I recently read a post Benefits of Club Wargaming – A call to arms by a friend Stuart over at Wyvern Wargamers around the changing hobby community since the global pandemic hit and it got me thinking… what are the benefits of having a great club to game at, rather than at home?
Not to repeat too much of what was mentioned in the former post, I wanted to put down my own thoughts on this and what I’ve seen happen in my own club/community over the last 523 days (?!) since the first lockdown started in the UK.
After lockdown first kicked in, like all other clubs, we had to close our doors and stay in our homes, this did lead to a bit of an uptake of hobby progress however as people finally had the time to get through some of their backlog, either building or painting. Our Discord server certainly got pretty busy with people posting their hobby logs and painting progress. This was great to see and we even managed to find some new members whilst our doors were sadly closed.
I think it really highlights the value of our community that we were both able to attract new members but also keep them in our community during a time where we couldn’t even meet them face to face (for the customary exchange of handshakes and biscuits 😉 ).
Of course we had a brief respite after the first lockdown where we were able to get the club opened again, albeit under much stricter rules to allow for social distancing…
But this only lasted until the Christmas lockdown and then we never re-opened in January. It wasn’t until they started to relax the lockdown measures again that we got back into the swing of things but still at limited capacity as to how many we could safely fit in the hall.
I’m happy to say that since the last of the restrictions have been lifted we’ve had great attendance with most weeks being full and we’re now looking at how we can increase capacity by fitting in more tables, utilising the outdoor area at the rear or by hiring the second, smaller hall.
Advantages of club gaming
- Space – most clubs have plenty of space for all those 6×4 tables often required for most tabletop wargames.
- Inspiration – seeing models on Instagram is great sure but being able to see them up close and personal and be able to chat with the artist behind them is a whole other level.
- Help – Asking around for help or advice on how to do things, is a lot easier in person in a group than online – we’ve got some particularly talented scenery makers in our midst
- Socialising – being able to hang out with some like-minded people face to face after all of this isolation and staying at home, you can’t beat it and Zoom can’t match it.
- Motivation – it’s easy to lose your momentum on hobby projects when you’ve got no deadlines or support – if nobody is going to use/see them, why paint them etc. Having. regular scheduled meetup can really motivate you to get through the backlog
So if you’re in the Redditch, Worcestershire area, get down on your next free Tuesday night to see us, or if you’re in particular need of an extra fix on a Sunday, pay a visit to Wyvern Wargamers!