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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Local Gaming Events Besides Fellowship Event? rss

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David Wiley
United States
Waukee
IA
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I'm in an area where there is no active visibility for this game. Only one of the local FLGS stores actively carries product for the game, and none of them have regular times for people to meet up and play the game. Only one store, and not the one that sells the product, ran a Fellowship Event and the turnout was 3 (including myself and a buddy I brought along who had just started to learn the game with me).

I want to spend this year building up a local community for the game, if that is possible. Before I dive into things blindly, I wanted to see if anyone out there is either running, or an active member of, a group of local people who meet to play Lord of the Rings LCG. Questions I'm hoping to answer include:

- How often should the group meet (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?)
- How long should the events run?
- Should the quests to be played be decided ahead of time, or should they be left to the whims of those who turn up?
- How often to sprinkle in some of the fun Gen Con events?
- Do either league-play or achievement-style formats provide incentive to play and/or experiment with new decks/players?
- What is the best method to bring new players onto the scene without making them feel overwhelmed by the game and what to purchase when they start?
- Any other tips/advice/pitfalls to share are welcome!

This game has a benefit of being a cooperative game, making it seem like it should be easier to help newer players get into a game. However, this is also a game with minimal promotional material/swag out there to make running something large harder to do because there isn't much in bonus content as an incentive to offer.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
 
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Chris Gordy
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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dtwiley wrote:
I'm in an area where there is no active visibility for this game. Only one of the local FLGS stores actively carries product for the game, and none of them have regular times for people to meet up and play the game. Only one store, and not the one that sells the product, ran a Fellowship Event and the turnout was 3 (including myself and a buddy I brought along who had just started to learn the game with me).

I want to spend this year building up a local community for the game, if that is possible. Before I dive into things blindly, I wanted to see if anyone out there is either running, or an active member of, a group of local people who meet to play Lord of the Rings LCG. Questions I'm hoping to answer include:

- How often should the group meet (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?)
- How long should the events run?
- Should the quests to be played be decided ahead of time, or should they be left to the whims of those who turn up?
- How often to sprinkle in some of the fun Gen Con events?
- Do either league-play or achievement-style formats provide incentive to play and/or experiment with new decks/players?
- What is the best method to bring new players onto the scene without making them feel overwhelmed by the game and what to purchase when they start?
- Any other tips/advice/pitfalls to share are welcome!

This game has a benefit of being a cooperative game, making it seem like it should be easier to help newer players get into a game. However, this is also a game with minimal promotional material/swag out there to make running something large harder to do because there isn't much in bonus content as an incentive to offer.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
Myself and another LotR gamer are in the process of getting a local group together for this. It is hard given 1) the game has some legs under it, making it somewhat overwhelming for new players and 2) the game has some legs under it meaning that a lot of previous LotR gamers are burned out or are moving on. That said we continue to try. Here is what we have been doing:

- Meeting about once a month - too much more, potential of scaring away new players as well by thinking it as too much of a commitment and if you do much longer you run the risk of having people forget about it or move on in the interim.

- At this point, we leave the decision of the scenario(s) until the night of, though we may discuss in advance here on BGG. This will allow new people the opportunity to pick a scenario that they have been wanting to try out.

- Personally I think about 3 hours is what is necessary, allowing for at least two scenarios, time to talk and opportunity to tweak decks if necessary (to address duplicate heroes or too many of the same uniques).

- Have pre-made decks available for people who are coming to learn the game and may not have their own decks. I almost always travel with at least 3-5 decks ready to play.

- Play at any location that is good to gamers and is comfortable for gamers. If it is a FLGS that does not have the best gaming space, it is more than likely going to keep newer gamers away. Even if the store does not actively carry LotR stuff now, they might if they see a regular meeting of players coming into the store.

These are just some of my thoughts from my current experience. I admit, we do have a location that fully supports us and the game, as I live near the Fantasy Flight Event Center. Unfortunately due to lack of interest, they cancelled their scheduled game nights and thus we are now trying to recreate an active group.

Good Luck

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Jim Hansen
United States
Seattle
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We have a bi-weekly group in Seattle that has been going strong for a few years. I also spent a couple months in Denver and played with a weekly group there.

In terms of frequency, I'd probably target bi-weekly or monthly at first.
It helps to always have it at the same time (we do 1st and 3rd Saturdays, for example, so I can always plan on it). If you get enough participation and enthusiasm to sustain higher frequency, then you can try that. But what you don't want to do it have the group meet too often such that there are times when nobody or very few people can make it. If it gets to the point where you have to ask "is there going to be anyone else there to play with this time?", then you are meeting too frequently. What you really need is just 1 or 2 other dedicated people that you know will show up every time. That gives a foundation for the new or less dedicated people to attach to.

The groups that I've played it typically go for 3-4 hours. That feels good to me. If people are driving from far away, you might want to make it longer to justify the drive.

We generally don't choose quests ahead of time, unless we know a new pack is coming out that we want to try. If you want to try a particularly hard quest or quest that requires specific deckbuilding, you might want to plan ahead. These can apply to Gen Con quests as well.

I don't have experience with league or achievement stuff. It doesn't make as much sense for a cooperative game. But, you can still give incentives for showing up. Sometimes we give discounts on games or drinks, or people make cookies.

For bringing in new players, make sure you have extra decks ready (that are easy to play). We have a couple of players that have been coming for more than a year, but own no cards. Try to start them on simpler quests and play with only 2 or 3 people.

In general, you want to bring lots of decks and decks that can swap heroes in and out. You need to be able to fit around whatever other people bring to the table.

In my experience, people are drawn more to community than swag. The best thing you can do is make a consistent, friendly game group that people look forward to attending. Make sure you are on Facebook, BGG, and other platforms to get the word out. You'd be amazed at how many people play the game, but you don't see them at stores because they typically play at home.
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Fred Buchholz
United States
Middleton
Wisconsin
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I started a FB group for our local area, I got some names from a Fellowship event of "murder at the prancing pony", I set up a group meet on the FB group each week to coincide with my FLGS card game night (I.e. the night to play card games that are NOT MtG. IT's worked well so far, I always come prepared with several prebuilt decks, a solo deck and adventure if I end up alone, and currently have a couple others going through campaign with me - we are at Shelob's lair so 2/3 of the way through.

You might want to try less often but I found just seeing me there even on my own tended to get people to ask about it and a couple of times I got "teaching" games in when some one wanted to try it (thus the prebuilt decks).
Good luck wit hit I hope you get a group going - it is interesting playing in a group and trying to support each other's decks.
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