Losses of the month

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , ,

In all honesty I have been sitting on this post I have been unable to decide it how to word it having rewritten it both mentally and physically over and over again for the last few days.

Unless you have been completely cut off from any news you will have heard that Terry Pratchett has passed away at the age of 66 due to complications with a chest infection he was suffering from.
While I never had the pleasure of meeting him Mr Pratchetts works have always had a place on my bookshelf and been some of the most influential fantasy novels, whether it was drawing me into the genre as a child, the colourful inventive artworks of Josh Kirby making them stand out from the somewhat bland selection, helping me relax in audio book form as I lay in hospital during my chemotherapy, or driving my creative thoughts and learning through the Science Of Diskworld.

I am not alone in this and over the last week people have come together to say goodbye and remember the great author. I was particularly touched by grantabridge's Terry Pratchett: A Fan's Eulogy whose early experiences very much mirror my own introduction to Diskworld.

In other sad news the Battle Bunker in Lincoln will be shutting down on the 18th of this month.
While the store was doing well enough to cover its own costs the tight profit margin did mean that Ben was covering all the work himself and it was quickly consuming all of his time even after the store was closed.
However Ben will be taking orders and is intending to move the business online.

Here is Bens own post below:

OK, so this announcement is probably going to get fairly long, rambly and mushy so I’ll start with the TL/DR.
As of 19th March, The Battle Bunker will be moving online only; the premises will be passing to Comic Culture. Vouchers and Paid Orders will be honoured as far as possible, but you can come in for full refunds if you feel the need - Comic Culture will honour Battle Bunker Vouchers from the 19th onwards. People who have models stored here for display will be given time to re-claim them. If you’re interested in any of the terrain, shop models, etc., make me an offer.
So with the summary out of the way I’m sure you have many questions, so I’ll tackle them in order of importance:
1. Wuh?!?
2. What does this mean?
3. Why are you leaving, don’t you love us anymore?

1. Wuh?!?
As Karl’s regulars, and a lot of the rest of you will know, the Arcade where Comic Culture is currently located is being closed for long-term refurbishment (I believe they’re planning on turning it into some sort of bar), and the businesses are having to find new locations. As many of you will also know, Comic Culture outgrew the space they were in a long time ago. With these in mind, Karl approached me with an offer to take over the lease of The Battle Bunker’s premises. This allows them to expand, and gives them a larger space they can pretty much just walk straight in to.
From my perspective, I’ve suspected for a while that the dream of running a shop and the reality are streets apart. There are definite appeals to being my own boss, and getting to do what I love every day, but there is no denying that it is an incredible stress and that the job very quickly takes over your entire life. We’ve all seen, or know of, people who get burned out on the hobby when it becomes their job, and I’m glad to say that this arrangement lets me ‘off the hook’ before I stop loving playing with toy soldiers.

2. What does this mean?
In terms of the physical location – Unit 10 The Stonebow Centre – there’s going to be a lot of changes. On the 19th Comic Culture will be moving in, and supplying you with Comics, TCGs, Board Games, etc. exactly as they do now. Unfortunately this does mean that Tabletop Miniature ranges – Warmachine, Warhammer, Malifaux, and the like – will no longer be stocked there, and that there will no longer be dedicated table space to play those games.
The Battle Bunker itself intends to live on. Firstly I will still be open for business up until the 18th, and there will be one final opportunity to order from one of my suppliers – they do Warmachine, Infinity, Malifaux and a couple of others, so I’ll be able to get next week’s Warmachine/Hordes releases. I’ll be looking to work with my current suppliers to see if they are happy with me continuing to operate from a home-office, and with any luck I will still be able to supply a few ranges over the internet or person-to-person. You’ll still be able to contact me here through Facebook, or mobile if you’ve got it. I’ll post updates as I get them about which ranges I’ll still be carrying – I know for certain that Battlefront (Flames of War) and Games Workshop will not, so once my last stock of those are gone, they’re gone.
Logistics-wise, I will do my utmost to fulfil any orders that have already been paid for, but if you would like to cancel outstanding orders in exchange for a full refund, I will accommodate you. Additionally, for those of you with outstanding vouchers, Comic Culture has agreed to honour them from the 19th onwards.
Also, as a mini aside for those of you following it, my “Year of Painting” Challenge is also going to be changing – without store projects to work on, amongst other things, I don’t think I’ve actually got enough unpainted models that I’m likely to use to fulfil it (no, I’m not offering to take on your projects!). I’ll be continuing to work on painting models as I go through the year, and will continue cataloguing my successes on my Facebook page.

3. Why are you leaving, don’t you love us anymore?
Obviously yes my time as full-time employee at the shop has come to a close. The reasons that I decided to accept Karl and Audrey’s offer to take over the lease are many and varied, and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision to reach, but I think the highlights will suffice. Principally, Fun-Ben is starting to approach burn-out; 2 years of planning and preparation, followed by 9 months of near-constant work (because as the owner, things don’t stop just because the doors are locked) is starting to really get to me. It’s been the hardest, and most rewarding, job that I’ve ever done, but as all appearances indicate that I won’t be able to afford an employee, or a break, in the foreseeable future, I needed to do something before it started to affect my love of the hobby.

Finally it’s time for the mushy bit. Running The Battle Bunker has been a massive adventure, and you all have my unending thanks for joining me on it. These past few months have been great, I’ve made some great new friends, and even with all the stress and work, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. I hope that you’ll all continue to support the shop as it moves forward under new ownership, I know that I will. As for me, once I’m done helping Karl and Audrey take the helm, I’ll probably take a well-deserved, short rest before plunging back into the employment market – and don’t forget I will still aim to trade from my virtual shop and offer my usual good prices.


Post a Comment