Wednesday 23rd October – Sunday 27th October 2024

Moira, Derbyshire

We’re back for the third edition of Trick or Retreat!


What’s this?

A few days of hanging out with gamesy folks doing things like playing board games, going for little walks, doing crafts, and generally having a nice time!

Dates

  • Starts: 4pm, Wednesday 23rd October 2024
  • Ends: 10am, Sunday 27th October 2024

Ticket types

  • Standard tickets: £175 (includes meals and hostel accommodation)
  • Visitor tickets: £15 for an evening, £30 per day, or £75 for the whole event
    (visitor tickets include meals but no accommodation)

Location

Scroll down for more information about Trick or Retreat 2024!

Click here to get your tickets!

Extremely cool people at Trick or Retreat 2022

Event Guide / FAQ


What sort of stuff will we do?

This is going to be very unstructured and mainly about hanging out with nice people in a nice place. It is definitely not a conference, expo, or festival.

We’ll provide all the main meals, one-page RPGs, a zine library, and folks usually collaborate to bring a big stack of boardgames. The emphasis may be on the boardgames, to be honest—last year people brought so many that the tables wasn’t big enough….

A whole lot of boardgames.

Other things that could happen:

  • Firepit, sparklers
  • Halloween movies (probably classic monster movies)
  • Pumpkin carving
  • Arts and crafts—last year we made a zine together!

We’ll try to set up a screen somewhere with a Switch dock for Mario Kart and suchlike.

Ticket holders are welcome to make suggestions for other activities that they’d like to run.

The space around the venue is fairly rural, with young woodland and countryside nearby that are good for walks. It’ll be October, though, so you’ll probably need a waterproof.

You’re not obliged to spend all your time at the venue. Our venue is on the edge of the village of Moira, which has some shops, cafés, pubs, and a museum. We’ll also be a short drive from Twycross Zoo and Ashby de la Zouch Castle, amongst other things, so perhaps we can go on some group outings.

Some pictures from previous Trick or Retreats!

When is this event running?

Trick or Retreat will run from 4pm on Wednesday 23rd to 10am on Sunday 27th October 2024.

Residential tickets cover the whole event but there are single day and evening tickets if you just want to drop in for a few hours.

Where?

We have a new venue this year—YHA National Forest!

YHA National Forest is a purpose-built, eco-friendly hostel building with lots of space for hanging out and playing games. It also has a lot of bedrooms and we won’t be filling it, so the sleeping arrangements won’t be crowded!

Being a modern building, it happily has better accessibility than our previous venues, and three accessible rooms on the ground floor. You can find the venue’s access statement and information here.

The venue is a little way out from the village and has no immediate neighbours. It backs onto young forest and walking trails.

Here are some pictures of the venue:

How do I get there?

The address for the venue is:

48 Bath Lane,
Moira,
Swadlincote,
Derbyshire,
DE12 6BD

Unfortunately this venue isn’t accessible via public transport as we’d like! Burton upon Trent is the nearest train station but it’s a very slow drive to the venue, so Tamworth is likely the better station if you’re planning to get a taxi or arrange a pick-up from another attendee from there. You could catch buses towards the venue from either of these stations and make your own way there, or get picked up from a nearer point.

Attendees have been really great about coordinating travel plans and sharing lifts in previous years, so folks may also be able to catch a lift with someone who’s driving there!

There is a large car park at the venue, and YHA National Forest is signposted up a shared driveway from the main road.

How much are the tickets and what are the different types?

Tickets are explained over here.

Sign up for the waitlist or buy tickets here.

Keep reading for information about refunds.

What if the event is cancelled or I have to cancel my ticket?

If you buy a ticket but the event is cancelled due to safety concerns or restrictions, I’ll give you the option to defer it to next year (if Trick or Retreat is planned for 2025) or refund you if possible.

If the event goes ahead but you are personally unable to attend due to illness, I’ll do my best to give you a refund. The same applies if you decide closer to the time that it is too unsafe to attend on the basis of current risk levels and your personal health.

