• Not A Worlds Preview

    WizKids Worlds happens this week. We've been testing for weeks, we're taking what we like the best and play the best, and keeping our fingers crossed. Starting with the qualifier tomorrow, there will be many dice rolled, many wins, many losses. I can't wait to get there on Friday and take it all in - the Dice Masters events as well as the con itself.

    But this article isn't about that.

    With Worlds looming and our attentions turning to Columbus, I have a far more important message and topic.

    Play. Local.

    Get into your store. Host a draft. Host a constructed tournament. Host doubles. Host anything that you want, just make it happen. You can do pack prizes, playmats, official organized play cards, whatever. Just make it happen. Schedule open play days. Record games. Record games that matter and games that don't matter. Get them on YouTube.

    Teach people. Help people. Take the new player and show him why Red Tornado is fantastic or show her how to PXG. Be a friend.

    National-level events (and bigger) are fantastic and do a lot of hype-building for the game, but the most important hype is the local hype. That's what gets stores to buy product. That's what gets more people to play. That's what elevates the skill level and gets more than just you and a friend to come to Nationals next year - you get a whole contingent to close in on Baltimore.

    Maybe your store doesn't get a lot of Dice Masters happening. Doesn't matter - add an ellipsis and a "yet" to the end of that.

    Ghandi said "Be the chance you want to see in the world." You want your store to get more involved? Get in there and play. Show the owner that you play there and that you can get your friends to play there too. Buy a few packs when you show up, to show it's worth carrying product. Start talking to them about rainbow draft, and how a single pod of eight moves more than an entire gravity feed off the shelf for the store.

    We talk a lot about the national meta and what we discover on our own and what others discover too - and that's fun, and we're going to keep doing it - but we want to both share what we're doing at home, and we want to know about what you're doing to grow the game from its roots. Where are the best stores to play? What makes them so? How can we share ideas to make EVERY store the best store to play?

    These are the things that make the game strong. These are the things we all need from each other. Don't just be concerned with your own performance (though we all want to win) - be accountable to each other and discover how we can move forward together.

    If ever there was a game community capable of making this happen, it is THIS community.
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. owLy's Avatar
      owLy -
      Way to go, Dave! These are all the things I am doing for the Melbourne scene at the moment; sans the YouTube vods. I consider it such a thrill and a win to get even just one more person interested and playing Dice Masters each week. Don't just sit back and wait for things to happen guys; get active and do whatever you can to make your community shine!
    1. Diabolik's Avatar
      Diabolik -
      I concur with the Play Local mentality, I'm building local communities in two different stores, but something that we as an overall community needs are regularly scheduled larger than Local events, with support from WizKids. And I'll explain why.

      The first reason is because people get bored playing the same opponents and same match ups over and over again. I'm not saying that they won't want to play, but unless there is a constantly evolving local meta there is stagnation. Larger "regional" tournaments allow players to experiment and evolve in anticipation of that upcoming event. Now it might not be the entire play group, but the members planning on heading to that tourney are going to help the other players evolve as well because they want to play a competitive match up and not just steamroller everyone.

      Another reason for larger regular tournaments is it bolsters the secondary market. The major of the reason MTG has thrived 20+ years is because the cards have a resell value (and Hasbro owning it). Look at what happened when Star City started running their tournament series. Prices jumped on certain cards because they changed the meta very quickly (or Star City was trying to dictate pricing, but I'm referring to cards like Flickerwisp which went from a junk uncommon to a $3 card in 36 hours). This makes stores on a local level less reluctant to buy back cards after a draft and more willing to give a game counter and case space if it's going to be healthy and stay alive.

      I'm basing most of what I'm saying off of the experience of running tournaments for over 15 years and managing FLGS for over 8. I've also played in the competitive L5R scene as well as VS and MTG (though not very well). One of the greatest feelings was when I convinced almost my entire L5R playgroup to drive to a Regional event for L5R and compete and we rolled in with 10 people out of the 13 that we saw fairly regularly. None of us did well enough to speak of, but we all walked out and had a similar post event experience as @Dave and @Randy did after Nationals.

      We need that intermediate step between Local and Nationals that is happening on a regular basis, unlike the WKO stuff which worked more like the L5R Kotei tournaments and grouped in the same time period.
    1. owLy's Avatar
      owLy -
      Those are also really good points, Diabolik.

