Growing a Meta

How do you expand your local play group? Lots of places have people who are starting to get in to the game and looking for more people to play locally. Your local scene is generally known as your “meta”. Here’s some time worn tips on how to encourage more people to pick up the game you are really in to.

Have a fixed day of the week for your game

Your local game store, gaming club or other regular venue is key to finding new people. Try to have a regular time publicised that you try to stick to for playing Crisis Protocol. Every Wednesday. First Sunday of the month. Attend as regularly as you can and play.

Get your stuff painted

The models for M:CP are really cool. Iconic characters with great sculpts. But they really stand out with a bit of paint. They don’t have to be competition standard – tabletop is fine. But they will draw people over to your table to look at them when you are playing at the local game store.

Pause your game

When those people come over to see what you are playing, if they look interested, find a suitable spot – probably after an activation has completed – and ask them if they are interested in the game. “Which is your favourite Marvel character?” is a great opening line.

Ask questions. Let them ask questions. Even if they walk off thank them for dropping in and invite them to come watch – or play – again.

Give generous demos

When you finally get that new player for a demo game, be generous. The point of the demo game is to show them how the game plays and for them to have fun. You don’t need to throw the game, and especially not in a really obvious way, but positioning two or three characters in a line for Iron Man to Unibeam, or purposefully not targeting their character with a stack of power on them so they can do cool stuff before being KOed. ‘Sub-optimal’ plays will help level the experience divide between you and the brand new player. If you have a swingy objective (Skrulls, Kree power core), if you grab it, leave that character in range of reprisals.

Follow up after your demos

After the game, let them know about your Facebook group, chat group or however you and your locals communicate to set up games. Ask them what they liked. Arrange to play another game in a week or two.

Have a social media presence

You’ve probably already got this in hand, but make a Facebook group or whatever works for you. Promote it via your local game store(s), other groups for local gamers and post regularly. Arrange games there. If people see games being arranged regularly they will be reassured there is an appetite for the game locally.

Run accessible events

Offer events with low barriers to entry – low cost and use of other people’s models. This is something that Crisis Protocol has almost baked in. The core set has two teams in it. It also has everything you need to play the Ultron ultimate encounter. That is especially good for new players, as you can give one Crisis Team to the new player and have Ultron and the other team run by more experienced players.

As we get more releases, a draft format event could be good too.

It’s a numbers game

Not every demo game will lead to a new member of your community, but the more demos you give, the more people you will attract to your local group.

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