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Overread

Your local gaming and what you can do for it

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So a fair few people are panicking a bit that in 3 years time GW is going to drop and Old World game and suddenly their local AoS players are all going to run off to the hills to play this new game. This got me thinking that too many are focusing on the wrong end of the stick and that there's a core symptom with many wargaming groups (be they a local club or run through a store or even through an official GW store); which is that the population is about as big as its going to get and that people are less likely to change games and will often only play one at a time. 

 

So I thought it would be good to sit down and talk about what you can do at your local club an what you do do in order to help in what I think are the core areas:

1) Recruitment of new players 

2) Return of old players

3) Representation of different games

4) Introduction of new games. 

5) Skill sharing. 

To me these 5 segments are the key to growing a groups interest in games and in growing the group itself into a larger, more stable and, importantly, more diverse group of players. Where the loss of one or two isn't going to be damaging; where new people are not an elusive rarity and where multiple game systems can co-exist alongside each other. 

1) Recruitment of new players. 

This is a big thing and many of the points touch on this. The attraction and retention of new players is critical to the health of any game group. If you don't actively promote the club and don't seek to constantly be taking in new people then the club is already on risky ground where the loss of players will often start a steady landslide of diminishing returns for all.  I would also note that groups which are open and active in taking on new people often avoid the problems of tight knit cliques forming, which can often make it harder to get new people into the group

There are loads of things you can do to help recruit new players including, and not limited too:

a) Advertise. Yep advertise and keep advertising the group. Get yourself a Facebook group and keep it updated with photos and content; organise and advertise events through it. Put notices in local shop windows and advertising boards (post office); if you've a local hobby store (and the group isn't run through the store) then advertise there. Consider approaching local schools and universities.
Basically get the word out there and keep it out there. The more you can spread awareness and the more you can appear an active and engaging group the more chance you've got to get people into the club. Keeping active is important, even if its something as simple as replacing worn paper adverts with new ones (updated media and perhaps an upcoming event date). 
Also don't just think of hobbyshops.  Toyshops, craft stores, book shops, libraries, corner shops, all noticeboards etc... There are loads of places to put an ad. Plus if you've a good covering locally there's more chance that you appear active and welcoming and thus way more chance for people to give the group a try. 

b) Run introduction events/games. If you can run an introduction event which can be geared toward introducing new people. Ideally this should be paired with an advertising push - eg if you've just managed to get the local university to let you put up some ads/advertise to the students then give a date and run an intro event. 
Even if you're not doing a big welcoming event make sure you've got a few core games with introduction armies and such on hand at each meeting. The idea here is anyone walking in the front door new and without any models can be welcomed and introduced to a game with some models to play with for the evening - ergo involve them; make it someone's (or yours) duty to welcome and give them a game. It's a huge difference in making them part of the group instead of "Oh yeah nice to see you, you can watch some games if you like". That's passive, might hold no connection to the person and unless they were already wanting to play really badly, most will walk away as nothing engaged them. 

c) Active social media. Active is a very key word. A lot of places start a social media and within a few months its dead. The key is to realise that the local club members might not ever use it and will chat and organise things through text messages or at the club itself. That's fine, the social media account isn't there just for them. It's there as part of advertising the club. Social media is a big thing now; you can bet anyone with a casual interest locally will hop online to look for a local club. Make that first search result yours - keep the club page active with photos from recent games and events; update it with score results; post about upcoming events. Again make it a duty of one or more people in the group to keep it updated and running smoothly. At the same time if you run multiple social media accounts (eg a FB, twitter, instagram) and one or more just end up not being updated ever either address it and get them updated; or close them. "Dead" accounts can show a sign that the clubs health is bad and a dead account is WORSE than no account. No account means they might find you through other channels, but a dead account suggests that the group is not worth chasing. 

d) Prepare for the unprepared. I went into this a little bit above with the idea of having a couple of forces ready for intro games. Basically building on that be prepared for people who can walk in with nothing. There's a reason that when PP ran their Press Ganger system that one requirement was two painted starter armies owned by the PG person. You've got to be ready and able to welcome people with no gaming experience with a game. There has to be something in it for them to connect and get some real experience which might turn into a growing interest. 

