Sunday, June 21, 2009

That Time of The Month (or how to get out of the basement)

I live in a place with a small and fragmented gaming community. We don't really have what you would call a good local gaming store. While there are a couple of stores that sell games, none of them really focus on providing a broad selection of miniatures or tables with good playable terrain. So what does a group of lads do when the want to get together as a group and have a tournament or event around gaming?

It's my understanding that it is common practice, in the U.K. in particular, for groups not to have a store to play in so they tend to find other venues. We decided to take a page out of that book to see how it would play out on our cold little rock in the North Atlantic.

The problem with the "rent a space" approach is that we are a small group of about five gamers so there isn't a whole lot of money floating around to go hiring a large space just to play with minis for a few hours. At the same time how do you expect to expand a group if there is no public venue where first timers can come and not feel like they are invading a private club in someones basement?

We had been discussing these issues for a while when JET over at Geektactica came up with the solution. His family has ties to a church in our local area and so he was able to secure a single room in the church for us to rent at a rate that was less than the cost to rent the entire basement. The big benefit of this is that if and when we manage to expand our little club there is more space available in the church when we reach the point where we've outgrown our current setup.

So once a month-ish we get together and have a tournament at the church. It's been working out well so far and we have seen two new people show up so it seems to be working.

As a side benefit we've been rotating the games that we play so we've had a chance to play tournaments in Warmachine and Battlefleet Gothic, and there are plans for a Legends of The Old West day and a board game day. Either way, since we require that minis be painted before they get played it gives a deadline to those people that need a little push to get their hobby on.

So if you don't have a decent local game store and you still want to form an actual gaming community perhaps you should try something like this, it's worked pretty well for us so far.

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