For a long time, penguin battles have been at the centre of army warfare. However, despite many creative strategies being made in the past, armies now aim to win over the judges.
Since the dawn of time, armies have had to think of new and creative ways to survive and compete. However, these ways have changed a lot over time. In 2014, a post was created by Boomer20 for Club Penguin Army Central about some of the tactics he created. This post was an extraordinary one because it outlined some strategies/tactics that would never be seen today. It also showed some tactics that are used in modern-day warfare as well.
One of the things that was different from warfare today is that armies planned how they would strategically attack armies in battle. Many readers will think that armies still plan how they are going to attack others. However, in the past, there was a lot more strategy to each and every battle. Boomer’s tactics varied from forms to charges. Some of the charges were counter-attacks. This meant that to gain control of the room and to catch the enemy off-guard, they had a plan to split the army up, and to charge around the room to overwhelm their opponent.
The counterstrike tactic shows creativity and originality, allowing an army to circle around the room, in groups before merging back into the original form. This may seem complex, however, it would take the enemy by surprise, leaving them in suspense about what you’d do next. This wasn’t the only type of tactic that he displayed, though.
Another tactic type that was displayed was the faint attack. During battles, armies would often be seen changing or fleeing to different rooms, either as a way of retreating or a means to enable lockouts to quickly get in the new room. The feint attack would allow the army to head for the exit but use the room’s features to stay in the room. This would make the enemy think that the army had just tried to switch rooms, meaning they may try to follow. Once they do, all lockouts would be able to quickly enter the room, locking out many of the enemy’s troops.
Whilst Boomer was giving the community these ideas, there was no guarantee that the tactics had been seen by the community. Despite this, he shared the tactics with the hope that armies would become more creative. However, he also doubted that armies of the “modern” era could pull off these tactics.
Boomer made this post in 2014 and was already talking about the lack of creativity within armies. The post didn’t signal the end of creativity in the community but it put a spotlight on the lack of creativity being used.
Moving on to today, now armies are straightforward with their tactics. The usual strategy for armies is:
- Bomb the room with a big word bubble.
- Create a form.
- Spam tactics: A ratio of 3 words – 3 emotes is most commonly used.
- Bomb every 3 minutes before getting into a new formation.
- Try to use big word bubbles to cover the opponent.
- Please the judges by “looking bigger”, faster and better.
The same strategy is consistently used throughout most battles with little creative strategies being created. In fact, when wipes were used, for example, bombing in the shape of a Z, most armies tried to copy them. However, this has been frowned upon by judges, despite their creativity. During World War IX, Spotty, CPAJ head judge, stated that “wipes and especially bunches do not help you during a battle”. Even though the wipes are creative and added something new, armies were advised not to use them. The suggestion led to fewer wipes being used. However, is this just an example of armies wanting to please the judges?
Spotty has also mentioned that bunches should not be used. Yet, bunches have been used since the creation of armies. In the colour wars, one of the tactics that were used was to bunch up and start throwing snowballs at the opponent. However, now, bunches have become a way to change formations, create a new formation, or bomb cleanly. Despite armies’ efforts to use bunches to improve their creation of forms, among other things, they’re steadily going out of fashion because of the judges’ comments.
Another component of modern-day warfare is speed. Speed often determines how an army is able to perform. Judges often take note of how fast an army is or how many tactics they perform. This has led to battles being a competition to see whos the fastest, biggest and who can spam the most. Creativity and reactionary tactics have been drained from army warfare. Is this because armies aim to please the judges? Or is it simply because, as Boomer said in 2014, there’s a lack of creativity?
As stated above, judges play a big part in how armies battle, having a set of guidelines showing how to judge a battle. The guideline argues that size is, arguably, the “main” factor of battling. Alongside this, it states that tactics should be a major consideration for judges. It says that armies should try to perform tactics quickly and effectively combat the opponent with a “balance considered for the full completion of tactics”. Formations and movement are then mentioned as the third thing to be considered. It states that a strong formation can give an army a good position.
Speed is the fourth thing to be mentioned, despite the “importance” that was stated previously. It’s stated that the “quicker army should be rewarded”, however, it also states that it’s important for armies to complete their tactics. The final and perhaps most underrated factor is creativity. Creativity is noted as “not one of the major considerations” but should still influence a judge. It’s also stated that, despite not being a “major consideration”, it can be a deciding factor.