e) Network. Locally you might have one game store and no other clubs; or you might be in the middle of a city with a dozen clubs and several various stores. Whatever the local scene - network wit hit. If there's another club or group running don't "fear" them, embrace them. Inter-group competitions; joint events (eg hiring a bus to go to a major gaming convention together or pooling for discount rooms at a hotel by bulk booking etc...). Even if they don't play the same games you can network with them. The idea here is you're not out to "poach" players, but simply ensure that the local scene remains as connected as possible with each other. By having a good working relationship with the other groups you can all benefit from it. 
Plus if your club/group starts to really dwindle and, through no fault of its own might have to cease you can easily work with the local network and blend into another group without issues. Similarly if you've got a really big local population you can organise bigger joint events or even competitions between you. 

In the end the key is that locally you want more gamers and more recruitment of gamers to help provide more games and potential for variety of games to be supported. Networking is part of that parcel and can be a critical cornerstone to the growth of the overall local scene. Similarly bad local networking can lead to social isolation which can bleed into the local social interactions - this can be a negative thing that turns new people away. Even if you don't like whoever runs the other club, at least have a solid working relationship with them and their group. Heck you might even find that if your game nights are on different nights many people will locally use more than one group if they've the option 

d) Inform and connect. Email and social media are great and can provide a fantastic casual resource for retaining communications. If you put your social media and newsletter email on all the advertising material you can get people signed up to those even if they've never turned up to the local club. A weekly/biweekly however you want can be a very powerful tool.

f) Avoid isolation of players. I touched on this above with demo games; if you're part of your group then part of that is making sure people don't get isolated. That is someone standing around not engaged with the group or separate from them. Make a point to approach them; make sure they are ok. They might just be waiting for a friend to turn up; they might be feeling shy or excluded; they could be nervous or even just feeling like they don't fit in because they don't yet have an army or such. Basically don't let them drift to the side - people who drift to the side are more likely to leave than get involved. They might not leave wargaming, but if they go home and hobby alone and maybe only play games with a sibling or one other friend then your club is losing out on at least one or more players. Sometimes people just need the ice breaking and it takes someone willing to approach them and lend a hand.

Plus its not always new people; established people can get isolated too. Perhaps they are the only one who plays a certain game; or they've just always been a bit shy or not very forward. Perhaps you could help them demo their game that they'd like to play with others; or give them a demo game of the popular game of the time for the club etc.... 

2) Return of old players/members. Where possible use social media and keep peoples emails and contact details. This lets you inform locals of major events coming up even if they aren't part of the currently active playerbase. If you still send them the emails for upcoming events that is still giving you a chance to get them back. Also don't be afraid to include links to major events in the game world - eg the recent GW news about an Old World Game in a few years is just the sort of thing to mention and put into an email for a weekly newsletter. 

 

3) Representation of different games. this can be a tricky one and depends greatly on your local group size and focus. It also depends if you run through a store (be it 3rd party or GW) or if its a club without any store connection. 
At its most basic you've a greater chance of securing a wider range of players if you run a club that is seen to support multiple game systems. The kind of people who want to play Historical games might also play 40K, however if you only play 40K at the club you might miss out some of the Historical players. The more members you gain to the club the more power that club has - that power can mean more club fees for facilities and upkeep; it can mean more people for events; for helping broaden the reach of recruitment; providing more skills to the group etc... 
Furthermore I think that encouraging a variety of games (be that totally different systems or if its a store with limited stock that wants to focus on its stock; or even a GW store then sticking within the GW library of games) encourages a healthier club dynamic. It also means that you encourage people to retain their membership of the group if they switch games. If, instead, you only run an AoS club and force Old World into their own club then anyone who flits between the two has two clubs to split attention and their energy between. That creates a higher chance of them leaving one club to join the other; dividing people and resources. Plus it cuts out a lot of casual players who will flit game to game. 

