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News

Filtering by Category: News

GCN Update – 31 Aug 18

Jez Fairclough

Foreword:

Following the more than disappointing turnout at the EGM, a letter was put out concerning the future of the GCN which effectively warned of its impending closure should the lack of volunteers and support continue.

There was quite a response from individuals and clubs, almost fully supportive of continuing the GCN.

As a result we have been able to co-opt an emergency Council, based on experience which in turn will attempt to bring the GCN back into relevance. However should the resurgence of support prove to be a damp squib, the GCN’s future will remain in flux. 

This is an update and notice.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 It has been confirmed that the GCN will hold an AGM on 1st December at the Warlord Games HQ in Lenton, Nottingham. There will be space for games and of course the Warlord shop will also be open.

The attendance of as many clubs as possible is desired and to facilitate this, the Council will be arranging a SKYPE facility for those who cannot attend in person.

The Emergency Council will be there in full and it will be a chance to for all of you to discuss and ask questions of the GCN and also shape its future course.

More details will be forthcoming as time goes on.

INSURANCE

Confirmation has been received from Access Insurance of the premiums for 2018/2019.

Happily the basic cover remains the same as last year at £78.76

Clubs may continue to add additional sections of cover as they see fit.

Clubs already insured under this scheme will be receiving renewal terms within the next two weeks, so please be sure that your contact details have not changed from last year.

Should you have any queries, or indeed if you are a club wishing to join the scheme, you can contact John Fitzpatrick at john.fitzpatrick@accessinsurance.co.uk.

And please do not forget, payment of insurance fees is separate from payment of subs.

SUBSCRIPTION FEES

These remain at £20 for the year 2018/2019 and entitle the club to partake of the insurance and discount schemes and advertising within the GCN online and through other media.

These will be due for the end of September.

From October we will be relisting the clubs and removing those that have not paid their subs.

You may still renew through the web page.

PAYMENTS

IMPORTANT: Payments for Insurance and Subs are separate. They cannot be paid together.

Insurance

Details will be given on the renewal notice issued by Access.

Subs (£20)

Are payable to the GCN. We currently accept payment through bank transfer or cheque.

Bank transfers may be made to

The Gaming Club Network

Barclays Bank

Harrogate

Sort Code: 20-37-13

Account No: 90443050

Please ensure that you reference either your club ID or club name.

Cheques are made payable to ‘the Gaming Club Network’

They can be sent to, the GCN, c/o 65 Church Street, Clowne, Derbyshire, S43 4BJ.

IMPORTANT: This is a change of the address given last year.

Please ensure that you reference either your club ID or club name.

DISCOUNTS

Our Marketing Manager, Carl, has been working through the affiliates to confirm those discounts that are still active. These are listed below.

GCT Studio

Footsore Miniatures

Impact Miniatures

More will be listed as they come in and the website will be amended.

Mantic, Warlord and Battlefoam are currently under review. 

FUTURE PLANS WITH AFFILIATES

The GCN is more than just discounts and insurance, though it may well have seemed that way in more recent years. Affiliates are looking for more constructive ways of supporting clubs and these are some of the suggestions that have come in from those in the trade. These obviously do not apply in full to every affiliate but provide a broad swathe of ideas.

Promotion of GCN and member club events through the Affiliates own social media.

Support for registered GCN clubs with discounted starter products.

Involvement of the GCN and member clubs in the playtesting of new products.

Special Offers and deals at their own stores and show stands.

Tournament support packages

Use of facilities for free

Organised visits

Affiliates do not want to undercut their own distributors, the bricks and mortar games shops whom often offer their own discount schemes, but are also aware that many gamers in more remote areas may not have access to their products other than online.

If member clubs have more suggestions, they are most welcome to put them forward.

You may contact Carl at marketing@thegcn.net

OTHER SUPPORT

The GCN already has a badge scheme for members and these are available from the Marketing Manager, but other ideas are being revived or instigated.

Currently the GCN has three banners, in the South, the Midlands and the North. Provided they are going to be used as they are quite expensive, we are willing to provide banners for other areas and even theme them accordingly. 

As far as shows, events and tournaments go, this would depend on the support of the clubs, so please do come to the AGM and tell us what you want.

