Wednesday, 29 January 2014

January and beyond......

Ah January......I hate January :(

You can't really avoid it though can you? It sort of loiters there....waiting for you....

Anyway. Last night (28th) saw our last January meeting and I have to say it was a very positive one for the club. There were three games being played, the first a large 20mm WW2 using Rapid Fire run by Simon and Phil....

we ran out of club owned game mats and had to improvise...we need more game mats methinks....

...this was also played by a couple of new recruits to the club so steadily our numbers grow. We even had a flying visit by a potential new member, Mat, who popped by to introduce himself...all very positive! This was another of the well loved Germans and Russians bash that always looks good and causes a lot of in game discussion and fun.

Secondly, Drew and Andrew...neither to be confused with Andy...played Mordheim and actually managed several games over the evening, and a lot of fun they seem to have had too! The pyramid thingy was made by Drew who seems to have a thing for terrain making...useful lad. The idea was that the guys would play the game through to get some familiarity with the rules and then look to run an in club campaign. This sounds like a good idea to me, not too many figures involved and the games were quick allowing a lot of campaign moves in a night; they may be onto something here you know.

Thirdly, my Skaven warhammer army got another outing, this time against Steve's Chaos warriors....bulky dudes in very heavy armour...they have a weird array of god thingies that each unit can be associated with each with odd names...Gurgle, Sniffy and Lgbtg...or something like that anyway. A 2000 point bash was organised and I was somewhat concerned by the rather blocky nature of Steve's units...large numbers of very heavy stuff in a few blocks akin to battering rams that towered over my poor little innocent mousies. I needn't have worried overly, ably assisted by Andy the Skaven were victorious under my command!

Just take a look at Steve's 'stiffy' pile after just the first round! Ah, that heady mix of artillery and Jezzails!

That is a lot of points sitting there...providing a nice post battle picnic for my Skaven! The pile steadily grew but I would never be so crass as to add a pic of that here....mainly because that one didn't come out though...if I'm honest. Thanks honourary rat boy you!

So whats next for the MHWC? We aim to run  DBA campaign, starting in March I believe, so plenty of time to play a 'refresh our memory' game and get new armies painted before we start....I have an African Vandal army undercoated that has been sitting in a box for two years now...don't tell the wife though! Then of course there is the Mordheim campaign too, which looks very interesting. So, game wise, there is much to look forward to for the members. Then there are several shows coming up, Cavalier, Sidcup...and one we have just heard about in Dartford or possibly Gravesend in a shopping centre...worth looking into that.

And, who could forget, there is Broadside 2014. I am happy to report that a potential disaster has been avoided following the venue not letting us have the small hall anymore. We have consulted with the clubs that take part and they have agreed to take much smaller game tables than we usually offer, 6x5, so we can bring in the clubs and traders that are usually in that hall and place them in the main hall. It has all been a bit stressful and a there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to sort it out but, we are now very confident that things are back on an even keel. We have even managed to add in the wargamers flea market again! A fuller report later this week...I promise!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Broadside 2014

Even given my annoying habit of irregular posting, I am very miffed at this most recent delay. It has not exactly been my fault this time.

December was stupidly busy and the new year was spent trying to catch up with things that became delayed. I still had time to start as I meant to go on and post soooo many things but, I really needed to look at the Broadside admin first; and it was a damn good job I did!

First things first and, as it was the easier of the main jobs, I contacted the clubs asking who was looking to return and reminding them that we would have a maximum size of table available this year to keep down costs and maintain space, a big issue when running a show believe me. I even managed to email those traders that didn't fit into the regular trader space mould, the trickier ones to fit in at the best of times, or that would be affected by the creation of the new Wargamers Flea Market location at the top of the smaller of our two halls. All was going well. Then that darn email arrived from the venue management.

It transpired that the new management team at the Swallows Leisure Centre and their over lords have decided that the small hall should be redesigned and refitted as a new gym. This means that all bookings for that hall would be cancelled, no matter how long that booking had been in for. I was the first of the hirer's to be told...the day after I had sent everything off to the clubs and tricky traders! This did cause some panic.

The MHWC game of 2012, big but not the biggest...

...can the spectacular be so easily replaced with the small and innovative...even for a cash prize?

A flurry of new emails and phone calls followed in an attempt to gain some control back and, I am pleased to say, that whilst we have not yet solved everything things are looking brighter. We are lucky that so many of those we deal with are genuinely nice people who are prepared to help and understand our problem. Essentially, we now have some 30% less space to play with than previous Broadside shows. We have to try and fit those traders and clubs that usually go into the small hall into the already very busy sports hall. We could have simply cut our losses and set those clubs and traders adrift, that is not the MHWC way; although the Wargamers Flea Market will have to go :(

The solution we are currently working on is to dramatically reduce the size of the tables we allocate to clubs, even though we are aware that most of them build special exhibition games that get taken from show to show throughout the season. Instead, we are asking them to join in with a new competition and provide a game that can fit on a 6x4 table, such as most of us would be able to use at home. Their Will be the usual prize donated by Pen & Sword Books and judged by Henry Hyde (TBC) for best game in show of course, always will be. But now there will also be a cash prize for the club who can be seen to have made the best, most innovate and most imaginative use of that game space as they can. The competition will be very democratic in that the winner will be voted for by the other clubs using a special token system we are also working on. So far, those clubs that have responded have all been very positive and understanding; it all bodes well. But what do you think, dear reader?

The reduced table size means that we can fit in as many clubs as we can whilst leaving room to re arrange things and fit in the other traders. It may be that we have to restrict the space we usually provide traders too and I am sure they too will understand, but that is next weeks problem. We will visit the venue next week  to make exact measurements so we can set out the hall as efficiently as possible. Of course all of this does have a knock on effect for Broadside 2015, can the new systems work well enough that they can be adopted as the new norm or, will they simply tide us over and we have to find a new venue?

It is a series of problems we could well have done without but we are on the case! Who needs sleep anyway?