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cparadis10

Advice for demo-ing and building a community

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I just bought into this game recently. I'm super excited, but I'm by far the most interested person in my area that I know of. What practical advice or tips do people have for growing a community or running demo games?

My initial thought is to do smaller (100pt) games; I was thinking maybe one 3x3 map with Daqan vs. Waiqar and another 3x3 of Latari vs. Uthuk. The idea being keep the games short and not overly complicated, but highlight some really cool things about each of the factions. To that end any tips on good demo lists? Not looking for super highly-tuned lists, but more things that are fun and balanced without too many triggers or gotchas.

Are leagues (slow grow/escalation or otherwise) good for building the community? If so, any specific tips on how to structure the leagues. If not, is open play better?

Do you market the game differently to different player bases (assuming the answer is yes), if so how so? How do you market to a Warhammer Fantasy Battles/Age of Sigmar player versus a Warmachine/Hordes player?

Community building tips? Should you have a discord server? Community rules/expectations page?

Really, I'm looking at starting a community from the ground up and would like to learn from the lessons everyone else here has learned along the way. Thanks for all the help!

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Josh and I do demo days once a month.  We've grown the game from the 2 of us to about 4 regulars and 9 total players.  All we do is run the core box games like the learn to play does.

A couple of keys to our success:

Have all armies set up and ready to go.

Don't be afraid to flag people down and make a sales pitch.

Partner with your FLGS for product discounts or promo items.

Paint it!  They look so pretty no one can resist if theyre painted!

As far as leagues go there are a number of threads that talk about how they structure leagues.  If you have a small community I would start with some escalation ideas so people dont have to buy in at $100+ to play their first game.  Also make sure your FLGS gets the quarterly kits!  Those are a great perk for league play and they run themselves.

I don't 'market' differently to players based on what they play.  I let them know what the game has to offer and answer any questions honestly.  It may not be for everyone, and that's ok.  If there is any salesmanship on my side it's seeing what excites players and focusing on those characteristics of the game individually.

We have a discord server for our community and it has actually grown quite a bit to include more games and more communities.  It's a great way to organize.  I will say that all league rules and such are usually explained the week before or on the FLGS group facebook page.  Any way of engaging your players socially is fine as long as  they use it.

Good luck!  Keep us updated on the growth of you community or if you have any specific questions feel free to pm me.

 

 

 

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The number one piece of advice I could give is to show up on a regular night, even if nobody is there to play. Just sit there with all your stuff out, and be available. @Drakoniss has done this in our group, and it has really helped.

I will second the advice to hold Escalation Leagues. Our first two leagues were escalation, and that allowed players to ease into the full game.

Also, our current league is $10 entry, and we're awarding prize money randomly to people who complete all their games. That way, people keep on playing even if they have a losing record, which is key: just get people to play games where other people can see them. We're also considering using the entry fees to pay for a store copy of the Runewars mat, because there are people like me who own a single mat, but then my opponent doesn't have one, so having one at the store will be nice. Also good to have an extra mat for the monthly tournaments.

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It may look boring on the table, but I find that teaching someone the game through a demo battle works really well if it is a mirror match with identical forces with no upgrades.

Not only do you avoid the classic 100pt demo issue of "yeah they stomped you there, but in a full game you could equip x upgrade", but the new player also gets to grok what the other player can do as they have the same dials.

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20 hours ago, Parakitor said:

The number one piece of advice I could give is to show up on a regular night, even if nobody is there to play. Just sit there with all your stuff out, and be available. @Drakoniss has done this in our group, and it has really helped.

THIS.

 

This right here is the best way to build a community. Time after Time as a store owner I see people come in to run demos and get discouraged that noone was interested. We played RW for about 2 months straight on a Thursday night getting ready for SC season and unbeknownest to us (because they never approached us about it) several players playing other games were watching. They now play RW. Sometimes doing actual demos won't get you results, but consistently playing at a store, even if it's just you practicing deployments or painting WILL bring people to the game.

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Also have an online presence. Everyone around here uses facebook to organize games so we have a local runewars page. Even if people aren't posting themselves you can put all the events up there, photos of painting, and spoiler articles. That constant stream of information will keep the game in people's minds and make them more likely to turn out on your regular games nights.

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Make it catchy up front and be a constant presence.

 

1) Paint the armies. They look so much better painted. Get that done and people will notice it more.

2)Be there consistently. Get people who aren’t excited up front by being a normal presence.

3*) Maybe organize a demo day once in a while to show it off on a different day. 

 

 

Edited by Church14

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I could be completely wrong but looking at the level of detail of this game vs. warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar and Warmachine You will have a difficult time getting converts. This game is really basic and the models may not but quality enough to attract that crowd. I think attempting to get people who play similar simple games will be your best bet. Star Wars Armada is so much more complex than x-wing and the two groups who play it do so for different reasons. There is plenty of crossover, but attempting to go after players interested in really deep, long games with a longer patience and focus level is likely barking up the wrong tree. This game is more for people not necessarily even into miniatures as a “gateway game” into the realm. You might want to attempt to reach out to local D&D groups. If you find some D&D players sho have never played rich, deep Miniature games, I think that might be your best bet. 

