[Growing Your Local Community] Part 1: Getting Started and Using Online Resources

With the Energon Invitational serving as the capstone to the 2019 Transformers TCG competitive season and with a new wave releasing in April, now seems like an excellent time to refocus on building local communities for TFTCG. As of the publishing of this article, your local stores have a 3-week window between now (February 3rd) and February 23rd where they can order the Launch Party kit for Wave 5, so make sure to remind your store!

A mysterious figure approached me a few weeks ago, seeking to nudge the larger scale TFTCG community to focus once again on growing a local scene.

My response was to reach out to a handful of folks who have had success in doing just that. Today’s article is going to offer you tips on how you can take the first steps to building a local scene, and how you can use various online resources to help you accomplish this.

This is the first of three articles releasing this week featuring advice and tips from the following channels, websites, and collectives of players. If you’d like to contribute to future articles like this, please reach out to me by sending me a message on Facebook.

Blues on Attack is dedicated to bringing you Transformers TCG gameplay videos, including meta decks and jank decks, and they’ve recently branched into videos featuring general discussion about the game.

Computron’s Lab features a number of excellent resources, including card galleries, content creator databases, and articles that delve deeply into specific areas of the game.

Flip Flip Bang Bang is one of the premiere sources out there for TFTCG articles, including artist interviews, local event recaps, and his Building… series, which does a deep dive into lesser used characters and explores how to make decks with them.

The Jank Lab (formerly Transformers TCG Deck Techs) is dedicated to bringing you deeply tested jank decks and showing you how to use them effectively on the table.

Powered by Primus is a channel that features gameplay, deck profiles, and discussion videos about various specific topics within the game itself. Check their website too!

Getting a local scene Started

  1. Be present and have fun – Just being a consistent, friendly presence is a great start to keeping your locals going. A stable foundation can be built over time. If other people see you, week in, week out, having a laugh and enjoying the game, eventually they will want to know what all the fuss is about. (Blues on Attack)
  1. Ask your LGS to help promote the game, and ask if you can create posts on their Facebook page. Even if the LGS doesn’t carry the game, if enough people see the posts, and ask the store employees about the game, the LGS may begin to think that they should carry the game. If they already carry the game, keep posting about running demos, and respond to ANYONE that responds to your posts. (The Jank Lab)
  1. Don’t use pressure tactics. Nobody likes to be pressured into anything, even if they may enjoy whatever it may be. If someone says they aren’t sure if they want to join your local community, don’t force the issue. If you are talking to them, they are at least somewhat interested already. Pressure may force them away if they are on the fringe. (The Jank Lab)
  1. Be supportive – Naturally, people will be inquisitive about the peeps that are having the big laugh with the giant robots. That’s your cue to offer as much insight as you can into this wonderful game, sharing knowledge and answering as many questions as you can. Inevitably, they will want to try it so have some spare decks on hand (entry level, of course) so they can try it out if they want to. If all goes well, give them a few spares to get them started. (Blues on Attack)

Using online resources

  1. Make sure your group has a local Facebook that’s easy to find. This lets new players know immediately there’s a group active in their area; knowing one is around might convince them to investigate the game more before making that leap. Regularly post to that group; news stories relating to the game, new builds you’re working on, non-game related Transformers stuff (a lot of TFTCG players are here for the Transformers; other games will distract players away from the game).

    A chat group is good for keeping the regular chat going, and does help bond players much better, but don’t neglect your local facebook group, keep things going on both. (Flip Flip Bang Bang)
  1. Post regularly on your national/regional Facebook group and let others know things are going well in your area. Post your events there regularly and occasional tournament reports (even if brief notes) – make your events something your neighbours will want to come and check out. When you post a facebook event in a group, it’ll automatically appear in the ‘events’ section for that group. (Flip Flip Bang Bang)
  1. If you don’t have a local store you can make. Consider finding online groups that play. Not everyone has the ability to meet up with TFTCG players “In Real Life” but, amazing friendships and bonds can be built by seeking out players from all across the globe. [REDACTED]

We’ll be back later this week with advice on how to keep your local scene going once you’ve gotten some traction, and how to welcome new players to an established scene. Thank you for reading and thank you to our contributing channels, sites, and collectives for their advice. Check out their sites!

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