Garden gaming

Has any one had any success arranging games locally to play in the garden (keeping to covid rules obviously)? I’m wondering if there’s any sort of hub that could be used to find people to play against while stores and clubs are closed.

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In the pre-COVID days we used to have big multiplayer outdoor game sessions, usually paired with a big ol’ grill and a lot of steaks and beer. There are several issues to solve for:

  • Weather. For all the obvious reasons of comfort. But I also built all my terrain to be very light and portable, which turns out to be bad in even light breezes.
  • Stable tables. A lot table toppers or folding tables get jostled very easily. Bad for accurate positioning, and even worse for beers.
  • Power. Army lists and rulebooks are frequently kept on devices these days, we ran into people running out of juice mid-game.
  • Seating. Lots of us old grognards can’t stand the whole time.
  • Bathrooms. Depending on your COVID rules and personal risk, you shouldn’t even be letting people into your home to use your toilet.

But if you can solve for those, or at least endure them, outdoor gaming is fantastic.


Garden gaming works well, provided the weather is favourable. I’ve done this quite a few times in the past.

In particular, windy weather is not good for gaming. Individuals and/or high terrain has a tendency to falll over with a gust of wind.

If it’s really hot or sunny, a bit of shade is almost a neccesity.


I’ve hosted a few, it works really well! Here are some pics from the most recent session:

In addition to the excellent advice already posted above:

  • A full size table tennis table is around 8’x5’, which accommodates a 6’x4’ mat nicely with room for removed units, dice, beers etc. The entire width could also be used for mega battles, think Halpi’s Rift final scenario.
  • Low temperatures are surprisingly not too much of a concern, its the wind that gets you. If you can get some (still aerated) shelther, e.g. a gazebo, then you should be pretty comfortable. The battle above was done in around 1-2 degrees C, at one point even a few flakes of snow blew in!
  • The big problem with weather is wind. Having the chill blowing across you is pretty uncomfortable. You’ll also have problems with paper army lists, so going with a PDF on a tablet might be a better option. As @generalsloth said above, you may need to consider power however.

In terms of finding people to play against, if you can’t persuade anyone in your immediate friendship circles to give it a go, you can always head to (shudders) Facebook and join a local group there. From there I’ve made a few friends who like to play quite frequently so it’s not too hard to find an opponent who is up for it!


I don’t use social media except trading groups for OOP models. Would be interesting to know how people find local players on there. All the local groups here are club focused and some what cliquey. Groups 10 minutes drive apart have almost no interaction from what I’ve seen. There’s no regional community groups I’ve found and obviously the clubs aren’t running currently.

It’s not uncommon for clubs to silo a little bit, but that’s actually a good thing. My area has two groups that diverge along the casual vs tournament axis. All love between them, once or twice per year we crossover for a special event, etc. Just different styles of play, schedule, preferred venues, social circles, etc. means we rarely interact.

I’ve had some luck with opponent finders like the unofficial Mantic registry, and Dakka Dakka. (The GameFor app was pretty good, too, but it’s on hiatus now, though supposed to relaunch soon.)

IIRC, the Kings of War Fanatics group was open to “looking for games” posts, and that’s the biggest KoW community around.

Also, you can go into the Members area of a Facebook group and click on the “Members Near You” filter to just find local gamers and send them a personal note.

And of course your friendly FLGS can be a resource as they often have a good idea who plays what, and sometimes are happy to have LFG posts on their social media.

How do you check the members near you thing on facebook? My LGS closed down in december unfortunately, I’m no where near any one on dakka dakka or the mantic registry. Sandwiched right between the northerners and the southerners with nah a person in sight.

That’s rough. I know your pain: My happy place is ancients wargaming and there is nary a regular player around me. Well, there’s that one guy, but he’s super-weird. :confused:

Join the King of War Fanatics group (or other game of your choice), click on Members, and then scroll down and “Members Near You” should be one of the sections.