Please be aware that any refunds may take time to issue and/or have to occur in stages. Trick or Retreat is not intended to generate any profit, and by the end of August non-refundable venue fees (amongst other things) will have been paid. As such, any refunds required from the beginning of September will probably be paid from my own pocket.

You are welcome to give/sell/exchange your ticket with somebody else if you so wish. That said, it’s really not cool to sell any tickets you have for more than you paid for them.

What’s the sleeping situation like?

Most of the beds are single bunk beds, with some beds that are doubles with a single bed overhead. You’ll be able to request an upper/lower ‘bunk’ when you order a ticket, as well as specifying anyone you’d like to share a room with. You’ll also be asked whether you’re a light/heavy sleeper and if you snore when you buy a ticket so that we can match folks up for a good night’s sleep!

There are:

  • 9 rooms that sleep up to 3 people (a high sleeper bunk with a double bed underneath). 3 of these are the accessible rooms.
  • 12 rooms that sleep up to 4 people each (2 sets of bunk beds).
  • 2 rooms that sleep up to 5 people each (1 set of bunk beds plus a high sleeper bunk with a double bed underneath)

All of these rooms are ensuite, containing a shower, toilet, hand basin, and plug sockets. All beds come with pillows and linens but you’ll need to bring your own towels.

Rooms will very likely be mixed gender as default. If this doesn’t work for you, leave a note in the associated box on the registration questionnaire.


For everyone’s comfort, there will be a request for minimal noise in the bedrooms and main corridors after 10:30pm.

What will the food be like?

We haven’t yet decided on the menu for 2024, but it will cater for vegans, dairy intolerances, and other dietary requirements as far as possible.

The actual menu will be circulated nearer the event, but to give you an idea of that the menu might look like, here’s the 2023 menu:

Wednesday Dinner: Katsu Curry
Thursday Dinner: Spicy Spaghetti With Garlic Mushrooms
Friday Dinner: Coconut Cashew & Butternut Squash Curry
Saturday Night: Vegan Chilli

We’ll also supply everything needed for DIY breakfasts, lunches, some snacks, and a variety of hot and cold drinks.

You’ll have to bring your own snacks and alcohol, but this isn’t a very boozy event.

What’s the bathroom situation like?

Every bedroom has its own ensuite toilet and shower. There is also an accessible toilet on the ground floor, which will be gender-neutral.

How accessible is the space?

You can find the hostel’s access statement here.

Key points from the statement:

  • “We have five rooms on the ground floor; three of these are 3-bedded accessible rooms with accessible ensuite bathrooms… All bathrooms are well-lit and have non-slip flooring. The accessible bathrooms have an emergency cord, grab rails and a shower seat. “
  • “The hostel is located off a level road with an even pavement running all the way along one side. There is street lighting but some sections may be dark at night. There is then a dropped kerb onto a level, winding tarmac drive leading from the main road to the hostel car parking.”
  • “Ample parking is available at the hostel approximately 20 metres from the main entrance. There are three marked accessible bays which are the closest to the entrance… The floor of the car park is even tarmac, and the hostel is accessed via a level paved path.”
  • “The first floor is only accessed by stairs as we do not have a lift.”

If you have a question about accessibility, please contact the hostel directly or message me and I’ll do my best to help.

How big will the event be?

Pretty small as these things go.

The cap on residential attendees is ~40 people to avoid the event becoming overcrowded or too busy to enjoy. There will be ~10 non-residential day tickets available for visitors.

It’s unlikely that there will be more than 50 people attending per day. 

Will there be a safe space policy?

Yes. The safe space policy and code of conduct is available here and will be available in printed form at the venue. Attendees are required to commit to this policy when completing their ticket order.

Homophobic, racist, transphobic, ableist, sexist, or any otherwise prejudiced behaviours are not acceptable at Trick or Retreat. All attendees must treat one another with respect.

The organiser, Sarah Cole, reserves the right to, without refund, immediately eject anyone from the event who breaks the code of conduct. If an attendee breaks the code of conduct prior to the event (for example, in the event Discord), their ticket may be cancelled in advance of the the event beginning.

