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Subject: I Think I Have a Problem rss

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Ryan Kelly
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First of all, I feel like I should start by explicitly mentioning what this post is not. It's not an effort on my part to stimulate discussion about the merits of TCG's versus LCG's or board games, Eurogames vs. Ameritrash, or anything else of that nature. I'm posting this in the hopes of getting some sincere advice. Where I express an opinion, it is only that -- my opinion. Where differing opinions are germane to the discussion, please be gentle with me.

A little background may be in order. I started gaming as a hobby back in Fall 1994, roughly a year after Magic: The Gathering was released to the general public. At the time, the core set was 3rd Edition: Revised and "The Dark" had just gone out of print. I jumped on the bandwagon with several classmates of mine, and played M:TG in an on-again off-again career for several years after.

The one thing that irritated me the most about M:TG almost the entire time I played it is that it gets expensive. Conventional wisdom says that you don't need to spend a lot of money to be successful in a TCG, and that may be true as far as it goes, but in M:TG you can only use the same cards for so long in a standard deck before new cards come out and the old ones drop out of tournament competition. Conversely, if you want to use the older out-of-print cards, you either have to purchase them on the aftermarket or hope they will be reprinted in a future core set. This irritation led indirectly to my love affair with Eurogames.

In the Summer of 1997, I was at my friendly local hobby shop, where the game du jour was more often than not M:TG, and I was thumbing through one of the owner's wholesale catalogs. An ad jumped out at me for a colorful board game, the likes of which I had never seen before. Or at least I had never noticed before. The game was recent Spiel Des Jahres winner "The Settlers of Catan." I asked the store owner to order a copy for me, and he did. The rest is history.

Ever since that fateful day, I have immersed myself in the games of Knizia, Teuber, Moon, and others like them. Normally that wouldn't be a problem...

...but I come from a relatively small town of less than 30,000 where the addiction to TCG's, and particularly M;TG is fierce. Being a eurogamer around here is a very lonely preoccupation. And this is where my need for advice comes in. Is there any way to stimulate the market for eurogames here, or even board games in general, considering how little interest there is in even trying them? I'd like to hang around my hometown as long as my parents are still here, so moving may not be an option for a while. And I'm not trying to get people to stop playing TCG's. I'm just hoping to expand their horizons a little bit. Any insight? Anyone?
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Game Nurse
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Well.... I will make a stab it it....How about breaking them in with other games?

Like if you want to expand their horizons a bit as to card games, try breaking out a LCG like lord of the rings or maybe mage wars? Summoner wars seems to be very popular as well. Different mechanics but still familiar enough that they will get it.

Or I would suggest games like lords of water deep. Very fun easy game and excellent intro to the workers placement idea.

Other than that I am new to board gaming myself, but those games are what convinced me that there IS life after MtG. Life that is actually even MORE fun and less expensive once I started playing them, I have not looked back.
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Mathieu Hotton
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I always had all sorts of games around me and so many players, so i won't be very helpfull i fear.I played AGOT LCG a couple of years ago but stopped because it costs too much just for one game. I played Warhammer when i was very young, and i think i understand your problem : Those games they are playing are very addictive. It costs a lot so you invest your time, and the more time you spend on the game the more you like it, because you are knowledgeable, you have a nice collection, you painted the figs yourself etc... So they tend to make players less open to other games.

Eurogames may not seem very much fun in comparision. I know many players of MTG, and most of them like Dominion and Ascension, as they are boardgames designed for them. Maybe it could be a first slow step. Then try 7 wonders as it's a card game with a draft system they already are familiar with. Don't immediatly drop a eurogame, try hybrids.

I can't say much more

 
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Ryan Kelly
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Gamenurse wrote:
Well.... I will make a stab it it....How about breaking them in with other games?

Like if you want to expand their horizons a bit as to card games, try breaking out a LCG like lord of the rings or maybe mage wars? Summoner wars seems to be very popular as well. Different mechanics but still familiar enough that they will get it.

Or I would suggest games like lords of water deep. Very fun easy game and excellent intro to the workers placement idea.

Other than that I am new to board gaming myself, but those games are what convinced me that there IS life after MtG. Life that is actually even MORE fun and less expensive :) once I started playing them, I have not looked back.


Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. I am dealing with a hardcore subset of TCG players who do not want to play anything else except their chosen TCG.

There's a guy I used to pal around with back in the day at that now-defunct hobby shop we started playing at. He has a M:TG shop here in town now. That's all he sells, all he does. I tried asking him about getting a con going at a convention center here in town and he shot me down in under five seconds: "I can fit 100 people in here. I'm not going to rent a room to play games I don't sell." And this was before I said anything about any kind of monetary commitment!
 
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Tough situation. The empire of MTG reminds me a bit of WoW--once people are on the treadmill, it's hard to coax them off.
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Ian Richard
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My advice is that you only need to break one or two of them. When everyone is playing MTG there is a group mentality that nothing else can be fun. Once a single person cracks and decides to try it, others will follow.

