut up and keep quiet" is the mantra. We know it, so don't say anything....hmmm, not sure that's going to change much though, is it?

So have I been vocal? Yes. Too much? Maybe - I can be a dog with a bone, especially when I'm right. I'll come back to being right later on....for now, back to Josh...

"Its because of vanity.  Alex is a narcissist who cannot reconcile with the fact he was replaced."

Errr, let me correct you here Josh, because I'm big on facts and data. I resigned, I wasn't replaced. I saw what was coming, didn't like the shape of it and stepped out before it happened. I have an entire email chain with Neil over several weeks on this.

As to whether I'm a narcissist? Maybe - I don't believe so, however, and my career progression and 360s haven't come up with that either. I'm thorough, driven and know what I'm talking about, otherwise I don't talk about it, but I don't believe I'm a narcissist.

"He and the former focus group members overstepped their bounds and scope.  When this was corrected they threw tantrums like a bunch of petulant children."

Oh dear, Josh is not great with his facts, is he? We overstepped no bounds at all, because I was theoretically given free-reign on Firestorm - and again I've definitive proof on this. Of course it never was free-reign because I was a volunteer and had to get Neil to actuate everything the FFG did....so how exactly could they overstep these non-existent bounds?

"Alex says I stabbed him in the back and I am clueless and several other things."

Ah, at last, we have some facts.

So Josh Linde was an FFG member, though ask any one of them as to his input and productivity and they'll tell you the same thing - he did little. Mainly he made single-meta points and then sulked when they weren't taken up (because we had a global group of players with many different metas, and produced what worked across the board, not just in Lansing.

What Josh DID do, however, was talk to Neil at GenCon. He misrepresented some of what the FFG were saying to Neil in order to get himself a leg-up into Neil's favour...I'd call that stabbing a group in the back pretty solidly. Now how could he do this? Well, a lot of what the FFG did was mulled over on Skype, both in calls and on chat (calls are difficult when you have a 12-14h time difference between some of the participants!). As you might imagine from spirited types, we had a lot of discussion - which I generally encourage. Chewing the fat and disagreeing is where creative ideas can come from sometimes, other times its just needed to blow off steam. Nothing we discussed was ever things I wouldn't have said to Neil's face.

But see, that's the thing with the written word and the spoken - you miss nuance, allowing others to misrepresent it. Everyone in the FFG knew what SGs failings were, and wanted them addressed because they all knew that without that, SG would never succeed long term. The FFG members were all passionate about Firestorm, and none of them sought a job or recompense from SG, unlike Mr Linde.

Oh, and he did this all at the same time as being a guest on my podcast too - classy, not in the least bit snakelike or betraying....nooo.

"What he does not tell you is that several of his cronies and he himself harassed me and attacked me personally on the forums and on the Facebook groups and went so far as to send me threatening messages on FB messenger.  I blocked them. They blocked me."  

Wow - perhaps Josh is a Trump supporter, because this is really familiar - the truth being represented backwards as reality. Now I'll admit it, I said some pretty unpleasant things to Captain Snake, sorry, Mr Linde on Messenger....in response to him and his friends being pretty vile to me, after which I blocked him. It was a two-way exchange. But hey, I don't expect you to blindly believe me, so here's our entire Messenger discussion, from when I was asking after him and then when he says he likes the new Relthoza ships we did, to when I asked him not to post on my Threads, which I felt was entirely justified as I explained...
 Now did I cover myself in glory here? No, I'm happy to admit that, but this is a two-way exchange, not some Rotweiller mauling a puppy. Yes, I was pissed at Josh for selling Neil a line on the FFG that ended up hurting the development of the game in a MAJOR way, but it's not like I have some hate campaign against him, I just think he's untrustworthy.

"This allowed them to basically say anything they wanted unchallenged.  I am glad community members started to fight back against all the negative talk. I did not stab you in the back Alex I talked to Neil about my concerns."

Eh? OK, so no-one challenged me and my imaginary army? No, that's not true. Yes, people probably got tired of me saying the same things about Spartan, but SPARTAN DIDN'T CHANGE! If they had started treating people right, I'd have said so!

I also have a real issue with "I talked to Neil about my concerns". Yeah, you stabbed the FFG in the back. You didn't come to me, you didn't raise your concerns to us as a group, you went straight to Mr Boss man at GenCon and whispered in his ear, when no-one was around to put context or an alternative viewpoint, or correct your interpretations.

"He shared them when I showed him the rules you had never shown him." 

Uh-oh - bullshit alert everyone! Here's the synopsis I sent to Neil on the FFG v3 developments:

Aside from that, NEIL HAD ACCESS TO EVERY SINGLE FFG COMMUNITY THREAD. So where are we plotting or taking Firestorm off down some country lane? Ah - Skype, you say. Well yeah, we bitched and moaned on Skype in the way everyone does about the stupid things their boss or employer does, but it was all stuff that either needed saying to blow off steam, or was a concern for the future of the game.

"For better or worse, in this case worse, it was his game and his company.  He calls the shots, you don't. "

And THAT worked out just GREAT for everyone, didn't it now? Remember how I said I was going to come back to being right? Let me share with you another email I sent to Neil back in Autumn of 2016. 

Now forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think I spell it out for Neil pretty plainly in the above, and once more, I (and the FFG) were always speaking as "the critical friend" - someone who is close enough to you to tell you you're doing something monstrously stupid before you do it, however painful that might be. These are points I made to Neil on several occasions, and note the date - this is almost a year ago.

"I knew what my place was and what I was getting into. Unlike Alex I am an adult."

Hahahahahahaha...too funny. Well, glad you knew what your place was Josh. How did the position of telling Neil his shit didn't stink go for you? Was it adult enough for you. Sorry, but toilet humour always works when you're a child like me.


"So congratulations FFG assholes you got your way.  Happy?  People lost their jobs and a company we loved is now gone.  It is of their own doing, but relishing in their defeat makes you all the worst kind of people."

No Josh, you are the same sort of fool that said the Emperor was wearing fine clothes, when he was in fact being made a fool of himself. Standing by and jockying for personal gain and not understanding the ramifications of saying "hey dude, everything is good" makes you culpable in Spartan's demise far more than me.

If we' in the FFG had "got our way", Neil would have devolved FA development, Taskforce would have been a proper cut-down intro-version of the main game and released as part of the new v3 (as v2.5), which would have been out in Summer this year with a new Sorylian vs Relthoza (plus Pathogen) 2-player set. It would also have included Firestorm Inferno (a way to play much larger fleets), giving us all a fully scalable SF game set in the universe we love. It would also have been accompanied by a new set of commanders and new background books fleshing out the technology and worlds of the FA Galaxy.

So if you're going to throw pitiful rocks, please do so whilst not standing on a glass floor, you dope!

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