Friday, 11 December 2015

Fighting my backlog head on!

Hi

I have slowly come to the realisation I have got a stupidly large backlog of unpainted models. Now I would say this year has been an expensive hobby year. Mainly down to having a load of new gaming friends and getting caught up in new projects spurred on by a pack of excitable hobbyists!

AOS boxed set
Floaty rocks (stuff already bought to make)
2 Realm gates
Ophidian Archway
Battle of Calth

Raven Guard:
tac squad
2x Vet boxes
2x Sternguard
3x Drop pods
2x Storm Ravens
FW Libby
FW Korvydae
Converted captain
10x sniper scouts with Elysian heads

Infinity:
4x Yoagats
4x Roduks
1x Zerat sniper
1x Suryat
1x Raktorak
5x Fusileers
Umbra Legates hacker
Neoterra starter set
Neoterra Bolt box
Bipadra
Angus
2x Armbots
Aquilla guard HMG
PanO starter
Akila HMG

Now I'm not setting a time limit, but I have put a stop on buying more stuff. I have been away from 40k long enough for it to feel new once I get onto the Raven Guard. The GW stuff is going to be done in blocks starting AoS this weekend. I think Ill tackle the Infinity models by painting in between the GW systems to break it up.

The dream is to be able to buy a pack of minis and only have that to paint!

Finished this guy off last night.. picture sucks and the Dulcote is still drying..





Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Opening a Gaming Store - After action report

Hi

I got a request to do an after action report on my experience of Siege Tabletop, so here it is!

I don't care who you are, as hobbyists we have all dreamed of owning running and a successful hobby store. The truth is, running any kind of independent shop has its own set of issues you have to consider before taking on such a project. The dream isn't to run an unsuccessful shop after all.

The first thing I did was to look at what is already out there, see if you can open up a niche and exploit it. I decided my angle would entertainment, I would make the place completely relaxed. I gave anyone who walked through the door the amount of attention they deserved and built a re pour and friendship for people.

The next step was to offer them something they maybe didn't have at home. Gaming tables were built with great looking terrain to play on. Even Xwing had proper star mats, to hopefully add that little bit more game immersion. I was charging people to play and the only way you can justify that is to give people a place they WANT to come and use. So I went all out on the terrain (also bumping into Rich really helped as well as he took on projects as well!).

I had the luxury of being able to dip my toe in and not going all out with a massive ton of stock or extra rent/rates etc to pay. My situation wasn't as risky as other people but being apart of successful independent retail for ten years, its something I'm am well versed in.

I feel I successfully fulfilled the friendly and great terrain part of the plan. The next part is probably the most important.. Social Media.. I never really used or liked Facebook before all this so I had to change my thinking. I tended to have a good laugh with people over the forums and blogger, so it was a simple case of transferring that to a facebook page and more importantly a closed group. This was the lifeblood of running the place. I ran events, let the customers design there own events. Everyone felt apart of the place and the customers slowly snowballed gathering pace to a point where we were busy every time we opened. We even had people happy to put some mileage in to visit the place.

Now this is where my plan falls down a little bit. My hope was that because we had an awesome gaming venue people wouldn't mind paying a little more for the models than the online discounters. I started out with Xwing as at that point it was by far the most popular game. On the whole people did buy without a massive discount, but it was always a conversation point. A negative that I got a tired of. The next issue I came up with and something that 99% of gamers wont see as a negative. People are not just playing Games Workshop anymore!!! In fact I can count on one hand the amount of 40k games that were played. I wasn't forceful enough on deciding which games that were going to be supported. The most popular games being played were Bolt Action and Xwing. These two systems were probably the worst ones to buy in. Xwing waves are a nightmare. Customers who would happily have bought models from me had to go elsewhere as I couldnt get the stock in. A kick in the nuts when you are enabling players. Bolt Action, its a tricky one. Very popular around our area (I dont play personally) and I was hovering over making a massive order, but then I had a niggle in the back of my head that not all the armies people are using are Warlord models... in fact most players had a big mixture.

I was also about to start up a Magic the Gathering friday night that Im sure would have brought more people in. All the hobby store owners I had spoken to pretty much said its your bread and butter. I think it was at this point I decided I would just run the place as a venue until the building sold as I could only see pit falls and no real payback for the amount of work I had to put in to sell systems, run events, keep the social media going carry the HUGE amount of stock required for the amount of games people are playing at the moment.

If I was starting again, I would make sure I worked on the bread and butter games like Magic. I would also choose a select few games that were able to be played in store, then stock those. That seems limiting but the reality is when you have invested in building a ton of terrain and a load of stock, then young Joey brings in a new game that suddenly everyone wants a part of you have a load of dead stock and unused terrain... Now the inventory of games would be wide and I would go about selling them not as badly as a GW staffer, but certainly in a way that would help push sales for the shop. I would however keep my first key points as a mantra... A place people WANT to use and full game immersion on the quality of terrain!






Twas a great experience..!
That was wordy - sorry...

Monday, 7 December 2015

Opening a Gaming Store - Update 4!

Hi

Double post today... I feel like I didn't really put a final post up about on the Opening a Gaming a Store series I made. Once I actually opened I pretty much just moved over to facebook where I effectively ran the social media side of things.

Let me start off by saying I found the whole experience very challenging and one that if I could have kept going I would have. Being the owner of the property already, this was really only more of a lets see where it takes me as the shop was on the market. I basically wanted to make the place look tidy and have all the space used up. But also to actually see if there was an actual community in the local area! The nice thing is I bumped into a club that was run in my town I didnt even know about! 'The Yorkshire Renengades'. The founding member Rich Goss and I managed to use Siege and the renegades to build a flourishing and great community that both benefited Siege and The Renegades. We organised regular events for specific gaming or hobbying workshops that were always sold out. In fact I can safely say the only time the place wasent busy was about the first month, the rest of the time it was a busy hive of gaming! Great!

I have added some pics of the place in action.. RIP Siege Tabletop! Great times!! Thank you all!