Picture Perfect: “The First Year”

Welcome back to Picture Perfect, the column where we analyze photos from years past. This special edition of Picture Perfect features a guest who uncovered pictures from originally-thought lost 2017 history. At that time, armies were like the wild west, facing a new frontier. The respected veterans were not willing cross platforms and carry on a dying community that was losing its player base. A new generation of leaders were to rise up from the ashes, embarking on a journey into the new era.

Designed by Master DS

Recently, Dillon reached out to Club Penguin Armies about providing a testimonial of the events that occurred in 2017. In his opinion, 2017 history has been lost thanks in part to the Underground Mafias Army‘s (UMA) website being interfered with. This post serves as an effort to restore some of this lost history from his first person perspective.


Disney announced that Club Penguin would be closing in late March. As the popular game would creep closer to its death, multiple private servers began popping up. But no private server hit it big quite like Club Penguin Rewritten. Despite Club Penguin Rewritten ramping up for Club Penguin’s closing, the vast majority of the army community did not care to make the jump. In fact, if you ask me, I think the community and its veterans were to finally have a reason to not continue with armies. The community in the last couple years leading up to the game’s shut down on March 29, 2017 was a far cry from its former glory. There was nothing left but bots, egos and window tabs.

One soon-to-be 14 year old was not willing to let go of the rush. This person was Dillon. Somehow, someway, he was going to get permission to reopen the Underground Mafias Army on Club Penguin Rewritten. On March 28, 2017, his determination led to fruition as the Mafias reopened with Dillon and Zeke as leaders. For almost an entire year, Dillon would lead the army while navigating the transition from xat chatrooms to Discord and the Club Penguin Rewritten army scene. It was almost as if armies went back to square one with the rogue-like battles similar to the battles held in 2006 and 2007.

From here on out, the rest of the post is in the perspective of Dillon. Some parts were edited for ease of reading.

March 2017

Alright, here we go. March 24, 2017, I logged onto Rewritten for the first time. I went to the lounge, and to my surprise there was a penguin sitting at one of the tables. His name was Sweglord. I was going to play one of the games up there, testing out how much you could do in Rewritten at the time. Sweglord sent a chat, asking if I wanted to be part of the Mafias. I asked him what it was. To my surprise, it was what we would’ve viewed as a clan. Much like a clan, Mafias had a “HQ” on Rewritten. They were entirely organized on Rewritten and held battles in the open rooms on the island. I said yes. This is the event that kickstarted rewritten armies. Over the next few days, we had a few skirmishes with other clans, such as clans dressed as boxes or trees. At the same time, I was still in Light Troops and we were either preparing for or dealing with the aftermath of Legends Cup. It is here that I met Zeke, and we quickly became friends. On March 28, Zeke and I tried to convince Sweglord to make Mafias into what we knew as an army. Truthfully, he was halfway there already. Sweglord actually made a website and a xat chat. All we were doing was trying to get him to finalize it, admit they were an army. He refused. Little did he know, I had been asking UMA legends about continuing the army. I have no idea why they said yes, but they did, and soon after I asked Zeke in a private chat on Xat if he would join UMA. He wanted to make a [rewritten] army named [after] the Army of Club Penguin, so I suggested we merge the two into one entity: Underground Mafias Army of Club Penguin Rewritten. He agreed, and we immediately began our attack on the Mafias on their home server. We were able to recruit Pals09 from the Mafias mid-attack. In other words, we stole troops from Mafias. A member of the Boxes logged on and we were able to convince them to help us attack Mafias, who only had two on. This attack didn’t last long. After the first battle, Sweglord would go silent. The next day was the final day, and Club Penguin would soon shut down, ending many armies; [however,] UMA was not one of them.

April 2017

April of 2017 is one of the most important months in [private server army] history: armies opening, returning, or just continuing from March. I remember towards the beginning of the month the Rangers were made by Ganger90 and a few others. The, the Dark Knight Empire (DKE) was revived and we would become allies. I also remember UMA getting the [approval of the Rewritten’s administration] to continue operations. 

See, I had actually talked to Hagrid, who was a Rewritten admin at the time, about allowing UMA to simply run on Rewritten. I was fully aware of the reputation armies had on the original Club Penguin and was looking to avoid that. We agreed to some simple terms. [First, that] UMA would operate primarily on Rewritten [which at first sounded] impossible but, at the time, we had already seen it work with the Boxes, Mafias, and Trees. I had no reason to believe it wouldn’t work again. I had decided that Beanie would be our capital, and the Dojo would be our HQ as a callback to World War III. [Next,] advertising for our site would be kept to a minimum. Again, this wasn’t going to be a problem. At the time, you could still type numbers into the chat, and we could discuss event times on Rewritten itself. It wouldn’t be out of the question to continue Rewritten warfare in the same vein as 2007 warfare as we did with the Mafias, so we could have done it. The terms were simple, we were willing to follow them, and the hopes I had were that if others who used it saw us having snowball fights as an “army”, others would end up following. [Thus,] creating a new wave of armies (or clans) that would have no attachment to the original, letting us build our own reputation.

