Lock down one year one. It’s been a hell of a year.

One year ago we went online for the first time.

I had played coop shooter video games using Steam for voice chat and a handful of games of Keyflower on Board Game Arena, but March 2020 was new for all us. We had a charity day scheduled for the 28th March and we had 14 days to get it to work online. At that time I didn’t want to fail, little did I know quite how important going online was going to be for all of us and quite how much we were going to grow and change.

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Fundraising mug! July 2020… So long agon


Those first two weeks were hard. Board Game Arena and the other sites groaned and creaked under the weight of trapped gamers and went unstable and ‘paid for’ only. You couldn’t buy a web camera, microphone or toilet paper.  With a borrowed web camera we converted a number of games and streamed them via OBS Studio which is free software.  The added benefit of streaming was it kept things familiar and may have made the transition easier.  We had a fledging Discord site which has grown into an active community with multiple channels.

From that point we’ve grown, from two sessions a month and a few role playing games a year to where we are now in 2021 where there has only been three or four days a month without some kind of event.  Our community has run multiple role play games as well as adhoc gaming sessions. We’ve branched into quizzes and video games such as Jackbox and Among Us, always trying to vary the kind of games we play to make sure we entertain as many people as possible. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and appeared on the radio four times spreading the word of gaming and community

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Welcome to on Board Game arena



Our games library has grown from 30 titles to nearly 200 board games and 25 jigsaw puzzles, role play games, back issues of Tabletop Gaming magazine and more. The majority has come from personal donations from amazing people who could have sold their games but gave them to us instead. We’ve lent out 200 plus games for free and hopefully provided hours of fun and social interactions. www.herefordshireboardgamers.co.uk/library

Board game library March 2020 30 ish titles
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Board game, RPG, Puzzle and book library Feb 2021 210 titles
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Where our wonderful games have come from!
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Custom website we’ve created to support the games library


We’ve played over 30 RPG systems! Before you heard of Herefordshire Board Gamers could you name 30 board games and / or RPGs!

Alice is missing, Alien, Are you my soul mate? Call of Chtulhu, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Cyber Punk classic, Delta Green Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeon World, Fiasco, Forget about it, Heart of the dungeon, Honey Heist, Hostile, Hypertellions, Last Fleet, Masks, Mork Bork, Mothership, Mutant year zero, Parslings, Savage worlds Adventurer and Explorer, Short lived Shenanigans, Soul mates., View scream, Warhammer Fantasy role play, We are room mates now and Zombie World.

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Celebratory art work for our weekly Warhammer Fantasy roleplay game which has only missed one week since April 2020

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www.codename.game An amazing website which appeared a few months in



We’ve attracted international gamers and our online events have seen us reconnect with gamers we only met up with at conventions. We haven’t cancelled a single event and instead of 30 events we’ve held over 200, with fully public events almost every week. Our fundraising has continued and we’ve raised £2642.56 This has been via quizzes, raffles, and general donations as all of our events are free and we aim to keep them that way. This is our second best 12 months ever!

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Cubirds on Boardgame arena one of the latest games on there


More importantly we’ve provided games, community and social support for all of you. I know a lot of us have struggled, with a number of us having severe mental health incidents and how much regular gaming sessions have helped.

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Our Raffle pool for December 2020



The last twelve months have been hard, but as a community we’ve worked amazingly well together. I am incredibly proud of what we’ve done and the good work we’ve achieved and the skills we have developed. Everyone should be proud of how they have contributed towards this great community. We’ve worked with other communities, shared resources and written more guides.

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The Route of our Year long community exercise challenge taking in various games events and clubs- which we have nearly completed already

I’ve definitely missed those folks who haven’t been able to enjoy or partake in online games.
We will meet again in person when it is safe to do so, and we will stay online as well as that is more accessible for many.

What will the next 6 months hold? We are going to hold our May event online again and try to play as many games as we can and raise money for Herefordshire Mind. Our birthday party in July will also be online. From that point forward we will look to see how we can meet safely in person and starting planning for May 2022 and the biggest. damn charity event / mini convention we can run.

As ever we welcome your support, feedback and ideas, this community is ours.

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Telestrations / Scrawl Online
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Telestrations / Scrawl Online

Charity Game day Sunday and Library update

Charity games day this Saturday 11am to late. Free entry but please donate if you like what we do. Mind is a great charity.

We aren’t planning any raffles or anything fancy but there will be a mix of games and some side RPGs and we are looking at Table Top Simulator and some of the longer games as well.

Our library now stands at 200 ish titles. 53 are loaned out (which is amazing!) that only leave 150 amazing games and puzzles left to borrow 🙂 !

Huge thanks to all of the individuals and companies who have donated games and let our library grow from 33 one year ago to 200 titles!


Please note we have up to 4 copies of some games and some games include expansions so the actual figure is 200.

