Flames of War Hobby League!

Ian O'Brien

Hello, fans of small tanks and tiny soldiers!

Starting mid-July, JustPlay will be running the official Flames of War Hobby League from Battlefront Miniatures. Regulars to the store will know that we've had a small but dedicated following for Flames of War for quite a while but don't currently stock the game - that's about to change, and it's all been inspired by the fantastic in-store play that Battlefront have planned for their game!

There are two boxes packed full of stuff!

 

The Hobby League kit is seriously impressive, and we honestly think it's one of the best kits we've seen. It comes with Limited Edition cards, tokens, objectives, and even deck boxes sized perfectly to fit the Flames of War unit cards. Read on to find out how you can get your hands on some!

The idea behind the Hobby League is that you slowly build up to a full-size, 100 point Flames of War D-Day Army (that's Late War, for those of you who know what that means) . In late October, OnTableTop - formerly known as Beasts of War - will be running a global Flames of War campaign, and as the Hobby league ends that campaign will begin. The Hobby League will prepare you for this campaign, and you'll be ready to join in the global fight for freedom! But that's not all; during the hobby league you can earn "Tactical Edge" cards which you can save up for your games in the global campaign, too, giving you advantages when you need them most.

Every week starting on 14th August, JustPlay will hold a Hobby League night on Wednesday. League players will meet for games, and earn achievements (see below) that work towards helping them in the campaign. Games can be played at any size (and if you want to play mid-war instead of late-war, we're not going to stop you), which means it's easy for you to play with what you have as you work up to your full 100 point force. Each week we'll recommend a points value for games but you can play whatever you like - the focus is on cool armies and having fun playing the campaign together. 

A tracker up on the wall in the shop for everyone to record their progress!

 

During the Hobby League, you will earn points on a points tracker for painting units for your army, up to a total of 100. The following limited edition goodies are up for grabs...

  • 50 points painted: A set of D-Day themed Movement Order and Mission Cards
  • 75 points painted: A set of D-Day themed acrylic Tokens
  • 100 points painted: A D-Day themed Deck Box

In addition to scoring points for painted units, you can also score various achievements. Every 5 achievements that you earn will give you access to one tactical edge card that you can use in the global campaign. You earn an achievements each time you do any of the following:

  • Attend Hobby League night - 1 achievement
  • Post a picture (or 10) of Hobby League night on Instagram - 1 point
  • Buy and paint a new unit (in addition to painting points) - 1 achievement
  • Bring a friend to Hobby League night - 1 achievement
  • Bring a table's worth of terrain to Hobby League night - 2 achievements
  • Teach a new player to play the game - 2 achievement
  • Attend a hobby league tournament (more on these later) - 5 achievements

At the end of the campaign, we'll also have cool awards for players with particularly high achievement scores... more on this as the campaign develops.

Does this sound awesome? We're not done yet!

 

In Early September, Battlefront will be releasing a special D-Day campaign pack that will become part of the Hobby League. Each game will form part of a campaign and have an effect on what game you play next. Also, each player will be able to choose an "ace" in their force, who will gain experience and skills during the campaign too! We can't wait to see this and get more details.

And last but by no means least, at a couple of points during the campaign we will run narrative tournament days linked to the Hobby League. These will award attendees with 5 achievements points as mentioned above, as well as tie into the Hobby League and give everyone a chance to test their mettle against other officers. The Hobby league kits comes with some very awesome D-Day themed objective markers to use as prizes for these events, so they'll be one to make sure you don't miss!

Are you as excited about this as we are? Head on over to Flames of War at JustPlay and grab your starter set, models and books - and get ready for the best campaign you'll play in 2019!

 

 

 

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Mythic Qualifier Update

Ian O'Brien

Hi Magic Players,

As you may have heard, the Mythic Qualifier weekend that we are running on 3rd/4th August has suffered from extremely poor ticket sales. It's pretty difficult to put our fingers on exactly why this was, but let me give you some background for context.

When we were first introduced to the idea of Mythic Qualifiers, the steer that we were given can be summed up as Wizards wanting these events to feel like a "Mini Magicfest". They had a 226 player cap which was thought to be a sure sellout. We were invited to tender our proposition for the event, so we set about figuring out what we could do to make an event which was essentially a modern-era PTQ feel like something special. We chose a great venue, we contacted a couple of singles traders, we organised side events and most of all, we looked at a level of entry fee + prizes that would make the event feel like there was something real to be won. The upshot of all of this was a £55 entry fee with a flight and cases of Magic boosters, plus more boosters for high-finishing records.