Then Rebel Penguin Federation (RPF) decided to show up one day. Elmikey’s decision to do this set [the new wave of armies] back months, if not years. Armies suddenly got a bot reputation again [thanks in part to] more armies being made with attachments back to the original army community. RPF held a monopoly on armies for a while. Early to mid 2017 armies were extremely unhealthy because, if people were still interested in armies, they were either in RPF or trying to make their own. This is, in my opinion, why that first generation of private server armies had so many armies that wouldn’t even clear the five penguin threshold for invasions. A lot of three to four penguin armies existed, many of which [were former Rebel staff that splintered off as they were stuck in their ranks].

June 2017

On June 2, UMA had a 2007 warfare style battle with RPF. I was bored and was told some of RPF’s troops were logged on to a server, so UMA logged on and engaged. We were getting destroyed after they alerted more troops. Thankfully, there was one saving grace. A random penguin by the name of Games. Games had an “army” (multilogs) of his own, known as the Miners and, when they logged on, the number game changed. It also helped that Games was able to switch his tabs quick enough that they looked like real people. At the time, Rewritten had no restrictions on how many tabs could run the game. We ended up forcing the RPF to retreat and I offered Games a spot as a high member in UMA. He accepted, and I would argue, became UMA’s most valuable recruit. This feeling wouldn’t last long however, as three weeks later on June 23, UMA was defaced by Zeke. [As a result,] UMA lost a ton of progress and this is why our website, to this day, is missing a good chunk of our history. By this time, Sir Proditor was becoming inactive, and I was desperate for a temporary leader. So, I sent a message [to someone] that shocked everyone. 

Sweglord. Sweg might have been an enemy of UMA for a time, but he was unquestionably a good leader. Charismatic, could get people to do what he wanted, and, most importantly, was a fresher face in the army landscape. Also, he had worked with me in the past so he knew my shortcomings. With just three DMs: one informing him of the defacing; one telling him who did it; and one with the Discord invite, Sweg offered to help UMA. I didn’t even have to ask. [By reaching out,] UMA was saved. Our site might’ve been wiped, but I still had control and had removed Zeke and fixed the Discord.

October 2017

At the start of the month, Club Penguin Rewritten would update the clothes catalog. However, this month had something different. There was the Roman helmet. I started cracking jokes in the UMA [Discord,] “We’re changing our name to the Romans.” Twitchy was in that chat, and actually said he could get us in touch with Djgtjvgyhxgy if we wanted to; [so,] Games, Smurf, Zeke and I were all on board. [However, my involvement in the army would not last long due to internal drama]. Oh, and apparently, the Elite Guardians (EGCP) were founded this month but I had no idea they existed until January.

December 2017

This is when stuff gets good. On December 4, Games was removed from leadership in Romans. To this day, I don’t know what exactly happened. I have heard from Games that he gave his opinion on a subject, but Djgtjvgyhxgy hated it so he was fired. On December 5, the Romans declared war on the UMA and our brother allies, the Dark Knight Empire. Now, I am going to clarify something: [armies at this time] had no rules of engagement. We did not operate under the same rules as [the community before shutdown did] and we had never convened to agree on rules. This is why for many months, what used to be distinct raids and invasions, would be considered the same thing in terms of empire building. In the months leading up to the war, I had developed a strategy I called “Blitzkrieg.” I was fully aware of UMA’s small size so I developed a strategy. UMA would give one hour of notice max on any invasion. This strategy, fun fact, had been used in most of our engagements up to this point. The War of Roman Subjugation (terrible name, by the way) was no exception. Romans wanted to declare war? We’ll use Blitzkrieg. [Our alliance, named UMADKE based on the combination of our army abbreviations,] was outnumbered in [any situation], so Blitzkrieg would alleviate the concerns of getting a crushing defeat. And it worked. That day, at 9pm EST, we took over a Romans server. Obviously, it might not look that way to most. But, with no rules, we could absolutely claim this. And Romans accepted this claim but [would answer with] retaliation.