Don't just think wargames either- cardgames (magic the gathering); dice games; board games are all worthy additions. Of course if the club grows and gains powerful sub-groups within it you might well start having multiple club nights focused around specific games. A MTG night might well focus the clubs energies on magic for an evening, but where possible you could always have a spare table for other games for those who might not make it to their themed club night etc... Again this is another thing that is going to vary a lot based on your local scene. The idea is to try and avoid the local playerbase splitting along "company/game loyalty" lines. 

 

4) Introduction of new games. This is pretty much already covered above. It's about not just new games to people who already game; but new games to new gamers and new people joining in. Another aspect is encourging people who might be interested in a different game that isn't played; into how they can promote it. Encourage them to have two small starter armies (or decks or the board game etc...); help them run the odd into game or show them how to set them up. Basically ensure that people have the tools and, where it fits into the group (eg at a GW store based club you're not going to start introducing Kings of War), present new things. 

5) Skill Sharing. This is a big one many clubs forget. Skill sharing is all about working out the local skillbase and using those resources to better the club. 

Newbies will need loads of new skill learning; be prepared to have someone guide them through how to build and paint; to run building and painting evenings every so often. Heck if possible have a painting and building table off to one side on regular club nights. Welcome in those who are just there to hobby and not war. 
Such open welcome and skill sharing can help improve peoples loyalty to the group and their connection with the game and hobby. Newbies get increased pride and quality of their results; experienced people get to share their hobby in a different way. Heck if someone stops playing just being open to being a place where they can come and hobby and share with other hobbyists can keep them in the group through periods when they just don't want to or can't play (eg time constraints). 

 

Organising tips - volunteers work best in pairs or greater. It's my experience that whilst individuals can be powerfully motivated and very enthusiastic; they are also fickle and easily lost. "Real Life" can take them away very fast. Working getting busier; family life even a short holiday can knock them out of the group for a while. So when you set tasks try and set them to pairs/teams. That way if one fails there are others to pick up the slack without having to be told to do it. 

Volunteers, where possible, should have as few responsibilities as possible and practical within the group. If the whole group relies on Dave to do everything then if Dave leaves or gets busy with life outside the group the group can suddenly suffer. This links back to the previous point in that its very easy for volunteers to vanish without word or warning. Plus its their free hobby time, you don't want it eaten up only with club-stuff; so spread things out as much as is practical and sensible for the group. 
These two points are about helping ensure that the load is spread and that whoever ends up doing club work is still getting their own free time. By building in redundancies it lets people easily step back and forward and slip into roles; plus preserving team approaches helps people avoid becoming isolated. 

With online content remember that few comment, many read. You might find you do video battle reports and photos and written reviews and loads of content and yet don't seem to get many replies. REmember that such content (properly marketed of course so that people know its there to see); might not generate much buzz. However It's important to keep up with it. By keeping up you keep the online presentation of a lively and healthy club; each one is advertising your group. 

Take responsibility not control. A lot of the above sounds like "things the club organiser/owner/store owner "should do" however they might not be. The idea of the above is to present a selection of ideas and concepts to think about to promote in your local scene. Plus if they aren't done, to be prepared to take over responsibility (not control) over them if you're promoting them. Growing your local club benefits you as well - it means more social interaction; more gamers; more potential games etc... So if you end up being the one to suggest it be prepared to also help put it into reality. In the end you've got to be part of the energy and drive that helps your local club survive and thrive. 

 

 

 

 

So that big wall above (which isn't really that big) is a smattering of my ideas and observations of groups and game clubs. I hope I've presented some tools and ideas that can help you out; plus you might have ideas of your own or contrasting viewpoints and experiences. Come share them; we can pool ideas here and help use that to drive local club growth and diversity. Maybe you've run events that turned out really well; or found places that really get lots of people in fast. Perhaps you're a school teacher and can give some ideas on how people can approach and tap into that segment of society etc... Basically come share your experiences and ideas. The more we do that the more we can help each others local scene grow. 