      One thing I really liked about Yu-Gi-Oh! back in the day was the incentive to play provided by a larger and broader tournament scene. Regionals and larger tournaments were held at healthily frequent intervals that gave players incentive to train and make the most of the current meta in their local scenes.

      I'm really happy to just boost my local scene at the moment, but I can definitely agree that down the track bigger tournaments with qualifiers and "win-a-gravity-feed" type events will help develop the scene even further and intrigue more people into potentially picking up the game.
    1. PurdueBrad's Avatar
      PurdueBrad -
      All are VERY good points. I'm lucky enough that a co-worker has been building the local scene through a gaming and comic book shop. One of the biggest challenges for myself (and another player or two) are focusing on the idea that we're trying to build a community/group rather than win a tournament on one given day. So for a couple of us, we are making a conscious effort to simply try and experiment with new and fun combos rather than run our Tsarina or Gobby teams. It really is important, especially at this late buy-in stage (given that AvX is out-of-print again, seemingly) that new players don't have the same access or commitment yet and we need to nurture that first.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Well said. I'm probably not playing in the next one because I'd rather help facilitate the event. I can do more for video if I can dedicate time to it.
    1. Mathrin's Avatar
      Mathrin -
      Another thing we stress is consistency. I host events at 2 stores in Greenwood/Indy. The people that show up know that there is an event every Saturday at 5 with an OP Kit. Every single Saturday. When your community never really knows when there is a group playing, they will lose interest. Another thing is posting your events to the Wizkids event system. Become a volunteer for a store and just post up your events instead of waiting for the store to do it for you. Talk with the store and verify you are good hosting an event and make it happen. We use the event system, facebook and the local store to help get the word out. It all helps and doesn't take that much effort.
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      @Dave great points. As excited as I am for World's-it is not where my year of gaming will have the majority of its time. That will be spent with friends, at the FLGS, and teaching new people at game nights. I hope to do well at Worlds but won't be upset if I do not. The idea of seeing more and more people playing it in my community however would be awesomesauce.
    1. Meatman's Avatar
      Meatman -
      We are trying here in Southern Ontario as well. Meeting up tonight with a few guys that only met becuase of the TRP Member Map!

      Going to be rolling tonight with @RenHero & @Raimiwannabe at a store that doesn't even carry any dice masters stuff yet. We are hoping to show the game off to a few of the other regulars and see if we can get a community going in our area.
    1. jevansfp's Avatar
      jevansfp -
      Great article @Dave . I agree with @IsaacBV - most of the fun with this game has been with and will be with playing with family, friends, and local competitors. Posting games on WES and Facebook has really helped us locally make plans to get together. We also have a local Facebook group that encompasses all of the organized games in the region. @Dave . Minor typo, but I thought Ghandi wanted us to be the change that we want to see in the world. If I could fix it for you, I would. Thanks again for posting this.
    1. Green Knight's Avatar
      Green Knight -
      I love it @Dave , way to spread the gospel!
      It works for sure, I'm attending my first "local" OP event tomorrow thanks to spreading the good word.
      Good luck to everyone and keep up the grass roots efforts .
      That said if you are ever in Colorado, check out The Wizard's Chest and Total Escape Games.
      @Ghandi, that is my favorite quote "Be the change you want to see in the world" words to live by.
    1. Stormyknight's Avatar
      Stormyknight -
      The big issue in my area is we have a group that shows up for the events, and according to the store owners there is an even larger community than we think of players that play casually. I wish they would come out and play anyway, right now it's about 5-6 people max and the big issue comes up if someone has something else going on that day and can't go, the entire event can't happen because we need at least 4 to start. I'm not sure if I need to demo, or what needs to happen but it's really frustrating.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stormyknight View Post
      The big issue in my area is we have a group that shows up for the events, and according to the store owners there is an even larger community than we think of players that play casually. I wish they would come out and play anyway, right now it's about 5-6 people max and the big issue comes up if someone has something else going on that day and can't go, the entire event can't happen because we need at least 4 to start. I'm not sure if I need to demo, or what needs to happen but it's really frustrating.

      Have you done casual open play days?