On December 7, Romans would invade Dark Knight Empire’s capital Abominable. But, to their shock, they lost. See, Romans had a few more unforeseen issues: the Tubas, famous for [their war with RPF]. And the Romans didn’t consider that Tubas would not side with an army allied with the RPF. As the Tubas showed up on Abominable, the majority of them decided to side with us. I need to clarify this immediately: there was no negotiation, nothing. The Tubas showed up uninvited. But this wasn’t the only issue. Earlier that day, Elmikey was shockingly involved in a coup d’état and lost his position as leader of RPF. Elmikey was enraged. Earlier that day I messaged him about it, sent him a link to the UMA server, and didn’t get a reply until the middle of the invasion of Abominable. I sent him a response, telling him I was at a battle. After informing him of the server and the room, Elmikey would show up, and for the first time since the early days of World War III, put on a red bandana. This was a huge development in the war. Elmeiky was unquestionably the most prestigious leader in armies at this time. Here he was signifying, at the very least, an alliance with the UMA. Shortly after the battle, Elmikey would become an UMA advisor, and Djgtjvgyhxgy published a rant about how letting Elmikey into your army was a terrible idea. All I had to say was: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

December 7, 2017

December 8, we had the longest battle in private server history [which was] over two hours. This narrowly beats out the first battle in the Mafias versus UMA war which clocked in at one hour and 55 minutes. UMA was in a lot of long battles at the time. Romans showed up, and when the UMADKE showed up in full force at the Iceberg, nobody was winning. It was a true stalemate. However, Romans had one more trick up their sleeves that, quite frankly, got rid of the last shred of respect I had for Djgtjvgyhxgy. He called for RPF to back them up. See, Djgtjvgyhxgy wanted to play the victim card, essentially saying that UMADKE was cowardly for having allies back us up [by] completely ignoring that Romans had probably double our combined active troops. The allies that would help us the most ended up being the Tubas, for a single battle with four troops. Calling RPF in to back you up, immediately after getting punked by an alliance that would max five and eight on their own, destroyed the last bit of respect I had for Djgtjvgyhxgy and his status in the Romans. [Thus,] solidified the Romans’ status as an army of cowards, in my eyes. However, the end of the battle was an agreement to simply log off and both sides claimed victory. [I believe it is at this time] the New Viking Alliance (NVA) was formed. This new alliance was helmed by the UMA and DKE, with the United Republic of Penguins (URP) being a support army, sending one or two troops at a time, and the Tubas being a kind of rogue army that would help us in battles but had no real stake in the alliance. I do not recall a Tubas leader being in our negotiations. Soon after, the Redemption Force would join, as would Elmikey with his newly founded Rebel Penguin Marines (RPM).

On December 9, Djgtjvgyhxgy published a post declaring he was not associating with the newly formed New Viking Alliance if Elmikey was involved. He also decided after four days of fighting to rescind his initial acceptance of the Blitzkrieg invasion’s validity. To this day, I am convinced this response was entirely because he could not accept that the Romans couldn’t defeat us. Think about it. The first real invasion of the war, ignoring the Blitzkrieg attack, they lost in shocking fashion. The next battle lasted over two hours, ended in a stalemate, and would’ve been a victory for UMADKE and the NVA if not for RPF showing up with 15 troops to bail him out. The NVA held a vote that day, removing Elmikey and the RPM. If I recall, I was the only one who voted against RPM’s removal. I saw voting on his removal, in favor of an army we were just in a war with, as an act of cowardice. Elmikey was the ace in the hole for the original UMADKE alliance. His appearance and apparent joining of UMADKE sent Romans into a spiral, and made Djgtjvgyhxgy lose his mind. So, on December 9, UMA left the NVA a day after we joined it. This didn’t matter much, because Rewritten began putting harsher restrictions on armies that next day.

I asked Hagrid again [about this matter] given we were never a disturbance. He said we were fine if we followed the rules we agreed on in the first place. This would end up not mattering as DKE and UMA would each enter a deep depression, not really do anything for the rest of this month. The latter half of the month is also when Mason Cooper was recruited, and I started falling [out of armies]. The end of December also marks the true end of my run as a leader. I was content being a figurehead, focusing on school, isolating UMA from everyone else and letting Games and Zeke lead while I just made sure nobody did anything stupid. Zeke would end up leaving us towards the end of the month.

