Saturday, April 12, 2014

Table Top War Gaming in Okinawa

William in Okinawa has been taking the lead in making sure local gamers have a place to play. Utilizing public spaces, gathering terrain, and scheduling meet ups and games, he is a big part of gaming south of mainland Japan.

After reaching out, I was able to get William to answer a few questions via email for the WIJ blog. We get excited around here when it comes to exposing the public to game groups. We hope that every story of a local club turns into new players across the table.

As usual, we start with the bullet points! Here is the rundown on TTWG in Okinawa.

Club Name: Table Top War Gaming

Club Location: Schilling Community Center on Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan.

Focus: Teaching new players how to play and controlling an overall fun and friendly gaming environment.

Structure: All open play from 10am to 7pm Saturdays.

Games played most often: Warhammer 40k, Dreadball, Magic the Gathering, Star Wars: X-wing, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine/Hordes, The Relic Board Game

Special Considerations: We have an general agreement with the Schilling Community Center to let us play there. We have a cabinet set up in the corner of there back "Kitchen" area. Every Saturday morning, we have to have one person go in early and see if anyone has "Rented" that room out for the day. If not, then we are free to open the doors up and push the tables together and play in there. There is also a large area that connects next to it with a folding type wall. If that room is open, we can have it too. But if it is being used, then we just can't play for the day there.

Point of Contact: William J. Castillo, Facebook

More information after the jump!

William, tell us about your group. What have you got going on down there in Okinawa?

My name is William. I'm US Military (Army) stationed down here in Okinawa Japan. Every Friday, I hold 'Game Night' at my home where the doors are open and all I ask is for people to bring there own food/drinks. I have a 6x5 foot gaming table in the kitchen, and have spare tables when that is just not enough.

We don't usually get to big of a crowd though. overall, there may be about 30 total active wargamers out here, but only about 1/2 of those are actual adults. We also have a place that everyone meets up on Saturdays here on Kadena Air Base at the Schilling Community Center.

We have a room that were allowed to play in as long as no one else reserves it, and have several tables there that we can put together to play whatever games we want. Warhammer 40k is the main by far, but some other games have been popping up here and there. 

Magic the Gathering is starting to make a little bit of a comeback. I personally bring the Star Wars-Xwing miniature game every weekend in hopes that someone will be interested in playing that. Another one that is sparking up is Dreadball that I've seen. I'm not able to make it to the schilling every Saturday, for most Friday nights at my house, we usually play till the wee hours of the morning. 

What are your plans for the future? How can WIJ help?

You guys have enlightened me and motivated me to try to start something bigger out here. I sent you the info with the "Club" that is already established out here. As you could see from what I told you, it's kind of meh to say the least. So I threw the idea out to the gamers here about starting something a little more "Official".

Something with a name, a set location, and consistent events and structure instead of just a common room for us to meet up at. It was latterly a split 50/50 of those either completely for it or against it. I was torn by this at first thinking I was going to get more support on the subject. But after thinking about it for a day or two, I figured what the hell, its not going to hurt anything. 

So a group of about 5 of us are going to be meeting this weekend down here at my house to sit and discuss the new structure and organizational outlook of the new group that is going to be starting out here. We want to be more of an "Official" group and actually get our name out there and be known. Chatting with you guys I think is going to be a big help. 

Overall, I want to be able to host events down here in the occasion that you guys up there might want to take a trip down here and game with us for a weekend, or via-versa. It is something that we have all been talking about for as long as I've been here, but no one has ever acted on it. So I am taking the first steps this weekend to make this happen. Just seeing what you guys have up there on mainland inspired me to do so. 

Just because were thousands of miles away from everything doesn't mean we can't pull the manpower and do what we can to make the community better. Granted, we are at a major disadvantage right off the start with not even having a GW store down here to begin with, but we'll make due. I will be becoming as active as I can with your Facebook page to try to get our (if not, at least my) name known so that way we can possibly merge our groups into an overall larger and better community. 


William has been super active in the WIJ facebook group and continues to promote the games and hobby at his club in Okinawa. We know his club will grow over time, ensuring that gamers all over the tropical parts of Japan have a place to get to and share a game with like minded individuals.

If you know of a club that needs promoting let us know. Don't be shy.

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