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Subject: What makes a gaming group GREAT? rss

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Randy Mooney
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I have been shoddily forming a gaming group for the past few years, it has largely been hit and miss.

I used to run poker nights and could get lot's of guys coming over. Board games, different group of people.

What makes a gaming group GREAT? (I will have another post on "What makes a gaming group STINK?)
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Randy Mooney
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One thing I have particularly liked with groups I have gotten involved in is ... variety.
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J C Lawrence
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A great group plays interesting games in interesting ways.
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What makes a gaming group "great?"

Well for one, having people who actually consider it one of their priorities to have fun and actually get together to play the games (translation - having people who actually show up).

Secondly, having a group that's not afraid to try different things.

Third, having a group that doesn't have a poor sport in the mix (or know-it-all) helps a bunch, too.

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Marshall Miller
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You just can't beat good folk for a gaming group.
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Steve Bauer
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People you enjoy spending time with.
People who will play games you want to play.
People who are close to you in skill at these games, it is no fun to win all the time or lose all the time.
A good place to play.
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Ben Lott
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When the #1 goal of all the members is to have fun, you will have a great group.
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Don Barree
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I have to believe we have one of the best groups anywhere. We meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Saturday. The Wednesday and Saturday sessions are heavily attended. Saturdays usually get between 25 and 35 people that play from 2:00 p.m. until around 11:00 p.m. We meet at a Panera Bread location and there is enough variety that you can get into whatever game you feel like playing. If you have a particular favorite you can post ahead of time on our web site and get players lined up in advance. We play anything from the heaviest Euros like Die Macher and Brass to Ameritrash like Arkham Horror and BSG to games like TTR and Scrabble. It's not unusual to see 7 or 8 player Shadows Over Camelot or 6 player Imperial on a Saturday.

Part of our success is having a place large enough and welcoming enough to accommodate our group. We met at Wegman's Supermarket for several years until they changed their policy on allowing groups to use their space and, fortunately for us, the Panera Bread nearby welcomed us with open arms. I also can't stress enough how important Meetup.com has been to growing our group. I would recommend that site to anyone serious about trying to get a regular group going. You may be surprised at how many people there are around you that you never knew were there.
If you want to check us out here's our web site:
http://www.meetup.com/BoardgamesNJ/
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Ian Klinck
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My group is made up of friends, who I'd be happy to hang out with outside of gaming.

We're pretty consistent (every Thursday). Not everyone makes it every week, but there are always enough for a game.

We have similar objectives in gaming: It's more important to have fun than to win... but everybody's going to give winning a good shot.

We also have similar interests in games, and are all willing to try something new.
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Val Ruza
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Wargamers!cool
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Game Heretics
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Yup, a group of people who are there first and foremost to have fun is an absolute necessity. This along with an adventurous spirit, as far as trying out new games, and good sportsmanship is essential.
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Richard Diosi
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Having a group of guys that you have been gaming with since high school (25+ years ago) and are still your best friends and sometimes make you laugh until you cry during your sessions.

It's hard to come by but definitely worth the lifelong investment
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Colin Kameoka
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Games you like are played and games you hate are never played.
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John Bobek
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For a great group, at least for miniatures, you need a great host

good people

interesting scenarios



and miniatures rules that are easy, accurate, and fun to play.
(Blush!)
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Patrick Hanley
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Very outgoing people.

Try gaming with a room full of introverts... cry
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Wayne Hitchcock
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What makes a gaming group great? The same thing that makes a gaming group stink: People.
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Bob Roberts

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Fanatical devotion, ruthless efficiency and...er...what was the question?
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Kris Miller
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Mease19 wrote:
You just can't beat good folk for a gaming group.


Of course you can! My group beats each other regularly, and no one gets upset about losing.
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John Farrell
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You need some people who can take charge and lead a game (about 25%), and some people who will shut up and play what they're told (about 25%). Even better are people who are both, but they're very rare. If you have just the first type you have too many arguments, and just the second type nobody can decide what to play. At Critical Mass we have meetings of about 20 people. The core of the group has been playing together for about 4 years are mostly highly educated guys who can teach many games - the first type of people. We get a lot of newbies - the second type of people - and so are prepared to get them into a game pretty quickly. We also take joint responsibility for organising meetings, which is very nice.
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Bret Clifton
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Along with all that has already been said, those who look for every opportunity and are hilarious at roleplaying! Even the stupidest, most lifelessly themed game can be made more fun with roleplay!!arrrhzombieninjagoo
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Pete Lane
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I belong to a handfull of groups, and I think the dynamic of the players really helps. Also, flexibility of the players is always helpful, and very much depends on how often the game meets. I have a smaller group of friends that get together and game about weekly, but my larger groups tend to only see each other 1-2 times every 3 months or so. It really helps that all of us have similar tastes in games, and that rarely do we see conflict on what games never see play. It also helps that none of us have AP, so games flow quickly enough to be able to cram 2-3 solid Euros into a 5 hour night (including food time).

