Belathor Posted October 3, 2021 Share Posted October 3, 2021 Now that things have started to open back up I’m seeing lots of people ask how to grow their community. So this is something I’ve actually done in the absolute worst time to do this outside of a pandemic. Disclaimer: we’re not here to talk about the beer company disease. I’m just here to give facts on how i grew my community. We all know how to do this safely at this point its not a conversation needed here. How to grow a community from people with 0 interest in the game. I played a ton of fantasy back in 7th and 8th edition and toward the end times I got a good friend of mine into the game. He loved his new nagash model and I loved shooting it with 3 dwarf cannons and 2 bolt throwers because I was a savage like that but we really didn’t love the game. The text book we had to lug around the expansion books the cost of an army was high. You’ve seen the youtube videos this isn’t a post about why 8th wasn’t great. But the moment aos released… 4 page rulebook… you can see every units abilities for free? Sold done. The only arguments I had was that the game had no points and that made things wonky. But we played. Every week. We were at that store and I’m going to make this sound way more dramatic than it really was but we got a TON of hate. “Kids game, circle bases” was notably what we got from our previous friends who we played 8th with all the time now were pushing us as outsiders. It was ok honestly we were having a great time. this brings me to tip one. Play the game at your store and have a good time In the beginning everyone was coming up and being negative to us as we were just playing the game and having fun. Laughing about the crazy abilities aos had at the time, we named our characters it was great. When people came up to us hating on the game they just looked like dicks. It’s the same thing club promoters do. If you’re having a good time others want to come have a good time and Age of Sigmar is their way to do it. You need exactly 1 friend committed to this with you. Thats it. Everyone i’ve talked to whos done something similar started with one friend going with them every week. It’s all it really takes. That’s on you to find your brother or sister in arms. DO NOT ARGUE I don’t know how to scream this loud enough. Don’t you dare argue over rules while you are playing the game. The battle tech community failed at my store because of this. It isn’t because of the game they showed us how to play it was fun. But they constantly argued and loudly. People actively avoided them. Discuss rules issues don’t argue them just chill out its fine. Believe me you think aos has weird rules now lemme tell ya about first edition and I’m not just talking about daisy chains. So I went through this I know theres some times where its hard. But trust me you raging over a game is the easiest way to set back months of good will. Second Tip This is a longterm investment. You won’t see a result 3 weeks from now. Its low and slow baby like any good soup. We went from 0 interest until 1st edition. Picked up 2 consistent players. Second half of first 6 players. 2nd edition 20 players before pandemic? 40-50 consistent players. You had to be there the day they put up leagues or tournaments because they filled in an hour. I can’t take credit for building all of it, but I will take credit for pushing the first domino. Really all that first push took was having fun and teaching anyone who asked how to play the game. That easy. Don’t start with escalation leagues or path to glory Look most of the new players coming into the game come from video games. They’re coming from league they’re coming from world of warcraft they see path to glory as “not the real game”. They don’t care. They should play one or two games at 1k then maybe 1 at 1.5 then we’re at full speed with 2k. Most of this crowd hates tutorials and putting them in a league thats a 6 week tutorial effectively is a huge ask. Video games can barely ask for 15 minutes how are you about to ask for 6 weeks? Just don’t treat new players like children they’re adults its a game full of stem majors they barely paid attention to their degree and code like geniuses just through figuring it out and searching up a lot of forums. they can figure out aos. In my experience just do league tournaments or one day events. Do 5 weeks MAX you will get a massive drop out rate at 6. I don’t know why but thats the cut off. 4 is ideal. It should be 2k every game or if you are doing escalation 1k 1.5 2k 2k 2k. Any time I ran an escalation league everyone just asked for more 2k games. You could honestly do them all at 2k games. Cost of entry to these I have to give credit to the shop owner for this it was genius. Cost is 2 paint pots. You go buy two paint pots and thats your cost to join the league. Also there are winners to the league. You win store credit. Points determined at the end painted army with effort counted. If i’m Going to start talking like