ONLINE

Whilst we have well-designed web and Facebook pages, the time and effort in keeping them fresh and updated requires a lot of work which to date has relied on our Media Manager, Jez. We have also had issues with the host and the expense of doing this especially as payment currently has to be made through a private account, in this case provided by myself, and cannot be made by an organisation. This is not an efficient system for the GCN as when I step down, another member would have to agree to a direct debit from his or her VISA card (albeit reclaimed as expenses).

So with the help of the original designer, Gemma, our ‘techs’ under the Media Manager, will be looking at the current sites and doing some work  on the structure where necessary.  Some help has already been offered in this respect and I believe the AGM will be an excellent chance for prospective moderators to get together with Jez and Martyn. You can contact Jez at media@thegcn.net.

THE MEMBERSHIP PROCESS

The renewals and applications will be handled by myself and Nick, who has come on board temporarily to act as secretary. Martyn who has just agreed to the role of Regional Manager will be taking a closer look at the way the process is handled online.

Any queries concerning membership and/or the membership process should be sent to the president@thegcn.net and copied to the secretary@thegcn.net .

REGIONAL POLICY

Whilst Martyn has taken on the role of Regional Manager, his first work will be on the Membership processes and the relocation of the online host. So for the moment this area will not be active. Should you have any thoughts or ideas for the future, you can contact Martyn at rdc@thegcn.net.

ELECTIONS

The original idea of the EGM was to co-opt a new Council that would face elections at the AGM.

As it stands, we will only know the viability of the GCN to have a future by the AGM.

Therefore the election process will take place separately at a special AGM in the Spring. This will allow the current Council to complete the current project and enable time to make any necessary changes to the mandates and web contacts.   

Any questions, comments concerning Elections can be made to myself at president@thegcn.net.

Dave Wise

President

Notice of 2018 Elections

Jez Fairclough

NOTICE OF 2018 ELECTIONS

A number of unfortunate incidents over the last year contributed to the Council being forced to concentrate its efforts on rectifying the damage caused by a certain member’s actions.

Our work in this unfortunately meant we had to work to consolidate rather than advance the aims of the GCN and special thanks are in order to both Jez (Media Manager) and Tim (the former Secretary) for their efforts in bringing the Network back up to its full potential.

Due to the difficulty of getting members together due to work and family commitments this led to meetings taking place by Skype rather than in person.

This has also led to the delay in holding a GCN Annual General Meeting and therefore Elections to the Council from October 2017 to May 2018, which was also partly due to finding a suitable venue.

The AGM

But enough excuses. The AGM, as notified before, will take place on 26 May at Mantic HQ in Nottingham. A number of participation games will be presented so that it will be more of an event as well as a meeting.  Member clubs are encouraged to bring players as these will be running all day. It will also be chance for members to see the latest Mantic offerings and inevitably spend money at the Mantic shop! Clubs who would like to run games should let the President, myself or the current Secretary, Michelle know in advance so that we can organise tables. If enough members attend, Mantic will be able to make hot food available (though you will have to buy this yourselves…).

The Elections

The Council has decided that these will be held twice this year (in May and in October) in order to ensure continuity* as every position is actually up for election. The May elections will be overseen by the President.

Elections for the Secretary, Treasurer and Regional Organiser will take place in May.

Elections for the President, Media Manager and Marketing Manager will take place in October.

*The reasons for this are simple, certain positions require the individual to be a signatory, or designated officer in regards to finance and certain professional areas such as Insurance. For example, as President, my personal address is taken as the GCN registered address for the banks and HMRC. At least three members are required to be signatories on the account. Transferring these, as we have found, is not always a straightforward and quick process!

Eligibility

Any nominee standing for a Council position must be a member of a GCN-registered club which is fully up to date with its membership.

That nominee must be over 18.

The nominee requires 4 nominations from GCN member clubs (which can include your own).  

The nominee must provide a basic manifesto. Who you are, your gaming background, what you’d like to achieve etcetera… It does not have to be elaborate, a single page should suffice just to give clubs an idea who they might be voting for.

Since most Council day-to-day business is conducted though the GCN Facebook we do have to ask that the nominee has access to and is comfortable with using this media.

I would also add that the work of a Council member does require the willingness to give time to the position. The Treasurer is expected to be able to prepare accounts and the Secretary position which now handles membership is particularly busy around September/October.

Basic details of what is expected of a nominee for each position** are given in the GCN Constitution, available on the website. We do ask for flexibility and Council members are expected where possible to attend shows and events and provide a public platform for the GCN.

Because of our planned expansion, these positions can be flexible as new areas are explored.  

