For the longest time, many people have stated and theorised about the death of armies. Despite all the theories and controversies, however, the community is still standing today.
Club Penguin armies first originated in 2006 with the Army of Club Penguin being recognised by many as the first Club Penguin army. It was created by Oogalthorp on a Miniclip forum. However, this has been debated with some claiming that it was Icyfresh2 who created the first Club Penguin army. However, despite that, the origin year remains the same in both arguments.
Putting all of that aside, Club Penguin armies have since developed and evolved. They have gone from being organised on forums to being organised on Xat and now on Discord. Despite all the turbulent times, armies have survived. Even though they have survived thus far, community members often theorise about the death of Club Penguin armies, with many thinking that it would end in 2021. Many then thought it would die in 2022, after Flash’s death in December 2021. It even made it past Club Penguin and Club Penguin Island’s respective shutdowns, previously, too.
With all that being said, why is the death of the community focused on? Some have stated that Club Penguin armies will never see another golden age while many theorise that the sizes that armies currently are seeing are “the worst” we’ve seen or that we’re in a “dark age” that will lead to “inevitable death”. Is this truly the case though?
I’d like to take you, the reader, back in time for a moment. In 2016 a post made by Sammie stated that armies are no longer “as fun or as big as they used to be”. Sammie then questions whether this was due to the toxicity within armies or “toxic players” like multiloggers. However, while saying this, armies were withdrawing from or maxing low in the Christmas Chaos tournament. Major armies like ACP maxed approximately 7 troops while the Golds withdrew due to their small size.
It was a dark time for armies but was it truly because of toxicity or drama? Or maybe it was because of the lack of drama and adrenaline coursing through the players. Let’s face it, no one is here to send tactics 100 times during an event just to press w and b after 30 minutes. So what are we truly here for? Club Penguin army politics, while exhausting at times, entice people into the community. The drama, the thrill, the adrenaline rush, the power struggle, we all have a love-hate relationship with it. While the toxicity is what pushes people out the door, along with the time consumption among other things, it also is something that keeps us in it.
Take 2020/21 for example. A lot went down in 2020/21, many people got doxxed or pizza bombed and even today a lot is still going on with tension surrounding the ‘prosect’ files. This brings a buzz to the community, even though our thoughts around it are negative. Now, this post is not about army politics, however, the point being made is that these are high-intensity events. They scare some people while getting adrenaline running in others. Not for good reasons but for a reason. Whether that leads them to running to or from armies is irrelevant in this argument and yet it’s a crucial part of army politics that can lead to the revitalisation or death of armies.
As previously stated, in late 2016, armies were going through a dark age with armies barely being able to reach 15 most times with some managing to get a bit more than 20 penguins online at events. Yet, the CPPS era is considered “the death” of armies? Armies in the CPPS era have had some of the biggest maxes that we’ve ever seen. In early 2020 we had a lot of major armies and much competition between them. One of the most memorable armies for these big sizes was the Pirates. In May of that year, they were able to gather an astounding 181 penguins online. To some, this may sound like someone has made up the numbers as they’ve gone along but this was a massive feat which was followed by many other big maxes.
In 2022, further mentions of armies’ deaths arose with many predicting it wouldn’t last the year. However, the year’s Top Ten saw the Top 3/4 (excluding Rebel Penguin Federation) maxing 48-70 penguins. This is a massive amount and it was at least 3x more than what some armies were maxing during late 2016. Even in June 2022, the top five armies were maxing between 28-59 penguins. Four out of five were maxing 30 or more. To get 30 troops online is still a big amount for an army which is something that wasn’t seen regularly in late 2016. To further reinforce the point, in May 2012, the top two armies maxed 35-40 while third place was maxing 30 with the rest maxing 25 or below. In fact from fifth place down, the maximum size was 15. This wasn’t even the “dark” age and yet armies were doing worse than they are today. So are armies today truly “dead”?
At the start of the current year (2023), four of the top ten armies were maxing 31 or more penguins. If this was compared to May 2012 we’d see that they are quite similar, however, the fifth, sixth and seventh were maxing 20, 21 and 17 respectively, unlike 2012. Even if we compared it to a “darker” period of 2012, early in October 2012 only the first and fifth positioned armies on the Top Tens maxed 30. The rest of the armies were maxing anywhere between 10-20.
Currently, however, things have changed since then. Despite that, the top two armies are maxing above 31 with four other armies maxing over 20. There are currently 7 major armies so that makes it 6/7 of these major armies maxing at least 20. Does this mean the community is dying though? No, it doesn’t. While some armies dip in size, some armies rise and we have seen multiple armies reach above 30 for many weeks. At the start of the month, the Templars had a 47 max, dipping to 31 for the week ending on April 22. However, the Army of Club Penguin has been more consistent, maxing 35 at the start of the month and 36 on the April 22 Top Ten. Yet, despite the drop for the Templars, their sizes still continue to impress and they continue to fight for the top spot weekly.
With that said, the community is not dying, in fact, it has become somewhat stable in comparison to the last year. Last year many armies left the community. It saw the Top Ten struggling to maintain a Top Ten with 10 armies. However, the recent Top Ten has seen 15 armies fighting for a place in the Top Ten which is a massive improvement from last year. Not to mention the fact that the major armies fill seven places within the Top Tens and armies continue to grow, even today.
“Shut up! The army community isn’t dying.” I think the title is fitting for the conclusion. Many people aim to create discourse or draw attention to themselves by creating debates or by having controversial opinions and this lights a fire under some people, aiming to prove them wrong. However, the evidence is clear, the army community isn’t dying, we’re not even in the dark ages. Whilst sometimes the community may seem dark and times may be bleak, armies have pushed through all adversity and come out the other side. This year, there have probably been more wars already than there was the whole of last year. Maybe some people think that’s because “armies are dying” or are “trying to create hype” but even if they were trying to create hype to attract more members, isn’t that the point of armies? The point of armies is to fight, to strategise, to prepare for battles, to train troops, to be alert and always keep the blood flowing. Last year, there was a feeling that most armies wouldn’t declare on another unless they were doing it for reasons which could include an army partaking in things that are morally wrong. This culture of armies led to the tension between armies and also the fear of war. No one wanted to make a move because they would get accused of something/being morally corrupt. And then sometimes, some armies became a target because they were the easy target without consequences.
Armies have moved on since this point in time and there seems to be more wars in the community which leads to armies preparing a lot more and getting more members into their army. Therefore, they max more or get fresh blood to boost the army further. But, the question is, how long will this last? Will armies get tangled up in too many treaties? Will the community stagnate? Or will the community continue to thrive and grow from here? How long can the community truly last?