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"Getting A Group Together: Hard to Do?" Topic

26 Posts

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Action Log

26 Aug 2017 2:12 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Wargaming in General board

643 hits since 26 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 Aug 2017 2:11 p.m. PST

One of our members recently said that getting a reliable group together for gaming with any regularity is hard lately.

Is that your experience too?

cavcrazy26 Aug 2017 2:16 p.m. PST

Our group is five guys at best. It used to be closer to ten.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

What's a group?

USAFpilot26 Aug 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

It's difficult enough just getting my one opponent (who happens to be my brother) over for a game. It's life and the fact he needs to get permission from his wife.

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 2:47 p.m. PST

Nope. Have 10 to 15 guys each time I run a game.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 3:18 p.m. PST

I never had any trouble in 1969-70. Now I'm running one game with an opponent per month. Maybe.

They tell me there is some sort of city ordnance prohibiting press gangs, too.

Personal logo sillypoint Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 4:36 p.m. PST

I attend a weekly game at a host's place (I regularly attend) many local groups I could attend, getting to the stage where my contemporaries are nearing retirement, and they have expressed the desire to wargame every day!
So, the answer here would be no.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 4:51 p.m. PST

At most, my group consisted of 5 gamers including myself. Two have completely dropped out of the hobby, on is only a seller now, and one lost interest in actively gaming. Now I have occassional games with my son in law.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 5:25 p.m. PST

I do pretty well with the games I run at my house. I have four or so pretty regularly. Sometimes I have a total of seven or eight. All of these are counting myself.


21eRegt26 Aug 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

We have the "hard core four" and up to a dozen others who play when they can or when the game is one they enjoy. Others come just to be social.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 6:12 p.m. PST

One group is easy to get together another group is much more difficult. A lot has to do with geography and work schedule.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 7:31 p.m. PST

We have regularly schedule gaming every week and some extra on the side. My problem is getting them to play for more than three hours at a time.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 7:41 p.m. PST

My weekly group currently has 6 people who show up regularly. The group was larger 5 years ago but we had a couple of guys move. Went down to 3 of 4 for a couple of years. Now one of them is returning next week. There are another 4-6 that show up depending on the game and their schedule.

There are several larger groups that meet for game days, for the most part those are well attended. It totally depends on the people.

emckinney26 Aug 2017 8:02 p.m. PST

It sure seems so at times. Of course, a lot of gamers refuse to follow the Dicta Burnside;

1. Never talk down anyone else's game. Would you want to play someone else's game when they've just insulted yours?

2. Play other people's games. It builds mutual obligations.

3. Gradually talk them into trying something new.

4. Gradually walk them into new periods and levels of complexity. Not everyone is a period expert like you, so "intuitive" rules often aren't. Similarly, levels of detail that seem perfectly reasonable to you will be overwhelming to newcomers.

5. When the agree to play your game, be completely prepared. Then prepare some more. Have the table set up, if at all possible. Have the forces already deployed. Have quick reference sheets ready for everyone (make them if they don't exist, but get them right!).

6. Know exactly how you're going to teach a new game, step by step.

7. Don't make the game too big.

8. Make sure that everyone has something to do from the first turn.

9. Don't set up games where an error on the first turn (before anyone else really knows the rules!) will lose the game.

10. Keep the game moving. Bore them, and they'll never play again.

11. Know the rules inside and out. See #5 and #10--no long pauses to search the rulebook.

12. Keep it fun! This means knowing your audience--do they like spending lots of time laughing, even though it slows down the game? Some people need to have a chance to win throughout the game; others don't care, so long as the experience is interesting.

emckinney26 Aug 2017 8:07 p.m. PST

I find that many people are effectively hiding out from others in their area. They won't go to conventions because the last time they went, they couldn't find anyone playing the one obscure game that they're interested in (I exaggerate, of course), they aren't on any of the websites actively (not at all, just lurk, whatever), they make no effort to find other people in their area, etc.

I was unable to find anyone in the Los Angeles area interested in what I wanted to play. Suddenly, we have a about eight people in touch, five of whom have made it to games so far.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 8:41 p.m. PST

It's harder since the sole local game store that actively supported historical gaming shut down. This community no longer has a central gathering place where historical games are routinely scheduled and someone looking for a game to play or host or to make contacts could just show up and get going.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 10:03 p.m. PST

It has been harder to get as many to game over the last 1-2 years.

Some have legitimate reasons they can't make as many games while others are just down right rude and inconsiderate. These are all guys I've known for at least 25 years.

Fortunately there is still a reliable core group. Who knows. In a few months it might turn around.

jambo1 Inactive Member27 Aug 2017 4:00 a.m. PST

Group!!! I wish.

VVV reply27 Aug 2017 5:46 a.m. PST

Yes, in my area historical gamers are splitting into smaller groups.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 6:33 a.m. PST

Yes. Folks are working later evenings and on the weekends now. Social Media helps somewhat. The website "Meetup" does help as there is an easy way to gage interest in a particular rule set or time slot. Also, venues are harder to come by as the brick and mortar retailers disappear.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 8:43 a.m. PST

I am with piper909. The shop was centrally located so that North and South could gather without much trouble. Now gaming is at homes or, by sufferance, at fantasy shops so much more pre-planning is necessary. As with MANY things, I miss the Old Days and Ways.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

it's really hard to do in today's environment. Our current group has a hard time just choosing a game, focusing on a period, or doing a campaign. The reason is that there are so many distractions in terms of new rules, games, figures, etc., coming out continuously. Back in the day your group played a few periods and even if you didn't like some of them, you attended and still had fun. Today, there is a mind numbingly number of alternatives and there are many that i'm not interested in trying, which can create some unintended friction.

steamingdave4727 Aug 2017 9:18 a.m. PST

We started with 3, meeting once a week, now up to 7 with a possible 8th. No lack of enthusiasm here.

Great War Ace Inactive Member27 Aug 2017 2:58 p.m. PST

Getting together isn't hard. But it has to happen. There has to be a dynamic to draw gamers together and keep them coming out to game together. You can't create that. It simply has to happen. It's like fishing (even though I don't fish, bear with the analogy): you cast here and try different bait there, etc. If you find a place where your combo attracts a lot of fish, then you wind up with a good catch. Offering to game with others is a lot like fishing. Keep trying and eventually you'll find a gaming group.

I've never had to start from scratch. So for those who move away, to a strange place, and start "fishing", best of luck to all you all! May God bless and Amen.

TGerritsen27 Aug 2017 8:24 p.m. PST

I've looked in my area, and at every regional con I meet people who tell me they are from my city, but when I reach out, they don't respond. I have no trouble finding rpg and board gamers, but a hell of a time trying to get anyone locally to play historicals. Since Last Square closed up their old digs and moved far West of town, there just isn't a good gathering place. I have a large enough game room and would be happy to host a regular game, and even provide minis, but I have little luck.

If you live in Madison, WI, and want to play, let me know.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 10:07 p.m. PST

Sending you a PM, TG! Not in Madison now, but could be in the near future.

Shagnasty, you should join us there!! Great food, nice people, lots of gaming, and no fire ants!

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