Sunday, November 20, 2011

Demonstartion Game vs Participation Game ?

Just back from Warfare at Reading, over 85 Traders and over 20 demonstration and participation games, it got me thinking about our own club, as a rule my local club is a shy club made up of regular guy's. we turn up on a Sunday unpack our figures, spend 4 hours talking all things gaming and then go home again, however in recent months we have seen a slow decline in numbers which prompts the question how do you get more members...

Several months ago a suggestion was put forward by one of our members regarding our interest in taking part in Gloucestershire MiniCon to be held on the Sunday 29th January 2011.

This is a collaberation of several Clubs from the local area, Evesham, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Redditch was the intention of bringing several games together on one day.
It prompted me to think about what's the best way to promote interest in your own club, having committed to being there on the 29th do we put on a participation game or a demonstration game?
To be honest demonstartion games leave me some what cold, having spent many a Sunday driving several hours to a show and wandering from stall to stall I often find myself drifting by the various games on display. These normally contain some great looking terrain and nicely painted figures with 4 or 5 people patrolling their table and doing everything they can to avoid eye contact with those wandering past.
There often seems very little engagement with fellow gamers and more over very little knowledge of the USP's of the various rules, figures or terrain on offer, on a number of occasions you almost feel you have interupted a regular club game as players.....
What must a member of the public feel?

So it strikes me that participation games must be the best approach, I don't want to go off and grab several memers of the public off the street and drag them into the sports centre and force them into a game nor do I want to become a babysitting service whilst Dad goes off and buys figures, but I do want to make people feel welcome and want to take part.
I want club members to take the time to explain the game, rules, the scenario and what makes it so much fun to passersby.

We need to remember why we are there.
1. To have a day out away from the wife and kids playing Soldiers?
2. A spending spree to save on postage and packaging?
3. An advert for our own club and a chance to recruit?
In order for the participation game to work we should  have details of the scenario available, what needs to happen to win, what rules we are using and what figures are needed to play the game.
We need fliers for our club and details of where and when we play, but perhaps more over we need to interact with those people who pause to look.
So what next - A period that people know well and a game that will last under an hour......
After much consideration we decided on a scenario from the Zulu Wars....
Here's a clue - Scenario details to follow.



  1. Looking forward to the next part.

  2. I have only just started attending such conventions and I have to concur with your observations. I am still very new to the hobby and as I walk past such games I am desperate for someone to say have a go,but nerves seem to always get the better of me.

  3. Michael I guess the south coast is a touch far. I think as gamers we often get to engrossed in our own game rather thinking way we put the game on in the first place. I just hope we don't fall into the trap. I have the first run through next Sunday to see if the idea works. Scenario details to follow. Regards Stuart

  4. Looking forward to reading how this turns out!

  5. I'm in North America (currently Canada, previously California) . . . and I've never even seen a "demonstration game" at a gaming convention. That seems to be a very British thing.

    By all means, go for a "participation game". Get people playing (and making noise, which attracts more people). After all we ARE supposed to be having fun . . . so have fun!

    -- Jeff

  6. Jeff I could not agree more. It's meant to be fun. We had our first run through last week, posting to follow shortly. Cheers stu

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