Sadly, that is easier said then done.

First, look for players in their group who can't moneybag their decks. You'll find them because they tend to lose often. When they lose and look frustrated, invite them into your game while they wait for another MTG to open up.

Next, consider inviting people you know play board games* so that you can have a game up and running. People will wander by and look at your game and hopefully develop some interest in it. Once they start asking questions you have a chance to converting them.

Worst case, bribe some people to play with you. "Free pizza for anyone who can beat me at Catan!" or something crazy like that. If you can get them to try it, they may very well enjoy themselves.

While this can backfire, consider bringing other card games. If you get something that looks a bit like magic this may lower their resistance.

*Or bring something that can play solo
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Ryan Kelly
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Scottgun wrote:
Tough situation. The empire of MTG reminds me a bit of WoW--once people are on the treadmill, it's hard to coax them off.


You aren't kidding. But it looks like not even WoW will last forever, if the performance of MoP is any indication.
 
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Ryan Kelly
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McTeddy wrote:
My advice is that you only need to break one or two of them. When everyone is playing MTG there is a group mentality that nothing else can be fun. Once a single person cracks and decides to try it, others will follow.

Sadly, that is easier said then done.

First, look for players in their group who can't moneybag their decks. You'll find them because they tend to lose often. When they lose and look frustrated, invite them into your game while they wait for another MTG to open up.

Next, consider inviting people you know play board games* so that you can have a game up and running. People will wander by and look at your game and hopefully develop some interest in it. Once they start asking questions you have a chance to converting them.

Worst case, bribe some people to play with you. "Free pizza for anyone who can beat me at Catan!" or something crazy like that. If you can get them to try it, they may very well enjoy themselves.

While this can backfire, consider bringing other card games. If you get something that looks a bit like magic this may lower their resistance.

*Or bring something that can play solo


The only thing that really worries me about this kind of wanton bribery is that after Jason's swift rebuff of my idea for a con (and please bear in mind, I did not ask him for money), I'm not sure he would want me stepping on his toes like this. He is not a gamer. He is an M:TG player and is severely disinclined to play anything else. I wouldn't want him to feel like I was threatening his business.
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Leo Chell
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Invite them to yours for your specific games. That's what I did. Start off with easy games. Heck start off with card games with a MTG feel. Ascension for example. Get some beers and pizza in. Make it part of a bbq set up or some such.
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David Buckley
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Some suggestions:

1) Play games online on sites like Brettspielwelt or Yucata or you can pick your favourite game and search for places to play using the BGG entry or google or get some IoS versions.

2) Buy some games that can be played Solitaire. Cooperative games are
often good for this purpose.

3) Using BGG look under Forums - Game Groups - United States and see if you can find any interest in your area.

4) If there is an RPGer or videogamer community near you then there might be potential recruits among those.

Hope at least one of these is of some use to you. Good luck!
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John Peterson
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Try starting a meetup (or seeing if there's already one in the town you're in). The problem may not be the MTG/TCG-players, it may be WHERE you're looking.

Meetup is a little broader in appeal and you may find others who like to play games (but may not have the exposure to Euros) and you can cultivate a group that way that isn't biased towards a particular game or type of game (my local Meetup doesn't allow CCG/TCG's).

Another option is to try other venues - book stores, libraries, etc.
 
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John Peterson
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Here's one in Sioux Falls: http://www.meetup.com/IONShq/members/

Not sure which city you're in since it isn't on your profile.

You could also start one.... Sometimes someone taking the initiative is what it takes.

 
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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gryph202 wrote:

...but I come from a relatively small town of less than 30,000 where the addiction to TCG's, and particularly M;TG is fierce. Being a eurogamer around here is a very lonely preoccupation. And this is where my need for advice comes in. Is there any way to stimulate the market for eurogames here, or even board games in general, considering how little interest there is in even trying them? I'd like to hang around my hometown as long as my parents are still here, so moving may not be an option for a while. And I'm not trying to get people to stop playing TCG's. I'm just hoping to expand their horizons a little bit. Any insight? Anyone?

Have you considered putting up a small ad in the shop? It's entirely possible there's already some eurogamers in exactly the same position how you are.

That's probably easier then trying to convert M:TG players. In my experience at least, if M:TG people jump to anything it's ameritrash because the themes are more familiar.
 
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Ryan Kelly
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scubadawg1 wrote:
Here's one in Sioux Falls: http://www.meetup.com/IONShq/members/

Not sure which city you're in since it isn't on your profile.

You could also start one.... Sometimes someone taking the initiative is what it takes.



I am in Aberdeen. Third-largest city in the state. A somewhat less-than-vital gaming atmosphere up here, overall. I'd like to change that, and I'm getting lots of good ideas on this thread.
 
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Ryan Kelly
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scubadawg1 wrote:
Try starting a meetup (or seeing if there's already one in the town you're in). The problem may not be the MTG/TCG-players, it may be WHERE you're looking.

