Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snowy Day Board Games and New Players

Like most people in the Midwestern United States, we've been snowed in pretty badly and the kids have been out of school the last two days, and will be out of school the rest of the week.  Today the roads were relatively clear so I made my way to the FLGS, which just happened to be open.  While there, I bought the kids a new board game.




If you don't know the game, it is loads of fun and plays off a lot of classic gamer-nerd memes like pirates, ninjas, steampunk, and dinosaurs.  Since this was the first chance for me to talk face-to-face with an adult and not one of my children, I hung out at the store for a bit talking to the owner.  It is always interesting to learn about the hobby from the empirical evidence of a gaming store owner.  For example, most of the profit for his store comes from card games, then board games, followed by miniatures and then finally RPG's.  Miniatures in particular seems to be in decline, with RPG's sort of plateaued at the bottom.

That being said, gamers appear to be popping out of the woodwork for me.  One of my players in my regular group said he had a couple who was interested in joining a game.  I had a couple approach me two weeks ago about joining a game they were hosting (although I'm not sure it is getting off the ground), and just today had another acquaintance "out" himself as a lapsed gamer looking to dust off his dice.  That last sentence sounded a little dirty.

Moreover, the gentleman I talked to today mentioned yet another mutual acquaintance who has also a gamer and had the added benefit of actually living in the same city as me, not the big metropolis that the couple that had approached me or he lived in.  When you have to drive an hour to a gaming session, it seems to be less likely that you'd want to commit.

I've learned my lesson from my attempt to start a second gaming group and get all excited about the possibility of adding a whole bunch of new players, but it did remind me of what I'm hoping for out of Mi Gran Sueno, namely a game where I can cycle large numbers of players in and out without too much difficulty.  As I mentioned back in my post about surveying gamers, I have eight semi-regular players now, and I really can't manage all of them at once.  Thankfully that rarely happens.  But I know that some games work better than others.

WQRob's Discussion Question: What RPG's have you found that handle larger groups?

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