Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Blog Wars 5 Update - Maunsfeld Gaming has Closed!

You may have already seen this but Maunsfeld Gaming (the shop formerly known as Maelstrom Games and the venue of the first four Blog Wars) has now gone into receivership. I received an email from the venue this lunchtime to say:


Hi there

I'm sorry to have to say this, but Maunsfeld Gaming is now closed for the foreseeable future.

Maunsfeld Gaming is going into liquidation shortly; the company is not insolvent - there's enough assets to cover any debts - but the longer it carries on, the more debts will accumulate and it will achieve critical mass at some point. With the attendance falling, organisers cancelling events, terrain being stolen, staff leaving, not being able to stock Games Workshop products in the store and the quite breathtaking and totally unjustified vitriol on the internet from some quarters, it seems the venue is no longer wanted by most.

I know this is a major disappointment for those of you that have a booked in event at the mill or attend on club nights, but I have no alternative but to call an end to it...............

.............I hope you all understand why this has happened and that it's not what I or our staff wanted. I wanted to sell the company, perhaps even the assets alone, so that someone can keep it going, but nobody seems to want to take it on, so that's that.

May I take this opportunity to thank all of you that have held events at the mill, or attended the club nights, over the past few years; you have been superb and I hope you have all enjoyed the facilities we put so much effort and time (and money) in to provide.

I've since received a further email from Tim King (the former Events Manager) who confirmed that the venue is indeed closed. As you can imagine I'm pretty gutted as I've always thought it was a cracking venue (I'm still toying with the idea of exploring the option of buying it or at least the tables/scenery to start my own venue). Maelstrom Games has had its issues but the venue has always been good to Blog Wars. Thank you to those of you who emailed to point this out to me. I may have already known for a few hours but I appreciate you taking the time to let me know.

What's the plan for Blog Wars 5 then?
As it stands at the moment we have 37 paid-up participants (including myself) for Blog Wars 5. Sadly we've had a few people drop out (not related to the closure) and I'm waiting to hear from the reserves before putting the few return tickets up for sale again. I don't know about you guys but I'm determined to run Blog Wars 5 somewhere. Therefore, I'll be looking for alternative venues during the rest of the week and making a few calls and/or sending a few emails. A couple of venues have been suggested already but whilst I haven't got in touch with either yet I know one of them can only accommodate 20 players. It's a similar story for the Outpost in Sheffield but there's a third venue that's been suggested that I need to explore. There are also plenty of other venues that I'm vaguely aware of that I'll be contacting.

Before going any further I'd like to assuage any fears people might have that money has been lost from the Blog Wars fund. Rest assured that I never pay the venue more than a couple of weeks in advance so all of the money is still sat in my PayPal account. The worst case scenario will be the event being cancelled and everyone receiving a full refund of their £15. I'm determined not to let that happen though. The show must go on!

Over the next week I'll keep you updated on any progress I make towards securing a new venue. I'd be surprised if we can get exactly the same date at a new venue so if it has to change I'll offer people the chance to either get a refund or confirm their attendance for any new date.

For now please let me know if you're aware of any suitable venues. I'd like to keep it central if possible, partly for my own sake as I don't want to travel for 3-4 hours before and after running the event, which is tiring enough, but also for people who might have arranged accommodation already. As far as I know Warhammer World no longer accepts externally organised events but in light of the situation I'll get in touch with people I know there and see what can be done. Otherwise I'd be grateful for suggestions.

Finally, I hope you will all stick with me through this. I'd ask you to be patient as I work full time and organise this event on my own. I'm sorry for the inconvenience it may have caused people. There were plenty of people telling me the closure was coming but I think I was hoping against hope they were wrong. I had been following the situation closely and had previously been assured that the venue would remain open until July (meaning BW5 was safe). Hopefully you can appreciate that I had little control over this. Blog Wars 5 will still go ahead if possible with the biggest turnout ever and therefore the biggest prize pot ever!

