Saturday, April 19, 2014

JUGS Interview

I had the pleasure recently to conduct an online interview with Damian from Chiba. He and his friends have been running the club JUGS (Japan's United Gaming Society) in Chiba since 2009. Their group might be small, but they are always on the hunt for new players in the greater Chiba area.

Before the interview though, here is the quick and dirty coverage of their club. This is all available on the page link to the right of course. This will give you a good feel for the group before we dig into the meat of the interview.

Club Name: J.U.G.S. Japan's United Gaming Society 

Club Location: Chiba 

Focus: provide a gaming space in Chiba that caters for and integrates both foreign and native players interested in playing Wargames

Structure: Our bilingual friendly group is free for anyone interested in coming (either English or Japanese speakers). We have a playing space that can cater for up to 8 players playing 4 games at once with room for a couple more to watch. There are no fees.

Games played most often: Warhammer, 40k, Blood Bowl, Mordheim, Infinity, Dystopian Wars, War Machine, Gorkamorka, Settlers of Catan, Flames of War, Bolt Action, Dark Future, Space Hulk and Saga. We are very open to trying new games.We also have a couple of experienced Roleplayers and we are looking at running  some English language role-plays such as Dark Heresy, Call of Cthulu in the near future if we get enough interested players. 

Special Considerations: none

Point of ContactJUGS Japan's United Gaming Society Page on Facebook and/or deimimix@yahoo.comWargamers in Japan is interested in learning who all of our gaming neighbors are. 

Read on for the full interview!

Who are you and how did you get involved with putting together a gaming club?

Our club came together back in 2009 when a few disparate lonely gamers found each other through a short-lived incarnation of what is now JUGS known as the Dream Dragon. We started with five of us; Jon, Joseph, Daisuke, Jamie and I, Damian. After gaming at each other's houses here and there we eventually settled on a larger space in Hamano as our official Club space. 

After a couple of years gaming Jamie and Joseph eventually returned to England (he is now a GW Shop manager) and Canada respectively. This left three of us. Since then we've had many other members come and go as find us, play and  then their time in Japan comes to an end. Players have been Japanese, Finnish, German, English and this has kept us ticking along nicely. 

In 2011 we renamed ourselves JUGS with the name reflecting our desire to have gamers both Japanese and foreign play together (united) without any barriers. Games days are bilingual affairs  so as to exclude no-one. Things have been a little quieter of late as Jon and I have been busier with work and starting our own respective families and Daisuke has become very involved in the local Japanese gaming scene.

So, this year I decided to finally start a Facebook page for us all to keep our club identity and provide a place to game for any other lonely gamers in Chiba to find like minded people.

What are the games being played at in your club?

Most recently we have been playing Flames of War, 40k (and some Kill-team games), Warhammer is a firm 
favorite with everyone and tomorrow we are playing Saga. We have  Saga again, Infinity and Skirmish Warhammer lined up for next month's games. we are all currently working on Bolt Action armies and I want to get the club into X-wing and Dredd. If we get some more English speakers with an interested, we would love to run Cthulu or Dark Heresy/Deathwatch.

Last year was dominated by a lot of Warhammer, Gorkamorka, some 40k and some Dark Future (the 1980's Cyber-punk/Mad Max road rage game), Infinity, Blood Bowl, Warmachine, Catan and Blood Bowl.The year before again was Warhammer, Morheim, Blood Bowl but we had a member who was in the ETC so we played a lot of 40k too in the lead up to that.

So it varies from year to year depending on the members.

Do players arrange meetings or is there a formal games day that happens from time to time?

Games are decided by consensus for particular days. We always play on Saturdays. Who is coming will dictate what we play as certain players have strong preferences but we always 
organize what games, how many points etc beforehand and go with the majority. For example, one Saturday may be a warhammer day, another Saga, another Infinity, the next 40k etc.

What has been the biggest obstacle to recruiting new players?

I would say it would have to be awareness that our club even exists. Thus I started our facebook page.

What do you think of the Wargamers in Japan initiative?

What you have is something that Jon and I had discussed as something rather a necessary for the Wargaming scene among non-native players: a hub that connects the disparate smaller groups. They have/had a similar thing with in Kyushu with KitaQ gamers (I used to live in Kyushu) but it's good we have it here too. 

[We are] Always looking for new guys to come and new games to play. Throne of Skulls for Japan is not going to take place this year (onward) I was told so I think there is a niche opening for a larger tournament in the Kanto region. This would be something we'd be interested in helping with. 

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