We have also spent a lot of time revamping the library to make it as easy to use as possible.

Clearer age and accessibility ranges

New tags for types of games, only Lunchtime so far, do you have any suggestions for tag?

All feedback is welcome.

Board games in Schools / Time is precious

Time.

Time is a precious commodity in schools, and in life. So often we feel rushed off our feet, never pausing to breath, bundling from one day to the next desperately hoping to keep up.

Time.

Lockdown and the closure of schools has brought with it numerous challenges, both mentally and physically, but there are some glimmers of light through the overcast skies. One of these rays has been time. I have been working at my school, delivering online lessons, yet I still have regular lunch and break duties, and spend Thursday afternoons working directly with the vulnerable and key worker students who are in school. It is the highlight of the week. Actual interaction! In a desperate attempt to minimise on-screen time for the students (and myself!!), we have been playing a lot of table tennis, and playing games outside. However, the weather has not always been kind these last few weeks…enter board games.

I love board games, and started bringing in a few of my own each week to play with the students in during wet play and during our Thursday afternoons. Carcassone, Hive, and Azul all went down well (our Principal is an Azul enthusiast!), and the students started bringing in their own family favourites; Monopoly Go, Forbidden Island and Bananagrams all saw plenty of table time. Even when the sun began to shine again, the requests began to be for indoor games, rather than outdoor games.

Yet, we started to exhaust our small collection. Quite out of the blue, I saw an advert for Coiled Spring Games on Facebook, and thought their collection of simple, colourful and fast games would be perfect. I chanced my arm and emailed asking if they would be able to donate any spares for the students to play. I expected nothing back. Lo and behold, a reply. Of course, it said, happy to help. A few days later, a huge box turned up. And I mean huge. Like, moving house box big. It was chock full of ‘ding and dent’ games, but they were in perfect working order. Kingdomino, Sushi Go, Go Nuts for Donuts, Dragonwood, Harry Potter 3D puzzles and more. Sushi Go has become a firm favourite, and I have played so much Kingdomino in recent weeks I fear I may judge the value of everything by how many crowns it has on it from now on. The games went down so well that staff have been borrowing them at weekends to introduce to their own families. Coiled Spring’s generosity was truly touching.

Board games have filled our days with colour, when the world outside has seemed so bleak. The students have gone off and strategised between break and lunch about whether it is best to go for the Sushimi or Maki Rolls in Sushi Go, or whether it is better to get lots of low value dominoes, or wait and go for the smaller number of more valuable ones. Education at its finest, totally student driven.

Board games are for everyone and can offer enjoyment and a blessed escape from the world around us with life, colour, diversity and friendly competition. I am grateful to take part in a hobby that brings people together, when the world seems so desperate to push us apart.

Cheers,

Tom

Quiz night Saturday 6th 7.30 and January Updates

2021! So far we are kicking ass what do you want to see next?

Only 6 days have gone by without some kind of hb event. 14 different rpg systems played

We have launched our paint and chill and will do more paint alongs.
We are going to add video game sessions back on.
More quizzes.
More rpgs.
More social evenings including get to know via Sussed or similar.
Summer secret santa.

When we can I want to restart in person games but that won’t be until it is safe and we do a great night.

Last night on discord we discussed other gatherings like going for a meal or roller skating. I know its a way of but things to look forward to.

Give me your ideas and also take ownership and organise something, we will support you. I have a great team of helpers who keep the calendar full.

Quiz night hosted by guess Quiz master Ed this saturday!

Guide on running games days

I’ve just published a guide. On running games clubs. Without bragging what we do here is exceptional, for a small relatively poor rural county we punch way above our weight.

We are inclusive, we raise money for charity, we have a free lending library and we try very hard to listen and react to people want changing and adapting as must. This is down to all of us, we are special and i want you to know it, appreciate and help us stay that way. Thank you so much!

The library wouldn’t exist without probably £1000 of donated board games by individuals, the games nights wouldn’t exist without you lovely lot teaching games and making a great atmosphere.

With out being negative most clubs are not like us. Each will have their own drive focus and personality, if you do go to any other club give it a go if it doesn’t suit you please try another club. Clubs vary as much board games do. Unfortunately I’ve seen a good number of clubs go into hibernation or stagnation over the last 12 months.

I’d love your thoughts on the guide and how we run HB.

Extra game days 24th and 30th

Extra game days on 24 and 30 of January

Role play games update

Off to an amazing start to 2021 for RPGs.

So far we have played Zombie World, Are you my Soul Mate, ‘a fantasy homebrew’, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, Bride for Dracula and Alice is missing,

Schedules for the next week or two. Fiasco, Fuggetabout it, Alien, Remember Tomorrow and Mothership.

