The genesis of LXG
(go back to the previous part)
So, what was happening in the rest of the gaming world, while I was at Auran? The good news was that the Brisbane convention scene was still alive, with Auran continuing to sponsor the BIG weekend.
The bad news was that, in 2002 Tanelorn called it a day. Attendance at the club was not an issue; everything was still good there. However, the cost of insurance had sky-rocketed. The Tanelorn committee had always insisted on paying liability insurance to protect its members from injury claims and most venues required their users to have the appropriate level of insurance in place.
Tanelorn could no longer afford these costs and its members went their separate ways. I continued running a DnD campaign still as well as enjoying playing board games within my social network. I was continuing to play old favourites like “Battletech” and embrace the plethora of games coming out of Europe. But I missed the vibe of the club scene and had to wait another two years before LXG was to come together.
After Auran, I returned to working at the Queensland University of Technology, in the Law Faculty, but it took about six months to find that work. One of the good things that came out of that period of unemployment is that I began to seriously put my filing cabinet full of notes together about “Eldoria” and create a campaign setting that could be published. I had continually revised the background over twenty years and now I stripped out the things that didn’t work in order to create the final definitive version of my world. It wasn’t an easy task and I stumbled on writing and re- writing through 2003 and into 2004.
Now as years go, 2004 was a very good year. I had nearly finished the manuscript for what I was calling, “The Encyclopedia Eldoria” and I sent out a few feelers on web-based forums to see if anyone would like to publish my work. To my amazement, a small publishing group from the USA contacted me saying they would like to fund the printing of the book. I was soon under contract to deliver a finished product in 2005.
I needed an illustrator and was able to get Bob Jones, one of Auran’s best artists to agree to create images for the book. Bob’s work was complimented by a number of illustrations by Nigel Bell, who is one of LXG’s talented club members.
While all this was going on in the background, rumblings were underway to start a new club in Brisbane. Auran had finally gone under and the BIG weekend was in decline, however the club scene was being invigorated by the “Queensland Gamer’s Guild”, who had inherited the running of the event. They used profits from previous BIG events to run gaming tournaments and club nights. The old “Warhounds” club had imploded over another bought of political in-fighting and new miniatures clubs were evolving from their remains (clubs such as Blind Pig based at Mt. Gravatt).
Then, out of the blue, some of the miniatures enthusiasts who had joined Tanelorn, in its later years, approached some of the original Tanelorn members about restarting the club. The main interest of the miniatures people, Ken Rimmington and Adrian Roberts, was to have an association in place to run a new series of Warhammer tournaments in Brisbane.
The Queensland government had worked out some deal with insurers and the levels of public liability insurance needed for a non-profit association was reduced in 2004. Everyone got together to nut out a new kind of club; one that actively promoted gaming to families (as many of us now had younglings over six years of age).
We pondered over a new name and came up with nothing. Then, as the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” was on at the movies at the time, it was jokingly suggested we call, ourselves the “League of Extraordinary Gamers”. The name stuck and LXG was born.
I found a great venue at the Sleeman Sports Centre that was air-conditioned (gamers traditionally had to put up with Queensland summer humidity at venues that they played in). Relishing the prospect of playing in a cool venue, Ken and Adrian dubbed their new tournament ‘Air-Con’ and were very successful in attracting sizeable crowds to their events.
LXG was a hit and began to attract new members at each successive meeting. However, although the venue was great, there were many competing groups chasing the space and we ended up being moved to another place on the site because a fringe church group were willing to pay twice what we could afford. Then we started getting moved from that venue as well!.
At times other sporting events were scheduled there and it was a sporting complex after all. The constant moving of LXG around the Sleeman Sports Complex meant that membership dropped off. Without a constant location on the site, both people already in the club and potential new members, missed meetings as they couldn’t find us. It was time to move on to another location.
By chance, in 2005, I was attending an open day at Cavendish Road State High school; checking out the place as a possibility for my daughter’s future education. While my wife was interested in what facilities were available for my daughter to use at the school, I was interested in what facilities were available for LXG to use! The assembly hall looked great and after I phoned the administration and got the OK for us to store miniatures tabletops and games on-site, LXG moved from the Sleeman
Centre. And that’s where the club has been ever since.
LXG existed as primarily a miniatures club at that time, with a minority of members interested in board games and CCGs. The club hosted two tournament weekends each year; Legends of Summer and Legends of Winter. These were reincarnations of the old Air-Con event held at the Sleeman Centre and mainly catered for Warhammer enthusiasts (although there were few board game competitions in targeted titles). Winter Retreat was also a big part of the LXG calendar and the club was using the Storm King Dam facility at Stanthorpe from 2005-2009.
In 2007 I was successful in obtaining a $12,000 grant from the Queensland Government to purchase a library of board games and this really turned the club membership around. A selling point of LXG was that members could borrow games from the library. As a result, membership rose and the club’s focus began to lean more and more to board games.
Since 2007 LXG has won numerous grants for storage cabinets, computers, library software and more games. This has given me and all club members access to heaps of new titles. Favourites I have had over the past five years include Memoir 44, Ticket to Ride and Twilight Imperium.
Coming up next – the final installment!