some pseudo marketing major who has no idea really what he’s talking about “This encouraged investment and commitment to the product for those who participated.” little tangent on what I mean by “they don’t care” So I’m going to explain path to glory from something recent in world of warcraft “thorghast.” Those who don’t play might say “whats that” those who played this expansion just groaned. Thorgast is like bringing diablo into wow. Sounds sick. Your character gets a bunch of little cool and overpowered abilities as you go through it. Wow this sounds great! You’re forced to do it every week it takes like 3-4 hours and its extremely tedious and feels dull after like one run and you have to do two. Thats how to take something fun and make it god awful. Thats what path to glory and 1k games are when you make new players play it forcing them into it. They just want to play the game and thats the quickest way for them to lose interest. Whats the most effective way to teach someone the game Doubles games with experienced players. 1k to each player you put the new player in your corner hopefully you know a little about their army, and you just help them play it giving little ideas. Thats it. They have full agency, the game looks like a full game and they can ask for advice. This is the absolute best way to teach someone the game. You can also do this as a 2v1 with your buddy. We’ve done this multiple times its great fun. If you can’t do that run a simple 1k game is great. You can do just warscrolls then full rules then 2k. Don’t make the lists for them unless they ask. Let them choose. Its the difference between ordering a hamburger at a restaurant and making it yourself. If the waiter suggest you the hamburger and you order it and its good, its relatively unremarkable. If you say to a new player “hey run archaon with a chaos lord” and it works they don’t care. But if you make a worse hamburger at home but it looks nice and tastes good you’re as the kids say “pogged out of your gourd” extremely excited about it even though you yourself read morathis warscroll and also noticed she’s strong its still you the new player who made the decision. The Toxic Folk This is subjective but this happened to us so I figure I’ll tell the story. Everyone has that guy thats at the game store too much. He doesn’t work there but he’s there for over 40 hours a week. We had this guy. And he liked aos but decided he’d never bother buying an army book. You can imagine how difficult the game was to play against him when he’d netlist deepkin and the only page he had printed out for their rules was “high tide”. How do you deal with this guy? Use him! He’s great everyone wants to dislike “That Guy” any time a new player experiences that and then plays a game against you its like night and day. They actually love the game more now that they’re accepted into your “club” of good players. Also note toxicity is subjective don’t go around trying to ban guys because they’re annoying it should be extreme cases these guys get banned. Just chill its ok to have negative influenced on your community. How much fun is it to talk about that “one guy or girl” you work with? Its loads of fun. Now you should make rules against this guy. If he’s not using a book make a rule that says “you have to have an army book to play the army” which is the same reason we have signs on pools that say “if you can’t swim you will drown”. Theres always a guy who makes that obvious rule and sign exist. For the record our guy did get banned . But only because he decided to threaten and stalk a man who also frequented the store. But it wasn’t until he did this did we actually push for a ban. I get it it’s the time to cancel people but you should be very cautious banning people. It needs to be something everyone and i mean everyone can hear the story and go “oh yeah makes sense”. If you get a reputation for banning people over a game you might cause your store to die. This has also happened to a store I went to as a kid that was known for banning competitive magic players. They thought playing decks from tournaments wasn’t good for new players.” Once the reputation stuck the store was pretty much empty within 4 months. Turns out empty stores are worse for new players. Conclusion If you have a good time playing the game and people are walking through the store and seeing you have fun they’ll eventually join you. It just takes time to build the snowball. You should let it grow as organically as possible don’t force it to happen. But if you can do this successfully it can be incredibly rewarding. Two big takeaways. Consistency, play on a day every week who cares what day play on that day and time. And have good optics, have fun enjoy the game paint your minis don’t argue. This is not just the same strategy for how to grow a game but for how clubs grow, how streamers grow you name it. 2 4 1 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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