In the end bigger local clubs are what we want - that means more games; more players; more stability in the local scene and more potential to grow.

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Wow what a great post! You’ve really put some thought into this. Very interesting read. For now I am not involved in the local scene but I’ll keep all that in mind for when I do.

there’s another thread by @EccentricCircle on the same subject matter, I’ll cross-link so that no one misses interesting discussion :)

 

 

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1 minute ago, gjnoronh said:

maybe merge threads as they are highly related, and great discussions. 

I thought about it but whilst they touch on the same subject, they do so from slightly different angles and I figured they were each worth their own space, esp as the topic appears quite important to a good few people at present. 

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13 minutes ago, Overread said:

I thought about it but whilst they touch on the same subject, they do so from slightly different angles and I figured they were each worth their own space, esp as the topic appears quite important to a good few people at present. 

I'd disagree, my thread went off topic quicker, but reading your OP, it is precisely what I wanted to create a discussion space for, so merge away!

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One of the most important things to create and foster a gaming community, aside from being friendly and open, is to be active and have some kind of semi-regular schedule.
Nothing is worse for someone new to the hobby to have to keep asking whether someone wants to play except for having to keep asking just to get a 'not today' or similar as response (or if it's a community meeting in an LGS just not to find anybody there when visiting most of the time). That way interest in the hobby disappears super fast.

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yeah even if you are the only guy if you are there every tuesday painting or being ready to play who ever shows up that consistency is good.

I've seen a number of local Facebook gaming groups (I lurk in many in the region) that have different ways of arranging games including a club president posting a pairings list as they come together or who is looking.  Our local groups tend to do a post saying 'looking for an AoS game tuesday' and often get matches that way.

A downside of the proliferation of social media technologies with semi opaque sub groups is it's actually in some ways harder to find another gamer - our moderate size city has at least five different scheduling FB groups and I have no idea how many whatsapp or discord type chats and text message systems.   Those groups don't tend to have full overlap and have varying degrees of privacy.  Locally I'm not sure how to deal with it.

 

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Yeah I think since the hobby is such a time investment many people are reluctant to risk a « bad » game. Once they find opponents they like they’ll keep mostly playing them. So you really need people that are very invested in organizing events and recruiting new players. I think most groups will stay static unless there’s people that are pushing for development. Back on the old world thread you’ll notice that the complaints are mostly about people quitting aos and not about it being harder to recruit new players...

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25 minutes ago, Moldek said:

 Back on the old world thread you’ll notice that the complaints are mostly about people quitting aos and not about it being harder to recruit new players...

Aye but I think that's because people are looking at the immediate loss of players with the preconception that they can't easily recruit more. Since you can't stop GW releasing Old World and you can't stop people who want to play other games from playing other games; the most constructive approach is to promote and encourage the recruitment of more and new players. I think it a given that most groups want more people, but that many dont' know how to go about it; or might in a haphazard way (eg they start a Facebook, update it for a month and then abandon it) without any real focus. So they get limited to no results and give up too soon. A lot of marketing isn't about an instant result, its about building up a momentum which can take time - once you get rolling that's when it starts working but it might take a good while to get to that stage. 

 

 

you can see this in Kickstarters; those that launch marketing months in advance and keep strongly on it and promote it heavily often start off with a massive wave of pledges very fast. Whilst those which only start once it gets going tend to dwindle with far smaller populations and might only just scrape in their funding goal by the end. 

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Completely agree @Overread , I didn’t mean to imply that it’s these people’s fault; they didn’t sign up because they wanted to be ambassadors, and that’s hard work that can be pretty daunting if you’re not a social butterfly (I personally see myself as a social mushroom : I grow on people). Although maybe I’m a bit frustrated when so many people are giving tips and they’re not engaging in that side of the conversation.

I think another roadblock can be when people tie their identity to  a specific system. Their whole hobby life then depends on the success of that game. As suggested before, being more flexible and open to new things is the best way to draw people and lure them back to your game of choice; along the way you might discover a new game that you like.

