A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

[AT-43] Or: How to get new players. BY PLAYING!!

See, this is a problem with gamers I really need to devote a whole post to one day.

How some gamers are REALLY antisocial about playing other people, trying new games, and don't seem to have the slightest interest in doing anything outside of what they already are.

Take this from personal experience.  Playing in a tiny group in a private venue is a guarantee of eventual no gaming.

But as I may have mentioned I love AT 43.  I love it like..  a lot.

People who are willing to try the game usually really really like it.  But it has been hard to get people to try it.

Thankfully I have been a playing at Arkham Asylum the last few months (even if the guy I went down with to try to recruit folks has gone MIA) since one of the clerks really enjoys trying new games (he isn't from the region which is why he is actually SOCIABLE to a larger degree than the regular New England Gamer) and it helps him from the tedium of endless D&D 4th ed and Magic games.

Its also good to have potential product diversity too.  You never know when an existing market may cool off or even go out completely.

Thus the last 2 weeks we have played AT-43.

People really wanted more info.  Instead of being put upon for people asking questions, I was happy to answer as much as I could, even if it slowed the game down.

And as I was consistent, now there is even more interest and more desire to show off the game.

So this week I had a light scenario to show off the game, using smaller, simpler forces.

I prepared as much as possible before the game with prebuilt armies, and even a little scenario.  If I was capable of getting my butt out of bed on time and stop looking at stuff for random reasons I would get even more going better and faster.

(Today's stupidity was half awake model kit investigation and reorganization.  No I do not know why I needed to spend a good 30-45 minutes in my undershorts looking at my model kits instead of just getting up and getting ready to go.)

The scenario I came up with was pretty good and lots of people were oohing and ahhing over the game. And some folks even LIKED the idea of prepainted figures since Arkham doesn't really have a big active minis group.

Third biggest Friday Night Magic participation in the country most weeks, but not much minis gaming.

So the lack of Games Workshop fanboyism and painter elitism actually HELPED in this venue.

Of course, exploding zombies is always popular too...

(Zombies from underground grates try to blow up my poor Fire Toads.  Durka Durka Romero Jihad.)

So people are asking for more demos so they can give it a shot.  

Thus I am building some simple forces for next week if my casino overlords don't have me scheduled to work.

I showed off my UNA, Oni, and Red Blok armies, so this week I will show off my remaining two:

The Therians, commanded by Nina Zero, Atis Astarte, and Sigma Urash.  2000 points in 4 units.

And the Karmans, also with 2000 points of HOT.  MONKEY.  LOVIN.   Also 2K points in 4 units.

But because its a demo and training game I am trying to make it smaller forces as to not overwhelm people or take too long to play.

So let's see how it goes.

But what am I learning of getting new players of the gaming sort?

1:  Play multiple times consistently at a PUBLIC gaming venue.
2:  Be friendly and welcoming, and willing to answer questions.
3:  Keep games smaller and simpler as to not be overwhelming.
4:  Be willing to offer interested parties the chance to play, if not this time, the next one.
5:  Have plenty of things folks can look at.


Jay said...

It's nice to see someone who actually WANTS people to come up and ask questions. I can't tell you how many game sessions at my own FLGS scowl at people who approach their table.

Those models look pretty cool too! I especially like the gorillas.

Captain Rufus said...

Yeah. I just don't get that.

One of the worst I saw were some gamers in Virginia. Some folks were so insular and clannish there were TWO seperate Battletech campaigns going on at the same time and both groups were basically acting like the other one wasn't even there!

Then there were the historical naval games players who had the MASSIVE (Im talking like a 6 by 4 table thereabouts!) game table with 3-4 3 inch models on the table who would freak out if your books so much as rested on a corner of it.

And I still am bitter about a pair of (this was 95) guys playing 40K Rogue Trader and my friend and I tried talking to them for a bit. I noticed how little they wanted to do with us and our nasty 2nd ed ways (which honestly by the time Battle Manual came out was 2e but spread over a half dozen books) a tad faster than my friend, and pretty much had to all but walk out of there as it was clear those two douches didn't even want to ATTEMPT to socialize with fellow gamers.

I just don't get why anyone would want to be so antisocial.

Its not like there is a huge amount of gamers to begin with, and being rude just makes things worse.

I've especially noticed this with Battletech players who overall are some of the worst damned gamers on the planet.

That's right. Worse than Magic or IN PRINT ONLY D UN D players.


Pico said...

Even though I only got to play this game maybe twice, I did enjoy what I did see. For someone who had a very limited gaming budget and very little time to model/paint, the price of this line and the fact that they were already painted made it a good value.

What little I remember about the rules worked well and it was definitely easier to learn than 40K in my opinion. Especially compared to 2nd edition 40K which I still prefer over the newer editions (What can I say, I guess I was always a bit stuck on 2nd edition. I'm not saying that the newer editions weren't good, but I just liked 2nd for what it was).

And I have to agree Jay, the models do look really cool. I always liked seeing the terrain that came with the sets.

Hopefully this line sticks around for a while. I would consider building a couple armies when my son is old enough to play.


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