We were pretty unsure of this level of entry fee as it was high, but in order to offer the levels of prize support that we felt we had to, this was where the entry fee needed to settle. The break-even point on this event was very high, and we weren't even sure we would hit it; as it happened, the events around the country were not as successful as Wizards expected them to be. Whilst Spain, Italy and other bastions of Magic to whose standards we are regularly held sold out multiple events, the UK was running in the +-150 bracket. We made some money on the first event - about £50-100 - and we didn't account for staff meals and drinks during the day in there, so overall we probably lost some. On a 120-odd man Magic tournament with a £55 entry fee.

We took player feedback from that tournament. It was, from the players who were there, overwhelmingly positive, but still there was a feeling that the price was a little too high from a lot of corners. That left us in a tough position; less entry fee = less prizes = less attractive event. It felt like a lose/lose situation.

Then, we were asked if we wanted to run another event. This time it was to be Modern, the UK's favourite format. We figured this would be a good chance to try again. We spoke to multiple competitive modern playgroups across the UK, solicited feedback on prizes. People didn't want boosters. Cash came up a bunch of times. We rolled with that and even ran the exact prize structure past a few people, who told us they thought it was great. They told us they'd love to play. We reduced the entry fee down to £47.50 for early bird, we added a higher percentage of that as prize pool than we did for our first event. Our break-even point went up again, but with 120-odd players for Standard, we figured that this would be fine for Modern. Our expectations seemed reasonable.

We sold less than 80 tickets across two events.

Let that sink in for a second. The UK's "most popular" competitive format, a format that we all were worried was going to have support dropped a couple of years ago, has finally gotten big competitive events back that the community has been asking for since PTQs were abolished, sold 80 tickets. We didn't see it coming. Nobody did. And honestly, I don't really know what to say about it. Maybe we've done something wrong with this event that I can't figure out. Maybe the price being similar to a GP just makes the event unpalatable, but GPs have an economy of scale that we could never match. Maybe we should have run it cheaper, and with much reduced prizes? Is Liverpool an unattractive location because people feel that it's difficult to get to? Are there too many events in the calendar? Is it too close to a GP?

Please tell us, and please tell Wizards. I'd love to know what it is about this event that made you decide that it wasn't for you. If "premium priced" small scale events are too expensive for what they offer in your opinion, then it would be valuable for WotC to lower their expectations around these events being a "mini magicfest" because mini magicfests cost money. If you would rather see them be cheap qualifiers, then make your voice heard. Or if it's something else, say that too. We will make sure the feedback makes it to them.

In the meantime, clearly this event can't go ahead in the form in which it was planned. We'd hoped that with ticket sales closing on payday, we might have a big last minute rush - it's absolutely not unheard of for that to happen - but it didn't. So, players who have registered have received an email with revised event times and expectations. We'll be dropping the prize support, refunding 50% of everybody's tickets and the events will likely be 5/6 rounds. Anyone who wants a full refund will get one, along with an offer of compensation in the form of heavily discounted Magic products, which we hope will go some way to offsetting any out-of-pocket expenses.

We apologise for all of this. We're sorry. We're a small business, and we're not in this industry because we're here to make our millions. We're here because we love what we do, and we're excited to run big events like this because they are cool and we love Magic. We weren't able to do that this time round, and it's genuinely saddening and absolutely embarrassing. 

Hopefully the other Mythic Qualifiers this season do better than we did. Please support them, if you care about these events being available and want to see them continue.

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We're Hiring - Social Media & Marketing Associate

Ian O'Brien

Social Media & Marketing Associate (Gaming)

The Basics

We're looking for someone to manage our social media, customer communications and marketing on a part-time basis. We're a small team of games enthusiasts, and we need your help to grow and improve this very fast-moving, dynamic and interesting part of our business!

The Role

Your primary responsibilities will involve:
  • Planning, writing, and scheduling posts across our social media accounts to support product releases, events, and more
  • Creating, monitoring, and continuously improving paid adverts across platforms such as Facebook and Google
  • Growing JustPlay's online communities
  • Editing and curating content contributed by other staff members
  • Supporting JustPlay with effective customer communication
  • Helping maintain and improve our website

Skills

We'd like you to have all of the following skills:
  • Experience of both the Games Workshop ecosystem and Magic: The Gathering
  • Excellent written English and communication skills
  • Some web design, website management, or similar experience - not necessarily commercial
  • Basic Facebook, Google, or related online advertising or ad management experience
  • Solid computer skills and general comfort with technology
Skills that are a nice to have, but not a deal breaker:
  • Knowledge of some or all of: card games, miniatures games, board games, trending games, general gaming knowledge
  • Knowledge of film editing, photo editing, photography, streaming, podcasting
  • SEO/SEM experience

What We're Offering

We think we're a pretty awesome employer. We're easy going and won't be on your case as long as you're working hard. We're flexible and reasonable over most things as long as you are too. On top of that, we offer a great staff discount!

