On March 30th, 2017, the original Club Penguin game shut down – marking the apparent end of our army community. Six years later, the CPPS era of the community continues on. To mark this anniversary, we have spoken with seven key individuals to discuss in more detail the happenings and memorable moments that defined the years.
The following article includes the words from seven notable figures that have had a huge impact on a certain year since the CPPS army originated in 2017. Please note, their words are reflective of their own perspective and experiences. Their words may not be the absolute truth, but they are certainly an interesting insight into the community at the time they are discussing.
Words from Popsiclebeak
In the immediate aftermath of Club Penguin’s closure, and for much of the year that followed, Club Penguin Armies existed in a state of relative lawlessness, with attempts to form a coherent community short-lived, and few armies maintaining consistency. After a brief trial period with numerous CPPSes,
Club Penguin Rewritten emerged as the biggest and most stable platform, and that is where most armies remained until its first closure in early 2018. RPF was the sole army that kept its doors open at the beginning of the CPPS era, but a few other armies did open or reopen in the early days, including Rangers, UMA, and Wild Ninjas. Perhaps more notably, “rogue armies” such as the Tubas became staples of the early CPPS Army community.
These groups existed less like the armies we all know, but similar to what the community probably looked like in 2006. There was usually little coordination between members, and there were generally no set leaders calling out tactics or formations. While there were a number of attempts to convert the Tubas into a functional army akin to what we’re accustomed to, none of the attempts lasted long or picked up significant traction. Nonetheless, rogue armies, especially the Tubas, were icons of the early days on CPR.
The most consequential change the community underwent in 2017, other than than the move to CPPSes themselves of course, was undoubtedly the move from Xat to Discord. While the platform had gained traction as a hangout spot for some in 2016 and early 2017, nostalgia and familiarity with Xat kept any armies from seriously considering a full move at that time. Xat was all we knew, and it truly felt like CPA and Xat went hand in hand. However with shifting demographics, new recruitment strategies that relied on appealing to CPR players with mascot trackers and cheats rather than autotyping or bot recruiting, and a growing userbase that had no knowledge of or desire to be on a platform as admittedly outdated as Xat, it became evident to some that Discord was the future.
RPF became the first army to move all operations to Discord on June 2nd, 2017, and the rest is history. A far more robust platform, Discord allowed for stronger connections between different corners of the community, better avenues for manual recruiting, and much greater retention of new players.
As I touched on, innovations in recruiting during this time would go on to carry significant weight. Conflicts between CPA and CPR staff arose due to their disdain for armies, partially because they were annoyed by traditional recruiting methods and partially because for months, CPR couldn’t handle larger events with rooms full of penguins doing tactics or dancing, and would often crash. This led to armies being censored quite heavily on the platform at times, making recruitment difficult.
To combat this, RPF started posting CPR news and cheats, and advertised a mascot tracker in their new Discord server. These strategies paid off big time, as the RPF website grew into the biggest hub for CPPS news at the time, which allowed them to maintain unparalleled consistency with recruiting at a time when CPR hadn’t achieved a population boom yet. It also brought in an influx of new players to the community beyond, and familiarized many more with the concept of armies, as RPF became a known entity in the CPPS world.
In terms of organized events, CPAC chose to hold the Legends Cup in the spring before CP died in lieu of March Madness, and Christmas Chaos was not held due to the lack of a stable organizing body at the time, so the usual accolades were off the table. There were attempts to bring back CPAC or something similar to it, but there was simply not enough support or a big enough overall community for any ventures to make a significant impact long-term.
Regardless, a few events did take place with large portions of the community that year, including a “May Mayhem” tournament, a hunt-and-kill tournament in August, and even an “RPF vs. the Community” event along the way. As the year wore on, more armies began trickling into the community again, including past and future staples like the Romans and EGCP, respectively. We began to see some more coordination between armies amongst themselves at this time, alas we never did see a major league truly come to fruition until the original CPO Army League in 2018.
Overall, 2017 was a bit of a bumpy ride, but it was a ride that was vital for Club Penguin Armies to rise again. It was a reset for the community in many ways due to the sweeping changes that took place, which included a big learning curve for both veterans who were having to navigate new platforms like CPPSes and Discord, as well as newbies that were figuring out how to exist within and even run their own armies. It is a year that has a unique charm to it due to how drastically different it feels to the years that preceded and followed it.
It will never be remembered as one of the strongest years for armies as a whole, but it was certainly one of the most impactful and one that set the stage for years to come.
Words from Epic101
2018 is when I returned to the community and it was rather small. I was a Moderator on CP Online at that time and that is when my interest and investment in armies grew. CPO began to rise slowly that Summer and during Christmas, it boomed which in turn helped armies rise.
Some of the standout moments would be the Legends Cup that year – the first tournament in the CPPS era of armies and was quite a success with a series of huge fun battles. The Templars defeated the RPF in a large-scale war alongside the Red Dawn Alliance.
