Author Topic: Recomendations for a gaming group  (Read 648 times)

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Offline Alfalpharius

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Recomendations for a gaming group
« on: September 21, 2016, 10:18:59 PM »
This is based off my own experiences with 40k and other tabletop games and RPG's... but also a bit of information I learned during my brief forays into other kinds of clubs.  I have a thread similar to this about my own club, and if the moderators feel it needs to be merged into this as a separate post, then I understand completely.

Step 1:  Get some things to play and start the groundwork.  If it's 40k, I recommend trying to get your hands on a good gaming table.  Don't be afraid to hit up old recreation centers for ping-pong tables to convert over.  You should have, if nothing else, a 'launchpad' for other people to start gaming.  I'd advise working on some scenery, whether it's a purchase or some arts & crafts.  You should basically be more than 'a gamer with his own stuff', you should have stuff to at least help start hosting a game if you wanted.

Step 2:  Assert yourself.  If there's any talent you have painting, offer to host a painting class at the FLGS.  If you know the game really well, offer to teach new players the ropes.  If you can, put this on the store's facebook feed or put up a flyer there.  You need to make yourself known in the community, so this also means you need to be a fairly nice person, too.  Offer as much as you can to your FLGS or gaming center without asking anything in return.  A good practice I've found- get a styrofoam cooler and take some sodas, water, Red Bull, or whatever you like.  In the earlier part of the day, bring some coffee in a thermos and some styrofoam cups.  Offer someone something during a chat or a game. This simple gesture will make people remember you. 

Step 3:  Make yourself known, and get to know people in the area.  I have an old habit- I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go (I can't recommend the Rite in the Rain notebooks enough).  When I meet someone and we strike up a good chat or have a good game, I ask their name and jot it down and tell them "Because I am terrible with names".  Write down stuff about the player, and ask if they want to game again in the future- see if they'll share contact information.  Another thing you can consider doing is making a "Need Help, Want a Game?  Call Me!" card or small flyer. Approach the FLGS clerk and asking if he minds handing it out to 40k players when they make a purchase.

Step 4:  Create protocol.  When you have a small group- as in 2 to 4 players, sit down with them and start drafting 'guidelines'.  When doing this, it's important to not focus as much on 'house rules' for gaming, but rather a series of criteria that you want a gaming group to be.  Involve everyone available in this process.  Remember that not everyone will like your requirements, and that's fine- don't compromise to a point where you are uncomfortable, but don't be completely unyielding.  It's a group that you're creating, and 'exclusive' is not a bad word.

Step 5:  Reach out beyond your FLGS for advice from other clubs. Find people who've been doing this a long time.  Hell- find a motorcycle, car, hunting, fishing, or even a fantasy football club and talk to them about how to manage a group.  Most of these organizations are very helpful, and can share experiences that will easily translate over to a gaming club.  It's a very similar structure, and they can even give you ideas how to reach out to do charity work if that's something that interests you at all.

Step 6:  Enforce a strict 'no-drama' policy. Myself, I don't mind if people discuss politics, religion, or anything else as long as it doesn't get heated- but I'm in a group where the closest thing to an 'argument' is related the best buffalo wings in town.  Personal drama will kill a gaming club, and when one bad person gets upset, they can drag down the entire club.  A strong word of advice- if someone spends less time talking about the game and more time talking about ideologies of any sort- you might want to keep them far away, as these people have been known to create drama that affects the personal lives and livelihoods of the gaming group.

Step 7:  Don't focus on what kind of player you DO want, focus on the sort you DON'T want.  I know it sounds extremely negative, but no one wants a bad experience.  We've all encountered thieves, cheaters, Unclean Ones, and other problems.  If you try and ask for players that fit into a specific cookie-cutter, you're going to limit your variety.  You want competitive players.  You want narrative players.  You want casual players.  Ideally, you want all of them to be able to do it all after a while.  You want rookies, too.  You want old vets to teach those rookies. 

Step 8:  Recruit like you're an employer.   If you get a new player interested, you should invite them to a game before inviting them to join your group and let everyone get to chat with them.  See how they play, not just in terms of tactics but in terms of sportsmanship and attitude.  Let other members of your group get to know them.  If the guy is rubbing even one person wrong- then it's not a good idea.  I highly recommend keeping votes unanimous.

Step 9:  Take the time to get to know every player. I know this sounds 'obvious', but I've been in groups before where we've found that one member legitimately had no friends in town and we were all he had.  Your group could mean the world to someone like this, and getting them heavily involved and socializing them could make your club even stronger- these guys are usually the ones who put their heart and soul into the game and hobby. 

Step 10:  Make sure game times are accessible to everyone.  This is actually the hardest part.  Sometimes, a group can't all be around at once.  It takes work, and you may have to divide up meetings and games across a few days.  Life comes first.

Step 11:  Have regular meetings, if nothing else.  Sit around and talk about new stuff coming out or new events.  Go out and grab a burger or some beers, or grab a few members to go look around the FLGS with you, or hell- have a painting party with some audio dramas in the background. 

Step 12:  Set meta objectives for your group.  Things like hosting a tournament, attending an out-of-town tournament, offering a newbie class, teaching model painting, etc. are ways to do something other than battle one another constantly.  Something as simple as a pot luck and 40k night can be great.  The group I'm with is very interested in hosting a charity tournament for Toys for Tots this year.  Another good idea is seeing if people want to start a fund to improve the game table.

Step 13:  Stay dedicated to things.  People burned out on 40k?  Play Kill-Team.  See if you can get some of the 40k board games.  Play some of the RPG's.  Have a 'funniest model' contest.  Play with some homebrew rules.  Do the Warhammer 40k drinking game. Swap armies mid-game, play some 2 on 2 with 'betrayal' rules.  Play a completely different game altogether. Keep it lively and interesting.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 10:52:43 PM by Alfalpharius »

Online Leftovers44

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Re: Recomendations for a gaming group
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2016, 09:28:38 AM »
This is all really good information and usefull in more things than just 40k groups. I never considered my group doing any charities before.