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View Full Version : Waddya mean, Gaming Club?



NotElite
17-03-2009, 06:16
So I've drawn from context over the last few years that apparently there are a lot of "Gaming Clubs" where GMT is also the local time zone. It seems that they even might have their own spaces for gaming. Is that common, or are folks really saying "club" when they mean "bunch of guys that meet at the same store"?

Just wondering, since I'm trying to understand the gaming culture outside New Jersey, USA.

Durath
17-03-2009, 06:30
A "gaming club" has various meanings, from a formal group of like-minded people who invest time or money into their gaming hobby, or simply a place to meet and play people who play the same games.

In the Southern US, I've seen both. The gaming clubs are somewhat cliche though, and usually are groups of friends who share the same hobby.

Personally, I've never affiliated myself into a formal group, as my non-hobby activites (i.e. work and fam) will always take precidence over a a formal gaming thing (and almost always do).

Doppleskanger
17-03-2009, 06:46
In the uk and Ireland, and a lot of Europe gaming club means exactly that, a club where you go to play games. they tend to be located away from stores, though not always, and aren't official GW places. Typically Church Halls or the back rooms of pubs, School halls etc, anywhere you can rent a place cheap. They are normally organised by the members and have little contact with official GW staff, although sometimes there is support. Some are run in local independant gaming stores as well. One of the nice things rather than in a GW thing is that all gaming systems are allowed, so if guys want to play 40k, fine, warmachine, fine, AT-43 fine, and there is always an element of board games and CCGs around as well. If you can get a UK WD there's loads listed in that, although I don't know if GCN (Gaming Club Network) clubs are restricted to GW products?

Koryphaus
17-03-2009, 07:01
As far as I know (in Australia at least) the only criterion for being included in the list was that your club play GW games. It never said (though this may have changed of course) that you could only play GW games though, you just had to play them.

Simo429
17-03-2009, 08:21
hi if anyone knows of any gaming clubs in the derby area (not warhammer world its a bugger to get to) id be very grateful

Brother Loki
17-03-2009, 11:03
@Simo429
http://www.derbywargamessociety.co.uk/

To the original topic:
As an example, my local club, the Southampton Strikeforce meets every tuesday evening in a hall (actually a homeless day centre but its closed in the evenings) owned by the Salvation Army. It's a semi formal club, with a president, treasurer and bank account. We pay an annual membership of about 10 and each week we pay 2 per head towards renting the hall. Anything left over is used to renew the club's stock of scenery etc. Typically we get about 8-10 people on any given evening, and generally some will play 40k and/or fantasy, some might play Babylon 5 or card games like munchkin.

Quite a few wargames clubs in the UK seem to meet in Royal British Legion premises (the rough equivalent of the Veterans Association in the States), which usually have the advantage of having a bar, something our club definitely lacks. Other common places are church halls, community centres, scout halls, pubs and so on.

a squig
17-03-2009, 11:10
in the Uk its quite like brother loki says , In my sailsbury club we used to meet in a church hall but have moved to the local Royal British Legion which has a bar (Bonus). we seem to be getting bigger and regually have about 12+.

zoggin-eck
17-03-2009, 11:45
See, I find it hard to believe people would actually want to meet and play games in a store, yuck!

My own group was more like the one you could read about in Mike Walker's White Dwarf articles. Bunch of weirdo friends in a garage/mates house

chromedog
17-03-2009, 11:53
I've been in several clubs over the years - as opposed to the loose fellowship that met up at the local Battle Bunker.

All of the clubs would hire their own meeting space (and charge a rate per meeting to cover this - some would have memberships as well/instead). The club funds (excess to covering space hire) would go towards buying terrain/tables/rulebooks/etc (and storage requirements).

My club currently has 15 members, we own our own terrain (club) as well as borrow club members' stuff, and we have our own tabletops (25 6x4 tops at last count). We use the trestle tables at our venue (boardroom of a sports club) which we hire weekly (it is only used twice a year on weekends by the sports club). We own the tabletops because we run a 50 player tournament (40k) once a year.

