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The Listing of Friendly Local Gaming Stores

Dan Carroll

So for the penultimate article on changes both happening and proposed today we are looking at adding a listing of Local Gaming Stores to the website.

As part of encouraging communications between Member Clubs, Retailers and individuals we are looking at offering an advertising page in much the same vein as our Member Clubs but for Friendly Local Gaming Stores. This would result in stores getting a page similar to the one below:

 There are many Independent stores that have supported our Member Clubs and we are seeking to give something back as well as help build new relationships.

So if you run a FLGS or if your Member club has had some fantastic support from one get in touch so we can get this set up.

The New style AGM!

Dan Carroll

Every year the GCN holds an Annual General Meeting in October/November/December time. This meeting is held to get our Member Clubs input for decisions that affect the entire Membership such as Constitutional amendments, decisions effecting subs, changes to the structure of GCN Membership and the Election of GCN Officials. This year the meeting will be held on Saturday October 29th.

Every Member club is encouraged to send along at least one of their committee to put forward their views and also cast their clubs vote. Due to the location of each club and the difficulty in finding somewhere that is easily accessible to everyone we also supply a 'postal vote' system run through the website so Member clubs that are unable to have someone attend can still cast their vote and have their say.

Traditionally the AGM has been held in Nottingham as it is a central UK location and up until last year it had been held at Warhammer World.

The GCNs' aim is to help build a community of tabletop gamers and build relationships between our Members, companies and hobbyists. To help achieve that aim we are seeking to turn the AGM into a GCN Members only event showing off our Member clubs to each other with the support of our affiliates.

Starting this year the AGM will be held in association with one of our affiliates at their HQ, this year being at Mantic Headquarters! Not only have Mantic allowed us the use of the Headquarters for the AGM but they have also said they will be able to put on some exclusive activities for our Members!

It gets better though as Mantic and Warlord have not only had a great relationship with ourselves but also have built a relationship with each other, with this in mind Warlord Games will also be in attendance with some fantastic displays and/or demos for our Members to take part in. 

However while it is great that our affiliates are keen to be involved we want the focus to be on our Members. To this end we want our Member Clubs to come along and show off some of the amazing games and hobby that they engage in. So far we have 3 clubs who have confirmed they will be attending and putting on demonstration games, however we want to see more of our Members take this opportunity. So if your club is a Member of the Network and you want to come and take part please get your club contact to fill in the form below:

So the plan for the day is that this will be a full day event with any Member of a GCN Member able to attend for free!!!! While the games our Members are showing off will be playable from the doors opening we will hold the actual AGM portion first thing and make sure everyone gets more time to meet their fellow members and engage in the hobby. 

To help celebrate our members and those who attend we will be running competitions on the day as well. These are designed not just for individuals attending the day but also the clubs as well and to celebrate them.


UPDATE: Details of Council positions up for election this year are here

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.

EU Gamemat Review

Jez Fairclough

Just recently i had the pleasure of dealing with EU Game Mats and getting them on board with the GCN with a very generous discount and free shipping offer.

Off the back of this i had asked them if they would mind sending me a mat as a sample so i can write a quick review so that others can get a better idea of the quality. They loved the idea and after waiting 4-5 days I had received the item.

Being the big kid that I am, I leapt into action and got to opening the box as quick as i could until i was presented with a really smart black carry bag. I wasted no time at all and got the mat out and i must say i was real impressed with the final product.

The only bit of negativity i can say about this product is that it is a nightmare to roll up and get into the carry case, but that’s it.

The GCN offer that they have provided makes these mats even more accessible and affordable and is a well recommended purchase to transform your gaming surface, whether at home or at the club.

They do different themes from space, to rocky ground, to city set ups with detailed roads.

Mega thumbs up to Eu Game Mat.

Chris Brown

Basildon Warboyz

A New Way of Thinking

Jez Fairclough

Running a club is no walk in the park. There is always a new challenge or obstacle for you to navigate round and is always guaranteed to test your abilities and resourcefulness.

Aside from keeping the peach and entertaining those whom you have managed to attract there is always the challenge of club advertisement. This doesn’t sound like a grand challenge or a subject to be too concerned with, which was exactly my mentality for a long while. But then you start to feel like you are missing something or you may have found yourself in a slump where attendance is dwindling, this is where the true test begins.

Can you pull things back? Are you able to attract new people and show a new face of your club to the world?

But despite how difficult things are and how money orientated the world around you can be, there is always a silver lining, places and people that always seem to come out of the wood work just at the right time, giving you are looking for them and just as much as we all do with our tabletop games.....we just simply have to think outside the box.

I found myself in this very situation with the BASILDON WARBOYZ. I have considered what i thought to be every possibility of club advertising that was at low cost with a long life span. Anything from flyers, business cards, websites, news paper ads, banners.

But then an epiphany was had, where i realised this was all third party advertisement, they were all disengaged from the very people i was trying to attract. One thing you must all remember when running a club is that we are all community clubs, most of us non-profit and if you use those terms instead of War gaming club, Hobby club etc you will be surprised as to the change in response.

Now armed with this frame of mind and knowledge i went in search for the out of the box solution to advertise the game, something that can engage those who we want to inspire, allow us to cast an impression rather than just shadow, then it hit me.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a stand at our local shopping centre and that was that, I wasted no time at all in contacting the manager of the East Gate Shopping Centre and pitched the club like was trying to sell it and surprisingly enough the manager loved the idea and immediately offered us dates that were available.

So now i have exactly what i wanted, a new way to advertise the club and engage with people in the mean while, unfortunately the challenge was not yet over, I was now faced with having to strategise how we could maximise the use of this stand and its space. So we did the one thing we thought would attract attention for sure, we decided to set up multiple games where we could play to show it off and allow new people to watch and have a go.

Chris Brown
Basildon Warboys