Geeklist for Unthirl 2019a
Geeklist for Unthirl 2019b
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 £11.50 for the whole 3 day weekend, sleeping in, in October 2019 (£8.50 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 October 2019) 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:
The Lodge in the Vale, Thirlmere.
Transport: obviously car is easiest, but rail to Penrith is easy enough. From there somebody would likely give you a lift, or you could go by bus to Keswick and be picked up from there. If you want to come I will try to make sure you can get the last 15 miles from Penrith rail station somehow.
There is no wi-fi in the Hall, and mobile signals are non-existent or poor at best. On the other hand that means you will 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.