**Regional Organiser: This position you will not find in the Constitution. Whilst it has been filled before, the position is a very fluid one, requiring the individual to organise a GCN gaming community in which member clubs (and non GCN clubs) take part in tournaments, shows and other events. 

The Process

Nominees should present their nominations and manifesto to the President by midnight 8th April 2018.

Nominations and Manifestos will be put up on the website for the 15th April 2018.

Clubs will be given the chance to vote directly for their preferred candidate in each position either online or by proxy at the AGM. Member Clubs have one vote for each position up for election. Online voting will run from 21st April until midnight 24th May.

Nominees will be expected to attend the AGM if possible where they will be introduced to the meeting and may give a short account of their manifesto.  This may be read out by a proxy if necessary.

There will then be a secret proxy vote. The proxy votes will be added to the online votes and the winning candidate will be elected to the Council***.

The term for a Council member is two AGMs or two years whichever is the longer. Events have skewed this over the last year or so, but the two AGMs this year will bring this back into line. 

***Unsuccessful candidates may well find themselves offered another position if one remains unfilled or if the meeting decides that other officers are required.

Conclusion  

Nominees require 4 nominations and a manifesto to be submitted by 8th April 2018.

The nominee, or a proxy will be required to attend the AGM on the 26th May 2018.

Clubs will be able to vote once for each candidate either online from 21st April until 24th May 2018 or by proxy at the AGM meeting on the 26th May 2018.

Positions up for election are Secretary, Treasurer and Regional Organiser.

Contacts

All correspondence, queries, etcetera pertaining to the Election should be sent to Dave Wise, the President at president@thegcn.net.

All correspondence, queries, etcetera pertaining to the AGM should be sent to Dave Wise as above, or Michelle Naso at secretary@thegcn.net.

Regards

Dave Wise

President

 

 

 

General Annoucement

Jez Fairclough

I regret to inform the membership that in the last week, the Council has been depleted yet again by the resignation of the Secretary for family and work reasons.

The Secretary covered the membership process alongside the organisation of meetings.

This brings the total number of Council members down to three out of a possible eight.

Running the organisation with four members was in the long term unsustainable, with three it is nigh impossible.

When the Vice President ceased to take part earlier this year, without a word or a response to our many efforts at communication, he took with him the documentation, the financial papers and many of the passwords. This involved much hard work in rebuilding the framework, changing mandates and re-scheduling processes. I had stepped back due to my battle with the effects of advanced diabetes and had expected to retire before the AGM which has been necessarily delayed while we carried out the above.

The fact is that for those of you that remember the days of a full committee under the presidency of Tony Barnes, who tragically passed away suddenly in 2014, it was a time when at least two out of the eight members were either not in work or fully retired with the time to put their full efforts into running and expanding the Network. There were also a large number of supporting volunteers.

For me as President, Jez as Media and Chris as Marketing, it is a different matter. We are all three in full time work, we all work weekends and/or shifts and we all have family commitments. Volunteers have drifted away. Apathy may play a part, as will work and family commitments.

The GCN has a secure financial base, a membership process that works and a well-designed website and good relationships with the retail side of the hobby. It is a well-trimmed ship without a crew.

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In short the GCN requires volunteers, to help run the administration, the social media and get involved in attending events on behalf of the GCN.

We are especially looking for members with some experience in social media, finance and administration. All of this work is unpaid, but being on the Council allows you to directly shape the future of the GCN, but even just helping with the day-to-day work will help retain the GCN’s independence.

Without such a base of volunteers, the Council will have to consider winding up what has been an honourable attempt at bringing people together as there is just too much work to be left in the hands of so few.

**********************************************************************************

If you can help please contact Jez at media@thegcn.net or myself, Dave, at president@thegcn.net.

**********************************************************************************

The AGM has been scheduled for late April in 2018. This will be set at Christmas, alongside all the information about elections etcetera.

However if we fail to garner enough support, the Annual General Meeting will instead become an Emergency General Meeting where we will be forced to instigate the closure of the GCN.

Insurance

As this is now a separate entity (the GCN now facilitates a lower cost but is otherwise uninvolved) this will not be affected.

Heroes of the Aftermath Gaming Club

Jez Fairclough

Like many reading this I was sucked into the world of Kickstarter and would spend hours pouring through all the new shiny that newly formed and some established companies wanted to tempt us with. My other half often calls me tight, well Spud you like is fine dining in my eyes! why spend £20 odd on a spud in some hipster diner! anyway, this was a good thing, especially with Kickstarter, however, my eyes made contact with Heroes of Normandie by Devil Pig Games and my wallet creaked open.

