This article is designed to be a beacon of hope for the 2021 year! 2020 and Covid 19 killed off all of the conventions, most of tournament play, hell even killed off in person games for most of the year. With vaccines, social distancing, and masking, it looks like we will hopefully turn the corner. Get back to that “normal”.
Unfortunately, Covid 19 had other casualties as well. In 2020, we saw the death of Guild ball. Guild Ball was killed off probably to save money and resources during hard financial times. I am rather spiteful about this decision by Steamforged Games. However, I respect and do not begrudge them. They are a business that is trying to stay alive during hard times. We should all feel lucky that other games like Malifaux, X-Wing, MCP, Infinity, and many more are still alive towards the end of this pandemic.
So what now?
I encourage gaming groups to safely start playing in person again. Obviously, if you are an at risk person, you may want to still self-isolate from society. As more people get vaccinated and the numbers go down, it is time to start playing in real life. The cool thing about tabletop gaming, is you can play in different locations. Go and support your local game store, play in a brewery, your friends house, large venues, etc. This is a social game, so get off Tabletop Simulator and vassal. Go where the people are!
Obviously we are not going to have huge conventions with thousands of people crammed shoulder to shoulder. I do believe that there are going to be conventions that will run at 50%. In South Carolina, they are running their SC ComiCon in April. To protect from Covid they are operating at 50%, requiring masks, no panels or cosplay contest, and more precautions are being taken. We can adapt and be safe and still live our lives.
Here are some adjustments that you may need to make when playing games in public. Wear a mask, especially if the store or establishment requires it. I don’t see this going away until Summertime. Bring plenty of hygiene products to events. This includes things like hand sanitizer and wetwipes. The next thing is a social norm that I have tried to live by in the tabletop world….. don’t touch your opponent’s miniatures. This is something I try to do because I know that I don’t like it when people are fumbling their fingers all over my miniatures. We spend a lot of time painting these things… Now there’s another reason to not touch your opponent’s miniatures…. Covid! The last adjustment that tournament organizers need to make? Limit tournament sizes. I know that our local game store can’t be much more than 1200 square feet. We have tables spaced apart and reduced seating. This means that our tournaments and leagues won’t have more than 4 to 5 tables going. Anything more than that would be irresponsible. You need to talk with your group and store owners to see how many players you can safely include in your tournaments?
The advice that I will give to gamers, get out and game. Gaming with friends is what motivates me to list build. My friends and fellow nerds motivate me to paint my models! They motivate me to create content for the Rage Quit Wire Podcast. Without people and socializing, tabletop gaming and the hobby dies. Keep it alive, keep your stores open, and enjoy being with people. Just be safe and responsible about it.