Reefs World
 
There are two notions Im playing around with;                                                                                                                                   No.1 A relaxed weekend meeting of up to a dozen UK wargamers in an intriging venue such as a holiday cottage/barn conversion.                                                                                                                                                                                                     No.2 If there is sufficient commited interest from say 50+ wargamers then perhaps I would arrange proper hall/hotel facilities  that would be sufficiently dependable/prestigious for any foreign visitors as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Please leave your thoughts here. Tell me where you would travel from and what level/style of gaming would satisfy your expectations. How much would you be willing to pay for tickets or optional hotel stay                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will track this thread over the next month or so and draw my conclusions. Please see my video episode. 
 


Comments

Simon T
02/03/2011 15:44

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Tim Alanthwaite
02/04/2011 03:31

Most of the UK board wargames conventions have pretty much died on their feet over the years due to diminishing player numbers and the trials of life intervening; hopefully enough people now mourn their passing to re-engage. However, organising something that ticks plenty of boxes is the trick. My boxes/wish list includes a central location, a long weekend to make the trip worthwhile, and a fairly inexpensive cost base. As most people tend to drift away midday on a Sunday, you can't really plan too much around that day, which means a Thursday morning start is useful. As for cost, I'd be there for the gaming therefore the 'village hall/B&B' end of the spectrum is fine. I'm not able to spend hundreds on a posh weekend away. A good way to organise the gaming is for each attendee to post what games he is looking to play on the site, and some indication of skill level/experience. Without the latter there may be unsatisfying mis-matches; anyone hustling would soon be found out. Somewhere within those broad parameters I'd certainly try to attend to show support and meet new people.

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Reef3
02/04/2011 16:10

Thanks for your response Tim. Initially I didnt think a long weekend was feasible for people with work constraints but I guess your right... some games take a while. I'll note you down for the "hall" option. That would definitely be down to the majority. Let's see what happens. The posting of games wished to be played and experience is an excellent idea. Presumably the games come from many sources not just myself? Is this customary? It would take a load off my mind even if just because I wouldnt have to learn every rule set perfectly. One day after my video posting we already have a potential twelve or se people. I think we can and shold make it work.

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Tim Alanthwaite
02/05/2011 03:38

It would certainly not be usual or expected for you to provide the games, or know anything about any games you're not personally playing. I suspect most people have most of the games they're hoping to play anyway. Games availabilty is never a problem; not so people being unprepared, which is why I suggested that attendees should post their knowledge and experience. In that event, those looking for a reasonably competitive game, and those looking to learn or just push around counters can all be accommodated.

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Rob van Tol
02/05/2011 05:55

Hi Reef - A convention would be great. I belong to a loose group of friends that meet two or three times a week for meets of 8 to 12 players. Usually in hotels. I've moved to Edinburgh find getting down to the south of England is a bit of a slog, but the midlands and north is fine. There's one this weekend down in Hampshire In my experience, the quality of the location doesn't matter - beyond basic hygiene factors. As most the time we're in the gaming rooms gaming. The format we've evolved is generally splitting up to play individual games in 2s, 3s, 4s and sometimes bigger. We tend to favour the larger multiplayer games. Then in the evening, playing multiplayer fun games, as the beer flows more. Hope that helps Rob

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Reef3
02/05/2011 13:57

2 or 3 times a week!! Hey unfair. Is that partially euro games or strictly wargames? Yep, Edinburgh is far. Yesterday I felt for the Cornish lads, now Scotland! Cheers Rob. At this point the cheaper hall/tables setup seems to be popular.

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Simon T
02/12/2011 01:50

I d come along plus im sure id get my regular wargaming opponent to come along. You woulndt need to buy any wargames to bring along , every wargamer has a wardrobe full of games theyve never had a chance to play (I know I have). I for one could bring enough for a convention on my own. It would however be fun to have a least one (perhaps mini) tournament around which the con could be built. If enough people had copies of a particular game eg Hammer of the Scots, Twilight struggle Id imagine their are a lot of them about. I second the Midlands as a venue and would propose Autumn eg September/October as people are less likely to miss it due to family holidays and Hotels would be cheaper out of season. A big Travellodge type place would be ideal although souless the rooms are generally cheaper and they have conference rooms available.