Cheesy as it sounds, Blog Wars is a great event because of the people who attend so it doesn't matter where we end up playing!

12 comments:

  1. Happy to help out with terrain building if you want to consider a venue that's not already set up for gaming.

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    1. Thanks mate. Hopefully it won't come to that but we should know by the end of the week.

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  2. Gutted - I've been working on my latest army since before BW4 especially for BW5, but I am sure BWs will live on!

    Not sure if its too far North - but there is the location the Warrington GT is held? I've never been, but I understand it is about the same size.

    Another 'up north option could be talking to the Ribble Rumble guys... They hold a 40-70 person tournament here in Preston every year at the university with their own boards/terrain.

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    Replies
    1. Great suggestions Chris
      Another if I may?
      Just grab a willing university or even bett local school. Loads of "smaller" tournaments are held in local social clubs, memorial halls, village centre type things.
      For these you would need terrain.. Sure.. I run a local club and we have both terrain and boards. Enough, with work to supply BW.
      The issue is then transport- getting the boards/terrain to the venue. This is just a case of van hire, loading it up and driving it.
      If you can find a venue like this, a village hall or civic centre whatever, and can do it cheaper than Maunsfeld, then we can use the money to go van hire/petrol to get terrain/boards to you.

      Although, it'd be best if someone else can do half the boards and terrain too...because you aren't going to fit more than ten boards and terrain in a hire van..

      Just an idea.

      Other thoughts... There is the Wayland Games place, but it is just outside London.
      There is a gaming/tournament organising club inPeterborough, the guardians of tyr I think they are.. Check them out too..

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    2. Quick inventory... Tbh we could only supply about ten boards of terrain.. But I am happy to help make more!!

      The biggest benefit of Mansfield was not having to move or up ply terrain and boards..get around that and BOOM! Sorted...

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    3. @Chris cheers for the suggestions. I'll be getting in touch with those guys.

      @Ven I'll bear that offer in mind Andy. Ideally I'd like to go to venue that's already set up to minimise the delay getting start and clearing up afterwards.

      I'll do some ringing/emailing and let you know what I've arranged.

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    4. Absolutely, mate..a venue already setup is best. But rare in the right location..that's why Mansfield was good.
      Whatever is best for blog wars bud..

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  3. Where are you guys based?

    the Northwest Gaming Centre in Stockport, Manchester has 64 tables, on-site cafe / bar, plus a shop. It already runs quite a few events for Various systems.

    Maybe drop darran a line on marauder.games@googlemail.com or on twitter - @darranpalmer

    Andy

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    Replies
    1. Knew there was one around Stockport but thanks for the contact details. Sounds pretty good and Stockport isn't too bad to get to for most I suspect.

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  4. How many people does you need to accommodate. The sons of war club might actually be a possibility but need to check with Andy and Steven first. I might also have to ask you for a refund on my ticket as I am no longer sure I can make it

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  5. Absolutely gutted to hear that Maunsfeld Games has closed, though I'm not surprised. I popped in there a couple of weekends ago for a campaign weekend and the place was empty - no stock, nothing on the shelves etc. it's a massive shame as I loved the venue.

    I'd love to see it back in some guise, though a purely wargaming shop is probably uneconomic unless it can sell GW products. Combining it with a comic shop, computer games outlet or Magic: The Gathering shop, or a goth/rock emporium might help the business to remain viable. Something 'alternative' which appeals to a broader range of customers. Unfortunately so many of us shop online to save a few pennies, without realising that in so doing, we doom the very venues we love playing at!

    I hope we manage to find somewhere local for Blog Wars. Warhammer World would of course be perfect.

    How about Vague Connections on Derby Road in Nottingham? I've never been, but I'm told (by John Holland for example) that they have gaming tables there?

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    Replies
    1. Vague while a nice little shop only has 4/5 tables and not much terrain. Kieran took it over when it was more board/card came/RPG focused, and at them moment he's focusing on Flames of War (15mm) as he is in GW's back yard, and is getting good support from Battlefront.

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