We realise that this role is unusual, and we recognise that part time doesn't necessarily work for a lot of people who might otherwise be a good fit. We're prepared to work something out to find the right person. We'd be happy for you to work odd hours if you have another job or are a stay at home parent, we'd be happy for you to work remotely if you live in another part of the country. If you're interested, get in touch and let's have a chat!

How to Apply

Send an email to hello(at)justplaygames.uk, attaching your CV and giving us as brief or in-depth an introduction to yourself as you'd like to write. Please use the title "JOB APPLICATION - MARKETING ASSOCIATE" - this is important, as our mail filter won't catch your application otherwise.

To be honest, we really only want to see your CV to get an idea of what you've done before, so the main thing we're looking for is for you to write us a sweet email telling us why we should interview you.

Applications close 31st July. We're looking to recruit someone as soon as possible for this role, so expect things to move quickly. We won't be able to respond to all applicants, so thank you in advance for applying!

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Mythic Championship Qualifier Top 8 Decklists

Ritchie McAlley

Our first and the UK's first MCQ is in the books and we would like to thank everyone who came and made it a huge success!

Our winner has been crowned, winning an invite and a flight to the Mythic Championship in Barcelona, and a crate of War of the Spark.

Congratulations to Francesco Giorgio!

The Champion

Top 8 Decklists 

Apologies for the pictures!

Zer Shivan Peng - U/W Super Friends

Gavin Thacker - Bant Midrange

Mathew Mitchell - Esper Control 

Dani Anderson - Esper Super Friends 

Alan Warnock - U/B Control

Matthew Garnham - U/G Nexus

Peter Ward - White Weenie

Francesco Giorgio - U/W Super Friends

Thank you all for coming and see you at the next event!

Team JustPlay

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Accommodation for the Justice Series GT

Ritchie McAlley

Hi there!

If you are thinking about booking hotels for the Justice Series GT on March 30th & 31st this year, here are some recommendations and local knowledge to help you out! We know that some people have expressed difficulty in finding hotels, and the bigger more well known hotels do tend to be expensive or booked up quite often, but Liverpool has a ton of options for stays to suit every budget. Read on for more details.

Liverpool is a city but is actually quite small and packed together - you can get from most places to the town centre in under 15 minutes. Between Uber and a huge number of local taxis, trains and buses, getting round is easy and affordable so if hotel prices are a concern, don't rule out hotels that are a little farther out of the town centre - it's very easy to get in and out (whether that's in the morning for the event, or at night if you've decided to stay out!). Parking at the Venue is also just £6 a day for event attendees with a huge amount of parking spaces, so if you're driving, it's easy too.

 

Serviced Apartments 

As one of the best destinations for nightlife in the country the city is VERY well serviced for apartments which can accommodate large groups, so if you are travelling with friends, check these out as another option. 

Apartments for two at around £80 per night all just a cheap taxi ride/drive away.

Trivelles Liverpool 

Platinum SA - Sefton Suites 

Daniel House

Apartments for 6+ people from as little as £36 each per night in city centre locations

Wood Street Apartments  (6 people £36 per night each)

Modern 4 Bedroom Flat Moments From Liverpool Central (8 people £51 per night each)

 

Hotels 

Here is a list of a few of the city's hotels, around £80 per night that still have availability at the time of writing.

Epstein House

The next hotel is located "over the water" in Birkenhead, a town incredibly close to Liverpool but separated by the river. Mersey tunnel fees for a car are £1.80, there are a ton of options in this area - here's a good example:

The Liver View

 

Hostels

There are an abundance of hostels around the city centre and outskirts. We'd be happy to hold your armies at the venue overnight if this helps with booking a hostel.

 

As you can see, there are lots of options available for apartments and hotels in Liverpool at reasonable prices if you know where to look, so if you're considering attending the Justice Series GT, book your stay now, grab a ticket, and we'll see you in March for a great weekend of Age of Sigmar!

And as ever, if you need any more help with accommodation or anything else at all, feel free to email us on hello@justplaygames.uk or Tweet us @justplaygamesuk

Cheers!

-Team JustPlay

 

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The JustPlay Cafe opens Tuesday 9th October!

Ian O'Brien

The JustPlay way has always been to strive for quality in everything that we do, and our kitchen is no exception. Chef Adam Wallis prepares all of our food on-site from fresh, primarily locally-sourced ingredients. Our dishes and sauces are homemade, our bread is from a local bakery, our meat from a local butcher, even the guacamole is made from scratch.

In addition to this, all of our dishes have been designed with the needs of gaming in mind - quick and easy to eat, not dripping with sauce, but without compromising on flavour. We've even got special oval plates so that the dishes take up less precious table or playmat space!

You can see the menu below and in-store. We're intending to expand on our menu soon, as well as bring you specials, other kinds of food, event catering and much more; keep an eye out in store and and for announcements as we're sure the cafe will be a hit and will quickly evolve. On that note, we're very keen to hear your feedback, so if you have any comments on our cafe - good or bad - please tell a member of staff.