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02/13/2011 07:32

I will come from Bahain for sure.

Can I suggest, rather than game systems..

D1 AM 2 player
D1 PM and night with dinnertime break Multilayer
D2: Open Gaming as everyone knows each other by then
D3,4,5 what ever..


How about Bovington Tank Museum as a venue.

At CANCON (australia) we nominate top 10 games. then you would pick game swith most vote.


Eg. mine

Nappy wars
Here I stand
Sword of Rome
Empire of the Sun
For the People
Washingtons war
TS
The Russian Campaign
Bitter Woods
PAx Romania


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02/13/2011 07:35

oh and I am over 50, so a nice place would be better. No driving is a great plus. Nothing worse than having to drive home rather than walk.

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Reef3
02/13/2011 15:22

Good idea Mark. I actually have attended an annual wargames convention at Bovington (miniatures though). Definitely worth a thought. There is a lot of consensus within the UK though that Midlands area is most central and good for travel links. I have the conundrum that I could really only organise, supervise a venue near me (Chepstow). It gives me the chance to liaise with local hoteliers/venue conditions/unforseen problems. It has a fantastic medieval castle/Tintern Abbey and is on the crossroads of the M4 and M5. Even though three hours from the Cornwall boys it is some way from the Scottish clan (no pun intended!). The alternative though would be to offer this site as a "stage" for someone else to run and advertise a convention in the Midlands. It goes without saying I would commit to that also. The nicer venue would suit foreign travellers like yourself... make a holiday of it. That said I seem to be getting more wishes for a simple hall. Let's all keep discussing. Ill put a proposal up this month with pictures/estimate prices. Like the bring your own idea... and particularly Simons idea of a consensus of what games each of us have in common and holding one small tournament along with opens. It sounds like an ethereal notion... perhaps a different game each year... a players tournament! Anyone... any thoughts?

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Reef3
02/13/2011 15:23

One things for sure it seems immediatley apparent that we could attract a minimum of 25 counter/CDG/block wargamers. Not such a humble beginning?

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02/14/2011 18:50

Instant is good, no seizing the moment is sad.

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Shaun Gratton
02/16/2011 08:51

Hi there. This is a great idea, and one that I would support. I would be travelling from Bury St Edmunds in East Anglia, but I don't mind where the venue is. I would be more aligned to the cheap and cheerful hire a hall, non competitive option, but to be honest, I would probably come to it whatever is decided.
The UK is crying out for something like this, and I have often thought about doing it myself, but have never got around to it. Glad to see that you have more gumption than me.
I'm Shauneroo on BGG if you want to contact me via gheekmail.

Cheers.

Shaun

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Simon T
02/16/2011 13:50

Well I think I found the upper end of our Prices ! I made enquiries at Warwick University. I thought that would be ideal as you can get there in 5 hours from almost any way in the uk From Glasgow southwards. Its about as central as you can get.

£300 each ! for 30 attendee's. However that is not as bad as it sounds as it includes accomadation for 3 nights (Thur,Fri,Sat), all the venues with an event manager and 3 meals a day all in.

So £300 up front but then you need not spend another penny. The only minor problem would be they would need the £9 grand up front so unless there is a trusting stupidly rich wargaming benefactor we dont know about its back to square one. Still a nice thought

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Reef3
02/16/2011 14:39

Warwick it is then Simon! Ha!

One things for sure, it is clear we can and will do it. The venues and style might evolve over the years but the numbers question has been answered. If people would only commit to the first one (wherever it is) even if it might be too far on an annual basis, that'll give us all the confidence to do it each year. That brings me on to a thought!

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Reef3
02/16/2011 15:31

OKAY - LISTEN UP EVERYONE!! This site is run for all of us and the "con" would be the same - all decisions made democratically. Please bare with me everyone as this idea is off the wall and doesnt follow traditional "Con" methods. So with that in mind.