Also, make sure you have your miniatures painted well and the terrain looks awesome. You are selling an immersive experience and it you take short cuts and what you bring to the table looks underwhelming or janky.  There are no short cuts to building a community and keeping it going. 

 

Good Luck! ? 

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32 minutes ago, 1977Valarian said:

I could be completely wrong but looking at the level of detail of this game vs. warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar and Warmachine You will have a difficult time getting converts. This game is really basic and the models may not but quality enough to attract that crowd.

We have one convert from Kings of War who used to be the local community leader of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. He says it's the kind of game he's been waiting for for years, but he just didn't know it was that good until his friend had him play it. He and another guy are working on the rest of the Kings of War group, so hopefully we get some people coming over.

34 minutes ago, 1977Valarian said:

Also, make sure you have your miniatures painted well and the terrain looks awesome. 

Sigh. I can either have beautiful miniatures, or awesome terrain. Don't have enough time for both, so I'm focusing on the miniatures. I'm getting there! I agree that both of those things really help.

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2 hours ago, 1977Valarian said:

I could be completely wrong but looking at the level of detail of this game vs. warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar and Warmachine You will have a difficult time getting converts. This game is really basic and the models may not but quality enough to attract that crowd. I think attempting to get people who play similar simple games will be your best bet. Star Wars Armada is so much more complex than x-wing and the two groups who play it do so for different reasons. There is plenty of crossover, but attempting to go after players interested in really deep, long games with a longer patience and focus level is likely barking up the wrong tree. This game is more for people not necessarily even into miniatures as a “gateway game” into the realm. You might want to attempt to reach out to local D&D groups. If you find some D&D players sho have never played rich, deep Miniature games, I think that might be your best bet. 

Also, make sure you have your miniatures painted well and the terrain looks awesome. You are selling an immersive experience and it you take short cuts and what you bring to the table looks underwhelming or janky.  There are no short cuts to building a community and keeping it going. 

 

Good Luck! ? 

I think you are right about the models issue.  Players into Age of Sigmar because they love building custom, unique, detailed models and painting them will not be interested in Runewars.  Basically, don't spend too much time pitching it to anyone you see with a large beautifully painted AoS army... they are likely not looking for an experience like Runewars, and are probably too heavily invested in AoS at this point.

I do think you are wrong about Runewars being basic.  I find the ruleset in Age of Sigmar in particular to be pretty shallow in comparison to Runewars, which I find to be highly technical and extremely though provoking.  I think anyone who wants to play a fantasy wargame but finds themselves disenchanted with the rules and piles of dice that come with AoS is exactly your target for converts.  One play of Runewars and they will realize that it is easy to get into but deep in planning and strategy.

Also, I want to echo the sentiment that D&D players, especially those who prefer minis and terrain, are great potential targets.  I've gotten a few players from that group.  One selling point is that the Runewars starter can serve as a reasonably priced source of minis.  You can often get one for 50-60 bucks and it contains 16 skeleton warriors, 8 sekeleton archers, 1 skeleton on a carrion worm, 1 skeleton champion, a female ranger/rogue, an awesome golem with 4 arms, 16 spearmen (there's all your town guard) and 4 knights.  It also has a bunch of useful tokens and 2D terrain.  That's a pretty good value for someone running weekly D&D sessions.

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3 hours ago, QuickWhit said:

I think you are right about the models issue.  Players into Age of Sigmar because they love building custom, unique, detailed models and painting them will not be interested in Runewars.  Basically, don't spend too much time pitching it to anyone you see with a large beautifully painted AoS army... they are likely not looking for an experience like Runewars, and are probably too heavily invested in AoS at this point.

Yeah, not always true. (but can be)

 

Pitch the game to everyone, don't think they wont like it because theyre into something else. People will like the game, or they wont, and they oftentimes won't know how they feel until theyve played it a few times, no matter what they say.

 

Quote

Also, I want to echo the sentiment that D&D players, especially those who prefer minis and terrain, are great potential targets.  I've gotten a few players from that group.  One selling point is that the Runewars starter can serve as a reasonably priced source of minis.  You can often get one for 50-60 bucks and it contains 16 skeleton warriors, 8 sekeleton archers, 1 skeleton on a carrion worm, 1 skeleton champion, a female ranger/rogue, an awesome golem with 4 arms, 16 spearmen (there's all your town guard) and 4 knights.  It also has a bunch of useful tokens and 2D terrain.  That's a pretty good value for someone running weekly D&D sessions.

THIS

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1 hour ago, cparadis10 said:

I'm really loving the D&D angle people are throwing out. I may try to coincide my Runewars demos/sit around painting until someone wants to play with the local D&D nights. 

I'm a Waiqar player who also DMs a D&D game for my kids... I think they are getting tired of fighting skeletons... so many skeletons...

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