The Pirates returned and toppled the RPF within a week, defeating them in a series of war battles and taking the #1 spot on the Top Ten from them, it was an eventful war which was similar to the 2014 days with both armies engaging in propaganda and sh*t-talk. The victory of this war for the Pirates would then lead to us going on to dominate the rest of the year, and winning the Christmas Chaos.
Initially, I reopened the Army League in September/October of 2018 because I wanted the ego boost of making Top Tens to flex the Pirates being the biggest & best army. At the time I didn’t see the bigger picture, all I cared about was winning and being the best.
A lot of people still talk about “dodgy dealings” and “corruption” within the CPO Army League when I ran it, but factually there was no corruption. I didn’t need to rig or cheat battles because the Pirates were literally the biggest entity in the community. I knew we would win tournaments, top the Top Tens and win wars without having to cheat.
2018 essentially was the year armies were rebirthed in a way. Thanks to Waterkid initially creating the Army League, and hosting the Legends Cup that year, although he left it to die, I was able to pick up the pieces and rebuild the community slowly. Although it wasn’t my intention initially to build the community, it became my intention soon after.
Words from Superhero123
2019 was in, my opinion, a really pivotal year for CPA. Multiple historic original Club Penguin armies returned for a CPPS run on that year, such as the Ice Warriors and the Army of Club Penguin. In 2019 we also saw the establishment of CPA league and CPATG, two things that are still around today (although in a slightly different form).
Before CPATG and the CPA League were created, the armies that didn’t operate on CPO were scattered upon multiple other CPPSes, and therefore didn’t interact much with each other. CPATG provided them a common battlefield to use when going to war against armies from other servers. This greatly strengthened the idea of CPA as one unified community, something that would be finalized in May of 2020 with the CPAM/CPAL merger. This was CPATG’s greatest achievement, alongside with providing armies with additional useful tools such as the !army/size commands and community-run moderation.
Back then some people would argue that this unification could have been achieved through CPO. However, there were various concerns that had led multiple army leaders to stop using this specific CPPS, despite it providing a very prosperous recruiting environment. Those concerns were validated when the events that led to CPO’s downfall unfolded. Despite all this, the army community would undoubtedly be smaller if not for CPO.
The prosperous army environment in both CPR/CPATG and CPO during 2019 laid the foundations for the golden age of 2020. It is safe to say that, despite COVID, there wouldn’t be nearly as many vets and armies returning if there wasn’t a preestablished significantly large and organized army community to build upon.
Words from Eden
2020 was a phenomenon. It was a year when we saw the community change extensively and the world around us. From the COVID boom to the collapse of CPO/CPOAL and the rise and fall of CPAH. It was undoubtedly a highly packed year that will always be remembered forever. 2020 wasn’t just a historical year for CPA or CPPSes but for CP in general, although maybe not for the right reasons.
The standout moments and events of the year obviously would be the immense success of Club Penguin Armies during the ‘golden age’ of CPPS armies. Thanks to COVID, CPPSes, such as CP Rewritten and especially CP Online, were ripe for recruitment with colossal player counts. We saw a plethora of armies breaking size records that even original armies would have dreamt of obtaining. However, there will always be those who discredit this due to armies’ methods to garner these sizes. Perhaps this will be a future debate.
The next defining moment would have to of been the shutdown of CPO. Suddenly, the most successful CPPS for two years that couldn’t be toppled was. The scandal of Riley, a former member of the CPA community, rocked the entire franchise. CPPSes may have gone viral in the winter of 2020 for the COVID nostalgia boom, but they also went viral over this CPO scandal.
Multiple mainstream media outlets picked up on it, including but not limited to the Wall Street Journal, IGN and the BBC. While successful influencers such as Kavos and SomeOrdinaryGamers covered the scandal before it went mainstream which became his 2nd most-viewed video on Youtube. Between them, coverage of the scandal gained 5.7+ million views worldwide of what was happening in our little corner of the internet. Pretty wild!
The events of CPO’s demise brought down CPOAL, the primary army league for most armies, in 2020. This event finally reduced a long-standing problem to the multiple unification talks between the CPR and CPO army communities, and the ‘unification’ of the community came into fruition with Club Penguin Army Hub after a forced merger between CPAM and the CPOAL successor, CPAL. CPAH would become the leading organisation in the community throughout the rest of the year, holding several successful tournaments, having fast-paced media coverage with quality maintained and innovating the community through new concepts and ideas.
CPAH, after all, was the baby of the best 2020 media outlet (CPAM) and the best 2020 league (CPAL). A merger that majorly contributed to CPAH becoming a powerhouse, thanks to all who made sacrifices in favour of a better community in the CPAM & CPAL administration.
However, all good things must come to an end, and CPAHs may have started with the dramatic coup of founder and CEO, Pookie437. Pookie had found out he was being couped prematurely, and this caused multiple public incidents to occur as an aftermath of that leaking. He was quickly removed after that in a public display of madness.