All in all at some point it falls on players to foster their communities. I think that’s both the hard part and also the strength of this hobby, and expecting the company to do all that work is, in a way, giving them too much power as well as settings oneself up for disapointment. Threads like this (especially with your excellent writeup) are very interesting and I hope can help people develop strategies to grow the community they like, starting with me. Once I’m done with my iron golem. And my undead. And the terrain... damn is it 2 am already?

Edited by Moldek

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Players need space, amenities, terrain and storage. These cost money to upkeep and maintain.

Just curious, how do you finance an independent local gaming group? Do you do annual fundraisers? 

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50 minutes ago, InSaint said:

Players need space, amenities, terrain and storage. These cost money to upkeep and maintain.

Just curious, how do you finance an independent local gaming group? Do you do annual fundraisers? 

This!  Curious as to the space portion when there are no local gaming stores nearby

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2 hours ago, InSaint said:

Players need space, amenities, terrain and storage. These cost money to upkeep and maintain.

Just curious, how do you finance an independent local gaming group? Do you do annual fundraisers? 

I think it depends a lot on your local environment but there are a lot of options.

There are many 'gaming groups' that operate out of someone's basement - i think for most game systems the vast majority of games are played in someone's basement.    That may push the environment more to 'friends' then 'all comers' quite understandably but I've certainly invited new opponents to my house (more so  pre wife and kids - I've gotten more protective of who comes in since.)   Finance and storage are up to that group of friends.   I've seen gaming groups where the homeowner is providing everything, or situations where the friends coming over take it on themselves to buy pizza and beverages, or new terrain or other communal resources to 'pay back' the host.   

In England school and pub based gaming clubs are much more common then they are in the US (where I've only rarely seen the former and never the latter.)   But I've heard of gaming clubs based out of Church basements in both countries.  In those cases people bring their terrain with them or work out an arrangement to store in a closet.   Schools are often free, and various church's pubs etc are often happy to have some rental of the space or use of the space.       One of the best GT's I've been to in many years was held in a US Veterans of Foreign War's outpost. They had a small bar/restaurant space and a big hall and cheap rental prices for the weekend.   While I haven't seen gaming clubs in the US based in bars I have seen several offer gaming nights on a slow night where people bring in board games or smaller miniature games.    A local church has an open gaming night on Wednesday in part just to get people into the space.   

AoS is space and terrain heavy.  Other GW gaming systems are not (i.e. Warhammer Underworlds, Blood Bowl,  even Warcry and Kill team to some degree) so they might be a better fit if you are travelling to a space you don't own or if you are bootstrapping a club from scratch.    

I think the most important thing is to start small and make it available you don't need $1000 of terrain, a logo, branded T Shirts and a website to start a gaming club.   You don't need space for 20 players either.    You do need people to know how to find you, and that they can be reasonably assured to get a game.  

 

Edited by gjnoronh
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Aye if you've got somewhere you can rent for  room and tables they might well have some local storage or a corner you can put the terrain into. So there are options. Another is plastic tubs and a car - it only needs one organised person to fit a couple of boxes into the back of their car to carry the terrain there and then just some general setup and takedown at the start and end of each game session. Ideally the larger the group the more space it will need and the more space there is the greater the chance that there's some on-site storage options - or space where a foot locker or cheap wooden container etc.. can be placed, locked and loaded with the terrain.

As for paying, most places in the UK that you'd rent wouldn't got too much so depending on the group size you could come to an agreement with the site owner as to what a fair amount would be and then charge people to attend an annual fee. If you can balance the numbers right the fee can also go toward things like club terrain and such so that they get the space to play and some facilities. Many gamers are also willing, when part of a group, to donate bits of terrain and spend time making up group terrain features. So if it gets going and stays healthy you can build up quite a nice selection of varied terrain options and tables and such. That's without considering anyone bringing their own terrain features with them from home.