As a special introductory offer, everything in the cafe will be 10% off until 19th October!

Without further ado, here's the menu that will be live this week (just a small note, as we're still working out the finer details of suppliers these may be subject to some small changes if we have any teething troubles, but we don't expect that that will last more than a couple of days)

 

We hope you'll come and try our food, we hope you enjoy it, and most of all we hope it makes the overall JustPlay experience even better!

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We are Hiring a Chef!

Ian O'Brien

Chef - Full Time, Permanent

JustPlay are hiring a Chef to run our newly fitted kitchen!
In the 2.5 years we've been open, we've never done things by halves. We don't want the JustPlay Cafe to be serving greasy spoon burgers and fried breakfasts; we want it to be much more than that. Our vision is to serve a variety of simple and delicious food that customers can enjoy whilst playing their favourite games. 
We are looking for someone who has a passion for creating delicious food, as well as the skills to manage a small kitchen end-to-end. Our ideal candidate will take pride in establishing their kitchen as a leader in the games cafe industry, maintaining through all aspects of the job the high standards that JustPlay are known for. 
We want the JustPlay Cafe to develop as a combined vision between us and our Chef - so if you'd love an opportunity to run a kitchen with full input and plenty of autonomy, this could be the job for you!

The Role

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Preparing food for JustPlay customers
  • Creating and maintaining exciting menus
  • Sourcing ingredients and dealing with suppliers
  • Ordering and Stock Control
  • Creating and managing an HACCP-compliant process
  • Adhering to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety
  • Managing a small team
  • Shift Work as appropriate 

You must have the following:

  • 1+ years experience in a similar role (references are required)
  • Level 3 Supervising Food Safety for Catering or equivalent qualification
  • Reliable, flexible and punctual
  • High standard of written and verbal communication skills
  • Comfortable with technology - we're a tech heavy company!

The following would be beneficial:

  • You are an active gamer with some knowledge of what JustPlay does!
  • A full driving license

What We're Offering

This is a full time permanent role circa 38 hours per week with opportunity for overtime. We're very flexible and accommodating and if you're working hard for us, we'll work hard for you.
We think we're a pretty awesome employer. We work collaboratively rather than in a "top down" manner, meaning that we want our staff to have a say in how things should be done. This goes doubly for this role where you will have a large amount of input into every area of managing the kitchen.
We offer a hefty staff discount on gaming products.

How to Apply 

Send an email to hello(at)justplaygames.uk, attaching your CV and giving us as brief or in-depth an introduction to yourself as you'd like to write. Please use the title "JOB APPLICATION - CHEF" - this is important, as our mail filter won't catch your application otherwise.
Applications close 31st August. We're looking to recruit someone as soon as possible for this role, so expect things to move quickly. We won't be able to respond to all applicants, so thank you in advance for applying!

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Team JustPlay Blackout 2018 Lists

Andrew Phizacklea

Here are the lists that we took to Blackout 2018 as referenced on Episode 13 of the JustSaying Podcast!

 

James Tinsdale - Maggotkin of Nurgle (4-1, 8th overall)

Realm: Ghyran

  • Great Unclean One (General) - Bell and Flail, Pestilent Breath, Endless Gift, Favoured Poxes
  • Rotigus - Glorious Afflictions
  • Festus the Leechlord - Plague Squall
  • Horticulus Slimux
  • 2x 30 Plaguebearers
  • 10 Putrid Blightkings

 Army Total: 2000

Extra Command Points: 0

 

Ian O'Brien - Legion of Nagash (4-1, 12th overall)

Realm: None

  • Nagash (General) - Amethystine Pinions, Vile Transference, Fading Vigour
  • Necromancer - Balefire Lantern, Decrepify
  • Necromancer - Overwhelming Dread
  • 40 Skeletons - Spears
  • 30 Grimghast Reapers
  • 2x 5 Dire Wolves
  • Umbral Spellportal
  • Aethervoid Pendulum
  • Soulsnare Shackles

 Army Total: 1900

Extra Command Points: 2

 

Richard McAlley - Sylvaneth (3-2, 29th overall)

Realm: Ghyran

  • Alarielle the Everqueen - Throne of Vines
  • Spirit of Durthu (General) - Ghyrstrike, Gnarled Warrior
  • Branchwraith - Verdant Blessing, Ranu's Lamentiri
  • Branchwraith - Regrowth, Acorn of the Ages
  • 4x 5 Spite Revenants
  • 6 Kurnoth Hunters - Scythes
  • Outcasts
  • Dreadwood Grove

 Army Total: 2000

Extra Command Points: 2

 

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What's New, Old, "Borrowed" and Blue - 5-08-18

Ash Gavin
Games Workshop pre-orders and GenCon highlights - all available to order now!

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