Day 81 of Year 2020…

2020 huh.  The year of the Critical Hit etc etc.  It’s certainly going to be one for the history books for the saddest of reasons.  The next few months are going to be really challenging for everyone and I hope you’re all keeping safe and staying well.

I’d like to focus on what effect COVID-19 has had on the tabletop games hobby for this post.

Conventions –

AireCon went ahead.  I opted against going, asthmatic and all that.
Conpulsion has been cancelled.
UK Games Expo has moved to the August dates for Tabletop Scotland (in consultation with us).
GenCon is hanging in there but I have serious doubts it’ll go ahead or more accurately if I’ll be able to get there.  Given the impact on the airline industry there might not be a flight for me to get on.
Tabletop Scotland has re-scheduled to the 10th & 11th October.
Glasgow Games Festival date hasn’t been announced yet but I expect they’ll be mid-November as usual.

Beyond that a lot of conventions have naturally cancelled.  I maintain a Google Sheet with all the UK & Ireland Board Game & RPG conventions on it if you want to see.

Game Stores –

If there was ever a time for you to support brick & mortar game stores, now is that time.
You can support by contacting them to see if you can buy stuff and get them to post it out to you.
As well as being employers, these businesses are crucial to the community they serve.  If you can’t support them financially ask them how you can help and encourage others to do the same.

Here’s a list of the Scottish based brick & mortar stores that we compiled for Tabletop Scotland 2019.

Aberdeen ABZ Games
Aberdeen Asylum Books & Games
Aberdeen Plan 9
Airdrie The Last Outpost
Ayr Unboxed Gaming Café
Cumbernauld   Castle Comics
Dundee Highlander Games
Dunfermline Little Shop Of Heroes
Edinburgh Black Lion Games
Edinburgh Edinburgh Game Hub
Edinburgh Geek Retreat
Edinburgh Murphy’s Vault
Edinburgh Noughts & Coffees
Edinburgh Red Dice Games
Elgin The Pop Shop
Falkirk Geeks & Games
Glasgow Geek Retreat
Glasgow Geek-Aboo
Glasgow Lucky Sparrow
Glasgow Max XP
Glasgow Static Games
Glasgow West End Games
Hamilton Settlers
Inverness Ellerium Games
Kirkcaldy Kingdom Comics & Games
Lanark Knightly Gaming
Largs Bus Stop Toy Shop
Paisley Comicrazy Café
Perth Big Dog Books
Stirling Common Ground Games

Community –

This hobby is all about socialising with others whilst playing games and when that ability to socialise is limited or even removed entirely it can be very difficult.

I’ve never been in a situation like this before and whilst I know that between my family and other things I can keep myself busy and entertained, I will miss playing games and socialising with others.

So how does someone tackle that?

Play online.  Get organised as a group and get online together.  If you meet up at the same time every week or fortnight then try and get people to do the same but online.  It won’t be the same but it will be better than not doing it at all.  It’s not something I’ve done but it is something I will explore.

RPGs –

Wizards Of The Coast recently published this article – – and whilst it’s Dungeons & Dragons centric it’s useful in general for all RPG players and those looking to explore that.
In there they mention Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds as well as chat/video tools like Discord, Zoom and Skype.  It’s worth noting that there are other online RPG platforms like Astral and D20Pro which offer similar functionality to Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.  Try them out and see which one works best for you.

Update – Chaosium have also published an article –

Board Games –

There are several options here and I won’t list them all mainly because I’ll end up forgetting something.  So here’s 5 I found whilst searching online –

Whilst many of these RPG & Board Game online platforms have free versions be aware that their services are seeing huge spikes in players and that by buying a license, not only are you getting more functionality, you’re enabling the companies involved to provide a better service overall.  So if you can, do.

Closing out this post I hope everyone stays safe and well over the next few weeks and months.  Let me know how you’re dealing with this exceptional circumstance and get in touch if I can help.