 Devil Pig Games are a relatively new company based in France but their games to date in my eyes are astonishing. Heroes and Shadows over Normandie  for me have everything a tabletop war-game needs. Easy to learn, fantastic components, Scenario, campaign and a points based system for competitive tournament play. Having found this game it instantly made me think of some of the old PC classics like Company of Heroes and Close Combat, I decided that was it, all in I went. The game received a lot of backers ( Including some of the lads at Aftermath once that I given the hard sell talk ) and unlocked loads of stretch goals, now all I had to do was wait for delivery day, or as I called it, D Day ;)

 It came!

 Now to move on a bit Devil Pig Games have had a series of other Kickstarters and yes, I’ve backed them all. I am a hardcore fan of not only the games but the company. The Team at Devil Pig are some of the friendliest I have spoken too and nothing is ever too much bother. The company have just extended their latest Kickstarter Kharnage so don't miss out! You can also get Heroes of Normandie for PC and IOS, brilliant game.

 As some of you know I organise Diceni, we decided for the shows game this year to put on Heroes of Normandie. The game went down really well and those involved including myself decided we wanted to demo the game at other shows, conventions and local shops so we started planning.

The fanbase soon grew at Aftermath and we soon had ten of our members owning Heroes of Normandie, what are we going to do with all this stuff ??!! The largest Game of Heroes of Normandie to date is the answer, so we did.

 During the game I decided to capture the moment with some snaps and at the end write a small battle report for the club Facebook page, it was safe to say it was popular reaching over 12 thousand people, but that was not all, this happened!

 http://www.devil-pig-games.com/en/une-partie-dheroes-of-normandie-gigantesque/

 Devil Pig Games had seen what we had done and transferred the article onto their website.

Now since that article we have become the official UK Devil Pig Games club and Demo Team.

So what’s next? well we have now just started a Heroes of Normandie  league and are planning another large all day game, pssst, its gonna be BIG!

 The demo team have been busy and we will be attending Hereward war-games show in Peterbourgh, Colours in Reading and will even be holding a Aftermath Gaming Club Table including a Heroes of Normandie table on the University Of East Anglia’s freshers day.

We will be looking at a tournament next year as well as many  other  shows including Salute. I plan to nip over to France and visit the Devil Pig Team, I owe them a pint you see, what for? well that rather lovely logo at the top of the page that they designed for us.

So the love of a game, some devoted fans and some hard work has really paid off and the best thing of all is it’s great fun doing it.

 Pick yourself a copy up, have a game, join the Facebook group and the Devil Pig Games

Forum and hopefully we will see you at one of the shows or next years club tournament.

Right, I’m off to have a cup of tea :)

Lee Lowe

The Club Listing Expansion

Dan Carroll

As mentioned in yesterdays article we are looking at how we can expand the Club Listings we have here on our website. The GCN is committed to providing the opportunity for individuals and Member Clubs to participate in the tabletop gaming hobby. 

At the moment our club finder lists all of our member clubs wherever they may be located, including being displayed on a map. They also get space to show themselves off, having their opening times, games played, pictures and more. Below are some examples:

In addition to the above listings member clubs can get their events such as tournaments advertised on our events calendar. 

The proposal to expand on this is to add a listing of non member clubs as well. This would entail a very basic description as shown below:

The listings on the Club Finder page would become:

Non member clubs will not be able to advertise their events like a member club can. Also whenever we share details of clubs with affiliates, such as with Warlord recently and their player map, this will only be GCN Member Clubs. The club listings we put in our publication such as the brochures and new Newsletter will only feature Member Clubs. 

As mentioned before with the GCNs purpose of providing opportunities for individuals and member clubs to participate in the hobby having a fully comprehensive listing enables this. This would also take us closer to being a centre point of tabletop gaming knowledge and increased traffic to the site means more people seeing the pages of our members.

A note will be placed at the top of the Club Finder page stating that the GCN Member Clubs hold themselves to a set standard including holding themselves to our Child Protection Policy and we readily recommended people attend them, however non member clubs are not held to the same standards as a GCN Member Club.

As this idea is a fundamental change to how the GCN has run though it is something that needs to be decided upon by the membership of the Network, therefore it will be voted upon at this years AGM.