 

On site or nearby parking is often a requirement these days, esp if you want to secure members from further afield who will have to travel to get to the club. It can also make it easier to get armies to and from the event. Practically you want to either be near busses and trains or have parking space and ideally both. The further people have to walk the less they are inclined to bring with them and thus the greater one-site storage becomes. If you can offer really good and safe on-site storage some might even store their armies there (less common and whilst terrain isn't cheap people are generally happier with losing/having broken terrain over broken and lost models)

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23 hours ago, Overread said:

b) Run introduction events/games. If you can run an introduction event which can be geared toward introducing new people. Ideally this should be paired with an advertising push - eg if you've just managed to get the local university to let you put up some ads/advertise to the students then give a date and run an intro event. 
Even if you're not doing a big welcoming event make sure you've got a few core games with introduction armies and such on hand at each meeting. The idea here is anyone walking in the front door new and without any models can be welcomed and introduced to a game with some models to play with for the evening - ergo involve them; make it someone's (or yours) duty to welcome and give them a game. It's a huge difference in making them part of the group instead of "Oh yeah nice to see you, you can watch some games if you like". That's passive, might hold no connection to the person and unless they were already wanting to play really badly, most will walk away as nothing engaged them. 

If you allow me to piggyback here… back in the day, my local GW store stared a small afterschool club. Once a week one of the employees reported to the school for two-hour shift and played some small games with kids. It was very productive both in terms of growing the hobby and sales for the store. Most of the kid’s parents came back to the store with Christmas wish-lists and about third of the kids became regular visitors and continued with the hobby afterwards.

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On 11/20/2019 at 11:22 AM, Veles said:

If you allow me to piggyback here… back in the day, my local GW store stared a small afterschool club. Once a week one of the employees reported to the school for two-hour shift and played some small games with kids. It was very productive both in terms of growing the hobby and sales for the store. Most of the kid’s parents came back to the store with Christmas wish-lists and about third of the kids became regular visitors and continued with the hobby afterwards.

I'm reminded of this great post on a Blood Bowl forum - highly applicable here  I would guess

http://www.talkfantasyfootball.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=45807&sid=060feefe690f8225a36fcfe408241d64

 

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Anyone from the USA who does not have a local game store and has still found a space to play in (rent?)   How did you locate it etc?  Many of our public places such as schools, etc are not available for this type of use on weekends

 

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Try local libraries. Back in the day when GW closed all the stores around Boston some people had success in using local libraries to organize weekly gaming. 

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In the UK you could find :

Schools - though typically if you're not a student/teacher running a school-only club then the only time might be out of term time. However school halls can be a viable option for one-off events like a tournament. Universities and collages also get rolled into this and places like that "might" be more amenable to older gamers renting facilities. Some universities are also open to non-students joining their social groups so you might find the uni has a running games group that you can just merge into. 

Village/town halls. Often have space and rooms to rent. If they don't then the town hall/council might well be aware of other venues open to being rented for such a use. 

Churches. Again they might have a hall or other structure that they will rent out when they are not using it. 

Bars/pubs/restaurants. A bit more limited here but you can try and ask if they've an events room or such. You might get limited to a "slow" trading day for them for this - so something like a Monday. You "might" get less rent costs here with the expectation that you'd be buying food/drink from them. 

Sports venues. Again they might well have large open spaces that they rent out - a sports hall or such. 

Local shops/retailers. Look up when in town, quite a few will have offices and rooms above and many often go totally un-used for anything. You might be able to agree to rent out the use for a club. Can be a bit of an issue because chances are they will likely be fine shot term; but will seek long term rental customers so, depending on the region, you could lose your spot. It's worth asking about. Note the shop might only be able to put you in contact with the estate agent managing the building. 

Basically have a look around locally for any room/halls etc.. that are clearly empty for periods of time and which you can approach to ask. Asking won't hurt - but also go with an idea of what kind of rent you can feasibly pay and be up front about it and the groups actual or likely finances. 

