Last Stand's Journey
Last Stand started when a group of Games Workshop players needed a new place to play as the small Games Workshop shop was no longer suitable. Of course the Games Workshop store was rebranded Warhammer and is now located on Westlegate.
The start was a casual one with everyone meeting up to play games on a Thursday night at a venue called Battlenet. It was not long before formalising into a club was needed to make sure the group had enough boards and terrain to provide a good playing environment.
The Battlenet and Munchies Era
Battlenet era tournament - January 2009
2008 is when the club came into being properly with its first committee of individuals. With their guidance, the club flourished. Boards were made, terrain built and we even hosted some small local tournaments and got many new members involved in the hobby. Many others played a large role in helping out with several serving on the committee for periods of time.
Unfortunately, the good times were not to last, and in 2010 Battlenet shut its doors for good. Taken togethe with a change of committee, this led to a turbulent year for Norwich Last Stand.
After a very brief stop location of Starywn Games we moved on to Johns Café Munchies which was just under the old Battlenet venue in the heart of Norwich city centre. It was with the wonderful help of the owner of Battlenet we came here, having had some fractious moments in deciding to move on from Starwynn in the first instance. At Munchies, we had some of our best times over the years but it was still tough going as we had to accommodate 15-20 people on 5 tables. In the end a difficult decision was reached and by majority vote we moved to the York Tavern near the Golden Triangle in 2012.
York Tavern Era
York Tavern era tournament - July 2012
York Tavern was a bit dark given we always seemed to have issues with the lightbulbs! Sometimes parking was an issue but, the landlord was wonderfully accommodating, giving Norwich Last Stand the space for 8 boards. Of course, beer and booze with gaming is not to be sneezed at either! York Tavern was our first step back into doing tournaments since the Battlenet days. We hosted several events including a team competition between all the Norwich clubs.
Like with Battlenet all good things come to an end. The landlord's time was up and the York Tavern was going to be closed for an uncertain amount of time so we upped sticks for our current venue, the Alec Bussey Scout Centre, tucked away just outside the city centre.
Alec Bussey Scout Centre Era
The 8th of January 2015 was officially Norwich Last Stand's first night at the Alec Bussey Scout Centre. With little doubt, this is Norwich Last Stand's best venue yet with space for 20+ games at once, and that capacity has been used to great effect for three of the bigger Warhammer 40,000 Tournaments in Norfolk with the best prize support in the country.
While we have had some setbacks along the way, overall we have continued to go from strength to strength with new terrain and ideas. Norwich Last Stand has, and continues to promote the hobby through bringing like minded people together and providing a place to play tabletop and role play games.
Typical Club Night - June 2019.
In August 2019, Norwich Last Stand hosted a Warhammer 40,000 event in the format of a friendly doubles tournament to raise awareness and funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. This was following severe injuries suffered by the club's president in June 2018, which left him in hospital for ten weeks, five of which were spent in a coma. We worked tirelessly with local businesses and other gaming clubs and venues to host this event as a collaboration. Fortunately, he is a Necron, so successfully reanimated; more details are availabe here.
The day itself included lots of amazing games of Warhammer 40,000, a very generous pool of sponsored przes and some amazing cakes baked by several members' partners. Over £1,000 was raised and left an appetite for future such collaborations too! It goes to show what can be achieved when a community comes together around the same cause. Some photos from the event can be viewed here
A chant of "Blood for the blood god, skulls for the skull throne!" after raising over £1,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance in August 2019.
As of late 2019, Norwich Last Stand has continued to go from stength to strength, seeing a substantial growth in regular players and members. The club continues to pride itself on its informal approach to gaming as a community run non-profit organisation with no annual membership subsciption, offering flexibility for gamers. Norwich Last Stand continues to grow its impressive collection of terrain and battle mats, available for use on a Thursday evening club night.
2020 proved a difficult year for all as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world and Last Stand closed its doors for much of the year and part of 2021. We were also making preparations to host and run the second Fury in the Galactic Core charity event, this time for Norfolk and Waveney Mind, as voted by the members. Of course though, it is a club's members which make it what it is, and it has been amazing to see members supporting each other and continue their hobby work and play games in different formats too. We hope to reopen sometime in 2021, and if all goes well, run the charity tournament for Norfolk and Waveney Mind.