We are listed in the GW (oz) club listings. Their only requirement is that we play GW games (40k/WHFB/LoTR) - it doesn't have to be ONLY theirs. We also play Warmachine and Spinespur.

RichBlake
17-03-2009, 12:21
The club I go to is a business that rents an old shop on a main road and had lots of tables in there. Currently only had 5 board but ho hum.

It's a lot more friendly then GW, you get to know the other players well, you can be a bit more relaxed (e.g as long as there isn't anyone young in there you can swear. You wont get banned for trying to sell your miniatures to other people etc) and also you can have house rules (Our gaming club has ruled walkers and vehicles can't go above ground level and certain lists are banned, namely the Necron Cube and Nob Bikers).

If there's a market for it in the local area I'd seriously suggest anyone considers trying to make a business out of a gaming club.

Col.Gravis
17-03-2009, 12:34
The Exeter Inquisition (http://exeter-inquisition.org/), in Exeter, Devon is another gaming club but that is fairly unique, rather then renting a hall or whatever we actually hire our local Games Workshop store for one evening a week.

With that we have all the benefits of the shop - decent terrain, 8-9 purpose made gaming tables, gaming materials (i.e. books, dice etc all available), but without the con's of normal shop opening hours as it is a private club - so we control the membership, for example we're an over 16's only club.

GW even benefit from the arrangement as the hire essentially just pay's the wage for a keytimer during club hours which means extra work gets done in store and they get occasional extra sales.

Brother Loki
17-03-2009, 12:41
How's that actually generate revenue RichBlake? Does the owner make a living from it? Do they act as a retailer as well? I ask because there's a similar setup trying to get started in Southampton but it's not really paying at the moment.

NealSmith
17-03-2009, 13:22
WoW... Gaming in the back room of a pub... Heaven on Earth!

Eryx_UK
17-03-2009, 13:33
The club (St. Neots Primarchs) that I run rents the bar and hall of a locall football (soccer) club. We have room for 5 or 6 gaming tables, with room around the bar area for those folks who want to play boardgames or CCG's. The players have the option of paying an annual membership cost of 6 (starts October) and drops by 50p each month for new members. Weekly cost is 2 for members and 2.50 for non-members. We don't make a profit just enough to cover the costs of renting the place.

Hellgore
17-03-2009, 13:56
See, I find it hard to believe people would actually want to meet and play games in a store, yuck!

My own group was more like the one you could read about in Mike Walker's White Dwarf articles. Bunch of weirdo friends in a garage/mates house

"yuck"? Why?
I think it depends, doesn't it? Our gamestore-owner is a good friend and member of the gaming club. He provides two tables for tabletops, etc. during his opening hours and this gives many schoolkids the possibility to play a quick game after school before returning home (not only GW-games). And one evening a week he gives the keys to a trusted gamer who then can use the rooms to provide demo-games of RPG, Board or whatever. This way both sides profit: The gamers have a place to play while the storeowner gets some advertising.
Our club btw. rents a public youth house one saturday every month to provide rooms for all gamers, be it tabletop, board, ccg or rpg. We have 70 members in our club by now and organize three countrywide playing-conventions...

N810
17-03-2009, 14:04
Lucky,
It's just me and 2 of my friends,
and none of us have a table or
finished army yet, I make the terrain,
and we meet at my house.

Ps. the closest GW store is a 2 hour drive from here. :(

Marlow
17-03-2009, 14:14
As others have stated within the UK their are a lot of Gaming Clubs. I go to two both of them in church halls. We pay 1-2 a night to cover the hire cost and get a large room with tables where we can play the games our our choice, not those that a shop wants you to play.

I prefer clubs becuase if I am playing in a shop I feel obligated to buy something, and they often do not carry any product I am interested in.