What about Covid?

Covid is still a thing. I ask that every attendee takes a Covid test just before they head to the venue, even if they have no symptoms, and remind people that they can test during the event as well.

If someone tests positive on arrival or during the event I’ll ask them to leave and do my best to help them get home safely. We will immediately inform all other attendees and individuals can decide how they each want to proceed. In any case, we will then try to air and sanitise the venue as far as possible.

If someone with a ticket feels unwell or are concerned that they may be becoming unwell, I ask that they consider whether or not they should attend; something like sinusitis isn’t contagious and shouldn’t be an issue, but someone with a new cough or cold is likely to spread that to other attendees (and have a bad time stuck in bed).
If you cannot attend due to illness I’ll do my best to refund the cost of the ticket. I may not be able to refund tickets if people have to leave during the event because I’m running it pretty much at-cost but I’ll see what I can do. I don’t want you to miss out and end up out of pocket!

As organiser, if I personally become unwell in time for Trick and Retreat I’ll discuss with attendees how best to proceed. The event planning is documented and Trick or Retreat can, in theory, run without me.

Attendees are very welcome to wear masks but I won’t be insisting everyone does. In all honesty, I suspect wearing a mask throughout the event may not be terribly effective as a protection—there’ll be 30+ of us hanging out in the same space for 4-5 days and we’ll be sleeping in fairly close proximity. The venue is fairly roomy but any airborne particles will still get around. We can have some doors/windows open where possible, but the outdoor temperature will be 5–10 ºC and plausibly rainy so that may not prove practical.

Your health and safety are important to me, and I want you to be fully informed so that you can gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the level of risk involved in attending.

I’m open to questions and further suggestions—feel free to get in touch about either!

Will there be any quiet spaces or ways to opt out of things?

Yes, we will try to ensure there is always a quiet space where you can hang out if you need some peace and quiet. There is a back room that will likely be a dedicated quiet space during the event, which we’ll try to make cosy. We may also put the zine library in this space.

You are also not obliged or expected to participate in anything that may be happening. You can spend your days reading a book, playing a videogame, or wandering the local countryside by yourself if you want.

We may also have ‘Ghosts’ at the event. If you want to be left alone for a bit at any time during the event, pop a sheet over your head like a ghost. Attendees will be instructed to ignore ghosts as far as possible. You will need to bring your own sheet to become a ghost, or else you can select the ‘Ghost Add-on’ when you buy your ticket(s) and I’ll supply a nice new sheet when you arrive.

Who’s running this?

Sarah Cole. Best known for… I don’t know, this and helping at other events? I’m a Game and Narrative Designer, and Writer, I like to make tabletop games, I go to a lot of fringier games stuff in Brighton and London, and help out at a few things. If you like websites, here’s mine.

In 2024 I’m being supported by a lovely little cabal of folks who attended previously and offered to help out in the future. <3

Why are you doing this?

Late in 2019 I was feeling sad about the lack of opportunities to just hang out with large groups of gamesy friends. We’re always trying to cram in conversation time at other events and that’s never ideal. So I thought ‘why not make an event about hanging out?’ After the last couple of years, this sounds even more appealing.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun and nice and I like to bring people together.

Is Trick or Retreat connected with Feral Vector?

Trick or Retreat and Feral Vector are sister events! Although the events aren’t connected administratively and operate independently, we’ve agreed to support one another wherever possible.

It’s worth noting that Trick or Retreat is not just Winter Edition Feral Vector. Trick or Retreat very deliberately has no talks, no exhibition, and almost no scheduled activities—the aim is instead to provide an opportunity for folks to hang out without all the usual distractions of games events. That said, if you’re a regular attendee of Feral Vector you may find the vibe of Trick or Retreat to be similarly relaxed and recognise a number of the attendees.

Do you need help?

I’ll definitely need help with cooking and cleaning up during the event. Anyway, give me a shout if you want to get involved somehow.

Click here to get your tickets!