The Commandant's House

The Commandant's Home at VMI has been permanently established as the Nicholas J. Kunz Home in honor of his many years leading our Institute.


From the Commandant...



Welcome to the Vicksburg Military Institute (VMI).  I am the Commandant here at VMI.  We were established to provide information and training in regards to the Club for each new Cadet.  Please take this opportunity to review our General Notices posted below.  They will answer a number of questions in regards to the way we function here at VMI.  I will require that you reply to my welcoming letter prior to assigning you an Instructor/trainer.  Should you have any questions my door is always open.  I and my Staff are here to further your enjoyment of the American Civil War and our Gaming Club.


Nicholas Kunz


Additional Notices...


In case there was any doubt - all of us in the Club are humans. We have spouses, friends, children, pets, jobs, and responsibilities. One of our shared hobbies in life is spending some of our free time here playing games and supporting the Club we all enjoy. This Club exists because of the hard work and time people have voluntarily given since 1997. All of this was made possible through communication. We may all live across the globe but we are just a quick email away from one another thanks to the internet. 

The most important aspect of any online Club is communication. As staff members here at VMI we drop all other gaming files, Club business, and even personal matters, to respond to Cadet emails as quickly as possible. We do this because we want to impress upon you the importance and benefits of timely responses in the Club to gaming turns and emails. 

While we don't expect Cadets to respond as quickly or as enthusiastically as we do - we do ask that you respond in a timely manner so that we may get you through VMI as efficiently and painlessly as possible. Most Members would probably agree that a "good game" requires a minimum of three turn exchanges a week. Some enjoy one or more a day while others are just weekend gamers. Once you graduate from VMI it is a good idea to specify with your opponent what your return rate is expected to be. If you enjoy daily turns you may not like playing someone available only on the weekends. While at VMI we do ask that Cadets try to get to their training turns and emails in a timely manner so we need not "chase you down" or send multiple inquiries your way. 

Should you need to suspend or delay your VMI Training simply inform your instructor, or the Commandant, and they will happily make accommodations for you. 

Conduct Unbecoming an Officer


We can not put this any plainer than this DO NOT CHEAT!! It is not worth it.

First of all this club has gone out of it's way to insure that there is no reason to cheat. The point differential between winning and losing is not great enough to warrant it, so why do it?

Secondly the penalties are too great to make it worth the doing. Please note the section on this in the official Club Rules. 

Rest assured that this club is fully capable of policing itself and can easily determine if an officer is cheating. Most players who have been caught just run away and quit the club. Those who are allowed to remain are court-marshaled and severely reprimanded. 

Our goal here as CSA officers is to have FUN. Points and rank come easily enough to any officer who participates. If you want to be a General just play some games and you will move up the ranks. You will get there whether you win or lose. So don't dishonor us all, please don't cheat.


1) Don't replay your moves.
2) Don't replay your fires. 
3) Don't try to break into the game files.

Every one in this club pays a price when someone cheats. Some lose a playing buddy. Others lose respect by association. Some lose their confidence in the other side of the club. We all lose some of our trusting nature.

Cadets please take this to heart!


While at VMI you will be offered a first-class education in the finer arts of wargaming with the John Tiller Series. You may spend as many hours, even days, as you like going over all the material we have here at VMI or you may never crack open a document and still pass through our institute. You get out of VMI what you put into it. If you are someone that wants to win battles though - we suggest you take advantage of your time here. 

Once enrolled at VMI you will be assigned a personal instructor who will undergo a short training game with you. This game is designed, not so much to teach you everything but so as to make sure that you can properly conduct and send a Play by Email game. 

During this game you will be registered at two different places within our Club. First, you will be registered at the Club Forums. These forums are specifically open to Club Members only. As a Cadet you will be asked to post only in the VMI Mess Hall Forum. Your instructor will ask you to post a quick note in this forum introducing yourself and stating the game you are playing and your instructor. This need not be a novel - a sentence or two will suffice in many cases. This is done to ensure that you are able to log into the forums and post without issue. 

Second, you will be registered at our Club's Department of Records. Here you will be expected to register your training game with your instructor and then, at the end, close the game out accordingly. 

You will learn more about the Club Forums and the Department of Records within the Basic Training coursework at VMI. 

Upon your graduation I will have some final words of advice for you and some parting information to relate. Until then... enjoy your time here with us! Visit the Museum of the South, stroll Ludwig's Lagoon, take in a Movie at the Tutorial Theater, or simply spend an evening gaming to your heart's content. 

Should you need anything or have any questions feel free to call upon me at anytime. 


"It is better to win a friend than it is a battle." - Gen. John Dragan (Confederate Club Member)

A long time Club leader and a prolific gamer John Dragan epitomized what it meant to be a good Club Member. While he never won more than he lost he was able to forge life-long friendships with dozens, if not hundreds, of opponents while carrying on numerous games and helping to oversee the administrative side of the Club. John Dragan passed away in 2020 but his perfect quote about our Club will live on here at VMI.  

Current Staff Members


Nick Kunz


From Washington State he has been with VMI since 2005. His door is always open to Cadets.

Mule Shoe IMG_0098.JPG

Thomas D. Phillips

Dean of Cadets

Originally from Michigan our long-time Dean of Cadets can assist you with any concerns you have.


Russell Longmire


VMI Class of 2013


Blake Strickler

Deputy Commandant

From Tennessee, our Deputy is an excellent teacher and can help you become a better player.


Paul Swanson


From Australia this instructor is our most "Southern" representative. A 2020 VMI Graduate. 


Ed Blackburn


VMI Class of 2015

Commandant's Office