Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Some Random Thoughts

I've been thinking a few things over, in the last couple of days with regards to the matter of clubs and shows.

Let's say you have a club which, over the years builds a show from strength to strength, the costs of the show increase as the venue itself gets larger and in theory better.

The profits from the show are such that a membership annually costs under £20 to have access to a great venue.

Now, imagine that as with any 'empire' a sense of decadence or perhaps lethargy sets in, with the organising body for the show becoming complacent and taking an attitude which boils down to 'As long as we make money, nothing needs to change' and 'If we don't like something it will not be represented or simply paid lip service to.'

This cannot be good. The moment that kind of thinking sets in, it has to be tackled. Those in charge of organisation need to be removed, fresh faces with fresh ideas and an open approach to organisation need to be put in place.

Where communication with traders and the public is poor or so behind the times, that needs sorting out too. 

The days of even small traders leaving messages on an answering system and hoping for a response are long past.

Those who are organising and promoting a show need to be able to communicate promptly with the most common method. Just because they perhaps don't understand the technology, doesn't mean that methods of communication can be ignored. In fact, you ignore that at your peril.

Regardless of what a club wants to to do with the money AFTER the show, the task of encouraging people to part with money in the first place, increasingly has little to do with what the organisers want, but in fact is all about giving the public what they want, and where they make it clear that the horse and pony show may need to also become a dog show, then they should try to meet that customer demand.

If they don't attrition and atrophy start to kick in and then if they dodge the bullet enough times, 10 or 15 years down the line they club find that attendances are falling off, traders can't be bothered, and they have a major problem.

By that time, making changes suggested a decade earlier are not going to work, because the new 'standard' for the show has become set and the decline will in all probability increase exponentially.

When members and observers make comments, they should be listened to and not labelled as 'idiots' or 'destructive'...

That kind of thinking is typical of a narcissistic structure more bothered with maintaining the illusion of empire than moving to the next level. It's toxic and unproductive.

The long term result will probably be a loss of income, which, may mean that the subs for members have to increase. At this point members have to look around and weigh things up. After all, if you regularly play with a given sub-group at the club, why do you need that club? Surely, it would be more productive to simply meet at one of their homes and take a bloody good bottle of wine? Perhaps, you could all collectively agree a small sub to over time get terrain etc...

Surely, this is the obvious move for people who just want to game and not engage with anything or anyone else.

A wargamer who relies on a club for everything except their figures and who thinks that 50p per week subscription and a few hours laying out tables equates to have access to terrain, boards, warm venue and fringe benefits, should frankly fuck off and stop being a fucking leech. They are not an asset at that point but a drain. These are the same kinds of people who whine about things not being the way they would like but who then refuse to take a committee to task. 

A club which pays for members to travel 2 hours to a one day show, and then pay for hotel bills so they can stay over and get pissed are simply encouraging an ouroboros-like devouring of the club finances.

It's madness. 

The terminal stage would have to be when changes were promised, a few minor tweaks made, but the culture and habits underneath the thin veneer would remain the same. Change scares people, and engenders misplaced beliefs that if dissenters who opposed the flawed status quo were removed - ideally publicly (because nothing sends out a message of 'fuck not with us', more effectively) - the same old behaviour could continue unchecked and thus the cycle of entropy spread.

At that time, any reasonable observer would have to consider a winding up of the club rather than a terminal decline into decadent internecine struggles with metaphorical  ivory towers being erected with sandpits at their apex for those who don't want to change, to bury their heads in.

And that's about it for me and my random musings...



  1. Which is why I dropped out of club gaming years ago. I can be decadent all on my own and only annoy myself!

    Good post by the way!

    1. Decadence done with due care and attention, is a fine thing.


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