Doppleskanger
17-03-2009, 15:17
Mate you should never feel obliged to buy something in GW just because you're having a game or painting or whatever. The GW shops are a strange mix of retail and youth group anyway, and if you've gone in to play then you've already purchased their product. It's part of their strategy because they want to keep you in the hobby so you buy more things in the future. No guilt, no obligation.

a squig
17-03-2009, 15:34
Mate you should never feel obliged to buy something in GW just because you're having a game or painting or whatever. The GW shops are a strange mix of retail and youth group anyway, and if you've gone in to play then you've already purchased their product. It's part of their strategy because they want to keep you in the hobby so you buy more things in the future. No guilt, no obligation.


i also used to think like that till i finnaly brought some willpower, maybe they play subliminal messages over the stores speakers while you playying. :)

also when playing a certain game and you go "ah i wish i had a ??? which would help me win" then on the shelf infront there is one it does increase the urge to buy it after the game.

Captain Micha
17-03-2009, 16:07
I'd say my game club consists of a bunch of guys that just sit down to play and have a good time. We aren't some formal organization or anything. When we go down to the semi local friendly game store, we just hang out with another bunch of guys.

Codsticker
17-03-2009, 16:16
I was at a friend's house playing Talisman the other night and a fellow swung by and gave us all buisness cards for his Gaming Club, which is a bunch of guys on a mailing list that meet at his place every sunday and play games. I think that constitutes a club even though there is no charter or formal organisation or anything like that.

On the other hand I wouldn't call the group that I play with a club though as it is basically the same 4-5 guys that meet on a very irregular basis.

... and we don't have buisness cards.

Corrode
17-03-2009, 17:09
in the Uk its quite like brother loki says , In my sailsbury club we used to meet in a church hall but have moved to the local Royal British Legion which has a bar (Bonus). we seem to be getting bigger and regually have about 12+.

I wasn't aware that there was a club in Salisbury. Which church did you used to use?


See, I find it hard to believe people would actually want to meet and play games in a store, yuck!

The Bristol Vanguard runs on a Thursday night out of a GW store. It's run on the same basis as some of the others mentioned above (something like 2/night which goes towards renting the space and paying for things like terrain I think) and seems to work pretty well. I fully intend to go back if/when I move to the area.

I don't actually play with a club per se, I just go to the GW Tuesday night thing in the Arndale, but it works nicely and it's quite organised compared to other places I've been to. There's usually some form of tournament or league which is being run, but it's mostly just a way of keeping score and half the players don't really care about it. It's a good environment, especially since we take tables out to the food court to make space.

Vedar
17-03-2009, 17:25
When I first started I only played at friends houses. The last few years one of my friends got me checking out a small store that had a game night. The small store moved to a bigger location that had half the store (about 800 square feet) setup with about 6 6X4 tables. All free to play at and we mostly get together Wed nights. No official club, though some have talked about it. Quite often we get 4-10 people showing up every Wed and some people show up on Friday night.

Things have been pretty slow the last few months so an official club I don't see happening. The main profit from the store comes from the Magic tournaments in the other half of the room. We have been threatened with possible fees for playing there but I think the owner knows if he did that he would pretty much kill off 4OK being played there. Some of us have tables at home and we can drink beer at home....

Emperor's Grace
17-03-2009, 18:46
In this area, we have a group that rents space in a "community hall" owned by the local grocery (which does a lot of charitable works).

Admission is charged to cover the rental but it's not much.

I imagine the closest analogy to the English club would be a group renting a hall with bar access from the VFW or a fraternal order.

BTW, if you watch BONES, the first episode (of this/last season?) took place in London and had a bit about a "gentleman's" club (NOT the US usage). I imagine the 40K clubs are about the same but with 40K instead of whist (:))

victorpofa
18-03-2009, 01:04
My club (RIP) had its own rented space and had dues to pay for that rented space. We had trouble with some people paying including a few founders. Hence why it is dead. :cries:

druchii
18-03-2009, 01:35
We actually play at stores here. There are about four or five local gaming, non-GW owned shopps around here (we don't have a GW store anywhere near Ohio!) that sell all sorts of gaming crap.

From what I've seen (in the three different states I've lived in) that's the way it's done here in the states. We have a core membership of like 8-10, and I've seen Mondays sporting almost 10 full tables!