I know I can organise, oversee and publicise a con this year for 25+ people. What if the "con" moved every year to a different part of the UK under the same name? This website could provide "advertising" and "build" but a different person/group could host it in a different part of the country every year? It would take a particular nomadic commitment but people would commit to the longer journeys if they knew it would be returning to their area in a few years. A unique camaradarie could evolve. That could be part of the experience as each year a particular area try to outdo the previous years hospitality. Kind of like the world cup. It would take a huge "can do" attitude. If what we truly believe in is the games, a few tables and meeting likeminded friends then why couldnt we make an annual holiday weekend of it? I'm thinking "Commander Con" could be a good name as it emphasises what counter, block and CDG games have in common and spans the historical ages of the ancients, gunpowder and modern day.
Geographically something like this

EXAMPLE ONLY
2011 Chepstow (South West)
2012 Liverpool (North West)
2013 Newcastle (North East)
2014 Leicester (Central)
2015 Ipswich (South East)


Me personally I would travel to North Scotland or Cornwall if this thing got off the ground. Yep Birmingham would be best each year but what these things require is not the venue but the will. Someone who will do it rather than talk about it. I think this idea would mean that the most motivated person each year would organise and promote the Con.

We could have proposals each year on the site by various groups/people which could be voted on by Poll. How democratic is that?! The thing is this - if you attended a UK con in the next 6 months where 25 people turned up and made friends... you would have the confidence and more importantly the connections to promote the second year.

Ok thoughts?

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Shaun
02/17/2011 02:36

I would be happy to host and organise a con in the east region.
Cheers.

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Reef3
02/18/2011 00:06

There we are ... ball rolling. That's two areas covered!
I appreciate its not as simple as saying "I'll do it" but thats how all things start off. Thanks Shaun.
Incidently there is no reason why the first con would need to be Chepstow or indeed the fifth con South East... just an example.
Who else feels the hiring of a venue would not be too challenging for them? All advertising and pressganging could be done on this website for you.

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Derek Cox
02/20/2011 08:26


I'd be interested in a UK wargaming weekend. WeI and a friend already run a weekend tourney dedicated to ASL, and there are 2 others in the UK as well, but we would deinitely consider attending a weekend dedicated to general warganing

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Reef3
02/20/2011 12:20

Great news Derek. Looks like we'll be having one! If we only get this first one up and running then revise the format for future years that will be fine. In a couple of weeks i'll announce options of venue/price/facilities.

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Simon T
03/06/2011 01:52

I could organise one in Liverpool if you decide on the travelling format

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Mike V
04/01/2011 05:23

Reef, I would attend one anywhere in the UK and cost is not an issue - I would try and get my gaming buddy along too (who has not been that well but I am sure I could get him to travel). I will go with the flow - plenty of value for money hotels and locations who would host an event if you ever wanted to look at Warwickshire (though not Warwick Uni!) Cheers Mike

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Reef 3
04/01/2011 10:31

Thanks mike and Simon. Think Im going to have to compramise on my Summer date as most people feel the show should be held after the hols for cost and availability.Might have to miss a rugby match and sort something for Sept/Oct

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Mike V
04/03/2011 08:16

Thansk Reef - I am similarly tied by the rugby season :-) but a September/October date would work just great. I could help by getting some 'convention' or event t shirts done. Cheers Mike

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05/02/2011 20:24

If you wish to be the best man, you must suffer the bitterest of the bitter.

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Simon T
12/08/2011 02:38

I have a location !. The newly opened

syctheandteacup.co.uk

games cafe. It has over 20 tables and frequently runs CCG tournaments but lots of boardgames get played there. It is open 11-11. The owner said he would happily reserve tables for us to hold a con. They can be pushed together if anybody wants to play any monsters . games could be left overnight , if there was enough of us , he d even be happy to run late into the night. He's a gamer himself but bot a grognard but I ve seen him play Gears of War for example.

What do you think ? worth trying to set something up for the spring ?

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simon T
12/08/2011 02:56

Oh and it would be free ! The cafe would makes its money from the coffee and cheese toasties that we would but

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06/23/2012 08:08

Lovely blog, thanks for posting.

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