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Created On: 2019-02-28 01:05:23
Members: 83
  • Mike Smith
    United Kingdom
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Description Edit | History

A small convention at Thirlmere in Cumbria centred on playing board wargames and multiplayer games. The first event was held from the 22nd-24th February 2019. The second event was October 25th-27th 2019, and the third 20th to 23rd February 2020. From 29th October to November 1st 2020, with Covid restrictions in force, we held a small online event, with about 14 people participating.

When we can go back to face-to-face it will be a 4-day event, running from a Thursday to a Sunday.

There is a date booked for the 2021a Unthirl:
2021a 18th February to 21st February. I am not formally cancelling it. The hall booking stands for the time being but I don't really expect it to happen, though there might be something online.
There is a date booked for the 2021b Unthirl:
2021b Thursday 3rd June to 6th June. I think we will be OK by then, but nothing is certain under the sun and moon...
There is a date booked for 2021c Unthirl:
October 28th to 31st October.

Members: please feel free to start threads that are relevant and of interest!

Members: please feel free to add other events that may be of interest to members in the calendar below.

Please use the following thread for general chitchat about the next Unthirl. It is in the Wargames forum not the Guild because it is likely to attract more newcomers there:

More Information Edit | History

Geeklist for Unthirl 2019a
Geeklist for Unthirl 2019b
Geeklist for Unthirl 2020a
Geeklist for Unthirl 2020b (online)

The Unthirl Declaration, or What kind of con am I trying to hold?
- A friendly, easy-going gathering in a beautiful setting; one that is all about the company and the gaming.
- An event that is low-cost for attenders, with basic accommodation and self-catering facilities available for those that want them.
- An event that is as inclusive as a niche event can be (see next point!).
- An event that is intended primarily for wargames and multiplayers. There is no ban on other types of games - and multiplayer is a broad church (as is wargame for that matter, though some would not have it so). However, I do want this event to have a distinctive character.
- An event that is low-maintenance and non-profitmaking; I don't want to have to stake too much of my own money and time in getting it off the ground, and during the weekend I do want to get to play and not spend all my time running things.
- Attendees will primarily organise their own games. I think the best mix is of some pre-arranged games sorted out beforehand, with rules prepped, but with plenty of room left for spontaneity. I recognise that it is pretty fruitless to try to engineer such a perfect balance. Attendees should pay some mind to making sure that nobody is left gameless.

The mini-con runs from 9am on the Thursday till 4pm on the Sunday. The location: Thirlmere Recreation Hall, Cumbria, UK, CA12 4TW. Its right at the intersection of the A591 and the B5322.
The price is just enough to cover my costs, and payable in cash on arrival - it was £14.00 for the whole 4 day weekend, sleeping in, in February 2020 (£11.00 for those in own accom.). It was £5 for attending just for one day. The more that attend the less I will charge per person. I aim to make a small donation to the Hall too, above the hire charge (its a community asset and a charity). In Oct 2019 I donated £30.
You can sleep in the hall on your own campbed/mat (maximum of 24 persons), and there are 2 showers in the hall. You can instead stay in a B&B (there are a few within a few metres, and loads in Keswick 4 miles away). There is a hotel with bar and restaurant 800 metres away. There is room for quite a few tents right next to the hall, and the car-park gives ample space if you were to bring a camper van.
There is a self-catering kitchen in the hall itself. I will buy in a stock of basics such as teabags, coffee, milk, sugar, bread, butter, and choccie biscuits, the cost of which will be included in the entry price, and which will be available for all to use. I will lay on a meal such as curry, chili, or the like, for those that want it for a small extra cost (it was £2.20 in February 2020) on the Saturday evening. The nearest shops and takeaways are 4 miles away in Keswick.
The location is superb. You are a few hundred metres from Thirlmere lake. There is a small hill overlooking the lake that takes only about 30 minutes to go up from the Hall itself, but which has stunning views (5 of us went up on the Saturday morning in Feb 2019). For the more ambitious, hill-wise, the path up Helvellyn starts about 1km away. Surrounding you are beautiful fells. The convention would really suit someone taking an outdoors holiday just before or after the gaming weekend. It would also really suit a gamer who had a partner who likes the outdoors, but (war-)gaming less so!
The closest B&Bs are right by the Hall:
The Lodge in the Vale, Thirlmere.

Transport: obviously car is easiest. If you want to come by rail you need to bear in mind that you will arrive at Penrith (there are rail alternatives which I will come to in a minute) with 15 miles still to go, and you will need a plan to get over that beforehand. There is a bus from Penrith to Keswick, and you could then change to the 555 bus which will drop you off virtually right at the door of the Hall. Here are two rail alternatives which might connect better depending on your arrival time; go to Carlisle and catch the bus from there to Keswick, again changing onto the 555; or, get to my home town, Wigton, by rail (changing at Carlisle) and I will bring you on - obviously this only works if you can get here before about 8.25 on the morning of Day 1, though I would certainly be willing to put up one or two on the night before. Please bear in mind that you need a plan for getting away on the final day too!
At the dire risk of getting too idealistic on you, I would say that we are a community of sorts, and that includes those who want to come but have not yet done so. In view of that I believe that attenders could try to help others by arranging car shares, stop-offs to pick up etc. In particular, Penrith is a natural funnel point for car users and so it should be very possible to fix things up with prospective rail attenders.

There is no wi-fi in the Hall itself, though there are signals that you can probably hook onto only a few paces away. Mobile signals are non-existent or poor at best, though again a stroll away from the Hall may improve that a little. Looking on the bright side that means you will probably have opponents who are not buried in their phones.

I think the hall can handle up to 45 or so. Above that I will have to find a new location.... actually an unbearable thought since the current one is so wonderful. If we do have to change venue at some future date then Unthirl can easily become Unfurl...
There were 23 playing attenders for 2019a.
There were 25 playing attenders for 2019b.
There were 30 playing attenders for 2020a.
There were 14 players for the online 2020b.

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