Last year, I started a new Wargames club in my local area, Didcot Wargames Club. A few readers asked me to put together my experiences of setting up the club, to hopefully provide some advice for those thinking of doing the same.
Here are my thoughts on setting up the club, and how it has been going.
Why Set Up the Club
Putting together my own gaming club has been something I have been thinking about for a while. For me, the catalyst came from changing personal circumstances. My partner was moving from about 30 mins journey away to over an hour journey away. As a result, we were going to be more restricted to meeting up at weekends for the forseeable future. This meant that I may not be able to attend my regular gaming club on a regular basis.
I normally attend Spiky Club in Reading, which meets on a Friday night from 7-11 pm. This club is a good 45 mins drive from my current flat, which is a bit of a travel commitment. As it is a Friday, I can get away with this. On a regular weeknight, I would struggle, not getting back till Midnight and having to work the next day. There are even times when I cannot be bothered going on a Friday if I have had a long week at work (the curse of getting old!).
Due to these factors, I was looking at setting something up that was more local and would be happening mid-week.
After speaking with a few friends in the area who play 40k, I thought there would be enough interest in setting up a local club in Didcot to make the venture worth exploring.
I would say that this would be the first thing to consider if you are setting up a club. Will there be enough interest in the local area to keep the club going? Most people setting up a wargames club will be taking on the financial obligation initially, at least until the club becomes self-sustaining. If you can share that among a group of people involved in the club, it is more likely to run for reasonable costs before you get a group of dedicated players.