Meetup is a little broader in appeal and you may find others who like to play games (but may not have the exposure to Euros) and you can cultivate a group that way that isn't biased towards a particular game or type of game (my local Meetup doesn't allow CCG/TCG's).

Another option is to try other venues - book stores, libraries, etc.


Would you believe there are no more book stores left here? And I'm trying to work with the public library, but scheduling concerns are tough since the building is old and I'm limited in the rooms there I can use. I'm not giving up on them though (the library). I know the public services librarian pretty well and she's really nice.
 
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John Peterson
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gryph202 wrote:
scubadawg1 wrote:
Try starting a meetup (or seeing if there's already one in the town you're in). The problem may not be the MTG/TCG-players, it may be WHERE you're looking.

Meetup is a little broader in appeal and you may find others who like to play games (but may not have the exposure to Euros) and you can cultivate a group that way that isn't biased towards a particular game or type of game (my local Meetup doesn't allow CCG/TCG's).

Another option is to try other venues - book stores, libraries, etc.


Would you believe there are no more book stores left here? And I'm trying to work with the public library, but scheduling concerns are tough since the building is old and I'm limited in the rooms there I can use. I'm not giving up on them though (the library). I know the public services librarian pretty well and she's really nice.


Another option would be to check the schools. I volunteer at my son's Junior High every other Friday for their Game Club.... Some of the kids that I game with have parents who game, and the teacher that runs the club is also a gamer....

It looks like there's a University there, too (Northern State?). That's another option - check to see if there's student organizations that do gaming.
 
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Jonathan Butt
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Hmm, gateway games for CCG players. Clearly card games and fantasy themed things. I recently introduced a tugioh player to Dominion.
I explained thaht in his game the strategy is in the deck builder, which is done at home and potentially costs hundreds of pounds, and that the "gameplay" is largely luck and robotic as there are no choices.
Deck building games is competitive deckbuilding, but it is completely balanced and you are playing the ability of your opponents [multiple] not there deck or bank balance.

Invite them to a gaming convention? Previous posters idea of posters sound like a good iea.

Perudo, Munchkin, Summoner wars, Citadels, Resistance Lords of Waterdeep sound like good intoductory games.

I'd say start a group on here, meetup or FB. Try and get some friends and family hooked. Digital [phone] versions can help with that. Or even surprise them. Set up something quick and easy to get into and invite them round with out mentioning it


https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web...

Hmm, I can't find Quin's video where he talks to computer game designers about the brilliant things boardgames can do that computer games cant.

And finally, play Magic with them! Investing some time in there hobby and socialising with them will be the first step to luring them over to the "real" games. Just buy a current starter deck, and your done
 
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Ryan Kelly
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JonathanButt wrote:
Hmm, gateway games for CCG players. Clearly card games and fantasy themed things. I recently introduced a tugioh player to Dominion.
I explained thaht in his game the strategy is in the deck builder, which is done at home and potentially costs hundreds of pounds, and that the "gameplay" is largely luck and robotic as there are no choices.
Deck building games is competitive deckbuilding, but it is completely balanced and you are playing the ability of your opponents [multiple] not there deck or bank balance.

Invite them to a gaming convention? Previous posters idea of posters sound like a good iea.

Perudo, Munchkin, Summoner wars, Citadels, Resistance Lords of Waterdeep sound like good intoductory games.

I'd say start a group on here, meetup or FB. Try and get some friends and family hooked. Digital [phone] versions can help with that. Or even surprise them. Set up something quick and easy to get into and invite them round with out mentioning it :)


https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web...

Hmm, I can't find Quin's video where he talks to computer game designers about the brilliant things boardgames can do that computer games cant.

And finally, play Magic with them! Investing some time in there hobby and socialising with them will be the first step to luring them over to the "real" games. Just buy a current starter deck, and your done :)


I do get sucked back into M:TG from time to time. I always end up spending more money on it than I really want to. And besides all that, I'm really not that good.
 
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Vivienne Raper
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I'm a former Magic player and still prefer Magic-esque games.

Try:

Android: Netrunner
Blue Moon Legends
Lord of the Rings: The LCG
Innovation
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer(designed by MtG players)
Nightfall(for Innistrad fans)
Call of Cthulhu: LCGor Star Wars LCG
Yomi
BattleCON: War of Indines
Puzzle Strike
Seasons
Mage Wars
Omen: Reign of War

You need to demonstrate that it's possible to play a deep, competitive combo card game WITHOUT spending loads of money and ending up with files of useless cards. Sorry, Munchkin won't cut the mustard... In fact, it's more likely to convince serious MtG players that board games aren't for them...

Once you've got them playing Seasons, you can move onto Race for the Galaxy and maybe Puerto Rico...
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Brandon
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I wonder if the lack of player interaction in games like Ascension: Deckbuilding Game would be a turn-off for diehard Magic players.
 
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