Thats 11 different RPGs in January if not more. We did 16 different RPGs in 2020! 2021 could be amazing

In the Pipe Line we have Mork Bork, Warhammer Goblins and Halloween, Last Fleet (Powered by the Apocalypse) and Parselings and another round of Alien.

What next folks? We’ve updated our tags on here and rearranged discord to make it tidier.

What do you want to run?

What do you want to play?

This image is our 8 month weekly campaign of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play. It features left to right. Halfling Thief / outlaw / Boatman. Human Warden / Hunter. Human Apothecary / Nun of Shallaya, Human Stevedore / Bounty hunter and Halfing Smuggler / Spy / Student.In the background Able the Gravedigger. Image created in Heroforge

2020 look back and 2021 look forward

Happy new year all.

I am going to list some of our achievements but i want to say this first. Everyone who is still here is winning. 2020 has been a hard year, a lot harder for some so please don’t feel bad if you feel like you have not achieved much.I am immensely proud of the HB community / family.

We’ve pushed hard and grown 2020 has shaken us out of our comfort zone. We’ve learned how to play board games and video games online both socially and technology. We’ve kept our amazing friendly culture and welcomes many many new faces.

We’ve empowered encouraged and support people into teaching their first game, playing their first rpg and running their first RPG.I hope our furious busyness has entertained those who haven’t wanted to take part directly.A few stats.We hope a minimum of 1623 smiles across over 200 days!

51 board game sessions

65 Public RPG sessions of 16 different systems by 7 different story tellers

80 Private RPG sessions (atleast!)*

9 video game nights and

2 quiz nights.

That’s 127 free public events up from 30 in 2019! (208 total free events) We’ve entertained around 1137 people up from 694 in 2019 (1623 including private RPGs)We’ve raised £2000 since March (technically down from £3131 in 2019 but that is all online and without the huge MAY day which raised £2245 in 12 hours). £8500 in four and a half yearsBare in mind we only turned it up to 11 In late march, Thats 208 **(ish) days of this year we’ve run something fun and free! Our lending library has gone from 10 items to 150 and be lend out over 120 times.

Thank you all so much for everything you’ve done to help us.Who knows what 2021 will bring, we’ll aim to play once a week, keep on with atleast 2 rpg oneshots. We will restart in person when it is safe to do so and we will continue online to help keep all the wonderful people who can’t get into hereford for what ever reason regulary. I am looking forward to doing another huge charity event wtih 100 plus people and seeing everyone playing games. Please keep sharing and liking our posts and supporting us on social media that is key to share the wonderful hobby

*By private RPG i mean an ongoing campaign with no room for new people to join so exclusive by nature rather than inclusive. There are 4 active campaigns with the close community and 4 outside of that I’ve not counted.** A few days have simultaneous events on

Have a beer and celebrate what ever you hecking can! What was your highlight?

Christmas Eve Gaming and fund raising

We are running a game day on Christmas eve and probably a few more, We’ve lots of role play games onto.

We have raised £580 in December
£1967.31 since lock down
£8500
 raised in four years!
£9500 raised in six years!*For Herefordshire Mind

You are awesome thank you so much!
https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HerefordshireBoardgamers

*the last £1000 was for NSPCC and predates HB, but includes most of the original HB committee.

Raffle and Quiz, huge prize haul

Here is most of our Winter 2020 Spring 2021 prize haul raising money for Herefordshire Mind

Not shown are:
our mugs / coasts.
More snacks for the hamper
3d printed Dice tower
3d printer standard thingy of your choice.
Me running you an rpg or game night.
Signed poster.
Beer

Some of the items have box damage but all are brand new.

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Please use the existing donation page. Any donations from today will be entered as a £2 raffle ticket. Please put Christmas as part of your message. (Technicallly.. you shouldn’t add gift aid, but firstly this is a donation to mind with the small option to win….)Donation links for both below https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HerefordshireBoardgamers

RAFFLE CLOSES (CLOSES MIDNIGHT 20/12/12)
QUIZ CLOSES 9PM 18/12/12

The quiz is free entry but if you donate atleast £2 you get to enter the prize draw. There will be a prize for the highest score and a few others so everyone stands a chance of winning (if you donate)Prizes will be broken down into lots and the winner picks what they want. We will give away a number of prizes based on the total donations. Left other prizes will be rolled over to future events. An exception to picking your prize is where we have a sell or use by date. Prizes can be posted / possibly delivered we can work out who pays costs.

Please share the heck out of it. This is a huge haul of prizes with a low entry point.The team has worked hard this year and i hope we’ve helped. Let’s give this a huge push to end the year on an amazing story. There are plenty of non gamers prizes so please share this.
I will need to be able to link people’s donations to prizes so please post here if you donate or message me.I would love to raise around £100 to push our post fund covid fund raising to £1500!

Link to the main gallery here https://www.facebook.com/media/set?set=oa.435445474283837&type=3