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My local club started small, only six of us the first night but now half a dozen years later has over thirty regulars, we rent an old hall once a week normally only used for things like scouts, luckily they have an area that allows us to store scenery & spare club figures when needed in plastic containers.

We charge a weekly fee or a monthly fee which is cheaper if you plan to be there most weeks, also helps to raise extra cash by selling cans of drinks & snacks.

The main reason I believe our club has been such a success at recruiting new players while other clubs in our area have struggled is that it is so open to new games and variety, if someone has a new game fresh from a kickstarter delivery, they are likely to be able to find players willing to give it a chance who then may buy in to it themselves.

I have seen my fair share of clubs struggle because they are so focused on one or two games, that anyone who is not interested in those is made to feel unwelcome even if it is not intended. 

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32 minutes ago, Golgfag said:

I have seen my fair share of clubs struggle because they are so focused on one or two games, that anyone who is not interested in those is made to feel unwelcome even if it is not intended. 

Plus as some have already seen with the Old World announcement, even a short term surge in interest in one game can cripple "single game" groups because suddenly everyone "leaves" for a week or three to play at the "other club" for a while. 

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In my area people like to focus on one game.  Talking about promoting multiple games is essentially tallking about creating multiple small groups.  I don't want a small group.  I play GW games because it has the biggest group I can get, which means the biggest tournament attendance thats possible.  

So things like the warhammer announcement hurt someone in my position because people want to only focus on one game and they are going to pick and choose, which is going to remove people from my AOS group (it already has started).  

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3 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

In my area people like to focus on one game.  Talking about promoting multiple games is essentially tallking about creating multiple small groups.  I don't want a small group.  I play GW games because it has the biggest group I can get, which means the biggest tournament attendance thats possible.  

So things like the warhammer announcement hurt someone in my position because people want to only focus on one game and they are going to pick and choose, which is going to remove people from my AOS group (it already has started).  

Well it's probably short term anyways, since whatever they'll release is at least 3 years away. That gives you a lot of time to recruit more people that are more interested in AoS than the Old World, and grow the group. You could also invite some of the former Fantasy players that came out of the woodwork to try out AoS, since they already have the models. It looks like you feel that there's nothing you can do but I'm sure that's not true.
But if you don't do anything to get new players in, people's experiences in this thread suggest that your group will dwindle even without any warhammer announcement, as most people drop out of the hobby after a while for various reasons.

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14 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

In my area people like to focus on one game.  Talking about promoting multiple games is essentially tallking about creating multiple small groups.  I don't want a small group.  I play GW games because it has the biggest group I can get, which means the biggest tournament attendance thats possible.  

So things like the warhammer announcement hurt someone in my position because people want to only focus on one game and they are going to pick and choose, which is going to remove people from my AOS group (it already has started).  

Why do you have to create multiple small groups?

Just form a single game club with a single meeting place which meets once a week (or more). Then simply have whatever games are played at that group. You can easily play Old World, AoS and Dropfleet and Napoleon all alongside each other - all you need are the people to play and the tablespace. Sure with Old World you might get everyone playing one game one week; but eventually the "small groups" will settle out into their own space inside the bigger group. This means that people can swap between teh smaller groups effortlessly. 

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Agree with Overread and Moldek.  The key is to get folks out and enjoying time with each other ('becoming friends') it's the friendships that brings people together long term not the gaming system.   

I'm playing Blood Bowl a lot in the last three years because my best gaming friend didn't ever make the switch to AoS.  We live in different states and I wanted to spend time with him on the road going to tournaments.  Thus I started dabbling in Blood Bowl, then running tournaments now I'm running three a year and really love the game.      It wasn't the game system that drew me in - it was my buddy playing it and me wanting to hang out with him.

Get a good group together playing games regularly and 'the cream' of the gaming crop will rise to the top.  I think AoS is a great game if folks are willing to give it a try.  Get them playing together and I think it will hold up  well against a game that when next released will have been 8 years or so out of production.    Heck try 8th ed WFB and see how you feel and then invite them to do the reverse.    

 

 

 

 

 

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