We're really lucky. The local gaming store (the Guard Tower) is HUGE-it has a front room with their entire stock of gaming stuff, two tables (one is a painting table) and then it has two full back rooms. One has three rows of three folding tables (so we can jam three 6x4 boards in each row) and a table in a corner (so ten boards total). The other "side" room has room for about four or five tables depending on the setup. This is the "dungeon" as most of us joke where the Role Players hide out.

Oh, and they don't charge!

d

CaptainSenioris
18-03-2009, 01:38
Wow this has been a fairly interesting read.

[elg] Edinburgh League of Gamers is going on 2 1/2 years old now, is a GCN member and IMO has done really well for itself since it started. Member Nos are ~50 atm this year but some people leave and some new peple join year on year, so it evens out fairly well. Average attendance week on week is in the range 35-40 people playing over about 10-12 tables* over the course of the night with the usual GW & PP games, some strange and exotic games I've barely heard of and even fairly regular board games.

We play out of the local RAF club here in Edinburgh and run it 18+ due to the venue's licence but if I'm honest I think that helps contribute more to our membership than if we were to be open to all ages.

As the Local GW staff help promote the club(and in the beginning they helped set it all up with terrain/board donations) we give them all a free associate membership allowing them to pay the member price(1 as opposed to 2) on the door but not allowing them voting rights in AGM's. We usually have one or two staff members in each week who are just there to let their hair down and play some games, heck we even had/have a PP pressganger getting everyone into Hordes/Warmachine.

All in all I think gaming clubs are great, if you can find yourself a venue, some like minded people and some tables/terrain you'd be surprised how far it'll go. Sorry if the above seems like an advert for my particular club but I just wanted to share it with you lot and maybe give you guys some ideas for starting your own. Any money made from Membership (15pa) goes purely towards buying/building more boards/terrain, towards room hire and towards running events.

*For those interested those can be either 6' by 4' or 4' by 4' but it's usually a mix.

NotElite
18-03-2009, 04:21
Thanks for all the replies! I think it is pretty clear that the gaming culture is very different than here in New Jersey. Once I graduated from College the only options became:

Stores: though we have a few really good ones for gaming but some times you go and there is nothing going on for 40k.

Friends' Homes: We've actually be expanding gaming amongst our friends (IT folks being natural addicts to gaming). I actually remodeled my basement for gaming. I've hosted 8 Wednesdays in a row now with generally four of us playing out of a pool of nine gamers in our "Group of Friends". Maybe we should call ourselves the GoFfs!

a squig
18-03-2009, 09:27
I wasn't aware that there was a club in Salisbury. Which church did you used to use?.


I can't remember the name of the church but it was the one behind the collage, on southampton road. The club currently is 7-10ish every tuesday at the royal british legion next to the bus station. Currentley its 3 a night for members and 4 for non members.:)

yeah also the local gw has 1 vets night running at the moment possibly 2 in the future. i dont mind playing at GW store on vets nights its a nice atmosphere and our local staff and manger are kool.

Easy E
19-03-2009, 00:37
Thanks for all the replies! I think it is pretty clear that the gaming culture is very different than here in New Jersey. Once I graduated from College the only options became:

Stores: though we have a few really good ones for gaming but some times you go and there is nothing going on for 40k.

Friends' Homes: We've actually be expanding gaming amongst our friends (IT folks being natural addicts to gaming). I actually remodeled my basement for gaming. I've hosted 8 Wednesdays in a row now with generally four of us playing out of a pool of nine gamers in our "Group of Friends". Maybe we should call ourselves the GoFfs!


In my experience in the States, this is the case. However, you can run across an official gaming club, but they frequently are based out of a store or a loose confederation of stores. The clubs main purpose is to run larger events and provide a somewhat regular framework to play regularly.

the1stpip
19-03-2009, 01:04
No, I have never played in a store, too many kids around being annoying.

There are over 100 c;lubs in the Uk that are registered with the GCN. Although the GCN came about due to GW, the clubs are not restricted in what they play. Many play War Machine, FoW, or even board games (we play Settlers of catan and Liars Dice sometimes).