January 2018

January 7 was the day of the war against Dillon (me), as it is called. See, as I mentioned before, at the end of December I was ready to become a figurehead. I knew I wasn’t doing anything for the army in terms of leadership. But, I was doing two vital things: site maintenance and I owned the Discord. Keep in mind that UMA had been defaced once by a leader we ended up letting back in. I was not giving up control of the Discord or site, and kept other leaders on short leashes when it came to their ability to update the site. Games only had the editor role. I was the only site admin, and I was also the site owner at this point because Twitchy gave me the site. But, I was also our foreign affairs representative. So I pretty much was doing everything except leading the events, [thus] giving the appearance of a dictator. And then the newly reformed NVA launched a single day assault on all UMA land. Mason Cooper asked me what we were going to do. I told Mason, who was a second in command, that were in isolation already and I didn’t want to deal with the NVA again after the stuff they pulled with Elmikey. Shortly after the invasions, Mason messaged me, telling me I was removed from my position as leader as part of an agreement with the NVA to return UMA’s land. As I pointed out to Mason, at this point, I was a UMA legend and could easily invalidate the [New UMA] if I were to retire. Not only that but I also still owned the Discord and the website. All I had to do to ensure the attempted coup failed was to remove everyone’s perms. What was originally a coup became a rebellion known as the New Underground Mafias Army (NUMA). Mason had no claim to any of the original UMA’s chatrooms or websites, so he had no claim to the army. For 15 days, there was no action in this war. This was a cold war.

Until January 22, when I got word of a NUMA training event, the real UMA, my UMA, attacked them. NUMA had a max of three and UMA maxed four, but I mean, let’s face it. My UMA was better equipped to deal with any battle in the war. Everyone in UMA at the time was a veteran of original armies and Mason had barely been in armies for a month. That was the first and last battle of the war. Twitchy was getting tired of us. He led an effort to remerge the rebellion and original army. It was successful.

February 2018

Mason did a great job recruiting, we were maxing more in line with the War of Roman Subjugation than we were the cold war period. So, UMADKE reunited, and somewhere along the line, we ended up declaring war on DKE, ending the alliance. Then, in an act of cowardice, they merged into Romans. Of course, this war lasted a while, and eventually a treaty was signed to target EGCP. This was a long war and we would end up losing. UMA went back into isolation and we would soon die. I would hang around in March, but nothing else happened for me, or for the Underground Mafias Army.

 Dillon’s final Thoughts

The first year of private server armies was full of ups and downs: the high of our first war ending up being a victory; dealing with sites being wiped and being backstabbed; reunions with old friends and foes; and the overwhelming triumph of, in my eyes, beating the Romans in a war. While all of these were truly great accomplishments, for me, nothing will compare to seeing a community grow, and new faces that just were not around in the old days become valuable members of the community. If nothing else, my goal was successful. Prove there was a second chance for armies. I would personally still really like to see the Blitzkrieg strategy become part of armies. I think it would be a fun inclusion. It certainly made wars more interesting and would encourage activity. 

I would like to say this regarding the NVA and the civil war: 1.) the NVA should not be given any credit for the victory in the War of Roman Subjugation. The alliance, as I mentioned before, was useless, with URP being in no state to aid in a war (StubbornJedi, the only URP to attend battles, was actually dual enlisted in the UMA). And, 2.) the impact the civil war had on UMA has been overstated in army history and Mason has been severely overrated. I have a ton of respect for Mason for being willing to swallow his pride and come back and work under me again. However, that doesn’t mean he deserves [legend status]. NUMA maxed three (allegedly maxed six but there are no pictures or evidence), and UMA had a max of six during the civil war. If anyone involved in the civil war deserves small-medium legend, it is Games. Games was the most reliable UMA leader during the Rewritten era and deserves a legend nomination. 

The youth movement that occurred was incredibly important. At the time of the closure, most of the army leaders were in their late teens. During the first year, the three big UMA leaders were in their early teens. I turned 14 in April, and Zeke and Games were at least one year younger. This doesn’t even mention leaders like Cobra who is the same age as me. I firmly believe that the youth of our leaders is what made the first two years worthwhile, and kept armies [feeling like] a game, and not a job.

I took a lot of chances during this first year and a lot of them would set the tone for UMA and armies as a whole. I took a chance asking the UMA legends for permission when I had never led an army before. I took chances on Games, Sweglord, and Zeke being good leaders. I took a chance on reviving Romans, and while it didn’t pay off for me, Romans would become a major player in armies for a while. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to take a chance. It might pay off.

We hope you enjoyed this retelling of the 2017 year in army history through the eyes of small-medium army legend Dillon. As a veteran myself who originally did not foresee armies surviving the shutdown of Club Penguin, it is nice to know that a few individuals– kids– cared enough to keep the party going. Where would armies be without the transitional year of 2017?

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Mchappy is interning at Club Penguin Armies as the Chief Executive Producer. Max held him at gunpoint to finish his biography.

One Response

  1. […] Servers in hopes of letting the game live on. Armies also migrated to these platforms, which we talked about just two weeks ago with S/M Army Legend Dillon. Most notably, Club Penguin Rewritten and Club Penguin Online […]

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