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Kaine82

10 steps to building a Warhammer Invasion community

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Warhammer Invasion is one of my top favorite games of all time. Over the past 2 years I have posted a lot in the Organized Play and Community forums looking for new players and have noticed one constant in all my posts, there is never a response. The sad truth is if you are not in Poland you likely don't have a regular play group of more than 2 or 3 people. Something I figured out within the first couple months of looking for players was if I wanted people to play against, I was going to have to teach them.

In this thread I would like to share some advice based on what I have learned starting a play group. Our group is small in comparison to many in Europe, but still one of the largest in the US.

If you've been looking for a play group and there isn't one in your area, then you are going to have to start it. Below the top 10 most important things I have found in creating one. A lot of it is common sense, but I still thought it was worth sharing:

  1. Set up a consistent meeting place and time: Having a consistent place makes it easy for people to remember where to find you and more likely to show up. We chose fridays and found this to be a great night because the shop is open later and has a lot of traffic, both increasing the likelihood of finding new players.
     
  2. Have a sign: I mounted one of the posters in a league kit to a piece of foam core and applied an easel back to it. It was a little awkward to at first to carry into the store with me, but having a sign next to us let people know we were playing a game other than Magic and made it easier for new people that heard about us on the web to find us.

    600_58044612.jpeg
     
  3. Have decks ready to play: I always have an orc rush deck on hand to teach someone new the mechanics. This is a very easy deck to play with no quests, legends, doesn't require any developments, and has low loyalty. Playing this allows them to focus on learning the phases and reduces aspects of the game that can sometimes confuse new players. I will also have a couple of other fun decks ready incase we have more than one new person. A lot people will show up 2 or 3 times before buying cards so more than likely you will be playing with your own decks for a while.
     
  4. Start a meetup site (http://www.meetup.com/): This step was the game changer. It was really hard taking that first step and paying for the first 6 months and honestly if they hadn't had the 50% special at the time I'm not sure I would have done it, but I'm glad I did now. Having a meetup site allows you to post all your events in an easily accessible place. It also gives you a place to link back to when you post in forums, giving potential new players a place find you. A meetup site provides a place for local players to congregate and an easy way to remind them of when the next event is. Don't let the money scare you away, since that first month our group has been totally paid for by contributions from the members.
     
  5. Search Boardgamegeek users (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/map/user/search): Boardgamegeek.com has a great tool that allows you to search for members in your area. I did a search within a 20 mile radius of our local shop a checked each members geek list to see if they owned the core set. If they did, I sent them a geek mail telling them about the our meetup group (with a link) and asked them if them played. From this our group gained 2 or 3 members in the very beginning which was a huge boost!
     
  6. Find local forums: Ultimately your goal is to find local people that play the game or might be interested. You will get much better returns on finding new people on gaming forums in your local area than any Warhammer Invasion specific forum.
     
  7. Make your post meaningful: Ensure your posts contain the following information: time, place, cost, and a way to rsvp. Also provide links in the post to make it easy for them to find out how to get there and RSVP.
     
  8. Take lots of photos: Here are 3 benefits you get from photos on a meetup site:
    1) It shows your group is active and groups that look active get more members.
    2) You can tag members in the photos giving you an easy place to reference so you can remember people's names
    3) When a  member is tagged in a photo meetup sends the person an email with a link to let them know, driving them back to the site to see.
     
  9. Buy all Warhammer Cards from a local shop: When you buy them at a local shop they will carry the cards in the store granting more exposure for the game and providing an excellent way to demonstrate how the game is packaged.
     
  10. Make sure the people you teach have a good time: Whether they feel the game is fun or not is ultimately what is going to make them decide to play or not. When playing someone new tot he game I give them basic instructions on how the deck plays and some general advice on best practices within the game as a whole, but never play their hand for them. Also if I have some surprise card like Bladesinger I let them know ahead of time to ensure the don't have a negative play experience. I find it's best to let people win the first game as well, but try to make it close when I can.

Below I have attached some tools to help anyone that wants to start a Warhammer Invasion Meetup create a WHI theme very easily, click on any of the images to see the full sized image:
 

Finished look:

tumblr_mlgln4OX131r67vavo3_1280.png

 

Color palette:

tumblr_mlgln4OX131r67vavo2_400.png

 

Banner image:

tumblr_mlgln4OX131r67vavo1_1280.png

 

Hope this helps anyone struggling to find people to play with!

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Here is an info graphic I put together to help explain how to data mine BGG and find players in your area (US only):

 

pic1734405.png

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Don't be discouraged! It can come back. Consistancy is the key. Just pick and time and place to play and don't change it and you will be burning zones again before you know it.

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I have managed to involve a couple of my friends in WHI. They bought their own core+assault to bring with them, when we play at my place. But all former members of city's WHI community abandoned playing for now. Maybe in 2014 we can encourage some other friends of us to join the invasion movement, but from recent perspective it's quite complicated. A lot of people in our city prefer MtG. 'cause they have a possibility to build a deck buying just the cards they need. Our stores don't sell WHI cards separately, so it comes to be very expensive to built two or more different decks.

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Well, that in Poland there is no problem finding the players or tournament  :D 
Good Job Kaine. 
Sometimes it seems that a lot of these tournaments with us  ;)

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And what if one lives neither in Poland, nor in USA...nor in any Western European country, for that matter?

 

That you are unlucky and play through OCTGN  :lol:

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Playing at a local shop is best (no matter what country you live in). It is much easier to convince a stranger to meet you in public than in your cold dark torture dungeon.

Edited by Kaine82
cparadis10 likes this

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And what if one lives neither in Poland, nor in USA...nor in any Western European country, for that matter?

Yeah, I'm screwed. :)

 

I live in Ukraine, which is near Poland but I'm screwed ;)

Edited by c2h4n
klaymen_sk likes this

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I live in Ukraine, which is near Poland but I'm screwed ;)

Don't you want to come for a big tournament to Poland? We had guests from Italy and Germany on European Championships ;)

Kaine82 likes this

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I live in Ukraine, which is near Poland but I'm screwed ;)

Don't you want to come for a big tournament to Poland? We had guests from Italy and Germany on European Championships ;)

 

 

Maybe next year. I'll come with great pleasure, but I'm still not skilled enough for tournaments and don't have enough cards to built specific deck. =)

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You do not have to have some great deck  ;) 
Well, unless you come with the intention of winning one of the regional tournaments then you can do great deck  :)

But it is said that it is about some fun, unless they confess such a rule as I do that you play to win  :D  :D

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I live in Ukraine, which is near Poland but I'm screwed ;)

 

 

I live in Slovakia, which is just South of Poland, but my financial situation doesn't allow me much travelling.

 

 

You do not have to have some great deck  ;) 

Well, unless you come with the intention of winning one of the regional tournaments then you can do great deck  :)

But it is said that it is about some fun, unless they confess such a rule as I do that you play to win  :D  :D

 

My visit would be just a visit, then. My cardpool is very limited, not to mention finding a player is nigh impossible. heck, if I hadn't the chance to buy cards from someone who wanted to get rid of them, I would have next to nothing. :)

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