 
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M H
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dbarree wrote:
I have to believe we have one of the best groups anywhere. We meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Saturday. The Wednesday and Saturday sessions are heavily attended. Saturdays usually get between 25 and 35 people that play from 2:00 p.m. until around 11:00 p.m. We meet at a Panera Bread location and there is enough variety that you can get into whatever game you feel like playing. If you have a particular favorite you can post ahead of time on our web site and get players lined up in advance. We play anything from the heaviest Euros like Die Macher and Brass to Ameritrash like Arkham Horror and BSG to games like TTR and Scrabble. It's not unusual to see 7 or 8 player Shadows Over Camelot or 6 player Imperial on a Saturday.

This is off the scale for most groups. I wonder how you manage this and how this started. I hardly can get my colleagues to join once a month. And the other more serious group of gamers meets once a month. Multiple sessions within a week seems to unreachable for me.
Your group actually sounds like a lot of work. In one of my groups i am the main organizer. I own the most games, i bring them, i pay for them and i attend every meeting. I couldn't meet multiple times a week so there have to be other people with games and the will to organize.
 
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Jon Cormier
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DancesWithBeagles wrote:
What makes a gaming group great? The same thing that makes a gaming group stink: People.


Bingo!

I know for me the biggest mistake I've made in hosting a few game nights was simply inviting too many people that we couldn't really accomodate in our space because everyone wanted to play one game together - kind of hard with eight or nine people and no games that can accomodate that many people.

Have space for the group and don't be afraid to start out with a small group or a larger group that won't mind playing separate games - this can be a bit odd at first if you've got a bunch of people who are used to game night meaning everyone plays the same game together, but when things get started all those uncertainties disappear (usually).
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Michael Kandrac
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Friendless wrote:
You need some people who can take charge and lead a game (about 25%), and some people who will shut up and play what they're told (about 25%). Even better are people who are both, but they're very rare. If you have just the first type you have too many arguments, and just the second type nobody can decide what to play. At Critical Mass we have meetings of about 20 people. The core of the group has been playing together for about 4 years are mostly highly educated guys who can teach many games - the first type of people. We get a lot of newbies - the second type of people - and so are prepared to get them into a game pretty quickly. We also take joint responsibility for organising meetings, which is very nice.


John, this could just as well as described South Arlington Gamers.

It is critical, I believe, for a group to be unwavering in its commitment to their regularly scheduled evening - everyone knows who knows about the group knows that no matter what, gaming takes place in a certain place at a certain time. Also, the "regular meeting" should be weekly; on again, off again scheduling of meetings will doom the group to phone booth size numbers. S.A.G. is family friendly and remarkably diverse for a hobby that typically attracts white males in the 30-50 age group. At our most recent meeting of 20 individuals nearly half were female, there were Asian and Hispanic participants, and the ages ranged from 12 to 80. Heavy games get played at some tables, light at others, but everyone enjoys the experience based on their level of interest.

Gg

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Don Barree
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Topper Harley wrote:
dbarree wrote:
I have to believe we have one of the best groups anywhere. We meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Saturday. The Wednesday and Saturday sessions are heavily attended. Saturdays usually get between 25 and 35 people that play from 2:00 p.m. until around 11:00 p.m. We meet at a Panera Bread location and there is enough variety that you can get into whatever game you feel like playing. If you have a particular favorite you can post ahead of time on our web site and get players lined up in advance. We play anything from the heaviest Euros like Die Macher and Brass to Ameritrash like Arkham Horror and BSG to games like TTR and Scrabble. It's not unusual to see 7 or 8 player Shadows Over Camelot or 6 player Imperial on a Saturday.

This is off the scale for most groups. I wonder how you manage this and how this started. I hardly can get my colleagues to join once a month. And the other more serious group of gamers meets once a month. Multiple sessions within a week seems to unreachable for me.
Your group actually sounds like a lot of work. In one of my groups i am the main organizer. I own the most games, i bring them, i pay for them and i attend every meeting. I couldn't meet multiple times a week so there have to be other people with games and the will to organize.


We have several organizers in our group and they (and many of our members) have a lot of games. People are encouraged to bring any games they want to play. There are separate people hosting the Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday meetings. We started in 2004 and have been growing ever since. Our founder got a meeting place (meetup can help with that too) and listed the group on meetup.com. I'm not sure about this but I think the original group consisted of around 6 people. Since then it has grown from once per month get-togethers on a Saturday to where we are today. Most people in the group attend one of the sessions and I don't think anyone attends all of them. The Mondays and Fridays are smaller groups of around 8-12. Wednesdays and Saturdays are like small gaming conventions.
 
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