Parts of this can seem contradictory and there have been many cases in which the judges have been called biased. Controversial decisions have also been made when judging armies. But do these things just reinforce the idea that armies want to impress the judges rather than outperform the opposing army? The judging guidelines state that armies should effectively combat the opponent, and yet, at the same time, they comment on speed consistently. It’s because of these comments armies pre-plan tactics, rather than making them up on the spot and combatting what the other army said.
The above picture shows two armies in no particular formation, using different tactics to fight to claim the room. Whilst it was a messy battle, both armies had to fight in the moment, they weren’t reading a script to find out what happens next. They had to see what the army does before trying to combat it. This enabled armies to combat what was done or what was being said. An example of this would be if an army said “You’re too small”, the opposite army could respond with “Buy a pair of glasses, you’re the small fry”. Reactionary tactics like these are rare to see in the modern era but they were creative and effective. Despite this, armies are forced to prioritise speed over quality to please the judges to try and gain victory.
Splasher99, ex-CPAC Vice President, once said that “size would be a representation of the power of the army, while the tactics and formations are a representation of how well disciplined your army is and of the quality of the army’s leadership.” He went on to say that an army needs to beat the opposing army in two of these factors to be able to win a battle. Yet, battles nowadays are quite different. If you have the upper hand in size you’re greatly favoured to win and, most of the time, will win. However, even this is controversial as, in recent past, different has been said by judges. Sometimes tactics outweigh size, and sometimes size outweighs tactics but should there be a constant? Should just one of these things matter or should all of them? Or maybe just 2 of them should, as Splasher suggested.
Judges have been a consistent mainstay in armies for at least three years, with many leagues trying to create their own board before CPAJ opened. However, does this mean armies should try to impress them? In short, no. Each judge, despite what the guidelines say, will have a different viewpoint and opinion. One judge may see an X form, another may see two diagonal lines. The point is that not everything is black and white and each judge will have their own preferences. However, that doesn’t mean armies should try to please them. An argument to this would be that if you don’t try to do what they say, you’ll just lose. But, should this really be the case? Shouldn’t armies win based on their performance in the battle rather than pre-conceived notions?
It’s unclear when warfare died or if it truly has died. Competition in the community has been high this year, in comparison to 2022. However, it is still nothing in comparison to warfare before Club Penguin shutdown. The dynamics of battling went from being about throwing snowballs to throwing insults to spamming. Where is the warfare and creativity in spamming E1, E2, E3, seven-letter words six or seven times or random words out of the dictionary?
It is not entirely the judges’ fault that warfare and creativity have been drained but the strict guidelines restrict armies a lot. If an army doesn’t have a formation, they’ll be seen as “messy” automatically giving the opponent the win, if there isn’t a big size gap. But, in the past, without these guidelines, armies struggled to name a victor. Despite the immaturity of the community, agreements on wins/losses were also made. However, there were many times that armies didn’t agree on a victor. Arguably, armies would’ve been more likely to come to a decision on the victors of the battle back then than they would be today. Is this because people have grown more stubborn and competitive as they’ve gotten older? Or perhaps people were less afraid to admit defeat back then.
Whatever the reason is or was, there has been a major shift in how armies battle, however, it could be the reason for the supposed decline over the years. Instead of trying to compete for the win, armies have stuck to the rules of judging to try to gain a win. This has meant that they have to spam, rather than be competitive and entertaining in each battle. After all, games and competitions are meant to be entertaining both for troops and leaders. Are troops less likely to stay in the community because of the lack of creativity or originality? By pleasing the judges are we harming the community and the armies within it?
In 2013, Flipmoo, CPA legend, started an ‘Anti Tactics Movement‘ where he asked armies to sign up to stop waiting for orders to use tactics/spam. He also wanted to stop troops from dancing in the middle of a battle. Flipmoo’s post suggested that armies lacked imagination and creativity. He proposed the Anti Tactics Movement to prohibit the use of tactics and dancing during battle. He also wanted to ban the use of spamming emotes, joke bombs and formations. There were exceptions where armies could use such, such as a tournament. However, he wanted to prohibit armies from doing so outside tournaments to make armies more fun and imaginative.
Five armies signed up to this movement, including the Pirates and Rebel Penguin Federation. However, of course, this didn’t cement itself into Club Penguin army history, nor did it last long. With that being said, do armies need to create a new movement to allow creativity? Or maybe armies just need to abandon the judging system and decide who wins or loses themselves. If an agreement can’t be met then maybe a judge should intervene. Do armies aim to please judges? Has warfare truly died?
What do YOU think? Let us know in the comments!