So yeah, 2020 started with a bang and almost certainly ended with one. (No, CPO Bang doesn’t count).
Words from DMT
When it became clear that the start of 2021 would be marred by the death of Flash Player, it was hard to imagine how the year would take shape. This was only exacerbated by the sudden demise of Club Penguin Army Hub. The community was hit hard by these two events. Flash Player was something that had been taken for granted for decades, and its demise appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for the fate of armies.
CPAH served as a bastion of hope; the physical representation of what the community had been working towards since the dawn of CPPS armies. Its messy closure was an insult to injury. Yet, in what was supposed to be a fight to survive, the community rebounded strongly from the two backbreaking catastrophes. 2021 was pivotal in multiple different ways.
Though the list of events is lengthy for this year, there is really no competition for which one was the biggest. Of course, it was the overturning of the Rebel Penguin Federation’s Overtime win against the Army of Club Penguin in the March Madness semifinals. It is no secret that the entire process was botched from the start. It was an absolute disaster-class of crisis management.
But what is interesting about this event is just how much it altered the course of army history. The most immediate ramification was the foundation of Club Penguin Army Network, though that was only put into motion after Iceyfeet1234 was fired for his sneaky Top Ten edit. But it is also what caused the massive overhaul of CPAHQ that created the positive reputation it holds to this day.
Furthermore, the CPAHQ vs CPAN rivalry that resulted from it characterized the rest of the year. It became a cold war of sorts, as the community felt permanently fractured no matter what recourse was taken. In truth, the rivalry illustrated many of the flaws that came with the league structure that had become the standard for the community.
Indeed, it was this very spat that birthed the idea of community-run tournaments, starting with Legends Cup XI. Not only did this result in the first step towards unification- United Media-, but it was taken a step further in 2022 with the inception of Club Penguin Army Judges. All of this is what paved the way for the organization that leads the community today; Club Penguin Armies, a revamped take on the league format.
But it would be remiss of me if this answer only touched on the boring media politics. Especially because 2021 was a great year for battles.
The first one that comes to mind, funnily enough, was the final between ACP and the Ice Warriors in the infamous March Madness. For all the upheaval about the Clovers being gifted a win, they put up a damn good fight and took IW to overtime, but could not overcome the size difference in the end. I also vividly remember all the excitement that came with Project: Conquest.
The way that the tournament lasted for four weeks, yet still managed to come down to the final battle between ACP and the Silver Empire of all armies was a perfect demonstration of what it aimed to do. Let’s also give some love to the S/M armies. Though the Challengers Cup 2 finals were won 3-0 by the Fire Warriors, the People’s Imperial Confederation were hot on their heels in each room and made it a thrilling battle. This all goes to show that amidst all the drama of 2021, armies somehow managed to thrive.
Words from Spotty
2022 was certainly a key year as it began with the community still separated by two leagues: CP Army HQ and CP Army Network. Although, soon into the year we witnessed the United Media reporting on tournaments such as the ‘AUSIA Arena: Winter Edition‘ and March Madness, bridging the gap in the community.
In February, the judges finally reunited under one roof as the Head Judges created the Club Penguin Army Judges, providing every league with judges. This moment helped begin various unification meetings which later ended with the recreation of CPA, bidding farewell to the much loved CPAHQ and CPAN.
In April shockwaves were sent around the community as CP Rewritten suddenly closed its doors, leaving the community without a Top Ten for weeks due to the absence of the main community CPPS. However, later that month we saw the return of normality with Superhero123’s CP Army Battleground opening its doors, becoming the first dedicated army CPPS since the closure of Flash Player.
Additionally, 2022 witnessed several major moments with various major wars throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Templars set various records, including winning the Legends Cup and dominating the number one spot of the Top Ten Armies. Whilst Their creator and leader, Xing, won Person of the Year for the second year in a row.
Words by Wynn
It’s hard to predict what will happen during the year, but the last three months have certainly been intense.
We have seen four wars and multiple small-medium armies joining the scene, so if that tendency continues, 2023 should turn out to be much more active than the previous year. We are also yet to learn if the Prosect’s archives are going to be released to the public and if so, what impact will they cause.
Among the standout moments that I would list here are definitely the Templar’s multilogging expose, the Ice Warriors closure and the removal of two Club Penguin Armies administrators.
After much discussion on the army board and with army leaders, I would also say this year may witness some changes to the league aspect of the organisation. Hopefully, the community will remain stable throughout the entire year, unlike in 2022 when we saw CP Rewritten’s closure and some CPA Battleground server issues at the beginning of its existence.
Thank you to our seven contributors: Popsiclebeak, Epic, Superhero123, Eden, DMT, Spotty & Wynn. As we enter the seventh year of the CPPS army community, what surprises do we have in store and what major events are around the corner?