On this post, I'll talk a little about our local gaming club, the "Tropas Polares" (Polar Troops). I live in Curitiba, in the State of Paraná, where temperatures are usually low, compared to rest of the country. Not so low as to snow on winters (at least, not often!), but in a tropical country such as mine, its cold enough to earn us the fame of having a "polar" wheater.
In Brazil we don't have gaming stores such as in Europe and North America, which means there are no places you can just go, pick a table and play with a random dude you've never seen before. It also means everything you want to purchase hobby-wise, must be ordered abroad, and is subject to high shipping costs, taxes, and postal delays (!).
As for playing, this circunstance is both good and bad. It's bad because, well, "there are no places you can just go, pick a table and play with a random dude". On the other side, it makes the community grow closer, as we usually need to meet up in somebody's house to play, and everybody get to know each other and become friends. We are few, after all.
For several years, this was what our group used to do: one of us would open his house to host our games. This is obviously not the best of worlds, as space was always limited, there was family around, nowhere to store our terrain, and very often the hoster would have to cancel the event on short notice due to some family issue and so. It was quite problematic.
A year and a half ago, we decided to join up and rent a room for our club, with expenses shared by all through monthly contributions to the club, as with any de facto association. It has being like a golden age for us since then.
We've since acquired a lot of new scenery and other improvements, all made possible by the constant influx of cash to the club, and have seen the number of new members and people interested in the hobby increase exponentially.
Here are a few pictures of our club. It's located on an old comercial building downtown, and is about 70m2, big enough to confortably accommodate six tables and to store our ever growing collection of terrain.
And here are some pics of us. This first picture below is from about 3 years ago, I believe, and was taken on the backyard of one of our members (the guy on black shirt, crouching down on the far right of the photo). The strikingly handsome fellow on the white/green striped shirt is me, when I still had short hair.
Having our own room also allowed us to hold tournaments, which we now do quite often, for games such as Warhammer 40k, X-Wing and Warmachine.
Occasionally, our tournaments are joined by folks from clubs located in other cities. The pic below, for instance, is from our last 40k tournament, held this year. The guys wearing white are members of a gaming club in São Paulo, the "Clube Paulista de Wargames", and travelled to our state to take part on the event. Always nice to have guest gamers around!
We also promote painting workshops every now and then, where newcomers have the opportunity to learn some basic techniques and get started with painting their stuff.
And speaking of painting, just recently a new member joined our sacred fellowship, a guy that has being collecting armies of Warhammer 40k for some years, now, and is very skilled at both painting and converting miniatures. He happens to have a blog, as well, and I strongly suggest you take a look: Evil Fluffy Creatures
All in all, the hobby has been growing a lot in my country over the last years. Despite all the trouble we take to have access to our plastic crack, we manage to work it out and keep going, always expanding the community of gamers and the awareness about this great hobby that is moving little soldiers on a table and rolling dice!
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