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 2-week window between now (February 10th) 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 keep momentum moving forward once you have a local scene beginning to form.
This is the last of three articles releasing this week featuring advice and tips from a number of channels, websites, and collectives of players. You can find links to their respective websites and channels at the bottom of the article. If you’d like to contribute to future articles like this, please reach out to me by sending me a message on Facebook.
- Don’t give up. Getting your local scene started and keeping it going takes quite a bit of effort. If you keep at it by running demos and scheduling events, the player base will eventually develop. In regards to running demos, if you can afford it, offer free cards to anyone who does a demo with you. People with cards in their hands will want to do something with them, as it was a generous gift from a person who didn’t have to give away his/her own cards. (The Jank Lab)
- Make it fun. Nobody likes to play in a volatile or toxic environment. If players know they are going to have a great time, win or lose, then they are more likely to show up, and are more likely to talk about it with other potential players. (The Jank Lab)
- Get involved with your locals events – Organising events, especially with your LGS, is a must to keep things rolling. Draft events in particular are great because new players do not need to have a prebuilt deck. They can just turn up, play and be on a somewhat even playing field. Afterwards, what are they going to do with all those cards? Hopefully use them. (Blues on Attack)
- There are a lot of great suggestions in this article, bur sometimes you’ll have to take the initiative and seize control over the local scene for both stores just like Starscream would do. Peace Through Tyranny!? Right?! Be the person who shows up weekly with something new and fun. And in the end, the one piece of advice I could give about growing the game is… The easiest thing you can do is just ask someone if they wanna play. You’re either gonna get a yes, or no. (Matafer)
- One of the things we have found works well is to dedicate different nights to different formats, some people may prefer one format over another. For instance, here in Colorado, we do casual nights on Tuesday when anyone can play anything. These nights are for deck building, playtesting, casual talk, etc. Then, on Saturdays we have a tournament, this allows players to try out what they have been working on at a more competitive level, learn how pairings work, follow time restrictions, and see who will have bragging rights for the week. (Powered by Primus)
- Some people have different motivations, that’s what separates people in playing different games. This is where you can help your local game store provide the correct rewards for people playing and make sure it’s on the correct day of the week to best fit your players need. Find out what helps push people into playing Transformers and make sure it remains the core of why and when you are playing. (Powered by Primus)
- Have your expectations meet the players where they are. Not everyone can commit to coming every week or to each event. “Real life” can get in the way, and the demographics of the players mean most of us are juggling things like work, studies, family, etc. One way to keep things going even if people (yourself included) can’t make it each and every week is to commit to contributing the online community for your local scene. Consider joining the chat group or starting one for the area. Our area is split, and the stores are pretty far for most of us. We also are centered in the US cities with the worst commute. The more you talk to each other even when you aren’t around makes it easier to commit to the long drive or to coordinate plans to get together. As a bonus, you can bond over Transformers nerd talk between meetups! (Brian Blair)
- Once you have a few players showing up regularly, make sure they know that you understand that “life comes first”. Don’t make your players feel like they MUST show up to your events. That could also drive them away, and every player is important to keep your community alive and healthy. (The Jank Lab)
- Remember that if you’d like your local store to support the game, you also need to be supporting your local store. When a new wave or standalone product is released, order it locally as opposed to online. Even better, preorder it from your local store. If your store doesn’t advertise preorders, approach them about it. (Wreck ‘n Rule)
We’ll be back with more advice in the future. Thank you for reading and thank you to our contributing channels, sites, and collectives for their advice. Check out their sites below!
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.
Matafer’s The Jankyard features gameplay and deck profiles for commonly used and rarely used character line-ups.